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Kakugo

Who else has fun being underleveled?

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One of my favorite reviews is the Dragon Quest XI review by Tim Rogers for Kotaku. I must have watched it at least 4 times, not only because it's a fun review but because he also helped me see things in a different light. My first Dragon Quest was Dragon Quest 1 and that was 2 years ago not 32, so Dragon Quest XI was my first party-based Dragon Quest. He showed me that I should be using the "Tactics" menu, that I should be taking my time through the game and play about an hour or 2 a day, kinda like watching a daily TV show.

But I haven't yet experienced his response to anyone claiming that "Dragon Quest is too easy". He claims that there's fun to be had in fighting a boss underleveled. Given that the average player (myself included) grinding themselves to death by youtubing "DQ11 easy level 99" as soon as possible, I was wondering if anyone has experience with playing underleveled Dragon Quest and what's the general opinion about it. Do you agree with Tim or not?

Edit: In case someone never watched it, this is one of the timestamps where Tim Rogers talks about it https://youtu.be/4iTbUGItU0s?t=633 and another one somewhat relevant to his "grinding" assertion https://youtu.be/4iTbUGItU0s?t=1284 (I still don't know what he means by counting cards).

Edited by Kakugo
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I usually play Dragon Quest games slowly and as a result I'm usually the intended level or somewhere around there. The only Dragon Quest game that I played where I was underleveled was DQIII. That game was challenging enough on its own but when you're underleveled it's even more difficult. While being underleveled can be a hassle (Zoma) it's also quite fun to finally beat a boss that you've been having difficulty with because you feel like you've really achieved something. Overall, I enjoy being underleveled because the challenge is a nice change but I prefer to be around the intended level as I have the most fun that way. In a second playthrough I might go for being underleveled rather than a first.

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I agree completely. Being under-leveled often means simple brute force won't work. You gotta take a second, and out think the boss. That makes overcoming them that much more exhilarating.

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2 hours ago, Hendrik of Heliodor said:

I usually play Dragon Quest games slowly and as a result I'm usually the intended level or somewhere around there. The only Dragon Quest game that I played where I was underleveled was DQIII. That game was challenging enough on its own but when you're underleveled it's even more difficult. While being underleveled can be a hassle (Zoma) it's also quite fun to finally beat a boss that you've been having difficulty with because you feel like you've really achieved something. Overall, I enjoy being underleveled because the challenge is a nice change but I prefer to be around the intended level as I have the most fun that way. In a second playthrough I might go for being underleveled rather than a first.

In Dragon Quest XI I was unable to tell what the intended level for any area or boss was due to the lack of level as a reference in the monster book (monsters have no levels). How can I learn to tell? Do I just say "I take a lot of damage, time to grind a bit"?

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17 minutes ago, Kakugo said:

In Dragon Quest XI I was unable to tell what the intended level for any area or boss was due to the lack of level as a reference in the monster book (monsters have no levels). How can I learn to tell? Do I just say "I take a lot of damage, time to grind a bit"?

Well, for Dragon Quest XI, you won't really know the intended level exactly, but I kind of got a feel for it. The levels of your party members are one indicator that shows you a suitable level to be at from my experience anyway. I wouldn't grind unless I could not finish a certain area or defeat a certain boss and, during my playthrough, in boss fights I would always manage to take them down. It wouldn't be a very easy fight but I only died once or twice in my playthrough so it's not like it was that challenging either. For me, that spot is the ideal place to be in terms of difficulty. A few boss fights towards the end of the second act almost killed me but I made it through. In my opinion, that was a good difficulty because you want to feel the challenge towards the end. But I would usually just say find your ideal difficulty and stick with it.

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I've been thinking that maybe levels are an easy "culprit", because there's also the factor of gear to consider. If that's the case then being underleveled doesn't mean much if you have early access to some casino or mini-game (like the monster arena in Dragon Quest 3).

...Actually, casino and mini-games might motivate low level runs, because you gain access to gear that compensates for your lack of raw stats. But no gear can compensate for your lack of agility or spells/skills or MP for that matter. 

For instance, if I told you that I went through the dreamer's tower on level 5 and omitted that my squad has steel swords and chain mail on the surface it would sound moderately impressive, but once you looked closer to my achievement you'd go "oh so you've been betting on monsters for an hour eh?".

Edited by Kakugo

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I don’t do low level/level 1 challenge runs. It’s never appealed to me in any RPG. In DQ games I usually grind up to level 3 in the beginning around the starting town (or in DQ4’s case at the start of each chapter) and then move on. Usually I just fight battles as they come and don’t really overly/underly seek them out.

One DQ game that I usually grind in is DQ3 when I reach Baramos’ Castle, but that’s in the event I have a Priest/Sage who doesn’t have Multiheal yet. Tackling Baramos without Multiheal is worse than trying to fight Dhoulmagus in DQ8 without Multiheal (in my opinion), so old Baramos gets to wait until someone knows Multiheal for emergencies.

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Whenever I'm "stopping to grind" is because I tried to progress through an area and the fights are so taxing on resources (MP, items) that they burn faster than before by a lot. 

So, for example, if I'm walking from a village to a tower and I already used heal 3 times after 3 battles whereas before that route I'd use 1 heal after 3 battles (placeholder values btw), that's my alarm going "go get some money and update your gear idiot" 😅

Edited by Kakugo

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I always keep a large stock of medical herbs in my bag in most games (excluding the games where the bag isn’t available like DQ1&2). I never waste MP on healing outside of battle if I don’t have too. Hell, I rarely use MP for a long time in DQ games until a boss battle comes along or certain enemies pop up. I see no reason to use the resources I have unless I absolutely need too.

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I was wondering how to go about playing Dragon Quest 3 for the first time and avoid overleveling. One idea was the "dumb-dumb strat" which is similar to running until I hit a wall aka. I wipe, then use whatever money I have left for upgrades and try again.

The other involved checking how much experience I gain around an area and whether my characters can get a level up in 3-5 fights.

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With the exception of DQ1 and 2 I play DQ games underleveled as my standard play style. It's not as a matter of challenge or anything of that nature, rather it's because they are easy enough to do so. DQ11 takes the cake on this one though. I found myself wishing I had turned on hard monsters most of the time.

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1 hour ago, GrandAlchemist said:

With the exception of DQ1 and 2 I play DQ games underleveled as my standard play style. It's not as a matter of challenge or anything of that nature, rather it's because they are easy enough to do so. DQ11 takes the cake on this one though. I found myself wishing I had turned on hard monsters most of the time.

That’s why I chose hard monsters as soon as I started XI. I had imported and played part of the 3DS version and man, enemies died WAY too easily. I can’t read Japanese but I didn’t struggle in terms of battling.

Edited by YangustheLegendaryBandit

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4 hours ago, GrandAlchemist said:

With the exception of DQ1 and 2 I play DQ games underleveled as my standard play style. It's not as a matter of challenge or anything of that nature, rather it's because they are easy enough to do so. DQ11 takes the cake on this one though. I found myself wishing I had turned on hard monsters most of the time.

I'm so glad I started off with 3 Draconian Restrictions since they can be easily turned off if you're fed up with them, and Hard Monsters was one of them. I ended up disabling the other 2 (no shops and no escapes because I rarely needed to escape from anything - I might had no armor too, it's been a while).

Related to the thread: I still cannot tell when I'm underleveled or recommended for an area :(

Edited by Kakugo

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Challenging myself in RPGs?  Hate it.  I never do it.  I don't get people who do.  You're all nuts.

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33 minutes ago, ignasia said:

Challenging myself in RPGs?  Hate it.  I never do it.  I don't get people who do.  You're all nuts.

 

 

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9 hours ago, ignasia said:

Challenging myself in RPGs?  Hate it.  I never do it.  I don't get people who do.  You're all nuts.

Yeah lol and that's relatively to the rest of the RPG's. It's like doing addition when every other genre are polynomials. It's already baby mode stuff so a challenge will only take it to the first grade.

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I'm currently working on a playthrough of DQIV-DS where I don't buy any weapons or armor. I only equip what I am able to find in towns, caves and towers.

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4 hours ago, Liamland said:

I'm currently working on a playthrough of DQIV-DS where I don't buy any weapons or armor. I only equip what I am able to find in towns, caves and towers.

That sounds cool. I'm gonna apply some Draconian restriction from 11 on 3 once I complete 3 normally first.

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For me it kind of depends on which game I'm playing. If it's DQ6, then I actually do quite like playing while underleveled since that makes me get more into the game then I usually am (and makes me more invested in the classes tbh). However, if it's DQ4 or DQ5 then I prefer overleveling since the last time I tried playing those underleveled I got my butt kicked over and over and it wasn't very fun. Plus sometimes it's more fun to overlevel in certain games anyways. However in DQ7 I like being around the intended level since I like grinding my classes easily and having a semi challenge, and being overleveled is kind of boring (until post game that is).

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Huh...no one's calling me on my bs given I'm kind of THE insane challenge run person here.

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I think the real question we should be asking here is how many people actually use Torneko Taloon in chapter 5 of DQ4? I’ll proudly raise my hand and say I do, because Torneko can be a damn good party member. One playthrough I kept him in the active party most of the time and he stole so many wonderful items. Several pairs of Falcon Knife Earrings, a Sphere of Silence from the Rose Guardian boss...he was a big help.

People bench him because of his randomness that pops up on occasion in battles and the other party members, so we need to make a badge of honor or something for actually using Torneko Taloon once you recruit him in chapter 5 of DQ4.

Edited by YangustheLegendaryBandit

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33 minutes ago, YangustheLegendaryBandit said:

I think the real question we should be asking here is how many people actually use Torneko Taloon in chapter 5 of DQ4? I’ll proudly raise my hand and say I do, because Torneko can be a damn good party member. One playthrough I kept him in the active party most of the time and he stole so many wonderful items. Several pairs of Falcon Knife Earrings, a Sphere of Silence from the Rose Guardian boss...he was a big help.

People bench him because of his randomness that pops up on occasion in battles and the other party members, so we need to make a badge of honor or something for actually using Torneko Taloon once you recruit him in chapter 5 of DQ4.

His randomness is rather awesome.

If he trips something, there seems to be a dramatically increased critical hit chance for any characters who attack afterwards, assuming the enemy hasn't gotten up again.   He has a chance himself to go critical in his antics...effectively giving him the second highest natural chance to critical.  He can put enemies to sleep along with other status effects (like keeping Metals from leaving because they're transfixed by him).  He's fairly strong, has really high HP (in the NES original, he's the only character that will continue to earn HP well after 520, stopping anywhere between 520 and 999, and yes, he can naturally hit 999 HP, though it's a rather wide range, and usually ends up in the mid 700's or early 800's).

His merchant army is nothing less than brutality.  4 hits, level based damage?

He is the original "muster" strength user (sad they skipped the ability in 5 for humans).  Meaning he's capable of hitting the highest damage in the game.

There are two antics that are kind of useless.  Only two that I can think of.  Plus it's only 25% of the time he uses them, and there are only 16 total.

I usually play as Hero + Ragnar + Alena + Taloon.

Edited by ignasia

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12 hours ago, YangustheLegendaryBandit said:

I think the real question we should be asking here is how many people actually use Torneko Taloon in chapter 5 of DQ4? I’ll proudly raise my hand and say I do, because Torneko can be a damn good party member. One playthrough I kept him in the active party most of the time and he stole so many wonderful items. Several pairs of Falcon Knife Earrings, a Sphere of Silence from the Rose Guardian boss...he was a big help.

People bench him because of his randomness that pops up on occasion in battles and the other party members, so we need to make a badge of honor or something for actually using Torneko Taloon once you recruit him in chapter 5 of DQ4.

I have him in my party because I love him so much. Sure he doesn't hit as hard as other or have useful battle magic (at least at the part I'm at which is right before getting Ragnar back) but I love that goofy merchant.

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My DQIV no-purchased-weapon-or-armor-equipping play-through is interesting so far. I'm in Chapter 2. Borya is really helpful with casting Crack, until he runs out of MP and then he's hit or miss for 1 damage. I can't wait for him to get Firebal (or whatever it's called in the remakes), so I can hit for multi-damage. Right now Alena and Kyril need to team up on one monster in order to take one out in a round, so as a result most battles take multiple rounds. Kyril has been dying more often so I tend to spend money I would have spent on armor, to revive him, but I'm still up about 2k in gold. I'm around level 9 for all characters, and I'm currently in the Vrenor plot where the fake princess was captured by bandits.

The one caveat about no purchasing weapons or armor is that there are certain cases where I do have to like in Torneko's chapter, but I'm only equipping weapons and armor that I find in chests, pots, drawers or sparkle spots, found in towns, caves, towers or dungeons. The other caveat to this is that at the end of the chapter (if memory serves me correctly) I lose whatever gold I acquired. So before I completed Chapter 1, I bought up a bunch of half plate armor (without equipping it) so that in Chapter 5 I can sell it and regain some of that otherwise lost gold.

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On 6/7/2019 at 12:28 AM, ignasia said:

His randomness is rather awesome.

...

I usually play as Hero + Ragnar + Alena + Taloon.

 

12 hours ago, DrippySlimeStar said:

I have him in my party because I love him so much. Sure he doesn't hit as hard as other or have useful battle magic (at least at the part I'm at which is right before getting Ragnar back) but I love that goofy merchant.

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