Five Awesome Bravely Default Tips for Beginners
Bravely Default is the latest RPG to hit the 3DS and all in all it's a return to form for what is essentially the latest Final Fantasy instalment. Getting started can be a little overwhelming, especially if you're not necessarily familiar with the usual terminologies of a J-RPG, so here's five top tips to get you started.
Bravely Default uses the tried and tested job system, an RPG mechanic that's been with us since Final Fantasy V. What makes it such a good gameplay mechanic is that it encourages creativity and rewards players that notice synergies between the different classes available.
What's important to remember is that levelling up jobs in Bravely Default is easy. Don't fret about making sure that your jobs are levelled up as high as possible, it's better that you've tried out different combinations and gotten a grasp on how each class works. Sometimes, what looks bad on paper can be be surprisingly effective once you apply it to a couple of fights.
2. Don't Grind
Following on from point number one: don't grind. Really, don't bother. It's been ingrained into RPG players that grinding is good, and that making sure you've spent a couple of hours boosting up the levels is the right thing to do.
Frankly, in Bravely Default it's not needed. It isn't because the game is overly easy but rather that fighting bosses requires more strategy and forward planning than it does on simply having better stats. What's more, the enemies in the early to mid parts of the game give frankly abysmal amounts of experience and job points compared to those later on.
Once you make it through to the later chapters, then you can start thinking about boosting up your squad with some grinding.
3. Have A Plan
Without necessarily contradicting my first piece of advice; make sure to plan ahead. The game provides you with four characters, but doesn't give you any major instructions on how to develop them.
As a rule of thumb, you want at least one dedicated support character and one main attacker. While any character can do well at any job, each of the cast does have slightly different stats which skew them to certain roles. For example, Edea has the best defence and attack in the game, making her a primary candidate for combat roles. Meanwhile, Ringabel has the highest agility, which points him to being a good thief or ninja
With many classes you'll find that there's a suitable path to follow in terms of the jobs they learn. For example, a White Mage support character will benefit greatly from the additional options that Time Magic can bring. Alternatively, studying Black Magic can give your White Mage a bevy of attacking options when they're not focused on healing.
While there's plenty of powerful combinations in Bravely Default, there's no definite "right" answer. Take a look at what each class learns and plan out how you want each character to develop. Just be prepared to alter those plans repeatedly.
4. Be Aggressive
One of the major innovations in Bravely Default is the introduction of the Brave and Default mechanics. Braving allows you to take up to three additional turns in advance, whilst Default allows you to adopt a defensive posture and "store" extra turns for a later date.
Another important aspect of gameplay that ties into this is the bonuses you receive for defeating enemies quickly. Defeat an enemy in one full party turn and you receive an experience bonus. Do it without taking any damage and you will get a similar job point bonus. Moreover, the more times you achieve this in a row the bigger the bonus becomes. In other words, use Brave as aggressively as possible and take those bad guys down quickly.
A word of warning though, don't do this against bosses. Whilst rank and file critters teach the importance of using Brave, it's the bosses that'll make you appreciate the use of Default. Doing all your damage in a flurry of attacks meaning nothing if the enemy can than carry out four or five attacks whilst you don't have the ability to respond. Learn to read enemy patterns and act accordingly.
After the first hour or so of the game you'll unlock the ability to develop Norende, the hometown of one of the protagonists. At the beginning you'll only have one townsperson there to work on development, but by hooking up to the internet, (or working with friends) you'll gain additional townspeople as the game progresses.
Nordende isn't just an idle side quest however. Upgrading shops gets you access to useful items or powerful pieces of equipment that you wouldn't be able to obtain otherwise. Take the Blessed Shield for example, an item that not only is a powerful defensive tool for a character, but also has a built in healing spell too - one that has infinite use!
Don't worry about getting everything that Norende has to offer, it takes a hell of a long time to fully develop the town, but make sure to pop in now and again to see what you have the townsfolk working on.
The most important thing to remember is play how you want. Bravely Default might borrow from plenty of RPGs from the past but what makes it a breath of fresh is that it does away with a lot of the dull, repetitive elements that bog down similar games. If you're not enjoying your current party set up, swap it around, have some party-members learn new jobs. Most importantly though, have fun.
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