mark cerqueira well-rounded nerd

Xenoblade Improvements

My journey into Xenoblade Chronicles 2 continues. With the 1.1.1 patch out today fixing one major quality-of-life issue (i.e. pressing the X button opens the map to your current location instead of the top-level menu) it’s the perfect time to talk about some other QoL improvements that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 could benefit from.

  • Auto-saving - It’s a terrible feeling to lose any amount of progress in a game and I’ve run into more than one crash while playing this game. Bugs can be fixed, but auto-saving is great at mitigating the damage. This game needs auto-saving. The game already auto-saves when you bond with core crystals; the game should also auto-save when you fast travel between locations given how often one does that.

Manually and Tediously Activated!

  • Resolving Field Skills automatically - There are various things in the world of Xenoblade that require field skills: locked doors and chests to open, ice bridges to create, chests to dig up, ancient murals to decipher. Every Blade has Field Skills and each skill has a level. To best a challenge you need the right Field Skills at a high enough level. But to leverage a Blade’s Field Skills they need to be equipped. So anytime you face a challenge you need to manually go through all your Blades and engage ones to get the Field Skill levels high enough to beat the challenge. It’s tedious and annoying because once you set up the Blades to beat the challenge (if you can) you then likely need to go back to engage the Blades you had previously engaged. This can and should be done automatically; it’s not trivial to find a working combination but a brute-force algorithm could still do it much faster than humans. And the best part is it would not require changing your Blades at all!

Here we go again...

  • Faster Blade bonding - Bonding with a blade is time-consuming: pick a core crystal, pick boosters, confirm, wait for the Driver to pull the core crystal into their chest, watch 3 flashes of potential Blades you get, and then the Blade intro sequence starts which you can skip. You normally will sit through this sequence over and over again until you get the Blade you want. It’d be great to skip all this and be able to say “I want to bond up to X Core Crystals until I get a Healer type or a Rare Blade.”

Time to go through all my Blades again...

  • Smarter Merc Mission deployment - When deploying Blades on Merc Missions there are requirements like 2 Females, 1 Earth Mastery, 1 Bitball. Once again, it’d be nice to just let some algorithm do this and it’d be nice for it to prioritize Blades who don’t have completed Affinity Charts since Merc Missions are great ways to fill these out.

Please give us another way!

  • An alternative to Tiger! Tiger! - Tiger! Tiger! is a mini-game that you are required to play if you want to power up the Poppi Blades. I don’t find the mini-game very fun so I haven’t invested time in it. Because of that, my Poppi Blades aren’t very strong so I don’t use Tora much. If you can stand investing time in Tiger! Tiger! you can make Poppi super OP but I just can’t play Tiger! Tiger! over and over again. I’d love for an alternate way to acquire Ether Crystals.

  • Save Blade, Aux Core, accessory build-outs - Different situations call for different Blades with different Aux Cores and different accessories equipped on your characters. For example, when bonding with Core Crystals, you’ll have everything set up to max out Luck. It’d be awesome to save build-outs so it’s easier to swap between them instead of having to reconstruct everything every time.

These are a few things that would really make Xenoblade Chronicles 2 feel like less of a chore at times. Don’t get me wrong: these are not dealbreakers but they certainly are making an otherwise amazing game really annoying at times. I’m hopeful some of these may be addressed by Monolith Soft!