Beyond the Sands
We've got all eight characters recruited, which means we're done with the beginning and are ready to dive into the game proper!
That said, we could stand to do a few things first. Starting off, while we're here, we might as well check out Ryu since it's so small.
Ryu is basically a small merchant outpost, not really much of a town. It's mostly merchants, soldiers, and travelers around here.
This guy has a much-needed staff upgrade for us.
Some merchants are much like Partitio, using commerce as a way to help others in need.
Others are just doing what they can to provide for their family.
...Even if it's at the risk of his own family.
And you know what? That's it for this outpost during the day. Granted, there's a few new faces at night.
Beyond the Sands (Night)
You know, fair.
Two different philosophies at play, and I don't think there's a right approach here. Just each mercenary doing what they feel works best for them. They both have this outpost's best interests at heart, after all.
I'd figure an enterprising merchant would have their sights set bigger, but hey, if it's helping out the outpost long-term, why not let them keep what they're doing?
And that's it for Ryu!
We've got a lot going on, and this isn't even all of it. Several characters have a couple options as to progressing their Chapter 2's, but I'm generally going to go by recommended level order so we don't get too overleveled. I'm still undecided if and how I'd put our order to a vote, but I think at the very least I'll pick the first option since it's kinda obvious and lets me introduce the new dynamics of having a full party.
But that's for later. For now, we need to get ready.
The job system from OT1 is back, and largely the same, though obtaining them is slightly different. Still, it requires going to the "Tier 2" areas, and several are even obtained within towns.
I'm going to accumulate the jobs in the order we recruited our party members, so first we'll get Cleric. I'll also be taking along the relevant character since there's something new we want to collect.
Otherwise, I'll be rotating between Agnea/Ochette/Hikari to level them up. This also gives Ochette an opportunity to start collecting monsters.
Our first job is on the path to Bolderfall, which fortunately is a rather low-level area for a Tier 2 location.
Still, these encounters aren't going to be easy...
Normal Battle II
New area, new battle theme! In my opinion it doesn't compare to OT1's version, but it's still solid.
These foes are powerful, which means their attacks are as well. Darkness is a pain to hit with an area attack, so this is a great option to have.
Also, everyone talking up Vengeful Blade led me to pick it up next. Clearly I haven't messed with this enough, so I'm going to remedy that.
Still don't think we need Leghold Trap yet, and Abating Orb might have some valuable uses in the future.
This is a nice bridge and rainbow. Unfortunately, we're going the wrong way.
The Shaggy Aurochs, my favorite blitzball team, can inflict silence with a nasty attack. This prevents the use of skills, which is understandably annoying.
Also I caught an ape.
In OT1, jobs were collected from random statues hidden around the world. In OT2, the main eight jobs are found in dedicated guilds, each with a guildmaster. Some of these guilds are located in towns, while others like this one are out in the wilderness.
I am touched by your faith. It feels as if the Sacred Flame burns brighter in my breast.
Let us raise our prayers to the heavens together.
And with that, we've obtained our first job license. Yep, obtaining them is as simple as finding and talking to the guildmaster.
When a character uses a job, they get stat buffs based on the job, as well as access to that job's skills and weapons. They also still keep the skills and weapons of their old job. Also, since JP is universal, you don't have to actually use the job in battle to gain skills, just simply switch to the job, learn the skills, and swap out. Useful for learning Support Skills!
Speaking of which, once you learn a job's support skill, you can use it with any job.
Each character has their own take on these job outfits. I'm just copying them from the Octopath Wiki this time since hand-making job banners for the OT1 LP took a long time.
That said, we're not done here. OT2 adds a good bit more here.
For instance, for the eight main jobs, you can get up to two additional job licenses for fulfilling certain requirements. This means between Temenos, the free job license we got, and the two other we can obtain, we could have a full party of four Clerics if we wanted.
In practice you'll generally only want one of a subjob just because versatility is key for later battles, but it's nice the option is there.
Each guild also has several things to talk about. For Licenses...
By equipping the license, anyone can use the skills of a cleric. If you find yourself in need of more licenses, you need only complete our tasks and further prove your faith.
The tasks you need to complete depend on the job. Cleric requires a couple of items obtained from dungeon diving.
Each job also has a hint about Legendary Arms, powerful equipment you can find across Solistia...
It is said that sealing away a certain evil entity will cause it to transform into a staff.
Any child possessed can be seen wandering nearby at dawn.
This particular event catches a lot of players off-guard and causes a lot of confusion, because without this specific hint it makes no sense what you're supposed to even do. But more on that when it comes up later.
Finally, we have a new mechanic for OT2, EX Skills.
This church was built to protect that very altar. You can reach it by going through that door just there. I urge you to take a look if you're interested.
Most of these altars are hidden around the areas where you'll find the guilds, though not always on the same screen. We're lucky this is the one time that the altar is actually located within the guild.
Each altar has a depiction of the god that represents that job.
By having the character with that job interact with the god statue, that character will learn an EX skill.
EX Skills are character-exclusive skills that are generally quite powerful. Each character gains one from finding an altar, and obtains the other after finishing their story.
Temenos's first EX Skill lets him "overheal" characters, which is great for letting more fragile character tank hits. While this was a pretty nice passive option in OT1, only Temenos can overheal in OT2, which balances it out a bit. It's a great skill, especially for punching above your weight class, and it's very nice to have for our main character.
There's also NPCs around here to pester.
I mean, it's not like you have to be a sanctum knight to fight people. Just be a city guard or mercenary or something.
Now she seems more suited to the job she has since she actually cares about the thing she's fighting to protect.
So let's bring her along. Her ice magic looks powerful enough!
Of course, the one flaw with my planned method of party rotation is I'm missing path actions for NPCs, but it's a small price to pay. I can always come back later to steal their stuff.
Also I bring along a cleric because healing status effects could be handy.
Next up, we're going to bring Partitio with us as we get the Merchant job.
But before we go, there's one new character at this port...
Remember Bale, the provisioner from Osvald's intro? He managed to somehow escape during all the chaos.
I decide to bring him along for the larger discount.
Yeah, glad I grabbed that shaggy aurochs.
I picked up Revive for Temenos and also grab a nice passive to increase my chances of running from battles, which is great for what I'm currently doing.
Especially since this area is a big step up level-wise.
I have a couple close calls navigating this area.
We'll come back to this commotion later.
Another nice bridge, this time with minecart tracks.
This area is a secret, it's not obvious you can go right from that mine shaft, but luckily the minimap icons serve as a solid enough hint.
Anyway, time for the Altar of the Trader.
Negotiate Schedule lets you "buy" a foe's turn, which is obviously powerful in flat-out preventing a foe's action for a round. Of course, this isn't cheap, and especially so for bosses. I didn't mess around with this much, but you could pull off some powerful maneuvers if you've got the dough.
The actual guild is on another screen, further towards the town of Crackridge.
It's this very small outpost up the hill.
The Forbidden Items are end-game gear that generally have very powerful stats, but also have a downside. In this case, the Forbidden Shield has some of the best stats of any shield, but also raises the chances of enemy encounters. Not bad if you're grinding, but kinda irritating otherwise. Of course, the downside is irrelevant for boss battles.
The other Forbidden Items are all weapons, one of each type.
Naturally, we find some esteemed merchants around the guild here.
Aaaaand immediately after hiring Bale we find a guy that can knock off 30% of a purchase price. This is the biggest discount we can get without coin flips, so we'll likely be sticking with this person for a long time.
We're not a formal organization or anything. Just a bunch of merchants who get together and help each other out.
After all, a good merchant never turns down the chance to make a new connection!
Our second job!
Unlocking the merchant licenses is simple, just buy them with cold hard cash. I believe the second merchant license is the most expensive item in the game at a whopping 300k leaves.
I could actually buy the first merchant license right now, but I have no need of it.
Time to get info.
If you ever want to use a merchant's skills, all you have to do is equip it. And if you complete some of our guild tasks, I'll give you more licenses. They're not like ordinary wares you can buy or sell, though, so take good care of them.
It's a powerful weapon what [sic] struck down a fire-breathing fiend in the Wildlands. But then some rotten thief stole it a while back, and it was lost to the world...
A couple of my friends already went to look for the glaive, but came back empty-handed... Still, I know my sources are reliable. It must just be hidden real well...
Supposedly a chosen merchant will be granted a special power if they find it. We know it's in the Southern Crackridge Wilds somewhere, but I haven't had any luck locating the altar so far. Maybe only the chosen one can find it...
Generally, we'll be finding the altars before we reach the guilds, so at this point this stuff is just flavor text.
Right now I'm just throwing jobs on characters because why not, but I'll probably end up using a combination of thread suggestions and my own picks down the line.
We'll get a couple more before calling this an update. Now to get Thief, which requires making our way to the next city in the Brightlands.
More battles, more chances to level everyone up a bit, but otherwise somewhat uneventful.
The next Altar is hidden directly to the south of the path to the next city. Again, not obvious to find unless you're keeping track of the minimap icons.
This skill is misleading, in that it actually inflicts a debuff to all foes that has them miss their next physical attack. It's one of the few ways to inflict dark damage to all enemies, and it's a nice panic button despite the costly 25SP. If Throné had better E.Atk, I'd love this more, but hey, it's still useful.
The next guild is actually within the city of Clockbank, but I'm not going to show the actual city off yet.
Instead, let's move into this back alley.
This place is empty during the day, but at night...
There we go.
Anyone who reaches this place is welcome in the Thieves Guild.
Ah, yes, before I forget... Please don't tell anyone else about this guild. It's for your own good. Hoho.
Another job obtained!
Naturally, one of the tasks involves stealing from a master thief. Gotta love how thematic these can get.
As usual, time to get some info.
Anyone wishing to use a thief's skills need only equip one.
You'll have to earn more licenses by completing guild tasks.
It's known as "Mooneater," and I was meant to inherit it when I took over... Unfortunately, the former guild master went missing before then.
Hoho. Had I known that would happen, I would have stolen it from him instead.
Or rather, a "chosen" thief who finds the altar. I heard it was hidden somewhere a tiny bit obscure along Southern Clockbank Highroad... But thieves are sharp. I'm certain a member of our guild would find it with ease. Hoho.
And while we're here, let's chat up the other guild members.
I guess early-thirties counts as "advancing years" when your skill set relies so heavily on dexterity.
This kid has some good loot.
We'll finish today's update with Scholar, then get the rest next update.
The Winterlands (Night)
There's another low-level area and even a side story to the east of Cape Cold.
Still fighting through the various numbers of enemies, with some occasional fleeing so we don't get too overleveled.
Under yet another bridge, we find our next altar.
Teach is a bit of an odd one at first glance. It grants Osvald's stat buffs to another target for 2+BP turns, which is kinda odd until you remember Scholar has a skill that specifically gives themself multiple stat-boosting buffs. Still seems a bit much to set up, though Dancer helps, but I guess it's as good a way as any to spread stat buffs to another damage dealer.
On the western cliffside is the Scholars Guild.
Here, anyone with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge is received with open arms.
Allow me to give you a license, as proof of our fellowship.
These licenses require farming drops/steals from rarish enemies.
Finally, info-gathering time.
Anyone desiring to use a scholar's skills need only equip it to attain the necessary expertise. And if your hunger for knowledge is not yet sated, may I recommend taking on our guild tasks? Fulfill the challenge laid out before you and I shall give you a new license.
Unfortunately, whether it actually exists or not has yet to be proven. According to ancient texts, only one stone has ever been successfully crafted, in the land of Fj'all.
It is said that they were the ones who built the Great Wall that still stands in that region.
If you wish to find that altar...
The rest should fall into place if you do what a scholar does best and observe.
Of all the jobs to get, I'm happiest to finally have Scholar, if just for one simple reason...
There we go.
Next time, we'll get the other four jobs, and perhaps snag an extra one as well...