… a level at a time.

Spring break…? Not entirely.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Why assign projects to do over spring break? I thought the reason for spring break was to give us a break… guess not. Still working on finishing up my movie research paper, having more trouble finding articles I can use than I had originally anticipated. I don’t have a ton more to do, I’ll have it finished tomorrow. I’m definitely taking a break to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with some friends though

I did a little bit of instance grinding with Deathengine yesterday [Tuesday] afternoon. I managed to snag a few upgrades and hit level seventy-eight, go me! Since level seventy-three I’ve been strictly instance leveling with him, time between instance pops I’m spending leveling professions & generally screwing around. Cooking & Fishing are both almost three hundred, JewelCrafting is going to be a bit harder to level since I picked up Skinning as my second major profession. I can always farm up the materials I need on Texhnolyze. I picked Skinning because it’s extremely easy to level & I can use it as my gold “farming” profession. Once I get a bit of savings, I will most likely be swapping Skinning to Enchanting.

Hrm, so I started this entry yesterday thinking I would come back to this post last night before I passed out. Didn’t happen, I was out until 2AM with my two best friends… even though I had work at 7AM. It was St. Patrick’s Day though, not a regular event.

I busted out a bit more Final Fantasy XIII the other day as well. At first I wasn’t sure what I thought about the combat system. I’m really starting to like it though, it’s a bit more of a challenge than any other combat system that has been used in Final Fantasy games. One of the things that bothers me though is if the main character [Lightning] gets Knocked Out, the game ends: you are given the choice to restart the battle or quit. Unlike other Final Fantasy games, every time you win a battle, all your character’s health is returned… this is handy.

Each character has a role it plays [Commando, Ravager, Sentinel, Synergist, Saboteur, and Medic – I will discuss these a bit later]. The combination of roles you have set for characters is called a Paradigm. You can have up to six Paradigms saved and can switch between them at any point via the menu or Paradigm Shift during combat.

There is another new feature I’m a huge fan of, Stagger. On the top right of the screen there’s a bar, and two percents displayed. The first percent is based on the damage & attacks you do to your current target, the second number is that target’s Stagger point. As you do damage, the Stagger bar fills up. When no damage is being done though, the Stagger bar drains to zero. Once the target hits the Stagger point they go in to a Stagger State for a limited amount of time & the damage you do to them goes up… a lot. From what I can tell, the damage increases the higher the you get the Stagger percent to. An example of the difference in damage would be something like this; at my current point in-game, characters are doing anywhere between 50 and 150 normal damage, once a target has been staggered I’ve hit things for almost 2500.

Role Discussion:

Commando: Uses physical damage slowing the rate of Stagger decay and does a medium-high amount of damage.

  • This Role is key for building up the Stagger bar since without a Commando, the bar empties fairly quickly.

Ravager: Uses magic based attacks [Fire, Blizzard, etc] that do a low-medium amount of damage, but does a lot of percentage to the Stagger bar.

  • Very effective in building up the Stagger bar, especially when combined with a Commando’s slowing the Stagger decay rate.
  • After the Stagger point is reached, Ravagers keep the Stagger percentage going up which increases all the damage done to the target.

Sentinel: Taunt the target into attacking them while using defensive skills to take less damage.

  • Essentially the tank, they make sure no one else in the party gets hit.
  • Sentinels don’t do any damage.

Synergist: Buff the other party members with spells like Shell, Barrier, and Brave.

  • Status Buffs for party members help them absorb damage, do more damage, and other things.
  • Synergist only Buff the party, they don’t attack.
  • I wouldn’t recommend having a character set to be a Synergist the whole fight. Swap them in when your party needs Buffs re-applied.

Saboteur: Debuff the target with spells such as Deshell and Bio.

  • Debuffs decrease a target’s armor, magic resistance, or do damage over time.
  • Other than Bio, I don’t think Saboteurs do damage.
  • I wouldn’t recommend leaving them in your party after the whole fight. Swap them back in if Debuffs need to be re-applied.

Medic: Well, this one is exactly what it sounds like… the medic. they use spells like Cure, Regen, Raise, and Esuna.

  • Keeps everyone alive!
  • If needed, raises KO’d party members.

There is a different leveling system, the Crystarium which resembles the Sphere Grid from Final Fantasy X. There is no experience rewarded after battle, instead you get Crystogen Points. Every character has multiple Crystarium [one for each Role] that you can distribute points into. Within the Crystarium are different abilities/spells you can unlock as well as more Strength, Health, or Magic.

I have only unlocked one of the Summons, or “Eidolons” as they are called in this game. I haven’t gotten to use it yet though, as soon as I acquired it the game shifted from Snow back to the rest of the group.

Commando, Ravager, Sentinel, Synergist, Saboteur and Medica
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