I understand the concept of choosing which large nodes to level up so to ensure the correct bonuses are applied, but how is it possible to "screw up" the CP allocation to create a "bad build"? Surely with enough grinding, you get all available bonuses at max CP anyway?
Am I right in thinking: Level up roles to gain abilities you want, but use RAV large nodes for Serah, and COM large nodes for Noel? Until you hit 60 in both roles, then prioritize which abilities you want for each role?
Any tips for which expansion bonuses I should choose first?
Aside from gaining desired abilities in other roles, I should be spending CP on small nodes in RAV for Serah, and COM for Noel?
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I personally wouldn't say you can get a bad build. It's just more along the lines that some people like to play in a way that gives them the maximum stats possible. If you don't follow the optimal path, you won't reach this maximum, or optimal, level.
At least that's how I see it.
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How can you screw up? Well, consider: Noel is "optimized" with max Strength. There are fewer levels that grant a Strength bonus than there are large nodes. That means that if you ever raise Noel's COM on a small node, you forever lose one large node Strength boost.
Therefore--if you care about max stats--you need to interlace your levels. Use roles that grant bonuses you don't want (like HP) to level up on small nodes, and level up roles that grant the bonuses you do want only on the large nodes. SYN and SAB take extra planning, since you need to sometimes level them on small and sometimes on large.
For the expansions, I like to open the 4th ATB, then SYN for Noel and SAB for Serah, then MED for both. After that, it's a matter of juggling role bonuses, extra accessory capacity, and the 5th ATB slot, with no real standouts except possibly SAB role bonuses for Serah. I like to grab Ultima Arrow and Meteor Javelin as soon as they appear.
The only "bad build" I can imagine having is maxing out HP through the large node bonuses as no boss in the game needs that much extra HP to take down. With that in mind you would be taking away from potential offenses, thus making it "bad." That's just the way I see it, though.
How i do it is I use SEN, SAB, SYN, and MED on the Small nodes and every big Node I learn RAV or COM. I started doing that at level 20 Com/Rav and 10/15 for the others. Once I max COM and RAV on both Serah and Noel I'll use SAB for Serah and SYN for Noel on the big nodes.
Is this a good efficient way of getting the highest possible offensive stats?
Xbox 360 GamerTag: HolyKnight22
If you're using SAB and SYN on small nodes all the time you're losing out on potential offensive stat increases. The best way would be to level up COM on large nodes for Noel and RAV on large nodes for Serah, but STOP when you have all the abilities for their respective roles. The reason being is that since they give set stat bonuses as opposed to SYN and SAB you can better control the stat increases. After you hit the point where you've learned all those abilities get the stat boosts from SYN and SAB on large nodes you want, but then level them up on small nodes to set them back to where you can get the stat boost you want again on the next large node.
e.g.You want max STR on Noel. So you level SAB from level 13 to 14 on a large node to get the STR bonus. On the small node after you level SAB from 14 to 15 so that when you get to the next large node you can get the next STR bonus.
Using this method described above SEN and MED will be the roles you'll be leveling up on small nodes the most as they both give HP bonuses while being able to use SAB and SYN to get their respective stat bonuses.
Oh so on the Odd numbers they gain Offensive and even numbers they gain health?
Xbox 360 GamerTag: HolyKnight22
No. See, SAB and SYN are kinda weird like that. For odd levels they both give Magic. For even levels SAB gives STR while SYN gives HP. In this way they take a little extra planning to get the right bonuses from, but for those determined to get max offensive stats it should make some sort of sense ;)