Ragnarok Odyssey can be a challenging game to start. The general concepts are not difficult to pick up, but there are a few issues of guidance that I thought it would be helpful to share with those starting out. One you put a few hours into it, things become a lot clearer. Despite the comparisons to Monster Hunter, this differs a good bit from that series and here are some brief tips for the first couple chapters.
Things start off with character creation, a fairly standard process where players get to pick gender, appearance, and class. There are six classes to choose from and each offers a slightly different style of play. Whether playing as a Sword Warrior, Hammersmith, Assassin, Cleric, Mage, or Hunter, all classes are very capable in battle. The three strict melee classes operate as expected, with variations in speed, strength, and defense. Even Clerics and Mages are battle ready, as their magic is used as a supplement to their melee abilities. The Hunter is the ranged attacker with a combat style that follows a similar formula to the other classes, though each has their own pros and cons.
Players must accept missions at a hub town before being able to venture out into the wild. Each mission allows access to a specific area for a limited amount of time, meaning that people are not free to simply roam the countryside as they see fit. Each mission has an objective that must be met within that limited time frame. This could involve gathering forty beetle eyes or defeating a giant bear that is terrorizing a forest area. Players would do best to examine the details of the mission before simply venturing out to defeat everything in their path, regardless of the fact that most of the starter missions can be completed by doing just that. There are occasionally times when players will encounter enemies well beyond their ability to defeat. One of the first times this happens, players might have gotten in a pattern where they feel the need to slaughter everything, but this will prove to be too great a challenge for most. If you were simply speeding through quest details, one quick glance at the in-game quest log will reveal that the enemy doesn't need to be defeated. Just simply finish gathering the required items and avoid being killed in the process.
In battle, Ragnarok Odyssey is not about killing things to level up; it's just about killing things. In fact, you don't even gain levels. Characters grow in strength after completing a chapter, though new weapons and cards will boosts stats as well. Finding the right items to upgrade your weapon is key, though don't expect that to happen too early on. Cards are slightly different, as they will drop from enemies you defeat and can be traded for new ones back in town. Upgrades on new equipment or via cards include stat enhancements, elemental modification, or other improvements to skills. Sometimes cards will have one positive change and a negative one, so weighing your options is important. There is also a point value assigned to each card and a limited number of card points per piece of equipment. It's a balancing act to find the sweet spot that fits your play style.
Lots of gameplay features are not available right away, but open up as you progress through the story missions. For one, Dainsleif Mode opens up near the end of chapter one. This mode can be accessed once your special points (SP) bar is full and when activated caused critical damage for all attacks. To balance things out, HP drains during this mode, but is restored with each successful attack. One other feature that opens up early in the second chapter is the ability to change classes back in town. You don't have to start a new character to play around with the other jobs. Ragnarok Odyssey likes to dole out pieces of information throughout the first few hours of the game, but it can be frustrating if you don't know these are coming.
These are just a few tips that might help out those dipping their toes into the game. It's not overly complex like Monster Hunter can be, but the game does just toss you in there to figure things out on your own. Ragnarok Odyssey is challenging, but it has been fair so far. The level of depth grows as the game progresses, so use these tips to help you past the first few missions and see if it's for you. Trying new classes and experimenting with different styles of combat is key to finding the right playstyle for you, so if you can tough it out until chapter two you won't have to worry about starting over to try new jobs. Ragnarok Odyssey will be released on Oct. 30 by XSEED Games, so if you're curious you'll be able to try it for yourself then.