Mapping AnotherEden

I'm finally nearing the end of the 1st season main story; I have a boss in the Dimensional Vortex to fight (which I think I should level for), and what appears to be another chapter after that, probably a final dungeon & boss. My party's exhausted, beat down from so many magic-only enemies. Is it too much to want some simple foes Lokido can punch to death?

I played through Lokido's story quests, and… uh, I'm very surprised at a Japanese game handling this subject even remotely well. Lokido's rapidly become my favorite PC for story and smashing heads.

But in the mean time, there's an event! Update, head to Unigan's west gate, and start the quest, and you'll soon get Dierdre as a loaner char; once you finish a short quest she'll be a permanent PC. She's currently a ★★☆☆, but as you complete quest objectives she'll unlock 3-4. And there's a new dungeon with a material giving rewards for how much you collect; I think if you collect the quest, it won't be time-limited, but that's not clear, so I'm going to grind it to completion as fast as I can.

One thing that's been on my mind is the need to map. Early on, every dungeon is linear, super obvious, and generally has 2-4 areas before the boss. Later, there's backtracking, side areas with high-level horrors, switches and chemical triggers… So I'm back to mapping like it's 1984! Well, sort of. Graph paper's unnecessary for this, so I just make line graphs in my notebook, stairs (!, v, ^) are numbered by floor they go to, * is a sparkly, $ is a treasure chest, < is a horror, ? is an area I haven't done yet (spoilers for the Dimensional Vortex):

And I'm starting to make a levelling guide for my own use, just a list of areas with level of monsters & horrors. Then when I have another fresh summon, I can just drag them through slightly-harder areas with a healer to keep them alive, and be up to full level in minimal time.

Pulled a couple more times, got some perfectly nice ★★★★ chars and many junkers, but nothing I really needed, except an upgrade to Ciel. Been grinding Another Dungeon whenever I have time, and got tomes for a bunch of classes I don't have, and 1 book for Rakshasa, so I could have a ★★★★ frog samurai if I wanted… I'll hold off on that. I want to upgrade Riica and Amy (and once I finish the main story, Feinne) first; Aldo and Cyrus do nothing that a non-party char can't do better. There's just a stupid number of these ★★★ junk chars, I wish they were good for something; if they had story quests, or anything. I can level them for chrono stones, that's about it.

I'm still enamored of this game's scenery & music, and good hard crunchy turn-based combat. I can nuke most bosses long before they even hurt me, because I level, gear up, and prepare for their weaknesses and attacks. Filling in the last few items in the store can be a pain, though: Grind an area, get 3/5 of the mats I need for one thing. Go back tomorrow.

Buncha spoilery screenshots: