The Vocation system in Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen lets you build a unique character with fantastic abilities, but it also makes leveling a bit more complicated than it is in most games. Rather than just gaining levels, you increase in overall strength by leveling up and increase your specific Vocation skills by gaining Vocation Ranks. It can be confusing at first, and it’s not completely explained in-game, but once you know how it works, it’s not too tricky.
First, you’ll want to know the different terms the game uses to describe your progress.
- Experience Points (XP) are the simplest. As you defeat enemies and complete quests, you’ll gain XP, just like in most RPGs. Gaining enough XP advances your character to the next level, increasing your stats based on your current Vocation.
- Discipline Points (DCP) increase any time your Experience Points do. You can spend DCP to gain skills, and gaining enough of them increases your Vocation Rank.
- Vocation Rank measures the level of your current Vocation (or class). Each time you advance to a new Vocation Rank, you’re able to purchase new skills for your class.
You rarely need to think about XP. You’ll gain points naturally from everything you do in the game. When you hit the threshold to gain a new level, it’ll happen automatically. The only time you may want to pay attention to how much XP is when you want to level up with a specific Vocation. Each Vocation grants different stats on level up, so if you’re going for a particular build, you can switch Vocations just before leveling up to get specific stats. Fighter and Warrior grant higher attack and health, Strider and Ranger grant balanced stats with more Stamina, and Mage and Sorcerer grant higher Magick Offense and Defense. The three hybrid Vocations give somewhat more mixed stats based on the basic Vocations they’re based on.
You’ll need to pay the most attention to DCP. Every time you gain XP, you also gain a percentage of it in DCP. You get a higher percentage of DCP for small XP gains than large XP gains, so the most efficient way to grind DCP is to fight lots of simpler enemies than to go after tough enemies or quests. You can spend DCP to get new skills or to unlock new Vocations. Whenever you notice that you’ve got a big store of DCP, it’s a good idea to check in at an inn and see if you can acquire any new skills. Remember that your DCP sticks with your character regardless of your Vocation, so you can gain DCP as one Vocation and spend it as another.
Every time you gain a Vocation Rank, a pop-up message on your screen will alert you. That’s the best time to spend your DCP because that means that you’ll have access to new skills. Vocation Rank 9 is the highest you can get, so once you reach that point, you won’t be getting access to any new skills. Keep in mind that Vocations gain Ranks independently so that you can be Rank 9 in one Vocation and only Rank 1 in another.
With that, you’re ready to build your best character in Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen. Don’t be afraid to swap Vocations to find what works best for you.