Miserable AI, or am I doing it wrong?

#1pondrthisPosted 2/5/2013 8:18:48 AM
I can't go ten seconds of battle away from a save point/inn without my entire party dumping all their mana. Tactic--outside of "don't use abilities" and "don't do anything"--doesn't seem to affect this. And they don't even dump it intelligently: a foe may be weak to fire, and an ally may have Hot Huff (9 MP), but they'll choose to use Whirly Whirlies (21 MP-ish). Is the game telling me I have to gimp two characters by only equipping low-cost spells, and then manually control the third? That would defeat the purpose of allowing us to play as the other characters.

And it's not just the ally AI; the enemy AI is at least as bad, though poor enemy AI is less frustrating and more humorous in most cases. The enemies seem to always attack either A) the closest character or B) the character with the least HP. That makes them hugely exploitable, as I've learned by letting a mana-dead Esther throw out a balloonatic for a few minutes... her low (absolute) HP and close-range pet makes her a target, even though the balloonatic is pretty much invincible.

What kind of horrible design causes every battle to be the same battle of attrition? Furthermore, why can I only use my hard-won abilities for five to ten minutes of every gameplay hour? Am I doing something wrong? Do I have too many magic attackers and too few physical attackers in my party? If I am indeed screwing things up, why would the game design allow me to do so?

MY PARTY FOR REFERENCE:

I'm playing on Normal. I got the dragon at level 35ish. I've been doing all the side quests the moment they're available. I've done more side stuff/farming than I do in most RPGs, so I shouldn't be behind. I refuse to farm Tokos for extended periods... I feel bad about the 4 or 5 I've killed so far, and it's not like I'm getting too many game overs.

TL;DR: Allies dump mana, enemies are predictable, or am I doing it wrong?
#2KonstrixPosted 2/5/2013 8:22:58 AM
This is most definitely a heavy flaw of the game, Im still not really used to it and there doesnt seem to be a solution aside from equipping lower level, lower cost spells. Ho hum.
#3pondrthis(Topic Creator)Posted 2/5/2013 9:26:57 AM
It just seems wrong that I have to depend on leveling up halfway through dungeons in order to refill my MP... and don't even get me started about the fact that I do better when Oliver is dead, since it allows epic kiting between Swaine and the Balloonatic Esther.
#4SriVastraPosted 2/5/2013 9:34:55 AM
It's a common issue. The AI is terribad at conserving MP. Not really much you can do aside from setting them to not use abilities and doing it manually when you want to. Had to do it a lot toward the end even though I had Esther set to heal, she absolutely refused to cast her big party heal unless I told her to myself.
#5Alucard_FoNPosted 2/5/2013 9:40:50 AM
I especially like how setting Esther to "Keep us healthy" doesn't help at all since she just wastes her MP spamming her freaking buff spells when the battle is already over anyway. I can't even tell you how many times I've had her cast one just before I'm about to land the last hit on some stupid nothing trash enemy. I've actually had to just put her on "Don't Use Abilities" because she's worthless otherwise.
#6najzerePosted 2/5/2013 9:42:08 AM
Probably obvious, but leave the MP glims for them, don't pick them up yourself.
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#7v_di_gPosted 2/5/2013 10:01:22 AM
Very miserable AI. Just as I abandon my Oliver to assume control of another character, I notice the MP drain from full to 1/3rd in a single random battle. If it wasn't for the fact that my party feels underpowered where I currently am in the game, I would just turn all AI units to not use any techniques at all. Shame that I do need the healing tactic.

Now, to farm gold and alchemy ingredients for equipping nine familiars... again. Side missions, start.
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#8pondrthis(Topic Creator)Posted 2/5/2013 10:18:28 AM
Alucard_FoN posted...
I especially like how setting Esther to "Keep us healthy" doesn't help at all since she just wastes her MP spamming her freaking buff spells when the battle is already over anyway. I can't even tell you how many times I've had her cast one just before I'm about to land the last hit on some stupid nothing trash enemy. I've actually had to just put her on "Don't Use Abilities" because she's worthless otherwise.


This is my Oliver. He just keeps spamming Ward (19 MP?) all day long. At where I am with my current party, my Esther is actually doing alright, although this may be related to my aforementioned balloonatic.

Is this a common issue in Level 5 games? I've never played one before, but I certainly wasn't expected this.
#9MidgardDragon99Posted 2/5/2013 10:19:44 AM
You're doing it wrong but so is like half the board so whatever. I don't know WHAT you guys are doing to scre up so badly.
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#10quakernautic2Posted 2/5/2013 10:20:42 AM
my "don't use abilities" Oliver AI loves to cast ward and waste 16mp EVERY BATTLE!!!
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