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Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition Discussion (Nintendo Switch) [game]
9.01/10 from 8 user ratings

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Posted: 09/26/19, 18:01:37
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I quit playing after all my characters reached level 99 and I STILL couldn't complete the end end game. While enjoyable as a whole, I have to lump it into the Xenoblade Chronicles X category of fun, but incredibly dumb/unfair at the very end.
Posted: 03/02/20, 18:33:53

Hm, really? Against the postgame boss? Are you playing on Stronger Monsters? There is a trick to defeating it that makes it more manageable, and you get a hint to what that is at one point: you have to use the Sword of Light (as an item) to break its shadowy aura, making the fight much easier. On Stronger Monsters, I beat it around level 90 (average) and it gave me less trouble than many of the bosses up to that point.


Welcome to the quest! Are you playing on Stronger Monsters' Draconian Quest? You select them right at the start on the naming screen; much of the game is pretty easy without it. But my wife definitely prefers it off so she can enjoy the story at a more easygoing pace.
Posted: 03/02/20, 19:42:30  - Edited by 
 on: 03/02/20, 19:43:44

Nope. Never even made it that far. Couldn't get past the last "trial" before the final postgame boss. Just unfair garbage.

I have the ultimate sword of light and all that too.
Posted: 03/02/20, 19:49:41  - Edited by 
 on: 03/02/20, 19:50:01
@TriforceBun I just left everything at the default? I guess I could play around in there.
Posted: 03/03/20, 00:11:00

Shucks. I really wish the game would make selecting the Draconian Quests more obvious. You can only alter them at the beginning of a new game, by pressing X at the naming screen. While you can turn them off at any time, it's not possible to turn them on after the game has started. They let you set all sorts of difficulty restrictions, such as No Shopping, No EXP for Weaker Monsters, and my favorite, Stronger Monsters (basically a hard mode). If you don't mind more laid-back combat, don't worry about it, but you may want to start over if you prefer games to be a bit tougher.

Heck, it could be an opportunity to try out the opening moments in 2D mode before switching back!
Posted: 03/03/20, 00:45:22
@TriforceBun Is it more the difference between "easy" and "normal" or "normal" and "hard"?
Posted: 03/03/20, 01:20:12

From what I've seen of Sarah's play through, the first few hours are quite easy, and then the difficulty kinda shifts into place a bit eventually. But if you're a turn-based RPG vet, I might say it's the difference between Easy and Normal/Fairly Hard, if that makes sense. If you've played an original DQ release in the past, Stronger Monsters is on par with that.

I personally like it tougher because all the little systems in place complement each other nicely, like exploring for materials, forging, doing sidequests, etc. I find that stuff less rewarding if I already feel like I'm powerful enough to take on whatever.

To give some other numbers that may help you decide, I did have a Game Over around 15 times or so on Stronger Monsters. Conversely, Sarah has had no Game Overs, and had a party member die maybe 3 times in the 50 hours she's played.
Posted: 03/03/20, 01:47:43  - Edited by 
 on: 03/03/20, 01:50:35

Well I am only a few hours in, I guess I can just restart and rush back to where I was pretty quickly.

Weird how they wouldn't just let you change this whenever though.
Posted: 03/03/20, 02:19:50

I guess they were looking at it as a sort of badge of honor for more hardcore players since it gives you a little medal thing for each one you beat the game with. And they didn't want people to turn it on right before the end or whatever. You CAN turn them off at any time at a priest, but not back on after that. I genuinely found the Stronger Monsters challenge level to be ideal and very enjoyable, but it's a shame they have it kind of hidden away at the beginning of the game.
Posted: 03/03/20, 03:37:53
@TriforceBun But like, couldn't they theoretically let you turn it on later, and just not get the medal?!
Posted: 03/03/20, 04:01:31
Yeah, that would've been preferable...!
Posted: 03/03/20, 06:23:26
Well, whatever the case I rushed through last night and got back to where I was, but with the difficult enemies on. But man, it's a lot tougher! It actually took more time than I expected to get back to where I was because I had to level up a few times. Especially early on . Like that boss that was in the treasure chest was something I just button smashed through first time before, but on this harder mode I died a few times before realizing that he was basically impossible if I didn't level up. He would sometimes do this double attack that could take a character from full health to dead!

For awhile I was like, do I even really want to play like this? Like I was trying to level up at one point early on but every single fight almost killed me, so I'd have to sleep in between every fight. Not fun!

But now that I have a partner I've found a bit of a groove. We'll see how it feels moving forward. Probably would have preferred something a little in between this and super easy, but I guess we get what we get.
Posted: 03/03/20, 17:42:53  - Edited by 
 on: 03/03/20, 17:43:47

Yeah the early hours are pretty challenging. I had Hero on Great Swords and Erik on Boomerangs and died a couple times early on. Once you get access to the forge (right before or after the Chest boss), things should get more manageable because boosting your equipment really makes a difference. I do feel like you shouldn't have to level excessively to win though; typically when I died, I would regroup and occasionally change equipment around to figure out a better strategy to handle the boss with, although your options are pretty limited so early in the game.

If it continues being too much, you can always turn it off at a church. Either way, sorry if I made you spend a lot of extra time! But I personally prefer more of a challenge if the alternative is just "button smashing through" boss fights.
Posted: 03/03/20, 22:31:22
Hmmmmmmmmmmm, not totally sure if I like playing like this.

The problem with RPGs is that there is a certain level of strategy, but ultimately you can only do so much about the math. And right now, even if I level up a bit here and there, it feels like mathematically it's just not possible to do much. I'll be in fights with common enemies who take a character from full health to dead in a single turn. Even if I survive fights, I only have so much MP to heal with and I'm basically healing after every fight.

I read an interview with one of the Metroid Prime developers and he confirmed what I always suspected... they purposely made most of the game relatively easy so players would feel free to explore. The bosses are the only part they specifically set out to make challenging. And this makes sense to me, because if the moment to moment gameplay is too tough, you just want to beeline to the next save point instead of explore.

Right now I feel like there is almost no point in playing naturally, because if I fight a few times, I WILL run out of healing stuff, so then I have to just run to the next bonfire anyway. Makes me feel like, why not just run to it from the start, then hang out around it leveling up in a relatively safe way where I can always refill that HP / MP when needed? And then if I want to explore, go backwards a bit? But that's an unsatisfying way to play video games.

I'll probably stick with this style for awhile at least, because all other things being equal I'd prefer things to be a little tough versus too easy, buttttttttttttt... I wish there were some middle ground that could bring the tension without making me feel like every fight could destroy my progress.

At least you keep the XP you gained if you die, right? You just lose some coins?

(Speaking of losing coins, it's 2020, why aren't they doing what literally everyone else is doing and ripping off Dark Souls? Let me fight back to where I died to get my coins! Though in a game where you can basically avoid most of the enemies if you want, I guess that wouldn't make much sense...)
Posted: 03/03/20, 22:34:35  - Edited by 
 on: 03/03/20, 22:39:24
TheOldManFromZelda said:

Nope. Never even made it that far. Couldn't get past the last "trial" before the final postgame boss. Just unfair garbage.

I have the ultimate sword of light and all that too.

You have to USE use the Sword of Light. And not the Ultimate one: the original.

Once you do this, it makes beating the boss actually possible: he gets fewer turns, takes more damage, and deals less of it.

I agree that's BS. I'm glad I looked it up.

Other than that, I loved the game. Absolutely loved it. It's definitely easier than most RPGs, but I didn't mind. I was mostly taken in by the story, characters, and the performances. The battles I actually mostly had on autopilot, controlling only the hero and giving orders to the AI for the rest. Worked fine most of the time. That, coupled with 1.5 battle speed, helped keep the battles out of the way of the storytelling's pacing.
Posted: 03/03/20, 23:32:10  - Edited by 
 on: 03/03/20, 23:35:49
@Zero I haven't played this particular game, but I usually feel like Dragon Quest games have a bit of a reverse difficulty where they get easier as they go, so things will probably even out as the game progresses and you get more things like characters and abilities to work with.
Posted: 03/04/20, 00:18:55

Neat, didn't know you played through it as well. The story and characters were probably my favorite parts as well; at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, I felt it had the likability of Skies' cast with the heartbreaking moments of Mother 3's story. How does it compare to DQ5 for you?


You keep all progress from dying and only lose half your gold (that's not in the bank). However, there's also an option that reloads from your last Autosave, which is usually very close to where you died, and you don't get a penalty in that case. Except the shame of picking it...!

I get your complaint but for some reason I didn't have that experience on hard, for the most part. I mean, the enemies made me stop and think but it wasn't quite at the point where each battle could wipe me. The older DQ games would be designed around pushing you to your limits, with each fight sapping a bit more of your resources over time, and I feel that DQXI Stronger Monsters feels similarly. Most fights didn't quite bring me to near-death, but they would require lots of MP (in either damage or post-combat healing) so it was always a relief to make it to a campsite. @Mop it up is right in that these games usually start off a bit harder anyway.
Posted: 03/04/20, 00:28:08  - Edited by 
 on: 03/04/20, 00:28:24

Oh for cripes sake. Guess I can give that a shot.
Posted: 03/05/20, 17:54:01

Oh yeah, I got it on release day, but I only saw the second ending in… late February I think? It's a hell of a game, I can't think of another RPG that has made me smile more. I mean, you gotta love this stuff:

It may have dethroned DQ5 as my top DQ game, but I'm unsure. I want to replay 5, it's certainly been long enough. The problem is that finishing 11 also put me in the mood to get DQ 1, 2 and 3 on the Switch… but then I felt bad about the backlog of classic RPGs I've already accumulated on the system.

I've already knocked down Sega Ages Phantasy Star and Final Fantasy Adventure on Collection of Mana (both great), so basically DQ11 sent me on an old-school RPG kick that I haven't gotten sick of yet.
Posted: 03/05/20, 20:46:39
Oh man, I just got Veronica. She's so awesome. Though it kind of made me sad to learn that she's actually an adult trapped in a child's body, I was really liking the idea of this little kid who has that kind of attitude, lol.

I got through the last dungeon / boss without too much trouble, but still enough tension to give it a bit of edge, so maybe I'm in a nice spot now.

It's kind of weird having the characters who are sort of with you but not in your party yet... are they essentially invincible? Them joining your party actually puts you in a worse spot. Just stay a helper who has an apparent infinite amount of HP / MP / items!
Posted: 03/06/20, 17:34:41
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