Dragon's Dogma Mini-Guide: 10 Tips For The Newly Arisen
Posted on Monday, May 21 @ 08:00:00 PST by Nicholas Tan
1) No, really... Save often.
This is common advice for any RPG, but this is especially vital for Dragon's Dogma.
While Dragon's Dogma is not as cruel a mistress as Dark Souls, it might as well be its stepsister. To make sure that all of your actions matter and to heighten the tension of combat, the game uses an auto-save system with only one slot per storage device.
The auto-save may trigger frequently during quest points, but it will tend to leave you out to dry while you're exploring the world on your own, and you don't want some unlucky break or fall off a cliff to erase ten minutes, let alone an hour, of discovery and looting. It's happened to me plenty of enough times due to my lack of caution, so I hope you learn from my mistakes.
That said, make sure to save in the right spots or you might end up caught in a situation you can't get yourself out of. One time, a chimera decided to swoop down, grab my character, and choose to open its talons while 500 feet in the air. It's rare to get yourself into this much trouble, but unless you have no choice, you don't want to use the “retry last checkpoint” and be forced to start again from your last respite at an inn or riftstone. Doing things over and losing items are never fun.
2) Be the turtle, not the hare.
Slow and steady wins the race, and nothing speaks to this more than the caution you'll need when traversing the world of Dragon's Dogma. If the enemies within an area or on a quest seem too difficult, especially during nighttime, it's better to tread carefully (while saving after every successful battle) or just to retreat altogether and come back when you and your party are more highly leveled. I usually choose the first option, because there's no reason why you can't retreat and cut your exploration short if things get dicey. It just depends on how challenging you wish the game to be.
Again, Dragon's Dogma is not as punishing as Dark Souls, but given a few careless swipes that leave you open, you can easily end up eating the floor. When you're facing ogres, cyclops, griffins, chimeras, and anything more than fifty times your size, one hit can knock down one-third of your health. Most of the damage is recoverable through healing spells, but they take a while to cast and it can be a quick game over while you're waiting for them.
So if you see yourself getting down to about a quarter or a third of your total health, crunch on some Greenwarish immediately. Remember, you are far more important than your pawns, who can be revived if they ever fall in battle. Your pawns cannot revive you.
3) Explore every nook and cranny!
Approach every glowing object and every corner for the option to “gather” materials. Even the opening area of Casserdis has plenty of stores, boxes, and houses to raid. In particular, the herb and produce store sometimes has a Giant Coin Pouch for 10,000G hidden beneath one of the cabinets.
Every item is up for sale, even large fish that can be sometimes caught along the shore for 400G a pop. Need to get money faster? If you find some grapes or beast-steak in your travels, let it turn sour by leaving it in your inventory for a while and then sell them for 750/1500 G each. For some reason, moldy food can sell many times more than the original food.
Also, purchase or craft a pickaxe so that you can mine veins for various ores. Many higher-tier weapons and armor require these ores for enhancements.
Otherwise, there are plenty of treasure chests lying around in corners and rocky bluffs. Beyond that, there are herbs, plants, vases, and all manner of fodder up for grabs. After a couple of days, these treasure chests even respawn. If you're thorough, gold will be the least of your worries.
4) Make Gran Soren your primary goal.
The game doesn't let you know this ahead of time: Gran Soren is not only the capital of Gransys, but also where you can change nearly everything about your character at the barber and the inn. This is already on top of the city's additional notice boards, item shop, and blacksmith. Beyond the initial three classes you can choose from (fighter, strider, and mage), reaching Gran Soren from the starting city of Cassardis will net you six additional options, split into three advanced classes (Warrior, Ranger, Sorcerer) and three hybrid classes (Mystic Knight, Asssassin, Magic Archer).
The advanced classes are essentially more specialized forms of the starting three classes while the hybrid classes combine two of starting classes for a more balanced character. I tend to lean toward the Mystic Knight for knockdown melee against smaller foes and long-ranged magical power against larger foes. But every vocation is powerful in its own right.
That said, you need discipline, earned by defeating enemies, to switch vocations. So remember to save some discipline points for your target class before switching over at the inn in Gran Soren.
5) How do I get to Gran Soren, anyway?Dragon's Dogma isn't exactly forthcoming when it comes to where you're supposed to go at times. The cut-scenes try to direct you where to schlep your party, but there are so many side quests that it can be difficult to track.
Without spoiling much, the idea is to switch back and forth between the encampment and Cassardis and not to get distracted. The quest involving Quina is worth doing if you can get past all the damn armed bandits, but don't get too sidetracked. Eventually, you'll need to talk to a female soldier in the encampment to initiate the quest to Gran Soren.
But remember not to forget about the quest with Quina; the trek back to Cassardis is long, but you should do it before it's cancelled by accepting the main quest missions that are initiated in the front of the castle gate in Gran Soren.
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