Etrian Odyssey Nexus - Party of Five


#1

EO:N has arrived!

Etrian Odyssey has been a part of my gaming language since the second one came out way back on the DS. It’s a Wizardry! like dungeon crawl, where you craft a party of five characters from available classes (19 in this game’s case, pulling from classes across the previous five games!) and form a guild. You then dive into dungeons to explore and tackle new threats and further the story as well as complete side quests, and you can recruit and add more characters to your guild as you wish, swapping them in and out of your party. Note that, for others like me, I tend to make 5 characters and that’s it, really, but finally in V I did make a second team to level up to try out other classes and that was pretty fun.

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Now, that’s the main game loop, but there is a missing element I haven’t talked about yet - Etrian Odyssey expects* you to do your own mapping! You map your dungeon while you explore it, drawing paths, painting the land and water, dropping in notes and icons that represent chests, challenges, doors, and etc. It’s actually a lot of fun, really easy to do, and even if you read that and thought “fuck all that” trust me, it’s actually really satisfying to map your exploration of the dungeon out and find secrets and solve puzzles.

*That being said, there are several auto-map options available, to limit or even eliminate the amount of time spent mapping by hand.

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Finally, the EO games are pretty hard core. Now, the last few have featured difficulty settings, and this new one has FOUR such settings, going all the way from Picnic mode and as high as Heroic. But this is a game where if your character dies… well, you can reload, actually. I think. The series has sort of moved away from it’s hard core roots, but you can’t save in the dungeon, so it’s critical to keep a few items on hand (I forget what they are called) so you can teleport back to town, and as you delve deeper you’ll unlock shortcuts to go right from town into deeper parts of the dungeons (known as Stratums). So really, the combat expects you to pay attention and try to build a party that works well together, but it isn’t going to slap you around too much on normal difficulty. On Normal difficulty, I was warned that if my party wipes I could continue but just once. On Picnic mode, you can reload as much as you want and certain items work over and over again rather than a set number of times (like maybe the item that zips you back to town) for a more casual experience.

So, that’s out of the way, what about this Etrian Odyssey adventure?

Well, as it’s called Nexus and it features all the enemies, classes, and more from all the previous games, I’m led to assume the Nexus is some sort of overlap between all the previous games. I don’t really know much more about the story than that, but I will say there is a lot going on here.

19 classes (one of which is brand new, the Hero class), did I mention? Also, at a certain point or level, you can sub-class into another class! Here is what one reviewer had to say (source):

As a sort of ‘greatest hits’ release for the series, Etrian Odyssey Nexus features a whopping nineteen classes to choose from when building a team, of which you can bring five at a time into the mazes. As you’d expect, this leads to a staggering, almost overwhelming amount of player choice in how a team is built, but the game is relatively lenient in allowing just about anything to fly; there aren’t really any wrong answers here regarding how a team should be built, but you’re going to have a bad time if you try running a squad of five pure medics. Things become even more granular once you boost a character past a certain level threshold, which allows you to then add any of the other eighteen classes to them as a subclass, granting them access to the skills, weapons, and armour of that class. If you’ve ever been the sort of player that doesn’t like to feel boxed-in with an RPG regarding character growth, Etrian Odyssey Nexus is the game for you; there’s next to no limit on what you can do with how you build out a squad, and the game almost begs you to find ways to ‘break’ the system.

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Want to know more about the classes? Check this out - someone made a Skill Calculator!

It sounds like while a lot of the past 5 games are present everything about this game is a brand new experience, but with NPCs and characters from all the previous games. I’m excited to see how this all comes together.

Unfortunately, I can’t find the damned thing anywhere and Amazon is out of stock. So a physical copy is out, I went ahead and bought it on my 3DS directly from the eShop. Which was also a fiasco as the first two cards I used it A) didn’t like and B) insisted I was lying about my address (I was not). Finally the third card worked, good grief. Anyway, it’s installing the free DLC now (all the previous game’s portraits are free DLC, plus additional portraits, but they are individual downloads, which is a PITA).

So, anyone else playing? What initial 5 classes are you playing, and how are you going to build them?

EDIT: I had created a little crib sheet based on the classes as I saw them in a recent stream, in case this is helpful for anyone.

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#2

I’m going to buy this, aren’t I.


#3

Oh dang it! I knew I was going to regret getting rid of my 3DS.


#4

I was thinking of selling mine and then EO V came out, and then I forgot I owned it after completing that one. Until a few weeks ago when someone mentioned EO Nexus! This will probably be the last 3DS game I play, I suspect it would be wise for me to sell the thing after this. The series will continue, but it sounds like Nexus is the last 3DS EO title, I think they are moving the series to the Switch (which I FULLY support).


#5

The only other 3DS game after this that I’m keen on is Persona Q2, out in June (Persona game in Etrian engine).


#6

I loved the first few games (and even won a copy of the second by writing a silly essay about the first). But I got distracted partway through IV and haven’t revisited it, in part because it’s just sad to go back to the 3DS after getting used to playing on the Switch. I should really get back to that at some point, and am definitely looking forward to the eventual transition.


#7

Etrian Odyssey is the reason I owned a DS. I really wish they’d bring the series to PC.


#8

I would stream an EO on the pc so fast it wouldn’t be funny. I’m tempted to pick up Nexus, but I didn’t enjoy EO5 for some reason.


#9

I agree with this, but in defense of the 3DS every time I sit down and play on it I am reminded how striking it looks, even for a super old and under powered device. It’s really impressive, and this game runs very well and the load times don’t even really exist. And the colors just pop!


#10

You know, I’ve played just about every Etrian Odyssey game at this point but not yet beaten a single one. At some point I just lose the thread and never come back.


#11

Has there ever been an Etrian Odyssey on a non-Nintendo console? I should try one, one of those days.

But like all blobbers, I usually like them better in theory than in practice… so dry.


#12

I actually found copies in stock at NewEgg of all places. Atlus is usually good about having some physical goodies so they’re one of the few I still buy that way.


#13

Front Row:

Nightseeker, War Magus, Harbinger

Rear Row:

Ninja, Arcanist

Team is all about inflicting status ailments and then profiting from those ailments, via increased damage, healing, etc. Healing duty is split between the Magus and Arcanist.


#14

Nah, the map mechanic wouldn’t work without a touch screen, and making and reading your maps is so fundamental, that the second screen is necessary or you’d constantly be going to the menu. So they’ve only been on DS/3DS.


#15

Wild, our parties look very similar.

I went:

Front Row - Nightseeker, Hero, Harbringer
Back Row - Sovereign, Arcanist

Nightseeker is doing blinding attack with Sand Throw, dual wielding sword/dagger, Binding Strike for two hits usually (if he doesn’t get hit), and the shadow armor to avoid damage and proc Binding Strike more often. Shadow Armor is key, if he gets hit he usually drops without the Guard Order from the Sovereign (below).

Hero is doing Wild Strike and hitting everyone like a fucking truck due to passives that keep his attack up while he’s healthy, and he heals the party when he uses skills (such as Wild Strike).

Harbringer is doing Paralysis Strike to an entire row, or Toxic Strike (usually I aim that at the back row, see Arcanist). This class has been really cool, I nearly rolled one up in the last game after having an NPC Harbringer join me for a bit in the mid-game, I really like them so far.

Sovereign is really neat - he is buffing a row with bonus Attack and soon adding Elemental Attack to a row, OR he can also Guard a row and give everyone a big DEF buff and whenever he applies either Attack buff or Defense buff, that row heals a good amount (like 18+)!

Arcanist is dropping Paralyzing Circle (just put a 4th point into it to raise Paralyze rate) which hits the entire battlefield, and lasts three rounds. While it’s active, we heal 12-15 hp at the end of each round. I am about ready to expand that into a Curse Circle for when facing enemies that would make more sense against.

It’s really coming together. I beat the first labyrinth and am onto the second! There doesn’t seem to be “Stratums” now as there is a world map and each map location is it’s own thing, with the Geometric Poles teleporting you around to locations on the world map? Not totally sure how it works, but it’s been a blast so far. I drained my damned battery down to almost nothing, so I guess it’s time to call it a night.


#16

Neither a Medic or Magus. I admire your boldness!

Have a look at the Magus class, though. He combos brilliantly with ailments, and his “normal” heals are also amazing, triggering both when he casts them AND at the end of the round (!)

Hero sounds awesome, and I will for sure use one when I roll my next party.

Game’s great so far! I too drained my poor battery down and am now waiting for it to charge.


#17

Will be interesting to see how they do it on Switch (and whatever other consoles the next one comes out on).


#18

I’ve got healing for days, though, is the thing.

First up, the Hero class has a passive that heals the entire party when she uses a Skill. So when I drop Wild Strike (often hitting both enemy ranks for over 100 damage!) she heals everyone in the party 10 or so, and has a chance to spawn an “after image” that is a copy of herself that performs the attack that spawned her the following turn. It’s amazing.

Second, the Sovereign class heals the row that it sets an order on, like a Guard Order or Attack Order, for a very handy 13-16 health. This is extra good when she drops a Guard Order, as they all take less damage now and just healed a bit! I mean, we have around 45-65 hp (around level 6 now) so healing 15 at a time is a big deal.

But the biggest gain comes from the Arcanist. She has a passive that heals the entire party at the end of every turn a Circle is active. Since her Paralyzing Circle lasts 4 turns now, that’s 4 turns of free healing beginning at the end of round 1, and each round that heal hits everyone for 15+ hp. So every fight I drop a Paralyzing Circle, and if might paralyze a few enemies, maybe all of them, but it was definitely heal everyone to nearly full by the end of the fight. My biggest problem with her is what else to pick up - all her abilities seem to be circle related, and she can only have one at a time. I think the next one I grab will allow her to prematurely dismiss her circle, which produces a big healing effect on the party instantly.

And lastly, the Sovereign has Royal Veil - a powerful passive that heals the party every 3 steps for about 3 hp - even the lowest, nearly dead characters from the end of a fight are at full health by the time I get into most fights thanks to this, and that’s just with one (out of 4) points invested!


#19

I like the Etrian Odyssey games in theory, but in practice I get a kind of analysis paralysis on party composition, where I don’t understand how the interesting classes work, so I default to the most boring possible TANK / HEAL / DPS party, but then feel like I’m not really engaging the game properly, and so have a low level FOMO anxiety the entire time I’m playing.


#20

I totally understand this, but I will say I don’t think (as long as you have 5 different classes and not like, a party of five farmers) it’s possible to not find synergies with any combination of party members. Also, the game likes it if you have dozens of characters and mix and match, though keeping up on equipment might be a grind in that case, it will be useful to try a bunch of low level characters out maybe. Each character starts with 3 skill points and that first level up happens quick.

Lastly, I have an item you get very early in that when equipped by an active party member, gives XP to all your unused characters. I don’t know how this works exactly, like 100% of the XP? but I’m going to roll up a party of five more and have them just sit and soak XP and then swap one or two in and out to play around with different classes/builds. I would think something like this would directly appeal to someone that can’t decide fully. Your first 10 hours of the game could be a whirlwind of just playing with all the classes and learning them a little before moving forward in earnest with the 5 man team you like best.