World map dungeons and rare weapons - July 28, 2015

Daily posting, on the topic of world map dungeons and rare weapons.

There are a number of dungeons placed on the world map (some of these dungeons within cities) that can be accessed any time, regardless of choices made or past chosen. They have a much higher difficulty than the dungeons associated with main and side quests (with the exception of the optional superdungeon, which has a difficulty level FAR above world map dungeons), and unlike quests, no experience is awarded for simply completing them.

What makes the world map dungeons worth searching out and completing are the rare weapons and money given for completing the boss battle at the end. World map dungeons are the ONLY place to obtain rare weapons in Gachduine, aside from the possibility of any imported characters from Freerange 1 carrying them on their person.

On completion of a world map dungeon, your party receives 6 rare weapons as a reward: 4 are pre-determined and 2 are random (though the random aspect is determined from either the last activation of a Green Lamppost or from clearing a world map dungeon; simply reloading won't change the 2 random weapons). The pre-determined weapons are set up so that completing all world map dungeons ensures you will have at least one of each rare weapon, as well as 2 each of the dual-wieldable ones (to say nothing of the random rare weapons).

What makes rare weapons stand out from their common brethren is that they have 3 slots for Weapon Mods as opposed to 2, and the 3 slots are already filled in: with 2 high-power positive Mods and one high-power negative Mod. While common weapons only have positive Mods, the rare ones come with a negative one with a generally high magnitude and levelling up a rare weapon's Mods will level all 3 up at once, causing the "double-edged sword" aspect of them to become more prevalent. Attack power may drop to unusable levels, Physical or Elemental Defense may bottom out so fast that your character may end up suddenly taking 5x damage, their HP could drop to the point of one-hit KO and their speed could get so low that the character is essentially a prop for the battle.

This begs the question: why use rare weapons if they have such high costs? In most cases, they contain rare abilities that either can't be added through standard Mods, or in some cases, contain powerful abilities that cannot be obtained any other way! Examples of abilities found only through rare weapons include Combo Shotgun (which allows the Shotgun to use and boost the Unarmed Combo Modifier), Rifle Area (which boosts the area of effect on sniper Rifle attacks), Lofty Heights (which causes the Hover Staff to launch the enemy into the air 3x higher than usual) and Miasma (Sulfur Ball attacks inflict Debuff on their targets, which has poison and blind effects).

Regarding the negative aspect of the rare weapons, they can be overcome easily at times depending on team layout. Lowered elemental defense is hardly noticeable if all enemies with Fire or Lightning attacks are removed. Lowered physical defense is no problem if other characters are targeted (a character using Redirect can tank for them).

Low attack is no problem if damage isn't your character's primary concern. For example, a speed-boosting rare Knuckles weapon with low attack has a focus on building up combos with high speed and the player can swap to a stronger Knuckles after they are satisfied with their combo. A low-attack rare exploding Barrel with lower chance of expending Barrels can allow for bigger traps to be set up outside of combat while having more Barrels for later. The player can then switch to a more powerful Barrel weapon when it comes time for actual trap detonation.

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