Part 36: Making the obtuse less so: statsMaking the obtuse less so: Statistics
So, Digimon have a bunch of stats, right? So... what do these stats even mean? Well, since Jake is still really new to being a digimon and exploring the island is cutting heavily in his training time, to help me explain how stats work is everyone's favorite unfairly overstatted teddy bear from my previous LP, Muk!
I can't believe I have a save from that long ago still sitting around
Now it's obvious that Muk is extremely mighty, isn't it? I'd brag about him all day but that's not why we're here. Let's talk about these stats one by one. The images are courtesy of kefkafloyd.
HP is, obviously, hit points. As it gets hit, it loses HP. If HP falls to 0, it falls into a coma and there's a 5 countdown for a chance to use a restore floppy. If the countdown hits 0, your digimon loses a life, one of the hearts on the other side of the menu. Run out of hearts and your digimon is dead. Running out of HP sucks. While you can fling recovery floppies every few seconds and sustain a lower max HP than is reasonable having a lot HP means you can relax on that, and that you can use stronger floppies. Basically, having a lot of HP means adventuring is easier. Who knew?
One thing to keep in mind: minimizing costs, in HP, MP, items used, bits; your emphasis should be on trying to make battles cost you as little as possible, maximizing profits. It's why I avoid wild Digimon so much, because the costs aren't worth the rewards.
MP is used to use techniques. Every technique has an MP cost, from Sonic Jab's tiny 18 to DG Dimension's heavy 488. Since techniques are everything in a fight, having lots of MP to use them with is very helpful. Once again, sure you can fling an MP floppy every couple of seconds, but that interferes with flinging an HP floppy every couple of seconds.
Muk here, with 7430 MP, though? He can use Megalo Spark for weeks before needing to recharge.
A good Offense is pretty important to minimizing costs. Killing a guy in two Prominence Beams instead of three means you spent 188 fewer MP. Sometimes, you may just be able to win a fight because the other guy croaks first. Sometimes, I just love to see 4-digit numbers pop out of my opponent's head, as Muk here does a lot with Megalo Spark.
One thing to note about your Defense in this game is that you'll never make attacks negligible unless you have overwhelming stats. Instead, a good Defense means enemy attacks become more manageable, so you'll stop flinging floppies every second and and costs go down. A high defense isn't too important, mind, but a decent defense is. Luckily almost every Ultimate digimon has a defense requirement that digivolution will boost further, so you shouldn't have much problems there.
As far as I can tell, Speed affects how frequently your digimon attacks. This is insanely important for having an awesome asskicker. Attacking ASAP means the enemy doesn't have his own chance to attack. Combining a high speed with a fast move means enemies are getting hit as soon as possible, never getting a chance to attack. In other words, getting stunlocked. It's beautiful to watch and Muk's agility here is high enough to do it.
I think speed also affects the chance to block attacks too but I'm not entirely sure.
Brains works in thresholds. After hitting certain values brains gives you more AI options to work with.
100- Offense, your Digimon uses his strongest attack repeatedly.
200- Moderate, your Digimon uses his weakest attack.
300- Stay away, your Digimon tries to keep his distance and doesn't attack. Useful for luring out moves to learn.
400- Defense, your Digimon stands still and doesn't attack. Better than the above for getting moves as it lets the enemy get in range for them faster.
Also Change Targets, which makes your Digimon focus on a different enemy in a fight with multiple enemies.
500- Offense and Moderate are replaced by individual commands for each technique. Handy for buffing up to extremes with stat-boosting techs like War Cry, or for allowing the middle-power tech to see use.
999-MP costs for techs are decreased.
The gap between the individual tech commands and the MP reduction isn't worth it unless you're damn close to it like Muk here is. Brains might have an effect on the chance of learning a tech but that might just be wishful thinking. Training brains can unlock techs at a very low rate, though.
Happiness is, well, how happy your Digimon is to be with you. High happiness can make some digivolutions easier and having minimum happiness causes stats to wither rapidly. The happiness icon outside of battle will blink a happier face to show that the digimon likes the environment of an area, like an ice digimon in Freezeland, or frown to show disdain for it, like that ice digimon in the lava caves.
Discipline, representing how well your partner understands that you wear the pants in this relationship, is a lot like happiness except that low discipline means your Digimon refuses to use nonfood items outside of battle a lot. Incidentally, scolding them after they refuse a nonfood item boosts discipline by a shitload and happiness by a smidgen.
Ahh, Virus, the bane of the less experienced player. Each time your digimon poops outside of a toilet, a little yellow bar pops up to remind you of your failure at proper care. Get 16 and your Digimon, no matter what it is, instantly becomes a Sukamon, who is, literally, poop. Sukamon also has completely terrible stats and only filth techniques, which are extremely weak and very over-costed, so, yeah, take care of that. Or horrible things will happen.