All of my worry that I missed a small number of skill-level-increasing quests turns out to have been for nothing, as #4 and #5 ended up showing up after #6 for some inexplicable reason. That’s not how numbers work, Omega Quintet. Having said that, the “Misty Plateau” sidequest that was annoying me in the last progress log turned out to be luck-based if you’re not following a guide. Basically, the thing you need to fight is part of a rare mob in a location that hasn’t been named yet (you have no way of knowing which area is the Misty Plateau because the save there isn’t one you can warp to, and that’s the only way of seeing area names that I’ve found), and it doesn’t show up visually on the map like you’d expect. If you don’t randomly stumble across a different enemy on one of the few occasions where the rare enemy is present, you’re not likely to figure this quest out on your own. I ran by or fought this thing at least five times before this point and the rare encounter never appeared. The only reason I know about this bit of game weirdness is that I looked it up online in a fit of frustration, and that officially confirms it: the true ending is designed in such a way that you’re required to follow a guide to get it. Really, for how great the combat is, the quest design here is absolutely abysmal; at one point an enemy required to complete a sidequest didn’t even show up for some random reason until I completed different sidequests despite there being no connection between them. Not okay.
It’d help if enemies properly showed up
While I was still trying to figure out that arbitrary Misty Plateau BS without the aid of the internet, I decided to instead work on the other sidequests, figuring that they’d probably be more straightforward. They were, for the most part, but a large quest-type enemy randomly refused to show up until I completed other sidequests. I even have proof. The screenshot above is of when it finally deigned to show up.
If you compare the minimap location in the image with the spots I walk by 55 seconds in and also around 5:52, it’s clear that it’s simply not present. The exclamation mark on the minimap isn’t even there. Not even 30 seconds in when I check the larger map. These sidequests aren’t related in any way; this one merely decided that it didn’t feel like allowing itself to be completed until some miscellaneous busy work was completed, and that’s the kind of random, unfriendly quest design that’s really starting to undermine my opinion of the game as a whole.
This is where the Misty Plateau is
Since finding the mob for that one quest seems to require either guesswork or luck, the video above shows where to find it. Somehow I managed to stumble on two of these rare mobs in less than 10 minutes, which isn’t reflective of their rarity on my million other treks through this area. I think my biggest relief once I finish this game will be not having to run through Verdant Greenbelt anymore, because it feels like almost all of the quests require finding a needle in one of its many haystacks.
It’s not all bad, though
For all the hate Omega Quintet’s sidequests inspire, the rest of the game is surprisingly solid. It’s easy to run away from unneeded fights and save your SP (which is effectively characters’ mana pool) for bosses. Even if you don’t, returning to the office automatically restores everything to its maximum, and boss fights rarely require going far enough that you’re at risk of using a lot of it up even if you do engage smaller enemies. You can also use Harmonics to chain together normal attacks, which feels slightly faster. And of course, the characters are still too stupid to hate. Nothing is taken seriously, and that’s made it remarkably easy to tolerate them. Now, this could change if the game suddenly pivots into seriousness, but right now I’d say that the story/gameplay range from tolerable to excellent, and the sidequest design is really the only thing spoiling the experience right now.