Part 14: End ResultsThe big decision in Chapter 2 is which spell caster do you want to recruit, Rosary or Roswell. We saw the difficulty difference in the immediate choosing, but what does this mean long term?
Firstly, let's look at max stats, to get an idea of their stat growth.
Rosary finishes up at 4,3,5,6, and Roswell reaches 5,4,4,4. Roswell is a little more balanced, but unfortunately for him, that doesn't equal battle success.
Roswell has the superior Gen, and let's see what that means. He has a better chance of avoiding card skills. The only cards with Tec in them that we'll be facing are damage cards elemental and Geo. Let's be honest here, unless they deal fatal damage, they are rarely a threat - Gravity Chaos, and maybe Thunderbolt. Beyond that, very few named characters use Tec cards. We'll see lots of Chariot, Revolution, and Banshees Cry. The cards we haven't seen yet don't use Tec, and they're a lot worse to be on the receiving end of. Added to the fact that there is lots of +Gen food, and most characters reach 4 Gen, almost nobody has an issue maxing it. Remember, if you eat at 3, you'll max out at 6.
Outside of defending against card skills, Gen is also worthless. It doesn't do anything unless you lose a battle, and I don't plan on losing many. A solid Geo Defense is a good substitute, anyways.
Looking at his actual combat stats, he has one higher Atk, one lower Tec, and 2 lower Luk than Rosary. Rosary's weak point is definitely her Atk, but that Luk brings a lot of Critical Hits - and more flash attacks, and that Tec gives her stronger charges and counters she'll likely kill 1 or 2 more off the start, and that adds up.
In raw numbers, Rosary should easily have the lead. Let's look at abilities:
Rosary has Void Fire, and deals Fire damage on Aggressive.
Roswell has Void Dark, and deals Dark damage on Aggressive.
Roswell is also weak against holy the best time to use Dark, Valkyries, is the most common source of Holy damage.
Fighting Skeletons is so rare after this, that ability is a non-issue.
Obviously Roswell is a double-edged sword against Valkyries. He does gain a slight benefit against Assassins, though, since they deal Dark damage.
Rosary has no weaknesses, but nulls a good deal of damage from Witches, and an unseen boss who's a giant motherfucker. He's immune to Fire, so Rosary can't go aggressive against him.
In my experience, Voiding that damage is better than dealing the extra damage. I can't mathematically prove it, but I've completed play throughs with both characters 3 or 4 times each, and Rosary feels better in this area.
So that's 2 points I see for Rosary. Let's look at their summons.
Or not. They're both pretty terrible. But Golems have higher Gen for meat-shielding, have some utility in Earthquake, and are easier to summon.
2.5 points for Rosary. Now lets look at why Roswell is just plain better than Rosary: Warp.
You absolutely need to warp to get some very good items. Rosary will have the chance to get one item of your choosing, if you consistently take Mizer's shoes, but that's it. If you want those other items, you have no choice but to get Roswell.
His theme music is also better, and overall he's just a chill dude. Rosary acts like a spoiled brat.
Ultimately, they were both really good characters in the GBA version. They were the only choice you had to break the melee weapon triangle, so were valuable either way. In the PSP version we get 2 more characters, and they both break the melee triangle.
Chapter 2 End Results
So that marks the end of Chapter 2. The intro's over, we've seen most of the mechanics, and we finally have a spread of weapon types. At the same time, we've ran into 3 of the 5 Dragon Generals, the Special Forces squad lead by Zilva, and twice escaped from the elite Valkyrie Aegina. In addition, doing it all for the paycheck are the always awesome mercenary Inzaghi, and the annoying as ever bounty hunter Mizer.
There's a surprising few actual deaths in the game, amidst all the combat. None of them have been our actual enemy, either. Queen Emelone and her soldier Ishiene were the first to fall, and we had to use deadly force against Roswell to prevent the Verlaine Hills from turning to a wasteland.
Battlefield 10 is the end of the game for a lot of players but we've cleared that hump fine. The end of Chapter 3 will be much, much worse. Even so, the last three levels of Chapter 3 are among my favourite in the game. The next chapter will start with a bit of a breather, but quickly ramp up in both plot, and challenge.
Before we get there, though, we need to do some housecleaning. We currently have 5 party members:
Yggdra, the leader of the Royal Army, is currently average in level. Her stats are growing quite slowly, and if not for her sword or fort advantages, she's not very powerful. Her 3 Atk keeps her in most fights, but her other stats are bringing her down.
Milanor is a tank all around. He's quickly approaching 4 in both Atk and Gen, which will be another huge jump in power. He's also the only user and Ace of the essential Steal skill.
Durant hasn't seen much action so far, and as a result is lowest level. His essential combat stats are unaffected, hitting 3's on Gen, Atk and Tec. His Luk is dismal, and won't see an increase until level 8. This is really the only thing holding him back, and we can always look forward to seeing many roads and bridges throughout the next chapter.
Nietzsche was a bit of a killing machine throughout her entire tenure in the Royal Army. Unfortunately, a large part of this were due to her items, which have now expired. Her Gen and Atk will reliably increase every level for the next while, and her Luk will reach a new stage by level 11. There isn't a lot of water for her for quite a while, but in those wetter levels, Nietzsche is still the same killing machine we've been seeing all along.
Rosary is the newcomer, and the first character we recruit that breaks the regular melee weapon triangle. We'll benefit in this play through due to her better overall combat abilities. That means that we'll have to miss some items, but the game requires 4 or 5 completions to get every item anyways, unless you play around with previous saves. Her biggest weakness will be her low attack, but if we plan on using her that can be compensated for.
Now we have 5 characters, but most upcoming battles only allow 4. We'll have to sit someone out, and it can't be Yggdra or Milanor. I'll leave that up to you guys, if you have an opinion. There will be specific instances where one character has a specific use, or is tactically unsound, so I'll overrule choices temporarily if it's appropriate. Voting on a per-map basis is probably unruly and cumbersome, so I don't think that will be of any value. So, who gets the bench?