Dragon Quest IX

Comes out tomorrow.

I figure it’s better to have a separate thread for game impressions, discussions, and spoilers from the thread about recommending the series to someone.

Also posting info on things like select GameStops doing a quest map handout at the last weekend of the month (because that’s where the bulk of the game content is).

July 23. That’s all.

I’ve played through it a bit, and it’s hard to put down. Just finally got to where you can change classes.

I’ll just mention a few things that seem a bit different than the other games.
-Magic can now crit. Surprised me the first time it happened. But yeah, attack magic and healing spells now have a chance to crit, doing or healing more damage.
-Skill system from VIII is back, although slightly modified. Skill sets carry over from each class, and anything you learn from them is permanent. The good thing is now you can see what skills you get after so many points have been invested. (However, any spells or whatever you learn from a job when leveling up don’t carry over through a job change.)
-Job System: Just started messing with this and it’s a bit different. Unlike the other games, where you have your own levels and job levels (or whatever), IX has separate levels for each job. So if you get to Level 15 in one job and switch to a new one, you’ll be back to Level 1 in the new job. But you can switch back to the previous one and you’ll be Level 15 again. I’m probably making it sound more confusing than anything.
-EXP System: Haven’t quite figured this out, but the EXP distribution is a bit wonky. Taking an example from above, say I have my Level 15 guy and a group of Level 1s. If I kill a group of enemies, my Level 15 will get the majority of the EXP instead of being distributed equally. Even more surprising was when 2 of my guys died on the 3rd boss, but still got EXP at the end of the fight (only got half as much as the guys still alive).

I picked this up yesterday and it is hard to put down. I’m most concerned about this multiplayer thing… it seems to be great at the expense of the campaign. I haven’t played with it yet though (haven’t really ever done any multiplayer DS) so I can’t truley comment. But it is fun and awesome. I’ve never really played DQ and I picked up the 4th when I bought my DS (again…) to be pleasently surprised by simple and addictive gameplay.

I’m excited to play this! I’ve come to the conclusion the DS is for my RPG jones and the Xbox is for everything else.

If I remember correctly its set so that higher level characters aren’t gimped in EXP gains when handholding weaker party members.

Can you share story details? spoiler tag if needed

How fast is the game compared to Dragon Quest 8? I wanted to like that game but ultimately stopped because getting anywhere and finishing any fight felt like it took an eternity.

Just got the game myself and am about two hours in.

As far as battle speed is concerned its about as fast as DQ VIII was two hours in (i.e. blowing through scrubs in a turn or three but having to watch my characters hop around smacking enemies, still brisker than most though). No idea how fast or slow it will get later on though as I’m still only two hours in and I haven’t found the text speed setting yet.

As for story details, I’m approaching the first dungeon now.

Well, finally got the boat and another class or two. Unlocking some of the classes kinda suck. Case in point, the Armamentalist (Magic Knight) class is unlocked by doing a quest where you have to have somebody cast Wizard Ward and then they have to kill a Metal Slime. And of course, you gotta do this twice. The other class unlock quests haven’t been as hard, but are fairly interesting. So far though, looks like you get class-specific quests at Level 15 and then 40.

SG: Story’s kinda coming along at pretty good pace. Also haven’t really had a lot of trouble with the bosses up to the point where I’m at. Fights also coming and going pretty quick. I found a new friend in Metal Towers (3 Metal Slimes on top of each other; give out over 3000 EXP per party member in a party of 4 should you kill one).

The story right now has me going after Fyggs which mostly boils down to finding out where it went, who got it, and going through a dungeon and fighting a boss. For some Almighty fruit, they do some crazy shit.

The story is pretty simple: You are a celestian, an angel of sorts. Your race as been tasked with the guardianship of the towns and cities. When you succesfully defend or help a town or city every person who has that sense of gratitude releases something called benevolessence, which all Celestians gather and give as tribute to the Yggdrisil, the eternal tree. When the tree blooms, something goes awry, and you are jettisoned from your friends and fellow Celestrians to the surface. Along with some kind of celestral train conductor, you travel around trying to regain entry to your home by doing enough good things the God will notice you and let you return. That’s all I’ve got so far.

Man, the world really opens up when you finally get the boat. I kinda think it allows for doing some stuff out of order, but I can only imagine that’d make things kinda harder.
At this point, I managed to get a TON of recipes for the alchemy pot, so I’m working on making some really strong equipment. This is where a Thief comes in handy, since stealing stuff actually has a decent rate of success (unlike other games…I’m looking at you VIII), and you’ll need plenty of materials to make stuff.
Just yesterday, I managed to buy a Miracle Sword off of the Wi-Fi shop, which was pretty awesome (and ate up around 18k gold).

Also tried to do one of the Treasure Map dungeons, since you get one as part of a quest. The dungeon itself was fairly normal stuff, but then I got raped by the boss. My party had an average of around 100+ HP, but the boss was using full-party attacks that hit for 80-90. So I may have to hit it up after beating the game or something.

So far I’ve been using a party of a Minstrel, Mage, Priest, and Warrior. I’ve also been leveling some other jobs for skill points and handy abilities.

I’ve just about caught up with you there minus the Wifi shop stuff since some idiot changed the Wifi settings to WPA and then promptly forgot either the login, the password, or both. Other than that though the Alchemy Pot is even more addictive in this game than in VIII since you don’t have to wait around forever for it to get done and it can even cook up to 9 copies provided that you have the material.

One thing that I’m doing though is that I’m keeping the main character looking like a shabby peasant for as long as I can for cutscene purposes (unfortunately since I rolled a female main character I don’t get to run around all over creation in Boxer Shorts, if only I had thought of this sooner). I’m also doing a survivalist runthrough of the game where the restriction is that I can’t spend any money at shops, only Inns, Churches, and the Bank get my money (if only because I don’t want to have to keep hopping aboard the Starlight express to the Observatory every time I need a heal). Its already netted me the 100’000 gold in the bank achievement.

Anyway my current party loadout includes a Minstrel, a Thief, a Priest, and a Fighter, and I’m currently tackling the anime highschool quest.

Addendum: War Cry is hilariously awesome. And great for thieving too.

Quick question. I’m slightly past the point where I can recruit new party members. How long until I can change classes?

A little ways, after the fifth boss you can change classes, and you can recruit after the first.

I really like this game so far, though I have a feeling I’m getting kinda near the end (characters in the mid-40s often means the end is more close than far in DW land).

A little tip: getting 100 points in Paladin’s virtue skill gives a permanent +60 defense and +80 HP to a character. It’s a great help especially on casters.

And even then you’ll only have access to the same 6 classes that you had at the character creation menu. The rest you have to unlock through quests. Fortunately you can unlock the Gladiator and Armamentalist classes right off the bat if you have the right set up (also take the level 15 Minstrel quest alongside the Gladiator unlock quest since both involve getting characters up to maxed tension, and if you want the Armamentalist class have a Wizard know Magic Wall (or whatever it is that they want you to cast) and armed with a poison needle). The rest you’ll unlock along the way.

Gotten a bit further now and finally made it to another town Upover which is seemingly in the middle of nowhere and it’s pain in the ass to get to. Anywho, been jacking with more Alchemy and finally made some nice upgrades to my party’s equipment. (I love my Demon Spear!) Slightly pissed off that I can’t make an awesome robe for my Mage since I need 80 mini medals for one of the materials.

And Gladiators are just full of ass-busting awesome. Oh yeah. Aside from the crazy high attack they get, they get some skills to jack it up higher and their Coup de Grace automatically gives them 100 tension. Use that with Double Up (Jacks up Attack but lowers Defense) and stuff will be hurting.

Paladins also have some nifty skills and I’m contemplating whether my Priest should dabble in some of those skills, since the Priest skills are kinda sucky.

Also, if you’ve gotten this far yet, there’s an awesome level-up spot in the Bowhole where you can wait on Liquid Metal Slimes to spawn and then fight 'em.

Ninja Edit: Gotten a bit further now; almost at the end. Turns out Double Up is like an Oomph substitute (so they don’t stack -_-), and I’m really close to getting the Sage class and its awesome skills. Also, Dragon Warrior Armor is VERY pimp. A shame it doesn’t have better defense.

I started playing it, like it so far.

I’m just a bit further than that right now. Priest skills are crappier than I realized but at least all the Magical Mending boosts makes my priest’s MidHeal still my most effective healing spell at this point for everyone but my Monk who requires a MoreHeal (that’s right, you heard me) at low health. Also Care Prayer is nice enough during boss fights if you want to spend 2 extra MP and a turn to effectively raise your healing spells up a level for a few turns. The one time I used it during the Headmaster boss fight my priest’s bog standard Heal spell was restoring roughly 100 HP a whack.

Anyways I’ve been doofing around A LOT lately as I went back through most of the game to fill in the expanded entries in the Beastary with Eye for Trouble to see what I will need to grind on for materials necessary for weapon upgrades and alchemy purposes. I guess I should’ve taken my monk down the Fisticuffs skillset to begin with then moved on to the Monk Class skill set.

Also I should note that I given up on keeping my main character in plain clothes, pot lid, see-through tights, and weapon + accessory only to Slime Stack, pot lid, see-through tights, and weapon + accessory only. It is a thing.

Well, I finally beat the game and been exploring the whole post-game stuff. My endgame accolade was something related to Alchemy in that I did a lot of it throughout the game. (I abused the hell out of it when I could.)

Anywho, quite a bit of stuff gets unlocked once you beat the game and stuff. I’ll try not to spoil stuff, but I’ll just briefly go over some stuff.

-Post Quest: Basically, after the ending, there’s another quest you can go on, which ultimately ends up with you being able to fly and reach all those places you couldn’t get to before. Lo and behold, there’s a lot of wells and caves in the middle of nowhere.

-Legacy Bosses: Pretty much, all the major bosses from previous DQ games make a comeback. The first map you get from a quest is Baramos, and he’s pretty nasty without some leveling/skill grinding. Apparently, the Legacy bosses are a nasty combo of big hitting moves and lots of Critical Hits. However, to make things interesting, you have the option of letting the boss get the EXP from the battle and leveling up. The point of that is to increase drop rates and get more items/maps. Of course, the downside of that is they get stronger and learn more moves…

-Treasure Maps: Ok, not really postgame crap, but I feel like mentioning it. Been trying to get higher level maps, but I’ve only managed up to a Lv.37 map so far. Bosses are kinda interesting, but the ones I’ve faced thus far can’t really ravage my current party.

-Equipment (and lots of money gone down the drain): Yeah, apparently the best stuff you can make is crazy expensive to do. Mostly because they require an Agate of Evolution, and one of the materials to make it, a Chronocrystal, can only be found in one place and you have to buy it from a guy for 50k. Ouch. Needless to say, I haven’t gotten far enough to find the best equips yet.

And this is why I’ve been running around with only the stuff I could find in barrels/pots/drawers/chests or from enemy drops. I’ve got like 500+k saved up from not spending anything, and that doesn’t include all the stuff I can sell for profit.

And speaking of post game stuff, I’ve finally beaten the game (and with my main character decked out in the slime gear no less, although not in a class that allowed claws which meant no drills for maximum Slimen Lagann). Now for some sweet post game stuffs.