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Author Topic: Final Fantasy XII Strategy Questions (and Impressions)  (Read 23241 times)
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #40 on: February 11, 2007, 02:44:37 AM »

You can actually get the LP doubling gauntlets considerably earlier than the game actually sends you to that area.  I've forgotten the specifics but I believe I posted the method back in the impressions thread. 
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« Reply #41 on: February 11, 2007, 03:01:43 AM »

The problem that Calvin is going to run into is that he's putting all his favorite characters in one party and all the ones he doesn't like in another.  So while I think it would be a non-issue for a normal person, knowing his tolerance for annoyance, one party is going to be favored and probably by a large degree smile  I still would say the best idea is to get over your sentimental attachments and mix it up.  It is not fun playing through some of the higher-level areas with a weak party.  In fact, trying to get through the Necrohol with Fran, Balth, and Vaan in much the roles he described above is what prompted me to finally break up Ashe and Basche (my tanks) out into seperate groups.  I save the pair for boss fights and other big battles.
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« Reply #42 on: February 11, 2007, 03:51:11 AM »

Quote from: Calvin on February 11, 2007, 01:48:01 AM

Quote from: Tebunker on February 11, 2007, 12:53:17 AM

You can buy them after you get to a certain point, I was in the 20 hour range when I got there. Without being spoilerish it is after the area called the Henne Mines. you should find a pair before then though.

Like I said though you will be fine even with out those gauntlets.

Good stuff dude, appreciate the advice. Last thing for now-did you concurrently level parties, level each up 5 lvls and switch, have one uber party, or what? I hate, hate, hate this aspect of JRPGs where you have to be active to get the XP-its such an unnecessary grind (but I still love it!)

FWIW, you'll get an XP doubling accessory as well.   Remember that while only the active members get XP, all members get LP.  I would equip the active 3 characters with the XP doubler, and the inactive 3 with the LP doubler.  This way, everyone was getting double of either XP or LP for every single battle.  I was a bit of a pain to switch accessories every time you swapped characters, but by level 40 I had far more than enough LP for each character to learn every skill, augment, magic, and technik.

I preferred to keep my party always within 2-3 levels of each other at all times.  I found it a huge help to be able to switch in a brand new party during tough fights without sacrificing any effectiveness.  This did require quite a bit more grinding, but was worth it in the long run.
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« Reply #43 on: February 11, 2007, 04:42:41 AM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 11, 2007, 02:44:37 AM

You can actually get the LP doubling gauntlets considerably earlier than the game actually sends you to that area.  I've forgotten the specifics but I believe I posted the method back in the impressions thread. 

Kevin I did a few searches and couldn't find your post on that. If you have a moment to look for it or describe it to me here or in PM I would be much obliged.
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« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2007, 04:44:42 AM »

Quote from: Gratch on February 11, 2007, 03:51:11 AM

Quote from: Calvin on February 11, 2007, 01:48:01 AM

Quote from: Tebunker on February 11, 2007, 12:53:17 AM

You can buy them after you get to a certain point, I was in the 20 hour range when I got there. Without being spoilerish it is after the area called the Henne Mines. you should find a pair before then though.

Like I said though you will be fine even with out those gauntlets.

Good stuff dude, appreciate the advice. Last thing for now-did you concurrently level parties, level each up 5 lvls and switch, have one uber party, or what? I hate, hate, hate this aspect of JRPGs where you have to be active to get the XP-its such an unnecessary grind (but I still love it!)

FWIW, you'll get an XP doubling accessory as well.   Remember that while only the active members get XP, all members get LP.  I would equip the active 3 characters with the XP doubler, and the inactive 3 with the LP doubler.  This way, everyone was getting double of either XP or LP for every single battle.  I was a bit of a pain to switch accessories every time you swapped characters, but by level 40 I had far more than enough LP for each character to learn every skill, augment, magic, and technik.

I preferred to keep my party always within 2-3 levels of each other at all times.  I found it a huge help to be able to switch in a brand new party during tough fights without sacrificing any effectiveness.  This did require quite a bit more grinding, but was worth it in the long run.

Thanks gratch, this is exactly waht I wanted to hear-let me know if you can remember where those items are early on (I just asked Kevin too). I think I will have a main party and a secondary party, but I will definitely grind enough to make the secondary party no more than 3 levels behind. I also think for purposes of not getting slaughtered with the second group I need to turn one of them into a fighter/mage. Im thinking Pennello with daggers/jack of all mages, Fran and Balth ranged and white/green/time and black/arcane/white respectively. I like this plan.
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« Reply #45 on: February 11, 2007, 05:00:10 AM »

The LP doubler you can buy from the merchant in Eruyt Village (something close to that).  IIRC, the XP doubling item doesn't make an appearance until the upper-20 levels at the earliest.

I think your party will work out ok until you get to high level (35-40ish+) stuff.  Then the lack of anyone to absorb damage in your second party is going to get them slaughtered.  A light fighter just doesn't cut it.  I tried with Vaan with light armor and katanas and Fran and Balth ranged, and later monsters mopped the floor with me.  In my day, we called a fighter with light armor and a wussy weapon like a dagger a "thief" or a "rogue".  And we never let those bastards lead parties, not ever slywink
« Last Edit: February 11, 2007, 05:17:30 AM by kathode » Logged
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« Reply #46 on: February 11, 2007, 05:20:02 AM »

Quick question-can spears/poles/and or staves hit flying creatures?
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« Reply #47 on: February 11, 2007, 07:39:59 AM »

Quote from: Calvin on February 11, 2007, 04:42:41 AM

Kevin I did a few searches and couldn't find your post on that. If you have a moment to look for it or describe it to me here or in PM I would be much obliged.

Sure thing.  The details are a bit hazy right now but I'll research it tomorrow and post what yoiu need to do. 
« Last Edit: February 11, 2007, 07:53:15 AM by Kevin Grey » Logged
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« Reply #48 on: February 11, 2007, 08:29:24 AM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 11, 2007, 07:39:59 AM

Quote from: Calvin on February 11, 2007, 04:42:41 AM

Kevin I did a few searches and couldn't find your post on that. If you have a moment to look for it or describe it to me here or in PM I would be much obliged.

Sure thing.  The details are a bit hazy right now but I'll research it tomorrow and post what yoiu need to do. 

Thanks man, I think by the the time I go to bed I will also have a concrete idea of where to take my characters. Took me long enough smile
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« Reply #49 on: February 11, 2007, 02:20:02 PM »

Quote from: Gratch on February 11, 2007, 03:51:11 AM

Quote from: Calvin on February 11, 2007, 01:48:01 AM

Quote from: Tebunker on February 11, 2007, 12:53:17 AM

You can buy them after you get to a certain point, I was in the 20 hour range when I got there. Without being spoilerish it is after the area called the Henne Mines. you should find a pair before then though.

Like I said though you will be fine even with out those gauntlets.

Good stuff dude, appreciate the advice. Last thing for now-did you concurrently level parties, level each up 5 lvls and switch, have one uber party, or what? I hate, hate, hate this aspect of JRPGs where you have to be active to get the XP-its such an unnecessary grind (but I still love it!)

FWIW, you'll get an XP doubling accessory as well.   Remember that while only the active members get XP, all members get LP.  I would equip the active 3 characters with the XP doubler, and the inactive 3 with the LP doubler.  This way, everyone was getting double of either XP or LP for every single battle.  I was a bit of a pain to switch accessories every time you swapped characters, but by level 40 I had far more than enough LP for each character to learn every skill, augment, magic, and technik.

I preferred to keep my party always within 2-3 levels of each other at all times.  I found it a huge help to be able to switch in a brand new party during tough fights without sacrificing any effectiveness.  This did require quite a bit more grinding, but was worth it in the long run.

Gratch brings up a great point to keeping parties even, since you can switch in real time it is a boon to be able to hot swap and stay on top of boss battles. Then again boss battles can become a joke when you get your quickenings.
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« Reply #50 on: February 11, 2007, 04:42:19 PM »

Finally beat this blasted game smile  75 hours on my save timer, which doesn't include
-3-4 hours reloading and fighting Roblon the wrong way before I figured out what I needed to do
-2-3 hours reloading to get the Deathbringer
-2-3 hours wasted trying to get the Fomalhaut gun, which was hugely frustrating because it never appeared.

Did all the hunts through Ancient Man of Mystery part 2, which I attempted once and got clobbered.  Got all the espers except Ultima, and not even going to think about trying the Omega Mark thing.

Overall I loved it.  I think the story is great, Larsa is creepy, and the gambit stuff is awesome.  The only negatives I can think of are that it required a bit more grinding than I like, and also Espers are not particularly useful.  More to the point I guess, they're nowhere near as useful as Quickenings, and since they draw from the same energy pool, I almost never used Espers.

Also, as predicted, Calvin hates his second party. 
« Last Edit: February 11, 2007, 04:45:01 PM by kathode » Logged
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« Reply #51 on: February 11, 2007, 05:40:11 PM »

Quote from: Calvin on February 11, 2007, 08:29:24 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 11, 2007, 07:39:59 AM

Quote from: Calvin on February 11, 2007, 04:42:41 AM

Kevin I did a few searches and couldn't find your post on that. If you have a moment to look for it or describe it to me here or in PM I would be much obliged.

Sure thing.  The details are a bit hazy right now but I'll research it tomorrow and post what yoiu need to do. 

Thanks man, I think by the the time I go to bed I will also have a concrete idea of where to take my characters. Took me long enough smile

Okay, I'm not sure where you are at but I don't think the amulets can be accessed until after you finish the Tomb of Rabinastre (and it might be slightly later than that).  Basically your goal is to get to a settlement in the Highwaste.  There are two ways to get there at that point:

Spoiler for Hiden:
  You have to be able to cross the river in the northern part of the Estersand.  This is related to a sidequest that cannot be completed until after the Tomb IIRC.  Once across the river, exit the area to the north and you will be in the Highwaste.  Since you aren't here for plot related reasons the enemies are likely well above your level and can be pretty tough.  Great for experience if you can hack it but, if not, I recommend the second method:

The other alternative is to to go to Nalbina Fortress:

You'll see a women spying on the two guards blocking the road to the highwaste. Walk up to them to trigger a scene. Then buy a chocobo ride and ride the chocobo at them. That will chase them off, the spying woman will make a few comments, and then you're back on the chocobo with the road to the Highwaste cleared. In the highwaste take the exits to the Northwest to get to the spot you can buy the amultets.

Since you do that section on the Chocobo you never have to fight any enemies.  Once you get to the village you will be able to teleport there at any time so no need to have to go through that stuff again if you want to go back.

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« Reply #52 on: February 11, 2007, 08:25:18 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 11, 2007, 05:40:11 PM

Quote from: Calvin on February 11, 2007, 08:29:24 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 11, 2007, 07:39:59 AM

Quote from: Calvin on February 11, 2007, 04:42:41 AM

Kevin I did a few searches and couldn't find your post on that. If you have a moment to look for it or describe it to me here or in PM I would be much obliged.

Sure thing.  The details are a bit hazy right now but I'll research it tomorrow and post what yoiu need to do. 

Thanks man, I think by the the time I go to bed I will also have a concrete idea of where to take my characters. Took me long enough smile

Okay, I'm not sure where you are at but I don't think the amulets can be accessed until after you finish the Tomb of Rabinastre (and it might be slightly later than that).  Basically your goal is to get to a settlement in the Highwaste.  There are two ways to get there at that point:

Spoiler for Hiden:
  You have to be able to cross the river in the northern part of the Estersand.  This is related to a sidequest that cannot be completed until after the Tomb IIRC.  Once across the river, exit the area to the north and you will be in the Highwaste.  Since you aren't here for plot related reasons the enemies are likely well above your level and can be pretty tough.  Great for experience if you can hack it but, if not, I recommend the second method:

The other alternative is to to go to Nalbina Fortress:

You'll see a women spying on the two guards blocking the road to the highwaste. Walk up to them to trigger a scene. Then buy a chocobo ride and ride the chocobo at them. That will chase them off, the spying woman will make a few comments, and then you're back on the chocobo with the road to the Highwaste cleared. In the highwaste take the exits to the Northwest to get to the spot you can buy the amultets.

Since you do that section on the Chocobo you never have to fight any enemies.  Once you get to the village you will be able to teleport there at any time so no need to have to go through that stuff again if you want to go back.



Awesome Kevin-but one quick question-will getting those amulets unbalance the game for me? I am the type that is going to play this to level 70 and try to finish most of the hunts since I get insane with FF completion-so I am not too worried about spoiling things-I just don't want to take ALL the challenge away-the main reason I wanted to get them quickly was so I could respecc some of my characters now that I have decided where to go.

Just for the record, I am:
Spoiler for Hiden:
About to enter the Tomb of Raithwail-I will likely delay that for a while so that I can continue grinding and get the awesome chains from the desert dudes. Party ranges from 12-16 right now, and I am...17 hours in? I love it btw, very very much.
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« Reply #53 on: February 11, 2007, 08:26:02 PM »

Quote from: kathode on February 11, 2007, 04:42:19 PM

Finally beat this blasted game smile  75 hours on my save timer, which doesn't include
-3-4 hours reloading and fighting Roblon the wrong way before I figured out what I needed to do
-2-3 hours reloading to get the Deathbringer
-2-3 hours wasted trying to get the Fomalhaut gun, which was hugely frustrating because it never appeared.

Did all the hunts through Ancient Man of Mystery part 2, which I attempted once and got clobbered.  Got all the espers except Ultima, and not even going to think about trying the Omega Mark thing.

Overall I loved it.  I think the story is great, Larsa is creepy, and the gambit stuff is awesome.  The only negatives I can think of are that it required a bit more grinding than I like, and also Espers are not particularly useful.  More to the point I guess, they're nowhere near as useful as Quickenings, and since they draw from the same energy pool, I almost never used Espers.

Also, as predicted, Calvin hates his second party. 

Grats man, I know you have been really "grinding" this out smile Seriously though, thats some serious dedication from you of all people that thinks 8-10 hours and 1000 achievement points are the only ways to go smile
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« Reply #54 on: February 11, 2007, 08:37:02 PM »

Well after quite a bit of grinding last night I decided what I wanted to do with my alternate party. My main party is simple:
Party 1:
Vaan:Swords to Ninja Swords/Katanas. Light Armor to Heavy Armor when bubble comes available. White and light green, technik heavy. Assassin type thief.
Basch": Swords to axes/hammers and finally greatswords. Heavy Armor. White and green, light technik. Pure dps tank.
Ashe: Swords to greatswords. Heavy armor, all magic that I can get her, more in black, dark, and time. Battlemage.

Party 2-this is where I changed stuff up. Looking at stats and on a sort of spur of the moment thing I decided to change my focus on Balthier, and all of a sudden party 2 was viable, effective, and fun. Great game that lets you make your guys so modular.
Balthier: Spears/Polearms. Light to Heavy. Light White, Time, heavy Green. Frontline warrior with some magic.
Fran: Bows (rods occasionally), mystic armor. jack of all mages, technicks. Red Mageish.
Penelo: Guns (I konw, right?), mystic armor, black/arcane/time heavy. Black Mage.

I grinded out four easy levels with party 2 last night to test their new config last night (it helped I had a lvl 14 guest), but seriously, they cleaned up. They are still HP weak and can't take much damage, but I have protect gambits to help. Party 1 is just awesome, and they are 4 levels behind. What I figured out to do, even though this doesn't sound very intuitive, is to get the party I don't enjoy as much a big head start in levels. That way I can play my main party for 7-8 straight levels before giving 3 levels to the backup party, and so on-and by this plan I leave no more than 3 levels difference between the two. Now, all of this wasted about 200 license points spread out over the characters experimenting, at least a couple hours reading and thinking, but now I am genuinely happy with my party. Yays!! Love this game!!
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« Reply #55 on: February 11, 2007, 08:37:16 PM »

Quote from: Calvin on February 11, 2007, 08:25:18 PM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 11, 2007, 05:40:11 PM

Quote from: Calvin on February 11, 2007, 08:29:24 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 11, 2007, 07:39:59 AM

Quote from: Calvin on February 11, 2007, 04:42:41 AM

Kevin I did a few searches and couldn't find your post on that. If you have a moment to look for it or describe it to me here or in PM I would be much obliged.

Sure thing.  The details are a bit hazy right now but I'll research it tomorrow and post what yoiu need to do. 

Thanks man, I think by the the time I go to bed I will also have a concrete idea of where to take my characters. Took me long enough smile

Okay, I'm not sure where you are at but I don't think the amulets can be accessed until after you finish the Tomb of Rabinastre (and it might be slightly later than that).  Basically your goal is to get to a settlement in the Highwaste.  There are two ways to get there at that point:

Spoiler for Hiden:
  You have to be able to cross the river in the northern part of the Estersand.  This is related to a sidequest that cannot be completed until after the Tomb IIRC.  Once across the river, exit the area to the north and you will be in the Highwaste.  Since you aren't here for plot related reasons the enemies are likely well above your level and can be pretty tough.  Great for experience if you can hack it but, if not, I recommend the second method:

The other alternative is to to go to Nalbina Fortress:

You'll see a women spying on the two guards blocking the road to the highwaste. Walk up to them to trigger a scene. Then buy a chocobo ride and ride the chocobo at them. That will chase them off, the spying woman will make a few comments, and then you're back on the chocobo with the road to the Highwaste cleared. In the highwaste take the exits to the Northwest to get to the spot you can buy the amultets.

Since you do that section on the Chocobo you never have to fight any enemies.  Once you get to the village you will be able to teleport there at any time so no need to have to go through that stuff again if you want to go back.



Awesome Kevin-but one quick question-will getting those amulets unbalance the game for me? I am the type that is going to play this to level 70 and try to finish most of the hunts since I get insane with FF completion-so I am not too worried about spoiling things-I just don't want to take ALL the challenge away-the main reason I wanted to get them quickly was so I could respecc some of my characters now that I have decided where to go.

Just for the record, I am:
Spoiler for Hiden:
About to enter the Tomb of Raithwail-I will likely delay that for a while so that I can continue grinding and get the awesome chains from the desert dudes. Party ranges from 12-16 right now, and I am...17 hours in? I love it btw, very very much.

Doh!  I meant the Tomb or Raithwall. 

It's certainly possible that it could unbalance the game a bit.  I wouldn't bother unless you feel like you made some early mistakes allocating LP and need them to accumulate enough for a correction. 
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« Reply #56 on: February 12, 2007, 01:05:42 AM »

I am also really enjoying playing this game.  At the moment, I'm 40 hours in and just bought the accessory which doubles License Point acquisition (Golden Amulet).  Needless to say, I bought 6 of these and equipped them ASAP (needed to open license for Accessory 5, I think).  I bought this accessory right outside of Cat Woman Village (Eruyt Village) from a friendly moogle.  I don't think he had it for sale the first time I encountered him, but after doing some questing and returning to sell some more stuff (like a 100 Couerl Hides! cha-ching!) I noticed the Golden Amulet was available.  Then I went and kicked some dinosaur's ass.
Spoiler for Hiden:
(the second big dinosaur - Grand Wyrm - the one with flowers on his head and a nasty spore attack)

I think I'm addicted to acquiring license points now.  I don't know what I'm going to do when the entire board is opened!  I've also been trying to keep my party level and everyone is at level 26 or 27 right now.  All of the characters have at least 2 quickenings (Fran has 3).

By the way, if you want grind, at around lvl 20-25 go to the Ozmone Plains and grind on the creatures called "Wu"s because they can drop an awesome ninja sword - Kogarasumaru! (58 atk)
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« Reply #57 on: February 12, 2007, 01:48:44 AM »

So I've got my main party up to level 19 or so, and haven't even touched my 3 backup characters (still are whatever level they joined, and have like 900+ LP saved up). 

Am I screwed for focusing on my 3 main characters too much?  Should I try to get my secondary characters up to snuff in the event my main party gets wiped out hard, or can I get by with 3 very powerful characters?
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« Reply #58 on: February 12, 2007, 02:20:45 AM »

Quote from: Dimmona on February 12, 2007, 01:48:44 AM

So I've got my main party up to level 19 or so, and haven't even touched my 3 backup characters (still are whatever level they joined, and have like 900+ LP saved up). 

Am I screwed for focusing on my 3 main characters too much?  Should I try to get my secondary characters up to snuff in the event my main party gets wiped out hard, or can I get by with 3 very powerful characters?

Well I am at the same level as you roughly, and I have definitely encountered areas where I have needed to swap in useful party members-I think probably keeping them no less than 5 levels apart is probably wise, but from all I have read in the impressions thread you can definitely, 100% get through the game powerleveling just one party.
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« Reply #59 on: February 12, 2007, 02:27:40 AM »

Quote from: Calvin on February 12, 2007, 02:20:45 AM

Quote from: Dimmona on February 12, 2007, 01:48:44 AM

So I've got my main party up to level 19 or so, and haven't even touched my 3 backup characters (still are whatever level they joined, and have like 900+ LP saved up). 

Am I screwed for focusing on my 3 main characters too much?  Should I try to get my secondary characters up to snuff in the event my main party gets wiped out hard, or can I get by with 3 very powerful characters?

Well I am at the same level as you roughly, and I have definitely encountered areas where I have needed to swap in useful party members-I think probably keeping them no less than 5 levels apart is probably wise, but from all I have read in the impressions thread you can definitely, 100% get through the game powerleveling just one party.

My original plan was just to power level with one party, but after reading all these great posts about different types of party builds, I'm starting to think I might switch to using two smile

This game kicks so much arse...
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« Reply #60 on: February 12, 2007, 02:49:09 AM »

Go with two parties.  You'll save yourself some frustration in the long run.  I found mixing up two relatively even parties and switching every two levels was a good solution.  Initially I had one powerful party and a not-so-powerful party, and every time I had to pull out the not-so-powerful party I didn't enjoy it as much. 
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« Reply #61 on: February 12, 2007, 03:26:55 AM »

Quote from: kathode on February 12, 2007, 02:49:09 AM

Go with two parties.  You'll save yourself some frustration in the long run.  I found mixing up two relatively even parties and switching every two levels was a good solution.  Initially I had one powerful party and a not-so-powerful party, and every time I had to pull out the not-so-powerful party I didn't enjoy it as much. 

+1 to this.  It takes a little more effort, but is completely worth it.
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« Reply #62 on: February 12, 2007, 04:46:03 AM »

It's been discussed a bit in the thread already, but I'm curious what people's approach to the 2 parties are.  Do you play them as 2 teams with mirrored functionality (tank, quick melee/their, mage) or are most people using Calvin's approach of making each person on the team fully unique?
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« Reply #63 on: February 12, 2007, 04:59:40 AM »

Quote from: Dimmona on February 12, 2007, 04:46:03 AM

It's been discussed a bit in the thread already, but I'm curious what people's approach to the 2 parties are.  Do you play them as 2 teams with mirrored functionality (tank, quick melee/their, mage) or are most people using Calvin's approach of making each person on the team fully unique?

I kept my 2 parties were pretty well mirrored.  I had 2 heavy armor + sword tanks (Vaan/Basch), 2 ranged white/green mages (Fran/Penelo), and 2 "jack of all trade" characters (Ashe was a light armor/spear melee white/black mage, Balthier was a guns ranged black/white/green mage).  it was easy to trade out characters without losing any effectiveness, and it fit my particular play style.
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« Reply #64 on: February 12, 2007, 08:18:43 AM »

For me, having 2 parties of 3 that are interchangable is key because, frankly, I'm not very good at this game and I need to have some fresh troops come in when I'm getting my rear end handed to me.

I can set up the gambits alright and I've got good gear and spells, but most of my characters are set to just auto-attack and then when something bad happens, I go in and manually cast the correct counter-spell or whatever. 

In any event, it's tons of fun and I don't really care if I'm not min-maxing all my characters.  After having played MMORPG's for way too long, this game is like a breath of fresh air.

One small tip that may have been obvious to everyone else but I just figured out: I set up all my characters with Auto-"Protect" Gambits and it's made things a lot easier.  Whenever some's Protect drops off, it gets cast right back on.  I stuck the gambit at the bottom of everyone's gambit list, so they don't do it until combat finishes.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2007, 08:25:22 AM by slackerjoe » Logged

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« Reply #65 on: February 12, 2007, 01:07:21 PM »

Quote from: Dimmona on February 12, 2007, 04:46:03 AM

It's been discussed a bit in the thread already, but I'm curious what people's approach to the 2 parties are.  Do you play them as 2 teams with mirrored functionality (tank, quick melee/their, mage) or are most people using Calvin's approach of making each person on the team fully unique?

You don't really need to mirror them.  They just have to be self-sufficient.  At least, you need someone to take damage and someone to heal.  Other than that it's pretty open.  I'd recommend not trying to make everyone a specialized mage - Specialized mages end up being not too important in short order, and if everyone is using magic, it will also hurt you when quickenings become important. 
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« Reply #66 on: February 12, 2007, 09:46:21 PM »

here goes...

*deeeeeeeeeeep breath*

on the subject of parties:
my parties are set up like this (primary/secondary):  Tank (Basch/Vaan), Range/Support (Balthier/Fran), Healer/Mage (Ashe/Penelo).  this is kind of misleading, however; i no longer use ranged weapons except against opponents who parry/counter often, and Vaan doesn't make a great tank.  also, my primary party is level 75, while my secondary party is level 52, so i don't switch parties often (the notable exception being when i went up against Exodus -- i switched to an all-mage party of Fran, Penelo, and Ashe).  for the most part, basch hits things, balthier buffs and attacks, and ashe heals, attacks, and runs mob control -- if i ever have more than three monsters on my party, i have ashe nuke (elementals are cheapest if the mob is weak to anything, but otherwise i use Scathe).  against hard-hitting bosses (fafnir, behemoth king, trickster, carrot) i equip the Pheasant's Netsuke on everybody who doesn't absolutely need the accessory slot, bubble and haste everyne, and switch all my raise gambits to phoenix down (or off, for those who couldn't equip the PN), and basically circle the boss with Basch to keep him turning, and to avoid getting hit with big area effects (circling also makes it almost impossible to group heal, so i also switch my cure gambits from Ally: HP < 40% -> Curaja to Ally: HP < 40% -> Curaga).

on the subject of ethers:

Quote from: kathode on February 07, 2007, 01:31:49 AM

You can't buy ethers.  They are pretty rare, and if you find hi-ethers, don't use them unless it's an emergency, and even then wait until it's an emergency late in the game smile  There are a number of augments that will help you recover MP.  Also the technik Charge is moderately helpful when you're still low level, though it's too risky for high-level characters, I've found.

Edit: Sorry, I forgot you can buy ethers from one secret merchant in a high level dungeon (think level 50).  The dungeon is the
Spoiler for Hiden:
Necrohol of Nabudis
.

it's true that you can buy ethers at the final (secret) shop (
Spoiler for Hiden:
the Baknamy Merchant in the Necrohol of Nabudis
), but you can't buy them until you've unlocked the final dungeon (
Spoiler for Hiden:
sky fortress bahamut
-- and i do mean UNLOCKED, not TRAVELED TO; you don't have to go there).  and they're not that rare -- there are certain respawning chests in nearly every area that have about a 50% (sometimes even higher!) chance of dropping Ether.  i have a zillion ethers even without buying them, and i hardly ever use them -- then again, i've got a magic/combat intensive party, so we only use a lot of MP in a long fight or a fight against MP draining monsters.  Jarrod, however, uses a Quickening intensive party, so he uses them all the time.

but yes, you really should save all Hi-Ethers for the final boss.

on the subject of flying creatures:

Quote from: Calvin on February 11, 2007, 05:20:02 AM

Quick question-can spears/poles/and or staves hit flying creatures?

answer:  no.  you can only hit flying creatures with ranged weapons (bow, crossbow, gun, bomb) until you have Telekinesis (which is not available until...i think your first visit to Balfonheim).

general notes
as for the license board, your first aim should always be to get everybody at least one quickening.  they'll get a huge mana boost and be able to participate in Quickening chains so that you can get Concurrences and handle bosses that are normally beyond your level.  most of the good Technicks are NOT for sale in the early game, so i advise sticking to Steal, Charge, and Libra at first, then going for the Augments part of the grid.  with magic, make sure that everyone can cast white magic (so that everyone can fix status and heal in a pinch), but make sure that Penelo and Ashe can cast all the spells you own (they have the highest magic stat).  i would recomend not bothering with specialization until you solidly have your party (that is, until they're not randomly going to run off), so i think that's....maybe just before or just after Raithwall.  even then, you'll still be fairly low level, so it won't quite be worth it yet...except where weapons are concerned.  certain stats figure heavily into certain weapons' damage stats, so it's best to be careful about what weapon you have your characters use; an example from the walkthrough is the speed vs. attack power trade-off -- while a high-level Basch (highest attack stat) can wield the Zodiac Spear with its +150 Attack and deal about 6-7K damage in one hit, a high-level Balthier (highest speed stat) with the Genji Glove (higher chance of combo) on can wield the Orochi (ninja sword) with +73 Attack to reliably get 3+ hits of 2-3K damage (3 x (2-3K) = 6-9K, so he deals more damage with each turn than Basch).

as for gambits, there is a certain art to them.  you need to be careful about what triggers each gambit and what order you put them in, especially if you have multiple gambits with similar or overlapping triggers -- for instance, if you have a Foe: Flying -> Telekinesis gambit just above a Foe: Party Leader's Target -> Attack, your party will attack flying monsters first, no matter what your party leader has targeted; but if you reverse the order of the gambits, the telekinesis gambit becomes useless as soon as you target the flying creature.  but you don't have to be creative to make a good, solid set of gambits.  just acknowledge that there are certain horrible things that can happen to your party that would really screw you over, and prepare for those eventualities:  for a balanced party, it's best to have the first gambit for every party member set to Ally: Any -> Raise/Arise/Phoenix Down, followed by an Esuna gambit, a Cleanse gambit, a Cure/Cura/Curaga/Curaja gambit (50-60% is best while you still have low HP, but 30-40% will do after about level 50), a Charge gambit (10%, but make sure it's set below your Cure gambit, so that your mage will still be able to cure as long as he/she has the MP for it, to avoid wasting precious time and MP in the event of a failed Charge), and whatever attack gambits you like.  for a magick party, you may want to change your Raise/Esuna/Cleanse/Cure gambits to item-based gambits to preserve MP.  for a melee party, you may want to lower the percentage condition on your Cure gambit, only repair certain status effects (you can set things to cure one status at a time, or only the really important ones for whatever dungeon you're in:  one for Blind, one for Sap, one for Confuse, etc., so that you can tailor it to fit your foes).

for better help, read my Supplemental FAQ (shameless plug XD): http://www.deviantart.com/deviation/48414126/

so far, my FAQ covers the following topics:
  • getting lost (and getting un-lost)
  • menu command availability (when you get certain commands)
  • pros and cons of different weapons
  • types of character (melee, caster, ranger, support)
  • license board tips
  • maps
  • mist abilities (summons, quickenings, concurrences)
  • gambits
  • chains
  • hunts and marks
  • technicks
  • getting ethers
  • monsters and leveling
  • the bestiary
  • making marks and rare game spawn
  • hunting entites and elementals

so if there are further questions on those topics, feel free to look them up on my faq.  ^_^

please keep in mind that i've aimed the FAQ at 'Thorough Players' -- those who tend to level a lot, explore a lot, and fight optional bosses a lot (like me, lol).  i don't have suggestions on shortcuts or easy ways to beat bosses at low levels (but i do have recommendations regarding the fast paths through the license board). 

i also have a pretty thorough knowledge of the maps (even secret areas), i know where nearly every monster spawns (i still haven't finished clearing the ultimate dungeon,
Spoiler for Hiden:
The Pharos Subterra
, which is similar in cruelty to the Omega Dungeon from FFX, with the added bonus that you can be mobbed by up to 8 critters at a time simply by attacking 1), i know how to get all the different kinds of loot (even ways the book doesn't list), i have (or am in the process of getting) all the rare equipment, i've beaten the fishing minigame and am almost finished with the jogging minigame, and the only bosses i haven't beaten yet are the final dungeon bosses, Hell Wyrm and Omega Mk. XII, the ultimate dungeon bosses, the last two secret espers, and the final hunt.  go ahead and ask me questions about any of these topics, or for clarifications on my FAQ, too.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2007, 09:47:56 PM by MerianMoriarty » Logged

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« Reply #67 on: February 13, 2007, 02:07:09 AM »

Thanks Moriarty, appreciate it. Will definitely have more questions for you when I am done wading through your awesome supplement!
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« Reply #68 on: February 13, 2007, 03:59:58 AM »

One small note. You mention in your excellent guide that Ninja Swords offer no evasion bonus. This is incorrect according to the official strategy guide-they offer a bonus of +20 evasion each sword.
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« Reply #69 on: February 13, 2007, 04:47:20 AM »

Quote from: MerianMoriarty on February 12, 2007, 09:46:21 PM

on the subject of parties:
my parties are set up like this (primary/secondary):  Tank (Basch/Vaan), Range/Support (Balthier/Fran), Healer/Mage (Ashe/Penelo).  this is kind of misleading, however; i no longer use ranged weapons except against opponents who parry/counter often, and Vaan doesn't make a great tank.  also, my primary party is level 75, while my secondary party is level 52, so i don't switch parties often (the notable exception being when i went up against Exodus -- i switched to an all-mage party of Fran, Penelo, and Ashe).  for the most part, basch hits things, balthier buffs and attacks, and ashe heals, attacks, and runs mob control -- if i ever have more than three monsters on my party, i have ashe nuke (elementals are cheapest if the mob is weak to anything, but otherwise i use Scathe).  against hard-hitting bosses (fafnir, behemoth king, trickster, carrot) i equip the Pheasant's Netsuke on everybody who doesn't absolutely need the accessory slot, bubble and haste everyne, and switch all my raise gambits to phoenix down (or off, for those who couldn't equip the PN), and basically circle the boss with Basch to keep him turning, and to avoid getting hit with big area effects (circling also makes it almost impossible to group heal, so i also switch my cure gambits from Ally: HP < 40% -> Curaja to Ally: HP < 40% -> Curaga).

i used pretty much the same approach (tho i kept my 2 parties close to even), except on bosses - once i got decoy, i'd have it on my tank, with my support/range character as leader. maybe not as effective as circling (might explain some very long battles), but it allowed for group heal, & provided a great view of the battlefield, which, for me, made things a lot less hectic/confusing...

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« Reply #70 on: February 13, 2007, 07:06:50 AM »

Guys I need some help-I am pretty danged annoyed. I am trying to get demonsbane-the rest is in spoilers:

Spoiler for Hiden:
I beat the damn optional wall. I went down the secret stairs to the place where the strategy guide says the sword will appear. Nothing, NO CHEST AT ALL! Anybody have any clue whats up with this?
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« Reply #71 on: February 13, 2007, 09:02:10 AM »

Quote from: Calvin on February 13, 2007, 07:06:50 AM

Guys I need some help-I am pretty danged annoyed. I am trying to get demonsbane-the rest is in spoilers:

Spoiler for Hiden:
I beat the damn optional wall. I went down the secret stairs to the place where the strategy guide says the sword will appear. Nothing, NO CHEST AT ALL! Anybody have any clue whats up with this?

HELL'S YEAH!! Got it the FIRST time the chest appeared. HOOOOT. This is what I did:
Spoiler for Hiden:
I left the area and started and completed the next story sequence. I wandered in rabanastre, returned, and lo and behold that chest had appeared. I guess there was a messed up trigger somewhere. I managed to get it the first time. Color me happy, even though I did waste like 2 hours.
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« Reply #72 on: February 13, 2007, 01:35:21 PM »

Quote from: Calvin on February 13, 2007, 09:02:10 AM

Quote from: Calvin on February 13, 2007, 07:06:50 AM

Guys I need some help-I am pretty danged annoyed. I am trying to get demonsbane-the rest is in spoilers:

Spoiler for Hiden:
I beat the damn optional wall. I went down the secret stairs to the place where the strategy guide says the sword will appear. Nothing, NO CHEST AT ALL! Anybody have any clue whats up with this?

HELL'S YEAH!! Got it the FIRST time the chest appeared. HOOOOT. This is what I did:
Spoiler for Hiden:
I left the area and started and completed the next story sequence. I wandered in rabanastre, returned, and lo and behold that chest had appeared. I guess there was a messed up trigger somewhere. I managed to get it the first time. Color me happy, even though I did waste like 2 hours.

Nah it wasn't a trigger- actually what happens is that that one of the possible outcomes in that chest is that there is no chest at all.  It probably took me an hour of making the chest respawn over and over again in order to get Demonsbane. 
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« Reply #73 on: February 13, 2007, 04:33:41 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 13, 2007, 01:35:21 PM

Quote from: Calvin on February 13, 2007, 09:02:10 AM

Quote from: Calvin on February 13, 2007, 07:06:50 AM

Guys I need some help-I am pretty danged annoyed. I am trying to get demonsbane-the rest is in spoilers:

Spoiler for Hiden:
I beat the damn optional wall. I went down the secret stairs to the place where the strategy guide says the sword will appear. Nothing, NO CHEST AT ALL! Anybody have any clue whats up with this?

HELL'S YEAH!! Got it the FIRST time the chest appeared. HOOOOT. This is what I did:
Spoiler for Hiden:
I left the area and started and completed the next story sequence. I wandered in rabanastre, returned, and lo and behold that chest had appeared. I guess there was a messed up trigger somewhere. I managed to get it the first time. Color me happy, even though I did waste like 2 hours.

Nah it wasn't a trigger- actually what happens is that that one of the possible outcomes in that chest is that there is no chest at all.  It probably took me an hour of making the chest respawn over and over again in order to get Demonsbane. 

Well then I am doubly glad that I got it on the first try because it took a solid hour to even get the chest to spawn.
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« Reply #74 on: February 13, 2007, 04:44:22 PM »

Yeah, but it sounds like you at least spent the time furthering the story and doing other relevant things.  I spend almost that time just running back and forth between the chest area and the outside save crystal waiting for the right thing to spawn.

But it was so worth it.  Demonsbane will be the most powerful weapon you'll have access to for quite a while. 
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« Reply #75 on: February 13, 2007, 04:50:58 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 13, 2007, 04:44:22 PM

Yeah, but it sounds like you at least spent the time furthering the story and doing other relevant things.  I spend almost that time just running back and forth between the chest area and the outside save crystal waiting for the right thing to spawn.

But it was so worth it.  Demonsbane will be the most powerful weapon you'll have access to for quite a while. 

If you can possibly believe it I lucked out tremendously before Demonsbane and got an extremely rare katana drop called Osafune, much more powerful than anything I could buy and just maybe 4-5 AP weaker than Demonsbane. It was off
Spoiler for Hiden:
a rare Urutan Exile spawn and I guess even more rare drop
. Currently Ashe is using it to devastating effectiveness-maybe 400 points of damage or more without combos at level 20. I have a bunch of errands to do before I get ready for some training tonight, but I really want to post a progress update here later on in the day-stay tuned  icon_wink
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« Reply #76 on: February 13, 2007, 04:54:18 PM »

By the way, Kevin, I used the first suggestion in your spoiler post to get the golden amulet. I finished the quest across the riverbank and entered the Highwaste. The Worgen there were quite tough, but definitely doable and gave roughly 350XP a pop. I am heading into the Giza plains, but I may very well use the next teleport crystal to go back and spend about a solid hour grinding. There is some great XP to be had there if I can get away from the Wild Saurians. The area directly below the village is just murder though-level 28s and above.
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« Reply #77 on: February 13, 2007, 05:02:18 PM »

Yeah, that area is pretty nice for grinding.  I did a bit of it myself there.  I might head back there since I really want to balance my team levels better- specifically Penello who is lagging anywhere from 5-10 levels behind everyone else but the leveling for her has been slow going in the story based areas I've been doing.

Awesome find on the katana, though it would have been quite useless to me (no one in my party uses them).  I haven't had much look grabbing rare drops so far. 
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« Reply #78 on: February 13, 2007, 05:13:55 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on February 13, 2007, 05:02:18 PM

Yeah, that area is pretty nice for grinding.  I did a bit of it myself there.  I might head back there since I really want to balance my team levels better- specifically Penello who is lagging anywhere from 5-10 levels behind everyone else but the leveling for her has been slow going in the story based areas I've been doing.

Awesome find on the katana, though it would have been quite useless to me (no one in my party uses them).  I haven't had much look grabbing rare drops so far. 

Wow-has penello just been ineffective as a mage (or whatever role you placed her in) and thats why she has fallen behind? Shes proven surprisingly useful with red mage spells and her gun for me so my second party is about the same level right now (although I doubt I will keep closer than 3 levels as I get more sick of the grind as the game moves on). I went with Katanas for ashe because she is a 1st party fighter/mage combo, and thus tends to attack a lot but stay out of direct contact much of the time, so the lack of evasion seemed less important-combined with her AP and MP it was a good choice for my very wierd and specific party visions. Vaan is going to one day graduate from sword and board to +20 evasion Ninja Swords, but I have yet to encounter one in the game world. Oh-just my observation from low level spears and poles (Balthier)-they absolutely rock. What an incredible game Kevin!
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« Reply #79 on: February 13, 2007, 05:22:41 PM »

For me, the problem was that Penello was the last person to join the party.  By then I had everyone pretty firmly in their roles and wasn't sure what I wanted her to do plus, with like 600 or something LPs to allocate initially, I didn't feel like messing with them at that point so she went unplayed for a while.  Then I decided I wanted her to be focusing on exotic weaponry (ninja swords and the like) so I stupidly put most of her LPs to use down that path only to end up finding out after the fact that I couldn't buy almost any of the stuff yet so she was stuck with daggers. 

But last night I decided I would make her my backup mage since I was once again sitting on a cache of unallocated LPs and Ashe (my primary mage) is currently outlevelling everyone else since she is a party mainstay (my mage build is by far the most powerful of any of my party members).  So I buy most of the relevant Augments and Magic licenses for Penello then it dawns on me that I haven't given her any quickenings (and no unused quickenings are close to her on the board), so she's got a miniscule 80 MP compared to Ashes's approximately 400 MP.  So that plan is in the crapper.

But I did just stumble on my first ninja sword and gave it to Penello so I'm thinking I'm going back to my original concept of her character. Now if only I could find the XP doubling item...
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