I looked up a guide for beginner tips to Xenoblade, as I do with many games, just to get an idea of what I was getting into. One of the things it mentioned was “reconstruct Colony 6”, so I was stoked to go ahead and do that. It sounds great. It sucks. It sucks so hard.
First of all, you are told you can start reconstruction at a story point. I went there, and I saw all the quests and I was like “dope, gonna do that”. I did every. Single. Quest. Didn’t move up at all. Because what the game doesn’t make clear (or maybe it does and I’m a dumbass, but still - some QA testing would be neat), you have to talk to one specific NPC to actually rebuild it. There is no quest like every other quest and sidequest in the game, you just have to know. So I talk to this dude, and he tells me to collect specific stuff and pay some money and he will build it up.
Now if you never played, there are two types of items these require: one is a drop from enemies, the other is a floating orb that you just pick up somewhere in the world. You can tell which of those two it is, but there is no game indication of what enemy might drop it, or what biome the item drop might live in. So I look it up online. I want to do it. The guide said it was important! For the enemy drops, there are some very specific enemies that you may have to complete whole quest lines just to get access to fight a single one, which may or may not drop anything, which could or couldn’t be the drop you need for the item. Worse than that are the world drops, which have random odds for spawns depending where they are, with some at LEVEL 2 OF 5 being as rare as 6 percent. And you may need two or three. Some are only available in sub-biomes, or even during specific times of day.
“But wait, you can just trade for it!” First of all, shut up. Second of all, this is only technically true. You have to raise your affinity for the place that you want to trade, and for the rare ones I was missing usually this was to 3 stars. After doing every single quest that I found, I was still at two stars. Maybe there’s more quests, or maybe some NPC only comes out when it rains on a blood moon. I don’t know. What I do know is that I wasn’t able to trade for any of those, instead forced - FORCED - to wander the plains, avoiding monsters, picking up little blue dots, and praying that I get the one I need.
The best case scenario is if you get a quest that needs one of these items to complete, because then at least it will show up on the map if you have the quest highlighted. You know what would be really nice? If the game decided to use its ‘baby’s first RPG’ mechanics here as well. For reference, any main quest or sub quest gives you a giant exclamation point as well as a dotted path on how to get to any objective. “Can you help me find my lost earring?” Select ‘Find the earring’ on your menu, connect the dots, get 10,000 dollars. You don’t have to read a single description, search a single place, just mash A until you accept, then voila! Quest complete. It sucks the fun out of a lot of the quests because there is absolutely zero thought required. “I need a cabbage from the volcano”, though? No such luck. Its balls on your face stupid. The reward? A one character EXP boost, and oh yeah, you can unlock the highest level of some skills (which you also have to pay for). Be still my beating heart.
I could also complain about a bunch of other stuff (like how you have to focus on the bottom bar the whole fight, how the main character is a rogue but always draws full aggro, how everyone but the main character keeps developing skills long after the main character doesn’t have any left, roaming enemies 50 levels higher than you are, and the stupid theme of “only I can change the future” - no dumbass, we all change the future, all the time.) but Ill leave that for another day. Just had to get that off my chest.
Thank you for coming to my TED talk