Final Fantasy XII: Part 3, Observations

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Games

So after my controller incident I’ve been making some progress in Final Fantasy 12…

Right now I am in the sky city of Bhujerba, and I’ve just gotten Penelo.

I’m kind of curious as to how far along I am in the game, because I really can’t anticipate it. It seems like I’m only, say, one-fifth through the game. Then again, when I think about how much land area I’ve explored already, I have to wonder whether the game world is going to really be so big as to accomodate another four-fifths of storyline.

For example, as soon as I got Vaan and Penelo, before the big feast (or “fete”) I went out and explored the entire Estersand up to the coast of the river. I couldn’t cross the river because the ferry was not there, but otherwise I would’ve kept going. I went to Nalbina and purchased better items and equipment. I explored the entire Giza Plains, and then moved on to the Westersand and explored all of the Westersand. I managed to go all the way west until I hit a roadblock put up by the Archadian empire. I also went into the Zertinian Caverns but I was only approximately level 10 and couldn’t handle the level 16 Slimes that attacked me there.

When I look at the world map, this whole bit covers a rather substantial area. I have to wonder whether I’m going to be exploring all through Archadia to the northeast and Rozarria(?) to the southwest. I suppose I’ll see.

I do have to say that, since I’m kind of walled-in, insofar as I can’t explore anywhere new at the moment, I’m kind of losing my initial excitement about the game. My characters are Level 20+ at this point and require something like six thousand experience to level. The experience scaling in FFXII seems to reward about 100+Level or so experience for an on-level kill. This means I need to kill at least sixty guys to level up a character, which is starting to feel like quite a grind. The problem, at the moment, is exacerbated by the fact that there really aren’t any on-level enemies for me to fight, at least not easily — I could travel back to the Zertinian Caverns and fight the Slimes there, but the Slimes can only be hurt by magic attacks, which means I would need to queue up every attack for every character. Since none of my characters are really rolling the MP, this also necessitates me running around in circles a lot just to regenerate MP. All of the other enemies that I can handle without too much micromanagement are lower level and thus I need to kill over a hundred to gain a level.

My progress on the License Grid is also slowing down substantially. I seem to have explored a substantial portion of the grid thus-far. Most of my characters have almost completely explored the “Augment” section of the board, in the lower left section of the upper grid, and have a smattering of spells and other miscellaneous abilities. Going into the game I was expecting to be very irritated by the lack of knowledge about what item unlocked what ability on the License Grid, but I don’t really mind it. The only thing that somewhat irritates me is that the flow of new items and equipment is so stingy that I’ve been practically forced to develop all of my characters in the same way — Purchase a few White Magics, a few Technicks, and then spend nearly all remaining license points on buying augmentations. New items come in so infrequently that it’s not even worth purchasing the item licenses until I actually have the item in hand.

I will say that, for example, Shamus’ consistent problems with cashflow haven’t been a problem for me. As soon as I set up my gambits, I queued up Vaan to auto-steal from nearby enemies. Usually I make about 10,000 gil from various loot items every time I check in to a shop, so I can pretty much purchase everything I want immediately. I was tipped off to this strategy by a commenter at Shamus’ site, and it’s been working well.

Either way, since I can’t seem to progress my characters as quickly as I’d like, and can’t seem to progress in new vistas to explore, a lot of the wind in my sails, so to speak, is taken away. I’ve also completed all the hunts that have been made available to me so far, and all of the other miscellaneous sidequests. It kind of feels like I’m being railroaded into continuing the story, but I’m reluctant to do so just yet. The story does feel a tad rushed, as in it could be better developed, but I’ll get into that in my next post (probably).

One Response

  1. Your problem is you are far too overleveled. I’m about half-way done the storyline right now (on my second time through) and I’m level 32. Your level should be comparable to the enemies/bosses that you are currently encountering. Also, having that much of the license board uncovered just further proves how overleveled you are. At my point in the game my party is probably half-way through the augments portion of the license board. My advice to you is to stop trying to grind up levels and get on with the story. When you enter an area that you are supposed to be going through for the point you’re at in the story and you find yourself confronted with enemies that are higher level than you, that’s when you should be grinding up some exp. If you want an unenjoyable experience, then keep grinding. Otherwise, get back to the storyline.

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