Part 53: Bonus Update: Dragon Feeding MechanicsOkay, let's talk about the how and why of feeding dragons. There's not anything of note that goes on between the last battle we've had and the next one, so this works very well as an interlude.
Let's take a look at a dragon:
We're about to feed Clyde a longsword. You might notice that Clyde is technically a Green Debonea type of dragon. There are more than 40 different sub-species of dragon, although we're not going to see all of them in this playthrough. What form a dragon takes depends on a fairly complex calculation based on which stats are highest and which form takes priority.
Below the name bar we have the elemental attributes. These can go from 0 to 100 and are, from left to right Fire, Ice/Water, Thunder, Life, and Poison/Death, Every 10 points in a stat counts as a level in that element, and that level is used in calculating forms and attacks. When Byuu uses flame hit, the level of the technique is based on what level Pinky's fire attribute is at. There are also a few "hidden" elemental attributes, with these being Earth, Holy, and Dark. The Earth attribute is equal to the lowest of fire, ice, and thunder, while the Holy and Dark are at either 0 or 10 depending on the form. These stats have to be derived and can't be increased directly.
Below the elemental stats we have the statistics of the dragon itself. Strength, vitality, dexterity and mind are fairly self explanatory, although it should be noted that in this case vitality refers to the dragon's physical defense. Mind refers to the strength of the dragon's spells and abilities. These stats can go from 0 to 250, with level breaks every 25 points. Increasing these statistics is fairly straightforward. As you'd expect weapons generally increase strength, armor increases vitality, rapiers and light armor will increase dexterity, and magic rods, robes, and books will usually increase mind.
Loyalty and Fidelity are their own animals and go from 0 to 100 with level breaks every 10 points. There's not much explanation as to what they do, but it's very likely that they're related to how often a dragon will come to assist in battle (Possibly Fidelity) and whether it will choose to help or not (Possibly Loyalty). At maximum level both of these stats can result in special transformations that I'll cover later.
Wisdom is a very interesting stat that's probably worth a look. Wisdom actually determines how intelligent the dragon's AI will act. A smarter dragon will target its attacks better and will actively select attacks that the enemy is weak against. The more books you feed a dragon, the higher this stat will go. I'm not aware of levels as such in this stat, but it maxes out at 100.
The dragon keeper actually has something to say about Intimacy, although he doesn't discuss it by name.
This is a matter of personal choice and strategy as far as what level you want it to be. If you need or want the dragons to go out and fight on their own unsupported, low intimacy is good. If you want them to stick close, then high intimacy is good. At 0 intimacy the dragon will become "Lonely", meaning that its behavior will change drastically.
Next up are the hidden stats, one of which the dragon keeper also discusses. The first is called either personality or courage depending on who you ask. Here's his explanation:
In some ways this is a little bit counter-intuitive. The dragons that are most likely to survive close combat will actively avoid it. Weapons are the best choice to raise courage, but you can also use rods to lower courage. I also wonder if courage is a factor as to whether or not dragons come in to fight with their parties.
The second hidden stat is called Transform, and will be discussed later. The important thing is that transform, if maxed out at 100, can result in a special dragon form. So, about those transformations...
Here Pinky has just reached 25 vitality, and since his vitality level is greater than his strength he becomes an Iron Dragon.
Increasing his life attribute to 10 results in Pinky gaining a life level and becoming a Platinum Molten since he meets the requirements for Iron Dragon and has life higher than poison.
Knowing all of these things, we can do a bit of analysis on our dragons:
Clyde, for example, is slow, has weak defense, terrible magic, and is not very intelligent. He's not terribly fond of humans, but is likely to show up when a battle is going on. He's not particularly likely to help, although I think that perhaps his personality might impel him to do so. He loves to get into the mix and is devastating when he gets close.
Pinky is very tough, but is slow, fairly weak, and not great at magic. He is however extremely intelligent, loves humans, and is almost always going to come and help in combat.
Flammie has nothing going for him statwise, and isn't likely to come and help out. He likes to stay close to humans, and he chooses his attacks carefully.
Inky also has terrible stats, and is not interested in helping humans at all. He rarely shows up to fight in battles, and when he does he's not going to do anything more than watch. He keeps his distance, but he is able to make good choices in combat.
That's all I have to say about dragons right now, so I hope it's explained things a bit. When we get to another page, battle!