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Final Fantasy Tactics All of the Final Fantasy-based tactical role-playing games.

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Old 01/30/2017   #1
Omega
Default Kimble's Tips for Tactics

With the incipient community playthrough upon us, I figured I might as well get cracking on my statement that I'd give some helpful advice for the playthrough. There's tons of stuff in this game, so a few useful tips will never go astray! I decided to start with some basic stuff (and general advice), and then move on to intermediate and more advanced things. Let's get started!


- GENERAL TIPS -
- As you play through the game, you'll notice that your characters level up pretty quickly. However, level is not a great indicator of how strong your characters REALLY are, especially when the levels of enemies in random encounters are reflective of your own. Your level 99 character may well be weaker than a level 80 enemy. The skills your characters have - and their equipment - are MUCH more important. This means that JOB CLASSES and JOB LEVELS are a bigger factor here.

- On Bravery and Faith (tldr)
All characters, enemy and ally alike, have two particularly important stats, called Bravery (BR) and Faith (FAI). A character's Bravery stat affects the damage that they deal barehanded and with Knight Swords (so the Monk and Knight classes), as well as the rate at which Reaction Skills activate - the higher the BR, the higher the chance of the Reaction happening. As a general rule, high BR is always good for all characters (the exception is anyone equipped with the abilitity Move/Find Item [or Treasure Hunter in War of the Lions], as that ability is more effective with low BR). Characters can gain and lose this stat throughout the game; if someone's BR falls below 10 in battle, they will be turned into a chicken and unable to act, though they will gain 1 BR per turn (enemies, too!). Any change to the stat IN BATTLE will either increase or decrease the PERMANENT value of this stat by 1 for every 4 points (i.e., a character with 80 BR that loses 20 in battle will have 75 when the battle is over). If their permanent BR falls below 3, that character will permanently leave your party, since they're a 'fraidy-cat.

Faith is the stat that affects magic damage and healing; higher FAI equals bigger damage and heals. This is a double-edged sword, however, as a high FAI ally will deal lots of magic damage, put out big heals, and receive big heals, but will ALSO take big magic damage. A character with very low FAI will take much less magical damage, but you'll also find magic to be rather lackluster at healing them - they're better off healing with items (sidenote: a character whose FAI is 0 is essentially immune to magic). Similarly to BR, FAI has permanent increases and decreases, and a character whose permanent FAI goes above 94 will permanently leave your party to go find God or some such (except Ramza). Female characters tend to have higher FAI, and therefore make better mages...generally.


- You'll definitely want as many characters as possible to learn their most basic skills first - Gained JP Up in particular, which helps you gain JP (duh), which means abilities learned more quickly.

- Grinding JP can be done pretty easily in ALMOST any battle. Simply eliminate all but one enemy, and then use skills that will not kill it but will still have an effect (e.g., Accumulate, Speed Break, status magic, etc). You'll rapidly gain JP, while the enemy becomes less and less able to do anything noteworthy. You can have your units attack each other as well, then let a healer heal them (better use Throw Stone here).

- Speaking of Throw Stone, this game is one of the few SRPGs that actually concerns itself with height. Everything has a Jump stat, and the higher a unit's Jump stat, the greater their vertical movement capabilities. There are a few skills that make Jump meaningless (Fly, Teleport, and Ignore Height), which allow your units pretty much unparalleled movement. That being said...for a laugh (and some really useful kills sometimes!), you can use abilities that have a knockback property (say, Throw Stone) against units that have a big fall next to them to cause enormous fall damage, often resulting in a kill. The lower their Jump stat (and the bigger the fall), the more damage they take. This can be REALLY useful.

- Also, Throw Stone is a great way to remove Charm, Sleep, and Confusion, without the hassle of actually harming your units (Throw Stone usually deals single digit damage...usually).

- If you're not a masochist like me, you're not likely to feel the need to teach EVERY character EVERY ability they can learn, especially since they can't use them all at once. That being said, it's generally best to focus on the skills that a Job can give you that are useful, and then move on. The exceptions to this are any mage class (their skill will have the word "Magic" in it, e.g., Black Magic, Time Magic, etc), where you will AT LEAST want to learn every spell available, and the Calculator (you'll understand why when you unlock it).

- It's useful to have a fairly balanced party damage-wise (magic and physical). It's also useful to have characters with different specialties (healing, magic damage, long range damage, stealing, etc) so that you can accomplish different things in battle as needed. Sometimes you'll find that you can get a lot of work done with a simple Knight holding a chokepoint while being healed by a White Mage, with an Archer backing them up with poking attacks or breaking equipment.

- Make sure to experiment with different ability combinations! You'll find that a lot of the best abilities are Reaction, Support, and Movement skills, so try and find something that makes you chuckle (I like using Catch when the enemy team has Ninjas on it).

- Save your game often. Like, after every battle. However - THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT - if you finish a story battle and are asked if you want to save your game, CREATE A NEW SAVE FILE!!! Nothing is worse than saving over your current file only to find out you're not strong enough to complete a fight, and not having a way to go back and get stronger.

- It's possible to force enemy monsters to join your party. Permanently.

- The crystals that enemies (and your allies) leave behind can be used to either gain an item or learn skills. The items are always something they had equipped, and since you're never going to let your allies die and crystallize, you're not going to need the items. Right? Right. So you're going to want to let enemies crystallize so you can learn their abilities. However, keep in mind that they learn ALL the abilities that are listed, not just one, so you don't have to stress over the choice!

- Yes, you're not imagining it. Actual story spoiler Rafa and Malak DO suck. Immensely. Don't bother using them unless you just hate yourself. Or are really lucky. Seriously. They're shitty.

- Stealing is super, super, super useful.

- Do your best to unlock new jobs as quickly as possible. On top of that, when it comes to Ramza - specifically Ramza - learning each and every skill is not at all a bad idea; since he can't leave your party (high FAI), he is an excellent magic user, but his innate abilities make him an awesome physical fighter as well. Certain abilities on Ramza make tough fights much easier.

- Always pursue pub jobs.

- The "equip best" choice in the equipment menu is a liar. It equips gear that may not be that good for your character at all.

- Beware chocobos.
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Last edited by Omega; 03/02/2017 at 06:04 AM.
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Old 01/31/2017   #2
lithiumkatana17
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You can bet your ass I'll be using this whenever I start my Tactics playthrough.

One of these days.

Although I kinda wanna start IX now. After I finish DA: Origins.

And after I finish my 2nd playthrough of XV.
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Old 01/31/2017   #3
ForceStealer
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You do indeed need to play IX, but given the degree to which you are obsessed with XII, you had better play Tactics. 200 years after XII and the debut (with Square) of the original director (Yasumi Matsuno)
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Old 01/31/2017   #4
Flintlock
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Perhaps the playthrough should be called "Hello to a Legend"?

I'm really looking forward to it. Thanks for the fantastic Tactics tips and tricks.
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Old 01/31/2017   #5
Mr. Ite
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Ite's tips for Tactics:

1. Kill everything except for one goblin
2. Beat that goblin within an inch of his life
3. Watch gobbie run away
4. Beat and heal each other for unlimited free job points
3. Profit
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Old 01/31/2017   #6
Omega
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I don't even know what to say to that.
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Old 01/31/2017   #7
Omega
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oh wait I do

Beowulf Cadmus wrote: - Grinding JP can be done pretty easily in ALMOST any battle. Simply eliminate all but one enemy, and then use skills that will not kill it but will still have an effect (e.g., Accumulate, Speed Break, status magic, etc). You'll rapidly gain JP, while the enemy becomes less and less able to do anything noteworthy. You can have your units attack each other as well, then let a healer heal them (better use Throw Stone here).
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Old 01/31/2017   #8
Mr. Ite
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Awwww how'd I miss that!?
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Old 01/31/2017   #9
Omega
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- JOB/SKILL COMBINATIONS -

- As previously mentioned, you're going to want most of your characters to have a high BR stat, in order to make the most of their Reaction Skills. This is particularly important when it's something they use to survive, like Blade Grasp and so on. The exception here, as mentioned, is your character with Move-Find Item. It's perfectly fine to let them keep a low BR rating, but because you're relying on them to find items lying hidden on the ground, it's best to use someone with a lot of Move - preferably a fast character.

In other words, don't use Agrias for this


- Keep your Job's Move and Jump stats in mind when you select your movement skills. Ninjas have insane movement as it is, so don't bother giving them something like Teleport - you're better off with Ignore Height, Fly, or maybe Move +3, if you REALLY need them to flank. (or just use Move-Find)

Similarly, it's often useful, depending on the map, to take things like Teleport (a couple of story battle in particular are much easier this way).

- Having someone dip through the Knight's skills before sending them on their way to being an Archer can be extremely valuable, giving you a unit that can break enemy stats and gear from range.

- The Monk's Chakra ability is just as overpowered as it is in FF9, and their set of skills are great on other physical units in general. A Knight that can heal and attack at range with Monk skills while still dealing lots of damage with sword attacks is nothing to be sniffed at. Similarly, this works well on Geomancers, since you'll often find the Geomancies available to you to not be particularly useful (elemental damage is often halved or negated by enemy equipment).

- Archers gain MASSIVE range as their elevation goes up. Try taking one to the roof of a building and sniping away. Their Aim skill, though, isn't very useful, since it deals more damage at the cost of a very high charge time (it's very slow, basically). However, combine this with Slow, Stop, and so on, and you can get a lot of damage in on a target. (It's still better to avoid Charge completely, though).

- Throughout the first part of the game, Chemists are really shitty. They suck so much. But once you start getting the ability to use guns, they become a lot less useless. In fact, there is a certain recruitable character that cannot be healed except through items, so if you plan on using them, you're going to want a Chemist to back them up. The fact that guns can also cast spells doesn't hurt, either.

- Outside of Ramza, designate roles for your characters. You're going to want someone whose focus is healing, for example...but you need a maximum of one of those. Some classes (like Monk, as mentioned) are able to heal themselves, so it's not always necessary to double down. That being said, once you learn skills that let you heal people, make sure to take them with you into new jobs. Having a Black Mage that can heal in a pinch is never bad.

- Any mage characters, though, are going to eventually want to learn every spell in the game. The game's worst class (literally...it's really shitty), Calculator, also has the game's best skill, and you're going to want every spellcaster to be able to take advantage of this.

- If you're going to use a Summoner, be sure to give them something besides Summon to let them do damage Try to stay away from Black Magic, though, because why bother casting Fire on an enemy when you could summon Ifrit on a huge area for a slightly longer cast time?

- You literally never need to recruit any new characters. The generic characters you start with, Alicia and Lavian, are quite enough, as there are a TON of characters that join your party on their own. Recruiting more is a waste of time and gil.

- Be sure to invest in a Mediator/Orator. They do share some abilities with the Oracle/Mystic, but with one key difference - the Speech abilities are instant cast. So while you'd probably want one anyway - because why steal an enemy's equipment when you can force them to join your party, then take their stuff and dismiss them? - you probably shouldn't double down on their skills. Similarly, you'll want to invest in an Oracle at some point, because they are able to grant units the Bravery and Faith statuses, as well as Atheist. They're also one of the few jobs that can cause Chicken.

- Be sure to buy multiples of all your katana - the samurai's Iaido/Draw Out skill has a chance of breaking the weapons they use. It's a strong skill, but if that's all they have, then you're going to be awfully sad when the one with the healing effect breaks...

- You'll want to pick up the Ninja ability Two Swords/Dual Wield for your physical attackers. It's pretty nifty having a Monk that can one-shot enemies by punching them twice with one attack command. You can also do this with Knights, and to VERY great effect - just keep in mind that it means you can't equip a shield (and some shields are extremely powerful, like the Gold Escutcheon).

- It is an undeniable truth that the best gender in the game is female, for the simple fact that females are the only ones able to equip Ribbons, which make you immune to most status effects. The only exception to this (naturally) is Cloud. Perfumes are also extremely handy, including the incredibly overpowered Chantage.

- The Thief's Poach ability is best used on someone who does a lot of damage, so if you're going to use this (and you should - it's how you get some really excellent equipment!), be sure to stick it on something like a Monk or Ninja.

- Damage Split is pretty handy, especially for characters who are already pretty tanky. There's one character that you will recruit later on in the game (you'll know them when you see them because they break the game wide open with their base class and abilities - if you've played the game, you know who I mean) that is already ridiculously powerful on their own. However, taking something like Punch Art (so they can heal with Chakra, among other things) and slapping on Damage Split instead of Blade Grasp can be downright unfair, as they will be able to pretty much one-shot any enemy they come across as it is, and whatever survives will literally kill themselves trying to attack back. Abandon/Reflexes is a good choice for your heavy hitters, too.

- Speaking of tanks, combining a shield with Blade Grasp and Magic Defense Up is enough to make most enemy attacks an exercise in futility. Even more amusing is taking MP Switch and Move-MP Up on a character with Math Skill and lots of HP.

- If you have a unit that specializes in dealing high single-target damage, try giving them Sunken State/Vanish, then sneaking through enemy lines to ruthlessly murder your high priority targets.

- Lots of characters can benefit from the Archer ability, Speed Save/Adrenaline Rush. When they take damage, they gain +1 speed, making really slow characters like Agrias go from a ticking time bomb (deal with them or they will kill you...eventually) to a weapon of mass destruction, gaining more turns as they take damage. Steal is also great on high speed characters.

- Counter + Two Swords = dead enemies.

- Concentrate is really, REALLY strong when you're looking to steal or break gear.

- Bards and Dancers tend to work best with either Sunken State or Teleport + high terrain, as these enable them to start doing their thing without worrying about being attacked.
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Old 01/31/2017   #10
ForceStealer
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And here is a handy-dandy job tree. If it's going to intimidate you, don't look at it until you gain some familiarity with the game. But it's very useful for planning, the number between 2 jobs represents the Job Level you must reach with the previous. (e.g. You have to be a level 2 Squire to unlock Knight, and to unlock Samurai you have to be a level 4 Knight, level 5 Monk, AND a level 2 Dragoon):

(SPOILER)
(if you don't play the War of the Lions version, just remove Dark Knight and Onion Knight)
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Last edited by ForceStealer; 01/31/2017 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 01/31/2017   #11
Minato
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Everyone has to finish with Arithmetician Cloud.
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Old 02/01/2017   #12
Russell
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Beowulf Cadmus wrote: - if you finish a story battle and are asked if you want to save your game, CREATE A NEW SAVE FILE!!! Nothing is worse than saving over your current file only to find out you're not strong enough to complete a fight, and not having a way to go back and get stronger.
^ This. This. This.

I got 30ish hours in and had to stop because I'd saved right before a boss and couldn't beat it.

This is the reason I've never completed this game.
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Old 02/01/2017   #13
The Twilight Mexican
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Riovanes Castle in particular is the worst for that. Four battles in a row with the last two being likely to absolutely destroy you if you aren't prepared for them. Heck, even if you are prepared, the last one has some elements of luck to it that make it infuriating.
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Old 02/01/2017   #14
Omega
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lol riovanes

aka "flip a coin - heads, you make it to a second turn; tales...not so much"
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Old 02/23/2017   #15
Flare
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I read Kimble's first post and then my eyes glazed over on his second post--I just need to continue playing before I delve into all this shit because I don't retain info as well when I just read it without experiencing it, you know?
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