Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies

From Before I Play
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  • You get new party members from the inn at stornway, you learn new skills as you level up/place skill points, most of the stuff in this game is the same as previous dragon quest games, so just enjoy it and experiment with classes, you won't be locked into one specific one.
  • It is worth keeping a mage in the party at all times, as well as a class who can heal (priest, paladin, hunter etc)
  • Not all classes are available from the start, the unlockable ones come from rather irritating grind quests, but are useful to have
  • Don't make your main character your primary damage dealer, since your main guy is the only one to learn a skill that boosts the tension of other party members.
  • The items that permanently increases a character's stats only do so for their current job. Don't give one to a character if you know you're not going to use that job much.
  • You earn skill points by leveling. Switching to a new job resets a character's level to 1 (switching back restores it to what it was), retaining all skills and passive stat boosts. Skill points carry over between jobs, so you can spend a character's skill points in ANY job you have access to, even jobs they will never level as.
  • Investing 100 skill points in a weapon type will let you use that weapon type regardless of job, which is really, really nice. Later weapon skills also tend to be really good, but tend to cost a lot of MP, which can be a problem for low-MP jobs. Even so, the passive attack boosts may be worth it.
  • Spells are tied to a character's current job and level. You cannot transfer a Priest's healing spells to another class - you must have a high-level Priest in your party to cast high-level Priest spells.
  • Base stats are also tied a character's current job and level, so there's no "level as job X because they get the best stat boosts, but not for more than 38 levels because you'll end up capping stat Y" to worry about.
  • There's no in-game way to know what a skill does before buying it, and even then you have to enter combat to see the description.
  • The Thief's Half-Inch skill is the only way to steal items in the game. The Wand's Caduceus skill is the only healing skill.
  • Yeah the game rewards specialization, as the better techniques are mostly available later in the tree. However you can get so many skillpoints (and the game is so easy) that it doesn't really matter all that much. There are a few useful low-tier techniques. So if you want Metal Slash, for example, on several characters, it really doesn't hurt you all that much to put a few points into swords. On the whole though it's probably best not to spread yourself too thin.
  • The non weapon skills stay with you forever - technically, all skills (as opposed to the spells you get with experience levels) stay with you forever - making them a great place to put your first skillpoints, since they have stat bonuses not tied to your current weapon.
  • Try to get the Crit or nothing skills (Spear - Thunder Thrust, Axe - Hatchet Man) it'll make levelling much easier.