Vopar Time Attack

you_aint_seen_us_alright

It sure has been a while since we got a new Time Attack quest. With the changes to Time Attack Client Orders ensuring that new ones won’t go and destroy the economy, I hope that there’ll be more down the line. That said, how is it?

All these Hydras are giving me Guild Wars flashbacks...

All these Hydras are giving me Guild Wars flashbacks…

Area one is a straight-up kill-fest. There’s a slight mechanic with having to go around the outer islands to clear out smaller waves of mobs in a couple of laps, ending on 2 mini-boss encounters and then a boss. Beyond that is just a room with more buttons than I think I’ve ever seen in a Phantasy Star game, with various buttons either gating spawns or gated by spawns. It’s a relatively chunky quest in terms of mob density but geographically I think it’s by far the smallest Time Attack yet. In terms of how long it takes to complete? It’s a little early to judge, as we’ve had months and for some years to practice them. Give it some time for people to get used to the run.

It’s a quest that’s more in the vein of Naberius 2 and Sanctum, as opposed to the more puzzle-like nature of Naberius 1 and Lilipa. The quest will appeal to players who want a more traditional-style dungeon run. It’s not bad, I just kind of wish we could see a return to the more puzzle-like style of Time Attacks for at least a couple of any future ones. As far as I can tell, there are no short-cuts but it’s early days, they may just not have been found yet. There is a chain killing shortcut at the start, akin to one present in Naberius 2, however.

Enemy Counts

Time Attack Quests are good for certain Client Orders, as they offer fixed spawns of enemies that may be annoying to find in the wild. This information may be helpful if any suitable Daily Orders or Team Orders come up.

Vid Gilos 

  • Amount: 4
  • Where and when: In the very first room! Spawns after the Aculpus are defeated.

Decol Malluda

  • Amount: 1
  • Where and when: After clearing the outer islands to a certain point, one will spawn on an outer island.

Wolgahda

  • Amount: 1
  • Where and when: After clearing the outer islands to a certain point, one will spawn on an outer island.

Zeshrayda

  • Amount: 1
  • Where and when: After defeating both Decol Malluda and Wolgahda, one of these will spawn in the first room.
The orientation you encounter the switches in, Closest summons mobs. Left and right each summon an Org Blan. Furthest summons Biol Meduna.

The orientation you encounter the switches in, Closest summons mobs. Left and right each summon an Org Blan. Furthest summons Biol Meduna.

Org Blan

  • Amount: 2
  • Where and when: They’re each tied to their own giant button at the end of the quest.

Biol Meduna

  • Amount: 1
  • Where and when: Spawns after pressing one of the giant buttons at the end of the quest.

Others, but not including all types of monsters.

  • Gul Solda: 7 total. 2 in area one, 5 in area two.
  • Deue Solda: 7 total. 2 in area one, 5 in area two.
  • Blundarl: 3 total. 1 in area one, 2 in area two.
  • Strahda: 6 total. 4 in area one, 2 in area two.
  • Tyraluda: 2 in area two.
  • Doluahda: 5 in area two.
  • Dicahda: 4 in area one.
  • Predicahda: 1 in area one.
  • Coast Oceanids: 36. All Oceanids in area one count.
  • Seabed Oceanids: 36. All Oceanids in area two count.
Applicable Client Orders

Here I’ll list which Client Orders can be completed in a single run, as well as anything else of note. I’ll only list Client Orders which are available at all times.

Hans

  • 暴威をまとう海の王 / Tyrants of the Sea: Defeat 2 Lv50+ Org Blan. Reset: 22 hours. EXP: 13,000
  • 甲殻を持つ三つ首 / Three-Headed Shells: Defeat  3 lv60+ Vid Gilos. Reset: 22 hours. EXP: 13,500
  • 強鋏の海獣 / Marine Pincers: Defeat a Lv60+ Biol Meduna. Client: Hans. Reset: 22 hours. EXP: 14,500
  • 火弾を放つ黒甲 / Black Shells and Fire: Defeat a Lv60+ Zeshrayda. Reset: 22 hours. EXP: 14,000

Ravelle

  • ブラッディ・スカフォード・Ⅲ / Bloody Scaffolds III. Defeat 1 lv47+ Wolgahda and 1 Zeshrayda. Reset: 22 hours. Exp: 20,000
  • イレイザー・レポート・Ⅳ/ Eraser Report IV: Defeat 1 lv50+ Luda Sorceror. Reset: 22 hours. Exp: 9,000
  • ファナティック・キリング・Ⅲ/ Fanatic Killing III: Defeat 1 Lv60+ Decol Malluda. Reset: 22 hours. Exp: 12,000

Rubert

  • ヴィド・ギロスの部位破壊を! / Destroy the Vid Gilos parts!: Defeat a lv50+ Vid Gilos after breaking the middle head. Reset: 22 hours. EXP: 11,000
  • グル・ソルダの弱点は!? / Gul Solda’s Weakness!?: Defeat a lv60+ Gul Solda via its weakpoint. Reset: 22 hours. EXP: 11,000
  • デコル・マリューダの弱点は!? / Decol Malluda’s Weakness!?: Defeat a Decol Malluda via its weakpoint on its head. Reset: 22 hours. EXP: 13,000
  • ビオル・メデューナの部位破壊を!/ Destroy the Biol Meduna’s parts!: Defeat a Lv60+ Biol Meduna after breaking the tail. Reset: 22 hours. EXP: 13,000

Sadly I feel the various Darkers throughout the run aren’t numerous enough to support Ravelle’s Client Orders. All three of Hans’ area-based Oceanid Client Orders can be over half-done, so you may want to consider taking them and then finish them off elsewhere.

Of course there’s a TACO for it. Like the others, it’s on a 166 hour reset timer (so weekly). Unlike the others, there’s only one and it counts for any difficulty of the quest. It awards 160,000 Meseta and 10,000 exp, so not bad. If you play your cards right and complete all the above orders in one run you’ll net yourself 144,000 EXP before the TACO.

Franka

As her orders require items from enemies that may or may not drop, these are more suggestions. I feel like there’s not much point counting area two’s monsters given that I don’t think its especially practical to fight your way to the 2nd area if youre going to farm for things for Franka.

  • ヴィド・ギロスの肉の調達 / Supplying Vid Gilos Meat: Get 5 items from Lv60+ Vid Gilos. Reset: 166 hours, EXP: 12,500
  • セヴァニアンの肉の調達 / Supplying Sevanian Meat: Get 15 items from lv60+ Sevanians, Reset: 166 hours. EXP: 11,500
  • タグ・セヴァニアンの肉の調達 / Supplying Tag Sevanian Meat: Get 10 items from Lv60+ Tag Sevanians. Reset: 166 hours. EXP: 11,500
  • タグ・アクルプスの肉の調達 / Supplying Tag Aculpus Meat: Get 10 items from Lv60+ Tag Aculpus. Reset: 166 hours. EXP: 11,500
  • 活発なアクルプスの肉の調達 / Supplying Healthy Aculpus Meat: Get 25 items from Lv60+ Aculpus. Reset: 166 hours. EXP: 11,000
  • アクルプスの背びれの調達 / Supplying Aculpus Dorsal Fins: Get 5 items from lv50+ Aculpus. Reset: 166 hours. EXP: 8,200.
  • セグレズンのもも肉の調達 / Supplying Seglez’n Thigh Meat: Get 10 items from lv50+ Seglez’n. Reset: 166 hours., EXP: 7,000

That’s all I can pick out for now. If there are any Client Orders that I’ve forgotten about, particularly any that can be one in one run of it (preferably lv40+ enemies) let me know.

Ultimate Naberius

woodead

It was data-mined a while ago that Ultimate would be arriving in some form and last night’s reveal sure did confirm it and then some. As was guessed, the field is altered from its original incarnation and the natives are very different as well, at least visually.

You can see it in motion in the 2nd half of the teaser embedded below. The first half concerns content I’ll chat a bit about in another post.

As is usual with post-stream content, expect compression artifacts in imagery. If Sega releases an HD version of the trailer or some outright screenshots I’ll replace these as appropriate.

ultimate_orange

Ultimate Naberius Forest. Shares the sunset hue with Forest Ultimate from PSO.

The slightly worrying thing about this reveal is that it’s apparently a quest type as opposed to an additional difficulty. Both Extreme Quests and Advanced Quests have limitations on them. These limitations are not without reason, but they’re limitations all the same. Essentially the worry is they could place some annoying restriction on the quest type that may mire the experience somewhat.

Regarding the experience, what is there to expect from the quests with regard to that? Well it seems to ditch the old 3 areas per planet approach present in the rest of the game, dragging monsters from other fields into the fray. Heck, it technically drags monsters from other planets entirely. The monsters themselves, while being visually distinct as mentioned, may also have new behaviors not seen elsewhere. At least I’d hope they do, or else it would be like playing any other quest in the game.

That’s really all there is to say about this for now. The sum total of what is known about Ultimate is that it is a quest type and how some of it looks. That’s it! .The data didn’t tell us a huge amount more, other than there are rare versions of some of the monsters here. The old list is as follows:

UltNativeBeast, UltNativeBeastThrower, UltWolfA, UltWolfB, UltWolfARare, UltWolfBRare, UltYetiA, UltYetiB, UltMammothA, UltMammothB

Now, clearly there’s no where in this list a Meduna or Vol Dragon reskin can fit, so hey there were some genuine surprises! Unfortunately if there’s any more information it hasn’t arrived to us yet as the file these names are present in has so far not been included in the pre-patch. For that matter, the executable isn’t in our hands yet either!

Ultimate Quests are set to arrive some time in the winter.

Bouncer: My Fears.

bounce_for_me

Some details about Bouncer’s skills have been revealed. By some I really do mean a select few details, which you can read about on Bumped here. As we don’t know all that much this post will just be my speculative worries about what could go wrong with the class.

Craft Mastery

Description: Boosts the power of crafted weapons.

Given that all classes can use crafted weaponry this seems like an unusual skill to give to a single class. Perhaps the designers consider it a method to make crafted weapons better if you were to take Bouncer as a sub-class? While that may be true, there are some potential issues with this I feel.

First, we don’t really have any idea what they mean by “boosted power”. If it’s just attack power then it remains potentially useless as crafted weaponry has some immense damage variance. I won’t go into detail if you don’t know much about it, but suffice to say it means the damage output of crafted weapons is remarkably unreliable. This could be circumvented if you could get your critical hit rate high enough though, which may make another Bouncer skill by the name of “Critical Field” quite relevant. Critical hits in PSO2 don’t work like they do in most other RPGs/MMOs, as instead of granting a damage bonus on hit they just do the maximum damage your current attack power can do with a given attack, effectively cancelling variance.

Of course, the possibility remains that the skill may do something about this variance, which then threatens the game in an entirely different way. If it’s too good, it makes higher rank weapons pointless. If this is combined with any boost to attack this skill could do, it could make Bouncer a mandatory subclass for all classes. Not a fun outcome, but due to how 10* and 11* equipment rely on players spending money on the game (in order to buy them from other players) this kind of outcome seems vanishingly unlikely.

Break Stance

Description: Boosts damage dealt to breakable parts on enemies.

Really just two questions about this stance: How much is the damage boost? Does the boost persist after you have broken the part?

To me, it seems unlikely that the answer to the 2nd question will be “yes” due to how the game works. A breakable part on a boss is a different hit-box entirely. That is to say. Quartz Dragon’s crystal nose is not the same as its exposed squishy nose. That said, something like Vol Dragon’s face may or may not be considered “breakable” given how its hit-box will also disappear once you pass a certain damage threshold. It depends on how the game internally defines what is breakable and what isn’t, as of course the skill will use that data to determine if the damage boost applies. If it’s more flexible in this definition than I expect, then Break Stance could be extremely effective at killing bosses.

Well, it could be anyway. This rather depends on the answer to the first question, to which the answer is “we don’t know”. The damage bonus could be so much that it out-does Weak Stance as a boss killer or it could be so bad it isn’t worth bothering with. If it is bad and only applies to what we understand as breakable parts then the stance would be almost utterly worthless. The worst case scenario for me is if it were something like +50% damage and it was liberal about what it defines as breakable…

Elemental Stance

Description: Boosts the damage dealt to an enemy if you use a weapon with an element that they are weak to.

Essentially this is Element Weak Hit, the stance. If you’re using a fire weapon on enemies weak to fire, you’ll boost your damage. This stance seriously worries me, as I feel it has the potential to do the most damage to the game out of all of Bouncer’s skills.

If this boost is too weak, or around the 20% range, then it clashes with Element Weak Hit too much. Element Weak Hit is a passive skill, making it essentially a free stance. This would suck for Bouncer but it wouldn’t threaten the game.

It being too strong sounds like an obvious thing to worry about, but I’m going to tell you why I think that this could threaten the game more than even Fury Stance. See, if it greatly boosts your damage if you use the correct element, then it also boosts the effectiveness of weapons which also have a latent ability that does the same. One such latent ability is “Ancient Oath”, which boosts the damage dealt by 14% for striking an enemy’s elemental weakness. As it happens, there aren’t many weapons that have this latent but this could change going into the future. The issue this creates is the new top-end could be to take Elemental Stance and equip a rainbow selection of the highest available weapon with Ancient Oath in your given class. Essentially it tuns the game into Phantasy Star Universe. I don’t know about you, but I find the idea of having to find at least 4 copies of the same difficult to obtain weapon, +40 each of them and affix them all accordingly to be a bit of an obnoxious task to undertake. Unless of course you have bottomless pockets of Meseta which is related to my final point in this paragraph. The essential reason why I worry that this skill could make the game worse is it could make the gap between best and decently geared players even more severe than it is. For a lot of players, the top end already feels unattainable due to the layers of random numbers involved. To have that multiplied by several times just seems unreasonable to me. It’s difficult enough, I argue.

This stance may have strong synergy with Force’s skill. “Element Conversion”. If it’s too powerful, this may make Bouncer a mandatory subclass for Force, returning us to a time where Fire and Lightning techs rule the Teching side of the game. OK, ice techs may have a place too if the re-balance adjusts them accordingly.

Again though, this is speculation based on my own fears about how things could go wrong.  It may just be a minor power boost over using a non-elemental power boosting stance (with an Ancient Oath weapon), in which case people are still having to get a rainbow selection of weapons but now they’re spending hundreds of millions of Meseta on something marginally better instead of significantly. The gap between best and decent wouldn’t be changed much.

Deband PP Restorate

Description: Boosts PP regenerated per attack while Deband is active.

The damage this skill could do to the game seems limited on its own, it really depends on how much the bonus is and how strong the above skills are. This skill could make the above worse by allowing people to use Photon Arts more frequently on top of the bonuses the other skills may grant.

Closing Thoughts

While the balance changes announced during the last broadcast are for the most part interesting and do sound like they could go a fair way towards balancing things, I worry that they may not be balancing Bouncer along with them. I just hope they are carefully considering the power of the skills involved, not just so we don’t end up with new overpowered builds but also so that Bouncer actually can compete with the other classes.

Reining in Everybody’s Sugar Daddy

gimme_some_suger_baybey

They said they were gonna do it for a while and now Sega has set a date for it. From the 27th of August, all Time Attack Client Orders will have a 166 hour cooldown applied to them, effectively turning them into weekly quests. But fear not, because the amount paid per quest will be increased.

To go along with this, Meseta payouts from some Daily Orders will be increased as well as the addition of some new Client Orders (unelated to Time Attacks). This is presumably to ensure that players can still earn roughly the same amount of Meseta that they were able to before.

Thoughts

Overall, I feel this is going to be a good change. Much of my gameplay of late had simply become “log in for TACOs, get XQ pass, log out”. If they can pull this off correctly by making more of the game more rewarding then the end result is I am encouraged to play more of the game. I feel like this will be a good thing for the most part, however there are ways this could all go wrong.

TACOs are a high payout for a small time investment, making them suitable for players with limited amounts of time to play. If the new way to earn Meseta is too time consuming then those players may be at a disadvantage. Heck, even those with all the time in the world may find the new means to earn their income too much effort depending on how it’s executed. Some of the Daily Quests take a very long time to complete, though you can at least spread those out over multiple days as keeping a Daily Order won’t cut into the number you\re allowed to take per day. Of course, the lengthier Daily Orders may not be among the ones having their Meseta payouts boosted.

Another potential downside is, while TACOs could be solo’d easily by players with mediocre gear and skill, a lot of players preferred to run them in groups to speed them up. As they are set to become weekly quests, I feel like there will be less opportunity for those who like to group up with random players. Fewer interactions between players is kind of a sad thing in a chiefly multi-player game  This doesn’t bother me personally because I can’t stand pick-up groups in this game anyway.

This may or may not make running TACOs on Hard and Normal more worthwhile, it depends on their payout and how much you can tolerate running the same quest that many times! While you could technically do that with TACOs as they are, I don’t think there are many people who could stomach running the same set of quests 3 times per day on each character. While they’re daily, I know I myself can only really stand to run a couple of the quests on a single difficulty on a single character each day at the most.

Of course, potentially moving the main source of Meseta away from daily Time Attack Quests also opens up room to add new quests. While I’m sure laziness was the main thing preventing us from getting more of these quests, the fact that the economy could have been negatively affected by adding them may not have helped.

In any case, I am happy that I will only really need to run Time Attacks once a week to keep on top of my Meseta.

State of the Servers

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Figured I’d hold back on making such a post til it was perhaps a little clearer what exactly is going on. It’s still about as clear as mud and nothing is definite here, but I will share some thoughts now.

To recap, on June 19th pso2.jp, the game’s and PSO-World’s servers were taken down or rendered inoperable by a DDoS attack. Who did it? Who cares. The attacks ended and Sega implemented some countermeasures, bringing the servers back online. However, most foreign players were still unable to connect. As of making this post, people outside of Japan still can’t connect for the most part.

A word of warning to anyone thinking of using a VPN to connect: Rumours are flying about that this could result in an actual account ban. Bans are error messages in the 800 range, anything else is for the most part connection issues. Using a VPN is a risky endeavor and I would advise against it, myself.

WE GOT IP BLOCKED!!

It’s funny how many people lept to this conclusion. Suffice to say, this conclusion is still wrong.

  • First, an IP block is entirely ineffective against a DDoS. But Sega doesn’t do effective things I hear you cry!
  • Second, Japanese players are also suffering from connection problems.
  • Third, players have reported that persistence can work for certain errors. Some IP block if so.
  • Fourth, Sakai himself said during a talk at the Osaka event that an IP block would achieve nothing.
  • Fifth, that some ISPs were able to connect and some that weren’t before are now able to, it puts the IP ban theory quite firmly in the coffin.

Now, just because we haven’t been IP blocked doesn’t mean we’ll all be able to play this game any time soon. I’ll be talking about that later…

Our Position.

Well, aside no IP ban the most obvious fact is right now most of the foreign player-base still can’t connect.

So what does this mean for us? Well, frankly, we must come to terms with the possibility that we will never be able to play on the Japanese servers again. Whatever measures Sega has taken to protect itself has rendered most of us unable to connect, so although it isn’t an IP ban it will behave as an effective one. While Sega does acknowledge that users are suffering from connection issues and is attempting to fix them, this actually means nothing to us.

See, we as foreign users have the rights to absolutely no support whatsoever from Sega. If you get banned or if you are for whatever reason no longer able to connect, this is none of Sega’s concern and they will not help you. You violate the terms of service by connecting from outside of Japan at all, after all. As foreign players, many of us knew and accepted that risk anyway, knowing full well that Sega could pull the plug without a word. It’s a shitty position to put ourselves in but in the continuing absence of local servers it was that or don’t play at all.

The point I am getting at is, if Sega’s anti-DDoS measures have indirectly rendered it difficult or impossible for foreign users to connect, they not only have zero obligation to fix it they don’t even have to acknowledge it’s a problem. In other-words, if the measures to fix it for the Japanese players don’t work for us, this current situation may be permanent.

The Community

If it is indeed permanent,  what does it mean for other parts of the community? I imagine it’ll just quietly die as the core user-base will shrink down to those willing to risk it and use a VPN to connect, or to those who happen to be on an ISP that can connect. Those who can still connect may stop as none of their friends can play. Communities outside the game won’t be as active with fewer people able to log in, as there’s only so much you can talk about a game you can’t even play.

The english patch team will stop working on it. I speak of the core english patch team at psumods, who will likely no longer provide effort towards the patch. It’d be considered a waste of time at that point with such a diminished user base. Aida may or may not continue working on things. Update: Looks like instead the patch will fall back to a lower-effort mode, whereby newer content may not be delivered as quickly as it was. I was told otherwise

As for this blog? Well, if I can’t play it I feel the purpose of an opinions blog is somewhat diminished. If I could, the number of people it’d be relevant to would be severely diminished anyway! This never was a news blog and never will be unless I can learn how to read Japanese. Machine translation doesn’t cut it. So that may well be it for this blog unless we get our own version of the game.

Thoughts

Not a lot to say. Sega has handled this whole thing in a remarkably clumsy manner, but Sega of Japan owe us nothing at all anyway. It does rather rub salt deeper into the wound that we still have no sign whatsoever of a local version heading our way any time soon. If this is permanent, it may be in Sega of America’s interest to say something relatively quickly.

This seems all rather gloomy. If you want something to hope for, the possibility remains that whatever fixes Sega of Japan implements will actually fix the issues for foreigners as well. Nothing is definite. We may all be able to play again eventually, just prepare for the possibility that we won’t.

PSO2 DDoS Attacks

seriously

So today has been an interesting one. The PSO2 servers were taken offline a while earlier by Sega in response to a DDoS attack which rendered the servers pretty much unreachable for the vast majority of players. Right now, the servers are intended to stay offline until further notice, which Sega plans to deliver on in about 10 hours from writing this post. If you were were intent on playing today, you’re out of luck.

What’s a DDoS? 

This likely isn’t the first time you’ve heard of such an attack, but in case it is; a DDoS is a Distributed Denial of Service attack. The intent of such an attack is usually, as the name implies, to deny a service. In this case, preventing people from being able to play PSO2. One way this can be accomplished is by simply flooding a server with requests, which overloads the server trying to respond to them. This is the “distributed” part, as the attack requests, as least as far as the server is concerned, come from many different locations. This makes it difficult for the server to discern what is legitimate traffic and what isn’t. Distributed attacks are on a different scale to a straight Denial-of-Service attack and require more resources to pull off.

If that cleared nothing up for you, someone has created this handy illustration to explain what’s up here. More seriously, you can read more about it at Wikipedia here.

The Community Response

As you might expect the community has been reasoned, understanding and rational about the whole sit- IP BAN INCOMING!! BAN ALL THE GAIJINS! BAN THE CHINESE AGAIN! CUT OFF ELECTRICITY TO THE JAPANESE!

Yes the community is doing a fine job of shitting itself, as exampled on the post at Bumped here where the comment section now resembles YouTube comment levels of discourse.

THE SUSPECTS

A DDoS attack doesn’t happen by itself! Some fiendish villain was behind the attacks, doing the greatest of injustices to the world by attacking some online game for a bit. The community, a veritable army of super sleuths, have narrowed it down to the following lineup of just about everybody in the world.

Our Hackers!!

You know, those adorable rogues who occasionally send global messages which essentially act like an automatic PSO-World thread generator? Those scamps have indeed been up to various mischiefs since the game was released, maybe they were the culprits behind this heinous act!

Alright, seriously, this is unlikely. While not beyond trouble-making, remember that all of the usual suspects flaunt their abilities for a large part in order to peddle software. They sell hacks to players by way of a trainer. Really wouldn’t do this business plan a lot of good if the game itself was taken down now would it? Biting the hand that feeds. Indeed, one made a public announcement denying all involvement in the attack which was re-posted here as well as making a post on their forums.

Angry South East Asian-ers!

Those guys have a motive! They’re angry that Sega IP-banned them all and are now taking out their revenge. If they can’t play on the JP servers, then NO ONE CAN!!

If this were the case, what good would attacking the servers do for them? This conspiracy operates under the assumption that Sega of Japan was the one who instigated this decision. You know, the same company that also allows Taiwanese players to connect to the Japanese servers, even though they have their own version of the game? Surely if they were angry, it’d make much more sense to direct it at Asiasoft.

It was the CHINESE!

I saw a thread on 2chan that said the Chinese probably did it and we know 2chan is a house of ironclad facts.

2chan has a bit of a reputation for disliking the Chinese. How well deserved that reputation may be is hard for me to say as I can’t really say I go to the site that often. The basis of blaming the Chinese, as far as I know, is that it’s in retaliation for banning RMT bots, which… I don’t know. If this were so, wouldn’t they have done so long ago when the IP block placed on the country happened? Seems strange to wait so long before carrying out the attack if that’s the case.

Yeah but the Chinese have apparently been engaging in cyber warfare and…

Even if we assume this to be true, I’m pretty sure there’s little strategic benefit in taking down an online videogame.

It was a rival MMO company!

This doesn’t need any hysterical paragraph. The basis of this suspicion is on a tweet made by the PR account for a game called “Toy Wars”

toy_waaars

The essential jist of the message is “while PSO2 is down why not try Toy Wars?”. While certainly not proof that they did it, it is a pretty cheeky thing to say and it’s natural that this would fan the flames of conspiracy.

Of course they got a pretty negative response for this and since deleted the tweet, offering the following apology for making such an inappropriate post.

It was some angry Americans in response to PEARL HARBOR

…No.

IT WAS YOU

Of course, it all makes sense now! All this faux stupidity, all that false hysteria. All a cover! You fucking genius! Fuck you.

The Official Response

Sega so far have really just acknowledged the attack and done the standard communication you’d expect from them. They’ve reassured the player-base that their data is all intact and none of it was compromised in the attack.

Their initial response however did cause a little bit of panic. At first, they said if the attacks continued they would suspend the service. Such a terminal sounding statement created quite a bit of panic before they later apologized for the confusion and reassured people that the service termination was only temporary.

So far, that’s been it. Sega have scheduled another announcement to update people on the situation at 13:00 JST tomorrow.

Update 6/20: So it seems the game and related sites and services will continue to be down while Sega works out how to deal with the situation. Another announcement is due on the 23rd. It may well be that the game will continue to be offline in the meanwhile…

So what happens now?

Lots of PSO2 players go outside for the first day in two years. Aside that, nothing.

To those worried about an IP block, really I wouldn’t be. A DDoS attack is just that, it is distributed. Blocking IPs will not stop such an attack, short of blocking pretty much every IP outside of your building, which would be pretty bad for business as you could imagine! But really, even if you believed an IP block would do shit, you’re making the assumption that the attack originated from outside of Japan. If it came from within Japan, a lot of good banning those filthy gaijins would do.

It’s been quite a day…

New Class: Bouncer

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During the broadcast, a new class was announced. That class is Bouncer. The rest of this article probably won;t be stating the obvious quite so much.

Alright, so this one really kinda came out of the blue. There was no data in the client at all which suggested that a new class was coming, nevermind additional weapon types for such a class. The client has plenty of space for new classes, so them adding one at all is less of a surprise. Through speculation and pondering which classes Sega would add next, I doubt “Bouncer” ever entered anyone’s minds. Let’s see the trailer dedicated to the class:

Bouncer is a hybrid melee/teching class which… hm. This sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

While the preface sure makes it sound like the already existing hybrid melee/teching class, Techer, the trailer clearly shows it plays nothing like it. Techer’s melee portion is really just the ability to bonk things with a wand. Normal attacks. Unlike Techer, Bouncer has access to photon arts for its striking weapons.

The class’s native weapons are Dual Blades and Jet Boots. That’s right, Twin Sabers are back and stabbier than ever if the demonstration is anything to go by. Dual Blades are a pure melee weapon, whereas Jet Boots are a hybrid melee/teching weapon which allows you to er, cast spells with your feet.

Dual Blades

As a striking weapon, Dual Blades seem to be remarkably nimble. As agile, if not more so, than Twin Daggers I would say, with similar amounts of airtime between the two weapons. There does seem to be a mechanical difference between the two weapon classes however, that being an array of photon weapons that the player seems to surround themselves with. This is plausibly the weapons “gears” mechanic.

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Aside stabbing things, I’m not sure what these photon blades actually do. The trailer shows the character embedding a Rockbear with numerous of these blades, however I don’t believe they ever show the purpose of this. Can the player detonate them for extra damage, for example?

Jet Boots

Goddamn Jet Boots. We’re really Sci-Fi now! Much like Dual Blades, these are also very agile weapons with plenty of air-time. Jet Boots will allow players to double-jump.

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The weapons will automatically cast support techs, as well as allow you to cast techs with them in general. The exact mechanism behind auto-support casting isn’t known.

Really, Jet Boots weren’t even on the radar as far as potential future Teching weapons go. Looking back on the series, the only weapon type I imagined would fill this role would be Slicers (given their role in Phantasy Star Zero as casting weapons).

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Jet boots allow for aerial tech casting, holding the user in the air while charging. Forgive the poor quality of the image as it is captured from a stream, but it shows the player charging an Ilfoie whilst mid-air. Being able to charge such a tech with increased safety may prove interesting…

Thoughts

So we have two more very agile melee weapons,

With regard potential sub-classes, it partly depends on stats. If for example, Dual Blades are purely S-atk based striking damage then, under the current environment, Hunter would be by far the best subclass choice.

Rumour has it that Jet Boots ate T-atk based, but I can’t find the source to confirm this. Should this be true, it then depends on if the damage from melee attacks with Jet Boots counts as striking damage. If it does, then Hunter still remains the best choice even if specializing in the weapon as it offers the highest modifiers for striking damage. If, however, all Jet Boot attacks are counted as teching damage, then Hunter will offer pretty much nothing! In that case, Fighter and Braver (Weak Stance) become the better options. Oh my, imagine a Bouncer/Fighter. You’d be able to kick things with legs of fire and then switch to Knuckles to punch things with fists of fire. Kick, punch, it’s all in the mind! Of course, augmenting their support abilities could be achieved through Techer, as well as Force offering the most augmentation for attack Techs.

The Jet Boots image posted above shows a firey effect, but I don’t know if this is attached to casting techs or may be an effect on a given Photon Art or maybe by weapon gear. Watching the video, it seems to be the former.

If I’m interpreting an interview correctly, it seems one of the ideas behind the class is to make it easier to support players in the midst of all the action. So its like Techer, but better because it doesn’t need to do that thing where it stops attacking in order to support other players. I can’t help but wonder where Techer is gonna fit into the game after the introduction of this class? As a main class, Techer still has the strongest support skills and it can apply them for the longest amount of time per cast, so really it comes down to wether or not Bouncer has skills that augment the strength and effectiveness of support techs.

In any case, this is the second true hybrid class to be added to the game. Where Braver was a hybrid melee/shooting type, Bouncer is a hybrid melee/magic type. Doesn’t really tax the imagination to imagine that the next class to be announced may be a shooting/magic type.

Also I am going to say it, Bouncer is a really odd name for a class. No wierder than “Braver” I suppose but still pretty odd!