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Final Fantasy XIII-2

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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Postby fuzzygeek » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:42 pm

I enjoyed the game very much; I started a new game this morning to do the 100% max-efficiency built character thing (my first playthrough did not maximize stat allocation because I didn't realize 13-2's crystarium behaves markedly differently from 13's until I was well along it).

I finished the game, but I had a *lot* of unlocked eras and several of the large areas I didn't come close to completing. I'll do that at a more leisurely pace now.

Some of the puzzles I'm not looking forward to doing again, or more of. The timed constellation connect puzzles are deeply stupid and I don't like them at all. The clock puzzles are a lot of work, and I'm probably going to need to rig some kind of dry erase board to solve them more efficiently.

The storyline is a little odd, as storylines involving time travel and causality usually are. Characters are generally believable, and this is the first male protagonist that didn't actively irritate me in a long time.

As a game it is markedly better than F13. I'm not sure where I'd rank it in the pantheon, but it's certainly up there. I don't know how much of that is the new-car smell of it; will have to digest it for a while and see what I think later.
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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Postby Aubade » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:45 pm

I'm glad to hear it has high re-playability, I'm actually just getting ready for an all-day session haha.
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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Postby Aubade » Mon Feb 06, 2012 1:09 am

@invis

I actually really like the music >.<
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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Postby Nothan » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:00 pm

How many hours did it take to go through the game? I just started but I am really slow at console games or I just like to investigate every bit of the map for items or whatever and that takes up a lot of hours and gets me sidetracked.

I think the only other game I finished within a week of release was FFX-2, which took about 3 days :P
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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Postby Fivelives » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:07 pm

If you don't get sidetracked collecting fragments, gambling, or taming monsters, it's relatively short for a final fantasy game. Something like 12-14 "plot" episodes, but those side paths are just oh so tempting.
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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Postby Sabindeus » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:09 pm

I am stuck on Caius Ballard in Oerba 200 AF. He kills me and heals himself. :(
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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Postby Fivelives » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:21 pm

Use better mons and paradigm decks. You need a med/med/sen for that, and if you've got one, a Pulse Knight from Bresha Ruins 005 AF is the best sentinel for pretty much everything up until you can get a bunkerbeast.

My standard paradigm deck (Serah/Noel/Monster)
Sab/Syn/Sen (start here and stack your buffs/debuffs up)
Rav/Com/Rav (switch to this and bounce back and forth between this and the duplicate)
Rav/Com/Rav (duplicate to take advantage of the ATB refresh from paradigm shifts)
Med/Sen/Med (use it after the boss lands their supermove)
Sen/Sen/Sen (use it whenever the bosses "telegraph" their supermoves)
Rav/Rav/Rav (use this whenever anything gets staggered)

I always use the "Wide" stance, just because that's the only way to guarantee Serah will stick with the bow and moderately in long range. That, and because it wrecks random groups faster for more 5-stars; and with bosses it doesn't matter, since generally they're the only thing on the screen.

Oh, for reference:
Sentinel is a lvl 20 (early peaker, so 20 is the max) Pulse Knight - soon to be upgraded to a bunkerbeast
Rav was a lvl 30something Zwerg Scandroid - soon to be upgraded with a chocobo, currently a lvl 38 cloudburst
Med is one of those slug things with the flowers on their heads, level 20ish or thereabouts - probably going to stay the same, unless I find another med with item hunter on it.
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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Postby fuzzygeek » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:58 pm

If you power straight through the plot, you can finish it in under 30 hours. I think I was a little over that mark, but I'd spent a couple hours futzing around and playing with different things. I probably only saw about 40% of the game, too. There are a metric fuckton of side quests and optional things.

Another really good SEN mob is the goblin king; his feral link ability buffs you with, like, everything; I ended up using him for the rest of the game. If you're stuck on Caius you might go do the other plot branch first. I'm a bit past that point on my 2nd playthrough, and I did the Waterway first both times. Doing this sends you to the Steppes earlier (where you can pick up the Goblin King SEN and a Chocobo COM), teaches you Moogle throw (don't have to backtrack to pick up wild fragments), and gets you to a higher level before facing Caius.

The first playthrough I was pumping every crystarium point into Noel's COM and Serah's RAV; this time I'm saving Role Bonus spheres for their primary job and filling small spheres with the secondary things.
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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Postby Nothan » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:14 pm

I get easily distracted by side quests and stuff like that :P I suppose that's one of the factors that led to me never finishing FF13. I tried to do all of the crystal missions or whatever in Gran Pulse and some of them were so hard that I just gave up in frustration because I didn't have the gear to do them and there was no brute forcing through. This time I'll attempt to just do a bit and move on.

I'm kind of confused on the stances on the paradigms work. Are those basically there to hot swap to AOE/single target fights? Do you keep two of the same paradigm combinations for different situations?
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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Postby Fivelives » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:29 pm

The reason you keep 2 duplicate paradigms is because of the way the ATB refreshes.

Say for instance you've got a 5 second refresh on your ATB from empty to full
Start the battle in Rav/Com/Rav, use your first full 6 bars
Immediately switch to the second Rav/Com/Rav, and your ATB is magically back to full again instantly
Wait the 5 seconds to refresh your current ATB back to full
Use your 6 bars
Immediately switch to the original Rav/Com/Rav, and your ATB is refreshed again.

It's a "hidden" mechanic they put in to encourage paradigm shifting mid-battle, even on trash fights.

Ok, as to what paradigms are.

There are a total of 6 roles (or classes, you could call them) in the game, and each role has the use of specific abilities. For instance, Ravager is the "black mage" role, while Sentinel is the tanking role. Naturally, since none of the roles are set up to share abilities between them (and you get different hidden bonuses for each role - for instance, Ravagers build the chain gauge faster, and Sentinels take decreased damage from attacks), you have to set different combinations of roles for your characters, or paradigms.

So when we talk about Rav/Com/Rav, for instance, we're talking about assigning Serah the role of Ravager, Noel the role of Commando (physical attacker - think melee DPS), and a monster with the Ravager class. You can have up to 6 pre-defined paradigms, and you can switch between them at any time during a fight. So say for instance, you start in Rav/Com/Rav, but suddenly you need some MASSIVE healing, you might want to have 2 medics and a sentinel - so you shift to Med/Sen/Med so that Noel can taunt the mobs while Serah and the monster healer heal the group up to full.

In FFXIII-2, they added a secondary characteristic to each paradigm. You can set them to act normally according to their AI, which can be somewhat stupid at times. Generally not a good idea. Or, you can set them to "close" stance (or X stance) which makes them all focus on the same target - again, generally not a good idea, both because it takes longer to clear trash fights, and because Serah has naturally lower HP totals than Noel, and this forces her to use her sword instead of bow, which can get her caught more often in AOE attacks by the mobs. Or, you can set them to wide stance, which is the best option (in my opinion!) because it forces Serah to stick with her mogbow - keeping her *mostly* out of harm's way - and the AI will prioritize AOE attacks when there are multiple enemies - leading to faster fights and more drops.
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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Postby Sabindeus » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:06 pm

Fivelives wrote:Use better mons and paradigm decks. You need a med/med/sen for that, and if you've got one, a Pulse Knight from Bresha Ruins 005 AF is the best sentinel for pretty much everything up until you can get a bunkerbeast.

My standard paradigm deck (Serah/Noel/Monster)
Sab/Syn/Sen (start here and stack your buffs/debuffs up)
Rav/Com/Rav (switch to this and bounce back and forth between this and the duplicate)
Rav/Com/Rav (duplicate to take advantage of the ATB refresh from paradigm shifts)
Med/Sen/Med (use it after the boss lands their supermove)
Sen/Sen/Sen (use it whenever the bosses "telegraph" their supermoves)
Rav/Rav/Rav (use this whenever anything gets staggered)

I always use the "Wide" stance, just because that's the only way to guarantee Serah will stick with the bow and moderately in long range. That, and because it wrecks random groups faster for more 5-stars; and with bosses it doesn't matter, since generally they're the only thing on the screen.

Oh, for reference:
Sentinel is a lvl 20 (early peaker, so 20 is the max) Pulse Knight - soon to be upgraded to a bunkerbeast
Rav was a lvl 30something Zwerg Scandroid - soon to be upgraded with a chocobo, currently a lvl 38 cloudburst
Med is one of those slug things with the flowers on their heads, level 20ish or thereabouts - probably going to stay the same, unless I find another med with item hunter on it.



1. I don't have any Sab/Syn, are those as necessary for boss fights in this game as they were in previous games? I didn't train the role because it seemed like I was crushing things without it.
2. I have Med/Med/Sen as you said, with the Pulse Knight.
3. From what I remember in FF13, when something gets staggered don't you want Com/Com/Rav? I mean this may just be personal preference but the stacked Commando damage bonus gets pretty hefty versus the hit you take for going Rav, even if you do stack your combo % up very high you're not going to reach the numbers you're getting from going Com/Com/Rav or Com/Com/Com.
4. Thanks for the Wide tip
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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Postby Fivelives » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:26 pm

It's personal preference. I like Rav/Rav/Rav because on some bosses, I can get the chain stacked up to 999.9%, which is pretty massive and makes the difference between the harder-hitting commandos and the faster-chaining ravagers kind of academic.

Most bosses aren't immune to most status ailments (except for paradox endings, I think), but I'm pretty sure Caius is vulnerable to deprotect and deshell. It still doesn't hurt to try them though, and Com (or Rav)/Syn/Sen is only slightly better (wound damage is actually double the listed numbers - if you do 100 wound damage, you reduce their max hp by 100 AND deal 100 damage on top of that). You definitely want shell and protect on your party at the very least. Bravery and Faith aren't too shabby either.

A small tip for Sen monsters. Chocolina sells the specific monster materials (potent/magic/etc...) - for your Sen monsters, definitely shell out the dough to get the vitality materials. It adds up:
Potent materials increase each stat by 55% of the max possible increase for all 3 stats (hp/str/mag)
Magic materials increase each stat by 110% of the "max possible increase) for magic alone
Strong materials do the same for strength
Vitality materials kick MUCH ass for Sen monsters.

For non-Sen monsters, potent materials are probably best, since it gives a decent increase to everything. I suppose you could min/max with a mix of strong/vitality or magic/vitality, but what's the point, other than trying to win the pokemon championship somewhere and possible bragging rights.
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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Postby Sabindeus » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:50 pm

So if I'm dying horribly to Caius should I just fail less hard on the Shifts to Sen/Sen/Sen or should I bring in a Synergist monster into my battle party?
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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Postby Fivelives » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:58 pm

I'd make your controllable characters the Sab/Syn, since there might be times when you want a specific buff/debuff rinao! and mons are uncontrollable.

You could also try grinding some. I've been shooting for right around 1 (or more, depending on the map) crystarium expansions per zone. I honestly found Caius in Oerba 200AF to be kind of a cakewalk. I think I pretty much stuck with Rav/Com/Sen though.
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- A Sergeant in motion outranks an officer who doesn't know what the hell is going on.
- A demolitions specialist at a flat run outranks everybody.
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Re: Final Fantasy XIII-2

Postby Sabindeus » Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:34 pm

Fivelives wrote:I'd make your controllable characters the Sab/Syn, since there might be times when you want a specific buff/debuff rinao! and mons are uncontrollable.

You could also try grinding some. I've been shooting for right around 1 (or more, depending on the map) crystarium expansions per zone. I honestly found Caius in Oerba 200AF to be kind of a cakewalk. I think I pretty much stuck with Rav/Com/Sen though.


I thought he healed too much for me to pull off straight Rav/Com/Sen... but I'll give that a shot
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