Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan
From Before I Play
- Resting only costs two levels now, so it's pretty easy to move stuff around if you don't like your build.
- The game is far more generous than the earlier games in the series, for the most part, and nearly any party can make it through. A good starting party should probably have at least one of Nightseeker/Sniper and Medic/Dancer. I ran the party on the game box my first run - Fortress, Landsknecht, Nightseeker, Sniper, Medic, and it stood me in good stead, though you'll want to run the Link skills on your Landsknecht if you go this way for some elemental damage.
- Once you get to the second land and gain a few levels, the sheep FOEs on the worldmap are the easiest grinding in the game. The rare mushrooms you can find there will make them rare breeds, which are worth nearly 50k exp a pop.
- Nightseekers are decent early on but become the undisputed kings of damage once you start hitting the third tier skills at level 40. In particular, Venom Throw is insanely good, dealing 700 damage per turn when maxed out. Combine that with Auto-Spread and you can one-round virtually all encounters with one shot.
- The Runemaster's first set of runes are worth getting to rank 3 if you run one, which will cut down on damage of the appropriate element by a huge amount.
- For the first maze, Arm Bind from a Sniper or Blind from a Nightseeker are extremely useful against the FOEs and boss, and it doesn't hurt to have both. Leg Bind and Paralysis are very good in the second maze, and both remain very useful for the whole game.
- Enemies can only have one status effect at a time. Status effects are traditional RPG status like poison, blind, paralyze, but not binds; you can bind all three things and still poison the enemy, for instance.
- You get guest characters in several major dungeons; they are pretty much universally perfect for taking on the bosses of those areas, with skillsets designed to take advantage of the gimmick, and their levels should give you a good idea of where you should be to fight the boss.
- Subclasses are different from EO3, in that they aren't a full class tacked on to your base class. In EO4, you can only level subclass skills to half of what the max would be if the class were your main, making them feel a lot more like subclasses and less like dual classes.
- The game expects you to use binds a lot more than the previous games did, especially starting around the second labyrinth. Remember that while they all prevent skills that use the part of the body you bind, leg bind has the additional effect of making the enemy unable to dodge, since fewer attacks use the legs than the arms or head. Remember this if you find ridiculously evasive enemies, because that's one of the game's favourite tricks. You get easy access to single-target binds on the Sniper class (not the Nightseeker like you would expect, knowing the Ninja and Dark Hunter classes of earlier games), and multi-target binds are on a class you will unlock later.
- First Aid is not a shitty skill like it was in the earlier EO games, and is in fact rather useful for the first half or so of the game.
- Dancer buffs increase the stats of the dancer's line, but only use a buff slot on the dancer him/herself. This is important, since you can only have three buffs per person.
- Don't feel like you need a Fortress to progress in the game. A lot of people really like defensive strategies, but I didn't have one for the entire game because I hate pure tank units, and I did fine. If you have a Medic and are struggling to find units to put on the front line, s/he does surprisingly decent damage due to the high base damage on maces, so don't be afraid to put him/her there, at least until later on in the game.
- Try building skills that synergize your units with the rest of the party. For example, my party was based around getting tons of hits in, so I would start with my Landsknecht's elemental chases, which would in turn trigger the physical attack chases from my dancer, and so on. Other combinations include using lots of binds and status, and taking advantage of elemental weaknesses.