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ORD Sporlight #6: Falcon Hunter [Jul. 21st, 2007|02:32 am]
Associated with Returner Games



The Falcon Hunter comes to us from Ragnarok Online by way of writer Maegdae. When I see a job based on Ragnarok Online, without looking at the job, I already have certain expectations: Fairly limited equipment choices, 'customizable' abilities, and Brazilians. No, in the FFRPG we only have the one resident Brazilian and I doubt he's even looked at this job, so that leaves just the other two expectations to be fulfilled.

So let's see what this second ORD Job holds for us today.

I see that right away, the Falcon Hunter gets access to just about every ranged weapon, along with Knives. Armor-wise, well, I don't remember RO Hunters being able to equip shields, but that's probably nit-picking. Let's get on to the real fun, abilities.

The Falcon Hunter's abilities are split into two sets of powers. The first set deals with the Falcon that gives the job its name. The second set deals with the traps that an RO Hunter can lay.

So, the first two Falcon abilities are pretty boring. The first one is a reaction ability that uses a complicated formula to deal extra damage to the enemy. The second is a support ability that increases this damage to certain enemies and also adds a chance to inflict Disable on them. These are pretty much the defining abilities of the Job.

Blitz Break might be unbalanced. A high level Falcon Hunter (with 25 AGI and Death Penalty) can do 1200-3xARM damage to a single target for a CT of 6. Compare that to a Fighter (with the same stuff) doing 1100-2xARM damage for 10 CT (Double Cut). A 'typical' enemy at that level probably has between 120 and 200 ARM. So under that assumption the best case scenario for Blitz Break that's around 840 damage, worst case 600 damage. For the Fighter we get 860 and 700 damage. Well, upon investigation and actually looking at numbers (something many people are loath to do when investigating whether something is balanced or not), Blitz Break might be *slightly* unbalanced, but on the whole the 4 CT difference for comparable damage does not seem worrisome.

Steel Talons makes the Falcon's additional damage greater, pretty boring. Razor Wing is a two-hit T:Group move for 12 CT, so it sounds pretty powerful on the surface. However, the Falcon's damage isn't so great, so this probably is okay. Falcon Eyes makes the Falcon Hunter's crit range bigger. A lot of twinkish characters won't use it because they'll already have the advantage that makes the crit range 1-20, so this wouldn't be a big boost for them. For other characters? This would probably be the first thing used in a fight, especially if you have Haste or a Mediator to Entrust you.

Wind Walker is... at once pretty powerful and very underwhelming. Durations of (2) mean that it would have to be spammed constantly. On the other hand, it *is* Haste. And it's T:Party. That's pretty powerful.

At the level Falcon Assault is gained at, it's essentially "hit for 999 damage." It will do 6d6*3+16*25*3 = 1200-ish damage (assuming the same Falcon Hunter from above). After the damage cap, and since there's no ARM involved... 999.

Traps vary dramatically in usefulness and cost. Yes, cost. There's a Charge Time associated with laying out Traps, and there's also a Gil Cost because trap use consumes 'Trap items' which are worth 150 gil. At level 50 Traps stop acting like reactions, triggering against the first thing that attacks the party, and can be triggered with a second action by the Falcon Hunter to go off on the target of his choice.

Flasher is, despite the name, not about men in trench coats. It's T:Single Blind for the cost of 150 gil. Not really that bad of an ability even compared to an Ink which is T:Group Blind for 300 gil.

Blast Mine... is pretty useless. 750 gil to cast +1 Fire? Lame.

Sandman is pretty awesome, although the cost in gil is a bit ludicrous. Still, considering that Dream Powders are planned to be bumped way up in Availability and Cost, the gil cost is probably okay.

Concussion Mine gives the Falcon Hunter the ability to do MP damage. Unfortunately the amount of damage done is rather small and the cost in gil way, way too large.

Ankle Snare and Land Mine bring some useful status dealing to the mix. Snare nullifying the monster's 'melee' attacks and Land Mine doing Sword Slap's 'stun' effect. They're handy. Expensive, but handy.

Freezing Mine is awesome. Dealing Freeze (2)? Yes plz. It does cost 4500 gil, however, which is pretty darn expensive... Especially considering that a Freeze Stone only costs 2000 gil for basically the same effect.

Claymore is lame. Just... It's lame. Don't use it. 400 damage (at best) to one guy, and 100-150 to the rest of the group? So not worth it. It's just not.

In the end, the Falcon Hunter has some good ideas in it, but it doesn't 'feel' like it's based on RO. There's no putting some kind of esoteric 'point' quantity into the abilities to make them better. The action cost of laying down traps is probably too great. It would perhaps be better if the Falcon Hunter could start the fight with one or two traps already 'laid'. The Job's damage output is pretty good based on looking at the Falcon-abilities.

More or less this is decently balanced Job. It does damage, it has some statuses (for vast gil costs) accessible, and it has a few unique tricks up its sleeve that other Jobs don't. With some tweaking and testing, and a hefty rewrite of the traps, this would probably be something very playable.

[User Picture]From: julian_skies
2007-07-22 03:43 am (UTC)
Actually, every class in RO can use at least the basic shield and a buckler, so it does makes sense for them to have shields.
And I do agree with you that the traps are a bit anoying costing an action to set, but I believe their purpose is to be just as good as an actual Slow action, that'd go off just after the enemy. You'd see them having a very high CT. What might be overpunishing the earlier traps.
And hey.. Land Mine IS lame in RO =P I've played a Hunter (given, in a high-rate server) and Land Mine is so useless.
I actually think it has as much RO feel as there can be without getting close to a rewrite of FFRPG job mechanics.
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[User Picture]From: julian_skies
2007-07-22 04:03 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes. One more thing I forgot: Hunters don't have access to Rifles per canon, since only the Gunner job can use them.
And Boomerangs are a little iffy too, it's the Ninja job who uses them, as a melee weapon, until they get a skill to use it a range.

Those ideas came to my mind thanks to Pen
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[User Picture]From: demonicgerbil
2007-07-22 08:35 pm (UTC)
I never played a Hunter. My first Archer turned Bard, and my second one never got to a high enough level to job change. I was just going off of what I saw others doing. :p
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