The difficulty in this game REALLY ramps up fast (Very minor spoilers)

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#1 Posted by Sombre (441 posts) -

Hey guys!

So, I've recently finished all the chapter ones, and am about to begin chapter 2 for Cyrus. Before I went to his town for his Ch.2, I did a little exploring, hunted out some caves, did some exploring, got some items, did a little grinding.

Then I went into the Sewers and good lord did I get battered. I went up against 2 skeletons, and 2 of those elemental enemies. They were all hitting for about 500 a pop, and 2 shot most of my party. Now, Cyrus is the appropriate level for this, but my other guys are considerably lower, by virtue of how the game is. Do I just need to do some good old fashioned grinding here? Am I doing something wrong? Should I go hunt out these "Shrines" to unlock second classes? Would that help at all?

Anything you can give me would be gold!

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#2 Posted by Justin258 (15676 posts) -

Go get those second classes ASAP.

I have had some random difficulty spikes. There's an enemy called a "Heavy Bear" that keep spawning right outside Stillsnow, he can one shot me with a move called Rampage. He has to charge it up for one turn, though, so as long as I can break him first I have a chance. Otherwise, this game has been mostly "not hard". Not exactly easy, if you don't use good strategies all the time you will die. But I'm not finding much that's level appropriate that can put a dent in me.

This game is also weirdly wide open for a JRPG. If you want to go into a super high level area and fight some bonus bosses right off the bat, the game won't stop you from trying. It will just tell you the recommended level for an area and then let you go on your doomed way.

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#3 Edited by SunSpark (70 posts) -

I've just completed chapter 4 with each character, and I can say that Cyrus's chapter 2 boss is one of the tougher fights at that point in the game. You might not want to start with Cyrus's chapter 2. I found that Therion's chapter 2 has the easiest dungeon and boss, so maybe start there. You should also absolutely go seek out the shrines, they make the game significantly easier.

Also, I recommend you do some of the optional dungeons around the chapter 1 cities. There are a few caves and forests that have recommended levels of about 15-20. They usually have optional bosses at the end and are really good for getting treasure and EXP.

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#4 Posted by Vortextk (944 posts) -

Definitely get those shrines and check for new equipment. Some of that stuff was significantly stronger in the new towns, which also varies town to town. Level up atleast a decent main party if you’re not going to do everyone. Did you look st level reqs for chapter 2? They’re all different as well

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#5 Posted by Superharman (306 posts) -

I'm really taking my time with it and grinding away and doing all the side quests (even though they generally don't give you XP). A good way I found at grinding early was having Prim backing up Cyrus with the Peacock strut.

I have two characters left for Chapter 2 and my main, Cyrus, is at Level 40 which means I can wipe the floor with most opponents. Also, the two other Chapter 2 are only level 27 and all of my characters are at least 30 right now. Second jobs are also really key to ensuring you can get breaks on pretty much any enemy, particularly bosses.

Oh and if you come across one of those enemies that tends to flee really quickly and is really good at dodging attacks, do everything you can to kill it. They give like 1000 XP if you kill them, I managed to kill one by chance (they have low HP) and three of my characters levelled twice and my main also went up a level.

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#6 Posted by JoeDangerous (603 posts) -

Ah I got hit back to reality by the same encounter! Here are some tips:

  • Leave those lv20 optional dungeons for when you have better elemental resistances. Almost all of them have elementals, sometimes coming in packs of twos in a single encounter, where they can hit your entire group for 1k AoE if you go in too early.
  • If you want a pretty full proof plan to take out some harder random encounters (heck I did this throughout the entire game), you can do the following at the beginning of each battle: have a scholar defend (first in turn order next turn plus gain a bp), have a merchant give the scholar 1 extra bp, the have a dancer buff the scholar's magic attack. In round 2 use a full BP magic attack of one of your spells that hits twice (sp 22 moves). There's a good chance you can hit SOMEONE'S elemental weakness with the scholar's range, but even if you can't it tends to kill full groups. The turn defending also gives you a chance for second wind if you gave your scholar that passive (regen SP).
  • Something I learned a bit later: just choose a static group of 3 members, then rotate out the 4th member based on chapter completions. You get a solid cast of fighters that should be able to handle most boss fights and dungeons.
  • Honestly make sure someone equips the scholar's passive evasive maneuvers to lower encounter rates, then take it off and grind when you get to a save point in a dungeon that yields high exp/jp for your abilities. This game (quite oddly) doesn't include the random encounter slider that their previous titles have, so this is the next best thing.
  • Yes you're right in going after job shrines. In fact you should prioritize getting all of them before moving on.
  • If you're keeping notes on npc encounters, purple chests, and optional dungeons: back track. Re-visit any optional dungeons you haven't completed yet that are sub 20, where there should be a few lv15 ones.
  • Another important tip to keep in mind is that the equipment optimizer stops being useful fairly early on. Keep in mind who uses pure mag/phys attacks, as the optimizer will stack attack stats combined to favor them over maximizing stats per character.
  • Go nuts with your JP. You'll get a ton as you get access to harder dungeons and, especially, if you find/beat a Cait enemy type (the cats with big bags).
  • If you're eyeing a hard to steal item that could give you the edge: save and take the risk to at least 2 resets. Powerful items tend to cost 35-70k, so you could buy them with a merchant, but you get 5 attempts per reputation reset and those only tend to cost 1k-7k. That's a lot of attempts before reloading.
  • Two minor interface points: 1) don't forget that you can fast travel at almost any time to a town you've been to, including when you're knee deep in a dungeon, by opening up the world map, and 2) remember that zoning resets your random encounter rate and creates an auto save.

I hope some of these help! If you take away anything from the above, really I suggest taking notes per pen & paper or on a cloud-saved spreadsheet. It's ridiculously handy to keep track of everything you can't do till later.

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#8 Posted by Francium34 (329 posts) -

@sombre: was in the same chapter last night. even with 3 of my characters at lv27, some of the encounters were still tough without using items (I am cheap). at some point I just equipped the talent to lower encounter rate, and went straight to the boss, whose weaknesses were well-aligned to my party and only took 10 minutes.

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#9 Posted by Axersia (1926 posts) -

I know I'm a bit late to the party, but I only started playing this in earnest a week or two ago.

I'm over 30 hours in now, and I must say the game's biggest downfall is the grind. Making progress on people's chapter 2 has been a serious drag. I almost didn't make it through Therion's chapter 2 as his Thieving skills were still at lvl 8, whereas my main party was in the late 20s. Luckily I was able to compensate for that by Scrutinizing some townspeople, and getting a Thieving boost up to 80%.

Still, having to go into these boss fights with one guy who can't really contribute anything to the battle, except for Donating BP with the Merchant skill and using items, kinda sucks.

With my main party now at lvl 38, and everyone else far behind, it seems the best course of action is to just grind out the necessary levels for my mains (seems like most people's stories are beat at lvl 45-50, so that ain't too bad), and call it a day. And that's a real shame.

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#10 Posted by Marino (7545 posts) -

@axersia: Start using a Dancer's "Bewildering Grace" dance x4 as much as possible. It's a risk obviously, but the amount of times you'll get EXP and JP boosts is worth it.

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