Basicaly, Hori was smoking crack when he let Nohi fuck up the battle system this time around.
I swear to god, I've never seen a more poorly executed set of skills.
Again, to make sure you all know, this is **********SPOILER FILLED************
Ok....no other DQ has a more annoying set of skills than DQ8, by far. Literaly, about 80% of all skills are WORTHLESS, Spells, maybe 30%. Not only that, but most weaponry, when you get it, down the road, is rediculously pointless. Mostly due to the massive decrease in power and defense, which can really really really really enfuriate we, the DQ veteran crowd. Really, this game wouldn't be so hard if they didn't make it so cheap and insanely frustrating. Especialy when you spent those last 5 skill points maxing out one field to find it's "uber" skill is not only worthless, but does less damage than 3 skills gained ago, back when you were 30 hours earlier into the game.
Especialy when you get them at inopportune times.
Ok, to make things clear, I'm going to go down the list of skills per character, per weapon.
Dragon Slash, 9 points required: USEFUL on Dragons, especialy with the Uber Falcon Blade, not useful for most of the quest, sadly, but when you restart a game and go through the bonus dungeon, fuck ya. Can be powered up through tension.
Flame Slash, 15 points: Useful for a good 30% of the game, too bad you don't have a falcon blade or knife to use with it, but most enemies are allergic to fire early on, thusly, it's imperetive for boss battles, can be boosted through tension.
Metal Slash, 30 points: Only useful toward the 50% mark, when you have access to a metal slime forest, yes, they're renamed Metal Slimes now, no longer the Japanese Metaly that was brought out through DW7, cannot be bolstered by tension, best used with a falcon blade.
Falcon Slash, 52 points: Not so useful till you have an actual Falcon blade, then it's by far your best attacking skill for bosses in the game, bar-none, power increase via tension.
Miracle Slash, 82 points: Really, not very useful, if at all, unless you went swords early, but by this time, you'll have more than enough mp for healing, and you should probably have the Sacred Armour, which will give you much more hp per round. The Uber Miracle Sword gives you 200% more hp back per hit and even that blade isn't worth your time. Can be bolstered by tension.
Gigaslash, 100 points, First Group Sword Skill: Useful on occassion. This is one of two skills that is the same skill, only this is the weaker version. Like with 7 its damage grows slowly, mostly with your level, but unlike 7, it grows VERY slowly, difference in average damage between levels 38 (level in which you can actualy put 100 into any skill set) and 45 is only 15, which isn't horrible, but for the price of the skills use, it's less than stellar. Can be bolstered by Tension - though really not as much as other skills, especialy Falcon, Flame, Dragon.
Mercurial Thrust, 7 points: Useful for 30% of the game if you go spear (spears will have the strongest weapons for 30% of the game), does decent damage, but it's the ability to strike early that counts, and the Hero is slow early on. Can be boosted through tension.
Thunder Thrust, 12 points: Useful against metal enemies only, otherwise, the chances for actualy hitting something is less than 40%, criticaling less than 20%. It is however, super easy to get by the time you actualy can level off of metal slimes. Since you won't get a Falcon Blade till a bit later, it's more useful than Metal Slash, more so if you went less focused on Swords for both Hero and Angelo - literaly, before the falcon blade, metal slash is only useful if both Hero and Angelo know it. Can be bolstered by tension.
Multithrust, 25 points: 3-4 hit attack. Ok, really, this is one of those skills where you want to shoot Enix for letting Square slame their cock up their asses. This is what happens when you're blinded by something you think is milky goodness. Seriously, this is a useless skill, Mercurial Thrust is cheaper, more useful, and will usualy equal it in damage. The animation always shows 4 hits, the enemies never try dodging since it's so fast, but you hit 3 times 80% of the time. Otherwise I'd say fuck ya. Can be bolstered by Tension.
Clean Sweep, 45 points, Group attack: Ok, would be useful, but you need a lot of points to actualy aquire it. Still, even throughout the game it's useful for how cheap it is, too bad it only effects a group and you'll probably see damage anywhere from 60-80, which slows down in usefulness around 80% of the way through. Cannot be Bolstered by Tension.
Lightening Thrust, 59 points: Replaces Thunder Thrust, so lazy Americans won't have to scroll through so one extra skill.....oh no! This is much better, Each time you do connect it's always a critical, but the ratio is still 40% connection, but hey, more useful against metal enemies, especialy King Metals (no BeDragon).
Lightening Storm, 100 points, All Enemies: Useful, but expensive, still hits everything. Consistent damage at 200, not sure if you can bolster it with Tension yet, haven't tried.
Crosscutter Throw, 6 points, every boomer skill is all enemies: Useful, VERY useful early on. Too bad it's crosscut only effects One monster, but the first blow effects everyone at teh very least. Damn useful on the first 2 bosses if you're going boommerang, and very useful when you want to speed up enemy annihilation. Can be boosted with Tension.
Power Throw, 18 points: Useful, makes your boomerang through hit for the same damage all around. Sadly, you'll want some sword skills or spear skills to make boss fighting easier, given the massive difference in attack boost. Still, one of the best ways to cut down enemy parties early on. Can be bolstered via Tension.
Firebird Throw, 32 points: Not useful, no how, not ever. Ok, when you get this skill, you have to remember, it does fire damage, same to everyone around you, but if you play your cards right, you should have decent alchemy made boomerang by this time, one that will make power throw do 5-10 more damage. This is only useful against high defense enemies, even then it's only 28-36 damage. Cannot be bolstered by Tension.
Super Throw, 52 points: Useful, perhaps the most useful skill in the game. This skill will do 10-25% more damage than a normal throw, it'll actualy do damn close to the damage you would hit the first monster in a party with in all previous DQ's, replaces Power Throw, can be bolstered by Tension.
Starburst Throw, 82 points: Not useful, no way, no how, save against a very select few enemies, most of which, if you pumped boomerang as your main weapon, you'll shortly never see again. Basicaly does 75-100 damage, usualy 80 though. Problem is, by now, most enemies have 250+ hp, and will do 40-60 damage per hit on you, normal, and they're more likely to land criticals now, in the 40% range, every normal hit. Cannot be powered-up by Tension.
GigaThrow, 100 points, hits one enemy: Useless, useless to an extreme fault. This is got to be the worst case of programming mishap I have ever seen in any rpg. Not only does this skill do less damage than an ordinary throw, but POWER THROW, yes, power through would do more damage. It's supposed to hit in the 200+ range, scaling up as you level up to 350, but it has always done 80-110, 90 normaly. Wtf is wrong with Nohi? Did he smoke crack? Can be powered by tension, but why bother?
Defending Champion, 11 points, Self: Useless. Ok, this game is more random than any DQ previous. You will never have to use this skill ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, unless you get yourself 2 Timbrels of Tension, then use this to keep your other two characters invulnerable while everyone powers up, still, better to actualy Power up than use this. Unlike Ironize, which is the spell it's supposed to be, it lasts ONLY one fucking round. Otherwise I'd say, fuck ya.
Stone's Throw, 17 points, Enemy Group: Useless. Seriously, 8-20 damage is really your only ratio of damage, and you get it at a time when you meet enemies who are 40 on average....why? I really just don't get it. I don't know if you can bolster through Tension.
Knuckle Sandwich, 24 points: Ok, somewhat useful, it does 50% more than you're ordinary attack. One bad thing, no tension building will help you here. Still, at the time, if you go Fisticuffs, it's your only way to kill Khalimari without dieing.
Thin Air, 42 points, All Enemies: Somewhat Useful, mostly in its ability to hit everyone, but really, the damage isn't great, but you do get it early for a multi-person hitter that isn't related to boomerang, and it does just under the damage of Starburst Throw, 45-65. One bad aspect, it's supposed to grow as you level....so far I havent' seen any difference. This is useful, especialy with a lot of people, and it can be bolstered with Tension.
Multifists, 70 points: Somewhat Useful, same deal with the Spear Ability of the same type. Only one difference, this always hits as 4 hits, but, instead of 1/2 per hit, you do 1/3 the damage....again, why? Knuckle Sandwich is much better, much much better. Only nice deal is, you can bolster via Tension.
Boulder Toss, 82 points, All Enemies: Somewhat Useful, like with all Fisticuffs abilities, it's not only hampered by the fact that fisticuffs were nerfed to a point of practicaly uselessness, but you actualy ONLY do 60-90 damage with this one, for a skill that's so late, you'd be better off hanging yourself in later battles (trust me, some of the normal battles at the end of the game are nigh impossible to exploit with such low damage). Not sure if it can be bolstered.
Zoom, 8 points, Party: "Return", get it, asap.
Tingle, 16 points, All Allies: "Awake", not really necessary, but the abilities you learn pumping your personality Skill Set is worth it.
Holy Protection, 28 points, Party: "Repel", actualy useful, random encounters go off of a different system now, no longer a step count, sometimes you can get 20 in a row, sometimes go 10 minutes without seeing a single encounter. Though normaly, because of the map size, just to find every chest on the overworld, this is a requirement, or you can get a little lost, and possibly die.
Fizzle, 40 points, Enemy Group: "Stopspell"....hardly ever works, even less often than previous installments.
Zap, 48 points, All Enemies: Thank god they used the real name here, but what else where they going to call it? Ok, this one is fucking USEFUL, but it's different, first off, does 80 damage average, supposed to hit 120, but I haven't seen one single change, can be bolstered with Tension, and hits ALL enemies.
Kamikazee, 70 points, All Enemies: "Sacrifice"...omg a first for DQ, the Hero learning Sacrafice instead of Farewell. This isn't really useful unless you're really in a pinch, but revive is cheaper in this version, so fuck it, use it if you need to.
OmniHeal, 82 points, All Allies: "Healusall" I really need say nothing more.
Kazap, 100 points, Enemy Group: "Lightening" (no Thordain here), nowhere near as useful as it should be. Rarely breaks the 150 barrier, usualy does 125-135 damage. Really fucking useless. Can be Bolstered by Tension. (a point, it's just slightly cheaper to cast than the Spear Skill "Lightening Storm")
GigaSlash, 100 points, Enemy Group: If you don't level up sword, this you will get on top of Kazap, so you still have a viable Sword skill to use. Though again, it's only somewhat useful, at times.
GigaGash, 100 points in both Sword and Courage, Enemy Group: Useful. This is supposed to max at 350ish damage, but between 38 and 45 (you can only max out two skills at these levels with hero and yangus when you hit 38) I've only seen damage ranges of 238 and 280 respectively, and I'm still seeing that now. Still, it's a lot of damage, and it helps when you encounter large groups of really annoying and tough enemies. Can be boosted through Tension.
Team Call, special prize at Monster Arena for Rank E completion: One of the Two most USEFUL skills in game, next to Super Throw. This allows you to call your monster team/s into battle in place of you, for a certain number of turns. If you scout well, and you win often in the Arena, you bolster the time they spend. Started at 2, highest I've seen is 4 turns. Still, 4 turns is enough for some teams to wipe out a large enemy part. This is useful throughout the game. Also, monster teams recover after battle to full health, and the cost is only 10 mp. It can save you in a pinch when you want to kill tough enemies and you have a damn good team.
That's it for now, I'll hit other guys soon enough. But let's recap.
Boomerang: Stop at 52, as you'll have +15 attack attribute and Super Throw in your arsenal. Very useful, especialy toward the end of the game.
Spear: 12 or 100, depending on whether you want to get Gigagash or Lightening Storm. Out of the two I'd pick GigaGash, despite the prereqs being high, it's cheaper, 20 to 26, and it's more powerful. Still Lightening hits all enemies, so it's your call. Either or, but don't half-ass it. Lightening thrust is more useful vs King Metals and Metal Babbles than Metal Slash.
Sword: 52 or 100. If you're going Spear, get Falcon Slash before you finish spear off, it pays, especialy with an Uber Falcon Blade.
Fisticuffs: 0 or 100. Unless you're going all Fisticuffs for an insane challenge, don't bother.
Courage: 90 or 100. You will want to max this or come close. At 56, spells/skills cost 3/4, at 90, they cost 1/2. If you're going spear, gigaslash is useful still, but that 90 points means Lightening Storm will let you own shit more often.
[b][i]Path to power[/i][/b]:
Go for 18 in Boomerang first, as the Rang is one of your first top weapons. Then go Spear to 12 or Sword to 22. Then Courage to 56 along with Boomerang to 52, then finish off spear or Sword to 52. Then if you went spear, hit 90 in Courage then just pump sword. Or if you went with Sword, then do Courage and Sword together till both are maxed, then pump spear.
I'll hit the other guys later.