[Game mechanics] Let's talk about stats, baby!

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[Game mechanics] Let's talk about stats, baby!

Post  Zetor on Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:04 am

I figured we need a thread like this. Actually, I just wanted an excuse to use the thread title somewhere. Anyway!

By the time I finished exploring the demo areas (well... not L2 of the Passage, because that place be nasty), I was wondering about a few things. The Japanese wikis -may- have info on these, I haven't looked into them too much yet.
- Age: Losing a character permanently if they get too old looks like a Big Deal (as is the "cast once and forget" psi spell that reduces someone's age by 1), and I still don't know why anyone'd go with 17/18 at character generation. Are there any situations later on in the game perhaps where having a higher age is beneficial?
- Is there any way to see when long-duration spells run out? This isn't very important for map/light/etc, but having float suddenly go poof when I'm hovering over water is bad mojo.
- Is it more worthwhile to max out class stats (str for melee, int/piety for casters, etc), invest in survivability stats (vit for surviving burst, agi for avoidance), or try to qualify for as many classes as possible for flexibility? Class-switching at low levels is pretty powerful, and having frontliners able to toss a few utility / healing spells may be a good thing. Then again, hitting a lot harder may be an even better thing.
- When fighting a group of level 6 ???s (I think they were robots, not sure), they were getting crazy damage absorption from my melee attacks (aka everything hits for 1 damage) and even spells, although I was using level2 weapons with an anti-supernatural plugin. To deal with this, you're supposed to use weapons/spells that exploit their vulnerability and/or get higher level weapons with better damage, right?
- Upgrading low-level gear 5-6 times is powerful, but crazy expensive to do on multiple armor pieces; is it better to just wait until higher-level equipment or really uber loot and upgrade that? (incidentally, I got some really nice level 12 ninja gear from the deeper levels in the Morimoto Building - not sure if it was from random encounters or from a chip in the dungeon that was marked as "good loot")
- I'm still not sure what to do with Unity. Does it automagically increase if (say) a pure-evil party does evil things like attack neutral monsters, or do you need to do something actively to improve it?
- Similarly, Brave Union Skills are a bit situational at this point, though they're nice for clearing out larger groups of baddies that aren't very dangerous. Magic/Academy seem quite useful in boss fights, though...

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Re: [Game mechanics] Let's talk about stats, baby!

Post  shram on Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:35 am

Zetor wrote:- Age: Losing a character permanently if they get too old looks like a Big Deal (as is the "cast once and forget" psi spell that reduces someone's age by 1), and I still don't know why anyone'd go with 17/18 at character generation. Are there any situations later on in the game perhaps where having a higher age is beneficial?
You MIGHT have a higher chance to get more bonus stats at creation when selecting someone who is 17/18. That said, it's really hard to age. You're mostly going to be hit by aging traps or an unlucky event at a Code Shower (a kind of pandora's box that also has a chance to reduce age). For what its worth, in my game in Breaker, my characters are all 16, including the ones I've brought over from Hazard. They're 22-24 now and I rest them without thinking too much about it. One character aged to 17 but I have since replaced him. Also, in Breaker, you re-learn Tune Youth at level up, so you can technically cast it once per level. Your ages can also range from 12-19 in Breaker. It really seems inconsequential in Hazard - just be careful of traps and Code Showers. (not in the demo)
- Is there any way to see when long-duration spells run out? This isn't very important for map/light/etc, but having float suddenly go poof when I'm hovering over water is bad mojo.
Yeah, they have icons in the top left of the screen. Also, you can hear footsteps when float is off. When it's on, you make a "bvvv" sound when moving.
- Is it more worthwhile to max out class stats (str for melee, int/piety for casters, etc), invest in survivability stats (vit for surviving burst, agi for avoidance), or try to qualify for as many classes as possible for flexibility? Class-switching at low levels is pretty powerful, and having frontliners able to toss a few utility / healing spells may be a good thing. Then again, hitting a lot harder may be an even better thing.
I've gone through without multiclassing at all. It takes a lot of time and money to raise someone back up to your party standard after going back down to level 1, but it can offer a huge advantage. The hybrids are generally going to use skills or whatever in the front lines, not waste a turn to cast Care/Firework, whereas it may be extra useful to have some extra HEAL or WIZ codes, especially on a Scholar whose spells are arguably not very good. It's a matter of preference, really.

What I do is bump VIT and the prime stat for all characters, and AGI here and there to increase turn order in battle. For secondary Bloods, having the minimum prime stat is probably good enough - you can always find equipment that gives bonuses.
- When fighting a group of level 6 ???s (I think they were robots, not sure), they were getting crazy damage absorption from my melee attacks (aka everything hits for 1 damage) and even spells, although I was using level2 weapons with an anti-supernatural plugin. To deal with this, you're supposed to use weapons/spells that exploit their vulnerability and/or get higher level weapons with better damage, right?
Yup. Anti-machine plugins can help, but if your weapon is just too low level, you can't bypass their armor. Paladins get Providence, which avoids DEF, as will the Archers and Ninjas sneak attack. This can help if you can't upgrade weapons.
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Upgrading low-level gear 5-6 times is powerful, but crazy expensive to do on multiple armor pieces; is it better to just wait until higher-level equipment or really uber loot and upgrade that? (incidentally, I got some really nice level 12 ninja gear from the deeper levels in the Morimoto Building - not sure if it was from random encounters or from a chip in the dungeon that was marked as "good loot")
You get materials pretty easily. I also think you can deploy quite a few of them. I would upgrade them once or twice, at least, because DEF is something that is really important after the first few dungeons. Use your best guess, if you're taking far too much damage, upgrade armor, mostly for your front range characters. If you're not doing enough damage, upgrade weapons. Your back row characters will need it less, but will still need it.
- I'm still not sure what to do with Unity. Does it automagically increase if (say) a pure-evil party does evil things like attack neutral monsters, or do you need to do something actively to improve it?
Attacking or avoiding combat will alter your alignment. Alignment affects total unity points when compared to the rest of your party, so you want a mostly compatible party (G/N or N/E). You gain Unity after expending a certain number of unity points, like exp - Unity levels up as you use Unity skills. (The table at the bottom of this page is an experience table for Unity levels) It's hard to do at the beginning of the game, since your unity gauge increases based on flat damage taken or dealt.
- Similarly, Brave Union Skills are a bit situational at this point, though they're nice for clearing out larger groups of baddies that aren't very dangerous. Magic/Academy seem quite useful in boss fights, though...
And keep in mind you can switch in battle. Using the Unity gauge properly and smartly is one of the key parts to Xth!!

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