Part 44: Mini Update: TP SustainMini Update: TP Sustain
In this update, I'm going to show you another little trick that Hexers can do to make your dungeon crawling trips easier. Oh right, we need to get out of the Labyrinth. Hang on.
: Simple! While we can't use a Warp Wire...
: Let's try using a Warp Stone instead!
: I'll head back first. Let's meet up at the central city.
The assistant nods to you as she teleports back to Lagaard. You can remain in the Labyrinth to explore, or follow her back.
: You sly little bird. How long were you planning that?
: Since Angie mentioned that we can't use Warp Wires, and I noticed we had a Warp Stone.
Yeah, you can cheese this quest by using a Warp Stone instead of the Wire. But you have to come from a Geomagnetic Field for that to work. It won't work if we came from a Geomagnetic Pole. I don't think this was an intended solution for that quest considering the devs went out of their way to make sure you fail instantly when you use a Warp Wire. Knowing how shoddily put together this game can be at times, I'm thinking this was a major oversight. Oh well, it cuts out a lot of annoyance with that quest, so be sure to bring one.
: Huh? But we- never mind.
The assistant gives you a wry smile and talks with you before returning to the hospital. The quest is complete! Report your success to the bar whenever you wish.
: Okay, now what's this about a monster on the 10th floor?
: Then you must know of the beast at the end of the 10th floor.
: Artelind did mention something about it.
: Its strength is quite fearsome, but it has an even more horrific quality... You see, Esbat and the other powerful guilds joined forces to destroy it at my request. As one would expect, their combined strength was enough to destroy the monster. But only days later... the monster reappeared as if nothing had ever happened! Now do you understand why I hired Esbat to block the path? While that beast still lives, I can't let any explorers throw their lives away by accident. Only those who have heard the tale I tell you now are allowed to proceed to its lair. Well? Is your guild willing to challenge the immortal beast?
: Uh, let me check with the others first. You guys wanna do this?
: Yeah, let's do it.
: Another big monster to take down! Lemme at 'em!
: I will gladly assist.
Our second Stratum boss.
: Yeah, we'll do it.
: I see... I expected as much. Then I won't spare the details. Its den is at the end of the 10th floor, directly in front of the stairs upward. Its unholy power of healing and control of fire has led us to name it the Hellion. Countless explorers have met their deaths in combat against the fiend. If you intend to defeat the Hellion, you must face him fully prepared!
Not really sure what the whole immortality and healing bit is about. Those actually don't come into play at all on the 10th floor, or in the boss fight. I think it's more of an in-game hint that bosses respawn in case you didn't know. Anyways let's see what he has to say.
: We received the specially made clothes we ordered for the Duke's daughter. It's almost her birthday... One of the few times each year she goes out in public. It's so popular that she's called High Lagaard's Sun, as so much revolves around her. She's a wise woman, and very kind to all she meets. Beautiful, too... She attracts marriage proposals from royalty all over the world. Perhaps if you keep up the good work, you might meet her in person. Until then, head back to the Labyrinth and be diligent in your exploration.
: Oh, uh.
: Ahaha... But you came for information, not jokes. I've heard that you've gone as high as the 10th floor. It's supposedly home to a fierce monster. Only a few explorers have seen it. One of the survivors gave me a description. Black, bobbed hair, and a horned monster... Honestly, I couldn't make head or tail of his babbling. I don't think the beast looks very threatening, but we only know it's strong against fire. That's all the advice I have for you. Never underestimate the Labyrinth.
: Listen to this! The other day, I got the cutest earrings! They're made of gold, and they shine so wonderfully in the light. They're so, so pretty. Our jeweller does a great job of making them! They're useful in the Labyrinth, too. I'm sorry to give you the hard sell like this, but they really do come in handy! Try them out!
: I admit, I never expected yeh to make it up there. Explorers are a dime a dozen here, but not half of 'em could have made it up there. Hey... hold on a tick. When did the trees start turning red?
: I think it was at the start of the second Stratum, the 6th floor.
: Around the 6th floor, eh...? So the place changed on yeh after five floors... Yeh're on the 10th floor now--think it'll change color on yeh again on the next floor? Wouldn't that be something? I can't wait to see what'll happen as yeh go higher!
: Good question, what do you guys think?
: Of course. The question is, what will it change to?
: Yeh lot better get up to that next Stratum so yeh can tell me!
Let's turn in these quests.
: Here's the maps for the 7th and 8th floors.
: Ah, yeh're back from the job. I heard not all of the guard corps made it back alive... When they told me someone had died up there, I was worried it was yeh lot! Huh... so this is how the floors up there are laid out... That's quite a maze! Well, yeh can count on me to deliver the map to the Grand Duchy. Here's yer reward! I'm counting on yeh!
: Yeh're late! I heard that assistant is quite a fetching lass! Were yeh on a date with her strolling throught the forest? Yeh lucky skunks!
: All five of us at once?
: Now I wish I'd have taken the job instead! Haw haw haw! Jokes aside, here's yer reward. Come back anytime!
Item version of a Troubadour's Nihilo. Could be useful is some situations. Let's see what's available quest wise.
No. I think I'll save these for the Stratum cleanup. Especially that last one.
: Oh, yes, I heard that you often shop at Sitoth Trading. It so happens that all the medicine they stock is made at this hospital!
: Whoa, really?
: Didn't you know? I'm surprised... We're always working on medicine to ease the lot of an explorer. Please take advantage of our medicine for a safer journey through the Labyrinth.
: What do you mean, What? You're up on the 10th floor, aren't you? I heard that's where a huge monster lives! He said it looked just like me! The cheek of that one! Do me a favor, and go see if that monster really is as pretty as me! Bahaha!
: Sure... Huh? Frederik, what are you doing down here?
: Ah, perfect timing. I have perfected a new technique that I wish to show you. But Aliara needs to come along.
: Uh, okay? What do you need gramps?
: I'll show you. Oh, Ling, stay here and watch over our things. I don't want squirrels getting in there.
TP has been an important resource to manage in the Etrian Odyssey series, and the DS games had methods that players took advantage of to restore or conserve TP so that they could explore the Labyrinth for a lot longer. In EO1, Troubadour's had the Relaxing song, which restored 5% of the party's TP per turn at max level. It was a great skill and it was relevant all game. It was one of the most important buffs to have on your party, and pretty much ensured that the only thing limiting your explorations was your inventory space. Casting it in a FOE or Boss fight pretty much ensured you would never run out of TP during it. Of course Atlus thought it was too good and Troubadours no longer have that skill in this game.
In EO3, the popular method to conserve TP was making use of the Zodiac's Dark Ether skill. What it did was make it so that a row didn't use up any TP for that turn. Which was okay by itself, but there was a way to have a party member be able to cast it on both rows at once and have that skill cost 1 TP to cast instead spending the normal cost of 10 TP. And that skill could be spammed every turn, ensuring that your party couldn't run out of TP in dungeon crawls or boss fights. Unfortunately that tactic falls off in the postgame because actually having one party member dedicated to Dark Ether spam meant that you were only fighting with a 4 man party. Which is fine for the main game but completely relying on that tactic in the postgame was suicide.
There wasn't really a way to pull something like that off in EO4, except conserving TP was much less of a concern there since the mazes were much smaller in that game. EOU did have a few methods, such as Rosa's Elderevenge Cordial. It healed HP and TP proportional to the amount of damage you dealt, making it very good for sustain in explorations. Relaxing got a huge nerf, only restoring 8 TP per turn for 5 turns at max level. And it costs 40 TP to cast in the first place. Yeah. Another way to do it would be putting Frederica's Recharge passive on a Grimoire Stone and giving one to everybody, except that's something you can only do in the lategame and heavily RNG dependent. (You do not want me to get into a detailed explanation for this. Trust me.) But for the most part it wasn't necessary. Mainly because you could jump between floors in that game and go to the floors that had healing springs if you needed to heal up.
As for this game, the method to pull that off is a bit more crude. You need both a War Magus and a Hexer to do this.
This skill lets the War Magus transfer their own TP to another party member. 10 TP at level 1, and 40 TP at level 5. It's situational by itself, but it's really good when used with this next skill.
The War Magus has a bunch of sword skills at their disposal that have additional effects depending on what status effect the enemy has. When this skill is used on a cursed enemy, the War Magus recovers some TP. For the record, these skills can still be used even if the enemy doesn't have the required status effect. Bizarrely these skills aren't considered to be physical attacks. For some reason they're considered to be untyped damage, so for conditional drops where you can't use physical attacks to finish off an enemy, these skills will work for that.
Something else I want to bring up. Take a look at the skill point requirements for these skills. This isn't something you can do early since you need to invest 17 skill points just to get one point in Cursecut. It also falls off postgame since your party's TP pools will be a lot bigger by then, but in the mid and lategame, it can be a good way to keep your party topped off during dungeon crawls.
And that's where the Hexer comes in. The Hexer is the only class that can curse enemies, and the chance for it is an 87% base chance at max level. Oh, and don't worry about Aliara's level. I had her take a rest and reskilled her for this demonstration.
Keep an eye on those TP bars.
: How you do you feel?
: Whoa! I feel all refreshed. And a bit insecure about my job.
: Ready Aliara?
: I think so.
: Try not to hit yourself. No really, we need to kill you ourselves.
: Ah, So refreshing.
Rinse and repeat for all the enemies left standing. This isn't the later EO games where enemies build up a resistance to status effects after they get hit by them. You can cast curse however many times you want until you're done. Unfortunately you can't really do this much in boss fights since they're resistant to status effects. Still, for dungeon treks this can be enough to keep your party's TP pools full.
There's also some things that I've missed while playing through this game that I want to show off now.
You informed the guard of the quest you undertook on behalf of Sitoth Trading.
: Ahh, I see. You should be able to get that Bug Wing from a Venomfly.
You shake the guard's hand in gratitude for his help, and go to finish your task.
This event triggers while you're on the first Sitoth Trading quest. It's a hint in case you don't know where to get the Bug Wings.
I said at daytime this event with the guard's money is a bit different and here it is.
The guard seems to be filled with ennui, lacking anyting resembling motivation.
He yawns brazenly, rubbing his eyes as he does. If he's this sleepy in the daytime, you doubt his ability to stay awake once night falls. You leave the sluggish guard slumped over the rock and depart from the area.
It's just a hint to come back here at night. Now, what would happen if we actually stole the money?
You tell yourself it's what the guard deserves for falling asleep in the deadly forest... Carefully, steadily, your fingertips brush his pouch... Suddenly, the string holding the pouch comes loose and it falls neatly into your hand! Inside, you find a considerable sum of coins. It's too late to return it now. You add the coins to your own and hastily leave the area.
Truly hard earned money. We can actually check the area again for another scene.
: I won't sleep, dammit! I'm not falling asleep this time!
The guard seems to be muttering something repeatedly to himself.
Until I figure out how to format text like this properly in the LP, you're just gonna get screenshots of text like this.
: My wife yelled at me, and I couldn't even get drunk at the bar. What a mess...
You're at a loss for words... Especially since you alone know the truth of the matter.
: It must have been some damn monster that eats money! This forest is one big hellhole!
You feel as though you should leave before your conscience gets the better of you. After a short farewell to the guard, you walk briskly from the area.
I think EO1 was the only game where the guards were something close to competent.
Next time, the 10th floor.