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Forums - Sales Discussion - DQXI Switch in the West

Ljink96 said:
RolStoppable said:
Dragon Quest won't find a bigger audience in the West because most people who play it don't finish it and RPGs that don't get finished aren't favorably spoken of. What's at fault is the typical EXP progress that makes Dragon Quest games seemingly drag on forever after you've hit level 30. Mob after mob is thrown at the player, lots of time is spent on battles, but the level rarely goes up anymore and therefore progress is miniscule in the second half of any DQ game. The abandonement of random battles since IX has made the games only a bit more bearable, but they still firmly sit in the area where games get put down and never back up again. The games might not require the player to go out of their way to grind frequently, but that doesn't mean it's fun. Stat growth is an important part of RPGs, but DQ routinely flatlines.

As I like to say, those who consider Dragon Quest a great series are people who use Final Fantasy as benchmark. In that context they are correct, but Dragon Quest XI is yet another entry that can be a 7/10 game at best. Enjoy the first half because it's well done, but the quality gradually drops afterwards and doesn't pick up again.

I feel the exact opposite about XI. The first half is traditional DQ fare. If it had stopped after the first half ti would have been an ordinary DQ game. The second and third acts were more interesting I think. Dragon Quest XI has pacing similar to that of Final Fantasy VI, even to a point where the game references a FFVI soundtrack "Searching for friends".

I don't see how so many people are saying XI is grindy, I never had to sit in an area and grind to progress the plot. It sucks that DQXI takes long to get interesting, but I don't think the first half was better than the second by any stretch of the imagination. DQXI has also been spoken highly of...it has an 89 MC. I'm genuinely curious as to what players suggest the series needs. More Waifus? More Freind Trees, Tea time, dating? 

If DQ XI really has a third act, then I'll have to revise my projected judgment to "it's getting really bad."

There are two definitions for grind:

1. Having to spend a long time in the same spot to rack up EXP and/or gold to be properly prepared for what comes next.

2. A game feeling repetitive and tedious, and that's what Dragon Quest is regularly guilty of, already outlined in my previous post. The number of battles needed to gain a level up sharply increases in Dragon Quest past level 20, so the lack of progress makes the games feel like a grind. When you are in the current story area and do the maths that you have to fight 30 battles for a single level up, then the fun gets soaked out of the game.

XI's skill system doesn't help matters. Early on in the game it's already clear that you don't need to look at skill trees every time you get a level up, because you have to collect points of three or more level ups to get something done on the tree. Once the pace of level ups slows down, you have stretches of 5+ hours where you never open the skill menu because it's pointless to do so.

An EXP and skill progression that keeps the motivation high is what Dragon Quest needs, otherwise the series does just one Bravely Default after another, meaning players like what they play for the first half, but then end up never finishing the game because it sucks too much. Likewise, the metascore doesn't mean anything because many reviewers aren't above projecting a score for long games.

Other things that would help DQ are quality of life improvements. It's not necessary that every action in battle gets commented with text that slows the pace down. It's not necessary to use comments when healing outside of battle. You also get comments on every item/equipment transfer in the menu, plus the separate bags are such a dated element that they should be done away with. I mean, what's the point of them? "It's unrealistic for a character to carry such a huge amount of items with them." - Well, sure; but then you have the unlimited general bag where everything is stored. The cumbersome traditions of DQ won't be missed if they are gone; I can't imagine that they are features that people like about the games.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Shipments

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RolStoppable said:
Ljink96 said:

I feel the exact opposite about XI. The first half is traditional DQ fare. If it had stopped after the first half ti would have been an ordinary DQ game. The second and third acts were more interesting I think. Dragon Quest XI has pacing similar to that of Final Fantasy VI, even to a point where the game references a FFVI soundtrack "Searching for friends".

I don't see how so many people are saying XI is grindy, I never had to sit in an area and grind to progress the plot. It sucks that DQXI takes long to get interesting, but I don't think the first half was better than the second by any stretch of the imagination. DQXI has also been spoken highly of...it has an 89 MC. I'm genuinely curious as to what players suggest the series needs. More Waifus? More Freind Trees, Tea time, dating? 

If DQ XI really has a third act, then I'll have to revise my projected judgment to "it's getting really bad."

There are two definitions for grind:

1. Having to spend a long time in the same spot to rack up EXP and/or gold to be properly prepared for what comes next.

2. A game feeling repetitive and tedious, and that's what Dragon Quest is regularly guilty of, already outlined in my previous post. The number of battles needed to gain a level up sharply increases in Dragon Quest past level 20, so the lack of progress makes the games feel like a grind. When you are in the current story area and do the maths that you have to fight 30 battles for a single level up, then the fun gets soaked out of the game.

XI's skill system doesn't help matters. Early on in the game it's already clear that you don't need to look at skill trees every time you get a level up, because you have to collect points of three or more level ups to get something done on the tree. Once the pace of level ups slows down, you have stretches of 5+ hours where you never open the skill menu because it's pointless to do so.

An EXP and skill progression that keeps the motivation high is what Dragon Quest needs, otherwise the series does just one Bravely Default after another, meaning players like what they play for the first half, but then end up never finishing the game because it sucks too much. Likewise, the metascore doesn't mean anything because many reviewers aren't above projecting a score for long games.

Other things that would help DQ are quality of life improvements. It's not necessary that every action in battle gets commented with text that slows the pace down. It's not necessary to use comments when healing outside of battle. You also get comments on every item/equipment transfer in the menu, plus the separate bags are such a dated element that they should be done away with. I mean, what's the point of them? "It's unrealistic for a character to carry such a huge amount of items with them." - Well, sure; but then you have the unlimited general bag where everything is stored. The cumbersome traditions of DQ won't be missed if they are gone; I can't imagine that they are features that people like about the games.

Huh...okay. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions I guess. I don't find a couple of the issues you've brought up as distractions or tedious... but to each his own. I've played the game 3 times so far and never felt the need to grind. DQXI for me was a lot like Chrono Trigger. If you grind in this game, you probably just need to change up your strategy. I mean, battles in XI are quick, in and out encounters for a traditional JRPG. They've added fast forward, auto battle, etc. I never really needed to grind Gold either as I just use the weapon crafting system to make all my armor, accessories, weapons, etc. I can't say that I visited shops often in either of my playthroughs. I think maybe we just play the games differently, I never played through the game anticipating my next level...they just happened as I played. In the final act, you will grind but it's for an extra final boss. 

I can see how maybe the skills are slow to come, that was an issue I had especially with spells but for some reason in the third act you get more spells and abilities quicker. Because the game takes place over 3 acts, they probably didn't skew the growth correctly. But things like battle comments, item menus...that's a bit nitpicky for me. 

But yeah to each his own, at least you found time to give the game a shot. 



Ljink96 said:
RolStoppable said:

There are two definitions for grind:

2. A game feeling repetitive and tedious, and that's what Dragon Quest is regularly guilty of, already outlined in my previous post. The number of battles needed to gain a level up sharply increases in Dragon Quest past level 20, so the lack of progress makes the games feel like a grind. When you are in the current story area and do the maths that you have to fight 30 battles for a single level up, then the fun gets soaked out of the game.

Huh...okay. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions I guess. I don't find a couple of the issues you've brought up as distractions or tedious... but to each his own. I've played the game 3 times so far and never felt the need to grind. DQXI for me was a lot like Chrono Trigger. If you grind in this game, you probably just need to change up your strategy. I mean, battles in XI are quick, in and out encounters for a traditional JRPG. They've added fast forward, auto battle, etc. I never really needed to grind Gold either as I just use the weapon crafting system to make all my armor, accessories, weapons, etc. I can't say that I visited shops often in either of my playthroughs. I think maybe we just play the games differently, I never played through the game anticipating my next level...they just happened as I played. In the final act, you will grind but it's for an extra final boss. 

I can see how maybe the skills are slow to come, that was an issue I had especially with spells but for some reason in the third act you get more spells and abilities quicker. Because the game takes place over 3 acts, they probably didn't skew the growth correctly. But things like battle comments, item menus...that's a bit nitpicky for me. 

But yeah to each his own, at least you found time to give the game a shot. 

I left the description for the Dragon Quest grind up there in the quote box, because your response to that point doesn't suggest that you read that part or maybe you didn't remember it by the time you started to type your response because my post was long.

And no, XI's battles aren't quick because other turn-based JRPGs move much faster; the Etrian Odyssey series and Atelier series are good examples. Dragon Quest should get rid of the tradition to have text to explain what the number pop-ups already clearly show. This, and the menu navigation outside of battles may not take THAT long, but these things add up over time and DQ are long games.

The developers still largely use the same EXP progression as 30 years ago, but nowadays it's very dated, especially in combination with the games being longer and featuring post-game content. Enemies have more multi-target spells later in the game, so battles take longer to finish while netting much lower rewards relative to what the player needs to make progress towards the next level up. When games begin to drag, that's when players consider to quit. When players don't finish the main story of a JRPG, they are unlikely to recommend the game to others. It wouldn't hurt DQ if the EXP progression for the main story scaled to get the player in the mid-70s; not only would that make the main story more enjoyable, but also reduce the post-game grind which is a grind in accordance to definition 1 of my previous post. But post-game hardly plays a role when it comes to the popularity of a JRPG, so that's rather unimportant in the big picture.



Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

A Biased Review Reloaded / Open Your Eyes / Switch Shipments

RolStoppable said:
Ljink96 said:

Huh...okay. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions I guess. I don't find a couple of the issues you've brought up as distractions or tedious... but to each his own. I've played the game 3 times so far and never felt the need to grind. DQXI for me was a lot like Chrono Trigger. If you grind in this game, you probably just need to change up your strategy. I mean, battles in XI are quick, in and out encounters for a traditional JRPG. They've added fast forward, auto battle, etc. I never really needed to grind Gold either as I just use the weapon crafting system to make all my armor, accessories, weapons, etc. I can't say that I visited shops often in either of my playthroughs. I think maybe we just play the games differently, I never played through the game anticipating my next level...they just happened as I played. In the final act, you will grind but it's for an extra final boss. 

I can see how maybe the skills are slow to come, that was an issue I had especially with spells but for some reason in the third act you get more spells and abilities quicker. Because the game takes place over 3 acts, they probably didn't skew the growth correctly. But things like battle comments, item menus...that's a bit nitpicky for me. 

But yeah to each his own, at least you found time to give the game a shot. 

I left the description for the Dragon Quest grind up there in the quote box, because your response to that point doesn't suggest that you read that part or maybe you didn't remember it by the time you started to type your response because my post was long.

And no, XI's battles aren't quick because other turn-based JRPGs move much faster; the Etrian Odyssey series and Atelier series are good examples. Dragon Quest should get rid of the tradition to have text to explain what the number pop-ups already clearly show. This, and the menu navigation outside of battles may not take THAT long, but these things add up over time and DQ are long games.

The developers still largely use the same EXP progression as 30 years ago, but nowadays it's very dated, especially in combination with the games being longer and featuring post-game content. Enemies have more multi-target spells later in the game, so battles take longer to finish while netting much lower rewards relative to what the player needs to make progress towards the next level up. When games begin to drag, that's when players consider to quit. When players don't finish the main story of a JRPG, they are unlikely to recommend the game to others. It wouldn't hurt DQ if the EXP progression for the main story scaled to get the player in the mid-70s; not only would that make the main story more enjoyable, but also reduce the post-game grind which is a grind in accordance to definition 1 of my previous post. But post-game hardly plays a role when it comes to the popularity of a JRPG, so that's rather unimportant in the big picture.

Nah, I play JRPGs...I have to read long paragraphs. Also a creative writer so reading doesn't bother me. I read your definition of grinding and gave my response as to how I didn't experience the grinding you explained. But yeah I'm done squabbling over what you find troubling or tedious and what I don't. It's no longer worth it. So I'll leave it there. 

Last edited by Ljink96 - on 01 October 2019

vivster said:
gamingsoul said:
I love rpgs but I have never been able to really enjoy dq games, they are too long, too grindy, they basically feel like nes rpgs with modern graphics, sorry to disappoint people wanting this series to take off in the west but final fantasy or persona this is not, at least not now...

Not judging at all since DQ is an acquired taste. But this perfectly illustrates why it's not popular in the west.

The only JRPGs ever that are popular in the west are the ones tailored to western sensitivities. The DQ series does aboslutely nothing to endear itself to the west and that's absolutely fine. It's quite pointless to try and argue if a game should be more popular with a particular audience. Every game is exactly as popular with its audience as it should be and that is how it should be. Might as well ask if the unpopularity of gay porn with straight males is due to bad marketing. Not everygood thing has to be popular with everyone.

So there's no such thing as an underrated or an overrated game? No such thing as a hidden gem? I mean, I think I sort of understand what you are trying to say (Dragon Quest isn't popular in the US, and it wouldn't have mattered what the marketing was), but I think your rationale made more sense when it was bouncing around in your head than in reality.



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It is my first DQ (except for builders)
And, wow, im impressed. It is really good for now, and gets better the more you play. 90+ for me.
Among the jrpgs i played in recent years, it is on xenoblade and fire emblem level. top notch.