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Dissidia Final Fantasy: Opera Omnia

An RPG from Square Enix which mixes many characters from the plethora of Final Fantasy games into a single epic title.

How to get a jump start for the new player.

Initial advice: there's a lot of story and character data to the game and you have to download. Try to make sure you're on a tariff-free connection that is stable. The downloads will eat your bandwidth if you're not tarrif-free. If your connection isn't stable, you can be returned to the main screen with each disconnection and have to start battles from scratch (though there is some resume option it isn't perfect).

Many tutorials you'll come across for this game will assume you've already been playing the game for ages and have a stack of other characters that are maxed out. Once you get deeper into the game, this actually makes perfect sense! However, that's not at all helpful when starting out.

On the first load, the game will seem to give you and endless supply of dialogues to close about events and characters. Just close the lot, accepting the gifts (there are many). They'll start to make sense later on and you can return to the list of notifications later.

When starting out you should have Cloud and some other assorted characters. Great! Ignore them. Go into the little scrolling bit at the top and choose a Story Draw or Event Draw. Use the Multi-Draw (10+1) option only - use it once for each draw. You'll receive lots of kit and some of them will be Gold - superb start. Along with some of the Gold kit will also be new characters: these are the characters to use as your starting characters.

Time to start the story off: Ch.1: Primus Island. Choose the area in the middle of the map and you'll get a mini-map of the area in hexagons with most of the area being under a cloud (not related to the character). Choose the only option at first: you have to start a story scene (download, Torsion, bla, bla, skip or watch depending on your interest level in the story portion of RPGs). Once you're returned to the mini-map, you'll see a section of the clouded portion dissipate and reveal a battle. That's the basics of the mini-map: choose an option & when you complete it (skip/watch the scene or win battle) more of the mini-map is revealed.

Time for your first battle. Choose the battle, pick your team from the characters that got the Gold kit earlier. It's easy to work these out: tap on a character and then choose the Auto option in the lower-right. After the Auto, if the weapon is Gold coloured, it's a character you want to use, go back to the list. To add them to your current team, drag the character from the right onto one of the three slots at the left. If it's not a gold weapon, move on to the next character. You should find yourself with two or three characters with gold weapons in your team. If one or none, that's still OK at this point: outfit your team with characters using Silver weapons instead. Close the list to return to the battle and click Begin. You'll get a tutorial set of instructions which goes into a little more depth but for the quick starter, here's a cut-down version:

You'll be presented with a list of support characters. Pick one (they probably vastly outweigh your starting party) and click Begin. The battle then commences as turn-based combat. At the lower-left of the screen are your characters and just above that is the order the characters/enemies will take during the battle. Later on the in game, character abilities will be able to influence the order but for now, it's all static. When a character/enemy is KO'd, they're removed from the order. Down the right-hand side are your possible options. BRV is Brave and HP is Hit Points. Each ability can affect one (later both) of these stats for either the enemy or the characters. Think of the Brave stat as a defence mechanism and a reward system: Brave has to reach zero to remove the basic defences of the opponent but you need Brave to perform better. Each Brave attack decreases the opponent and increases your own - kind of the thrust and parry portion of the battle. HP is the life force of the character/enemy. Hit the enemy with a few BRV attacks and it should go into BREAK above its gauge. Once in BREAK, hitting with HP attacks will hurt the enemy. That's the basics of the attack system (it is a lot more complex but that's for later).

After winning the battle you'll be presented with at least two screens. The first is the score metric from the battle and the second is the winnings: inventory received, gil received and XP received. Hopefully you'll get some additional Level Up! screens and then back to the mini-map. [Side-bar note: The game keeps a track of the total number of levels your characters have and for every ten of those levels, your player Rank is increased by one. It's not relevant to the story but it's worth making a mental note of this for the World of Illusions content later down the line.]

At the main screen or mini-map, occasionally perform a quick check of the right-most menu option - it will sometimes (often at first) have an exclamation mark (!) on it. Tap the button and the menu will slide out. If there's an exclamation mark on the Missions, choose that button but otherwise ignore the other options for the time being. In the Missions dialogue, tap on the options with the exclamation mark and then Accept All (Panel Missions will take you to a separate screen and you can scroll through the Panel Missions left and right at the bottom of the screen). Once you've collected everything, go back to the mini-map.

Expand the mini-map by completing more options until you have access to "Outskirts of the Meadow" (it is in the lowest-left of this first map). This is the first location to grind - tick the Auto Battle option on the battle screen and then just repeat this quest until your characters are level 5 or thereabouts. It's at this point you can get a good feel as to whether you'll be able to withstand the monotony of this game.

Finish off the map. If you struggle with the final battles, it's OK to use diamonds to continue providing you are making good progress in the battle: you should be used to the gauges in battle by now. Diamonds will be plentiful later on so don't worry about using a few now but they are not an infinite supply and some of the best content can be Diamond-costly.

Once Ch. 1 is completed you'll be presented with the fact you've unlocked Hard mode. Cool: repeat the map in Hard mode until you get to "Outskirts of the Meadow" again. Repeat this level in Hard mode until your main party characters are about level 10. Don't bother with the rest of Ch.1's mini-map in Hard mode: you'll probably still be too weak for it and there's a better option for the grind.

Exit the mini-map using the Back button in the upper-right. Down the bottom of the screen should be optional quest types: Events, Lost Chapters, World Of Illusions and Dimension's End. Choose Events and scroll down the list to the Permanent Events. Near the top of the Permanent Events, one of the Cycle Quest options should be available: choose that. You should have a Quest LV 10 Battle option available: choose that & try to run through that battle. Did you get through it successfully? No: head back to "Outskirts of the Meadow" in Ch.1 Hard Mode and level up some more there on Auto Battle. Yes: great, repeat it until you can achieved the next Quest LV with ease (notice you characters are now earning vastly more XP!). Settle on a Quest LV you can repeat with ease on Auto Battle. Occasionally pop into the right-most menu and choose Level Up - spend your Chocobo stuff on leveling up even quicker!

I'm level 50 now, is that it?! Nope. Time to unlock more abilities: head into the arrow at the right and choose Enhancements then choose Crystal Strength from the top. Tap on one of your main characters to get the Crystal Strength screen. You'll see a list of STR types and hopefully many of them will highlighted in red. Scroll down to the last red one and choose it: you've just selected all of the options in red & leveled up your characters abilities and possibly earned some new moves. Repeat for the other characters with Gold weapons. Once you've spent up (honestly, just don't bother with any character using less than Gold weapons for now) or got bored of doling out the Crystals, head back to the Crystal Quests and try again: they should be even easier now. Repeat this every day for different crystal colours (and there's a Cactuar version for gil+XP on one day of the week instead).

By now you should be able to repeat one of the Crystal Quests with just one or two characters: slot into your team one of the other characters that you've not used yet (at Level 1). Repeat the Crystal Quests and you'll soon have a bunch of Level 50 (or possibly higher) characters and a steady supply of Crystals to get them to at Crystal Level 50. Your player Rank should also be climbing nicely.

Notice that the highest grades of crystals are not being rewarded? They come primarily from Limited-Time events. Have a look around at the other Events and try a few Solo options.

You've now got a good foothold on the characters, congratulations on the quick leg-up process. It's now a good time to find one of the many tutorials on the 'net about Limit Breaking items to boost your characters even further and getting familiar with the real meat of the character building: Passive Abilities.

Oh, and the first 11 chapters should be a breeze to complete on Normal and, with a few Limit Break kit bagged, most even on Hard. Now you'll be able to start tackling the Lost Chapters also, learn about Summons properly ('cause you'll have been ignoring through use of Auto Battle). You can now also start on the World Of Illusions as you'll actually have some SP to use in there from your player Rank: start with the Trials of Ifrit as Ifrit is the most generic of the Summons. More learning: Co-Op battles for oodles of kit, Token Exchange, learning the multitude of different passives, buffs/debuffs and the myriad changes about to arrive which make the game even harder than it currently is because you are still way behind the curve of grinding necessary to achieve anything with the hardest levels.

External resources

The DFFOO community is very large and has produced some excellent resources to delve deeper into the game.

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