With the global launch of LINE Games’ UNDECEMBER, both hardcore hack-and-slash ARPG fans and those inexperienced with the genre that want to try a game closer in touch with modern game trends will have an exciting new adventure to enjoy. The game has already been a hit on both PC and mobile devices (even being one of the most popular titles during this year’s Steam Next Fest) allowing almost anyone to experience the dark fantasy world.
However, because of the unique qualities of a lot of the elements present in the game, there are a lot of game mechanics that players may find unfamiliar. While the developers succeeded in making UNDECEMBER an accessible game, and these mechanics can be quickly picked up, having an understanding of the game’s main features and gameplay elements will allow players to have a much better experience as they journey through the world. Inven Global presents the UNDECEMBER cheat sheet — explanations of the game’s main elements, as well as tips and tricks for each of them.
Like most role-playing games, the action in UNDECEMBER begins with creating a character. However, there’s a twist that distinguishes the game from other ARPGs: there is no set class. Instead, the game encourages players to use their imagination, and build a character that’s unique to them and their playstyle. You can create three characters by default, and use the game’s paid currency to open up more slots. Select your appearance, and you’re ready to step into the world of dark fantasy.
How you build out your character is based around three main statistics that you can put points into to level up: Dexterity, Intelligence, and Strength. All of this takes place in something known as the “First Growth Axis”. Each have specific purposes, and their priority depends upon what type of playstyle is suitable for you. If you prefer to play slippery and agile, Dexterity increases your dodge and hit rates. For those that prefer a ranged playstyle or one that uses lots of magic, Intelligence is by far the best option. Finally, for that that want to get their hands dirty in the brawls of melee combat, Strength is a good choice as it allows you to take more hits than otherwise possible.
An important point to note is that UNDECEMBER rewards those that make a conscious effort in how they build out their characters. You can certainly max out one statistic at a time and move on to the next, but it will not be nearly as effective. If you want the strongest character possible, balancing out how you level up will make for a much more well-rounded and powerful character.
It’s also important to note that you should be flexible in how you want to build up your character. Of course, it’s possible to treat your UNDECEMBER character like that in any other RPG — with patience and practice, you can overcome even the most challenging bosses. However, the game is one that rewards adaptation and experimentation, and you’ll find the journey will go a lot smoother if you focus on making sure that your character is built in the ideal way to take on any unique challenges that may arise. The boss battles and later game environments are perhaps the most challenging the game has to offer — going in with a plan is the best course of action to defeat them.
The combat system in UNDECEMBER is one of the game’s shining characteristics. The game does not have autoplay — making each battle unique and exciting. However, there are many considerations you should take to make yourself as effective in combat as possible.
For starters, you want to make sure you have the most unique controls. Playing with all three main types — mouse and keyboard, smartphone touchscreen, and gamepad — the latter is by far the best action. While the other options work great, it feels a lot more natural and offers you arguably more maneuverability than the other options. If you have a gamepad and are experienced with it, it’s highly recommended using it for this game.
The main purpose of combat in the game is to defeat monsters, many of whom will be very challenging. It’s important to use all the information the game provides you for this — you can view all the information on a monster at the top of the screen (Armor, Element Resist, etc.). Taking advantage of this and planning out your fights instead of mindlessly running into combat (which you can still do often and is admittedly a lot of fun) will result in more victories. Before facing tougher enemies such as Rare and Boss monsters, it’s a good idea to check especially on their abilities and make sure your character is suited to facing them.
In line with preparation, it’s also a smart idea to take advantage of tools like the Training Area. Instead of building out your abilities and gear in an ineffective way and jumping into combat blind, the Training Area offers you a safe and smart way to experiment with how your character can potentially fight. Finally, it’s important to make sure that you take advantage of all other tools that could be useful to you. Many times people only want to hack-and-slash through the game, but a far more interesting and effective experience can be had by making good use of spells, potions, as well as other items in battle. By properly planning, training well, and using all tools available to you, you’ll have a far better chance against the game’s most challenging sections.
How can it be a good RPG without some type of gear? The gear system in UNDECEMBER is quite polished — and a good understanding of how to identify gears and how to improve them is important to learn. The game offers three types: accessories, armor, and weapons. Gear’s value depends on its grade, level, and quality (though there are differentiating factors between some options). Some statistic conditions can affect which gear your character will be able to equip, once again showing how important it is to use the Zodiac system in a conscious way.
It’s vital to understand how you can attain good gear. Throughout all the areas that you will go through, random gear can be found on the ground. Some of it will be strong or rare — staying mindful so that you don’t accidentally skip over something good is a great idea. Some of it will be unidentified and will need the use of an Identification Scroll. A lot of it will be generic and weak, though. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore these pieces. Even if it’s the thousandth insignificant piece you’ve come across, it’s always a good idea to pick up these items.
The reason to do so is because of disassembling. You can take these weaker items to the Blacksmith for disassembly, and in return receive crafting materials (Essence) to upgrade your gear with the Enchanting service. From there you can improve your Gear’s Option Count, Option Type, Option Values, Qualities and Grade — all of which will offer you an advantage on the battlefield. With this in mind, it makes sense to earn crafting materials in every way possible. Try to do every quest available, slay as many monsters as possible, and do your best to beat areas one-hundred percent.
Runes are one of the game’s most interesting (and important) elements. Master Runes, and you’ll be close to mastering UNDECEMBER. Essentially, mastery of Runes allows you to change how skills work — turning an okay skill into something lethal. The game has two types: Skill Runes (active skills), and Link Runes (additional effects). Each hexagonal Skill Rune has up to six sides open (blue, green, or red), which Link Runes can then attach to Skill Runes that match in color — allowing you to do things like boost your damage, range, or number of projectiles. The colors go in line with the game’s three main statistics: Green for Dexterity, Blue for Intelligence, and Red for Strength.
Again, Runes are one of the most powerful weapons you have available to you, so ensuring that you have as many as possible is a good idea. Never neglect a quest, and try to take out as many monsters as possible in the areas you traverse through. These will be your main source of Runes, so taking an active approach to both of these game functions will allow you to earn as many as possible.
Additionally, Runes can be leveled up (Normal, Magic, Rare, and Legendary) — something also done through hunting or disassembling other Runes. So in addition to focusing a lot on hunting and quests, being mindful of Runes you’re know longer using, or even not using that often will allow you to build out a much stronger character. It is also a good idea to remember Rune Essence — allowing you to upgrade Rune grades as well as change the characteristics when building them out.
Finally, perhaps the most vital point to keep in mind regarding Runes is the value of experimenting with them. As mentioned earlier, one of the big qualities necessary for success in UNDECEMBER is adaptability. While you may find a certain Rune-connection to work really well during certain portions of the game and get used to it — taking the time to experiment with new combinations is not only fun, but can make for a much stronger game set. Also, try not to experiment with one or two combinations and then immediately decide on it. Taking the time to select something truly special will yield far better results. Finally, cementing yourself in the community and talking with friends about their builds and Rune-combinations will give you some good ideas as a starting point for what works.
The final point that needs to be discussed is thankfully somewhat similar to some of the other game aspects.Properly understanding the Zodiac System is yet another way to have a leg-up over other players, and is thankfully somewhat similar two how Runes work. There are two portions two keep in mind. How it works is that you can earn Trait and Stat Points through leveling up, and use them to build out your character. Stat points are used to boost Dexterity, Intelligence, and Strength, while Trait Points can alter skill effects.
It’s worth emphasizing that it’s important to not be mindless on how you build your character, as it’s worth thinking about how you level your character. Thankfully, UNDECEMBER permits experimentation, and allows you to reset your Zodiac — make sure, though, that you’re earning enough Gold and Stardust of Oblivion to do so. Experimenting with multiple Zodiac sets and finding one suitable to your playstyle can give you a big advantage. You also want to stay up to date with your Zodiac Tree as often as possible. It’s easy to get lost in the game’s combat, but pacing yourself and building out your system whenever possible (all it takes is toggling ‘Z’) will help you maintain a good pace of progression as you explore the game.
Zodiac Traits are a bit more complicated, but can be an extremely valuable tool if understood well. How it works is that there are constellations in the Zodiac system, with each of them representing a group of passive skills — Trait Points enable them. At level ten, you will earn one Train Point per level. You are able to add Trait Points for each starting node (moon, star, and sun). However, in order to make use of other constellations, you have to spend a number of Trait Points in your previous Zodiac Tree. Once again, don’t be afraid to reset to find the most effective allocations possible.
I write. I rap. I run. That’s pretty much it.