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FFVII: Ever Crisis Announced

Suzaku

Pro Adventurer
The new arrangement of One-Winged Angel they use for younger Sephiroth is really cool. I wish they had done something like this for Crisis Core, especially during the scene where he's training with Genesis and Angeal. Always bugged me that they busted out the final boss version when he's still in his heroic persona and is just sparring with friends.

This version lacks vocals, is way more subdued and mysterious sounding, with the familiar violin and horn stings sounding foreboding, but it eventually swells and becomes heroic before looping.

 

cold_spirit

he/him
AKA
Alex T
Hold up, no one told me they put Beagle Stamp in this.

Screenshot_20230912-225020~2.png

Note that it's the helicopter's only decoration. Here's a quick guide of the Stamps we've seen so far:

Remake: Beagle
Remake - Zack scenes: Terrier
Remake INTERmission: Beagle
Crisis Core Reunion: None
The First Soldier: Beagle

Take from that what you want.
 

Suzaku

Pro Adventurer
It occurs to me that Elmyra said her husband went MIA 15 years ago, which is the same year TFS starts. So I wouldn't be surprised if her husband plays a role in the story.

Glenn is shown to be alive at the time of the Mass SOLDIER Desertion so probably not him, but maybe Matt, or maybe he'll appear later.

It's not really necessary to have everything tie together, but would be a nice touch if his death played some role in it.
 

ultima espio

Pro Adventurer
He was named in Trace of two pasts, he's called Clay:


He might just get a passing mention if anything.
 

SilverArrow20XX

Pro Adventurer
I thought TFS started 18 years ago.
The trailer said it was 12 years after 30 years ago.
Or does EC pick up a few years after that?

Edit: Oh yeah. They graduate from the VR training with the player in the EoS of the original TFS, so it makes sense that it's a few years later.
 
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X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
So, I sort of just barrelled my way to Level 50 with Cloud, Tifa, & Red XIII in this.

Overall, it's annoying that there are the mobile game systems throughout this but for better or worse, hopefully that means this can stay alive long enough to get all of its various bits of content out. The content organization is a bit all over the place, but some of it already feels like it's ready for expansion (the character upgrade trees already have stuff that's locked at 55+ and the Cetra Tower missions get insanely difficult. The one huge negative is that while the blue crystal rewards start out at being 100 or 50 for most things, those ALL drop off to be about 10 once you actually get things going. It's sort of annoying when you accomplish something like getting 3 characters to level 50 for 10 crystals and I can watch an 8 second ad for 50.

That all being said, once the game gets into the later stages the combat challenges get a lot more interesting. The highest level Watermelon Tonberry fight took a lot of specific planning and strategy to pull off in a way that was really satisfying. (Also, I hope that that little dude shows up in Rebirth because that story was adorable and it'd be a fun mini-game, especially with all the ones just shown in the new trailer).

Pretty early on, I got to a point in Zack's battles against the Behemoth and one other one where I just swapped over to have the system auto battle, and just use myself to interrupt it especially because the combat AI will always try to heal during enemy interrupts and doesn't know when aggression will be a faster push to victory in harder boss battles. It's not until later that synthesizing materia and other things become more necessary, but they're interesting and enjoyable systems (albeit gated behind mobile timers).

The Chocobo stuff is IMPOSSIBLY cute, and it's a nice break from the main game content in a way that feels appropriately adorable. The extra character missions are where leveling up miscellaneous characters becomes more important, but I think that the little bits of character backstory are a nice reward for that. I overall enjoyed the The First SOLDIER campaign so far and I think it'll be interesting to see how things flesh out details here and there for it. The Crisis Dungeons and other challenge modes are fairly enjoyable but again, gated behind mobile limited attempts per time segment that sort of make that frustrating.

It's really neat to see how they've really preserved SO many FFVII & Remake systems into this format, but there's a lot of grind that feels sort of disproportionately distributed given how parts are gated around certain mobile progression mechanics. As I'm mostly just here for the overall story stuff, I think it's fairly decent at doing what it does, but with the events and Gacha stuff having rewards that have abilities and other impactful gameplay stuff, I fear that there's a decent chance that this may end up skewing into properly annoying territory at some point in the future.

The summon missions are fun and difficult, and they seem to have an interesting progression to them so far. I think that the oddest thing is how quickly various characters' levels fall out of sync if they're not on a team you use for your main strategy for the story stuff. Overall though, I'm decently ok with it for now even though it feels like drinking from a fire hose until about level 30+ to try and understand everything that's happening.




X :neo:
 

Suzaku

Pro Adventurer
One thing to consider about the grind is, as with all gacha games, it'll get easier over time. The first few weeks / months of any gacha game is when resource limitations are most noticeable, but eventually they'll have to make adjustments so newer players can catch up to veterans and everything will gradually get more convenient.

I'm still only around level 37-39 on my main party (Cloud, Zack, Matt) and am currently wrapping my head around the power progression systems. Working on getting subweapons to level 50 and trying to craft some decent materia, stockpiling blue crystals in anticipation of Sephiroth being added to the roster in the next story update.
 

Ite

Save your valediction (she/her)
AKA
Ite
Hold up, no one told me they put Beagle Stamp in this.

View attachment 13781

Note that it's the helicopter's only decoration. Here's a quick guide of the Stamps we've seen so far:

Remake: Beagle
Remake - Zack scenes: Terrier
Remake INTERmission: Beagle
Crisis Core Reunion: None
The First Soldier: Beagle

Take from that what you want.
I’m now more convinced cloak guy in Rebirth is Glenn
 

Ite

Save your valediction (she/her)
AKA
Ite
Well that's interesting...this is supposed to be the scene originally shown after we lose Cloud, right?

Yes. In EC it’s in the “character quest” section or whatever. Once you finish the Midgar section of the FFVII Story it opens up: you get a new prequel story for Aeris and for Tifa, and Cloud’s is this scene from his perspective — when Tifa is saying the ————, the screen is doing the Remake static thing. That didn’t happen in the OG but also the scene is from *her* perspective in the OG, so with the changed perspective and unreliable narrator it’s possible to include at least an *attempt* by her to get the story straight before stepping back, shutting up, and becoming the architect of her own misery holding her thoughts in her heart.
 
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Suzaku

Pro Adventurer
Looks like a couple of datamined assets, though I can't verify their authenticity myself yet.

F6be8AUXkAAZnMm


F6a13tVWMAA40nY
 

ForceStealer

Double Growth
Yes. In EC it’s in the “character quest” section or whatever. Once you finish the Midgar section of the FFVII Story it opens up: you get a new prequel story for Aeris and for Tifa, and Cloud’s is this scene from his perspective — when Tifa is saying the ————, the screen is doing the Remake static thing. That didn’t happen in the OG but also the scene is from *her* perspective in the OG, so with the changed perspective and unreliable narrator it’s possible to include at least an *attempt* by her to get the story straight before stepping back, shutting up, and becoming the architect of her own misery holding her thoughts in her heart.
Yeah, it didn't, but it could easily slot in to all the bzzt!s in the original scene :)
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
I found it rather interesting that a Lifestream version of Ilfana actually seems to be showing up when Aerith talks to her. I'm curious if this is something that we'll see in Rebirth if there're ever the presences of someone who's passed away that she reaches out to.

In Remake we had the bit with the ghosts & the children being supernaturally abducted by them, so it wouldn't be totally out of the question, but it's interesting to see these things being portrayed more directly and less being a spiritual implication.

While I'm still enjoying Ever Crisis, I actually think that the gacha is the worst part, and the way that it's currently impossible to DO anything to gain pulls when you're essentially level capped makes it so that the Blue Crystals end up being something that you can't spend on LITERALLY anything else. I haven't unlocked other materia synthesis slots or another chocobo exploration slot because I only earn enough to get a single stamp card attempt every 2-3 days, and I'm trying to get even a SINGLE one of the Cloud/Aerith weapons, even knowing that the outfits are essentially going to be permanently impossible to obtain.

For context, this is where I'm at progress wise in the game:

Max Team Power: 131,352

STORY
• FF7: Normal cleared (Extra is 148k-187k for party)
• CC: Normal cleared (Extra is 34k-42k for JUST Zack)
• TFS: Normal cleared (Extra is 185k)

SOLO
• Enhancement: All tiers of all 6 cleared
• Training: All tiers of all 6 cleared
• Synthesis: All tiers of all 6 cleared
• Premium: All tiers of all 5 cleared
• Summon:
-- Ifrit: Normal & Hard Cleared (Very Hard is 178k)
-- Shiva: Normal Cleared (Hard in 133k seems barely outside of my capability, but MAYBE possible)
-- Ramuh: Normal Cleared (Hard is 166k past my top power)
• Battle Tower: B42 (Power 156,600)
• Story Quests: All 3 Character Quests cleared
• Dungeons:
-- Criterion: All 4 100% cleared
-- Crisis: All Normal S+ cleared all Hard aside from the Sea Cave S+ cleared (and you only get 3 attempts per week).
• Chocobo: Most regions 100% cleared, but that's a waiting game on exploration RNG.
• Event: All Solo & Co-Op missions cleared.

ENHANCEMENT
• Characters:
-- Cloud: maxed 50
-- Barret: maxed 30
-- Tifa: maxed 50
-- Aerith: maxed 32
-- Red XIII: maxed 50
-- Zack: maxed 35
-- Glenn: maxed 30
-- Matt: maxed 30
-- Lucia: maxed 40
• Summons:
-- Ifrit: maxed to Very Hard
-- Shiva: In progress
-- Ramuh: In progress

Enhance:
• Weapons: Don't have any weapons that I use that aren't upgraded to a point where it benefits me, and I can't gacha for weapons I actually USE for the aforementioned reason.
• Materia: Can't make Aero Blow or Earth Blow, and everything else is unlocked or upgraded as much as I can.

Suffice to say... I'm playing the HELL out of the game, but I've made enough to draw from the Cloud & Aerith Even Card exactly TWO TIMES since it came out. I've literally never run out of Stamina to make me stop playing either because they give you an insane amount of boosts for that, it's just that Blue Crystals are exclusive to First Time rewards, and I've literally done absolutely everything that you can possibly do... and those rewards start at 100 or 300, and drop to 10 & 30 and not everything even gives them at all.

The only thing I COULD do to level boost is upgrade weapons... which I literally can't do without drawing since my active team has them all at Lv 90. The most insane thing is that completing the Watermelon Tonberry Event literally gives you ELEVEN 5★ versions of Zack's umbrella AND of Glenn's weapon. That means that they have weapons that are 7-10 5★ duplicates more rare than my active team of Cloud, Tifa, & Red XIII. Note that a SINGLE 5★ weapon is the same as 20 4★ duplicates, or 200 3★ duplicates... and the upgrade system allows you to put in 110 5★ duplicates into a single weapon before it maxes out – that is TWENTY-TWO THOUSAND 3★ duplicates.

I'm averaging a TOTAL of 5 random weapons a day. Unless the game GIVES you free pulls, I'm literally never able to get them despite being sunk down into the marrow of what exists in the game, because there's no way to earn pulls by playing... but they're a critical part of being able to keep building power when you hit the level cap. The gacha bottleneck here is insane, and it's weird because the other parts of the game will literally THROW content at you. Zack & Glenn both have an exclusive Summon-specific weapon that you can grind from Ifrit, where the rarity is the ONLY factor of RNG. They're already being boosted in the event, and they have the easiest grind path to weapons in the game.

I don't spend money on RNG pulls, and even if the cost was LITERALLY 10x less expensive it wouldn't be worth it.

The most annoying thing is that the outfits have stat modifiers, and the weapons have exclusive elemental attacks and buffs. They're not JUST cosmetics, and Tifa & Red XIII's ★ Event weapons have been literally critical to how far I've gotten. I don't have Cloud or Aerith's above 4★, and I there's a 1% chance PER PULL I'll end up getting one. That means that I've got a 6% chance of it before the event ends, and about a 50/50 of reaching pity at 6 stamps. The FIRST outfit is literally twice as far out of reach (12 stamps), and the next one is double that (24 stamps).

If they don't make some changes, I can see the hardcore players of this burning out, because being content locked out of having any way to earn the gacha event items, while the other half of the game ensure that you're being LITERALLY INUNDATED with their event items makes you LOATHE the gacha – even before it's also the thing making it cost-ineffective to unlock Chocobo stables and other content.


X :neo:
 

Maidenofwar

They/Them
Yeah. I am rerolling to try to get as best a start as possible. I have decided Aerith is going to be my main so apparently this means starting with as many copies of Fairy Tale/Sun Umbrella as possible and hopefully the costume as well.

Player concerns would be somewhat alleviated if they knew the event gacha weapons would be going into the general or character weapon pools immediately after the event and that the costumes will return or be made available in other ways I think.
 

X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
The new Dungeon-focused Campaign at least mitigated some of the pain of being level maxed, as with that I managed to get enough for 3 event pulls from the Crystal Rewards, which meant I got Aerith's weapon and unlocked her background, and did one more on the previous one and ended up unlocking Tifa's background as well. Being able to actually DO the dungeons is nice, especially as I managed to land enough Crisis Medals to unlock the AC Wolf Profile from the Crisis Medal Exchange – which it turns out has a unique animation that's pretty neat.

I really hope that they increase the frequency of the Dungeon Key respawns, because the 3 attempts once a week thing is just... no good. By the time a week has gone by, you don't really remember any of the strategies you were attempting. It really ought to be a daily thing that you get to attempt as a challenge, because it gives you something to build up to. Even if it was something that you had to complete steps to unlock, it'd be way better than it is now.

It seems like they're at least working on things that are the most actively obvious pain points, which is a good sign that the data and/or feedback that they're getting is doing what it should and that they're reliable about reacting to issues beyond just bug fixes. I'm still perplexed why in 3 new dungeons we got synthesis recipes for two brand new materia (Breach & Mana Breach) as the Normal Clear rewards ...but still don't have the ability to create Aero Blow & Earth Blow, though.

On another note:

This is a reminder that Ever Crisis has a livestream at TGS on the 26th. Unlike the Rebirth stream from today, that is focusing on the update. This one isn't being concurrently streamed in any other languages, so unless you can follow Japanese it'll likely just be trying to keep eyes out for new footage as they'll probably cover a lot of install stats and other information.


There was an interview a while back where the Before Crisis story content was mentioned as not being included in the release but being a part of the first major update, so not sure whether or not that'll be a part of this, but it'll be interesting to see either way. Hopefully there're some folks who do translation stuff who'll be checking this out for more reliable assessment on news.


Lastly on a tangentially related note:

Something I didn't mention is that one of the Japanese VTubers I follow, Oozora Subaru first played FFVII & watched AC in August - September 2021, then played the original Crisis Core in March 2022, and played Remake in April 2022. Those were the streams that I picked up on most and watched though, as it's always interesting to see new people encounter the game and see what things they notice and the ideas that they have about how things go. Probably my favourite moment was her meeting a Tonberry for the first time in Battle Square and then Master Tonberry in North Crater, giving her some great reactions to seeing the children's drawing of a Tonberry at the Leaf House in Remake and then eventually running into one during the Fat Chocobo fight.

Subaru was one of the 3 channels who got to do an officially sponsored stream for the Ever Crisis launch (the others being a group stream on WasyaganaTV and another VTuber Shiina Yukia), and I ended up watching that before seeing it on the JP Ever Crisis Twitter. It still makes me laugh knowing what that the first Event was all about Tonberry.



X :neo:
 

cold_spirit

he/him
AKA
Alex T
I've built up a lot to say about EC over the two weeks since launch. However, I haven't been writing any of it down along the way, so it's a bit of a word soup in my head. I'll try my best.

EC was marketed as a nostalgic retelling of FFVII and its Compilation. However, upon playing it, I found it familiar, but not in the way I think they intended. Let's break down the combat. There's an auto battle feature, a segmented ATB gauge, and two "paradigms" to switch between. Hold up. This isn't a mobile version of VII. It's a freaking FFXIII spiritual successor in disguise! All the core components are there. And you know what? I'm not complaining. I love FFXIII.

If I had to describe the experience of playing EC, I'd call it a... useless boss simulator. The actual core gameplay of EC is not the combat. It's in the menus. Gaming the system, pushing buttons, reallocating resources. And most importantly, leaving the actual work to your "employees". In this case, "your employees" is the AI, who will fight most of your battles for you. It reminds me of what some of my real-life bosses do for a living. They:

1. Game the system by taking credit for my work
2. Push buttons/emails around all day
3. Reallocate resources (i.e. make big decisions on what the team should be doing) despite having no technical knowledge

So that in that sense, I do thank EC for the new perspective. Let's talk about the story.

Man, the OG retelling kinda sucks. Previously, I said that EC would serve as a good companion piece to the Remake Project. I'd show new players where the deviations are. And even though I expected the story to be condensed, EC still disappointed me. The worst offender is Wall Market. I'm caught up on how they completely skipped over the sewers. Corneo catches the party with his trapdoor, then the next scene shows them climbing out of a manhole into the Train Graveyard.

Where's the Abzu boss fight!? We all know they have the assets from Remake. Also, in EC, the train platform where Tifa meets Cloud, and where Ifalna dies, is the Mako Reactor 1 train platform. That doesn't match the OG or Traces of Two Pasts. I know it's a small detail, but again, they have access to the slum platform assets from Remake. I wish they went that extra mile.

Despite those hangups, I'm still having fun. I enjoy going for walks and letting the auto-battle feature get some resources for me. From an integrity standpoint, yeah, the gacha in EC is really bad. But this series also has NFTs involved with it, so integrity has long walked out the door. It's conflicting to me, but I still engage with it. I quite like the new story and am looking forward to future chapters. In fact, my main team is the First Soldier crew: Glenn, Matt, and Lucia. How young Sephiroth meshes with them should be entertaining.

So yeah, EC is okay. It's good even (if I pretend the gacha doesn't exist). I think I'll be here for the long haul, for better or worse.
 
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X-SOLDIER

Harbinger O Great Justice
AKA
X
I think that the game feels less like a "useless boss simulator" when you ACTUALLY get pushed up against a challenge. The two final EX Watermelon Tonberry fights are a proper challenge, and the Tower of the Cetra has a lot of really fun complexity to it, as do the Crisis Dungeons, but they're far from being the main "meat" of the game as it were (at least at the moment).

Side note: Depending on who the party leader is, they'll appear in whatever outfit they're wearing when you're wandering the Chocobo stables, which is always a nice touch, but also – if you talk to the Chocobos there's a possibility for a dialogue option where the first reply will get them to all do the Chocobo Dance like the original game.

I'm still waiting to see what they're going to cover tomorrow in the livestream, as I expect that EC will end up being rather important as a touch-point for FFVII content between Rebirth and the final title of the Remake project. As Rebirth is only 5 months away, there's a lot of time for them to gradually build up into the FFVII storyline as well as fleshing out more of The First SOLDIER details, and the inclusion of elements from Before Crisis that can add in additional contextual complexity like the history of Wutai's involvement with Avalanche as well as Rufus using that as a means to attempt to seize power from his father.

With the frequency of updates as well as the way that they haven't been shy about openly addressing when certain things don't feel significant or noticeable, it's clear that they're open to balancing and adjusting the game so that it meets what the players are looking for, which bodes well for the future, especially those of us who're in for the long haul.



X :neo:
 

Suzaku

Pro Adventurer
Quick recap of the livestream which seems to be wrapping up just now:

1. Coming to PC on Steam! Release date TBA.

2. Young Sephiroth playable with the content update coming on September 28. Two weapons and one costume shown in a short video.

3. Halloween event set in Nibelheim

4. Details on the first ranking event.

5. Stamina changes: 3x recharge speed, and you will now get 3x rewards for login and daily missions instead of 1x.
 
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