Continuing the discussion from the zodiac ache, feel free to throw this post back in that thread if it ever opens up again:
[quote]People struggle with VAGRANT STORY because, even with the in-game mechanical encyclopedia, it’s too easy to overlook how the affinity system works, and how important it is.
Put simply, every time you attack an enemy with a weapon, you are simultaneously playing three different games of Rock-Paper-Scissors, and depending how those games play out, your attack will do trivial amounts of damage. The three games are damage type (blunt, piercing, slashing), damage element (fire, water, light, dark, etc.), and monster type (dragons, humans, elementals, etc.).[/quote]
I would add that these are tiered in terms of their importance to damage-dealt. so damage type is most important, affinity is second, monster type is very much third. weapon affinities can be easily customized using gems and buff spells (which are absolutely necessary), so ultimately you only really need three different weapons at any given time to inflict a non-miniscule amount of damage on any given enemy: one edged, one blunt, one piercing.
it’s tricky because when you open up the menu the first thing you see is monster type, even though that’s the least important stat! it’s also the most obvious gamey conceit so players focus on it the most, then wonder why their +100 beast weapon isn’t doing as much damage as they would like. it’s probably because you’re fighting with an edged weapon when it’s weak to piercing, or whathaveyou.
the first however many hours are populated mostly with enemies weak to edged weapons, and those are also the most available, so when players suddenly hit a wall where they can’t do damage, it’s usually because the game threw an enemy at you that is resistant to your weapon type.