Nintendo of Japan is doing a solid job sharing tons of detail for Monolith Soft's upcoming Xenoblade Chronicles 3, and we're lapping up every little bit of detail, especially when it comes to combat.
The Xenoblade series is known for having a plethora of systems to dive into, and with each entry, there's only been more and more layered on top. So Nintendo has given us a little look at the basics of battle. This gives us a few new details, and expands on the information the company shared with us last week, though a lot of the information will be familiar to Xenoblade veterans.
First up on the blog update — which has been helpfully translated by RPG Site — is the mention of Blades. Xenoblade fans will remember the Blade system from Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and Nintendo actually tweeted about this late last week.
Soldiers of Keves and Agnus can materialise the weapons they use in battle, known as Blades, at will. Each soldier’s Blade is a reflection of them, so they might take different forms such as swords, guns, shields, or spears!
We're sure this is getting some fans' brains ticking — some people are already drawing comparisons between the Blades materialising out of fire and Pyra from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 — but it'll be interesting to see how the Blade system ties into the game's Class system.
Speaking of classes, similarly to its predecessor, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 brings back the roles of Attacker, Defender, and Healer. These do pretty much what you expect them to, but we'll go into more detail below this cute little diagram, which shows what is likely the assumed starting role for each character. Noah and Sena are attackers, Mio and Lanz are defenders, and Eunie and Taion are healers.
The Attacker role is obviously best for dealing heavy damage, both from the side and the rear — it's always been valuable to take advantage of this in Xenobalde's combat, so it's no surprise this is returning here. The most important role for an Attacker is to ensure they deal a lot of damage while avoiding enemy attacks, which is where the next role comes in handy.
Defenders — think Reyn and Dunban from Xenoblade Chronicles — are good at guarding and evading. Their job is to attract enemy aggro and take the brunt of the damage, or evade enemy attacks, so they're built to last in battle. As a result, a lot of their skills focus on stunning enemies and attracting their attention.
Of course, there's always the Healer role, who works on supporting the party with healing spells and buffs. Healing can draw enemy aggro, so they should stay on the outskirts of battle, as they're much squishier than other roles.
Nintendo also dived into some other familiar systems present in previous Xenoblade games, but these are good reminders for fans and nice little primers for newcomers.
First is the target line, which indicates who the enemy is targeting. If the line is red, that means it's targeting an Attacker or a Healer, but if it's focusing on a Defender, the line will be blue. This is what you want.
A few Healer skills only heal within a limited radius, one of these being Eunie's Healing Circle. If used, Eunie will place a circle on the floor which gradually heals the health of any allies who are standing within it. In Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Healers are also the only role who can revive fallen party members, so you might want to have two Healers in your party just in case one falls.
We're back to these adorable diagrams now to talk about what Nintendo is calling "flexible formation". Really, this is just advice to make sure that your Defender is in front of the enemy, and your Healer is close to the party — but not too close to take aggro or damage — to allow the Attacker to make the most of their best damage skills and damage bonuses.
One extremely cool new feature is the ability to sheath weapons during combat. Having your weapon out makes your character run slower, so to move a bit faster, you can temporarily (and magically, by the looks of the below clip) sheath your weapon to carry out a "quick move", which looks like a little dash.
The last little tip Nintendo shared was something we touched on yesterday — the ability to swap between characters at the touch of a button. This lovely quality of life feature is almost immediate, so you can chop at change as you see fit.
Phew! That's a lot of information. Thank you to RPG Site for translating the information. It looks like Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is building upon the foundations of the three previous games while adding small things like quick character swapping and faster combat movement options. And this is only the start! We haven't seen much of the Class system or what the Ouroboros will entail, but even these familiar little insights are enough to get us excited.
You can check out more clips over on Nintendo of Japan's recent blog update down below. Otherwise, let us know what you think of what you've seen of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 in the usual place!