The Quarterly JRPG Club - Q1 2018 - Final Fantasy XII!

I've made it as far as:

Spoiler:

Finding Basch in the oubliette.
Now I'm running around killing giant, energy-slurping spiders.

And I'm really enjoying it. Surprisingly so.

I've actually been running all of my party members on gambits, including the party leader, only stepping in when something requires a specific solution (like using eye drops). To keep everyone in check a bit, the party leader is set to target anything currently targeting an ally, and everyone else is set to target the party leader's target. That way no one is running off to fight everyone they see, but I don't have to constantly be retargeting things.

There's so little to do manually at this point that it's really nice to automate the tedium of constantly inputting the same commands. This way, I end up controlling the tactical flow of the battle as a whole, and that works really well for me.

I'm surprised to find that I'm looking forward to playing more.

I may give putting the party leader on gambits as well a try to see how that feels.

I had the tutorial on gambits and a full party for a while there, including a guest.

Spoiler:

The boss fight was a little messy for me. I used a bunch of phoenix downs but got through it.

Stopped playing after getting thrown in prison.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I've made it as far as:

Spoiler:

Finding Basch in the oubliette.
Now I'm running around killing giant, energy-slurping spiders.

And I'm really enjoying it. Surprisingly so.

I've actually been running all of my party members on gambits, including the party leader, only stepping in when something requires a specific solution (like using eye drops). To keep everyone in check a bit, the party leader is set to target anything currently targeting an ally, and everyone else is set to target the party leader's target. That way no one is running off to fight everyone they see, but I don't have to constantly be retargeting things.

There's so little to do manually at this point that it's really nice to automate the tedium of constantly inputting the same commands. This way, I end up controlling the tactical flow of the battle as a whole, and that works really well for me.

I'm surprised to find that I'm looking forward to playing more.

I think it strikes a really good balance between being able to be automated, and providing a decent amount of player-control. Let's be real, who actually enjoys mashing the 'a' button for basic 'attack' in other RPGs? Personally, the fun of an RPG, to me, is setting everything up and planning my attack -- which this game is all about. It's not so much the execution which makes me excited, but seeing everything fall in place.

Anyway, I'm glad you are enjoying it!

At the moment, I've just been sent off to the second main city. I'm having too much fun tracking down hunts near Dalmasca though! Especially with the 4x speed option. Who else is loving these sidequests?

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I'm surprised to find that I'm looking forward to playing more.

I'm not, it's basically the original Xenoblade game.

A_Unicycle wrote:

Let's be real, who actually enjoys mashing the 'a' button for basic 'attack' in other RPGs?

Evidently me.

I just finished The Tomb of Raithwall. It feels like I am flying through the game this time because it has only take a few hours. Perhaps I am not digging around as much this time but I think it is also because I have the speed at 2x most of the time. It really helps with all the walking around.

garion333 wrote:
ClockworkHouse wrote:

I'm surprised to find that I'm looking forward to playing more.

I'm not, it's basically the original Xenoblade game. ;)

That might be the best explanation yet for Fran's outfit.

ccesarano wrote:
A_Unicycle wrote:

Let's be real, who actually enjoys mashing the 'a' button for basic 'attack' in other RPGs?

Evidently me. :P

I wish the combat here was more involved. Other games I've played of this style (Xenoblade, Final Fantasy XIV, etc.) have positional elements or timing elements that make combat more active and engaging moment-to-moment. If this game had things like that, I wouldn't mind being more hands-on with it. As it is, though, most of combat seems to be about picking targets, auto-attacking, and healing, all of which can be handled with gambits. Cranking the combat speed to max helps get things at a pace where I feel like I'm monitoring the flow of a whole party instead of just watching bars refill. I wouldn't be surprised if I kept up with everyone on gambits through the whole game.

Past Tomb of Raithwall and trying to gain more clan points with hunts and jobs, now.

Spoiler:

The rains have come and Giza is flooded. Had forgotten about the changes in weather and how the altered the fauna and layout of the areas.

A couple newbie questions:

1.) I've collected a lot of loot. Can I sell some of it for cash, or should I be hoarding it for some kind of crafting system?

2.) I see there are gambits for targeting allies who already have Protect and Haste. Is there a way to target allies that don't have them? That seems far more useful.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

A couple newbie questions:

1.) I've collected a lot of loot. Can I sell some of it for cash, or should I be hoarding it for some kind of crafting system?

2.) I see there are gambits for targeting allies who already have Protect and Haste. Is there a way to target allies that don't have them? That seems far more useful.

1. Selling loot is sort of a crafting system. After you sell certain items, the Bazaar sells a new item. The game keeps track of what you have sold over the course of the game, so it doesn't need to be all at once. For min/maxers I believe there are certain items you don't want to sell, so that you can get a better item. Also, there was something that I was told not to sell because it can be used in a side quest later in the game (Great Serpentskin, I believe). Bottom line, if you are just playing through the game, sell everything.

2. The gambit Ally: Any with a status spell or item will do the gambit if the character does not have the status (or the status needs to be purged). So Ally: Any - Haste will caste haste on an ally if they do not already have the haste buff. Ally: Any - Esuna will cast Esuna on an ally if that would dispel an effect.

Thanks!

Made it out of the Barheim Passage...

Spoiler:

It was appreciated that they placed a shopkeeper at the beginning. I'd made Balthier a Bushi but he was still fighting with his gun and was able to pick up a katana for him, a better bow for Fran and some armor.
I switched Balthier to my lead. His defense is still lower than Vaan's at this point but he already had more HP to start and the Bushi license board has HP boosts all over it (though I've only bought one of them so far).

One thing that's taking some getting used to is not being able to see beyond one square in each direction on the license boards. I find myself having to do some assumption. For example, having squares that affect the generation of MP for a character than doesn't really have any MP consuming abilities yet. I also have attempted to avoid picking up squares to use weapons and armor I don't have yet, but it seems there's a limit to that approach since I also need to expand the board options.

Spoiler:

I had Fran healing with Cure. At first using Ally < 30% health, but that seemed to be cutting it close,
so I switched it to Ally < 50% though that caused her to run out of MP even with the ability to generate more by doing damage. First Aid doesn't seem to do enough to be worth it.

Basch was a pain to keep alive. Maybe I should have set his Gambit to "stand around and watch."

That said, whereas I had a real sloppy fight against the first boss, Firemane, the second, Mimic Queen was neat and easy. Bathier's health pool allowed him to just stand and auto attack while Fang healed him and everyone fired away. I ignored the little spiders.

I feel like I'll have to dig into the Gambits deeper soon. I had an opportunity to buy a bunch of new ones and passed for now.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

A couple newbie questions:

1.) I've collected a lot of loot. Can I sell some of it for cash, or should I be hoarding it for some kind of crafting system?

2.) I see there are gambits for targeting allies who already have Protect and Haste. Is there a way to target allies that don't have them? That seems far more useful.

1. Just keep a stack of 10 items each and sell the rest. You should be fine. Most of the Bazaar recipes don't require that many items. You could also use this checklist for reference.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...

Turns out I don't have Titanfall 2 dug out of storage and don't feel like digging so I'll be joining back in on this sooner than anticipated.

I'll let you all know where I am tonight!

One thing I didn't like about the ending of the Tomb of Raithwall section was the boss fight with Vossler. It was much, much harder than any fight up to that point. That is a staple of JRPGs I guess but I have never liked it. Luckily I was able to buy a few more licenses and I was able to beat him easily the 2nd time but it is still not something I like.

Some of the gambits seem redundant. Why would you use the "Ally Status KO" target when "Ally Any" works just as well to target Phoenix Down/Raise/etc?

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Some of the gambits seem redundant. Why would you use the "Ally Status KO" target when "Ally Any" works just as well to target Phoenix Down/Raise/etc?

This is off the top of my head...

There are a handful of weird weapons (mostly balances and rods IIRC) that heal or buff when you hit somebody with them. With "any" you would keep hitting them over and over.

There might be some items that both raise and heal and can be used (wasted?) on people who aren't KO?

Oh, yeah, and the "Reverse" status can throw everything into crazytown. I'm not sure if that goes away when someone is KO.

That's handy to know! Thanks.

I did see some suggestions elsewhere to counter specific ailments with specific buffs instead of using something like Esuna because they both remove the ailment and add a buff. I guess Regen will remove Sap and grant Regen, and Haste will remove Slow and add Haste.

One thing that's taking some getting used to is not being able to See Beyond one square in each direction on the license boards. I find myself having to do some assumption. For example, having squares that affect the generation of MP for a character than doesn't really have any MP consuming abilities yet. I also have attempted to avoid picking up squares to use weapons and armor I don't have yet, but it seems there's a limit to that approach since I also need to expand the board options.

This is kind of bugging me. The information is there if you select distant squares, so why not have a greyed-out icon indicating which type of license it is? I find it very frustrating trying to plan a path when everything is invisible. Literally no reason to hide that information.

Anyway, just past the mines into this particular akward moment:

Haha, perfect timing. I just got to the same spot.

Me, too! I was glad my wife had gone to bed.

I'm sure it's not a new observation, but I was tickled to realize that there are a number of superficial similarities between this and Star Wars. I especially love that they went all Schick Quatro with the villains and decided that one Darth Vader was way less cool than six Darth Vaders.

Yes! Last time I played I thought, “I’m getting kind of a Star Wars vibe from this.”

That was the big comparison when it released, if I recall. All the kids in the gaming and anime club that kept their PS2s and played this were saying it was Star Wars.

I'm not complaining. And Fran > Chewbacca, even if she does have a weird metal wedgie.

Obligatory Every Final Fantasy is Star Wars. Also, Kawazu totally admitted to the Star Wars influence on the franchise.

shoptroll wrote:

Obligatory Every Final Fantasy is Star Wars. Also, Kawazu totally admitted to the Star Wars influence on the franchise.

If PSICOM are Stormtroopers does that make Lightning Finn?
(yeah, yeah, she’s Guardian Corps, but that’s just a different branch of the same military)

Guess I’m more of a Star Wars fan than I thought!

Wow, it's so nice to finally have normal camera controls (the original only had inverted). The game looks amazing, the fast-forward function is great, auto-saves have proven convenient already, and the map overlay is handier than I anticipated.

Right now I'm not digging the new license boards but I'm hopeful that it's only due to lack of familiarity.

One of the things I really appreciate about the gambit system is that it does a nice job of exposing elemental vulnerabilities and makes them more efficient to exploit. Those things have almost always been there in the series, but they're usually obscured behind scan abilities and so require a memory much better than mine to really make use of them. This game does something similar by requiring Libra to view vulnerabilities, but by making Libra more of a continuous buff than a spell that needs to be recast with each creature, it's a lot easier to keep track of what all those vulnerabilities are, and of course being able to use gambits to exploit those automatically is the cherry on top. It's a bit silly to have to use a gambit slot for each and every weakness, but it can make a huge difference in the speed and flow of combat.

Is the target for this month reaching the Tomb of Raithwall or completing it?