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A member registered Apr 13, 2018 · View creator page →

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idk I think Bleed is probably the best exploit skill, and drastically overshadows any Destruction skills—especially since Destruction gets linked to elements, which perform very poorly; having bosses with multiple elements or the ability to change elements, without the player being able to change, makes them useless since they are effective for basically one phase and a liability for the others. Smite ends up being *okay* but you're actively incentivized to use it as little as possible, even with high stagger/re-stagger strats. Meanwhile, Bleed hits like a truck, is untyped, and the self-damage won't put you in danger if you are playing around it.

Taunt is also underwhelming, as long as I'm complaining, especially in fights with multiple strong enemies; getting the AI to spread out attacks is much safer than everyone hammering Valentin all at once; they don't benefit enough from the defense buff, in my opinion. going from 70% of their life per hit to 60% of their life per hit does not change the reality that they'll be two-shot.

the game was a ton of fun, but as far as the battle system goes I found much more success in playing against a lot of what is "expected" in the strategy, as far as what specific abilities to equip. the element system just isn't flexible enough to do anything helpful, again especially since the bosses are multi-element. there's no way to really know ahead of time what element is good against road enemies because you can't see what you're going to fight; it's really Nuclear or Bust, and with Control Rod you even lose that option too.

EDIT: I feel like this maybe sounds like I'm being really harsh on the battle system, but I have to reiterate that I really really enjoyed it and I loved the system that was presented. I think one small change—being able to hotswap element—would fix all of my concerns with the strategy. I think ravage stuff and the stagger meter was dope and I liked figuring out the re-stagger strategy, I am very satisfied with that; but changing the element issue would have made the "element trinket" quest rewards feel good instead of feeling like I got rewarded with 3 stickers.

the trick is to make sure that you're always leveling to the highest tier of gear available, which is fairly easy once you get access to the stickers—and on Devil Clock you get lots of stickers! otherwise, 5 Battle Energy and the consumable that gives you nuclear element are both extremely powerful, so much so that the game turns the latter one off for most boss fights.

for strategy, using Bleed on the last board, Sam set to Splash Heal, and using debuffs/taunt/Life on the preceding boards while you wait for Sword of Fate was my strategy. Bleed does ridiculous amounts of damage, so I had it on both Val and Grace, with Smite on board one literally just for Smite Only challenges. I used Angela exclusively to generate Ravage meter.

whatever your last board is, is what you'll spend the most time in naturally, so it's good to have it be consistent exploit damage + group healing. whatever your second board is should be buffs and heals, because until you get a Fast passive trinket you should always immediately advance to the second board. I put "situational powerhouse" moves on board one, since you use it the least; there's a combo with Fast passive skills and a tier IX trinket to get powerful staggers easily, but I think it's more fun to figure that out on your own.

I really really enjoyed this game. the writing is excellent, and I fell in love with all of the characters; I think Valentin is probably my favorite, but it's a bit like choosing which of your comfort foods is "better" than the others. the combat system was really fun and engaging, and I liked it enough to play on Devil Clock and didn't regret it. I'm excited for the rest of the DLC, and I'd absolutely recommend this to anyone. love the art, love the writing, the soundtrack is a banger, A+ 10/10