Part 4: Game Mechanics - Status EffectsGame Mechanics - Status Effects and Binds
Status Effects are a part of pretty much every RPG, and the standard stuff such as poison, confusion, and instant death are in the Etrian Odyssey series as well. They're pretty handy in disabling the enemy and they can be applied as many times as you want. Some enemies are resistant or immune to some statuses, so it can be a little harder or impossible to land them in some battles.
Some classes have certain statuses they can inflict, but the most reliable classes for inflicting these are the Hexer (Up to 87% base chance on most skills) and the Dark Hunter (Up to 65% base chance.) The status effects are as follows:
Blind: Reduces accuracy. This does affect spells as well as physical attacks. Some skills will always hit regardless of accuracy, and aren't affected by this.
Paralysis: Affected targets have a 50% chance to not do anything. Later games made it so that paralyzed allies or enemies cannot evade attacks.
Confusion: Confused fighters cannot use skills and can only use regular attacks. They can also attack their own allies. This skill is effectively a silence.
Sleep: Affected targets cannot act in battle and will take double damage when hit while sleeping. The status is dispelled afterwards.
Poison: Deals a set amount of damage per turn depending on the skill that was used to inflict this status.
Curse: Whenever the affected target deals damage, they take back half the total damage they dealt in return. This is more deadly for your party than it is for the enemy, since Etrian Odyssey follows the JRPG rule of you doing more damage to your enemies than they can do to you.
Terror: The same thing as paralysis. Affected targets have a 50% chance to not do anything. Later games made it so that TP was lost when the target fails to act. Hexers can control terrified enemies and make them waste a turn attacking each other or themselves.
Petrification: This status is more deadly for the enemy than it is for your party. Affected party members are completely incapacitated and cannot move until cured. This isn't the same thing as death, party members can still get exp after battle, and they can still be targeted in battle by enemies. This is the only status effect that sticks around after battle, aside from death. Enemies cannot recover from this, so it functions as an instant kill. This status does not count for instant kill conditional drops.
Death: Uh, what's there to explain? Party members can't gain exp after battle if they're dead. Instant death can inflict this, and it should be noted that instant death does count as a status effect in this game. So skills that help you resist status effects will also affect instant death.
Stun: Target cannot move for the turn. This is a special one since it actually stacks with other status effects. Stun does not carry over to the next turn, so if you're trying to inflict this status effect, you have to move before the enemy.
Not only are there the standard RPG status effects, but Etrian Odyssey has another category of disables known as binds. Some skills use a certain body part, which are head, arms, and legs. And if that body part is bound, that skill cannot be used. Binds also apply a debuff as well as preventing skills from being used. Binds do stack with each other and status effects. Binds are more effective on the enemy than on your own party because while the game won't let you select any skills that use the bound body part, it doesn't have the same courtesy for the enemy. Sometimes the enemy will attempt to use a skill, even if it can't use it, making them waste a turn. Like status effects, binds can be inflicted on an enemy as many times as you want. The chance of a bind falling off increases by 8% per turn.
It should be noted that knowing which bind to land on an enemy is actually pretty intuitive most of the time. The skill names enemies use almost always indicate which body part is being used, and looking at the enemy art can give you a hint on which bind is the most helpful. For example, against most four legged enemies, you'll probably get the best results by binding their legs. Note that you can't shut down a boss this way since they tend to use all of their body parts in a fight.
The most effective classes for inflicting binds are the War Magus (Up to 105% base chance, but they need some setup first), Hexer (up to 87% base chance), and the Dark Hunter (Up to 65% base chance).
Head Bind: Lowers TEC and accuracy.
Arm Bind: Lowers damage.
Leg Bind: Lowers AGI and evasion. Cannot escape from battle.
The chance of landing a status effect or bind in this game is only influenced by one stat, luck. Typically if your luck is lower than the enemy's luck, you'll have a lower chance of inflicting a disable. If your luck is equal or higher, you'll have an equal or higher chance than the base chance. Other games also used technique in their formulas, but how important that stat was varies from game to game. (Some games had it half as important while Untold makes it equally as important.)
There's just one main problem with status effects and binds. They're not as effective on bosses. You know, the main enemies you really want to use them on. Bosses have a special resistance to disables. In the first game, they reduced the chance of a status effect landing on them to 5% of their base chance, which made using statuses pretty much a worthless strategy against them. Binds on the other hand only had their chance reduced to 50% or 65% of their base chance which made them the more reliable disables. However, in this game, status effects now only get reduced to 20% of their base chance for most bosses, meaning it's easier to inflict them on bosses in this game. Binds on the other hand got nerfed. The base chance of a bind landing is reduced to 25% of their base chance for most bosses, making them a bit unreliable against bosses where in the first game they were more likely to shut down some attacks.
It should be noted that the whole status effects and binds system got a huge rework in EO3, which the rest of the games have stuck with. The short version is that status effects and binds can no longer be applied to enemies as much as you want, and each time you land a certain disable on an enemy, it's harder to inflict the same disable again. On the plus side, bosses can actually be hit by disables more reliably in that game. Well, until the postgame. I won't elaborate on this system since it's irrelevant to this game, but someone else in the thread may be willing to for the curious.