The GWJ JRPG Club - Q1 2021 - Dragon Quest XI!

Turns out I am way closer to the end of Act II than I thought. I could just go and enter the final dungeon now if I wanted, but I think I have a few sidequests left, and I want to do those before ending act II. I might try to get a few of the Tickington quests done as well (although I find the 2D dungeons and combat way less engaging). I expect to finish the game next weekend.

I think my in-game clock says I'm at about 52 hours which seems... pretty fast? Granted, I did not really stop to grind at any point, but still...

After about 60.5 hours, Act II is complete! And I will definitely keep playing!

I really can't find any major issue with the game, other than finding the music lackluster and lacking in variety. It looks great (even in the S version), the story is simple and enjoyable (though not particularly original) , I liked the characters (Sylvando being particularly memorable), the visual design was great (although the menus could use some work), I liked exploring the environments, the towns were all very nice and distinct from one another, the battle system was simple but enjoyable.

Looking forward to playing Act III!

Late to the party but I'm having a crack at the Japanese 3DS version. Just escaped from jail and hanging out at a church. Everyone sure likes giving the MC a big head, not how I'd like to raise a kid! Anyway, like previous DQ games, it's gorgeous, but with the language barrier I'm not sure I'll be able to roll end credits. Seems like there's more to do with skill points than previous titles and there's a zone mechanic to play with.

Is a shame they never localised the 3DS version, would have been a nice farewell title for the system. And you have every DQ available on one platform (4-9,11 for those that are only in English).

This game is too long. I know that part of the reason that it is taking me so long to finish is that I am trying to do all of the quests as I go along and some of them require luck or pep that takes time to build up. I have to be close to the end of Act 2 with 76 hours clocked. I cannot imagine going through another 20-25 hour slog to get the final ending unless things pick up a bit. With fast travel, I'm not sure what is taking so long but it feels like all that I am doing is walking from place to place. I hate to leave a relatively easy platinum trophy on the table but I just might have to do that here.

I would have to check, but I am pretty sure I clocked over 100 hours on this game when I finished Act 2. Although my playtimes can get screwy unless the game suspends the clock if you go to the home screen as I get up and walk around or make food while playing during the day. But it is definitely a densely packed game, they maybe could have trimmed a bit off of Act 1, but I didn't feel like there was any fat/fluff in Act 2. I have yet to touch Act 3 as the ending of Act 2 was quite satisfying.

I hit around 100 hours by the end of Act 2 and around 140, I think, by the end of the postgame. I know I took my time with Act 1, and tried to do everything in each act before moving on to the end. So I think my times are on the long side. But yes, it is a densely packed game and I can see that would be frustrating. It didn't feel padded to me but I'm also a big DQ lover.

I have only played one other DQ game, IX on the DS. Maybe if I was playing this on a handheld, it wouldn't bother me as much? Not sure. There is a lot of charm here but maybe I just took too long in Act 1 and it is starting to wear off as I approach the end of Act 2. I will finish it but maybe the DQ games just aren't for me?

Dragon Quest games are very long, and fatigue is not uncommon.

XI does a great job of getting you back into it after a break. If you are not feeling it, maybe take a couple weeks off and come back to it when you're more in the mood for its particular brand of low-key pleasantness.

I’ve gotten access to the blacksmith anvil. Any tips on how to craft? I gather you don’t want to go too far over for each component but otherwise I’m not sure.

I got past 75 hours this morning, and I'm starting to feel that fatigue. I'm close to the end of the final final boss (I think), but I'd like to get Cobblestone rebuilt before I do that. I think I only have the bit in Snifflheim left before that happens. I may also try to get all the sidequests done too. I feel like I'm ready to move on though. (I already started Zelda Oracle of Ages a few days ago.)

You'll get new techniques over time, which will help you with crafting. Also, as you level, the strength of your strikes that the percentage of critical strikes seems to go up, so it's much easier to craft perfect versions of early-game gear later in the game. This is useful to know if you're looking to grind for perfectionist pearls, or if you're feeling obsessive about getting stars next to every recipe in the blacksmith guide.

I think to get a perfect on the first go, you need to have about half of the components in the little target area, and have no areas where you overshot the target. You definitely don't need to hit all the targets.

As you gain more skills, conservation of MP (whatever it was called) becomes crucial. I often would start by heating up the forge at the beginning for more powerful blows, then would use multibash a few times. Multibash isn't controllable, but it's much more economical than other options.

You also reach a shop where you can buy perfectionist pearls for a pretty reasonable price around halfway through Act 1, so don't feel like you have to grind them or be precious about not using them.

That's true. I think the price can get a bit prohibitive at the point you hit that shop, but you'll eventually have more than you can spend.

True. And I didn't find myself needing THAT many, all things considered. The pearls that I got just from normal crafting were mostly enough, but it was nice having that shop there the once or twice that I ran out.

LastSurprise wrote:

You'll get new techniques over time, which will help you with crafting. Also, as you level, the strength of your strikes that the percentage of critical strikes seems to go up, so it's much easier to craft perfect versions of early-game gear later in the game. This is useful to know if you're looking to grind for perfectionist pearls, or if you're feeling obsessive about getting stars next to every recipe in the blacksmith guide.

I think to get a perfect on the first go, you need to have about half of the components in the little target area, and have no areas where you overshot the target. You definitely don't need to hit all the targets.

As you gain more skills, conservation of MP (whatever it was called) becomes crucial. I often would start by heating up the forge at the beginning for more powerful blows, then would use multibash a few times. Multibash isn't controllable, but it's much more economical than other options.

Cool, I already have a few of those skills now. One of them is Multibash I think which does 2x forging to 2 areas. And another just targets one area but at half strength. For that precision finish I guess. Anyway, I only have 2 party members but they're almost all at +3 gear now.

I went through a portal to a somewhat barren landscape and ended up meeting with some kind of little white character who took me to their village. Then I had to send more of the little things into some kind of dungeon to restore words to a hero tome. And then go into the tome to defeat some minor monster and restore the situation. Then I took my guys back into the dungeon but they wiped straight away. I was thinking that this plot is kind of a repeat of DQVII but then it occurred to me that this is probably just side quest content so I can probably ignore it. Thankfully! It looked like I needed to use street pass or something to buff my guys. Otherwise it didn't seem like I had much strategic input into the dungeon delving.

Then I went to a hot spring village and also wandered around the map a bit collecting resources.

I think what you're describing as a side quest is Tickington. That's all new to the Definitive Edition and is totally optional.

It seems I was avoiding fights a bit too much and needed to do some grinding; I was getting my derriere handed to me by random mobs, so I spent some time bumping my party up and spending some points on abilities and whatnot. Maybe I'll actually advance a bit through the story tonight after having gained 5 levels across the board.

I am at the final boss of Act 2 with characters in low to mid 50s for levels. It was just a little too late last night to finish the boss but tonight, it's going down.

Alright, I had put this game down at the beginning of February to take care of a few other games, but I'm back in it as of last night. I had stopped pretty much right at the beginning of Act 2 (midway through Sylv's section). The narrator/reminder got me back in the flow right away, which was great. I was expecting to continue on with Sylv for much longer, so it surprised me (and then made sense) when I got dropped onto the next few characters.

I tried my hand at the act III boss yesterday, and that did not got well at all. So I went back, completed a bunch of sidequests, and then looked up how to grind quickly this morning. As a result, my character's levels went from low 70's to low 90's in about 3 hours. At this point, I will try to get them all to 99, because why not. Then, I think I still have a few challenges to complete in Angri-La, and I have one or two sidequests left. The end is definitely in sight! Now that I'm unemployed, I can definitely finish it this week.

Edit: In the end, I decided to just go to the final boss right away and see if I could beat it. I did. If you're going for it, don't make the same mistake I did: You need to use the

Spoiler:

Super Sword of Light

, not the

Spoiler:

Supreme Sword of Light

.

Final time was 94 hours.

LastSurprise wrote:

I think what you're describing as a side quest is Tickington. That's all new to the Definitive Edition and is totally optional.

That's interesting. I guess it was exclusive to the 3DS version up until the Definitive Edition became available. I was thinking you had to street pass to recruit those little guys but I've started finding them around the place.

I finally got 2 more party members after a run in with an underling of some dark overlord, Andro or something. Now we are looking for the tree of life for reasons! Definitely still fuzzy on Kamyu's gem/orb, why he was so set on getting it back etc. Anyway, went through the desert, beat on 2 metal slimes, 4k xp, yay! So everyone is around lv 14. I bought all the best equipment in the new town (city of knights) so back to 0gp.

bobbywatson wrote:

I tried my hand at the act III boss yesterday, and that did not got well at all. So I went back, completed a bunch of sidequests, and then looked up how to grind quickly this morning. As a result, my character's levels went from low 70's to low 90's in about 3 hours. At this point, I will try to get them all to 99, because why not. Then, I think I still have a few challenges to complete in Angri-La, and I have one or two sidequests left. The end is definitely in sight! Now that I'm unemployed, I can definitely finish it this week.

Edit: In the end, I decided to just go to the final boss right away and see if I could beat it. I did. If you're going for it, don't make the same mistake I did: You need to use the

Spoiler:

Super Sword of Light

, not the

Spoiler:

Supreme Sword of Light

.

Final time was 94 hours.

Congrats! That final battle threw me at first, too.

Spoiler:

As I recall, I didn't realize I needed to use the sword, I thought just having it would be enough. Nope.

I’m now at the point of the game where you need to find 4 orbs to open the path to the tree of light. The first one I’m seeking is in the icebound town to the north. The katakana names tend to blend together so I’ve found myself confused a couple of times but overall the story is manageable. The silent protagonist trope feels a bit tired at this point in time, especially when the hero makes these exaggerated expressions.

Did anyone make much use of the zone abilities? I tend to ignore them outside of boss battles where they have been useful a couple of times.

I'm not sure what you mean by zone abilities. Maybe there's a translation issue there. Can you describe them?

In the Japanese version, after you do and take some amount of damage, your character enters the zone. At that point your attacks do a bit of extra damage. If 2 or more characters enter the zone you get access to certain special abilities depending on which characters.

Sounds like you're talking about "Pep Powers" in English.

I kinda like "In the zone" better.

OK I thought this game didn't show the armour your characters were wearing but it seems you just need to wear a matching set. Which still seems like a step back from DQ9 but anyway... Also, now that I have Martina in my party, the hero's melee damage is looking pretty feeble. I'm thinking to switch him to the 2-H sword to see if it makes a worthwhile difference because the sword/shield combo isn't cutting it.

The 2H sword makes a big difference - my MC's damage climbed dramatically when I switched.

Re: In the Zone / Pep Powers, I sort of used them as they came. There were nice when they happened but I didn't plan around them. As I recall, there were a few I used regularly, but I don't remember what they were.

The most useful, by far, are Hallelujah + Electro Light. I think the former is the Hero, Jade (aka Martina) and Erik, and the latter is the Hero, Jade, and Sylvando. Hallelujah boosts your XP and gold gain, Electro Light swaps out your enemies for high-level metal foes. You then want to follow it up with Dirge of Dundrasil -- which requires Rab to be pepped and the Hero to be in the party, to put the metals to sleep so they can't flee. It takes a little bit of doing to set up, but the combination of these can gain everyone around 5 levels at once, and is great for eliminating the need to level-grind later in the game.

The Pep/Zone power I used most often was the Hero/Jade(Martina)/Serena combo. If I remember correctly is buffs your attack, defense, and applies a per turn heal to your entire team. Nice way to start out a boss fight. Otherwise as LastSurprise pointed out, the Hallelujah + Electro Light combo for easy late game grinding is about the only other ones I used that I can recall.

I think there was one that made Serena auto-revive, which would be useful if it lasted throughout the battle -- but instead it only lasted as long as any other buff.