Your RPG is all plain sailing – not a thing in the land could stop you on your quest. Not many monsters can match your unbeatable power… other than, you know, this one boss who just simply won’t die…
We’ve all been there. Every once in a while, you’ll hit an unwelcome dead end – an indestructible boss monster who just won’t die. Attempt number one leads to to attempt number two… and attempt number ten leads to a well-deserved ragequit.
Don’t think you can beat the boss? Think again.
“with a little application of strategy and time, that boss will be XP in your experience bar before you know it”
Gamers make the quest harder for themselves out of choice. It doesn’t have to be difficult, but we make it difficult. Why? In the pursuit of greatness – we’re all guilty of thinking that our team is unbeatable, so we don’t help them out. Instead, we rely on our party’s raw skill-set, luck, and line-up to beat a monster.
But with a little application of strategy and time, that boss will be XP in your experience bar before you know it.
Here’s five strategies and ideas to get your quest on – and maybe, just maybe, you’ll finally beat the boss.
1) Grind, Grind, Grind
Lets get the obvious out of the way – grinding. It takes a lot of time, a lot of effort, and lot of repetition, but if you keep at it, your party’s muscles will be bulging out of every gap in their armour.
The idea behind grinding is to fight a monster that is around the same level as you, then beat it. And do it again. And again. And again.
It nets a ton of EXP and piles of gold (which is super-useful in itself), but the trade-off is time that you could’ve spent doing something else – like hardcore adventuring. I know what you’re thinking: it’s boring. And to be honest, I reckon you’re right.
Grinding should only be done if:
1) you don’t mind doing the same thing repeatedly
2) you’ve got a lot of time on your hands
3) you’re desperate to beat the boss
It’s got it’s uses – once your characters are a high level, chances are you won’t have to worry about grinding for a while. Heck, you might even be powerful enough to beat the next boss, given a few hours of grinding. And to boot, your pouches will be lined with so much gold that you could practically melt it down and cover Smaug in it.
But it’s boring, takes a lot of time, and might make the next part of the game too easy. Surely, you’ll want a bit of a challenge afterwards, right?
Just be sure to save your game constantly, otherwise you’ll lose 3 hours of hardcore grinding – and at that rate, you’ll probably lose your sanity, too.
Advantages – EXP, Gold, Loot, and an insanely strong party
Disadvantages- Time, effort, repetition, and boredom
Final Note – Make sure you save your game!
2) The God Potion – I know you’re saving it, but…
Every RPG has the equivalent of a “God Potion” – Final Fantasy’s Megalixir would completely heal your party’s HP and MP. Pokemon’s ever-recurring Master Ball – while not explicitly a potion – would catch anything with three shakes. Even Skyrim is guilty of facilitating God Potions with a highly-leveled alchemy skill, causing Dragon Priests to quiver at a single drop of the stuff.
Be it any RPG from WoW to Dragon Quest, you’ll know about that one good item (or potion) that’s simply too awesome to use; I call it the “God Potion”.
Most gamers save their God Potion for the final battle. It makes sense – if you’re going out, you might as well go out with a bang, and that means using everything at your disposal to dish out some final-boss justice.
But chances are, you’ll go the whole game without using it.
All too often have I completed an RPG with my “God Potion” in hand, only to defeat the final boss with very little hassle. Turns out, I didn’t have to use it at all. The reason, you ask? I’d outgrown it by then – when you’re at the final chapter of your adventure, you’re already pretty capable of anything. Your level 80 Paladin proves it.
God Potions come in the form of an item that is usually single-use, extremely rare, and probably the last thing you’ll ever use in your inventory. For this reason, many gamers withhold theirs due to it’s unique, one-of-a-kind, and expensive nature.
But I’ll bet you any money that by the time you’ve slain the final boss, you’ll regret not using it, and you probably won’t have much reason to ever bother needing to again.
For example, take WoWs Holy Mightstone – given to people who finish an extremely-long quest line. It lets you deal an insane amount of damage against the Undead – but only for 10 minutes. That’s no problem, you can just use it after the cool-down is finished, right?
That’s the kicker – there is no cool-down. It’s a one-time deal; a single-use item.
So people stash their Mightstones away for inevitable “emergencies”. Good foresight, I’m sure you’ll agree.
But most find that once they have a reason to use it, they’ve vastly outgrown the Mightstone’s usefulness. Where it would once give them a 50% damage increase at a low level, it now only gives them a 5% damage increase at a high level.
So if you feel like you can’t defeat the boss – final boss or not – why not exploit the God Potion? I mean, you could save it for a disaster, but will you really need it by then? Chances are, you won’t.
And perhaps by then, you’ll be glad you saved the God Potion for so long – even if you didn’t use it, it’s there to give you a reason not to – outgrow it’s usefulness, become mightily powerful, and get better at the game.
The God Potion:
Advantages – It will probably get you past your problems.
Disadvantages- If you die after you’ve used it, you’ve just wasted your God Potion – don’t die!
Final Note – Make sure not to die – use it in dire circumstances (if it revives the dead, use it when all but one of your party is dead), or at the start of a battle (if it applies a battle-long buff, get going with it!).
3) Re-class, Rethink, Re-suit
The classes your characters take are as important to the game as remembering to save.
If you’ve got four healers on your team who can’t swing a sword to save their lives, then something’s gone horribly wrong. It’s time to reshuffle your vocations.
Are things difficult at the start of the game? Consider restarting the adventure as a new class. It could very well be that the classes in your party aren’t working well together, and this will let you re-class your team with little impact.
Your brand new archer is getting no use from a shield and heavy armour.
Consider what classes are useful against the boss, then consider if you’ve got anything that you can use, or at least substitute as a replacement (for example, if the boss is weak to poison, but you have no rogues, do you have a poison spell or ability to use instead?)
Additionally, think about what classes you haven’t got. Every vocation has their strengths and weaknesses.
For example; traditionally and broadly speaking, thieves have higher item drops, so if you want a chance at more gold and equipment to help you through your game, choose a thief. However, they might be pretty bad with their defense skill, and their ability to nab items is based largely on how lucky you are.
If you haven’t already got one, consider a healing class. Healer classes are traditionally weak in both attack and defense, so people shrug them off as they pose no useful combat benefit.
However, I support the healer in all ways – they’re the backbone of a party, the medic of the team, and often come with nifty buff spells to keep at bay the doors of death. They’ll cut back on potion expenditures, too, giving you more money to splash out with. And heck, even if everyone is healed, they’ll still be able to deal a little bit of damage. Isn’t a little bit better than none at all?
Lastly, if you’ve changed the vocation of anyone in your party, be sure to re-suit them according to their abilities. Your brand new archer is getting no use from a shield and heavy armour anymore, are they?
Re-classing and re-suiting are costly endeavors. Re-classing will often require you to level up your character all over again, while re-suiting will demand money to finance their new weapons and costumes. Get ready to open that tight-lipped pouch of yours – it’s spending time.
Re-class, rethink, re-suit:
Advantages – You’ll end up with better knowledge of the game, a more effective party, and better strategy making. Disadvantages- They’re expensive, and you’ll have to train them up from the start all over again. Booooo.
Final Note – If you’re starting a new RPG from the beginning, think about the classes beforehand, and their impact on the game in the long run. It’ll save you having this problem in the future!
4) Buy new equipment, and start binging on potions
These, along with grinding, are fairly obvious solutions. But just in case you haven’t done so already, here’s an overview:
Potions – Don’t hold back
Our first tactic is to binge on potions. Most of the time, experienced players might have a dedicated Priest or Healer class to handle the damage that their party takes during a fight. But if the Healer dies, what about you?
Most RPGs have potions available, and if not, there’s got to be an equivalent somewhere; we’re talking everything from healing potions to buff boosters, MP elixirs and invisibility brews. Make sure you characters have a few potions on them so if the fighting turns sour, you’ve got the power of potions on your side – and again, you might want to use a God Potion.
Drinking potions might spend a turn if you’re playing a classic turn-based RPG, so binge wisely. If you can somehow disable the enemy (using a spell, skill, or luck), use this time to whip out a health potion and get gulping. Alternatively, ensure that your other characters can keep up the offensive, so that they can protect your vulnerable, potion-drinking character.
Potions take gold to buy, but if you’re playing an RPG with some sort of ingredient or alchemy-based system – such as Skyrim or Dragon Quest 9 – you might prefer to make them yourself. The benefit is the ability to brew potions with buffs you can’t get anywhere else, and is also completely free. All it takes is a little time, effort, and learning.
It requires a lot of gold, but that shouldn’t be a problem if you’ve done your fair share of grinding. Alternatively, sell the stuff you don’t need, and refrain from hoarding your items – you could be sitting on a goldmine.
Buying new equipment is up there in the RPG A, B,C’s. If you’ve realized that you’re still in the rags you wore at the start of the game, then it’s time for a wardrobe makeover. Boot up your RPG, sell those rags, and splash out on some tasty new equipment.
Be sure to buy things that compliment your characters abilities. A warrior isn’t getting much use from a mages staff, much like a mage isn’t going to great with a greatsword. Upgrading can be pricey, so budget your gold wisely; after all, you don’t want to splash out on yourself and find out that you’ve left nothing for the others, right?
Advantages – Stronger stats, better protection, and ensured longevity.
Disadvantages- Hope you’ve got gold to spend – it’s all pretty pricey!
Final Note – Make sure that the equipment you’re using, as well as the buffs from a potion, are relevant to the character you’re using it on.
And what if all else fails? What else could you possibly do that doesn’t involve reshuffling your tactics and priorities?
5) Do nothing at all
“Hang on,” I hear you cry, “What do you mean ‘do nothing at all’? The world is at stake! I have a 15 minute meeting, a boss that needs defeating, a battery life depleting, and destinies that need fulfilling! How could you possibly suggest something as staggeringly stupid as–”
Shhhh. Its okay.
Just do nothing at all. Simple, really.
Have you ever considered the idea that there’s nothing really wrong with your party? We’ve been focusing on rethinking everything; strategics, money, grinding, classes – the whole bunch. The focus is on changing your game by applying more effort – effort you’ve been applying this whole time.
But what if the answer lies in no effort at all?
Chances are, your luck’s in the gutter. You might be tired, fed up and frustrated. You could simply be over-thinking things. Heck, maybe you’ve been drawing all the short straws on the critical-hit lottery.
Perhaps all you need is a break.
That’s right, gamer: step away from the console. Shut it down, kiss it goodbye, and go do something else for a little while. It’s okay – the world doesn’t need saving when it’s saved as a game.
Come back to it in fifteen minutes or maybe even tomorrow. Heck, give yourself an adventuring vacation and have a whole month off. Whatever you do, just take some nice, relaxing down-time to clear up that critically-frustrated head of yours.
And maybe when you get back, you’ll beat the boss the first time round with no problem at all.
Or, you know; maybe they’ve died of old age.