I’ll just preface this by saying I still really like Granblue Fantasy. In fact I’m stopping now while I still like it so I have some motivation to pick it up again one day. For now though, I need a break from the grind. And luckily I’m in a place where skipping one event or a hundred won’t make a difference to my strength so this is a good time to stop.
Are you perchance familiar with the term “diminishing returns”? I’m too lazy to define it, but it applies very much to progression in Granblue Fantasy. In the beginning anything and everything you throw into your pool only makes you stronger. Any crappy R, any HP-up SR weapon, anything and everything makes a big difference. Then as you go along it slows down. More effort, less reward. Even more effort, even less reward.
I remember when I got the Suzaku Katana, WOO HOO! Now we’re cooking with gas! Months later I got the Qinglong Spear, same sort of weapon, same sort of effect, but my party was already so much stronger it was like “Hmm, okay, I guess you can go in my pool for now. But don’t get too comfortable, you hear?” I turned level 80 yesterday and got a Cosmos dagger and a Bahamut dagger and I know in theory my party is hitting harder now, but I’m not feeling such a big difference now because we’re doing plenty well already. The jump are getting smaller and smaller and less tangible the further I play.
Of course it feels awesome to be so much stronger now and be doing all the things I thought were impossible when I first started out. But now I’ve reached that point where I’m just doing those things over and over again, just a little faster. If I could solo Tiamat Omega in 20 minutes, soon I’ll be doing it in 15, then 10. But it’s still the same thing until I hit level 101 and more of the same battles open up (not even new enemies, just stronger versions of the same ones). Honestly I wouldn’t mind doing them eventually, but first I’ve got to let some time pass first so I forget how repetitive and unrewarding it all is.
Achievements in Grinding
It was a fun ride up to this point and I’m happy because I did a lot of things:
- Cleared all story quests up to 61-4. Leviathan Malice and Mithra Malice can go jump in Lake Titicaca.
- Cleared all free quests and Grand Blues channel quests except the two 80 AP ones.
- Cleared all Showdown and Special quests up to Extreme. I beat Vohu Manah Maniac once too, but I’m not ready to try the others just yet.
- Cleared all Co-op quests except EX4 IIRC. Too lazy to go back and check. Co-op really sucks.
- Hosted all non-HL raids except Grand Order. And I must note that after failing to drop Bahamut horns for me all game long, Proto Bahamut suddenly gave me three (!) in one hour after I reached level 80. To those that have, more will be given…
- Solo’d Yggdrasil Omega and Tiamat Omega, MVP’d Colossus Omega. The last one is a fluke depending on how many people pile into the raid after I open it up. Leviathan, Celeste and Luminiera are just meanies. They’re not invited to my birthday party.
- Mastered all Row I, II and III classes except Ogre and Valkyrie. I also have enough material to unlock several of the Extra classes.
Won Super Bingo! It was only 21 million rupies, but it was enough to get an MLB Anat and two months’ worth of skill up fodder, both of which gave a big boost to my strength at the time. You don’t really feel it when you skill up weapons once in a while, but when you skill up a whole lot in the same week, woot! Feels good, man.
- Bought my first 275 valor badge pack. Though to be honest this had nothing to do with me and everything to do with the hard-hitting EX+ dog-splatting members of my former crew. Thank you guys for your hard work. Sorry I was such a whimpering leech, but I had a lot of fun ^_^.
So all in all I didn’t do too badly for myself. I just have some Maniac quests, story quests and Grand Order to do, then the rest is just grind grind grind until all my weapon pools are complete. It would be super nice if they could add more free quests and showdown summons every couple of months to keep the game fresh.
All roads lead to the top of the same mountain
I want to leave on a positive note, seeing as this isn’t really the end for me and Granblue Fantasy, but I just can’t resist one teensy-weensy last complaint: endgame weapon pools are boring! They’re all cookie-cutter alike – same omega weapons, same omega summons, maybe an Unknown here, a Cosmos weapon there, a Bahamut weapon or two, but basically the same layout for all players of the same element. If you’re Wind it’s Tiamat guns, for Water it’s Leviathan daggers, and on and on.
If you’re a free player like me you’ll at least have an interesting ad hoc character party, but otherwise there’s an ideal set of characters for each element as well. Birdman, Korwa, Lancelot, Percival, blah blah blah, nyah nyah nyah. And there are all these classes but only a few are useful in the end. Dark Fencer, Holy Saber, Hawkeye, Bishop >>>> everything else except Row IV. To paraphrase Tolstoy(?), endgame pools are all alike, midgame pools are all crappy in their own special way. Maybe that’s why I like my imperfect Fire party so much better than my Wind pool filled with Tiamat Bolt Omegas.
I got my hopes up a bit when new weapons were announced in August, but they turned out to be not worth the trouble. Much more grinding for more or less the same results. And yes you can “think outside the box” and focus on the “wrong” weapons if you really want to be a rebel, but since it can take months of grinding to complete a pool, nobody wants to go through all that effort for sub-optimal results. I hope something can be done someday so non-ATK up weapons have a legit use and worth and there can be more mixing and combining and stuff. Well, a gamer can always dream.
You haven’t seen the last of me!
As I said, I’m leaving the door open for a return someday. I’ll still be logging in for the free R-summon rolls till 5th September. Plus I’ll probably jump in again any time free rolls are promised. I can’t resist, even knowing how bad my draw luck is. Barring any of that I estimate it will take at least 6 months for me to get to the point where I miss the game enough to return. There’s no telling how much staying power I’ll have then either. Basically it’s not-completely-but-mostly-over between me and GBF for now. Fun while it lasted, the end.
Kaiyou Resutoran turned out to have more bite to it than I’d expected (the debt is actually £1 million, not £100,000). More on that if I ever finish it. More importantly I really really want to start Ray Gigant this weekend but I’m not sure I’ll have the time. Maybe early next week. Anyway, barring any unforeseen circumstances that’s the next game I’ll be playing. Yay for dungeon crawlers and Experience Inc.! Okay, that’s enough rambling for one day. See you soon!