The Let's Play Archive

Etrian Odyssey II: Heroes of Lagaard

by Dr. Fetus

Part 49: Mini Update: Rest and Retirement

Mini Update: Rest and Retirement

So there's gonna be some features I want to cover in this update. Mainly some stuff you can do at the Explorer's Guild. In there, you have a few options on what you wanna do with a character you've created.

Rest will make your selected character lose 5 levels, but all their skill points will be refunded. It can be handy in case you found out that you made a bad choice in investing your skill points somewhere. 5 levels may be considered a steep cost, but you can get them back easily with boss grinding. In the first game, the resting penalty was 10 levels, which was really painful because there weren't too many good ways to grind in that game. The 3DS games reduced the resting penalty even further by lowering the cost to 2 levels. It should be noted that this option is available at any point, and trying to rest at levels 5 and below just result in all your skill points being refunded. No levels are lost in the process.

Dismiss permanently deletes a character. You have room for 30 characters so you shouldn't have to use this too much. We won't be using this at all. I hope.

Rename is a new feature. You can change a guild member's name for 1000en. The 3DS games got rid of the cost. You can't change the names of the story mode party in Untold.

Now we get to the meat of the update. Retirement. This option is only available to characters that are at or above level 30. Gameplay wise, the character that's selected for retirement will be replaced by a lower level character, but one that will be stronger in the long term. The best use for it is to essentially delete a class you aren't satisfied with, but you don't want to grind up a new class all the way up from level 1.

Before you do this, make sure to unequip the characters you want to retire!

Story wise, what retirement actually involves is that your character has apparently been training an apprentice, and when your character retires, the apprentice will take their place. It's actually an entirely new character, your old one is gone forever.

The game warns you twice before doing this. Once you say yes twice, there's no going back.

You get to choose the name and class of the new character.

But for the purposes for this LP, we're gonna pretend that absolutely nothing happened, other than everyone getting an inexplicable power spike that will probably never be mentioned.

I'm gonna do this with every single character, and then grind them back up to level 25 or so. As for why? It's actually kind of a good idea to retire at 30 in this game, because it gives you a huge boost in stats and skill points. Retirement has a new character come in at half of the old character's level, except when they get past 60. After that point, retiring will always send in a level 30 character.

In the first game, retirement sucked. No matter what level you retired at, the new character would always come in at level 1. When you retired at the level cap of 70, all they got was a 3 point boost to a certain stat and 6 extra skill points. The stat that got the boost depended on what class the old character was when they retired. It was not worth it at all. So Atlus buffed retirement in this game. This time, retiring at a certain level gave a boost to all stats instead of one. The higher leveled the retired character was, the bigger the apprentice's boost was. Here's the breakdown on the retirement bonuses.

Level 30-39: +4 to all stats, +4 skill points
Level 40-49: +3 to all stats, +5 skill points
Level 50-59: +4 to all stats, +6 skill points
Level 60-69: +5 to all stats, +7 skill points
Level 70-98: +5 to all stats, +8 skill points
Level 99: +10 to all stats, +10 skill points

No, the retirement bonus for levels 40 to 49 is not a mistake on my end. It's a bug. So it's best to retire as soon as possible if you want the stat boosts. A 4 point boost to every single stat is really good, and puts your characters ahead of the curve. Not to mention, you get 4 extra skill points to invest into whatever. For the record, the bonuses for retirement do not stack if you retire more than once. All that's taken into account is the level that the last retiree was at. Unfortunately, Atlus thought the retirement benefits were too big, and nerfed the bonuses in EO3, which is what the rest of the games have stuck with.

Level 30-39: +1 to all stats, +4 skill points
Level 40-49: +2 to all stats, +5 skill points
Level 50-59: +3 to all stats, +6 skill points
Level 60-69: +4 to all stats, +7 skill points
Level 70-98: +5 to all stats, +8 skill points
Level 99: +10 to all stats, +10 skill points

Retiring the moment your party hit 30 went from being a good idea, to a huge waste of time for minimal benefit. Getting 4 extra skill points wasn't that great, especially when the grinding methods in EO3 weren't as fast as EO2's. EO4 did have a fast grinding method, but even then level 30 retirements weren't worth it. Aside from the huge bonuses of retiring at level 99, all retirement became good for is getting a new character into your party without them starting off at a huge disadvantage.

There's actually one other feature that retiring has in this game that hasn't been used in any other of the EO games, and for a very good reason. See, the level cap in EO1 is 70. And it can't be raised at all. Once you get to 70, that's it. But EO2 introduced a way to increase the level cap all the way to level 99. Its method for doing that is different than how the rest of the games, remakes included, did it. EO3 and beyond had the level cap set at 70, but you could raise it to 99 by beating some postgame bosses. That's it. How EO2 handled it was... special. If you retire at levels 30 to 69, nothing happens aside from getting the retirement bonuses. But if you retire at level 70, and try to grind back up there, you can actually get to level 71. You can do that again at level 71 to raise the cap to 72, and so on until you reach level 99. It is really dumb and time consuming. This raised level cap is the only thing that carries over between retired characters. Once the cap is raised, it's permanent unless you delete the character.

To show you how truly insane this is, let's do some math. So how long does it take to grind up from level 1 to level 99? Assuming you don't rest and only retire to raise the level cap. Well it takes 69 levels to reach level 70. Then you retire and have to grind for 41 levels to reach 71, 42 to reach 72, and so on. All the way up to 69 levels when you reach 99. Oh and don't forget, if you want to get that last retirement boost, you have to retire at level 99, so that's an extra 69 levels you have to grind for. Add that all up and the total amounts to 1733 levels! That is billions, if not trillions of experience points you have to grind for! The highest exp payout you can get in this game? 200000, which divides out to a mere 40000 exp in a 5 man party. Do not grind up to level 99. You are a crazy person if you do that.

Thankfully, none of this insanity is necessary to beat the game, or to complete the postgame. You can complete everything at level 70. Well, there may be one fight where grinding to 99 might be necessary, except it can be cheesed with Force Skills. For the record, I will not do all that in this LP. The farthest you may see me get is level 71 and that's mainly to get the bonuses from retiring at 70.