And it’s time for a second look at VX Ace! This time, I’ll be going over some of the things I’ve noticed from the database. The screenshots below use Esrever’s translated version of the trial, which I highly recommend you check out if you can’t read Japanese. Click below to read more:
First up is the Actor’s Tab. There’s quite a few changes here from the VX version. Let’s list the changes.
- Stats are no longer managed in the Actor’s tab.
- Second names (aka Nicknames in the script editor) show up in the status menu.
- Adjusting the actor’s maximum level is now possible.
- The actor’s description (aka biography) will show up in the status menu.
- Traits are now used to define actor specific traits (separate from class specific traits).
- Noteboxes! Hooray~
Overall, very different from VX. A lot more manageable, too IMO.
Here’s the class tab! I also opened up the learned skill window to show a few things, too.
- EXP tables are now adjusted here.
- Rows/flanks are gone. They weren’t too useful in VX anyway.
- Stats are now adjusted here.
- The learned skill window now has an extra “feature” to add in notes. I’ll probably abuse that in a future script.
- Traits can now be defined as class specific (in addition to actor specific traits). This is very nice IMO.
I like what they did by separating class and actor traits. While yes, the actors will gain the trait of whatever class he/she is, the actor ought to have some original stuff for him/herself, too. I also do like how stats are managed in the class tab instead. Makes class changing systems more meaningful than just learning different skills (which was the case in VX).
The skills tab! Quite a lot of things have changed here.
- Help descriptions are now two liners! You can also use text commands such as \c[x] to change colour and whatnot.
- The skill type determines what skill command the skill will fall under.
- MP and TP costs. MP costs are a no brainer, but TP costs are new and work as a new skill currency.
- Area of Effect now allows you to target 4 random enemies. Wasn’t there in VX (max was 3).
- Predetermine the number of hits a skill will do.
- The amount of TP gained.
- Hit type is now separated to On-Hit, Physical, and Magical. This is great and can be utilized with a lot of different mechanics.
- There are now weapon requirements. You can set up to two at a time. For example, sword skills can only be used when a sword is equipped.
- Elemental attributes are now limited to just one attribute. Probably for good reason, too, as multi-element skills tend to suck.
- On Use Effects enable skills to add/remove status ailments, add/remove buffs/debuffs, even learn other skills, call common events, and more.
Skills are a lot more flexible now. This is absolutely great. I also like the limitation of one element type. While I’m generally one who doesn’t like imposed limitations, I think this one’s for the better actually. No steal effects, too…
Before we move on and look at other tabs, I do want to point something out with the icon selector. Notice in the lower left corner, you can now see what icon ID is used! Woo! Now, I can finally retire Iconviewer, which has been in all the VX Yanfly Engines for the longest time. The one thing that does bug me though, is how stat buffs have set icon locations (unless modified within the script). Wished there was a more streamlined way of modifying that.
Items haven’t changed much and aren’t too different from skills. But let’s go over them anway.
- Two lines for help description. Always a plus especially since you can use text codes with them now.
- Item Type is separated between Normal Items and Important/Key Items.
- Area of Effect, like skills, now has 4 random enemies to target as an option.
- The number of hits per item is now present, too.
- TP gain from an item is now possible, too.
- One element attribute per item.
- On use effects are now used to determine set and percentile gain from items.
Not disappointing but nothing too new. The only thing I wished they brought back were item charges from RM2k and RM2k3 (where you can use an item multiple times before it’s consumed).
The weapon and armour tabs are essentially the same. But lets go through some of the changes.
- 2 lines for help descriptions. Gone through this already and I will still say it’s very helpful.
- Weapon Types and Armour Types for their respective categories. This is insanely helpful in my opinion. You can now distinguish between different types (as different classes/actors can equip different categories). The types can be edited from the Vocab tab.
- There are now 8 stats you can adjust. The new ones are MaxHP, MaxMP, MDF, and LUK, which weren’t there before.
- Traits allow you to add additional Hit rates, evasion rates, crit rates, HP regen, MP regen, TP regen, counterattacks, reflect properties, and more. Very helpful.
- Traits also allow you to increase stats by a percentage, too.
Weapons and armours, while it looks like they haven’t changed much, the entire traits system makes them all the more awesome than before. Wonderful stuff here.
The enemy tab is pretty much the same as before. Nothing really new other than the traits, but let’s go over the changes.
- You can now have enemies drop three different items as opposed to two from VX. Sadly, they’re still dropped by a fraction formula though.
- Traits make enemies more versatile than before though. You can even change their death animations here.
- What’s neat is you can now give enemies multiple actions per turn through traits.
- Enemies can have weapon and armour attributes. I guess this is for those cases where it’s something like piercing weapon vs Light armour. Still haven’t messed around with the mechanics of this yet.
- Don’t worry, enemies still have noteboxes. The action window in the screenshot’s covering it.
Looks like it’s got more potential than before! Still disappointed there’s no steal effect though.
Pretty much the same as VX. In fact, I think it’s exactly the same outside of the battlebacks. There’s not even a notebox to mess with. Though all that said, it’s still practical so no complaints.
Status effect tab. Now here’s where things get interesting.
- Display priority now goes up to 100. Makes it much easier to rearrange and display states as you want.
- In addition to always attack enemies (berserk) or always attack allies (charm), there’s now a case where a battler will attack either (confused).
- Automatic Timed Releases causes status effects to go away at the end of a turn or action. This is quite handy!
- What wasn’t here before that’s here now is the release of status effects after a certain amount of steps have been walked.
- Traits allow status effects to now lower/raise element affinities, debuff stats, lower/raise status effect rates, status effect prevention, provide HP/MP/TP regen, improve or lower hit rates, provide double item effectiveness, lower MP Costs, etc. The whole nine yards right here.
- Traits even allow certain skill types to be sealed, seal certain skills, learn certain skills, learn new skill types, change weapon types, make a battler auto-battle, etc.
There’s so much more potential this time around with status effects by default. This is absolutely wonderful.
There’s nothing different at all with the animation editor from VX’s version. Right down to the very layout, it’s practically identical to VX’s version. Not a bad thing though. It’s a vast improvement over previous RPG Maker animation editors (RM95, RM2k, RM2k3, RMXP).
Tileset editor! Oh how we missed you in VX. Now you’re back, with so much more to offer, too.
- Tilesets have a mode system. They’re designated as a field (overworld), area (normal map), and VX Compatible (meaning certain things will have ground already pre-rendered).
- Tilesets are now mixed and matched through piecing together various parts.
- 4 directional passages are now back. Edit them so that actors can only move in certain directions once they’re on that tile.
- Stairs/ladders are primarily used for moving while facing one upward.
- Bushes cause the lower third of a sprite to be transparent, making it look like the sprite is standing inside a bush.
- Counters allow players to interact with NPC’s on the other side of a counter (think talking across the counter with a storekeeper NPC).
- Floor damage is now back! Take damage from walking on certain tiles!
- Terrain tags are labeled from 0 to 9. They don’t do anything special on their own, but they can be used for events, scripts, and such.
Missing a few things like which battlebacks are tied to what tiles, but it’s great to have the tileset editor back. Oh how we’ve missed you.
Common Event editor. Identical to the VX version. Nothing much of interest to see here.
In the system tab, there’s a few additional things now.
- You can add more than 4 members to the initial party.
- Changing the window colour (as seen above) can be done through adjusting tones.
- Change various options such as enabling the caterpillar system, showing TP by default, having reserve members gain EXP from battle, and more.
- The title screen can now be picked and pieced together through choosing a background title screen and a foreground title screen. There’s also the option of having VX Ace write out the game’s title on the screen, too.
Pretty standard I’ll say. I’m most satisfied by the Window Colour changer though.
And finally the terms/vocab page. For those who have seen this page translated before, you can pretty much figure out what they all mean.
- Elements, Skill Types, Weapon Types, and Armour Types are now split into their own categories. Very wonderful.
- Everything else is pretty standard.
The biggest change is obviously what you see on the left portion of the screen. It’s also the most important change, too, in my opinion.
So, what’s my opinion about the new database?
Superb. Absolutely superb. The addition of traits simplifies things a whole lot. In addition to that, noteboxes for actors and classes, the return of tilesets, and just about how almost everything that was lost from 2k3 to XP to VX is now back. VX Ace has done a mighty fine job so far!