Saturday, April 5, 2014

From boss to boss, from grind to grind

After having gone through a grind session with metal slimes in the Bowhole, it's time to start another one up. That session was enough to help my party take down Hootingham-Gore, but Goresby-Purrvis has proven to be a different beast all together. Literally and figuratively.

The fight is against only him, but he attacks twice per turn and has a one-hit KO move that he uses regularly. The difficulty here is that for all of its difficulty Dragon Quest IX is stingy with the full-party healing spells. Maybe I need to upgrade Peridot (my priest) to a sage to gain these skills, but gaining them would no doubt require some levelling up as well. Which brings me back around to my bafflement with the game's job system.

You get six points (after passing level 30 or so) every few level ups (it seems almost arbitrary, but happens regularly enough) and most of the skills or stat boosts cost 10 or more points.

So even if, for example, I put all of Peridot's skill points towards her "Faith" attribute, it would take three level ups to get a major boost to her magical mending (so long as each level yields six points to put towards it). On average Peridot requires about 17,000 experience points to go from level to level at this point in the game.

Now, in Gittingham Palace there is a place with a restorative tile, so it's possible to grind indefinitely there. Plus, you'll get around 900-1300 experience/fight doing so.

But at that rate of experience you'd need to fight (at most) 18 battles to level Peridot up.

The average battle takes about a minute to play out, so that's around 20 minutes per level.

Assuming that the experience Peridot gains from these fights doesn't drop too drastically from level to level, I could, in theory, grind in Gittingham Palace for an hour and gain three levels (and enough skill points to actually get something out of my character's "job").

An hour of grinding isn't necessarily terrible. Especially not in a JRPG. But having to do so to reap the benefits of your character's job - one of Dragon Quest IX's major mechanics - is ridiculous.

The job system in the Final Fantasy series, with its separate "Job Points," isn't necessarily any better. But at least in that system you're building up your characters' jobs with nearly every fight and not every 20.

At any rate, skill points aren't entirely relevant to facing Goresby-Purrvis. One level more should be enough to be well-matched with the sword-wielding cheetah. And that, if my calculations hold, will just take about another half an hour (after his last level up my main character needed some 32000 experience points to do so again).

Hopefully whatever is beyond the door that Goresby-Purrvis blocks doesn't involve an even stronger boss.

No comments:

Post a Comment