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Final Fantasy XII: Level Up

By Shamus
on Tuesday May 15, 2007
Filed under:
Game Reviews


There are two aspects that most people talk about when discussing Final Fantasy games: The story, and the gameplay. In my previous posts I said I was unhappy with both. I’ve started the game over, and I’m still not happy with the story, but this time through the gameplay is really working for me.

In previous FF games, I’d march straight through the game, occasionally taking little half-hour leveling sessions to level up a bit past the monsters and ease my way past the occasional bossfight. This usually worked well. I was doing that here, and wondering why the game was so murderously hard.

For those that played the game: I was level 14 when I reached the Ogir-Yensa Sandsea. I was sort of surprised that the game gave me a level 18 NPC to travel with, and I was even more surprised to see that even with his help the journey through the Sandsea was really hard. Then I had a sort of forehead-slapping “duh” moment and realized that the little bits of leveling I was doing were falling way, way short of what the designers intended.

Final Fantasy 12, a 101-zombie-killing chain.
We just killed over a hundred zombies. Are you guys bored? I’m not bored. I could do another hundred if you wanted.
Now on my second attempt at the game I’ve done some treadmill leveling. In the Lhusu mines I found a nice spot that generated endless foes at a steady pace. I cranked up the combat speed and ran around, slaughtering those foes for a couple of hours. Later I found myself on an enemy airship with laser tripwires. Crossing them would sound an alarm and cause bunches of guards to emerge from the woodwork and throw themselves onto the end of my sword. We were careful to set each and every one of them off repeatedly. The process sort of reminded me of this Penny Arcade comic.

The gambit system makes it pretty easy to automate most of this, so I was reading blogs and writing posts while I nudged the analog stick and kept the process moving. Yes, I realize how absurd it is to look for ways to amuse myself while I’m playing a game. It’s like going to a concert and listening to your iPod the whole time. In the end, this silly behavior paid off. This time around I was level 24 by the time I hit the Sandsea, and it’s like I’m playing Final Fantasy again.

Now, I disapprove of this mandatory level-grinding for the most part. I think XP farming should be optional. It should be something risk-adverse gamers (like me) do to get ahead, not something everyone should be forced to do in order to keep up. Having said that, the game is so much more fun now that I’ve invested the time to get “ahead”.

Final Fantasy 12, $20,000 for bone fragments?
I don’t know why people are so excited about bone fragments, but after I killed all those zombies people were willing to pay a lot of money for this stuff.
And now that I’ve done it, further grinding is pretty painless. My crew can wipe out most foes in just two or three hits. Whenever I find an area dense with foes, I run around and slaughter them for a bit. The constant killing has yielded a lot of loot, which fixed the money shortage problem I was having. In my earlier post I complained that high-level foes were mixed in with lower level ones, just waiting to kill unwary players. Now when I meet these things I can actually survive long enough to run away, instead of getting insta-killed. I even managed to beat one, but just barely. (It wasn’t really worth the time it took to bring him down, but it was sort of amusing to try.)

The other thing I did which added to my enjoyment of the game was to look up the layout of the license grid. The game really, really needed to make the contents of grid squares visible ahead of time so the player could plan ahead. Opening abilities via blind luck sucked a huge amount of strategy out of the game, and using this “cheat sheet” fixed that and made the game a lot more interesting.

Comments (115)

1 2

  1. AJ says:

    I had to do a lot of blatant leveling as well, and to be honest, I did the same thing you did, in the same places. The sandsea turned out to be a great one too because you can get the chain up to an insane level and once you do that they drop all the restoratives you could possibly need, so a correct set of gambits and some analog nudging later, you’re level 40.

    Admittedly, I also don’t normally care for a forced grind, but in this case, at least the grind doesn’t feel as bad since you can basically turn on “autopilot” and let them go while doing other things.

    I agree completely on the hidden grid issues. I got the collector’s edition of the strategy guide (it was soooo pretty) and just pulled out the huge map of the grid and let it go crazy.

    Also, if you haven’t yet, look up the stuff on the Zodiac spear. The weapon is fantastic, but it’s way too easy to make it unavailable since you’re just popping chests open and leaving others closed.

  2. DocTwisted says:

    I, like you, had to start over due to getting my keester handed to me, and on the second time around I did some serious grinding. It does make all the difference… my general rule of thumb now is to go out and hunt until I’ve made enough to buy everything I can at the latest shops. So far that’s worked well for me.

    That spot with the skeletons in the mines is still my favorite place to go, for both the chain you reach and just how quick it can build you up.

  3. Mordaedil says:

    Grinding makes me choke. What is the point of making your players spend more time doing tedious stuff when you can do something that is actually fun? It’s like playing DOOM only with a pistol with 5 bullets and challenge them to complete the game in Nightmare mode without switching weapons.

    … Well, not that impossible, but it’s about as fun when you’ve died for 100th time. I think it’s about time RPG’s do away with the leveling system for something that actually means roleplaying, over grinding.

  4. rou says:

    To me, required grinding is sign that the game is broken.

    If the game curve isn’t a constant growth, it’s pushing you out of the plot and out of immersion. This is even worse when you’re playing an RPG, because they’re supposed to be designed to ROLE PLAY.

    Being forces to kill infinitely spawning creatures is the antithesis of role playing. I’d leave a pen and paper campaign if my DM did that. Why should we expect less of our video games?

    • CONQUEST says:

      you are right, but really ? who told you this game need to be grinding ? you only need to be focus -.- i finish this game with only level 48 vaan , 47 basch,46 penelo , balthier and fran level 28 , ashe level 32 lol -.- feywood is tactics is just make them sleep and bleed them of break (petrified) them , you cant think about how to use the gamble to be usefull -.- try it yourself, all you need is patient , sleep , petrify / bleed , or you can get nipholoa, and use remedy ^^ make em stop , poison , blind, etc , just use your mind if you wandering my equipment that time , sorry i forgot XD, all i remember that vaan using protect the queen as well as basch , penelo use diamon swords, and diamon armor , fran balthier and ashe, well… i dont equip them with powerfull equip , just make them to use tortoise krunch (or what ever ) that make mp using to be gil , because i dont really make much money from the game, and only use mp for quickening done ! finish the game quite long but i finaly made it *pant**pant* when i go to the feywood, yes i did but not died anyhow

  5. Vegedus says:

    Grinding and using my computer at the same time? You’re a genious Shamus! I hadn’t thought of that! I’ll go try right now, hope they’re not too far apart for me to be able to do that.

  6. Lebkin says:

    “To me, required grinding is sign that the game is broken.”

    Mandatory grinding also is an easy way for developers to artificially pad the length of the game. Final Fantasy games always brag about long play times, usually in the 50+ hour range. But how much of that is actual game and how much is mindless leveling?

    My personal preference is that going through the main storyline should provide enough experience to overcome all challenges. Going on side quests and level grinding should make the main challenges easier, as a reward. But a game should not penalize players who don’t do side quests or level grinding.

    I remember when I played through FFX, I found the game challenging, and the last fight to be a memorable encounter. This was with only the minimum side quests and only a bit of level grinding. Mostly, I did quests that looked interesting, and level grinding when wandering from one place to another looking for side quests. My goal was to experience the story, not make uber-strong characters. To be honest, I really don’t like the overly-lethal combat of FF games and their various cousins. It worked pretty well, and I was rarely overly frustrated.

    On the other hand, I took a similar strategy with FFX-2 and it failed. At one point, I reached a boss that could cause more damage than any of my characters had hit points, and he hurt all three at once. I looked to game guides for help, thinking I missed something that could protect me from the attack. Nope, nothing. Instead I was given long explanations on how to level grind up till a strong enough level, noting that I would be ready to fight the boss in “only three or four hours.” The same thing happened in many other RPG of the same style, such as Xenosaga. No story, no matter how interesting and beautifully done, is worth level grinding for three or four hours.

    But I think this is a symptom of Final Fantasy’s success. They built a franchise on a very specific type of gameplay, and it is hard to break certain habits. I know that several long-time FF fans I know hated FFX, because it was easy and didn’t require long hours of level grinding. So I have just learned to avoid that whole style of RPG games and leave it to those who prefer it.

  7. Inane Fedaykin says:

    Mind that several people have completed this game without going over level 3. I haven’t and wouldn’t want to try it but it can be done with a bit of kiting.

  8. Sebastian says:

    The last RPG I played was Chrono Cross (yes, I’ve played some more modern games, but this is the last one I’ve played — I dug it out of the closet). It breaks from a lot of the Chrono Trigger/Final Fantasy battle and levelling conventions, and almost completely eliminates grinding as a game mechanic. Major differences from Final Fantasy style gameplay:

    – No random encounters (this is like Chrono Trigger – you can see all enemies on the world/level map before you fight them)
    – No MP cost – You charge up your special attack power by doing melee attacks and then spend it to activate your specials (magic, special abilities, consumable use). The higher level they are, the more power they consume to use.
    – No XP grinding – there’s no explicit XP stat. After fighting random critters, you might get some loot or a few pluses to stats. I suspect there’s probably an XP system running in the background to hand out the stat bonuses, but there’s no XP ever displayed to the user. Levelling gives you more slots for specials (and unlocks innate specials), and occurs automatically after major battles. Your level is therefore locked in with the state of the plot — you’re never out of sync with the areas you’re supposed to be in or the next boss you have to fight.
    – Equipment always cost money *and* parts to buy/construct – usually there’s a specific ingredient for each tier of equipment, so in order to equip your whole party with stone gear, you need to have enough stones (and enough cash).

    Given the level sync/plot integration described above, what made the battles challenging (for me, anyway) is having to find the right elemental spec for my specials for each battle. Each character has an innate element (one of six, three pairs of opposites), and each enemy has an innate element, and finding the right combination of specials to spec for a particular battle is a lot more fun (to me anywway) than grinding on mobs for half an hour in order to power over the boss.

    The only time I had to go back and fight mobs for a while was to get loot ingredients and money to upgrade equipment, but I think that happened once through the whole game.

  9. Downtym says:

    Two of my favorite FF’s were FF 6 and FF 7. These were the only two Final Fantasies that I found it possible to literally pick up the game and just play through to the end without having to wrap a rubber band onto the controller for some easy auto levelling.

    If the challenge of the game is boiled down to “Walk back and forth on this beach until you’re level X. Now go fight boss Y. Now go back to that beach and walk back and forth until you’re level Z. Now go fight boss Q.” then I don’t fight it to be a very rewarding experience. I prefer puzzles, quests, mazes, and interesting boss fights – and let me emphasize that it helps if said puzzles, quests, mazes, and interesting boss fights are actually well thought out and not of the “Ask everyone in town, one of the guys has the answer! Congratulations!” type – in a game. If you want to go grind, that should be available as a means to make the game easier or more approachable or as a way to accomplish wacky side-quests, but it shouldn’t be a requirement in a single-player game to grind your face off to fight the next boss.

    That just seems like a treadmill for your thumbs.

  10. Adam says:

    Maybe I’m a weird game player, but I barely had to grind at all in FFXII, and never in X-2. In XII I only grinded when I needed money, once in the Lhusu mines and once near the end of the game. Both times I didn’t spend more than a couple hours at it. I can’t stand grinding outside of MMOs.

  11. Roy says:

    I can't stand grinding outside of MMOs.

    Ugh. I can’t stand it even in MMOs.

    I know that I’m definitely not part of the MMO target, because I just can’t justify paying a monthly fee unless I’m leveling at a pretty steady rate. If I’m going to play, I want to level at least every other time I log in. I don’t have the time to four, five, six hours at a time, and a dozen on weekends.


    Yeah, grinding just annoys me. I think it’s one of the things that kept me from getting into most RPGs that I’ve been exposed to. Grind, grind, grind.

  12. Jeff says:

    I don’t recall doing much actual grinding until midgame, where I stopped in an attempt to afford some good items (accessories that give double license points, grimoires, and thief gloves) that would reduce the need for grinding later.

    Even when I did grind, it wasn’t as bad as other console RPGs I’ve played because of the automation, and because I didn’t spend time waiting for battle screens to load.

    What I *did* do was take a completist tack. I would detour from the main plot to do all the hunts and side quests I could find. That put me at about the level of the NPCs. I do think the Final Fantasy series tends to be badly designed in that it’s often balanced for the completist player, which means that the player who doesn’t want to spend time on the side quests has a very hard time unless he or she does some mindless leveling instead. (OTOH, there’s things like Knights of the Round that I’ve heard totally unbalance the game in the other direction.)

    • Anna Perkins says:

      Knights of the Round as far as I know was only in one of the games. FF7. Most people skip it anyway since you need the golden chocobo and you have to breed it or win the chocobo race on the highest level. If you master it out though even the final bosses aren’t very challenging. Well then again my brother was in the 70’s when he showed me it so that might also play into it doing a 9999 with all but like the last hit which was a 9867? Not to mention it hits about 14 times. Point is you can’t get the OP summon unless you work for it and I can’t see anyone working that hard unless it’s for a complete game. As for the level grinding it is a little ridiculous. I’m 25 hours in, just got to Lhusu Mines and my highest character is 17 because I was using the werewolves to gain levels. Doesn’t hurt that I have everyone with javelin as their weapon with the strongest armor I could afford. However I’ve also killed every mark so far. Only one left that was available is the elite mark Rocktoise. So I guess it was worth all the extra monsters and hours hunting for loot to sell. I’m as well prepared as I can be for this section. Sorry for rambling, I can get off track easily and I haven’t slept yet so it’s even easier right now. Going back to killing skeletons for the fragments now, bye!

  13. Adam says:

    Final Fantasy VII is not balanced for the completist. When I was 11 or 12, and not a very skilled RPG player, I beat it with a little trouble. When I replayed it a few months ago, my experience in boss fights was figuring out the most amusing way to kill my enemies.

    FFXII… I don’t really think that it’s balanced either for completists or for grinders. I think if you use a license grid guide, plan your parties in advance, and not avoid too many monsters during your journey, you’ll find that the only grinding you ever have to do is for money, and even that only once or twice throughout the game, and for no more than an hour (if you know where to do it).

  14. Deoxy says:

    Question: how does one get better at something? Practice?

    I would think the PCs would have to practice somehow, if they actually want to get better.

    If you don’t spend any time “grinding”, but the game is designed to keep you at just about the right level by the number of fights you have to do just to get where you are going, how is that really much different from the latest Elder Scrolls game, where the enemies level with you? In fact, why have leveling at all?

    I like to feel like I’ve accomplished something (even if it’s something stupid and pointless… says something about my life right now, especially my job, huh?)… I like to have enemies that I can’t beat… and then that I can, because of something I did. I think this is the inherent draw of “grinding” to so many people: a sense, even a completely fake and silly one, of accomplishment.

    Ouch. Wasn’t intending to get philosophical, or anything, but that’s some kind of indictment of our society (or perhaps the human condition), I think.

  15. Stranger says:

    Largely, I ground for License points more than EXP but I did spend a fair amount of time gathering loot to do my “mandatory stocking” which is my standard RPG approach.

    “Find vendor who sells equipment. Grind until you can afford that equipment, plus 10 of most healing/support items. Add 10 Antidotes (Poison SUCKS, I hate it in every game), and 20 Potions (Extra healing is always useful). Repeat upon opening next town, if needed.”

    Suffice it to say, I did a LOT of grinding in the first two “Dragon Quest/Warrior” games. Grinding which was very much not fun. It’s noted FF12 is an RPG where you can automate grinding with Gambits (Search GameFAQs for “Negalmuur LEveling Trick”, for even more insane methods.). This is (IMHO) neither a step forward, nor a step back . . . it is a sidestep to the player boredom from such sorts of grinding.

    I had . . . SOME problems with the Firemare boss, but I didn’t especially recall it being a TPK experience. I have stopped inside the Airship to take advantage of the laser tripwires to bring my newest party members “up to spec” with Licenses.

    Anyone remember when you could beat a Final Fantasy in under a day’s play time? FF9 gave a reward for doing it, if you got to a room in the last dungeon in under something like 12 hours . . . and it was eminently possible! (But the rewarded “ultimate weapon” required shutting out some sidequests and trips which were more rewarding in the long run.)

    I’ve got a game you may hate, or love, Shamus . . . “Digital Devil Saga”. I love it, personally, because it is a little more strategic than most RPGs and it uses turn-based combat. Grinding in that game is, however, very much present but becomes *FAR* easier towards the end of the game for higher rewards. But the story should be interesting to you, all the same.

  16. Bogan the Mighty says:

    You know I didn’t ever have too much of a problem grinding. Like I started XII over again and got to the mines before I really needed to grind and that’s mainly for money issues. Also there are a few things out there that can help lower grinding even if its a bit later in the game. Like there are items that double xp or lp. Also there are a bunch of random things like talking to a weapon shop owner like 30 times and you’ll get a book in a bazaar that increases loot for a certain monster type. Of course you really would need a strategy guide to figure out how to get them all.

  17. The Pancakes says:

    Shamus, the idea of finding something ‘fun’ to do while you’re playing a game is just so bizarre to me, and yet I see it more and more as time goes on. I still think WoW is the worst offender in this category, having spent countless hours staring at the screen waiting to get somewhere so I could start playing.

    The first and only Final Fantasy I played was FF7 on the PS1. I spent 10 hours or so playing the game, but was unable to make any progress that I noticed toward finishing it or even making sense out of what was going on, so I stopped playing. I haven’t been interested in Final Fantasy since.

  18. unbeliever says:

    My main problem with the FF series is that I tend to glide through things as efficiently as possible, often the low levels result in sweating it out on bosses, but a try or two later they fall. The end result is I always come up against the last big bad and find the game unbeatable without spending a dozen or more game sessions just grinding the xp.

    As much as I enjoy final bosses that take half an hour to kill, i hate needing to spend the time needed getting the 20-30 levels I’m lacking, especially so close to the end.

  19. “Mandatory grinding also is an easy way for developers to artificially pad the length of the game. Final Fantasy games always brag about long play times, usually in the 50+ hour range. But how much of that is actual game and how much is mindless leveling?”

    I can’t speak for FFXII, but here’s an exercise for FFX that is one of the major reasons why I just couldn’t stand to run through it again, or “finish” the optional parts of the game:

    * Start with the number of sphere grid spaces there are on the sphere grid: 828 nodes.

    * Multiply by the number of characters: 6 * 828 = 4,968

    * Multiply by the amount of time it takes to fill in a single node at full speed, approx. 2 seconds, divide out for minutes: ~160 minutes spent simply watching animations of the sphere grid. Two seconds may be a bit generous too; it doesn’t take much to push that into three of the hours of “gameplay”.

    * Divide back out for how far in the game you actually progress. If you just run through the game with minimal side quests or grinding, your characters overlap each other by about half (IIRC), so you can multiply by about 1.5/6, for merely ~40 minutes spent staring at the sphere grid.

    The ironic thing is how little true choice is given to you by the sphere grid, despite this massively larger charge in time vs. a traditional level system. Branch points are relatively rare, certainly far more rare than how often I have to choose “feats” or equivalent in other systems.

    The license grid’s resemblance to the Sphere Grid is one of the things that make me really nervous about FFXII. With every iteration, it seems like FF respects your time less and less, catering to the people who want to level grind at the expense of all else. That’s their decision, but it’s not one I like. What’s worse is that it seems like everything is moving that way. Here’s hoping Fallout 3 actually resembles Fallout 1 and 2….

  20. James Blair says:

    The level of all party members when they join you is based entirely on the average party level when they join. Thus, there is much in-game benefit to levelling Vaan as much as possible before letting Penelo join him for the first time (i.e. her level is equal to Vaan’s, and others will normally start out 1-4 levels ahead of Vaan).

    There’s a long and rather silly strategy to getting Vaan to solo to level 30 or so before going on with the game. Up to level 20 or so, it’s probably worth doing. Any more than that, the game becomes too easy for too long and boredom might ensue.

  21. Xanthir, FCD says:

    My experience with FF12 (and Final Fantasy in general) is similar to Jeff(comment#12)’s. Basically, I didn’t have to grind at all, because I was being completist in the first place. I got all the XP/loot/etc I needed as a side effect of completing the challenges.

    Money was tight in the beginning, but I liked that. Later in the game it became trivial, which I also liked. In general I thought the dynamic was just fine.

    I do tend to grind a bit in most games, though. I actually enjoy it, though. I have to wait until I get a chance to play without my wife (we usually play RPGs together), because she hates grinding even a little bit. ^_^

  22. CyberGorth says:

    The only Final Fantasy that I play with any kind of regularity is the 1st, original, 8-bit NES one emulated for my PC. Grinding is in that game too. If you want to be able to afford new equipment and spells once you reach Elfland you HAVE to grind becuase the prices get jacked up that much. Grinding has been a part of Final Fantasy, and most other Video Game RPG’s since day 1. The better ones just disguise it with side-quests.

  23. DocTwisted says:

    You’ve got to grind, grind, grind, at that grindstone;
    though childhood slips like sand through a sieve.
    And all too soon they’ve up and grown,
    and then they’ve flown…
    And it’s too late for you to give.

    Sorry, had a Mary Poppins moment there, with all these people discussing the merits or evils of grinding in RPGs.

    One of my best friends is an avid RPG gamer, and he detests grinding. The new Elder Scrolls game is his personal favorite right now, in large part because the game levels with you, much as a DM running a “balanced” PnP campaign would. He didn’t care much for the recent iterations of Final Fantasy.

    I, meanwhile, am also an avid RPG gamer, and as mentioned in another comment earlier, I’ve played FF games almost completely through the first one on 8-bit NES (Note: still haven’t played X or IX, and will never play XI). I am okay with some grinding. I usually like to stock up on all the items in the shop (and by “stock up,” I’m talking 99 of each usable item and one of each weapon, armor, or magic spell). What irks me more is the growing trend of needing either to buy the spoiler book or find a full spoiler like the ones at gamefaqs.com in order to complete the game. There’s just some side-quests I wouldn’t complete properly without a walkthrough… like… well, like MOST the side-quests in X-2, where you have to say just the right thing to enough people at the right time in one, or get through another section perfectly in another, or get the exact right camera sequence in a given “mystery” subgame, or… argh. That really made me shake my head and wonder WTF the game creators were thinking. FF XII suffers from this same pet peeve a bit too, see the “Zodiac Spear” unlocking as the most blatant example.

  24. Zaxares says:

    Personally I feel that grinding does have a place in RPGs, but (and this is a big BUT) it has to be OPTIONAL. I feel that a game should be structured so that, if your character only does the bare minimum required to progress through the storyline, you should be able to scrape through the battles by the skin of your teeth.

    If you take the time to detour around and do every single available side-quest (or at least most of them), you should have a much easier time overcoming encounters due to your higher level and/or better equipment.

    If you decide to take a major hiatus and just stomp Goombas/slaughter rats/smack mutant bunnies till the cows come home, you’ll obviously be able to steamroll your opposition, but at the cost of spending way more time in the same area of the game.

    Incidentally, I really hate games that scale encounters based on your level due to my particular view of how game difficulty should work, because it makes me feel that, no matter how much effort I put into advancing my character, the enemies he encounters are always going to be more powerful than him.

  25. Mordaedil says:

    “Personally I feel that grinding does have a place in RPGs”


    What changed about RPG’s in the last decade?

  26. Zack says:

    One thing that contributes to grinding is if you try to keep your entire party at the same level like my girlfriend does. Another friend picked his 3 favorite character and the game was much faster an easier since he didn’t have to grind to level the “extra” characters.

    I love license system. Shamus is completely right in that knowing the grid layout is almost mandatory unless you want to have “two handed-berserker” healers, and grenade wielding blackmages.

    If your non-played characters leveled with you I would be much happier with the game. It is a fun game, but I just don’t have time to grind these days… ‘Least not until my troll priest hits 70. *grin* Yah mon!

  27. Bard says:

    “Two of my favorite FF's were FF 6 and FF 7. These were the only two Final Fantasies that I found it possible to literally pick up the game and just play through to the end without having to wrap a rubber band onto the controller for some easy auto levelling.”

    The sidequests in FF6 were nice that way (though the first couple of times through, I did have to grind before the Floating Continent), but in FF7, I spent way too much time on the Gelnika. That, and I foolishly went for Knights of the Round. Never again. The summon is as tedious as the chocobo rigmarole required to get to it.

  28. Stranger says:

    @ #25 “What changed about RPG's in the last decade?”

    The NES game Dragon Warrior had grinding in it, way back when. So did the first Final Fantasy (the game was practically TOO hard without it). As long as there have been computer-based RPGs, there’s been something to grind for. The Gold-Box D&D games from SSI were much . . . MUCH . . . worse as far as the grinding went. Without doing mandatory grinding early on you could very easily have your head handed to you.

    Of course, then you have Nippon Ichi “Strategy RPGs” like Disgaea which are nothing BUT grinding levels or loot out.

    I’ll be worried when/if I see a fighting game or a flight sim have ‘grinding’ in it as an integral part rather than “something to do”.

  29. Fieari says:

    In response to:

    14 Deoxy Says:
    May 15th, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    Question: how does one get better at something? Practice?

    I would think the PCs would have to practice somehow, if they actually want to get better.

    This is not true. At least, not in the sense that the more your practice something, the better you get at it. This is simply not true. As the article I linked says (and also the article discussed in the article linked) “It's possible to spend a very long time at something and still not be good at it. It's also possible to spend a short time on something and be extremely good at it.”

    I hate grinding. I don’t mind it in FFXII so much, because it’s so easy to do, and I can easily surf the web during the process. Of course, it’s possible to play the game without grinding, it just takes quite a bit of skill.

    FFX had the absolute best system out of all the Final Fantasies though. You never, ever, EVER have to grind. Not once. Furthermore, the entire game can be beaten without ONCE even VISITING the sphere grid. Check Gamefaqs for step-by-step guides. It’s easier than you’d think, although to be honest, slightly more time consuming. But it’s more time consuming in a meaningful manner… that time is spent DOING things, not just repeating the same motions over and over and over again.

    Whatever. I still maintain that FFXII’s story is king over FFX’s.

  30. Hal says:

    Y’know, I ended up voluntarily grinding when I played FFX. I was ready to take on Sin and I thought, “Let’s get those Celestial Weapons. Ooh, and the Omega Ruins! Let’s go through those!”

    By the time I’d finished with all of that, I was ready to take on Sin. Except, I was too ready. I had characters who could do nearly as much damage as the final bosses had.

    The grinding aspect of that game was so that characters could fight the ultra-hard monsters in the arena. Except, there was no fine line there. In order to beat most of those, you had to spend 100+ hours of game time building levels. I ended up trying a couple of them, but got bored when I realized that I’d never touch most of them without giving up on other games.

    When I think about it, I realize that a lot of the FF games end up having some degree of grinding in them. I’m not entirely certain how I just accepted that. FFIV was usually when you arrived on the moon. FFVI was typically after you picked up your airship in the world of ruin. Even in FFIX, my first time fighting that female soldier (crap, can’t remember the name anymore!) left me realizing I needed more levels.

    I don’t have much patience for that these days. I’ve been grinding on FFIII on my DS, but the only reason I’m dealing with it is because it gives me something to do on my commute every day. Honestly, none of these comments give me much reason to pick up FFXII.

  31. Basilios says:

    It’s a very nice idea, and I’ll keep it in mind for when I finally find enough players to set up a campaign. But doesn’t it mean you still have to plan for every bit of the territories in the map, albeit in a discretized way?

    Another thing I could try for those insisting in traveling in the blank areas of the map is the good old Random Encounter table, or rather, a set of ones tweaked for the regions they’re exploring. I’m hoping that would give off enough “wilderness” feeling… After all, what is it you get in wild, unexplored regions? Animals, xenophobic tribesmen, possibly brigands, and deserts, treacherous swamps and impassable mountains. As someone said before me, there’s a reason why the places are empty, right?

  32. Basilios says:

    Good gods, I submitted a comment for the wrong post :-P

    I apologise.

  33. Trevor says:

    One thing i love in games is micro-management. Final Fantasy games give a lot of choices to tweak each character: Gear, Spells, Materia (i loved FF3/6’s thing), Gambits, Sphere Grids, etc etc etc.

    These are some of the reasons i like to play final fantasy games, the micro-management.

  34. Jacob says:

    Personally i think grinding is more fun than the actual storyline, but a game of just grinding isn’t that fun. I’ve played FFX and FFX-2 pretty much without griding and as i look back i find FFXII more thrilling than the the others.

  35. Bradisonfire says:

    I was late getting into RPGs. The first real RPG I played was FF-X. I played through the game without a walkthrough, and without completing a lot of the side quests. When I got to Yunalesca, which I think is like the third to last boss, my entire party got slaughtered. It happened over and over again, no matter what strategy I used. My characters simply weren’t at a high enough level.

    The bad part about the whole thing is I think for some reason at that point in the game you can’t go back to the previous area, and my only other save file was from somewhere close to only half way through the game.

    So I loaded up my gameshark, and proceeded to cheat and win the game. I had mixed feelings, because after all the time I spent playing it, I cheated to get to the end.

    It’s frustrating. I’ve been playing FF-XII and I’ve been grinding. I’m not even a quarter done with the game, and my characters are already around level 35. Again, I have mixed feelings about this, because I’ve been running around in the Lhusu mines for so long and/or using the respawning Dustia trick for hours on end, and I’ve darn near forgotten the main plotline of the game.

    It’s ridiculous. Games are supposed to be fun. I remember when I was a kid, I beat Super Mario 3 in under two hours or something like that. I was happy about it for about five minutes, then I went outside and played. Games should be a diversion. They shouldn’t consume your every waking hour with thoughts about where to go for the quickest leveling or whether or not you missed any side quests.

  36. Khen says:

    Hi, I’m also a player and I’m just here to give a training tip for those still in the beginning, this training should let you kill the T-Rex in the estersand in under three hours of glaying the game. That part’s a really cool achievement and it’s really very useful too.

    The training is pretty monotonous cause you’ll be running around the first area of the estersand all the time but Oh My God you’ll be a powerhouse in three to four hours and based on my experience, if you’re willing you’ll get a level 20-25 vann in 10 hours flat.

    Training starts at the very beginning.

    when you are controlling reks and running round the fortress, all you have to do is open all the chest for all the potions you can take, don’t use a single one, you’ll sell them later.

    then at the part when vaan fights the three rats, successfully steal from all the rats.

    then when you are given the mission to kill the rotten tomato, on’t go out the city just yet, instead visit the magic shop and sell all your potions and the crap you stole from the rats, you should now have 400+ gil. Then buy cure, go to the weapons department and buy a dagger, daggers are strong and fast. Now go out to estersand and save.


  37. Khen says:


    Ok don’t run to the tomato,trust me you can kill the ugly T-Rex before you do, first, kill enough monsters to get the license for the cure magic, save or whatever then get enough LP for the dagger. Do this all without entering the gates, only saving or resting in the save point.

    Now it’s time. save and clear the area of enemies, again avoid tomato, try as hard as you could, AVOID THE T-REX AND THE ROUND BIRDS THEY ARE A WASTE OF TIME FOR NOW. just kill the cacti and the wolves. Do this to level up primarily. then once you clear the area for the first time you’ll notice that the game is not respawning the monsters fast enough. Now a sort of trick or cheat i discovered comes into play, you’ve probably done this too. once there’s very little monsters left, go back to the save point and save, pause and then quit your game then reload it. go out and wala! the area is again full of them, kill and reload as repeated, to get enough LP to run straight towards the nearest quickening in the license board. you’ll find them by pressing X to see the title of the license and a ??? underneath. the title should say Quickening. this is one of the boring steps of this training, once you’ve activated your first quickening you are strong enough to kill the tomato but not just yet, kill more ordinaries and you should activate the 2nd and third quickening in two hours. anyway the dagger gives you the speed to kill. after activating the first two quickenings you can get lucky and kill the T-rex but the third quickening could increase your chances byy a lot. I’ve done this in 2:45 of playng the game, and the tomato saw kill the infamous T-Rex in front of his eyes. Anyway if you’re bored after killing the T-Rex you kan show the tomato hell and go back to rabanastre, and go back to estersand. To level up to level 20 just kill the T-Rex and save and reload to espawn him and then kill him again. that’s basically it. I only took 10 hours to level up to 20 because each time i kill the T-rex, I also kill everybody else for LP before saving and reloading. I recommend that to optimize your growth, try heading down to the augments in yur license board because they are more helpful this early in the game. In my game, I was lvl 30 before lowtown was opened, but that’s hard boring work, just go to lvl 20+ and you’ll be fine.

    • CONQUEST says:

      those tips went well , but only level 20 is already to high, well, if you really want an easy storyline this way really good or should i say great , but if you want a hard core story line you can follow mine :
      1. eastersand, kill the cactic and wolf just some (maybe 20 to get level 3 and enough lp to get broad sword) this should give you some loot , use steal to get more loot maybe give you 500 – 1000 you can kill more if you want to get more money and a bit of exp. talk to the empire , and wait at a line , after line’s your turn, just talk to it and tell you want to get in to the town, sell your loot, buy all magic and buy broad sword or dagger if you want. Then kill the rougue , and go back, talk to tmaj after that and you get 200 gill and other things, now, you maybe level 4, After the cutsceen when vayne already come, go to easter sand , now the other way from the post should be open, go to nalbina(before penelo join party, just do it fast and make penelo gone), buy long sword and poison, protect and buy armor this will be hard, but if you want to go hardcore, dontk ill them, just steal from it, now you ready ! go to waterway, buy potion,antidote, eye drop , run run run , steal from the rat, run run run , i got there still in level 4 ( i was tierd to kill all of those) and got balthier and fran at party level 5, make them learn magic and skill steal, then i use gambits like this :
      Vaan : party leader, attack(2)|nearest unit steal (1)
      Balthier : ally, any cure , critical : first aid
      Fran : party leader, steal , nearest steal
      i use the leader as balthier, balthier wont attack though now after go long way, you should get at least 50 rat pelt (or more if you patient tipe people unlike me)now you at the dungeon , you will fight 3 people just use fire to it, easy win, go to the mimic place, sell all your loot , buy other magic and phonix down and other thing. Still level 5 and level 4 vaan, go nuts at mimic, (note : i didn’t kill any other foes) and it comes to mimic queen, use blizard blizard and again and again, there you won, after that you will get into the eastersand, with the teleport stone, go to the village, sell your loot , you will maybe got 7000 money now. go to nalbina and equip your character to max maybe your money will be 1000 , still level 5 gonna be hard nay ? now balthier gone and fran as well , basch as well now go to giza plain , steal steal steal , get some loot and kill ( try to make combo/s) until you make level 8 (max 14 if you want to ) then go to old dalana, speak speak and bla bla bla and then give him the sword and then cutsceen and go to wester sand , gonna be hard with only level 8, kill slowly and steal , for great content, now you mayhap be level 10 (from 8) (if you level 14 at giza, well you dont need to do it). and search balthier and fran at sandsea. go to bhujerba, larsa will join you , fight fast steal loot if you want from the skeleton , and go to the boss bagamaan and the other. Use mist ( you should have at least 1 for each character from battling at giza and easter , will get more lp from giza though because you kill more many) get your attention at bagaaman , or if you want, you can run until they dont chase you anymore, Contineu….. sorry i am tired from writing this much , this way work super, just remember all you need is sleep , bleed , petrify or immoblize or disamble if you have no sleep

  38. Khen says:

    I also hope you comment on my sadistc training strategy, another plus in this strategy, is that because Vaan is totally alone in this part, every one who joins his party would be level 20+ already with a lot of LP, i think this is a time saver because once a person joins your party, you will level him/her up individually and he/she won’t level up by him/herself when she leaves.

  39. Bradisonfire says:

    I got Vaan to level 25 in about two and a half hours, using the “Dustia method”. Look it up. It’s much easier and quicker.

  40. Khen says:

    I looked it up and it really is a cool method. But I’ve never tried them before. Very nice though.

  41. Qurqriish Dragon says:

    Going by how you described playing other RPGs, I think I know where your leveling problem came from. You like to get to the end of the game, and then replay it, doing all the optional bits.
    I like doing side quests all along, and I found that my party was almost always overpowered for anything in the storyline-path. Assuming you have access to the hunts (I forget when they are unlocked), you might want to try a bunch of level I hunts.
    And, as in other FF games, eventually the side-quests outstrip the main quest in difficulty. I didn’t complete everything, but when I finished FF12, the last story-battle was simple, but a few of the hunt creatures were still clobbering me with ease.

  42. Matt says:

    In response to #29 Fieari:

    Anyone who is the best in their field at anything will disagree with you that you can be the best at anything without any effort. In fact, I would say that the likelihood of being the best in the world at something with minimal effort is a big, fat 0. In your typical RPG, you’re training to be the best in the world at fighting, magic, etc. Otherwise, someone else would be doing your job. I just don’t think the bare minimum is enough to accomplish that goal. The boss of the game didn’t do the bare minimum to get in his position, I guarantee it.

    I think grinding is necessary for an RPG. If you just want to run through and absorb the story, then go read a book. The fact of the matter is, the more you work at something, the more you appreciate the end result. An RPG shouldn’t be a story that you have to make your way through; you’re trying to save the world. You’re playing the role of your character, and their path is not an easy one. If it’s not fun for you, then you’re playing the wrong game and you need to go pick up an entry-level RPG like Mystic Quest. “I shouldn’t have to work to enjoy the story” is something you might be thinking; well, I disagree. Completing an RPG is a victory you should earn, not a right everyone has.
    If you can’t make it through fighting monsters in a video game, I’d hate to see your work ethic in real life.

  43. Elundir says:

    Well, I dont think grinding is necessary.. I agree it is kinda difficult without it.. I felt I was too low and checked out a guide on the net, the guide said I should be at least 28 for a boss, I was 23 max and didnt wanna grind, so I just went with that.. And beating that boss at lvl 23 was much more fun.. I had to think of lots of strategies, best ways to use esper, quickenings, mana etc.. but at the end, when I beat that boss, it felt really great.. :D I wont grind, I’m just following the storyline.. dont need extra levels. It may be difficult at some bosses but its not impossible

  44. Elundir says:

    @matt: I’m guessing you dont really know about rpgs -.- it means “role playing game” and grinding is just the opposite of it!! I guess ppl call it power gaming or something like that.. that character wouldnt just kill the same monsters to get stronger, killing the same monster shouldnt make him stronger if you think of it in terms of role playing.. especially in the middle of a story (He would look stupid) . He makes his way through the story and gets stronger during the story.. and best way to make it happen in games, is to make player gain exp by killing monsters.. (another way is through quests..)

  45. Megan says:

    OMG it took me ten hours to get to level ten and that was withalot of mosters in eah area. I need help where is the best place to level up quickly? And just like you i started over once cause i missed alot of secret missions and monsters, all i want to knw is how to level up so fast withen the shortest period of time.

  46. caowens says:

    guys RPG’s are marketed toward a select group of people they are not for the people who want to be able to beat a game in a few hours or more they are for people who love the idea of leveling up and grinding…the rpg person usually beats the bosses through the game barely and the final boss after they beat it they want to get to the highest level and go back and decimate the final boss rpg’s are designed to be made like this i know there are some exceptions to this rule but rpg fanatics like me love leveling up for hours and getting the ultimate weapon that takes three hours of extra side quests to get its the joy for us its our sense of accomplishment the rpg market is geared toward people like us not your gamer who like the thrills of soul caliber tekken halo metal gear solid not knocking those games they are excellent i love them as much as the next gamer but rpgs hold special place in my heart i feel more satisfaction from beating an rpg because of how long it is and currently ive played final fantasy XII through four times my current game ive been working on it for 82 hours getting extra stuff and leveling up just enjoying the game final fantasy X i loved that game i know it was one you hated or loved but i had 6 games on it were i had over 130 hours each

    RPG’s arent for your average game player so quit knocking them

  47. anthfk66 says:

    So far I have done some grinding for LP but in my attempts to beat the marks, running from place to place verses using the teleport stones, getting all the possible treasure chests, going to the places accessible to chocobos only, defeating the optional espers,and defeating the required number on beast to learn more about the story, its been pretty minimum.

  48. Megan z says:

    CAOWENS: not to sound RUDE to caowens i love rpg games the only reason i asked for help is cause i just started playing, and i have probebly played more games then you have, me i’m a hardcore gamer, and because i just started to play final fantasy about one year ago. i knw now that if you rush leveling it will take you ten hours. but i just want to knw how to level up a little faster, so help me a bit wat waas the best place to level up?

  49. Felblood says:

    Wow. All these hardcore, ideals-down-ye-throat gamers seem to have found themselves stymed at the same points in those games that I was.

    Power staff solves FF1’s stop at the elf nation in 20-30 minutes. In fact it will keep you alive until you meet the mindflayers. Who are the last real obstical between you and your first Healing staff. Which makes you pretty much unstoppable in a grinds-you-slowly-to-nothing-over-a-28-level-dungeon-crawl-full of-lava like FF 1. The bosses were really just a test to check that you hadn’t got to the end of the dungeon with one character left who had no spells.

    You didn’t grind in order to play that game, the game was a grind, and the worthy and the patient were rewarded with a nonsensical yet predictable plot, that turns out not to have actually happened.

    Hint: Garland is the bad guy, all along. That’s right the glowing eyed dude in the black armor who throws fireballs did it and kidnaps princesses. Shocking spoiler, I know. He used a time portal, that’s how.

    Let’s face it. There was no role there to play. Bruce the Monk and AAAA the Fighter could kill anything that moved (Including the final boss) in 1-6 rounds with no grinding, no gear and only one sidequest, but he never had any actual lines. Ever. If you love Final Fantasy games, you love the grind or you love surviving by the skin of your teeth. It’s when the designers overestimate us squeeze by through brilliance types that we feel disappointed, in them and in ourselves.

    When, in FFT I saved after the second stage of the mansion, only to find a third stage wherein ninja demons would kill the hostage (and fail me the mission) before I got my first move, forcing me to restart the game(ALWAYS stagger your saves!) I was pissed. I grudged square every minute of my restart, but with my greater knowledge I did better. When I got to that same mission with a squad of ninjas in speed shoes and barrets, with less actual grinding, and killed those demons before their first move….It was worth every second. –of both plays. Purest music.

  50. Kyu says:

    well maby im just a weird guy but i enjoy grinding its a good way to experience all the game has to offer and how to tweak a few things for an enjoyable RPG in the future.

  51. Kalliste says:

    After a lot of thought about it, I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t mind how much leveling there is. Believe me, I HATE leveling, especially to the magnitude that this game requires. However, my enjoyment of everything else sort of outweighs it. Every time I gain a level, it’s such a feeling of accomplishment. :) And look on the bright side, it’s a lot more enjoyable leveling than some other games.

  52. bryan says:

    at first i had no idea what i was doing and getting killed by the smallest tomatoes…it was frustrating until i read some walkthroughs and realized that leveling is necessary for me to enjoy the game…being overpowering and defeating bosses in two or three tries is what i am looking for…and then moving on with the story…having to try defeating a boss 30 or 40 times and then quitting is not fun…i just wish for guys like me who don’t want to spend hours on one boss they could incorporate an auto mode to defeat certain foes once you no longer can yourself

  53. UnitOmega says:

    Actually, with FFXII, the point isn’t about the levels, but about the equipment and licenses. If you have good weapons, armor, have the appropriate level of spells available (and also therefore, have all the licenses for these) its real easy. People can beat the game at the LOWEST POSSIBLE levels. Grinding is not necessary.

  54. Farulosonoth says:

    Mordaedil Wrote:
    “Well, not that impossible, but it's about as fun when you've died for 100th time. I think it's about time RPG's do away with the leveling system for something that actually means roleplaying, over grinding.”

    Are you kidding me? These games have already become easy enough… I go through a final fantasy at an average pace, making enough money so that all equipment can be bought and your lucky if I have a full party wipe 2-3 times throughout the course of an entire game, due to hard bosses, etc…

    If you want an adventure with no character development, play some Super Mario Bros’ or something similar (Sonic, Spiro, etc…) I do, and I enjoy it (when I am looking for that kind of game). You people need to stop forcing the developers to dumb down the RPG genre. It’s almost pathetic what it has been reduced to.

  55. Farulosonoth says:

    Felblood wrote :
    “Let's face it. There was no role there to play. Bruce the Monk and AAAA the Fighter could kill anything that moved (Including the final boss) in 1-6 rounds with no grinding, no gear and only one sidequest, but he never had any actual lines. Ever.”

    Some of you people complain about not enough ‘Role Playing’ in your CRPG’s. Ok, first thing, the game isn’t the only one to blame. Have you ever played a p&p session and there was someone there who just didn’t get it? Well, thats the impression you give when you name your character a name that you plainly care nothing about. Role Playing is as much a part of the player as it is the Dungeon Master, or have we forgotten that. (Don’t even get me started on people and some of their MMORPG names)

    I know in the age of flashy graphics, amazing AI and Blue-Ray PS3s we expect everything to be done for us. Does that include our role-playing, our very thinking and imagination, or are we still capable of doing some of those wetware computations ourselves?

    Sometimes you need to fill in with your minds eye some of the details that aren’t spelled right out for you. 1/2 of any role playing session is the perspective of the player, If you start it with a character named AAAA the fighter, and expect the game to roleplay FOR you, it may not always work so well.

  56. vbafpb says:

    im at level 62 but i need to level up a lot to get the espers but i dont know where to do power leveling places like lushu mines just take too long now i need to beat monsters close to my own level but i don know where

    • SUPERNOOB20 says:

      have you ever tried entering in the zertinan caves? There, there are hundreds of “horses” with something like 35000 hp (I don´t actually know their level). You can go there from lots of places, like ozmone plains, western sand, ogir and nam yensa sandsea. If i should ever do it, it should be kinda of suicide (because I just have lvl 30 characters) but I think that if yo use berserk, haste and that kinda magickal enchances you should be able to do it

  57. Tony says:

    I started playing Final Fantasy XII a few weeks back with small intervals to complete other games. I’m not a big fan of the series, as a whole. I love VII, but don’t understand how anyone couldn’t. I kinda liked X the first time I played it but got annoyed with it halfway through and actually lost interest and put it away when I was near the end. I think that was mostly because of the horrible English dubbing and random encounters though. The second time I played the game, I did some major grinding near the end, getting Yuna, Tidus and I believe Rikku as powerful as possible before continuing where I stopped playing the last time. That made the last part of the game really funny. I remember taking a hell of a long time to defeat Seymour during my first two encounters and then only having to _hit_ him with Yuna (bink!) once or twice during the last encounter, haha.

    As for X-2, I liked the dress-sphere system but was as annoyed with this game’s dubbing and whatnot as I was with X. I did the same thing in this game, near the end. The grinding, I mean. I leveled one or two of them till 99 and the last was only 91, or so.

    I like the characters in XII a lot and even though I can barely get myself to focus on it, I don’t think it’s a bad story. The combat system isn’t bad either, but I have to agree on the _mandatory_ grinding. I like grinding and end up doing it sometimes when it’s optional. Even if it’s just for the fun of being way stronger then the ultimate bad guy, who was supposed to be all powerful. But here, I can’t wrap my head around how to get stronger sometimes without having to waste countless hours. In order to gain another level right now, I need at least 4000XP and there’s not a single monster I encounter that gives me more then 86XP. And it’s the same all over (so far anyway). You get almost no XP, money or whatever, and need way too much of those to go on without having to waste your time on all the grinding, gah.

    The license grid I agree on as well. A nice idea, but somewhat poorly executed.

  58. Callum says:

    I don’t think you have to “grond” to get upto a high level, I only did one 1 hour levelling up thing right at the beginning of the game, fighting that Dusta thing with pheonix downs, I find if you do all the side quest things, like the monster slayer thing, or all the other odd little sideshows that’ll get you some powerful weapon, then you’ll never need to level up incessiently, which is only mildly stasifying compaired to levelling up on the way to kill some huge red-eyed child eating snake

  59. FF Veteran says:

    A lot of you people compalin that you cnat level up quickly. Its because you dont PAY ATTENTION. Your level 65 for pete’s sake! What are you doing in the estersand with lvl 5 monsters? If you paid enough attention to the story line to figure out that the strong monsters appear at the END of the game, then you would have no problem. Me? I know of 5 great sites to level up, and it takes me about 5 minutes per level. How you ask? Let me share a little secret with you that isnt so hard to find and doesnt require a game guide. The 5 locations for leveling that only require you to be level 45 and have at least 1 embroided tippet.

    1. Giruvegan, inside. The monsters there average between lvl’s 44-49, and there are only 4 kinds of monsters, not counting the rare and all powerful elementals that appear at lvl 70 or something every 10 hours.

    2. Nabreus/ Necrohol. This is for level 55’s and above. For any players that want a challenge, you guys can all be about 10 levels lower than the monsters and you *might* survive.

    3. Pharos, above levels and subterra. The above levels are much easier, but we warned, the subterra contains lvl 55+ monsters.

    4. Great Crystal/ Giruvegan. Inside the cystal, the monsters are about the same. About lvl 50’s or so. But deeper inside, higher up, the monsters reach above the 60’s.

    5. Henne mines. Inside the pithead junction. Open the gate, and with one character equipped with the embroided tippet, kill the slime things that appear. Not only will you get about a good 8 levels in around an hour(per one character though), you will also get great loot provided you chain these things, turn off your gambits and dont kill the bats, and run 2 maps away. Rinse and repeat.

    Of these, I use the Giruvegan method. Using one character, I gain a level for one character in 5-10 minutes. Added with the fact that Ive only been grinding for 10 hours, and I took the time to kill almost all the marks in the game(about 43 out of some 48), I get great rewards. Assasin’s arrows KO almost every other monster when your in the right range.(Not proven, just something Ive observed). Overall, I have 130 hours of gameplay somply because I fooled around trying to get money.(Did I mention my Giruvegan method gets you more than 100,000 gil per hour?) If you do it properly of course. Not only do you not need to grind more than 15 hours to kills lvl 70 marks with rewards going as much as 500,000 gil, you dont need to grind AT ALL to beat the game. Wow I typed alot.

  60. Taylor says:

    well, i can say that i got to the sandsea t level 10 becuase i would run away from the hard monsters, soi went to the mines{their really good} and got all my party up to 44 until i went to the sand-sea, its way esiar.

  61. Katrani Merack says:

    Okay, I admit, the abttle system is lacking. I prefer the actual ‘battle screen’ type, like most of the rest of the FFs. But I did like this, since you had a big area to roam around in and if you had/wanted to run most enemies would only chase you a certain distance. Their ‘territory’, I guess. Like, the dino on the first screen of the Estersand would stop when I was about five steps from an exit. It was five steps from an exit, yes, but at least that was enough to give me space to hela in case another big monster was through the other screen. The licenses could have been better- maybe a mix between these and FFX’s sphere grid?- but come on. They DO say what they’re for, in a general sense. Magicks are all in one area, as are the upgrades (braindead on what those were called, the +15- HP and sheild block stuff), accesories, and techniques. Armor and Weapons are sort of bunched and mixed together, yes, BUT you can still see what type of weapon each one is. Trying to get a certain sword? Just unlock the sword licenses until you find the right one. A piece of magic armor? Same thing! Repeat for axes, scales, staffs, etc. Some were even tied together, like the axes and… Okay, I forget what they unlocked. BUt it was axes and something. And, generally, the rarer ones would be the ones that cost the most. If you planned right by looking at costs in LP (which you CAN see before unlocking a licenses) you could get all of the ones you’d be able to find in stores easily, then slowly focus on getting the drop ones.

    Easy enough, i think.

  62. stoppit says:

    this is so true. i played this for the first time while staying with my bf a while ago, the storyline was making us fall asleep and it wasn’t even fun to play! just frustrating.
    i started it again now, on my own and spent hours nearer the beginning of the game levelling. the mines and the sandsea are both great places. also did some low exp levelling to get a lot of LP to buy the augments (hp+, battle lore etc) to make my characters stronger. but it just does my head in – once i was at a level where i felt comfortable continuing i pushed ahead with the game. now i’m at the stilshrine and getting raped again coz i haven’t levelled in a while. so, back to the grind. i have acquired a huge amount of the board and have bought the best weapons and armour available, spells, technicks, so i really can’t agree with people who are saying you don’t need to do extra levelling.

    in my opinion, the game should be challenging but not impossible if you stick to the normal amount of levelling/battles you come across (without trying to escape). and i believe i’ve had to go way beyond the ‘normal’ amount. of course boss battles should require a bit of work and skill to figure out the most effective way to dispatch.

    i really thought the free roaming battle system was great after the initial shock (i hadn’t read a thing about ff12 before i first played it!) but i think it’s straying too far from the FF feel.

    it’s really made me appreciate all the effort that went into FF8. a lot of people hated it but actually the storyline is at least intriguing. and i’ve rather have annoying characters like squall and rinoa than characters i can’t give a toss about as there are too many and no central ones. basch, balthier and fran are about the only interesting ones and we just don’t hear enough from them.
    also, there was so much to FF8, with the GFs and the ability to draw magic and modding enemies so that you could keep to a low level while acquiring high level magicks and items.

    anyway, i remember levelling up loads in ff7 before doing the ‘weapons’ that didn’t seem nearly as much as chore as levelling in this game though.

  63. RemoteKontrol says:

    I don’t know but I may be one of the few who likes level grinding in FF XII; it’s addictive (chain levels, semi-real time battles, gambits). It feels like an RTS (without much of the strategy, unless you customise your gambits properly). I initially got into it because the character design was made by the same guy who designed the vagrant story characters. I like the story in XII so far but nothing in comparison to FF IX or xenogears :). I wish FF XII would focus more on the main characters, instead of the warring nations.

    I’m hoping for the same/slightly tweaked battle system when FF XIII/versus XIII rolls around.

  64. NiceAshe says:

    what does the “Chain” thing do anyway. Ive seen it all the time and ive never known what it was for. And also have u seen the esper in the sewer. talk about a face only a mother could love. I had trouble with leveling up so… i went north towards archadia to posibly get the zodiac spear and nearly died. like omg they were strong. Plus i was only level 20 something at the time. As for money i just went into the mountains and had the theif cuffs on someone and stole various stuff from enemys for money.

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