A lot of the One Piece games out there focus on a specific element of Monkey D. Luffy’s personality and skill set. Namely, that he a great fighter taking on hordes of enemies, thanks to the abilities afforded him by the Gum-Gum Fruit. We’ve seen him stand toe-to-toe against intimidating foes in fighting games and Musou sorts of titles. But with One Piece: World Seeker, we get to explore more of what Luffy is capable of. We get to see him employ all of the fighting moves we know he knows, but also get to see how a pirate like him would explore a space entirely new to him and take advantage of other abilities to survive in a new environment.
After you get through the initial tutorial missions, which essentially have Luffy meeting Jeanne, reuniting with Chopper and Nami, then rescuing Franky, One Piece: World Seeker gives you a bit of freedom. You need to find the rest of the Straw Hat Pirates initially, which involves finding Jeanne in different areas of the world, like stopping by the Graveyard to see her and find Brook or getting to the Prison Tower to find Robin and Zoro. While there is a fast travel mechanic that unlocks after you get to Steel City and find Nami for the first time, there is a lot of reaching fast travel points first or getting to specific places to accomplish goals. This means getting skills that help Luffy get around is a must. Fortunately, the game shows how he has learned to use his Gum-Gum skills to get around.
One of these skills is innate. Luffy almost immediately knows how to rappel around the world by gripping onto ledges within his reach. (This unlocks during the introductory tutorials.) But, some of the first skills people should consider investing in with Skill Points are abilities like Gum-Gum UFO, which allows him to glide for a bit if you tap X repeatedly, and Gum-Gum Rocket, which lets you hold the trigger to fling yourself when you grab onto a ledge to propel him through the air and have him glide for a bit like a flying squirrel. Both of these have one upgrade available, to increase their duration.
While those exploration skills are important, there are really only a few others in One Piece: World Seeker that you have to learn. All three are necessary for fighting. Lunge is great for fighting, since you can press the left trigger to stretch toward an enemy to get closer quickly for an attack. (It can be upgraded.) Getting Low and High Takedown are also critical, as they let you use the sneaking Takedown attack that immediately and stealthily defeat an enemy in one hit while hanging on ledges. Though, you could also consider Prolonged Barrel Duration, if you plan to hide in barrels to sneak around and use a lot of stealth. (Barrels are everywhere in stealth sections and enemies aren’t too intimidating though, so you can get by without this.) The other exploration skills have to do with increasing the speed of opening chests or gathering rates, but the former isn’t an issue if you just clear areas of enemies and items tend to be pretty plentiful as-is.
For actual combat skills, it all depends on which sort of approach you like to use in a fight. In the Parameters section, you should get Conqueror’s Haki, which lets you press the left trigger and X to use a massive attack that is fantastic for boss fights. Grabbing Gum-Gum Eagle Storm and Gum-Gum Elephant Gatling Gun from the Battle section are also very good ideas, again because it means you have really effective and strong specials for Luffy on hand. (Getting improved versions is up to you, once you see which you prefer most. All three of these do have upgrades.)
The actual Haki skills and attacks are best to level up once you have spent some time with One Piece: World Seeker and see which one you prefer. Observation is a good all-purpose Haki that should be someone’s default. It is generally best for one-on-one matches, since it offers dodges and Takedowns right away, while Armament is better suited for areas with a lot of enemies or boss fights, due to its emphasis on crowd control. I would rather avoid being hit than worry about big hits, so I spent more SP on the Observation Haki portion of the skill tree. In that section, getting Gum-Gum Gatling for its punching and combo power, Consecutive Takedowns for catching multiple enemies off guard at once and taking them down, Perfect Dodge for dodging and counterattacking, and Observation Haki: Focus to slow down time.
This isn’t to say Armament Haki isn’t also totally viable. If you want to make this stance more practical for general use, you need to get Armament Takedown. You can’t perform a Takedown in that stance without it. Getting the attack boost is smart too, as is Perfect Guard for guarding and counterattacking, and Multi Shot, for ranged attacks when using Perception to hit multiple enemies from a distance. Even though Gum-Gum Bazooka, that Haki’s special move with square that is a strong attack, might seem like a given and is super cheap at only 100 SP, I didn’t get as much use out of it, due to the need to charge it. You might want to see if the regular Armament Haki attacks are enough for you before grabbing it.
Luffy can do a lot in One Piece: World Seeker, and everything in his repertoire is there to help make exploring Prison Island easier. There are some great skills for getting around, making things much quicker for when you need to get somewhere for the first time or head to a place to complete a quest. He also has skills to encourage avoidance or stealth and lots of abilities that make him a more well-rounded attacker. It’s encouraging to see an open approach in an open-world game.
One Piece: World Seeker is available for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.