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Takashi Shiraga talks about how Mobius Final Fantasy's battle system has evolved in Act 2

Takashi Shiraga talks about how Mobius Final Fantasy's battle system has evolved in Act 2

Written by Brayden — 06 Dec 2018

Mobius Final Fantasy Act II: Warrior of Despair brings a big evolution to the game's deep turn-based battle system so new project leader Takashi Shiraga has taken the time to talk all about it in an interview with the Final Fantasy Portal Site.

You can read it below.

―We heard the battle system has undergone quite a change, but can you give us any details?
The biggest change is the timing of player and enemy attacks. Until now, actions were performed in blocks, so if the player had ten actions in a single turn, they would perform all ten consecutively before the enemies would theirs. With the new battle system, player and enemy actions are taken alternately.

―Why did you decide to implement a new battle system? And why this system?
One of the reasons we decided to change the battle system is because we wanted something more interactive. Until now, the goal was to take down the enemy before they could do anything. The “Break Loop” strategy was created, but that still wasn’t enough to diversify the battles.
We had also reached a point where we were limited when it came to devising new enemy actions and strategies. The enemies were fairly straightforward, and our only options were to make them difficult to defeat or boost their defenses and make them impossible to break.
With the new battle system, actions are alternated. If the player has ten actions and the enemy two, the player will perform five actions, the enemy one, the player five, and the enemy one. The new system also takes speed into account, so a swift enemy might attack after two player actions when the player has a total of five. This system was constructed to allow the player to create a battle plan based on the enemy and their characteristics. Our goal is to provide players with more flexible and diverse strategies.

―What should players keep in mind with this new battle system?
Pay attention to your defense. The previous battle system was all about boosting your strength and focusing on offensive abilities to defeat enemies quickly. Now, you need to steel yourself for enemy attacks, so it’s important to consider a strategy that’s both offensive and defensive. Attempting battles with an attack-heavy strategy may result in a quick and painful loss.

―Will completely new job compositions be required?
Defense is important, but that shouldn’t be the only point of focus. We’re creating a system where the player also needs to take into account enemies’ characteristics. Some enemies are easier to defeat with a strong offensive job, so offensive jobs will continue to be relevant. Numerous varieties of enemies will allow for different jobs to come into play.
The biggest adjustment made to the battle system is that more jobs have become relevant. Until now, defender types weren’t very popular, but we’ll be adjusting enemy characteristics to let defenders be the job of choice too.

―Are there any jobs that weren’t popular before, but will be with the new battle system?
All defensive jobs in general, especially Heretical Knight and Legendary Guardian, will most likely be popular. The new battle system has already been incorporated in Japan, and there, many players seem to favor Legendary Guardian. If the Action Gauge is filled enough, you can switch to an attacker job and switch back before the enemies take their actions. We urge you to try new strategies that weren’t viable before.

―Are there any other exciting new features?
Sub-attacks. While maxing out your gauge will trigger the Mobius Zone, you can still use a partially filled gauge to use the ability of a sub-job. For example, if you set powerful attacks to your main job and Break-gauge-reducing abilities to your sub-job, you can aim to Break enemies, diversifying your strategy. A job change requires time to switch back and forth, so this maneuver is convenient when you’re in a situation that doesn’t necessitate such a strategy.

―Are there any abilities that weren’t popular before, but will be now?
That would have to be Barrier- and Wall-type defensive abilities, or abilities that lower enemy strength like Curse and Debrave. Until now, abilities that lower enemy stats were rarely used, but they will become important for battles that force you to endure enemy attacks with defensive jobs.
Quicken is also recommended. It’s useful for performing as many actions as possible with your attacker job before switching back to your defender job.

―Tell us about the new Mobius Zone feature.
Mobius Zone is a special feature that triggers automatically when the Action Gauge is maxed out. First of all, when triggered, you gain eight consecutive actions specific to the Mobius Zone. Enemies are not be able to perform any actions during these eight actions.
Second of all, abilities used during the zone don’t require any element orbs. You can unleash abilities without the necessary orbs, which includes abilities that require different elements.
Third of all, you can change jobs without limitations. In the previous battle system, there was a set number of recast turns in order to change jobs. Now, you can change jobs by consuming the Action Gauge, and in the Mobius Zone, you can change jobs all you want without consuming the gauge at all. You can try a strategy where you begin as a defender, switch to an attacker job once the zone is triggered, and change back with your last action.

―I see. The feature gives the players quite an advantage. Being able to trigger it at will opens up the possibilities to more than a few strategies.
That’s right, and speaking of advantages, there’s another important aspect of the feature. When the zone is triggered, even if your Ultimate gauge isn’t filled, you can change jobs and unleash the Ultimate of that job. Not only that, if your Ultimate gauge is maxed out when the zone is triggered, you can unleash the Ultimates of both your main and sub-jobs consecutively. However, unleashing your sub-job’s Ultimate will end the zone regardless of whether or not you’ve taken all eight actions, so the primary rule is to take your actions prior to unleashing that Ultimate.

―Two consecutive Ultimates! That sounds incredible. Which jobs would you recommend for this strategy?
In regards to sheer power, Shorn One and Ascetic are a good combination. Shorn One has the auto-ability Spellsword, which imbues Ultimates, which are generally non-elemental, with elements of your weapon. Ultimates imbued with elements that line up with enemy weaknesses deal much more damage. What makes it a good combination with Ascetic, is that Ascetic’s Ultimate imbues your weapon with the enemy’s elemental weakness. Unleashing this attack and imbuing your weapon with those elements and then unleashing Shorn One’s Ultimate will allow you to attack the enemy twice with elements to which it’s weak. Try it out for yourself!

―Who came up with the name “Mobius Zone”?
We had been using “Mobius Zone” as a placeholder in the planning stages... This might require a lengthy explanation, but the Mobius Zone feature didn’t exist in the early stages of development.

―I see! Then how did it come to be?
When adjusting the battle system, we realized the balance was off and the battles were one sided, so we decided to implement a new system to resolve these issues, as mentioned previously. They were the only issues we were planning to address, but as we began developing the system, it felt not only lacking compared to before, but oddly paced with no positive elements.

―From the player’s point of view, it does seem like the adjustment makes the player susceptible to more enemy attacks.
That’s why we wanted to add a positive element, something exciting to offset the negative. When we thought about what constituted “exciting,” we imagined “being in an awesome state.” So then we discussed what it meant to “be in an awesome state,” which led us to the conclusion of “being in the zone,” like when athletes, for example, are extremely focused to improve their performance. We then decided to give the player eight additional actions, since the number 8 looks like a mobius strip, and that’s how we decided on the Mobius Zone.
When the zone is triggered, a graphic appears with the infinity symbol replacing the O’s in “Mobius Zone.” When we saw that, we were blown away by the creative minds of the design team. The battle team was excited that some sort of miracle had occurred despite it having been a tentative name for the feature [laughs].