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When starting a RPG, do you buy weapons or armor first?

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Depends.

Spellcasters get armor first given they're generally fragile- unless their weapons actually increase their spell damage significantly. But for physical units, yeah weapons take priority. Of course if the weapon upgrade boost is slight and the armor upgrade boost is larger, I'll save my money and only buy the armor (and vice versa).

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It depends. If I can afford everything, I'll try to equip my character with the best of both. If not, I tend to prioritize weapons/spells to quickly defeat enemies before too much damage is done to my party. If that doesn't work, I momentarily stop buying weapons for that moment and switch up to getting some better armor.

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If it's a turn-based RPG, upgrading weapons or armor is usually a math problem. If it's an action-RPG, I tend to prioritize weapons because who needs defense when you can avoid attacks?

My favorite part of Kingdom Hearts is at the beginning, when you choose a sword, staff, or shield to raise one stat and lower another.

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From all RPGs I can recall playing, I prioritize weapons first. I mean, killing enemies faster and getting attacked from them less as a result is a tactic that holds true in most RPGs. That, and back when I did try out upgrading armor first, I realized I still took significant damage overall due to enemies still attacking just as often and taking the same amount of time to defeat, while better weapons defeated enemies faster to the point that they'd attack less times before being defeated (and my characters would take a lot less damage as a result).

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I'm leaning toward armor more and more. This is probably due to playing games where spells/techs make up the bulk of damage recently. Even in  games where I buy weapons before armor, I still don't buy them first; that honor goes to consumable healing items so that I do not have to leave dungeons half finished and can play the game faster. 

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I'd say it largely depends on several factors - the game in question, how much of an improvement the new stuff is over your current gear, among others.

Edited by Levant Mir Celestia

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That depends. Are we playing Tales of the Abyss? Because in that case, you better pick one or the other, 'cause you sure ain't getting both at during one shop.

Generally speaking, though, I tend to go for the better armor, since you'll be running into multiple battles while exploring a dungeon on the way to the boss, and taking less damage from stuff is always good when mana or special power or what have you is limited when healing, and healing items are rare and cost money. And by the time you get decently far into the game, enemies tend to deal respectable damage or use irritating magical attacks which prolong battles. Survivability is key.

Fancy new weapons to kill stuff is good, but the tougher things and bosses tend to have tons of health in the first place, and you've gotta tough out multiple rounds with them. And you sure as hell can't deal damage when you're dead.

Edited by Extrasolar

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HIGHLY depends on the game, like say if you were playing Phantasy Star 2, you need to get Nei two bars asap. 

Or if you were playing old school SMT, you don't need a super good weapon right off the bat since you'll mostly be talking to demons, so tanking (good armor or a good dex stat) them is a good idea.

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Depends on the genre and class.
As for action RPGs I prefer weapons first because it's still on your own to evade.
As for round based RPGs I don't have a real preference. Buying both types at the same time.
Also spellcasters with lowish defense need equipment more than physical units.

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Weapons, because you don't need better armor if you're breezing past the enemies.  Also due to there usually being more armor types, it's easier to find armor as you're playing through the game than it is to find weapons.

Edited by Refa

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I buy anything that enhances my magical capabilities. I always go for the wizard, warlock, sorcerer, mage etc. I don't need armor if I can melt enemies' faces before they even reach me, mwhaha.

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Armor, generally. In turn-based RPGs it's a priority, especially since a lot of modern JRPGs focus on skill and magic damage rather than the attack command and thus weapon purchasing can be put off until later. Action RPGs are a different beast entirely, if they even have armor to begin with; generally it depends on how combat works, and how reliant on dodging the battle system is.

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It depends on the battle system. If it is a battle system that I can avoid attacks, such as Dark Souls, Mario and Luigi, or Final Fantasy XV, I tend to say "screw it" to defense and get a better weapon/higher offense stat. If I don't get hit, I won't need to worry about defense. If it is something like older Final Fantasy games, or games that I can't avoid getting hit, then I buy armor.

 

For example, today I am playing through Persona 4 blind and the first thing I bought was better armor.

 

Honestly, in terms of buying weapons (in quite a few games actually), I tend to find/loot weapons of greater or equal value fairly soon after buying a new weapon. So that tends to discourage me from buying things.

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I would say it would depend mostly on your character's stats. If your character has difficulty surviving, buy armor. If your character has a hard time dealing damage and can survive for a period of time, buy weapons.

 

If your character can't deal damage nor survive for a period of time, you're screwed.

 

What rpg are you playing?

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Usually weapons, unless it's like D&D or something, when Armor Items often have a secondary effect.

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In most cases, weapons. The faster you kill things, the easier it is to gain experience and loot. If there is any armor to pick up, it's usually ones that directly boost your damage output (ie. armor having damage and/or accuracy bonuses).

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The correct answer obviously varies by game, but it's usually weapons.

Weapons have a meaningful impact on offence in almost all games. Armour, however, is a crapshoot. Sometimes it's important. Other times... well, let's pick a famous example and use FF7: upgrading your armour will only reduce damage by about 1-2% per upgrade because damage is multiplied by (512-Def), so increasing your def from 10 to 20 is a joke. (And armour MDef is glitched entirely in that game and does nothing...)

Obviously this only applies to characters who use their weapon a meaningful percentage of the time; if you're mostly spamming magic then weapons are only meaningful if they boost your magic in some way (or have other properties).

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Well...  I usually don't think about prioritizing one over the other.

I guess normally I get weapons first if withstanding enemy attacks isn't the biggest concern I have.

The main exception would probably have to be the Megami Tensei series, especially in the first game where Nakajima and Yumiko start off very weak and have hardly any means of healing.

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