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

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I can't tell if I'm too used to Atlus games or if this game really is remarkably easy. I ran through the Tomb of Raithwall and the content just after last night, and other than foolishly taking on the first Demon Wall, I haven't struggled with anything.

I didn't have much trouble either. I have a feeling the more difficult content might be optional. We'll see.

I was kind of surprised I didn't get an alert that second jobs opened up until going into a license. Not a big deal, I suppose you're going to go into that menu often, hopefully, but it would probably be better design to have a "tutorial" pop-up or something. There are other things the game doesn't explain that might need one more, though.

I had already decided what those jobs were going to be, but spending some of the points I had built up, shopping for gear, and playing with gambits to a further extent than I had so far took up a fair amount of time. Definitely not the game to play if you're not in the mood for this kind of management. Though how much of it is really necessary is probably debatable?

I wrote earlier about concern over my black mage using up MP. I did set up Charge, but I also found a compromise I liked in setting up a bunch of gambits that have her using spells if the enemy is weak to it. I like that the game discerns that automatically for me and I don't have to libra them first. Since she's also a monk now, she can contribute other ways if they aren't weak to an element.

Once I was in a position to go where I pleased again, I did some more hunts, one taking me back into the Lhusu Mines which I felt comfortable running in 2x speed, full gambit mode. Again, I am surprised at how this makes returning to old locations and grinding much more bearable.

After returning to the "main quest," I made it through Giza and Ozmone Plains to Jahara.

While the story itself isn't anything that original so far, I'm enjoying the tone and style.

I did run into some trouble with Tiamat (a little bit further than where you are), and it was entirely because of poor planning on my part.

I've been using a primary party of the three women. Panello is a Foebreaker/Monk; Fran is a Shikari/Archer; Ashe is a Black Mage/Time Battlemage. Fran has been the group's primary healer, because she has Cura, but everyone has Cure, so they all pitch in to spot heal. Basch is my White Mage, but I haven't needed him, so I haven't leveled him.

What I didn't take into account is that none of my six primary jobs have access to Esuna, and I'm at a point in the game where Remedy items are scarce. I also didn't have anyone setup to respond to status effects with appropriate items. So Tiamat's waves of status ailments were just brutal on my team. I won the fight, ultimately, but the trajectory was firmly downward; if she had had more hit points, I wouldn't have been able to win.

I rejiggered all of Panello's gambits so she'll be the first line of defense against status ailments, at least until Remedy becomes easier to get.

I'm also starting to struggle with the game having a concept of aggro but not, to the best of my knowledge, any way to draw aggro. I'd really rather enemies attack Panello since she has lots of HP and blocks well, but invariably everyone goes after Ashe.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

I'm also starting to struggle with the game having a concept of aggro but not, to the best of my knowledge, any way to draw aggro. I'd really rather enemies attack Panello since she has lots of HP and blocks well, but invariably everyone goes after Ashe.

Yes, this! Both my teams are set up with one "tank" (bushi/knight and shikari/foebreaker). But, especially when the black mage starts hammering at a weakness the enemies go straight for her and I really want some aggro management tools.

Just picked up FFXII on the PC, I've never really played it but, have heard good things. I started playing until I came across the point where I pick my class and they nonchalantly say "pick any class you want, oh by the way this is permanent throughout the game". So I quickly found a save and had to figure out if there is a wrong choice that would screw me up later in the game. After skimming through this topic it seems I can't really screw up my choices, does that sound about right? Do I only play as Vaan or can I switch my viewpoints around? I am apparently a month behind so I doubt I will finish this in time for the end of the quarter.

You'll primarily be playing Vaan for a little while, but you'll eventually be able to swap him out of the party entirely.

You can't screw up your job choices, really, especially since you can add a second job later. My only advice would be to be sure that whoever is in your final party, you might want to make sure that one of them has White Mage or Red Mage as one of their jobs.

Thank you for the help, with your input and after researching a bit more, I think my party composition will look like similar to this:

Spoiler:

Vaan - Bushi/Knight
Ashe - Black Mage/Monk
Penelo - White Mage/Machinist
Balthier - Shikari/Foebreaker
Basch - Uhlan/Time Battlemage
Fran - Black Mage/Red Battlemage

Chimalli wrote:

Thank you for the help, with your input and after researching a bit more, I think my party composition will look like similar to this:

Spoiler:

Vaan - Bushi/Knight
Ashe - Black Mage/Monk
Penelo - White Mage/Machinist
Balthier - Shikari/Foebreaker
Basch - Uhlan/Time Battlemage
Fran - Black Mage/Red Battlemage

When did XII get classes? I remember the weird pausable real-time Dragon Age: Origins combat and job/skill board on my PS2 version.

Mixolyde wrote:

When did XII get classes?

With the Zodiac release, which Japan got in 2007 and everyone else got in July.

steinkrug wrote:

I wrote earlier about concern over my black mage using up MP. I did set up Charge, but I also found a compromise I liked in setting up a bunch of gambits that have her using spells if the enemy is weak to it. I like that the game discerns that automatically for me and I don't have to libra them first. Since she's also a monk now, she can contribute other ways if they aren't weak to an element.

One thing I found tonight that's helpful for conserving MP (on top of the licenses that give you MP for dealing damage and killing stuff) is setting an early gambit to attack if the enemy's HP is below a certain threshold. Where I am in the game, I chose <1000 HP.

With this, my black mage attacks if enemies are fairly low level, and she attacks if an enemy has already lost enough HP that she doesn't really need to kill them with magic. It's working out well so far.

That's a great idea, thanks!

ClockworkHouse wrote:

One thing I found tonight that's helpful for conserving MP (on top of the licenses that give you MP for dealing damage and killing stuff) is setting an early gambit to attack if the enemy's HP is below a certain threshold. Where I am in the game, I chose <1000 HP.

With this, my black mage attacks if enemies are fairly low level, and she attacks if an enemy has already lost enough HP that she doesn't really need to kill them with magic. It's working out well so far.

Thats a fantastic idea. I hadn't had much luck getting my black mage set-up well but this should be very useful.

Oh, and you really want to have a high priority gambit for what to do if a foe has reflect up. I've gone with attack, because I haven't been able to figure out a good way to tell a character to just not target something.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Oh, and you really want to have a high priority gambit for what to do if a foe has reflect up. I've gone with attack, because I haven't been able to figure out a good way to tell a character to just not target something.

That’s another great tip. Anything to make the black mage work smoothly is welcome. I’m finding targeting elemental weaknesses super effective. To the extent I wish I had two black mages... or at least didn’t have my red mage on the same “team” (might have to do a swap).

I think the enhancements of this game make it way better. The grind is almost non-existent if you speed up the game and just run around with gambits on. Transiting around without random encounters lets you explore anywhere you want in a second. I can run and do the side hunts without it taking too much time. The job system is really neat, and you can skip over less desirable techs. Oh and the story is pretty good too. I just left the starting city on the Millennium Falcon Strahl.

Chimalli wrote:

Transiting around without random encounters lets you explore anywhere you want in a second.

What do you mean?

Like if I'm in a dungeon and there's a hallway I want to go down, I can 4x speed run down the hallway and get the item and be back in a couple of seconds. Whereas random encounters I might have to fight, while walking down there, and on normal speed it just takes longer. I wish I had the time to invest into every game I want to play and explore them to my heart's content but, having the speed modifier really makes my feel like the game respects my time a little more.

Oooh, okay. I thought you were saying there was a way to toggle off encounters rather than just speed through them. My mistake.

I finally hit a point where I can easily purchase Remedy items, only to discover that the character I had been using for healing status ailments can't actually get any of the Remedy Lore licenses. Oops.

I wish there were an option to respec, because I would not only choose slightly different license board combinations, but I would just choose different licenses. Period. I'm a bit mystified that I seem to be about half-way through the game (working my way to the Draklor Laboratory) and have yet to encounter a significant variety of items and abilities that I've been able to buy licenses for from early on. I haven't yet seen a single Green Magick spell, nor about half of the Time Magicks, nor any measures, nor hand bombs, nor most of the inexpensive Technicks.

Apparently, having now looked it up, some of those things are only available from a hunting clan that I somehow completely overlooked. Which is fine, because lack of meaningful fast travel and having to seek out a separate character to initiate and complete hunts makes the hunts extremely tedious. I would normally be very interested in them, but I've glossed them over completely.

I wish they would have removed the requirement for teleport stones from the remake. I looked up that you can buy them from the airship that you take between cities but only after a certain point.

ClockworkHouse wrote:

Apparently, having now looked it up, some of those things are only available from a hunting clan that I somehow completely overlooked. Which is fine, because lack of meaningful fast travel and having to seek out a separate character to initiate and complete hunts makes the hunts extremely tedious. I would normally be very interested in them, but I've glossed them over completely.

I have been enjoying the hunts, they are more difficult then the main story it seems and the back tracking doesn't bother me due to the speed modes.

However, for the gambits if I put, Enemy: Fire Weak> Cast Fire does that include Fire Susceptible enemies?

Also, what is the 'Loot' section for in the inventory? Can I just sell everything in there?

Chimalli wrote:

However, for the gambits if I put, Enemy: Fire Weak> Cast Fire does that include Fire Susceptible enemies?

Nope. Fire Weak means only that they have a specific weakness to fire. Fire Susceptible means that they're not immune to fire damage. It's a good idea to setup at least one Element Susceptible gambit after all your Element Weak ones just so that you're able to attack with a spell but not wasting your time and mana if the enemy is immune to it.

Also, what is the 'Loot' section for in the inventory? Can I just sell everything in there?

Sell everything except teleport stones, which for some confusing reason are loot and not items.

So how bad do the hunts get? I've done about 12 of them and my assumption is, that at some point, they'll get ridiculous and won't be beaten without a character much stronger than what you need to actually complete the game. Am I right? Are there any bonuses for completely a large portion of them?

steinkrug wrote:

I wish they would have removed the requirement for teleport stones from the remake. I looked up that you can buy them from the airship that you take between cities but only after a certain point.

It doesn't take long for them to become available and trivially inexpensive. In the meantime, I think hunts and them out like candy, IIRC. But I'd agree that they should have just made it free.

fuzzyslug wrote:

So how bad do the hunts get? I've done about 12 of them and my assumption is, that at some point, they'll get ridiculous and won't be beaten without a character much stronger than what you need to actually complete the game. Am I right? Are there any bonuses for completely a large portion of them?

Some of the very end ones are pretty tough, but less about grinding up and more about using specific optimized gambits/tactics.

The more you complete, the more stuff you can buy from the "hunter shop" in the bazaar, but there are only a couple good ones. In true JRPG fashion, you can buy a ridiculously powerful item after completing all the hunts... when you probably don't need it anymore. Mostly, it's about what you get from the hunt itself.

I made it to the Tomb of Raithwall! I am way behind, but still chugging along. Did anyone else run into that weird miniboss monster on the way to the Tomb? Not right before the Tomb but when crossing the sandsea. Some weird rock armor guy with a sword nearly wiped my whole party. 4 out of 6 were unconscious before I finished him. He was hitting so hard, so fast that there wasn't time to heal anybody. At this point, I was so far from my last save that a wipe would have undone an hour or more of game time. Scary stuff.

Fair warning: as you're going through the Salikawood, you'll have two paths forward: one path takes you to a bunch of moogles trying to open a door, and the other takes you to a boss fight against a Bomb. You want the moogle path. You can beat the Bomb, but the paths it unlocks are too high level, and the game will actually tell you to turn around and go back.

That Bomb fight is also ridiculously difficult for what you're likely able to handle when you encounter it. I haven't struggled with anything else in the area (although I wish I could figure out how to stop aggroing elementals, because they destroy my party), but Bomb fight took me about a dozen attempts with lots of tweaking of my gambits. It was fun! But entirely unnecessary.

Good to hear from you Wembley. I don’t think I ran into that enemy on the way to the Tomb. I did a lot of exploring in the areas leading up to the Tomb, too. Maybe I’m forgetting.

Thanks for the tip, Clock. I’ll be approaching that area soon. I finished up the Stilshrine. Before I make the treck up to Draklor I think I’ll hit a few hunts. As to the Stilshrine...

Spoiler:

I had some trouble with the boss because I was dumb and didn’t use the Ice Shield the game hands you right before you enter. Eventually I did, and Basch killed all the elemental sprite thingies (since the shield nullifies all of their damage) after my other two party members promptly died. Once these were gone it was easy enough to resurrect the other two and then the boss herself was easy enough.

Wembley wrote:

I made it to the Tomb of Raithwall! I am way behind, but still chugging along. Did anyone else run into that weird miniboss monster on the way to the Tomb? Not right before the Tomb but when crossing the sandsea. Some weird rock armor guy with a sword nearly wiped my whole party. 4 out of 6 were unconscious before I finished him. He was hitting so hard, so fast that there wasn't time to heal anybody. At this point, I was so far from my last save that a wipe would have undone an hour or more of game time. Scary stuff.

I made it to Raithwall as well! I didn’t fight a guy like that but, I did fight a weird turtle thing and then the queen of the sand people killed one of her own for asking for help.

Chimalli wrote:
Wembley wrote:

I made it to the Tomb of Raithwall! I am way behind, but still chugging along. Did anyone else run into that weird miniboss monster on the way to the Tomb? Not right before the Tomb but when crossing the sandsea. Some weird rock armor guy with a sword nearly wiped my whole party. 4 out of 6 were unconscious before I finished him. He was hitting so hard, so fast that there wasn't time to heal anybody. At this point, I was so far from my last save that a wipe would have undone an hour or more of game time. Scary stuff.

I made it to Raithwall as well! I didn’t fight a guy like that but, I did fight a weird turtle thing and then the queen of the sand people killed one of her own for asking for help.

I killed that turtle, too, but didn't find the dude that asked for help. I guess he gets to live in my game.

Is there a way to make a gambit that says, 'If Ally<>Protect Then Protect'?

Chimalli wrote:

Is there a way to make a gambit that says, 'If Ally<>Protect Then Protect'?

Ally Any --> Protect. The AI won't cast a buff or debuff on a target that already has it. So the same setup will work for Shell, Regen, Haste, etc. It'll also work for Phoenix Down and Raise.

The AI will keep attempting to cast on a target that is immune, so be careful in how you use debuffs against enemies.