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Let the AI get blue orbs Oliver has a HUGE mana pool so and you most likely control him so he should be able to manage without the orbs and if not you can just use items or have Ollie heal out of battle. A familiar with an AOE healing helps too I have seed sprite with healing shower on Ollie and yes it cost 15 MP but it heals everyone
The AI's decision making is indeed awful. There is no "conserve MP" option like you'd see in a Tales game where they'd use abilities but not spam them like they do here. Or you can tell them to use no abilities and have the MP go to waste. It's all or nothing.
They needed finer grain control over which familiars should use what abilities. A Tales-like ability to enable/disable abilities on familiars the AI is controlling is missing. A different tactic setting (that you can change outside of combat!) for each individual familiar is missing.
Additionally, it's nice that they'll send their familiars to grab HP/MP glims, but the pathing is abysmal, and often their familiar just starts walking into the enemy they were previously attacking in a futile quest to walk to the glim. It's sad to watch.
The battle system is the worst part of this game, and has shockingly little in the way of features and a list of problems other companies have already solved.
I find the only really annoying thing she does, that so far I cannot stop her from doing, is she uses some of her songs that are 15MP each at random, unnecessary times. She'll raise my party's evasion in a battle that lasts 20 seconds, then do it again in the next battle. That's 30MP and yes it is annoying. BUT, I am around level 25 with her and she seems to be getting a bit better and even switching familiars more. I think of her like Furby now, learning as she goes.
I think most people's issue is not being high enough level. I always switch my team to "Don't use abilities" for random battles and "attack leaders target." I think I'm a little over leveled because all the monsters in Hamelin (just got there as well) run away from me, honestly making it easier because I can just back attack them all.
Sometimes I worry that people take things too seriously... isn't it supposed to be a game?
If they are attacking without familiar i see that happens when you dont choose a familiar with oliver.
To remedy: Always throw out a familiar at the start, this causes them to also They always throw out slot 1 first. Use familiars with high defense.
This will reduce your overall MP consumption by about 10 times.
I bet you just keep Drongo in slot one. All that thing does is spam heals.
Mostly this. Learn how the AI fights. I noticed this early on and quickly put a physical familiar (my Lemur) in the first slot of Esther shortly after I got her. I never had MP issues except towards the end of long boss battles. I usually make sure my lead off familiars are all physical ones with no attack abilities equiped. The Lemur I had sharpen and blunt on, for example. They rarely use them and will focus on attackign for the first 15-20 seconds of the battle. by the time they call their casters out, the fight is almost over.