A few helpful tips that may not be obvious at first.
Useful Tips for Newbies
This should give you some helpful guidelines to both streamline your gameplay and reduce excessive "grind".
As is the gold standard for any RPG game, the almighty EXP is front and center.
There are several ways to increase the amount of EXP gained from actions/battles, such as potions, weapons and armor you find, weapons and armor you craft, and Twists of Fate.
For those who don't know, Twists of Fate are passives you gain from completing certain story quests, whether the main plot or the several faction quests you can find.
I won't spoil anything, but I can safely say that it's worth completing as many faction quests as you can, because some of the bonuses are either difficult (if not impossible) to find anywhere else, universally applicable, or both.
So, as any gamer may conclude, it would make sense to hoard EXP potions for use where their benefit can be maximized.
However, this is unwise, due to the sheer amount of EXP you can gain, the fact that there's a level cap, and that you will find plenty of EXP-boosters just from exploring the game naturally.
Therefore, as someone who's reached the level cap only 40% through the game, I recommend that you use an EXP booster as soon as you find it.
It'll cut down on back-tracking and your level progression won't get skewed.
Since you learn about this VERY early, I don't think a spoiler tag is necessary.
Once you 'unlock' the purple bar (red for health, blue for mana, a classic) you may notice that when you Fadeshift and finish the small button-mashing that you get a lot more EXP, especially if you manage to take down a whole group of baddies with it.
- When I noticed this, it led me to believe that I should conserve that purple bar and only use it for emergencies.
- It wasn't until about 20 gameplay hours later spread over a few weeks that I realized that I hadn't used it since.
- So all those combos ended up being wasted because I was too 'frugal' with the Fade meter.
Therefore, I highly recommend that you Fadeshift as often as it allows.
What the game doesn't tell you is that if you do so but no button pops up, you can cancel the Fadeshift (same keys/buttons) and preserve some of the meter.
By using Fadeshift more often, you make the combat simultaneously more fun and more rewarding.
If you're worried about filling up the meter too slowly, all you need to do is make combos.
Each weapon has a 'basic' combo, which is easily achieved by just hitting the button.
Some weapons have a different rhythm, such as the Longsword's basic combo of 3 slashes; but if you wait a moment after 1 or 2, you'll do an upward slash that knocks an enemy in the air.
Either way, you will fill up the meter more quickly than you think if you just put a few smarts into your attacks.
Put simply, use Fadeshift as soon as it's full, or if you know that you're going to be facing a boss very soon.
Don't try to "save it for later" because it's free EXP that you're not using.
Very Mild Spoiler
As the section title implies...
I won't give any specific details, but from experience, there's a point that almost screams "Final Quest", and most gamers (such as myself) would be inclined to grind for "just a few more levels" just to be sure we can do it, and so we look our best for the final cutscene.
Just in case it isn't clear, I'll put it in spoilers below:
The part where you have to get on a boat and sail to the fortress that's under siege; it's explained like that's where the final battle is, but it's more like the two-thirds point. Meaning there's still a lot of game left after that battle.
So, don't feel like when you get that quest that you must finish everything else before embarking.
I made that mistake and like I mentioned earlier, I hit the level cap WAY too early, which made the game too easy and not as fun.
For context, I've tried all the different class combos, from the single-style destiny to the two-fold hybrids to the crazy mix of all three.
These are lessons learned that apply to any build, whether a player goes for Greatsword and Daggers, a Bow and Staff, or a Longsword and Chakrams (my personal favorite).
- Just in case anyone needs any reassurance, there's plenty of EXP to be had.
- You don't need to worry about doing every quest to reach maximum level.
- You will end up with plenty of gold to respec as often as you like.