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 Playing Tales of Vesperia - Tend to get my ass handed to me, need help with combat

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Twinrehz

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PostSubject: Playing Tales of Vesperia - Tend to get my ass handed to me, need help with combat   Tue May 20, 2014 6:23 pm

I've been playing Vesperia for a little while, I've played about 25 hours, I've just reached Yormgen, and I'm having some problems with getting used to combat. I'm very close to giving up entirely on the game, but I'm reminded that on several occasions I've read that the combat is among the most complex in any Tales-game (don't take my word for it, though), and want to keep trying. I encountered the boss Pteropus, and was about to send my xbox flying out the window, because that fight was THE most irritating fight I've encountered so far in the game. A huge number of bats, several of them keep casting water fountain after one another, chain-stunning me and dealing enormous amounts of damage, and getting even more on my nerves with their confuse attack. Eventually, after setting difficulty down to Easy just to get past the insipid place, I got through it, but even on easy it took me a very long time to clear the battle. I think I got rid of the leader bat quite quickly, but it was still a very annoying number of bats left to take care of.

Now, part of the problem might be my fault, I had set strategy to very aggressive TP-preservation, but Estelle still ran out of TP trying to keep the party alive, and I had to use quite a few lemon gels on Yuri - which I'm playing - to stay alive. Another part of the problem seem to be that I'm missing artes to be able to deal with flying enemies, and when combat turns into a total clusterfuck, as this particular fight did, I lose track of everything. I lose track of my target, which direction I'm facing (I'm using manual, because semi-auto was sort of annoying), I kept getting hit from all sides, there was nowhere to move to get away from the horde of bats and get a proper overview. Simply put, the bats highlighted that I really don't know what I'm doing, and combat usually just turns into button mashing, hoping that the monsters die before my party does. Weirdly, this strategy seems to work as long as there's not more than 6 monsters to fight against.

Anyway, what I'm asking for is a clue to what I need to do to get a grip on things. I understand the basics of combat, I understand the skills-system - although I'm not entirely sure where to get the skills I need, or indeed what skills I need, and unlocking some more useful artes to better deal with larger packs of monsters. Yuri's Crushing Eagle is sort of useful, but it has a very tiny radius, it doesn't work on airborne monsters, and he tends to jump when I try to use it (it was previously tied to RS Up, I changed it after I came to Yormgen), and the time it takes to complete even the simplest combat actions when I do something wrong is incredibly infuriating. An explanation of the importance of the battle formation would also be much appreciated.

I've read around the web about some tactics to combat, don't hold still, use free-run to the fullest and so on, and while I certainly need to use free run better, it's not the kind of information I want, I need some pointers as to what I should simply do to unlock more stuff. Do I need to train on packs of monsters to unlock more skills and artes, or do I need to progress to a certain point in the story first? (And as a side note, how do I make Karol a little bit more useful in combat? I had to play him while on some ghost ship, and he is really weak in combat).

I want to keep playing, because there's something very appealing about the combat, and I want to learn it properly, but the game doesn't seem very interested in letting me understand the system.

Sorry if this post seems a bit messy, I often make the mistake of trying to put as much info into one post as possible.

Slight edit: I found this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhJTZUw_7OE, and found a lot of things I do wrong in combat, the most particular one is how he uses free running. It also reminds me that I don't really know how to use burst artes.
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Tales of Vesperia - Tend to get my ass handed to me, need help with combat   Wed May 21, 2014 12:40 am

Thhere's also a mission for this: Kill the leader bat.
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Tales of Vesperia - Tend to get my ass handed to me, need help with combat   Wed May 21, 2014 8:56 am

You unlock skills by using certain weapons. On the Equip screen, you'll see the name of the skills and the bar next to that is how close you are to unlocking that skill. Then you can equip that skill in the Skills menu.

The skill Add Combo for Yuri is an absolute must (as well as its upgrades.) Item Thrower is also very good.

As for strategies, I only use them so my entire party stops using all of my items before a major fight lol.

As for battle, Fatal Strikes and combos! (Fatal Strikes are those circles that appear on an enemy, use RT I believe? to activate a Fatal Strike. Using them will increase Grade receieved at the end of battle, which is what you need for NG+.

This game's battle system is simple, especially compared to Graces, which imo has the most complicated but most rewarding battle system.

If you're having trouble with fights, try to combo. For Yuri, the best early combo is Shining Fang and then Dragon Swarm. Also, in Overlimit you can spam artes, so you could spam Shining Fang into infinity (until your TP runs out) and get insane combos. I believe to do burst artes you need to do an arcane arte (Dragon Swarm for example) and then hit.. A? I'm playing through the PS3 version right now so I can't quite remember the 360 layout but its either A or B, that I'm sure of. I personally don't use burst artes often, I tend to spam artes in OVL and then try to  time it so I use an Arcane and then activate a burst before the limit runs out but my timing is usually bad.

You learn artes regularly through gameplay. There are some Arcane artes that require you to use a certain arte X amount of times but you can always turn to a wiki if you're desperate to learn all the artes (which you don't really need to do, you'll probably unlock most of them by playing regularly. Unless there are any specific artes you want to unlock you probably won't need a guide for artes at all) Some artes can be turned into Altered Artes which you need a certain Skill depending on the arte. A few of these arte-changing Skills are Athenor, Crucible, Alembic, Hell Fire, Chain, Dispersion, Great Deluge, I think I'm missing a few. For example, using the skill Bastion with Crushing Eagle will turn it into Guardian Field and after a while will eventually become its own seperate arte. You can also earn artes from sidequests (like Tiger Blade for Yuri, which if you haven't been doing the Dark Enforcer sidequest you've probably already missed.)

For flying enemies, you're better off not using artes on them until you get them onto the ground. Attack while holding the left stick up to attack upwards.

Karol is hard to play as. I main as either Yuri or Repede (and in the PS3 version I'll probably play as Flynn once he becomes permanent.) Karol is slow and I don't really recommend having him in the party at all. My usual party is Yuri, Repede, Estelle (a MUST, always have in the party) and Rita. I don't use Judith and Raven often either, Raven is very difficult to use so I never use him. Judith IIRC is best for dealing with flying enemies. For a beginner though I'd recommend sticking with Yuri and if you think he's way too slow try Repede, but he can't attack flying targets worth crap so don't even try to.

Grinding is necessary to win just like any other RPG. In my PS3 playthrough I actually just defeated Pteropus, I was level 30 when I fought him. I didn't struggle with the fight at all (only because I had killed the Giganto monster, which was waay stronger than the boss, beforehand earlier in the dungeon.)

TL;DR: Use weapons to unlock skills, and battle regularly to unlock artes. Some altered/arcane artes have requirements but you can use any wiki (I prefer the Aselia wiki) to help you with those. Most of those requirements are "Use *arte* x amount of times." Some skills also alter artes (I named most of them above.) IIRC you don't need to use any certain weapons to unlock artes, the only thing the weapons unlock are skills. Use weapons to unlock Skills, each weapon usually has 1-3 skills, sometimes more. The green bar on the Equip page when highlighting a weapon shows how close you are to unlocking said skill. Equipping Skills requires SP (unless the Weapon already has the skill on it) so you can't equip every single skill at once, you have to equip the ones you REALLY need. (Recover, Add Combo and its upgrades, Item Throw, and Special are the best skills imo. If you use a Skill to alter an arte and then learn the arte as its own separate arte, you no longer have to keep that skill equipped.)

Sorry for the wall of text, I just tried to explain the battle system as best as I could. If there's any more questions you have, just let me know and I'll answer them as best as I can (I completed the game on the X360, and I'm currently working on the PS3 version so I like to think I know what I'm talking about lol.)
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Tales of Vesperia - Tend to get my ass handed to me, need help with combat   Wed May 21, 2014 9:50 am

Great, thanks for a good response.

First of all, the button presses you mentioned are correct, I tend to miss a few FS-strikes because I'm slow that way. They've become more frequent, though.

As for the skills, pretty easy system, easy to understand, and I found a dude that told me that some skills give you access to new artes. I didn't know that Repede was bad against flying though, guess I'll have to swap him out. My current party is Yuri (which I play), Estelle (healing is always nice), Judith because she deals with flying like a fat man deals with cake, and lastly Repede, which I started using again after having used Karol for a long while. I was a bit uncertain about Rita and Raven, but I haven't got the strategy thing quite down yet.

I guess I have to take a closer look at what artes I use, I think I'm not using any base artes, and from what I've understood, you need to use base artes in combination with other artes to unlock new ones. (I might have to look it up, though).

Should I grind my way through mobs to get more skills? I have a few weapons waiting to be used, with skills that I want on various characters, and my entire party has skill points still available. My party was lvl 30 when I tried Pteropus, I guess my problem was just that I messed up a few vital things.

Quick summary, and some more questions to my post:
- The Dark Enforcer quest you mentioned, is it too late to do that?
- How do I find the various side quests? I think I've been playing along with the main quest so far, though the achievement for having completed a secret mission for Estelle was a bit surprising.
- How much rank do I need to collect for NG+? I know there's a merchant late in the game that lets me find out how much I have.
- Should I grind skills?
- My party setup: Yuri, Estelle, Judith and Repede. I guess they're quite situational, but should I train the entire party, or just focus on 4 characters?
- Just how long is this game? Will there be enough time to get more properly comfortable with the game's combat before I end up hitting the reset-button for NG+?
- Perhaps you can explain the battle formation system as well?

Also, I dodged the Giganto Monster in that cave because I didn't feel like fighting him :PGuess I'll go back later and fight him

PS! You're playing ToV on PS3, do you understand japanese? Because if you do, I'm jealous. Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Tales of Vesperia - Tend to get my ass handed to me, need help with combat   Wed May 21, 2014 10:24 am

Yeah, Repede's not too good against flying enemies so when I main as him I always make sure to avoid the flying targets if I can.

Your party looks fine to me, if you're comfortable with it I wouldn't worry about changing it. (There might be times where you need to change it for a boss fight but I rarely ever change my party)

Absolutely, grinding for skills can be necessary. While not needed to complete the game, they make things a LOT easier and I tend to grind for all of them.

In Vesperia I've never TRIED to unlock artes. In Symphonia, you had to deal with a whole Strike and Technical branch thing and it was frustrating but in Vesperia that's not the case at all. You unlock artes as you go along. The only artes that really have any requirements are altered artes. Most of the base and arcane artes will unlock as you battle.

When it comes to artes, I use a specific set for each character. Shining Fang and Dragon Swarm are the ones I use most for Yuri. For Repede, it's Crescent Fang, Hell Hound, and Hell Hound Return. Rita's best arte is probably Meteor Storm (which you need to get from a sidequest, and you have to get it before a certain thing happens otherwise you won't be able to get it for the rest of the playthrough I think.) I rarely had Raven and Judith in my party so I know nothing about them.

Grade's only use is to enable modifiers for your New Game +. These can include 10x EXP, transfer Artes, Titles, Play Time (necessary for an achievement), etc. You can grade farm (which you can find multiple tutorials for) so you don't REALLY need to worry about it, but its nice to try your best in battle just to get it.

This game is hundreds of hours long. The main story can be done in 40-60 on your first playthrough (average for most Tales games) but if you want to get everything and get all of the achievements, expect a very long game. (My sister played this on 360 a ton more than I did, and she probably clocked in well over 300 hours and still doesn't have everything.)

For Dark Enforcer, maybe you can still do it? Here's a link to a guide of the things you need to do for this specific quest (spoilers in the link):
http://www.gamefaqs.com/xbox360/945075-tales-of-vesperia/answers?qid=228229

There are a ton of sidequests in Tales games, and if you don't have a guide for them all, you will most likely miss them.

For Strategies, I said I don't use them but to be more specific on what I use:

I keep Repede's defaults except for Item usage, which I've disabled entirely
I make Estelle stick to healing and allow her to use items because she has Item Thrower and can give items to other people, making it easier for me to monitor item usage by AI
I keep everyone else's item usage set to do not use, and generally make everyone have targets other than mine to keep other enemies occupied.

For battle formation, I don't bother with it because in Strategies I just set everyone to Free Run, because if you stick to a formation you'll have to wind up changing it a lot and I don't like dealing with strategies. I just let the AI decide where it wants to go depending on the situation, I feel it's the most effective.


And when it comes to EXP, you don't really need to worry. Your characters will level up regardless if they're in the party or not, the ones who aren't battling just don't get bonus EXP, that way all of your characters will be generally the same level give or take a few. You can get the EXP Share skill which gives them all EXP even if they aren't in battle, though.

To find side-quests, you absolutely need a guide. The game never tells you about them and most of them are VERY easily missable (the only one I can think of that's easy to get is Repede's, which is the most tedious and frustrating sidequest in the game. To get this one all you need to do is go back to Kapua Torim and go to the dock.)

And no, I actually don't know Japanese believe it or not. For the PS3 exclusive stuff I just printed out a guide on all of it so I know what I'm supposed to be doing. I know the main game well enough since I've played it on 360 but I don't know any of the exclusive stuff (like the second EX dungeon, Patty and all of her artes, Flynn's new artes, etc.) And for someone who barely understands any Japanese, I'm still enjoying the heck out of the PS3 version. Figuring out the artes for the main party was easy, and item naviagtion is easy to me as well. Going through skills is also pretty easy but I printed out a guide with most of the skills on there so if I can't figure out what it is I can find the answer lol. The only downside is not being able to understand the skits, but oh well. Other than that I'm not having any trouble making progress in the game. I also played Tales of VS and I didn't have trouble with that either (which is a fighting game set in the Tales universe.) If you enjoy the 360 version and have a PS3 and remember the 360 version well enough, you can find a LOT of guides to help you play the PS3 version. There's even a fan-made English patch in the works, but requires a PS3 with custom firmware I think.

EDIT: Bleh I realized I misspelled a few things, that's what happens when you're used to the Japanese version lol..
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Tales of Vesperia - Tend to get my ass handed to me, need help with combat   Wed May 21, 2014 4:51 pm

Haven't even met Patty yet.

Thank you for all the info, you've been most helpful  cheers I'm not sure if I can run japanese games on my PS3, I read somewhere once that european PS3's are region locked, and Sony took down pretty much all sites who sold japanese machines to europe. It may have been changed with later versions of PS3. Not sure if I want to hack my PS3 either, I could end up having to buy a new one.

I actually kinda want to learn japanese, but I'm bad at pursuing things like that. (Also, why the f*** is occasionally ONE sentence in an otherwise voiced cutscene without voice?? confused )
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Tales of Vesperia - Tend to get my ass handed to me, need help with combat   Wed May 21, 2014 7:24 pm

You may want to look and see if your characters have a skill equipped called Rise. It increases standard attack at the cost of TP. Everyone can learn it and I always turn it off.

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PostSubject: Re: Playing Tales of Vesperia - Tend to get my ass handed to me, need help with combat   Thu May 22, 2014 4:18 am

I don't think any of my characters have that skill at all, but I'll check it out.
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Tales of Vesperia - Tend to get my ass handed to me, need help with combat   Thu May 22, 2014 7:02 am

Twinrehz wrote:
Haven't even met Patty yet.

Thank you for all the info, you've been most helpful cheers I'm not sure if I can run japanese games on my PS3, I read somewhere once that european PS3's are region locked, and Sony took down pretty much all sites who sold japanese machines to europe. It may have been changed with later versions of PS3. Not sure if I want to hack my PS3 either, I could end up having to buy a new one.

I actually kinda want to learn japanese, but I'm bad at pursuing things like that. (Also, why the f*** is occasionally ONE sentence in an otherwise voiced cutscene without voice?? confused )

Patty's a PS3 exclusive character, so you won't be able to meet her on the 360 version, however I'm pretty sure somebody in some town actually mentions her. (In the PS3 version, you first meet her during your first visit in Capua Nor, but doesn't become a permanent party member until later)

As for region locks, the PS3 is completely unlocked when it comes to games, you should be able to play any game from anywhere on any PS3. Movies are region locked though. DLC is also region locked to an extent, you'd need a Japanese account and Japanese currency in order to purchase any DLC for TOV (and the same goes for any game that you imported from another region). And it's against Sony's terms and conditions to own accounts in multiple regions apparently, at least from what I've heard. You won't need to mod your PS3 to play games, as long as the game is on a disc it should be playable. There's only one region-locked game on the PS3 that exists and I think it's Persona 4 Arena.

And you mean in-game? I dunno. They even doubled the amount of spoken dialog in the PS3 version so pretty much every part of dialog that's relevant to the main storyline is voiced. Not only that, but Flynn becomes a permanent party member (and he's probably my favorite character in the entire game+movie) and Repede is even able to be the character on-screen, and also increased the amount of Overlimits you can have and added additional mystic artes. They also said they remodled a few towns (although I'm already past the Manor of the Wicked and I haven't noticed anything different in terms of town/dungeon layout.) They also added a few dungeons too, and added a second EX dungeon. And other than that I think they added the option to fight previous bosses again, and they of course added new skits and mini-games and things like that. IMO it was definitely worth the $70 I spent on it.
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Tales of Vesperia - Tend to get my ass handed to me, need help with combat   Thu May 22, 2014 8:08 am

I'm a little interested, but I'm not sure if I'm patient enough to sit with an entire printout of the game just to get what's going on. Until I learn japanese I think I'll pass. According to some people there's not much lost story-wise, and while the story isn't exactly the strong suit of Tales-games, I still like to know what's going on. That includes the skits, and to look them up while playing sounds like it would break flow. I think actually learning japanese would suit me best, and I do actually have books to learn the basics...

Now I'm kinda stuck with Belius, and it seems I'm actually too low lvl. Guess farm's the word.
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Tales of Vesperia - Tend to get my ass handed to me, need help with combat   Thu May 22, 2014 1:31 pm

Yeah, I can definitely understand.

Tales games have never had the best stories, but IMO Vesperia and Symphonia are the two that have the best out of the franchise. Abyss' was okay but I saw the plot twists coming from a mile away (plus the protagonist Luke was a complete douche for the first half of the game which didn't really help.) The rest of the games had average stories, not bad, not great. Except Legendia, that game sucks on every single level. Except its soundtrack.

Anyway, the easiest way to deal with Belius is to have Rita in your party (preferably you playing as her, unless you have the moon selector in which case you can switch mid-fight) and activate overlimit as her and when Belius creates a clone and the room gets dark, spam fire ball so you can hit all four torches before they burn out and get rid of the clone which makes this fight a lot easier. This is also the Secret Mission for the fight so doing this will give you an achievement.
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Tales of Vesperia - Tend to get my ass handed to me, need help with combat   Thu May 22, 2014 4:42 pm

What, really? There's a point with the torches? I was truly wondering why I could target them, but didn't think any more about it. I've never played as Rita, is there any way I can make her target the torches without having to play as her? I guess I can practice as her, seeing how I need to level up a bit anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Playing Tales of Vesperia - Tend to get my ass handed to me, need help with combat   Sun May 25, 2014 7:25 pm

Well that was extremely infuriating! I figured I was too low lvl to handle the fight with Belius, so I set difficulty to easy, so I could get past it, and go to the next area and level up on mobs there. The mobs outside Nordopolica took forever to farm on (though I suppose I could have pulled it of, if I were more patient).

Anyway. I got to the fight with Belius, but as I was trying to relight the torches, I noticed something. The targeting system in this game is nothing short of retarded! I switched over to Rita using the moon selector, and the first thing I noticed is that targeting doesn't mean she'll turn and cast in the right direction. In itself not TOO complicated, it adds a layer of thinking after all. What was annoying was when I found that even while (seemingly, at least) facing in the right direction, the fireballs wouldn't always hit the lamps.  And here I thought magic was at least somewhat easy.

Not to mention doing this wiped my party completely at normal, and when I switched over to easy, the fight ended before I managed to light the torches. Not because the fight was short, the timer told me it lasted 3:11, but because I had trouble hitting the target, even when I was standing right next to the lamps, Belius and her clone kept getting in the way, or interrupting me, or I managed to cast the wrong spell because I was moving LS as I tried to move so I would be facing the right direction of the lamps. Not to mention Belius has a really cheap combo that first stuns you, then her tail attack will finish you off from about 70% health. Mind you, Belius was lvl 38, and my party was lvl 34.

So I failed to get the bloody achievement, though the reason I wanted to light the torches again was actually to make the fight easier. I didn't expect that I would need a degree in lighting torches just to get past that bit.


  
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