Octopath Traveler

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Octopath Traveler

Post by WhiteShark »

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Watching my brother-in-law play the sequel inspired me to give this a shot. I'm using the above-linked Hard Mode mod to keep things interesting for myself as the game mainly consists of JRPG combat and story cutscenes. I would have tried the Journey's End mod but it would have changed the game so drastically that I would not have been able to meaningfully discuss it with my bro-in-law or anyone else. I linked it anyway in case someone else wants to give it a shot.

Long-winded impressions:
► Show Spoiler
I've just recruited Primrose, bringing me to 7/8 of the cast, and my most-used party members are around level 15. My plan is to go pick up the last PC and then see what areas I can handle. Most of the prologue bosses have been pretty tough for me so far so I don't think I'm going to be able to push the recommended area levels much. I've yet to buy a single piece of equipment from a shop because I'm extremely miserly. I've been able to get by with equipment stolen (some of which is quite good) and found, but probably things would be slightly easier if I stopped being a jew. Looking forward to see how the rest of the game holds up.
Last edited by WhiteShark on April 6th, 2023, 12:13, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by Acrux »

I was initially drawn to OT because I love games with job systems. I don't mind some grinding, but this game does have a lot. I wish there was more interaction between the stories.

Journey's End makes some good changes. The equipment is definitely much better. The changes to EXP are weird to me, but I understand why he did it (basically, only bosses after Chapter 1 give EXP).
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Post by WhiteShark »

Acrux wrote: March 15th, 2023, 18:40
I don't mind some grinding, but this game does have a lot.
If you mean the encounter rate, it is quite high by default but it got a lot better once I got the Scholar's half encounter rate passive. If you mean that grinding becomes mandatory later, well, I don't look forward to that.
Acrux wrote: March 15th, 2023, 18:40
Journey's End makes some good changes. The equipment is definitely much better. The changes to EXP are weird to me, but I understand why he did it (basically, only bosses after Chapter 1 give EXP).
Oh, you actually played it. I was intrigued when I read about the changes, but I do wonder about the XP alteration. I have a worry that it would make random encounters an exercise in pure tedium if you didn't even get XP from them. If you played it, what did you think of that in particular?
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Post by rusty_shackleford »

The stories being separate killed the game for me. Heard #2 is different in that regard?
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Post by Acrux »

WhiteShark wrote: March 15th, 2023, 18:52
If you mean that grinding becomes mandatory later, well, I don't look forward to that.
Yeah, that's what I meant. If you are under-leveled for later boss fights, it's pretty rough, especially if you want the (gag) "true ending".
WhiteShark wrote: March 15th, 2023, 18:52
Oh, you actually played it. I was intrigued when I read about the changes, but I do wonder about the XP alteration. I have a worry that it would make random encounters an exercise in pure tedium if you didn't even get XP from them. If you played it, what did you think of that in particular?
One of the changes he makes is that the Spurning Ribbon ribbon available early on, basically turning into "bosses only". I wish there was a version with just the equipment and class changes.
rusty_shackleford wrote: March 15th, 2023, 19:05
The stories being separate killed the game for me. Heard #2 is different in that regard?
I've heard it's more of the same and that's one reason I haven't paid much attention to it.
Last edited by Acrux on March 15th, 2023, 20:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by WhiteShark »

rusty_shackleford wrote: March 15th, 2023, 19:05
The stories being separate killed the game for me. Heard #2 is different in that regard?
I don't know if the stories intertwine, but I did read that there is intraparty dialogue at least.
Acrux wrote: March 15th, 2023, 19:48
Yeah, that's what I meant. If you are under-leveled for later boss fights, it's pretty rough, especially if you want the (gag) "true ending".
Gross. Well, if it comes to that, hopefully I can at least find an efficient way to grind with speedhack.
Acrux wrote: March 15th, 2023, 19:48
One of the changes he makes is that the Spurning Ribbon ribbon available early on, basically turning into "bosses only".
Oh, I didn't catch that. Huh. That makes a lot of sense for this sort of JRPG. Design-wise, fights that do not directly threaten your life are meaningless if there's no resource management, so just turning them off entirely neatly solves that problem.
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Post by WhiteShark »

rusty_shackleford wrote: March 15th, 2023, 19:05
The stories being separate killed the game for me.
LOL it's worse than I realized. When you enter a town with two different main story quests in it, you actually have to choose which one is active to make sure they don't overlap even a little bit. :lol:
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Post by WhiteShark »

>story segment where Primrose needs to get on a carriage to go somewhere secret
>driver won't let her on
>game handholds me through finding an NPC to talk him into it
>he agrees to let her on
<and apparently the rest of the party just piles in behind her unnoticed
:groan:

I can see why you would find this very off-putting @rusty_shackleford. The sidequests actually aren't too bad. A lot of them have more than one solution and sometimes you actually have to think for yourself or remember the location of a relevant NPC. The main quests, on the other hand, seem to be absolutely decision-free and totally incongruous with the existence of your party. It's sad. If the sidequests were the main focus of the game and a little bit more sophisticated, the game would almost be a real RPG. I don't know if the developers are bound by the traditions of JRPGs or just ignorant/inexperienced/incompetent.

On the plus side, the boss fight after the sequence described above was quite challenging. My core members were 3-4 levels ahead of the recommended level, but I'm playing with Hard Mode and Primrose was about half the recommended level, so I was basically playing with a three man party. There were multiple moments where I thought it was over and I burned through probably about ten resurrection olives, a few greater ones, at least five team heal grapes, five greater light stones, and a bunch of greater healing grapes. I'm definitely going to need to stock up on consumables before I do the next chapter 2 boss fight.
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Post by somerandomdude »

WhiteShark wrote: March 15th, 2023, 20:25
LOL it's worse than I realized. When you enter a town with two different main story quests in it, you actually have to choose which one is active to make sure they don't overlap even a little bit. :lol:
The 2nd game is mostly the same in that regard, but they did put some cross stories with pairs of characters. They also made some good changes in 2 overall that make it better than the 1st game IMO.

https://vgkami.com/octopath-traveler-vs ... fferences/

The encounter rate is pretty annoying in the 2nd game too, but the priest can learn a passive that lets you flee from any encounter 100%, and the scholar has a passive that lowers encounter rate.

The biggest problem I had is there are 8 characters, and I tended to favor picking 4 for primary usage, while neglecting the others, and I did have to add the characters I didn't use very much into the roster to level them up to do their later story segments, because they're minimum level locked. I'd have preferred if there was a mechanic that let these characters catch up to the rest of the group a lot quicker. Not gonna spoil it but at some point in both octopath 1 and 2, you're going to want all characters with respectable levels, gear, and setups, and that's where the grind is. They made this more difficult to do in 2, due to jobs having license limitations, and the special jobs only having 1 license each.
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Post by rusty_shackleford »

It would be forgivable if it was a small indie studio making a $15 game, but when you slap a big boy pricetag on your game I at least expect you to take the time to put in recognition of party members existing…
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Post by WhiteShark »

I've just started Hannit's Chapter 2 quest and once completed I'll have finished all the Chapter 2s. I've been swapping party members around to preserve the difficulty and to make sure none of them fall too far behind, but I can't bring myself to swap out Cyrus for the dual reasons of his encounter rate reduction and his massive damage. Cyrus seriously carries my team in boss fights. I think I just got lucky with the equipment I've found for him, but his Elemental Attack breaks 400 which is pretty far ahead of the rest of my party's offensive stats. He routinely does 2.5k x 2 with his spells against broken enemies while my second hardest hitter does 1.1k x 2. Since I started with Therion I can't swap him out either (a mechanic I don't like very much). He seems kind of mediocre, but at least his Physical Attack debuff is very useful against most bosses and his Field Skill is good for free stuff and sidequests.

I'm beginning to think the optimal party probably runs both Primrose and Ophelia just for their ability to bring NPCs to fights. Some NPCs are absurdly strong and contribute a lot in fights. I'm not sure exactly how many turns they last but I think it's around four. If you happen to bring an NPC with magic that hits a boss weakness, that boss is completely screwed. Hannit's monster summons also seem quite good but they aren't fire-and-forget like the other two.

After experimenting with Alfyn's mixtures I've concluded that the offensive ones don't scale with his stats, so they're only good for breaking shields. That's a little dissapointing, but at least the ability to mass cure ailments is extremely strong. His poison ability is pretty strong too. It doesn't hit as hard as Cyrus' elemental attacks against a broken enemy but it requires no setup and does steady damage over time. I think mixtures probably make him a strong contender for the optimal party as well.

Also, one interesting tidbit I saw online: healing abilities scale with Elemental Defense, not Elemental Attack. This explains why Ophelia, who apparently has the highest base EDef in the game, outheals my Cyrus. At this point in the game, though, using a team heal grape is usually just as good as healing magic, and they're cheap to boot. I assume that will change as health and damage values rise.
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Post by WhiteShark »

Wow, one of the main story quests almost let me make a decision. I had to "figure out" how to get into a black market where participants where a special mask. I could steal one from a nearby NPC -- except the chance of success was something like 8% -- or I could pursue the host back to the nearby town and steal something from him (with a success chance of 100%). Of course, this was all politely marked for me on the radar and the probabilities made it a non-choice, but that's still the closest a main story quest has come to not being a complete railroad. Honestly if the devs had just taken an open approach to the story quests this game could have been a first-rate RPG.

Complaints aside, Therion's Chapter 3 boss fight was brutal. As usual I brought my underleveled and probably underequipped team, but unlike with the other Chapter 3 bosses, this guy could do enough damage even through debuffs to straight-up kill half my party and his minions could do the same. I ended up cheesing it with Tressa's Hired Help ability, annihilating the minions on turn one and then blasting through the boss's second form/stance before he could wipe us. I thought Cyrus and Olberic were the main damage dealers but dang, the $30k mercenary from Hired Help blows them out of the water. Victory cost me $90k+ and a couple of rare consumables but it was worth it to beat a recommended-level-36 quest (on Hard Mode) with a party of average level 29.5.
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Post by WhiteShark »

I bought a +350 attack dagger from a random NPC and now Therion is a damage dealer par excellence. Since he maxed out his main job a long time ago I went ahead and invested the JP to get the passive from Warrior that unlocks the damage cap. In the last boss fight, Therion did 22 thousand damage with his ultimate ability against a broken, PhysDef-debuffed boss. I was totally blown away (and so was the boss, incidentally). Now I'm really free to drag around my lowest-level party members because as long as they can keep Therion topped up on BP, there shouldn't be anything that can survive that for long. Man, I thought I had broken the game when I got Cyrus to do 7k x 2 to a boss, but that's nothing now.

It's kind of funny. Early on it feels like Tressa's ability to buy items from NPCs is stupid when you can just steal them, but the really good stuff has such a low success rate for Steal that if you want it while it's still an improvement to your current gear, you pretty much have to buy it. Steal is mainly nice for grabbing consumables, but I've had to Buy all the really cool equipment. At least keeping Tressa around nets you a decent chunk of free money (if you don't count the thousands I end up spending on her mercenary ability...).

I've got Cyrus' and Primrose' left to do and then I'm all done with the Chapter 3 quests. I've been doing the sidequests as I go along and making note of all the interesting/relevant NPCs, but there's still a couple quests whose solution escapes me. The girl who lost her egg in particular has been plaguing my journal since the very beginning of the game. She says she dropped it to the bottom of the cliffs so I explored around down there and cleared the nearby dungeon but I still haven't found it. I wondered if it was supposed to have been carried downstream by the river but I've already walked around the neighboring region and not found anything. :scratch: Note: I'm not really asking for an answer, just blogposting.
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Post by krokodil »

the first few hours are fun but the game turns to shit after you figure out you're going to have to do the same things 7 more times because there isn't really that much variation between characters and their quests. if you want jrpgs that do multi-character narratives well play the SaGa series.
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Post by rusty_shackleford »

krokodil wrote: March 20th, 2023, 04:02
the first few hours are fun but the game turns to shit after you figure out you're going to have to do the same things 7 more times because there isn't really that much variation between characters and their quests. if you want jrpgs that do multi-character narratives well play the SaGa series.
SaGa Frontier 2 is excellent.
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Post by Shillitron »

I hate the art style of octopath.. It's like pixel snes era.. but with weird shadows and stuff.
It looks like barf to me.

If I was gonna go full JRPG Animu, I'd fire up FF6 / Chrono Trigger over this any day.
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Post by WhiteShark »

Shillitron wrote: March 20th, 2023, 05:20
I hate the art style of octopath.. It's like pixel snes era.. but with weird shadows and stuff.
It looks like barf to me.
I've seen other people with the same complaint about the artstyle but personally I think it looks nice. I like both the looks of the environment/clearly 3D space and the sprites.
Shillitron wrote: March 20th, 2023, 05:20
If I was gonna go full JRPG Animu, I'd fire up FF6 / Chrono Trigger over this any day.
I haven't played FF6, but this game is a thousand times more interesting mechanically than Chrono Trigger, and for me that's the central draw.
rusty_shackleford wrote: March 20th, 2023, 04:09
krokodil wrote: March 20th, 2023, 04:02
the first few hours are fun but the game turns to shit after you figure out you're going to have to do the same things 7 more times because there isn't really that much variation between characters and their quests. if you want jrpgs that do multi-character narratives well play the SaGa series.
SaGa Frontier 2 is excellent.
Noted. I've heard about this series before but never looked much into it. If I'm itching for more in this style after I finish up this series I'll check it out, although playing this has also reminded me that I never played the Bravely Default sequels so those will probably come first.
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Post by Shillitron »

WhiteShark wrote: March 20th, 2023, 14:12
Shillitron wrote: March 20th, 2023, 05:20
If I was gonna go full JRPG Animu, I'd fire up FF6 / Chrono Trigger over this any day.
I haven't played FF6, but this game is a thousand times more interesting mechanically than Chrono Trigger, and for me that's the central draw.

K, but I was talking about the art direction..
So please bring the goal posts back onto the field, their a rental.
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Post by WhiteShark »

Shillitron wrote: March 20th, 2023, 05:20
I hate the art style of octopath.. It's like pixel snes era.. but with weird shadows and stuff.
It looks like barf to me.

If I was gonna go full JRPG Animu, I'd fire up FF6 / Chrono Trigger over this any day.
Shillitron wrote: March 20th, 2023, 19:43
K, but I was talking about the art direction..
So please bring the goal posts back onto the field, their a rental.
The spacing and nature of the final line made it sound like a general evaluation, not art specific. If indeed art is all you were talking about, then sure, Chrono Trigger is a nice looking game. Out of curiosity, would you have preferred that Octopath had gone full pixel or full low-poly 3D?

In other news, I've now completed all the Chapter 3s and have visited every town, so I'm spending some time crushing sidequests and hunting for better equipment. The journal UI is really awful. You can view sidequests by region but there's no way to hide completed sidequests and no search feature, so if you don't remember where you took a sidequest, you have to comb the whole list to find it. I hope they improved that in the second game.
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Post by Shillitron »

WhiteShark wrote: March 20th, 2023, 22:02
Out of curiosity, would you have preferred that Octopath had gone full pixel or full low-poly 3D?
Probably full Pixel.
I would be fine with introducing modern lighting / visual effects into a pixel stylized game.. but not like this.

I also hate the "Paper Mario" side view style of game. I way prefer top-down or isometric when it comes to city exploration or just exploring in general. This criticism also applies to Bravely Default.. where it feels like the on-rails side view screen in cities is just an excuse to make less content.

Fight me Shark.
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Post by WhiteShark »

Shillitron wrote: March 21st, 2023, 00:48
I also hate the "Paper Mario" side view style of game. I way prefer top-down or isometric when it comes to city exploration or just exploring in general. This criticism also applies to Bravely Default.. where it feels like the on-rails side view screen in cities is just an excuse to make less content.
I think of it the other way around. I assume that they weren't going to densely populate the cities with content anyway (there's too many of them for that), so at least the view makes it look alright.
Shillitron wrote: March 21st, 2023, 00:48
Fight me Shark.
My blade is unbending!
*hits Shillitron for 30k with Brand's Thunder*

I put the game down for a few days but now I'm back to it. I've completed all the Chapter 4s, all but three of the (available) sidequests, and one of the four extra class shrines. I've finally reached a point where I'm going to have to seriously optimize my team as all the available bosses have kicked my ass when I tried to get by with my usual minimal adjustments. My Thief is level 60 and the rest of my party ranges from 43 to 51. My Warrior has finally caught up in damage to my Thief despite being 15 levels under thanks to a sword I got from a postgame sidequest with +400 PhysAttack and a special physical ability enhancer effect.

I've found the Apothecary and Merchant to both be indispensable utility characters in the hard fights with the former slightly edging out the latter. The Apothecary' mixtures allow for excellent single-target and multi-target healing/resurrection, debuff-curing, elemental weakness targeting, and BP distribution. The Merchant lacks all of that except BP distribution but in exchange brings a team-wide PhysDefense buff, physical weakness targeting, and blind/poison stacking. For now I've settled on subclassing my Apothecary to Merchant to have access to both.

The Dancer, on the other hand, has felt a bit redundant. My team's heavy-hitters are physical, so her EAttack buff doesn't matter. The Merchant's team-wide PhysDefense buff obviates the need for her single-target version. Her PhysAttack buff would be useful except that I usually keep my Thief subclassed to Warrior so he can buff his own attack (and of course, my main-class Warrior can do the same). Action Speed buff seems strictly worse than using the Hunter's ability that moves an enemy's turns to the end of the queue. I've kept her subclassed to Cleric so she acts as a healbot, not because she's the best at it but so that my Apothecary can do more useful things.

I have to say I'm really enjoying the postgame sidequests. It's that thing @rusty_shackleford talks about where instead of getting slides, you get to see for yourself how things turned out afterward. The equipment you get as rewards get seems likely to be best-in-class. It's also nice that here the stories begin to intertwine with the various path-specific NPCs finally interacting with one another. I'm not sure how this leads to the superboss, but I assume if I keep picking away at the available stuff the game will lead me there eventually.
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Post by WhiteShark »

Everything cleared now but the superboss. I gave in and looked up a guide for one single sidequest and one sidequest chain. The former and the first step of the latter made me facepalm in shame when I realized what the solutions were, but the subsequent steps of the chain would have necessitated wandering aimlessly around the entire map looking for newly-spawned NPCs, so I don't regret looking that up at all. Now it's time to prepare for the big showdown so I'm off to collect materials for my Apothecary that you can't buy from stores.
► postgame-endgame
Doing the remaining class shrines was fun. The two castery ones weren't that bad once I rearranged my equipment to be EDef-heavy but the Warmaster was hell. On one attempt I got her down to the red and then she activated her divine skill on me and wiped my whole team from full. I eventually figured out I could break eight shields in one go by combining the Cleric's divine skill that causes normal skills to repeat with the Merchant's Hired Help summoning mercenaries that target one of her weaknesses. That let me blitz her shields in two turns so that I could finish her off with my Thief and Warrior before she annihilated us. Very satisfying victory.
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Post by WhiteShark »

Took a break for a week but now I'm finally back to try and finish this game for good.
► superboss
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Post by WhiteShark »

► More Superboss
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