Part 48: Fighting for PrivilegesUpdate 48: Fighting for Privileges
In This Update:
- Revisit clan trials!
- Earn new clan privileges!
- Marvel at weird game design!
Today is all about Clan Privileges! We've picked up some useful ones along the way: Move +2, MP Channeling, and my favorite, Bonus AP 3.
Today we're going to earn some other useful ones, along with others that are decidedly niche. In fact, some of them I didn't even know existed before this update!
There are a few privileges I'll never bother to unlock, because they just aren't worth using:
1. Smash Gauge Bonus: Increases the rate the Smash Gauge fills, allowing you to summon Scions more often. It's not as bad as others on this list. Very excellent if you love using Scions, but I don't, so it's not worth using.
2. Safekeeping: Just like the P-Ability of the same name, this prevents items from being stolen and equipment from being destroyed. The only use I can think of for this is when the law forbids you from having items stolen.
3. Bonus CP, Bonus EXP and Bonus Gil: Bonus AP's lesser siblings. These come in 3 stages and boost their corresponding reward by some amount. And they're just not worth using! I'm absolutely drowning in CP and Gil just by doing quests. Bonus EXP might be good for raising low-level units, something I've never needed to do.
4. Empowered Race: Each race has a privilege that raises their stats, e.g. Empowered Hume boosts the stats of every hume on your team. The bonus is +5 to all stats except HP, MP and Move. You might squeeze +3 damage per attack from that. Completely useless.
The majority of clan privileges boost one specific stat: Agility, Luck, Power or Speed. I like Agility best, because it increases your chance to hit and chance to dodge.
Each of these privileges has 5 levels, but I haven't been able to find any information about how big of a boost each level is. I expect they're flat bonuses, maybe +20 at level 5.
As we've seen before, each trial is presided over by a Judge.
We're doing a low-level trial, because you can only unlock the next stage of each privilege. The level 1 version of stat-boosting privilege is available from the start of the game, so we're doing "Surveyors" to unlock Agility 2.
The Judge said, "Use any means necessary." That usually means we don't have to worry about keeping the law, but this trial adds a little twist.
Instead of attacking, you have the option to "Experiment". (I think this text never got filled in! "Context sensitive command" does technically describe what Experiment is for, but it sounds like default filler text to me.)
Choosing Experiment opens up more options. Which one should you pick?
At the beginning of each round, each monster does a small animation. The correct command corresponds with this animation.
Choose incorrectly and nothing happens.
But if you choose the correct option...
The enemy flees! Instead of wasting turns trying to defeat jellies without using elemental damage, we can just banish them.
Since you only see one animation per round, you have to guess when experimenting with other monsters. I got lucky here.
And I have save states so I can easily check each command.
As far as I can tell, the command for each animation changes per battle. So my apologies if my choices here don't help you.
The Judge congratulates us on our win and we get Agility 2!
Repeating the trial and choosing a harder title lets us earn Agility 3.
Each trial in a quest has the same general mechanics. So we'll be facing more enemies, but we'll have the same Experiment menu as before.
New animation! Still not sure what it matches with.
Nice and clean.
To earn the higher privilege levels, we need to take Adaptability II.
These trials have the Master-level titles, which provide huge bonuses. But we'll be taking Trailblazers first.
It's the same general idea of Adaptability I, but with different and harder enemies. Pretty much every trial follows this pattern.
The twist: a new kind of jelly to fight!
The jelly is the same as Adaptability I.
The Ice Flan is very proud of its tongue but doesn't know it's rude to show it off to strangers.
The Experiment menu is different. Slapping the tongue away does not shame the flan into leaving.
Maybe we can insult it into leaving...?
Don't make me do this.
The Master-level trials are the most challenging, but the rewards are always worth it. Not only do you get huge discounts, but the privileges they unlock are usually very powerful.
This time, we have to fight off a jelly, an ice flan and a cream.
Look at these animations, they're so silly! (Shown out of order, sorry for any confusion.)
As you've come to expect, the cream has its own set of commands.
I promise I didn't use save states for too many of these. This last battle was entirely luck, for example.
And now we have Agility 5! I probably won't bother getting the other stat-boosting privileges -- as you can see, they're pretty tedious to unlock, and other privileges are more useful in my opinion. The stat-boosting privileges are always solid options, though I mostly use them as backups when Bonus AP 3 isn't useful.
What screenshots couldn't show were the long pauses between choosing "Experiment", the menu popping up, choosing a command, and the enemy's reaction. Seriously, a single interaction takes 20 seconds. Very tedious.
Some privileges are not very useful, but are so weird that I feel compelled to talk about them.
This particular one is locked behind Master Judicers, so you would expect it to be pretty powerful.
And indeed the trial is challenging. Tonberries are tough customers thanks to their multitude of elemental resistances.
On top of that, we can't use any MP at all.
We have the advantage of levels, thankfully.
There's no bonus for finishing trials before the time limit, sadly.
The second Tonberry stalks Tsing, despite Lenolia's best efforts to weaken it.
He can handle it though.
Here it is: Always Counter.
This privilege gives Counter to any unit without a set Reaction Ability.
Why would you ever use this? Counter is a good general-purpose R-Ability, sure, and not every job has great R-Abilities. (I often set an R-Ability and forget about it, because they don't have the kind of impact P-Abilities do.) Counter is basically better than nothing.
But to waste a whole clan privilege on Counter is absurd! Making sure every unit has an R-Ability is absolutely not worth the opportunity cost. It's particularly useless on mages and ranged units, who should not be getting hit in melee range in the first place! I'm pretty sure this privilege also runs afoul of the "No Reactions" law, too.
Why is this even a thing?
I forgot to record the beginning of this trial! It's the Adaptability-Negotiation trial for the Master Intercessors title. Goal: Survive 3 rounds facing 6 enemies while upholding the law. The law is "Harming the Weak," which means no damage to units of a lower level.
You're forced to bring Samuel to every trial. Talf is here for extra healing (if necessary) and to Slow enemies (if possible). Status effects don't count as harm. Neither do counterattacks.
Seriously, we just sit here and let them peck us for 3 rounds.
It's not hard.
Non-Elemental attacks does exactly what it sounds like: all of your attacks will be non-elemental. Spells, weapon attacks, abilities -- everything.
This is actually more useful than it sounds! Plenty of enemies resist or absorb elemental damage, like Tonberries, jellies and so on. Pretty much every boss has at least one elemental resistance. Non-Elemental Attacks lets you use whatever abilities you want without worrying about resistances. It also lets you bypass laws that forbid elemental damage.
Is it worth the opportunity cost? Honestly, in some cases it really might be. A lot of monsters (especially bosses) resist every element, and this privilege would let your units deal more damage. On the other hand, it shuts down Blood Price and other damage-absorbing combos. I think there are situations where it would be effective.
The last of the B-tier privileges is another five-stage one. We'll only be unlocking the first stage.
Three lights, three jellies. The lights move every round and every time you pick one up. It's a fairly easy challenge.
Move +2 and Ninja Tabi make it even easier.
Debuff Resistance provides immunity to a set of debuffs. Each level blocks more debuffs, starting with only Poison at level 1. The effect is cumulative, so Debuff Resistance 5 grants immunity to Poison, Blind, Sleep, Silence, Immobilize, Disable, Confuse, Charm and Toad.
That's not a bad selection of debuffs. But the Orb of Minwu blocks all of those plus Stone (but not Sleep), while Ribbons block everything. All at the cost of an equipment slot, of which you have plenty. Debuff Resistance isn't useless, but there are better uses of your privilege slot.
With those out of the way, we'll round out this update with some very nice privileges.
We find ourselves back at Adaptability II, this time picking up the very first title.
Same goal and law as before, too.
Blink and you'll miss it, really.
Libra is one of my favorite privileges. It does the same thing as the Ranger's Awareness ability: it reveals all traps on the battlefield. I believe it also stays up to date, showing new traps as soon as they're place, which Awareness does not do. (To the best of my knowledge, anyway.) If you don't have a unit who can reveal traps, Libra is a godsend.
There's actually a second way to unlock Libra. If you have a Final Fantasy Tactics Advance cartridge in the GBA slot of your DS, Libra will be added to your list of privileges! That's extremely useful in the beginning of the game when you can't have a Seeq.
The next clan privilege is one of the best in the game, but also one of the most annoying to earn.
It's a typical "touch the disappearing object" mission, but it's one of the worst maps.
Also, there's 5 Demon Eyes waiting for you.
You usually shouldn't worry about combat with these missions. The time limit forces you ignore enemies and focus on the objective.
With Move +2 and a bunch of Ninja Tabi, we should be fine!
Keep in mind we need to touch the pot eight times.
And the enemies like to Confuse you.
AL-CID WHAT ARE YOU DOING NO STOP THAT. Grimoire Stones are incredibly rare and fully restore everyone's MP. You can't buy them, only get them as rewards, from chests or, rarely, at auctions.
Well, we finally touched the pot--
Alright, let's try that again!
That's a lot better.
Only this last touch was at all inconvenient, and Vaan was already halfway there. We got really lucky this time!
And what do we get in return?
MP Efficiency is a free Half MP. Every ability costs half as much! I don't need to explain how useful that is.
But it gets better: MP Efficiency stacks with Half MP. Suddenly your Illusionists are running around casting their spells every turn. Blood Price'd spells also have their costs cut in half, so you don't have to worry as much about healing.
But is it better than MP Channeling, which gives you 20 MP per turn? Hard to say, really. If you rely on the MP Shield P-Ability, which deals damage to your MP before hitting your HP, MP Channeling is slightly better. Some laws prevent you from using too much MP, which Efficiency can help you circumvent. But if you break the law, you still have the extra MP you gained from Channeling, while Efficiency means your spells are suddenly much more expensive. On the other hand, MP restoring items and abilities are even better with MP Efficiency.
Honestly, they're basically equivalent, it's nice to have both options, and it really comes down to your playstyle.
General Training II has two more useful privileges for us.
You know, this is what Speed Battle should be. A battle where you actually need to defeat enemies quickly.
We only have enemy to deal with, but...
...the law is working against us. Then again, we are under no obligation to uphold the law.
As this screenshot from the future shows us, we have to burn down 416 HP in 4 rounds, while also dealing with reinforcements and a restrictive law. But forget the law, it makes this almost impossible.
We're going to teach the game a lesson.
Remember, the last killing blow of a battle cannot break the law.
I'll talk about this privilege in a moment.
First, we're going to repeat this trial on a harder difficulty.
It's the same setup as the last one, except reinforcements show up on round 2.
Which means the same strategy will work here.
Just as satisfying the second time around.
Regen is a nice buff that restores 10% of a unit's HP at the start of its turn. There's a clan privilege of the same name that grants a permanent version of the buff. Regenra and Regenga are the higher-tier versions of Regen, restoring (I believe) 12.5% and 15% of the unit's HP per turn, respectively.
Regen is actually a pretty good option, in my opinion. 15% passive health regeneration that can't be removed (unless you break the law) means you often don't have to bring a healer if you don't want to. If you're like me and use your Blood Price Summoner as a healer, that unit can instead focus on damage for an extra turn or two. It's not as empowering as MP Channeling is, but it's a strong buff that can keep even your weakest units alive.
So, to recap:
Summoner Tier: MP Channeling, MP Efficiency, Bonus AP 3
Assassin Tier: Move +2, Regenga, Libra, Agility/Luck/Power/Speed 5
Black Mage Tier: Debuff Resistance 5, Non-Elemental Attacks, Smash Gauge Bonus
Cannoneer Tier: Always Counter, Bonus CP/EXP/Gil, Safekeeping
Flintlock Tier: Empowered Races
You pretty much always should be using an S-tier privilege, though an A- or B-tier privilege may be situationally more useful.
Thanks for reading! Next update, we return to doing quests. Based on the voting so far, it looks like we'll be visiting Goug.