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Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's Grindin' Time!

I've been fighting my way through Final Fantasy XIII's eleventh chapter this week. I haven't made much progress because there is so much to do. I haven't even been taking care of the Cie'th missions because, until late last night, there were no immediate Cie'th stones available to me. I got stuck in rather long dungeon that pushed me from one end of Gran Pulse to the other. I did manage to grind out a bunch of Crystarium Points (CP) to "level up" my characters but that's about it.

I've also been re-thinking my current party set-up quite a bit over the past couple of days. Until last night, I used a party composed of Lightning (kick-ass attack), Vanille (good for healing up, debuffing enemies, and great for spells), and Sazh (solid spell-caster and can cast Haste on party). These three characters are pretty formdidable and make quick work of many enemies. Sazh's Haste ability is crucial to getting an edge up on the enemy.

My general battle strategy was as follows:

  1. Start with a COM/SAB/SYN set-up. Basically, Lightning starts attacking enemies while Sazh casts Haste and Vanille debuffs the enemy.

  2. Once everyone is "hasted", I'd switch to a relentless assault paradigm (COM/RAV/RAV). With Sazh and Vanille driving up the Chain Gauge, Lightning was able to dish out some major damage. Eventually, enemies would be staggered and the fight would end soon thereafter thanks to a high chain gauge damage bonus and Lightning's awesome Launch ability.

  3. If things got hairy, I would switch to either MED/MED/SYN (combat clinic, I believe) paradigm or a COM/MED/RAV paradigm. The latter paradigm allowed me to continue attacking while being healed by Vanille.

Last night, I tried to switch things up a bit. I changed up my party, bringing in Fang for Sazh and Hope for Vanille. Everyone seems to agree that this party setup is well-balanced and super-effective. I didn't like it for a number of reasons:

  1. Losing Sazh's Haste ability slows battles to a crawl.

  2. I spent too much time keeping Fang in the Sentinel role thereby missing all of my target times.

  3. I prefer to use Lightning in the Commando role but I kept deferring that role to Fang. I was able to get the Chain Gauge up quite high but my party lacked the punch provided by Lightning/Vanille/Sazh.

I think I'm going to switch back to my original party of Lightning, Vanille, and Sazh. Until Hope gains the Haste ability (Synergist), I don't see much point in changing things up. I also prefer Sazh's Synergist abilities over Hope's. Sazh focuses more on the offensive buffs whereas Hope relies on Defensive buffs. Sometimes I find that the best defense is a strong offense: buff the party, debuff the enemy, and hit 'em hard until everything dies. Unfortunately, my party of Lightning, Fang, and Hope don't provide that type of punch at this stage in the game.

My plans for tonight are pretty simple. I'm going to see if I can farm some Tetradic Crowns and Tetradic Tiaras. Not only are these fairly simple to farm (via Cie'th mission 7) but they also have a ridiculously high selling price and can be upgraded and dismantled to obtain Hermes Sandals/Sprint Shoes (i.e. Critical Haste/Auto-Haste). If I can 5 star Cie'th Mission 7, I should be able to build up quite a nest egg of Gil and earn some CP in the process.

Have a good one!