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Dragon Quest 11: Echoes of an Elusive Age |OT| Classic Combat Camera is Crucial

Oct 28, 2017
686
Final thoughts on DQ11.

In a year of bitterly disappointing JRPGs, sadly DQ11 is one more on the pile. If it weren't for NNK2 and XBC2 this would probably be my candidate for most disappointing game of the year, but sadly it's merely one in a string of depressing titles, along with FF12:ZA, and to some degree Ys:LoD. Only Octopath Traveller has presented a more fresh and interesting take on the genre so far.

Little new or interesting happens in DQ11 that has not happened in a previous entry in the series, outside of the modest improvements in the renderer and character build system. Numerous times my eldest daughter would point out how a musical theme or entire story motif had been lifted from a previous entry in the series.

The combat has not significantly improved: battles are largely mechanical with a small degree of freedom for innovative play around when to heal, and when to buff/debuff. The only interesting mechanics offered in the boss fights are largley around how frequently you lose control of a character or have all buffs eliminated so you can re-run your rotation. Pep powers run the gamut from boring to overpowering but the randomness of their presence neuters much of the sense of strategy one could get around planning for them. The most compelling part of levelling is min/max strategy around unlocking character builds, however the opacity of the hidden items and pep power combinations, and labor of respeccing, mean that there isn't much incentive to play around with these; it's easy to just push into stat boosts and fill out your primary weapon. Even the nods towards automation with tactics are poorly done--set on Fight Wisely the hero will frequently just spam Quadraslash and burn his MP on trash mobs. Although it was nice to see the AI selecting downlevel variants of spells when it was clear it could defeat a mob with those--a bit of strategic play available to the AI but not the player!

Character design is fine if boring in its fan service. Although the main character is left such a completely blank slate that they have no character development or emotive qualities whatsoever. Sylvando is alternatingly amusing and shameful in his representation, and similarly Veronica which veers between comic and slightly 'tsundere'. Serena, Erik and Jade are mostly forgettable. I like older PCs in games (Ana main natch) so Rab is nice to see, until they run the ridiculous smut scene. Hendricks often comes off as the only semi-reasonable character. The writing is generally atrocious, save-the-world-with-friends anime tropes, with no sensible internal logic.

The side quests are almost entirely forgettable fetch quests, or worse the pep power ones which are ridiculous in their setup. Such lazy design, which is really the core impression from this game: so much of it seems lazy.

The music issue has been rehashed a dozen of times, not much more to say there beyond how embarassing it is to see a major developer release a full priced product in this state.

The renderer is much lauded by the public but as someone who works on them for a living it's an extremely basic and simple setup. You can see objects LOD in/out of shadow cascades at very near distances, poor lighting occlusion due to lack of shadowmaps in many situations, poor tessellation of surfaces. Load times everywhere for trivially small scenes. Environmental complexity is astonishingly low; the layout of areas like Fortress of Fear are just laughable--so blocky and repeated, like it's 1991 and I'm playing Eye of the Beholder again.

I liked the campfire system and the sense of adventuring it tried to create. Also the forge, which offered one of the few additional systems to interact with that had some actual "game" to it in terms of planning your flourish order. That said the fact that they couldn't even be bothered to highlight "new" recipes shows again how lazy everything about this title turned out. It was also unfortunate that there is this large costume system but no upgrade mechanics (beyond marginal +1 to +3) so it was very rare that a crafted costume set that changed appearances was an upgrade for any character.

Glad to get this out of the PS4, time to go back to finish the fourth chapter setups in OT and grind out the second half of Ys:LoD and see if either can redeem the genre for 2018.
 
Nov 4, 2017
1,257
When I started playing last night I sure wasn't expecting a 5 hour session keeping me up past 5 in the morning! For once I couldn't find a stopping point that I wanted left "to be continued" the next time I played. Nopes! Had ta keep going to find out what happened next and next and next!

When I leveled up during the Last Bastion stuff I saw my hero had 30+ skill points outta nowhere an was like whaaaat? Then I looked at the skill point chart and saw why... ;_;

Are you playing on Standard? I was and I trounced the boss before even setting foot in Lonalulu (sp?) for the first time.

Apparently talking to the old woman on the cliff above town (or was it in her house?) before taking on Tentacular will cause her to shoot her cannon during the first turn, knocking it out for a few turns I think. Totally missed it myself.
Yeah standard for me to an I'm sure I talked to everyone in town first. Even fired it myself. May be some wacky flagging going on in which ya gotta talk to her after after being given the mission.
 
Oct 27, 2017
162
I finished this game a month or so ago and woof... I didn’t realize how bad I needed a truly amazing classic JRPG. Persona 5 was wonderful but it’s formula scratches a different itch than DQXI did.

I truly hope we continue to get quality games like this again in the west. I am always worried that soft sales will cause us to miss future DQ titles.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,810
How much longer do I have if I just
rejoined with Sylvando?

I’m currently 40 hours in, and have started to feel fatigue with the game, if I still have a ways to go I might pick it up later and finish it.
 
Nov 4, 2017
1,257
Got another 4 hours in today, up to 45 now. Playing it kinda sucks right now due to plot reasons.

My party member levels are getting all outta sync, Erik has become useless until ???, still no Veronica which combined with Erik being nerfed means I got a party that can't deal with groups of different monsters, I have to get all my Zoom locations back, and Hendriks heroism stat ups are gated behind sword when I want him to be the axe guy seeing how he's the only one that can use 'em. Sylvando's more than earned his keep by causing the guy to finally emote! I got him and Rab "out of order" it seems. Explains why Slyvando's boss was abit of a toughie since I shoulda had an additional party member and powerup.
 
Oct 25, 2017
148
Just finished the post game content at 117 hours... Damn, what a great RPG to finish to start 2019. Outside of the music, the level of polish in this game was amazing
 
Oct 28, 2017
2,532
Rab seems like he's just a better Serena in every way. And now that I can finally replace Erik with Jade I finally have a way to do physical damage that doesn't rely on being able to get a status effect on an enemy first, which is nice.
 
Nov 15, 2017
298
Picked the game (3ds) back up lately. Just saw

the world trees woe, and dealing with the blight below. Didn't expect such a world of ruin in a dragon quest game. I'm liking Greg's character development, and hope the rest of the narrative goes a lot into him and Homeros. Wish the soundtrack was better (the world map had been like the only stand out song so far)

Very happy to see more items around in the world of ruin, and more of the creatures for the labyrinth of time. Seems those systems are really opening up now.


And I assume Kamyu's entire skill board is gonna be unlocked when I get him back, right?
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,742
Well I guess I'm near completion of the Orb Quest...just got Snifelheim and one more I think. Guess a revisit to Hotto?

I got the Red Door Key and that's cool...going around getting the cool stuff behind them.

I still can't find the Recipe Book before the Drasilian Armor book...I think it's in a chest on the way to Dundrasil on a cliff but I can't figure how to get it unless you get a universal flying mount later. There's a shiny bee nearby but that doesn't seem to help reach it.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,826
Well I guess I'm near completion of the Orb Quest...just got Snifelheim and one more I think. Guess a revisit to Hotto?

I got the Red Door Key and that's cool...going around getting the cool stuff behind them.

I still can't find the Recipe Book before the Drasilian Armor book...I think it's in a chest on the way to Dundrasil on a cliff but I can't figure how to get it unless you get a universal flying mount later. There's a shiny bee nearby but that doesn't seem to help reach it.
You won't have access to that chest until you return in Act 2.
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,356
Could you say what’s on the other side of the recipe? That would at least make it easier to check a guide since one could judge if they’re in the correct order there, hah.

...actually, well. I’m working from home and should stop to eat lunch in a bit. I’ll just load up my game and check for you then, since I’ll probably have it.

I should actually get back to it later anyway (though I’ll have to switch discs again to play something else first...). Really meant to get back into it weeks ago during the holidays but I only got as far as mopping up some stuff like targets (and I don’t think I even quite finished that) before starting the actual postgame story. Might be a good thing to plan on finishing before KH3 is out, since I’ve been pretty aimless with what I’ve been playing during the past week or so, and that’s a sizable goal to keep me more focused again.
 
Oct 30, 2017
1,007
How long roughly would it take to main line your way through act 3?

I'm close to the end of act 2 and the game is getting a little long in the tooth. Wondering if act 3 is a short one and if the story bits are worth it.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,742
It'd the recipe book between Dress Like A Drasilian and All Things Nice.

Edit: It was in a house in Porto Valor that wasn't open the first time I went there before I had to...also cool that the new owner of the house is the merchant from the Rainbough plot. I had actually thought that was gonna turn out to be Erik's thief friend.
 
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Nov 4, 2017
1,257
Sitting at 50 hours even after 2 weeks. This is the amount of hours rpgs should've been over with minimum 10 hours ago. I really would like ta go win the game instead of...

Re-collecting my team. Re-collecting my orbs. Re-collecting my Zoom spots. Re-visiting old places and re-solving their problems. This is basically Trails of Cold Steel 1 & 2 rolled into one game with all the back at square one I'm at and the plot going nowhere. iirc I've got at least 3 of the orbs back? Still need Eriks memories before he's officially back. Still need the twins. Still have several locations in the back of my mind that were unvisitable earlier in the game and are prolly gonna popup as story spots before the final dungeons even in sight. My pep for the games starting to flicker out.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,652
Sitting at 50 hours even after 2 weeks. This is the amount of hours rpgs should've been over with minimum 10 hours ago. I really would like ta go win the game instead of...

Re-collecting my team. Re-collecting my orbs. Re-collecting my Zoom spots. Re-visiting old places and re-solving their problems. This is basically Trails of Cold Steel 1 & 2 rolled into one game with all the back at square one I'm at and the plot going nowhere. iirc I've got at least 3 of the orbs back? Still need Eriks memories before he's officially back. Still need the twins. Still have several locations in the back of my mind that were unvisitable earlier in the game and are prolly gonna popup as story spots before the final dungeons even in sight. My pep for the games starting to flicker out.
Keep pushing, personally I though Erik and the twins story in Act 2 are the highlight of the act.

-----------------------------

So I finally finished the main story portion, are there any list/summary on what activities opened up in post game ?

so far I'm zooming to various location to watch party member cutscenes (speaking of which, Serena at the beginning, Rab at Dundrasil, Erik at viking hideout, Sylv at Puerto Valor, Jade/Hendrik at Last Bastion, am I missing anything ?).

The game told me to go to south of Octagonia right now.

Also I'm missing two enemies from Fortress of Fear, are they lost permanently ?
 
Oct 29, 2017
303
Three of my buddies are playing through the game at the moment as well. It's been nice to swap tips with them as we're going through the game. My playthrough is pretty slow going but two of my friends are around the same areas, so we've been able to chat a fair bit about horse racing and Gondolia.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,652
Just defeated original Mordegon. Regarding the new villain, let me get this straight.

The new villain tried to fuse with Erdwin Lantern in Act 2 Gallopolis to get it’s true form, but Mordregon know this and destroy the lantern before it happen (using the sword of darkness). New villain then follow the hero back in time, this time it “helped” the hero prevent Mordegon rise to power. Mordegon then defeated and nothing prevent the new villain to fuse with Erdwin Lantern.

Truly JRPG masterpiece.
 
Nov 4, 2017
1,257
Keep pushing, personally I though Erik and the twins story in Act 2 are the highlight of the act.
Went through both of these today an gotta say that the first thing wasn't great and the second resulted in a massive downgrade thats further decreased my pep.


edit: how do fisticuffs work in this game btw? am I supposed ta have Jade unequipped of any weapon?
 
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Oct 26, 2017
3,742
Man (part 2 spoilers)
Hero and Hendrik alone is pretty tough...almost died to a Lump Shaman trapping me in a confusion + magic chain.

I need my party back lol. I feel kind of deflated but maybe that's the point.
 
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Oct 25, 2017
12,356
Birdie spoiler tags for folks earlier than you, c’mon

Went through both of these today an gotta say that the first thing wasn't great and the second resulted in a massive downgrade thats further decreased my pep.


edit: how do fisticuffs work in this game btw? am I supposed ta have Jade unequipped of any weapon?
No, fisticuffs is misleadingly named and does not require anything like that. Use spears on her not just for the skills, but also the attack stats for when you’re doing fisticuffs skills.
 
Oct 25, 2017
70
Just started Act 2 (I think). Some thoughts...

Mordegon destroyed the tree, the land is dark, and I'm by myself again. I feel kind of bummed. The world appears to be different now and I feel like I missed out on doing some of the quests from 'before'. Will I be able to "go back" or is this sort of the point of no return?
 
Nov 4, 2017
1,257
OH MY GOD FUCK YOU SQUARE ENIX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



....for killing off veronica :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :(
Totally agree!

Serena was, an continues to be, the partys dead weight. Veronica had 1 job & did it well: be speedy & nuke baddies. As Serena is my spear user she has to do that in addition to deciding between offensive & healing magics. And her agility stats so in the gutter that having her use divided into 3 things makes her just useless! Plus what was she thinking with that awful haircut?!
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,356
Totally agree!

Serena was, an continues to be, the partys dead weight. Veronica had 1 job & did it well: be speedy & nuke baddies. As Serena is my spear user she has to do that in addition to deciding between offensive & healing magics. And her agility stats so in the gutter that having her use divided into 3 things makes her just useless! Plus what was she thinking with that awful haircut?!
Just don’t touch offensive stuff on her and she seems to work well? There’s honestly no real need for that when you have several other characters who can do that better, and can’t do the other stuff she can do.

Honestly I (though again, haven’t done act 3 still) never used either of them a ton. Generally felt easier to buff others’ physical damage rather than have Veronica do any magic damage, and other people could heal suffienctly enough that Serena wasn’t super necessary.

But later in the game it was good to use her as a healer/buffer, as she had access to a ton of stuff and also has a buff that instantly resurrects you if you’re killed with it on you... so she can cast that on herself, and then if most of the active party goes down she can then use her guaranteed resurrect to get someone back up. Especially as she keeps the buff while swapped out, so you can use that as a way to keep holding on if things get real bad and you need to bring her in, and then start rapidly swapping others in and out as you res and/or heal them while still keeping them out of the party at the end of the turn.
 
Dec 22, 2017
102
OK, I just beat the game... and I feel so empty inside. It'll be tough for any game to follow up an act as well crafted as Dragon Quest XI. I was burnt out on the game part way through, but I picked it up again to continue and the game is one of the few that keeps getting better and better.

Amazing game. For anyone who is thinking of giving up or already gave up, do yourselves a favor and continue the quest, use a guide if you have to. If you love JRPG's then you owe it to yourself to complete this game.
 
Nov 4, 2017
1,257
Just forged the Sword of Light an its not even a greatsword?! Whata hunk of scrap! Can I just toss it back into the volcano? I hope you're not forced ta use it for some battle gimmick!! Can I go to what I assume is the final dungeon and win the game Only got 4 of the 6 orbs, though I imagine Jasper has one of 'em. Cool if Mordegon has the other an I was just misrembering that there were 6 Spectral Sentinels.

Just don’t touch offensive stuff on her and she seems to work well? There’s honestly no real need for that when you have several other characters who can do that better, and can’t do the other stuff she can do.

Honestly I (though again, haven’t done act 3 still) never used either of them a ton. Generally felt easier to buff others’ physical damage rather than have Veronica do any magic damage, and other people could heal suffienctly enough that Serena wasn’t super necessary.

But later in the game it was good to use her as a healer/buffer, as she had access to a ton of stuff and also has a buff that instantly resurrects you if you’re killed with it on you... so she can cast that on herself, and then if most of the active party goes down she can then use her guaranteed resurrect to get someone back up. Especially as she keeps the buff while swapped out, so you can use that as a way to keep holding on if things get real bad and you need to bring her in, and then start rapidly swapping others in and out as you res and/or heal them while still keeping them out of the party at the end of the turn.
I really liked magic in this game as opposed to bashing away. Eric w/boomerangs & Veronica with magic'd slay big batches of baddies usually before anyone could get their turns. Serena with Thunder Thrusts my metal baddie killer. Which she's still useful for. Many Hardy Hands died tonight ^_^;
 
Oct 28, 2017
686
I actually rotated to Serena instead of Rab for late game healing strictly because of her Echoes talent. It's expensive at 65 points but getting doubled attack, heals and boosts at various points was a huge improvement. That said I do like Rab's Right As Rain a ton; that much heal-over-time for the entire group was a nice buffer. I never used Serena for attack, that seems a bit odd to me given her setup; I rolled Hero with sword+shield, Hendriks with axe+shield, Sylvando with dual wield but mostly as a buff machine and backup healer, and Serena as healbot with wand+shield.
 
Nov 4, 2017
1,257
I did it! I beat the game!

18 days, 27 sessions, 63:51:27 ("63:42") hours played. That real-time vs. what it says on the save file is ultra close. Like any other DQ game I've played the difference is 2 hours and up. Wish I knew when the ingame clock stops/starts cause if its not counting the initial load then its entirely possible it is for once real-time accurate o.o

RPG makers take note: having some crazy event scatter the players team an force 'em back to square one in rebuilding 'em is never fun an it never will be. I didn't wanna take my time an enjoy things, battle baddie, forge, or do quests. I just wanted my full team asap an it didn't come nearly quickly enough.

Really good game outside of around 13~15 hours of the second half. Never saw any videos of DQ11 prior to release and very few screenshots. From those I saw I thought the character/backgrounds looked weird against one another but while playing I never noticed any weirdness. Everything fit and looked good. Soundtrack also was good. An the gameplay was pretty relaxed compared to other DQs I've played. Wouldn't call it super easy, just more forgiving all around. Now onto another game~
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,930
I keep thinking about this game even after spending 147 hours to do everything in it. What a game.

I did it! I beat the game!

18 days, 27 sessions, 63:51:27 ("63:42") hours played. That real-time vs. what it says on the save file is ultra close. Like any other DQ game I've played the difference is 2 hours and up. Wish I knew when the ingame clock stops/starts cause if its not counting the initial load then its entirely possible it is for once real-time accurate o.o

RPG makers take note: having some crazy event scatter the players team an force 'em back to square one in rebuilding 'em is never fun an it never will be. I didn't wanna take my time an enjoy things, battle baddie, forge, or do quests. I just wanted my full team asap an it didn't come nearly quickly enough.

Really good game outside of around 13~15 hours of the second half. Never saw any videos of DQ11 prior to release and very few screenshots. From those I saw I thought the character/backgrounds looked weird against one another but while playing I never noticed any weirdness. Everything fit and looked good. Soundtrack also was good. An the gameplay was pretty relaxed compared to other DQs I've played. Wouldn't call it super easy, just more forgiving all around. Now onto another game~
You aren't done if you finished Act 2.

I mean the game makes it pretty obvious that the game isn't over after Act 2 so maybe you actually finished it.
 
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