Despite the disdain being thrown towards the Bravely series’ struggling newcomers, thanks to Bravely Default II’s recent release, I don’t necessarily blame them for finding the title extremely difficult. The game is very much unlike more mainstream JRPGs in regards to difficulty. It requires a more methodical mentality than the standard linear style of progression that most games house and encourage. And besides, as someone who still can not understand the Atelier franchise’s mechanics, I greatly sympathize with strugglers of any RPG.
To help out newcomers try to find somewhat steady footing in this admittedly daunting JRPG; I have listed various points below that may provide aid. Keep in mind that some of these points may seem overly obvious, but you’d be surprised at how seemingly immediately apparent features and mechanics can be overlooked when tunnel visioning. Either way, hopefully, there is at least one point here that helps somebody have an easier and more enjoyable time in Bravely Default II.
Get Used to How the Brave and Default Commands Work
The Brave and Default commands are the namesake of the series, and for good reason. These commands are pivotal to succeeding in combat and will take you far in fights you may have previously found great difficulty with if smartly utilized. A common amateur mistake that many new players make is spamming the Brave command when entering fights, and while that may provide success against standard mobs, it is tantamount to suicide in boss battles.
This may seem like a stupidly obvious tip, but knowing when to Default will do wonders. I have seen various players just ignoring the Default command and spamming Brave, which is a bit funny to think about as one of the trailers for this title warned against doing that exact thing, but I digress. There is little specificity to provide here aside from generally avoiding negative turns, as knowing when to best Default is also dependent on your Job setups and the type of enemies you are facing. But when it comes down to it, you should treat Default as an equal to Brave. These two commands are two sides of the same coin and should be treated as such.
Above all else, these mechanics should be the first ones you should try to master before diving into Jobs, equipment, etc.
Work on Leveling up the Freelancer Jobs to Max Level if You Have the Patience for it
The Freelancer Job is the default Job that each character will have when first joining. This Job is surprisingly adequate despite its status as the initial role.
The reason I and many others eye this Job with such glee, though, is due to its abilities which multiply the amount of JP you earn per battle up to 1.7 times! These abilities are passively equipped to benefit from even when utilizing other main and sub Jobs. Reaching that 1.7 times JP earning rate does require the maximum level of 12, however, which can be a bit of a hefty grind, but using linked encounters as a method to garner more JP is one way you can somewhat mitigate it. The fact that you can earn these abilities right from the very beginning is honestly quite ridiculous. Still, it is undeniably fantastic for speeding up the process of the game as a whole.
Additionally, the Freelancer Job’s Forage ability is one new player should keep in mind since using it in battle can grant several useful consumables such as tents and even Job point orbs! While Forage’s efficacy does gradually die down the further you get into the game, it is a powerful tool to utilize when in the beginning stages.
Damage Items Are Useful Tools
There are several damage items players can buy right from the game’s early stages, and these are actually quite powerful little tools. These items are separated by their element and damage property. To give you an idea of how strong these items can be, these single-handedly destroyed the mobs in the Beastmaster boss battle all on their own. So, yeah. They can be great. They are not as useful in the game’s later stages, and you will likely have little use for them, but they are there to utilize if need be.
Pay Attention to Characters’ Weight
You should, at the very least, try to avoid going over the characters’ weight limits if at all possible since being over-encumbered will lower the stats of the characters in turn. This is a very simple negative to avoid since weight is directly shown to you when equipping gear, but it bears repeating. Regardless of whatever great equipment you garner, it will mean nothing if equipped on an over-encumbered character.
Utilize the Sailing Feature
You are introduced to this mechanic after completing the first side quest of the game, saving an elderly lady from some monsters near Halcyonia. This ship exploration is akin to a mobile game mechanic since the way it works simply consists of you putting the Switch to sleep and having the characters collect rewards. The items obtained can be truly beneficial, such as Job point orbs and immense amounts of pg.
Remember that Bravely Default II has to be opened while the Switch is asleep for this mechanic to work. Turning off the game will result in no exploration progress being made. The mechanic can also be accessed throughout other towns, and not just Halcyonia, thankfully. You can also only let them explore for a maximum of 12 hours, so this is the perfect standby activity to do overnight unless you’re a particularly heavy sleeper.
Experiment, experiment, experiment!
Bravely Default II has an impressive degree of variance with the tools players have at their disposal. However, that same league of impressive variance can also be incredibly overwhelming to unfamiliar players. There is a lot to tackle in this game, so above all else, you should take your time learning how each Job works and how they synergize with other Jobs and the like. You should also dedicate a fair bit of time to each Job you are at least remotely interested in to gain levels for it since constantly jumping between new Jobs without having any sense of mastery over them will make fights more difficult than need be.
Do Not Let Pride Dictate Your Fun
You should be having fun at the end of the day. While this is a sappy ‘tip’ to end on, I have seen a lot of negative reception towards people having trouble with this game, and I find that rather demeaning. Yes, players who do nothing but complain are annoying, but not every one of them deserves that level of grief. Not every player has been exposed to JRPGs of this nature so it is far from fair to treat them as lower gamers for their lack of experience.
As stated prior, as someone who does not understand the Atelier series’ mechanics, I greatly sympathize with any party who has difficulty grasping mechanics in JRPGs. The negative treatment from mean-hearted veteran players and just generally experienced players can be overwhelming and even be a turn-off to playing the game entirely.
Bravely Default II takes time to learn, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, there is also nothing wrong with toning down the difficulty of getting a bit much. Difficulty can be switched mid-game, which is stellar for accessibility.
And those are some general beginner-friendly tips for Bravely Default II. These may all be self-evident points that any player should know, but going into an overwhelming game of this nature can make the most seemingly simple mechanics come off as far more contrived and convoluted than they really are.
When it comes down to it, every new player should take their time understanding Bravely Default II. As overwhelming as this title is, there is a plethora of addicting combat potential that anyone can achieve should they dedicate enough time failing and learning to do so.
In case you missed it, check out our review.
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