@Eusis, both your comments were spot on. I do very little grinding in DQ games, just fighting the random encounters is enough to fight boss battles.
I don't understand why so many people complain about DQVIII. It follows the KISS principle, keep things simple, be it story, gameplay. Don't like random encounters? You can almost turn them off buy using a skill or an item. In my opinion, the world map was very well-done, a nice change from the point-and-click we have nowadays.
I love VII and VIII.
One of the best things about DQ is the zoom/warp spells. Makes travelling the world so easy.
If only there were a way to turn off random encounters.
Guess you will love IX then.