Nintendo has published another big ‘Xenoblade Note’ today which goes into a lot more detail about some of the options you’ll have in combat in Xenoblade Chronicles 3.
It’s a pretty lengthy one, but it hones in on a few parts of the upcoming RPG — such as classes and talent arts — so we’ve got an even better idea of what we can dig into when the game launches on 29th July. You can check out the blog post over on Nintendo’s Japanese website right here, but the details have been translated by the folks over at Perfectly Nintendo — so a big thank you to them!
First off is Arts, a term familiar to fans of the series. Arts are skills that characters can use in battle and do more damage than regular auto-attacks (think Shulk’s “Back Slash” or Rex’s “Sword Bash”). Like in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Arts will be mapped to the B, X, and Y buttons, and once you use one, you have to wait for it to come off of cooldown to use it again.
Depending on the class, each character will have a different move set. Each class can learn five arts, but you can only have three assigned at a time, so you’ll have to adapt depending on what enemies you’re fighting.
We already know the three base classes of Attacker, Defender, and Healer from Nintendo’s post back in April, but these have been broken down even more here:
- Swordfighter – Noah’s starting class, a balanced class that’s effective against bosses and unique monsters.
- Crusher – Sena’s starting class, an extremely powerful but slow class that can crush the enemies’ guard, but they do so much damage that they’re often targeted by foes.
- Zephyr – Mio’s starting class, a speed specialist who evades attacks and reacts with a strong counter. Zephyr classes can also protect nearby allies.
- Heavy Guard – Lanz’s starting class, carried a large shield-like weapon and can easily attract enemies’ attention and provide huge defensive buffs for the party.
- Medic Gunner – Eunie’s starting class, they can put down healing circles on the floor for allies to run into, but too much healing can attract too much enemy aggro.
- Tactician – Taion’s starting class, a support class that can debuff enemies by putting them to sleep and also increase your party’s evasion.
Not only that, depending on where the class originates, the Arts gauge fills up differently. For Swordfighter, Heavy Guard, Medic Gunner (all from Agnus), their gauge fills up over time. While for Zephyr, Crusher, Tactician (the Keves classes), their gauge fills up by auto-attacking.
Going back to Arts specifically, as a Swordfighter, Noah will learn attacks that are more effective depending on where you hit an enemy. “Sword Strike” which will let you inflict the Break status when attacking enemies from their sides, while “Edge Thrust” is more powerful from the enemy’s behind.
For Mio’s Zephyr class, “Butterfly Blade” will make it so that enemies will target her instead of other party members, and you should use it with “Air Fang” which increases attack power when an enemy is targeting you.
Classes also get more powerful Arts called Talent Arts. The Talent Gauge from Xenoblade Chronicles makes a return, which you need to fill up in order to use your Talent Arts. Depending on what class your character is, their Talent Gauge will require a different method to fill up with:
- Attackers will need to attack from the side or behind
- Defenders will increase their gauge by dodging or defending enemy attacks
- Healers boost theirs by supporting, healing, or reviving party members
A Swordfighters talent art is called “Overclock Buster” — which is definitely an RPG attack name — which deals even more damage if the enemy is Dazed. Zephyrs will be able to use “Gemini Strike”, a quick evasion attack that also provides protection to your party.
If you’re worried about being locked into a single class with a character, then there’s no need to be! You’ll be able to change classes throughout the game. But each character can also “master” a class, which will make certain skills available regardless of what class you’re playing. So if you master Swordfighter as Noah, then make him a Zephyr, he’ll have access to a few extra skills from the Attacker class.
You’ll also be able to fuse these Arts together. Mastered Arts can be combined with the Arts of your current class to combine their two effects, creating Fusion Arts, which basically allows you to use two attacks at the same time. Healing and dealing huge damage, you say? We don’t know if that’ll be possible, but imagine the possibilities…
Nintendo also shared some handy battle tips, such as switching between enemies and focusing one down at a time, chaining attacks together into a combo (Xenoblade fans know Break, Topple, Daze, rinse, repeat…), and cancelling attacks — which helps fill up that Chain Attack gauge! And who doesn’t want to use the power of friendship to team up and take enemies down!?
Is it 29th July yet? Will we get through our backlogs and all the other game releases between now and then? We’re not sure… still, let us know how you feel about these details in Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (and tell us how excited you are) in the comments!