The GWJ JRPG Club 2018 - Final Fantasy XII!

I made it as far as Tchita Uplands and had been noting for a while that my healers were burning through MP and, in general, I felt as my teams were struggling. I noticed I was fighting enemies 8-9 levels higher than my characters. I think if I were using only three of them they might be on par, but trying to keep all six roughly even, I've fallen behind. I suspect LP and equipment make the most difference as far as power, but level can maybe still be an indicator of progress since, in the normal process of playing, you're gaining LP and gil to buy stuff increases along with XP. Anyway, I think I need/want to grind a little bit to improve my characters a bit so I'm not having as hard a time. I'm thankful for gambits and 2X speed to make the process faster.

ClockworkHouse wrote:
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.

Thank you!

I have the same issue with my healers burning through mana. I also try to keep my characters leveled evenly. There’s an accessory that I got that doubles exp received that I move around to help with this. There’s also double LP (I got 2 somehow) and characters don’t need to be out to utilize this it seems.

Ah. Yeah I have a 2x XP and two 2x LP as well... and I hadn’t been using them thinking “I want to keep everyone even.” But, yeah, I can move them around. Duh. Thanks.

Speaking of accessories, I found thieves’ cuffs somewhere that give you a chance to steal better items. I set up a gambit like:
Enemy > 90% - Attack
Enemy 100% - Steal
(I didn’t come up with that myself, sadly)
and that’s been working out well to get a steal in on most enemies. Most of the stuff I steal I sell but it has helped increase my gil flow and get me in better equipment.

I’ve got everyone up to level 30 now. Might get a couple more levels before pushing to Draklor? We’ll see if I have the patience.

There is also an accessory that halves the MP cost of spells, I'm not sure where I picked it up from, but thats been really useful on my main healer/buffer.

steinkrug wrote:

I’ve got everyone up to level 30 now. Might get a couple more levels before pushing to Draklor? We’ll see if I have the patience.

I'm just at the start of Draklor now, so I sent back an did all the hunts up to number 17 or 18. All of my party is now around level 40. The hunts didn't give me much in the way of good items but they were fairly easy and at least gave me something to do while grinding.

I made it to Draklor. Party members are level 34 or 35. Teleported out and did a couple rank V hunts which went pretty well. I’ve got several that are lower rank so they should be fairly easy. l’ll probably do some more throughout the rest of the month.

Role call!

Just curious who’s still playing as we approach month 3.

I have done a few hunts since reaching Draklor but for the most part I’ve been taking a little break and playing other stuff.

Still super far behind, but if you look way back you can still see me chugging along!

I just heard them mention Draklor so I may be close. Not sure if I will reach it by the end of this month though.

I've been distracted by Monster Hunter World but now I'm back. I've just made it to Jahara so... I've got a ways to go.

I don't know what it is about Osmone Plain but I really like it. I find it refreshing, like the good vibes inherent in a pleasant mid-Spring day.

I’m still playing. I’m chipping away at it, about 20 hours in, doing hunts as I go. With a game this size, I guess it will always feel like I’m chipping away.

I’m surprised how tempting the 2x is. It’s great for hunts, especially when you are over leveled for an area. However, it’s becoming painful to walk anywhere without it. Stop to smell the roses? How about run past!

I’m not a huge fan of the number of status effects. It feels like boss battles are effectively managing whatever status penalties the boss is dealing out. Are folks using all their gambits to address each and every one? There are a lot of them!

I use my gambits to manage the random battles mostly. I have one white mage whom I still haven’t optimized. I keep running out of mana and ethers...

Made it to Mt. Bur-Omisace last night. I might just be able to make this month's milestone.

Thanks Wembley, Chimalli, Ted and fuzzyslug for checking in. Nice to hear that you’re still playing. As long as you’re having fun, that’s the main thing, more so than keeping up. I know that can be tough.

I’m finding the 2X speed to be a great feature. I tend not to use it when I am pushing forward to new content, but it’s awesome for grinding and going back through areas.

I have some fixes for status effects set up. Quite a few actually, but it’s kind of annoying. Esuna takes care of a lot of em but the MP cost is kinda high so I don’t really want my WHM using that when the spells that target a specific ailment are cheaper.

I'm still going too, just entered Pharos, which I believe is the final dungeon.

Sufice the say I am really enjoying the game, unusually for a FF it's the combat system, rather than the characters and story, which is appealing to me the most. I'm still enjoying the cycle of tweaking my gambits, rolling through areas without taking direct control, noticing flaws or finding a new spell and adjusting things slightly. I'm enjoying the combat so much I've done around 30 of the hunts, including a few of the epic ones and a few of the other optional bosses which Is something I rarely do in RPG's.

I'm playing at 2x nearly all the time, only slowing down if I get in trouble during a boss battle,. I now find the walking speed unbearable at normal speed, and this game involves a heap of walking. It's a little unfortunately though as I can't help but wounder if part of the reason I'm not really connecting with the characters and story is that I am flying through the world rather than immersing myself in it.

Haha, I made it to the doorstep of Draklor with time to spare. I pretty much made a bee-line at 2x speed. The only part that got fiddly was proceeding past Old Archades; I always seem to get things confused at this point and Jules doesn't help by moving around.

I share the notion that playing at 2x speed feels disconnecting when it comes to a sense of place. My favorite aspects of the game are the battle and locations and zipping right through has detracted from this somewhat. On the other hand, I find locations such as the Stilshrine and Paramina Rift to be boring so fast-forwarding has been pretty good there. I'm also finding that 2x speed is helping to make the story more coherent. In past playthroughs I'd spend so much time between plot beats that I'd sometimes forget what was going on.

In regards to party progression, Basche is coming into his own as a capable White + Time Mage. Balthier's talents as a Black + Red Mage could be better if I would bother with his gambits a bit more. Vaan's been putting out the physical damage as a Knight + Bushi, especially when Basche throws Haste + Berserk on him. All told, though, I really miss the old license board and I'm sad it's not an option in what is otherwise an amazing remastering of the game.

Looking ahead, I'm looking forward to tackling a lot of marks in the coming month because I've been ignoring most of the hunts thus far. I even forgot to report back to the Sandsea for the Rogue Tomato. Oops.

One thing I'm not looking forward to as we progress is getting hit with Disease status*. That hit me hard on my previous playthrough. I'll need to go find the Cleanse spell or a stack of Serum because I'm not dealing with that mess again.

* Disease reduces your max HP to your current HP. Just took a hit? That's your new max HP. Just died? You'll be resurrected with a max HP of 1. Oof.

Ted wrote:

One thing I'm not looking forward to as we progress is getting hit with Disease status*. That hit me hard on my previous playthrough. I'll need to go find the Cleanse spell or a stack of Serum because I'm not dealing with that mess again.

* Disease reduces your max HP to your current HP. Just took a hit? That's your new max HP. Just died? You'll be resurrected with a max HP of 1. Oof.

This. I though the game was fairly brutal with status aliments before disease came along but that takes it to a whole new level. Having a white mage in the party seems essential through the second half of the game, mine is now a good 6 or 7 levels higher than my next highest character.

Well done, Ted! That's interesting about the 2X speed helping with story comprehension. I can see that being the case. I have seen comments about the story beats being more and more spread out as the game goes on and it hasn't felt that way to me, but, as you observe, that's likely because of using the 2X speed at times.

Made it to Draklor! With hours to spare!

Well, I’m incredibly late to this, but I started this tonight.

The presentation is so different compared to the earlier games! The music, the combat, the menus, etc.

I have no idea how far I’ll get in the next month, but I’m looking forward to seeing what this weird game has to offer.

Had the worst experience with this game so far after attempting the Gil Snapper hunt. My crew is about level 30 but this turtle was so annoying. I'd get it to about 5% health and it would disable my entire group. It was a long battle where I fought silence constantly only to be disabled and then watch it regenerate while I waited for disable to wear off. Ugh. After about 1/2 hour, I just gave up entirely.

I've taken a look at better strategies (silence the damn thing among other things) but I'm not sure I have the right spells at the moment. That said, between the silly tree thing, the weather dependency, and finally the crappy battle, I might be scared off of hunts permanently.

Welcome beanman! Hey, as long as you try out the game, the club has served its purpose.

fuzzyslug wrote:

Had the worst experience with this game so far after attempting the Gil Snapper hunt. My crew is about level 30 but this turtle was so annoying. I'd get it to about 5% health and it would disable my entire group. It was a long battle where I fought silence constantly only to be disabled and then watch it regenerate while I waited for disable to wear off. Ugh. After about 1/2 hour, I just gave up entirely.

I've taken a look at better strategies (silence the damn thing among other things) but I'm not sure I have the right spells at the moment. That said, between the silly tree thing, the weather dependency, and finally the crappy battle, I might be scared off of hunts permanently.

I can’t remember off-hand which hunts I’ve done, but most of those sound unfamiliar. I definitely have been using a guide for info on any quirks as to when the hunts appear, etc. That’s just not something I feel like figuring out if I even could.

The ones I did toward the end of last month were a good way to get my characters a little stronger but I highly doubt I’ll be trying to do them all. I’m ready now to push forward through Draklor and keep moving on I think.

I've done the four regular hunts available to me, which weren't too bad. I've got two elite marks as well, but taking on the first one (cluckatrice) was a sad, sad state of affairs. I definitely don't have the abilities, spells, or remedies yet to handle the various status effects in the world yet. So that'll be something for later.

One thing doing this revealed, tho, is that the game autosaves every time you cross a dotted line into a new area. This, combined with the speed multiplier, has made grinding a relatively low-risk/high-reward activity.

I was hoping to do more hunts before heading to Bhujerba, but since no more are popping up, it may be time to just move on.

Made it to the Dreadnought Leviathan before calling it quits for the night.

My biggest frustration at the moment is that I don’t currently have a good mage in my party. Healing, and dealing with the few status effects I’ve encountered so far, has been somewhat challenging. I know it’ll get easier as I pick up party members and extra jobs. I have a feeling some of the dungeon crawling would be easier if I had made different job choices starting out. Ah well.

One of my favorite things so far is kind of random: the shops. I love that they’re full of people. The amount of detail, the air of bustling customers, all of it give a really unique feel to the experience compared to other RPGs I’ve played.

I like Vaan and Penolo so far. I think I was under the impression they’d be typically annoying JRPG children. Instead, they have a sadness to them that surprised me. It makes sense, considering they’re orphans in a war-torn, occupied nation. The writing, side characters, and world building in general feel really fleshed out.

That's true, the people in the shops are a nice touch. And in general, I'm surprised at the number of NPCs with something to say. At this point, I've kind of given up on talking to everyone in the towns since there are so many, I'll be honest.

Agreed about Vaan and Penolo. I haven't found them to be annoying either. Vaan's pretty clueless at times, but I have found it amusing.

Made it through Draklor Laboratory.

Spoiler:

I think it felt short because I had stopped before it last month. In hindsight, stopping AFTER Draklor might have worked better story-wise, but what can you do... No big deal, I think.

It would have been even shorter if I was paying closer attention... Essentially, you have to move counterclockwise around the main floor and each time you encounter one of the blue/red switches, flip it. There's three of them. Do that, you make it to the next elevator no problem. Somehow I felt sure I had already gone in the room that contained the last switch and so was running around trying to figure out a puzzle that wasn't much of one. Oh well, I ended up getting some extra XP I guess since the enemies kept spawning. Doctor Cid wasn't much of a challenge.

Agreed with your impressions of Draklor, I laughed because right after it seemed like a great stopping point. Ohh well.

In the Licenses, there are, what I assume, unique weapons. When/Where should I get these? After all of the numbered weapons (Swords 6, Guns 5, etc..) ?

Chimalli wrote:

In the Licenses, there are, what I assume, unique weapons. When/Where should I get these? After all of the numbered weapons (Swords 6, Guns 5, etc..) ?

Most of the ones I found came from optional late game areas.

Their might be one or two in normal dungeons but generally they seemed to be the kinds of things you need to seek out. The same does for quite a few of the high level spells.

I finally have a full party and a decent set of gambits for everyone! Some of the jobs, like Foebreaker, seem underwhelming so far, in that I was hoping there'd be more distinct abilities for them starting out.

On the other hand, waiting so long for access to the mage classes means it was very satisfying unlocking a ton of licenses for Ashe (black mage) and Penolo (white mage). They've immediately been a huge help. I could still use some time mage abilities, or a good Dispel, but I'm already relying on potions far less while making my way through the next section.

And good lord, that section is long. I'm halfway through the massive desert sea area on the way to the Tomb of Raithwall. I don't want to think about going through it without the speed multiplier and autosave between each section. I aggro'd an Elemental at one point, proceeded to watch everybody's health fall to zero like water draining in a tub. It was mildly hilarious. Playing on the PS2, it would have been hugely infuriating.

Anyway, with the full party, I'm completely hooked on the meditative state I fall into when running through these massive areas. I'm still enjoying the characters, tho it's unclear where the actual story is going at this point. I'm not bothered by that, though.

Made it to the Tomb of Raithwall and fought Garuda last night. The next few days I probably won't have as much time to play so my progress will likely slow. Everyone in my party is between lvl 17 and 19. I also managed to get some good gear via steals or treasure chests. I've got a 2x LP and 2x EXP accessory (also a 0 EXP accessory for some reason). I managed to scrape together enough money to fully upgrade everyone else's armor and weapons at the merchant just before Garuda. Hopefully that makes the next few hours straightforward.

Sounds like you’re in pretty good shape!

Took me a while before I bothered to steal regularly. I should have started sooner. It’s nice that they made it worth it. I’ve sold most of what I’ve stolen but even so, that’s been helpful.

I’ve been chipping away and am working my way through Giruvegan. Definitely running into the game’s propensity to throw out tons of debuffs. Kind of annoying at times! Disease, as has been mentioned, particularly sucks!

I think I started stealing too early and have significantly dragged out the early game which then caused me to run into burn out and Monster Hunter problems. I really want to get back to this game. Maybe I can finish up my D&D prep quickly tonight and squeeze in some time.