View Full Version : Leveling system: Love or Hate?

Wolf Kanno
03-03-2012, 07:42 PM
This has always been the dividing issue for most fans about this game, so simply what is it that you hate about it or what was it that you love about it? You can even list both! :jess:


I love the amount of control it gives me for customizing my characters and once you factor in the equipment system, you get some rather deep customization for an NES game.

Amusingly, I don't mind beating up my characters to get stronger, simply because leveling naturally is time consuming and the game is still actually hard, so the amusing oversight allows me to actually set the difficulty of the game for myself.

The balancing factor of the game is ingenious. It's amusing that what you equip your character with can really easily change their role in the game for you and easily knock you into one of the job roles from FFI.

Weapon proficiency, I don't know what it is but I love games that give me bonuses for sticking to a weapon or equipment set-up.


Leveling magic is a total pain, and while you don't need the levels to be very high to beat the game. Later remakes give you some initiative to try to maximize the spells cause they actually change the spell animations greatly every few levels to create a sense of a Tier system like later FF games.

The game is easy to break, the ability to beat your own party up or select/cancel spells can easily not only drive the player mad with tedious fatigue but make the game a joke in terms of difficulty. Don't even get me started on the Blood Swords...

Spears are kind of useless. An interesting weapon to add, but in my experience out of all the weapons, the spear offers no advantage over other weapons.

03-04-2012, 02:26 AM
I don't really like anything about the leveling system. Instead of playing the game I am second guessing what implication every action will take on my stats. I find this to be a very unpleasant way to play.

04-02-2012, 07:41 AM
I love this system. Compared to Final Fantasy I, I think this one is a lot more balanced and easier to build the characters you want.

I really wish people tried the game without beating the crap out of themselves and grinding their magic too quickly. How about juggling what you want your characters to do?

I have always found that when I let my characters develop naturally, they are still strong enough to complete the game and have fun doing it. The extra battles I fight give me more gold and loot, which helps me design them into stronger warriors. Attacking yourself or using the cancel technique is a quick way to throw the entire system out of balance, which is bad for you, the player. Do it too much, and the game loses all of the excitement or your stats are so skewed that you'll burn through MP quicker than you really should be.

Everyone should try it without using self-mutilating tactics! If you feel that the game still takes you too much time to grow stronger, try it on the GBA or PSP. Your characters grow much quicker on these versions and you don't need to hit yourself. :p

Loony BoB
04-02-2012, 12:40 PM
Hate it. I went through a massive chunk of the game with only one person acting as a mage, the others only using cure or the odd little Fire spell or something. Then I got to the trickier battles near the end and my guys simply could not manage without high level spells, most of which I had never used more than once or twice. This meant I had to go and spend an arseload of time leveling up my magic. It wasn't fun.

04-02-2012, 07:07 PM
I think the concept was interesting. For the time, it was certainly innovative and broke away from the norm of RPGs. However, it does have flaws. Even if you download the modded version of the GBA port online, you still find yourself beating up on your own characters and continually running around using the same spells over and over to raise them up. It's a nice idea, but the execution resulted in something tedious.

On a side note, I never liked that Ultima was considered white magic, and thus depended on your spirit stat, so your mage (who most likely focused on black spells) can't do much with it.

04-02-2012, 07:30 PM
One of my favorite systems.

04-03-2012, 04:52 PM
I admire the ambition, but I think FFII tries to do too much then the game as a whole can really take on.
I'd like to see something of the sort on a new FF, because then they could take off the training wheels and go all out with it.

04-03-2012, 06:37 PM
I can't believe I just heard FFII and training wheels mentioned together.

04-03-2012, 06:57 PM
I can't believe I just heard FFII and training wheels mentioned together.

..yea, maybe that wasn't the right word.

On an 8-bit cartridge, it is mighty hard to cram much detail into a game. They should have held off until the SNES.

I liked the FFI remake on both GBA and the PSP, but II and III just didn't fair well with me.
Personally, I think FFIV was the saving grace after the first. If they had kept going in the direction they were, they could have easily ended up becoming a mediocre series.

04-04-2012, 11:09 PM
It's a mixed bag. On one hand its more natural and allows for flexibility. On the other, is sometimes characters can unintentionally stray into roles and archetypes you'd prefer they didn't.

04-13-2012, 09:27 PM
I hate it. Natural progression is awful, and the grind is one of the worst in the series.

No natural growths lead to huge randomization on very important stats. For example, a character who dodges a few times (randomly) early on can build a large dodge stat, but then be taken out with one hit because they never get a chance to build HP.

To get any control on the system, you have to sit and grind it, and there is still a ton of luck involved in that. To max magic, for example, you have to use the same spell something like 15 times per battle across a dozen battles to gain a level. Most enemies won't survive more than 1 hit from a spell, so spell grinding becomes a royal pain.

Clever idea, but I think we all realize how poor it turned out to be.

04-13-2012, 11:01 PM
Definitly hate it. Because the game basically screams "BREAK ME".

06-23-2012, 02:49 PM
Hate it. I went through a massive chunk of the game with only one person acting as a mage, the others only using cure or the odd little Fire spell or something. Then I got to the trickier battles near the end and my guys simply could not manage without high level spells, most of which I had never used more than once or twice. This meant I had to go and spend an arseload of time leveling up my magic. It wasn't fun.
The game actually gives you several incentives to level up at least you elemental black magic (white magic is less of an issue, since you need the spells Cure, Life and Heal, and probably Exit).
In the beginning of the game it's smart to focus on Ice until it hits LV2, because then you can easily beat the LandTrtl in the Mithril Mine.
Then right after that you should start focusing on Fire until that gets to LV2, since you will soon enter the Ice Cave.
And then you get the Ship, which means you should level up your Bolt spell so the water monsters become easier, and then on the island of Dist you will be invincible if you spam a LV2 Aero on the Stalactites.
Once those spells are on LV2 they will prove far more useful, which will also make it more tempting to use them = faster spell leveling.
Also remember that the Gigases in the Mysidia Tower will be much, much easier if you have some high-level elementals - chiefly Fire, Ice and Aero in this case.

Another thing I also always do is that I never pay for the ship rides in the beginning of the game - I always walk between every place in the whole Altea/Salmando/Bofsk domain since this saves money and also gives me great opportunities to level up other spells - if I for example want to boost Safe and Shell I will simply use those spells during the battles.
I don't even need to use the glitch, because all the walking back and forth is enough time for them to get a chance to gain a few levels.
And personally I think it feels much more rewarding if you let the characters level up naturally; using the glitch is kind of like taking steroids while working out.

06-23-2012, 03:28 PM
I think the Dawn of Souls version balanced things out better to the point where you don't necessarily have to break the game to make the difficulty more manageable. Remember: Just because you can break a game to make it your bitch doesn't mean you have to.

06-23-2012, 03:38 PM
For me, the biggest issue is the tediousness that arises. Sometimes when I'm trying to level up a spell or a weapon, it feels like I'm getting nowhere for hours on end. I realize it works faster if you hit your own guys, but that just seems silly, and usually I get to a point where I accidentally kill my own people. I once thought of running a game where everyone strictly used magic and had shields in both hands, then I discovered that wasn't a great idea.

06-24-2012, 02:33 AM
I don't care for it myself, but I gotta be honest: following the YouTube walkthrough by HCBailly really took a lot of the work out of it for me. I HAD beaten the game once without it, but he really does a great job of showing you what's necessary and what's not, and how to really reduce the grinding you'll do.

Ironically I once played and RPG Maker game that used a system that was all but lifted from this game, and it worked way better :P

06-24-2012, 02:48 AM
Love(d) it. I wish the system had been retained. (Shows back up partially in FFXI finally thought it's not really the same, oh and in modified form in FFT). I enjoy systems, however tedious they may be, that grow the characters based on their actions, not some predetermined chart.

06-24-2012, 04:48 AM
So much hate.

06-24-2012, 10:33 AM
The problem with this leveling system is that it doesn't work when you intentionally try to increase your stats.
The system is obviously designed to simulate the results of your experience during an adventure, and it does work very well at that part of the game.
It's when you suddenly are in urgent need of HEAL 5 or something that it becomes tedious, it would've been better if you got inflicted by Poison, Dark and Curse a lot in the 2-3 dungeons right before the Whirlwind, that would allow you to level up that spell without actually grinding.

But the way I usually do it when I want to power-level in the end is that I simply walk through the final dungeon as far as possible (while still making sure I can use EXIT, of course), then keep re-entering and exiting over and over until I can make it all the way to the boss.