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.

Horse_Wizard

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.

firey_kicks_fuck_yeah

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).

airteching

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!

Mission: Episode 3: Castletown Revealed!

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So really a handful of hours after posting the previous entry, the 21st Live Broadcast took place. This broadcast revealed a fairly sizy amount of future content that I didn’t really expect them to! This post will focus on the newly announced area and planet.

Castletown: The White Nation of planet Harukotan

Remember all that stuff I said in the previous post? I was completely correct!

Alright that’s all for this post, see you next time everybody! Byeee!

 

 

Alright well I suppose I better talk at least a bit about what we were shown.

Let’s begin with the first trailer for Episode 3. This also includes a showcase on the new class but we’ll get into that in another post.

It certainly is Japanese, isn’t it? I mean it pretty much is feudal Japan, complete with feud! The area is the “White Nation”, set on the planet Harukotan (or Hulkotan). The White Nation is in conflict with the Black Nation. Alternative names would be the Shiro Nation and the Kuro Nation.

hulkotan

The planet itself seems to be modeled after the Yin-Yang symbol, though the light spot in the dark side seems to be missing. The dark side of the planet also seems to be continuously emitting darkness into space. The term “pissing into an ocean of piss” rather comes to mind…

So how does “Mono” act as a shorthand for the planet as an internal name? At a guess, it may be short for “Monochrome”, which is a type of bitmap image where the only two colors are black and white. Only a guess, though.

Harukotan, or whatever the community eventually agrees enough on to call it, is populated by titans. True to their name, they are some big bastards for the most part! I can’t really obtain screenshots for the sake of comparison as the compression is too high to get anything worthwhile from it, however you probably can see it well enough from watching the trailer yourself anyway.

planet_japan_HD_3

The map itself seems to have a fair degree of vertical room to it. Not quite the amount that Caves has right now but in any case to be able to climb up onto the rooftops and fight enemies on there is pretty cool looking!

wanyudont

 

This flaming wheel creature would appear to be the White Nation’s miniboss. Reminiscent of the Wanyūdō of Japanese mythology, this boss rolls around while emitting jets of flame. As for the apparent area boss:

BIGMANTOO

 

So far this is about the best image I can obtain of it, until someone uploads an HD version of the trailer this muddy mess of pixels is all we got (Update: Got a slightly better image from the official channel\s video). It certainly looks large and I expect it may even be large even among the rest of its Titan brethren. Kind of impossible to get a real sense of scale right now, though.

The selection of enemies certainly is pretty varied looking, from the thug-ish club-wielding ogres to the more ferocious sword-wielding oni types and the mystical floating horse wizards. From the more beastly to the more human-looking, it’s a pretty nice selection. The area itself looks good, though I’d want to see some more screenshots of it before I make my mind up on certain aspects of it, like how the town looks while up on the roof-tops. There don’t appear to be any environmental hazards or mechanics demonstrated through the trailer however, it would be a bit of a shame if the map lacked them. 

The Darker Threat

Speaking of things that are absent, there’s currently no sign of any Darkers on the planet. Well aside from the creepy twins, Dark Falz Double. No individual Darker enemies have been shown, which leaves it rather up in the air as to which Darker type will be dominant in the White Nation. While Double is implied to be the true master of the bird-types, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the planet will only be besieged by angry chickens. Afterall, Naberius could be argued to be very much the planet of fish-type Darkers given Elder’s body resided there, but that didn’t stop bug-types crawling all over the forest.

While I imagine the planet’s aesthetics might be a better fit for the fish-types myself, this is only based on the idea that the biggest regular Darkers seem to belong to the type and it is a planet populated by titans. The actual size of the Darkers really doesn’t matter at all, as afterall, it doesn’t matter how hard the titans may stomp all over the likes of Krahda and Strahda. The story established very early on that the only way to defeat Darkers is through the use of Photons. The Dragonkin of Amduscia learned the hard way that all their might crashing down on the Darkers was only spreading them.

Speculation

So we have a planet in the apparent grips of a war between two nations. We know that there is a Black Nation as well as a White Nation, so I don’t think it would be entirely unsurprising if the Black Nation turned out to be one of the other fields available for the planet. I like to think that the area between them would be a battleground, making it three possible fields for the planet. Three fields would bring it in line with the other planets, at that. At this point though, we don’t really know all that much about what’s really going on on the planet or what its story and history may be. Honestly, with Sega’s track record of story telling I somewhat doubt that will ever really be all that well fleshed out anyway!

The field is set to arrive with Episode 3 in August.

The Future – Near and Far

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The limited quest, Chaotic Silence, has arrived! Set in the Mother Ship field and putting players against almost all flavors of enemy. Completing the quest will contribute points towards a total score tracked by the server. These points will contribute to unlocking various bonuses, though it isn’t a panel event like last year. Each week will have a new goal to achieve.

I don’t need to make a post telling about the entire event, as Bumped has already done a fine job of this. This post will instead be dedicated to various curiosities about the event and the recent update (excluding Shunka Shunran as I already talked about that).

This post contains data-mined information. As always. data-mined stuff does not represent how the content may be when it finally arrives on the servers, nor does it in anyway act as confirmation that the content will definitely arrive. Things could change or they could change their minds, after all. 

Bingo Card – Falz Angel and Chickens.

So you completed the first Bingo Card, congratulations! You may soon notice however that one of the nodes requires you to defeat Dark Falz: Angel.

angelBINGO

Now hold your horses if you’re thinking you can clear the node early via the story quest; current the only place in the game that Falz Angel can be encountered. Angel is lv60 in the quest and the node requires a lv65+ one.

Nodes B-1 and A-2 are also currently impossible to clear, as neither of the Darker chickens (Doubluné and Doublunda) appear in Chaotic Silence Update: Turns out you can clear these nodes now, it’s just their spawn chance is extremely low it seems.

It seems Angel is going to make their non-Story debut in a new Emergency Quest set to be added late June.

These new icons found in the client could all be drops which belong to Angel. The weapon on the right certainly is, as it is a copy of the Talis-like weapon that Angel uses during the fight.

Thanks Festa Part 2

The first part of the Thanks Festa is the 2nd Anniversary event, which is set to last for some time. The 2nd part of the Thanks Festa will include a new Limited Quest in which it’s expected that Knight Gear will turn up. Knight Gear is presumed to be the enemy that “en_sfc_knightgear” refers to.

sfcKnightGear

This guy right here! Knight Gear from Shining Force: Cross. Frankly I can’t really imagine its aesthetics working so well in a game like PSO2. It certainly doesn’t gel as well as Cougar NX from the previous collaboration!

It kinda resembles the silhouette used as the logo!

It kinda resembles the silhouette used as the logo for the 2nd part of Thanks Festa!

In any case, if speculations are correct then this will be the collaboration boss, set to arrive in the late summer. I expect we may see a confirmation in a broadcast soon…

CastleTown Stuff!

Some new enemies have been uncovered in the client, with the following names:

Mono1OniClub, Mono1OniGun, Mono1EyefootA, Mono1YoroiA, Mono1OniWhite, Mono1Roller

The theory goes that “Mono” in this case has nothing to do with the mono in “Monoeye”, as in we aren’t getting a selection of new cyclops enemies. Instead, it actually could refer to their planet’s name. This is based on the fact that Vopar’s unreleased third area has its enemy named prefaced with a “Wop3″.

So what on earth could “Mono” be short for, for a planet name? I’m drawing a blank here. It doesn’t seem to have any matches among the lesser demons of solomon (to which both Naberius and Amduscia belong). It certainly isn’t short for “Machia”, so it has doubtful links with Phantasy Star: Nova.

“Yoroi” apparently means armor and given Oni is a Japanese word for demon it seems that it’s likely the “castle” in “castletown” refers to a feudal Japanese themed castle, akin to Ohtori from Phantasy Star Portable 2. We’re all headed to planet Japan, maybe!

The ULTIMATE Future

A while back, some data concerning an area named “UltimateNaberius” surfaced. Really don’t need to stretch that old imagination too far to wonder what that might be indicative of! Seems the next difficulty is gonna be Ultimate, but what’s significant is that, unlike previous difficulties, this one is getting a new area designed for it. Along with that, it’s got some “new” enemies, too:

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

So ultimate versions of Forest and Tundra’s enemies are sneaking into the client as well. Well, at the very least mention of them, nothing beyond that.

For those who may be unaware the first game in the series, Phantasy Star Online,  had the visuals of its areas changed on Ultimate difficulty. Some of the changes were fairly dramatic, at that. Likewise, the enemies were replaced with different models for the most part. This data would indicate that they may be planning to do the same for PSO2.

However, as of right now there is no mention of any additional difficulties, quest types or new fields on the roadmap. So for now the exact when with regard to the arrival of things like “Water3″, “CastleTown”, “ChallengeLobby”, “Myau” (yes the same spelling as a certain cat) and whatnot is currently completely unknown. None of it will be showing up for at least 3 months, it seems.

Shunka Shunran Nerfed

braver_tears

So yeah, Sega said this was coming and it has finally hit the servers. An attack that did far too much damage and fulfilled to many roles has been reigned in a bit. The important question is by how much? Well according to an image uploaded to twitter, which I shall re-post below, it varies per attack:

shunked.jpg

 

The first numbers are the important ones, at least for this post and Shunka Shunran. As you can see, the first 3 hits weren’t really affected all that much, whereas the final hit has had a huge amount lopped off its total damage.

Does this mean idiots will stop spamming this one attack? Of course not, they’re idiots. But seriously, Shunka retains its function as a pretty brainless way to pump out a great deal of damage, it’s just now it doesn’t completely out-shine every other option in many situations. Something to remember is that Katanas actually did have superior options to Shunka in a few situations (Hatou on bosses and  Kanran Kikyou/Kazan Nadeshiko on big crowds for example) and people still spammed Shunka Shunran regardless. Bad players are gonna be bad.

The image also illustrates just how big a buff Gekka and Asagiri both got (triple the damage in the latter case!). As for how usable it’s made them , that I can’t say as I haven’t played katana Braver for ages now. I guess we shall see as new time-attack videos are released.

 

The Biggest Luther: Dark Falz Loser.

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Yes, I know the alternative interpretations of its name are “The Defeated” and “Vanquished” but the pun is on the similarity of Luther and Loser in katakana. It’s funny! Probably more-so if you’re Japanese, who have a reputation for this wordplay humour stuff apparently.

This post will be talking about the emergency quest and share information on the battle’s mechanics as best as they are currently understood.

Apos Dorios

Like Dark Falz Elder, the emergency quest is split into 2 sections. The first section lasts half an hour and requires players to defeat a certain number of Apos Dorios (which includes a rare variant). Unlike Dark Falz Elder, the number of Apos Dorios you personally kill does actually matter. The more Apos Dorios your character defeats, the more drops you will be entitled to should you defeat Dark Falz. To receive the most drops, you need to defeat 4 Apos Dorios on each character; it doesn’t matter what difficulty this is.

A counter will track the overall progress of the ship!

A counter will track the overall progress of the ship!

Try to reach 100% in the time limit! However, if your ship doesn’t make it to 100% don’t fret, as you will get to fight Dark Falz Loser either way. There are two different quests for Dark Falz Loser and which one appears does indeed depend on whether or not your ship reached 100%.

If your ship surpassed 100%, you will be up against the real Dark Falz Loser. This is signified by his more elaborate crown and headwings. If your ship fails, then you will fight the fake instead. The fake one is mechanically identical to the real one in every way, the difference is the fake one will not drop 12* weapons at all.

Elemental!

Apos Dorios has a large number of elemental attacks at its disposal, however it will only align with one of three elements per fight; fire, ice and lightning. Each element has its own unique theme song!

Apos_Doritos

Mechanics

Unlike Falz Arm, its weak-point has to be exposed. This seems to only occur if players manage to break all 4 bombs, which Apos Dorios will place down when it reaches about 50% hp.  The bombs have a fair amount of hp themselves, so players are going to have to be on top of them as soon as they spawn.

Apos Dorios’ tail can be broken. This will reduce the range of some of its attacks.

The boss is vulnerable to the Panic status effect. When panicked, the boss will stumble and remain still for a good period of time. This is extremely helpful for melee classes and Satellite Cannon-ers alike, so forces may want to consider spamming Ilgrants during the fight.

Weak Bullet

Apos Dorios can inflict weak-bullet on multiple characters and it will do so many times throughout the fight. His attacks hurt enough as they are, if you have weak-bullet on you almost every attack is now a one-hit KO.

weak_circle

Watch out for this red circle. If it’s following your character this means that Apos has targetted you for a weakbullet. Get ready to use your class’s dodge to avoid it, or use Just-Guard if you’re really confident.

The Loser

hoooot

This fight is long. Perhaps a little too long, but absolutely adequately challenging. Just be advised that if you end up with a particularly unlucky load-out in your Multi-Party that the fight could take the entire 30 minutes and you could even time out. Don’t use your boosters too early, you may waste them!

Some players have expressed concern about how much HP it has and how the boss may be too difficult, however I will caution people to temper their wishes for it to have less HP or to be made easier. We have only fought this boss around 4-10 times so far. Players on the whole haven’t really grown familiar with the tactics or the best way to kill him. While he is definitely durable in comparison to previous 12-man bosses, you may need to remember that, at the start, 15 minute long Dark Falz Elder battles weren’t unusual. Elder had a weakspot you could always hit, at that. Give it time and as players become more familiar with the fight we may see 5 minute Loser battles become a more common thing.

With that said, let’s have a look at the mechanics.

Mechanics

This section will be expanded as more is found out.

The first thing for all players to note is that, below 60% hp or so, Loser emits a large number of elemental fields in the arena. These are easily seen (they’re bright red!) unless you’re in TPS mode, in which case you may find you’ll end up randomly dying without knowing why. Some fields have a nasty habit of stacking up, leading to extremely quick deaths even for more durable characters.

Break an arm!

armplate

Simply break one of Loser’s arm-plates. This will stun him temporarily, allowing you attack his shoulders. Should you break his shoulder, this appears to expose his core for a very short while.

weakened_arm

Exposed arms will glow red as Loser tries to repair itself. The shoulder is glowing brightly here and is the thing you’re going to want to attack!

Once a shoulder has been successfully broken, that arm will no longer regenerate. This means you won’t be able to break that arm to stun it any more.

The Clock

the_falz_goatse

His clock is vulnerable to the Mirage status effect, but this will only expose the clock weak-point for a short while.

While the clock is open, you need to apply as much damage as you can to it as it is your best chance to expose an easily accessed weak-point. The clock can be broken while it isn’t open, however as it reduces all damage inflicted on it to about 1/5th it would take a stupendously long time to brute force it. Note that Loser’s resistance to Mirage skyrockets after it’s been inflicted three times.

Note on inflicting Mirage

Infliction rates listed on techs don’t necessarily reflect the rate per hit, but the rate per cast. While Gizan does do a high number of hits, it isn’t inflicting ~20% per hit. That 20% refers to the total attack. As such, it’s likely more reliable to just use Sazan or Zan to inflict it. The point of this is to really say that spamming Gizan on the clock is NOT more likely to inflict Mirage on it.

Homing Mines

This attack is used frequently and each mine can deal severe blows to characters, 2-shotting glass cannon builds. Making use of the i-frames of your class’s dodge should make them considerably easier to deal with, as they have a long turning circle. Just-guarding them will cause them to explode with no harm to you.

Crystals

crystal

Remember those dangerous elemental attacks I mentioned earlier? Well these can be neutralized if you break these crystals. Each one corresponds to an elemental attack, so destroying all of them will remove all of its deadly fields.\

Despite what rumors say, breaking crystals has no effect on the power of his homing mines.

THE BEAK

Get Dark Falz right in the hooter, as this will stun him for a short while, exposing its core. Breaking the beak otherwise serves no mechanical function.

TIME STOP

ZA_WARUDO

That move people feared so when they saw the developers fail to it during the livestream. When this move occurs, simply wiggle your direction keys or joystick until you’re free. It’s the same mechanic as escaping Rockbear’s grab and numerous other grabbing moves.

ZA_WARU-Doh

Once free, all that remains are the four swords dotted about. Each sword will cover a quarter of the arena in a deadly area-of-effect attack. There are numerous ways to approach this part.

1) Break a sword. If you manage to break one then simply stay in that area, as that quarter of the arena will no longer hand the deadly aoe applied to it.

2) Turn invincible. If you don’t think they’re going to break in time, then activate and hold your photon blast if available. You can also use Katana Combat should you have Combat Escape. As far as I am aware these are the only two ways to avoid the aoe (I don’t know if Iron Will will ptotect you or not! Latency may kill you before the invulnerability takes effect).

3?) Have a shitload of HP – Due to a post by a reputable tanky player I was under the impression that this attack could never be face-tanked (it does hit around 5,000 damage 10 times). However, with enough HP, as high a resistance as the Hunter tree can offer, Darker-resistance latent, Automate-Halfline and JP latency (the most important bit really), you can indeed survive the attack directly. Video evidence here: http://www.nicovideo.jp/watch/sm23596178

4) Mirage-Escape / Stylish Roll – It would seem that, if timed right, both these dodges can allow you to avoid the damage entirely.

Loser will use this attack twice during the fight. At what times isn’t entirely certain (possibly once at 50% hp and again at 25? It may be 60% and 30% however). The second time he uses the attack you will have significantly less time to break a sword. Be ready with a way to turn invincible just in case.

 

Other Information

A Japanese user uploading a drawing, noting some mechanics down. This was then translated by someone. Sharing this image below.

hoohoooo

Early days! The player-base in general doesn’t seem entirely sure how to handle the boss. This post will be edited for accuracy as more information is found it.

Sincesta Stones

Numerous welfare 11*s were added. These cost 100 Syncesta each, which at the rate I seem to be acquiring them feels like it’d be around 8-10 rounds of the emergency quest turning up in order to get one.

sincesta_exchange

Of course, the weapons themselves aren’t that impressive in terms of stats. Being dark element is also not especially useful. It isn’t known yet if these 11*s can be used to obtain trading passes as far as I know, yet.

THE END!

So that’s Dark Falz Loser. It’s nice to have a boss that can wipe an entire 12-man party should they be unprepared, but he really isn’t that difficult overall.

Overall a very enjoyable fight I think, just it’s rather a pity that it’s arrived in such a glitchy state. Players have reported bosses turning invisible, the shield mechanic on Apos Dorios malfunctioning causing it to turn invincible permanently, occasional bugs in Loser’s AI among other things. Interestingly, so far no emergency maintenance has been scheduled to do anything about it, but I expect it’s coming.

Balance Thoughts: The Issues With Hunter Part Three: Fixing Hunter

no_pete_stop_it

This is the final part of this series of articles. This last one will be having a quick look at Hunter gear mechanics but the majority will be sharing my own ideas of what may help fix Hunter and maybe improve the game in general.

Weapon Gears

Hunter’s weapon gears are a mixture of “nice to have” to “absolutely essential for the weapon to even function”. From dealing a bit of extra damage to entirely changing the mechanics of a weapon’s attacks.

Hunter has a new skill coming its way in the form of Fury Gear Up. For 5 skill points, you can increase the speed at which weapon gear is acquired (Hunter main only). This is at the rate of a 20% additional boost as far as I am aware. Is that significant? My gut says no, but I’ll withhold opinion on that until it’s finally out. It does directly address one of Hunter’s issues, but it also perpetuates the issue of Fury Stance taking up too many skill-points.

But yeah, from a practical standpoint Hunter could definitely use help with the way its weapon gears work, particularly for Partisan and Sword.

Wired Lance I really don’t have any personal issues with in its current state, acquisition is fast and can be chosen to be spent on grappling moves. Some Wired Lance Photon Arts will benefit from having gear charges, as it will boost their power by 20%.

ungeared_partisan

Un-geared Slide End

geared_partisan

Geared Slide End

Partisan’s acquisition rate is fast but awkward, requiring the player to remain in place while the animation finishes or until it’s been charged through standing there twirling the weapon (doing it this way freezes PP regeneration however). Once filled, it does increase the area of effect of most attacks by a considerable margin, which is OK but in the current environment I feel they could go further with it. They could either increase the damage geared Partisan does or increase the area of effect further still.

sword_gear

Sword has the most issues. It takes too long to charge it (unless you are soloing) and then, for practical purposes, it depletes too quickly. Attacking a high level Kartagot as a test, I found that it took 12 hits with a sword to charge the gear fully, or 9 hits to get it to level 3. Sword is not a weapon that swings particularly fast, so building it with normal attacks on a single target is sluggish. I measured the time it takes for a fully charged gear gauge to deplete to 0 at around 30 seconds. That seems like a very long time, but remember that between spawns this can easily be hit. Not only that, but you will be downgraded to 2nd gear during that, which will impair your ability enough but not nearly as badly as no gear. Remember that you also have to keep hitting things in order to keep your gauge filled, which when enemies are either being mown down by Katana area of effect, ranged attacks, or they’re being blown around by various control effects is a very difficult task indeed. Sword is a weapon that’s dependent on building enough gear to stay on top of things and now it simply can’t do it. I think the real painful thing about it right now is that even after warming the weapon up it’s still inferior to other options right now…

Sword and Partisan also recover PP too slowly per attack. This is to offset their ability to hit plenty of targets at once, presumably, but having enemies bunched up to hit when other attacks can just fill the area with damage seems somewhat pointless. Sword’s normal attacks do at least hit plenty hard, unlike Partisan.

I propose then, that Swords and Partisans gain gear more quickly. That Sword’s gear depletes much more slowly. That Partisans in particular gain more PP per attack. That Sword’s charged attacks don’t take a whopping 5 seconds to charge up without gear (seriously who thought that was a good idea?).

Improving The Class

The rest of this post is just going to be my ideas on how to improve the class and maybe help the general game out by proxy. This is just my opinions, there’ doubtlessly things i haven’t considered and I am no master of game balance so I can’t with confidence say that if my ideas were implemented they wouldn’t go on to cause their own issues.

Actual things on the horizon

Hunter so far only has two fixes incoming for it. Level 16 Over End and Slide End are getting buffed. That’s it.

How much of an impact this will have depends entirely on the nature of the buffs themselves, but I don’t expect the overall standing of Hunter to change at all, because this doesn’t help fix their biggest issues. Nor does it do anything about the toxic Fury Stance.

Skill Tree

As I’ve said previously, Hunter’s skill tree really makes the class its own worst enemy. Requiring too many points in order to fill out Fury Stance and providing too much of a bonus to other classes that Hunter can’t enjoy as much as a main class.

As such, I propose that Fury Stance be nerfed. Now you may be thinking I’m crazy at this point, because Hunter is already out-performed as it is but hear me out. Firstly, make it cost only a total of 30 skill points to max it out. Secondly, reduce the damage bonus it grants, Now, naturally, Hunter’s damage would take a huge hit from this too. As such, all of Hunter’s attacks would need to be buffed. Fighter’s attacks would also need to be buffed, as it’s currently balanced around it. Yes, this would also mean some Katana Photon Arts would need help. Let’s not forget that before Shunka Shunran and Hatou Rindou that Katanas were a complete joke (aside the impressive coverage of Kanran Kikyou and decent focused damage of Sakura Endo). Let’s also not forget that our melee classes are having to compete with the ranged classes. The actual amounts, I’m not confident enough with my number crunching to say.

The game as a whole would potentially benefit hugely if Fury Stance were brought down. Imagine a PSO2 in which Braver/Fighter was a viable option? Or even Fighter/Braver. Perhaps even Gunner/Fighter, or Gunner/Braver? Ranger/Fighter or Ranger/Braver? Instead of locked to Fighter/Hunter, Gunner/Hunter and Braver/Hunter (which would still be viable options, just not the only ones). I’m not naive of course, I’m well aware that if one combination did say 5% more damage overall than another the player-base would flock to it as the new flavor of the month. Doubtless it’d be a delicate re-balancing act on Sega’s part but one that needs to happen.

I’ll take this opportunity to wish for Techer to become a viable sub at that, because it is absurdly fun for some reason.

From Hunter’s point of view, having Fury only cost 30 points has the benefit of allowing it to spend 40 (45 after the next patch) points in any other skills it desires. There are certain issues with the way the tree is laid out (the defense side of the tree does also need an absurd number of points for certain skills) but it’d least allow Hunters to actually have the opportunity to choose from some of its more interesting skills. Not only that, but freeing up those points would allow Hunter as a sub-class to also present more interesting options to its main class, in the form of powerful survival skills. Imagine a PSO2 where the choice between say Ranger/Hunter and Ranger/Fighter is “I may do slightly more damage as one, but I am more guaranteed to survive if I go with the other”. Naturally, in that situation for competitive time-attack everyone would just switch to Fighter sub…

Seriously. Nerf Fury Stance.

It can’t be said enough. Nerf Fury Stance!

Re-Establish the role.

If Sega wants Hunter to be the area-of-effect melee specialist there is nothing inherently wrong with that. It’s just to achieve this end, you actually have to give the class the tools to fulfill that role, because right now it just doesn’t seem to have them. If this means significantly altering how Hunter weapon Photon Arts work then so be it. Do it. Because right now the difference in coverage between Hunter weapons and a Katana is just absurd.

Just Guard

Just Guard + Just Counter should be inherent to Hunter weapons. Sega made equivalents inherent to other weapons, so why not? Why is Hunter the only class that has to pay for it?

Gotta Go Fast(er)

Hunters were designed in an era where monsters and bosses were much slower. There are situations now where Hunters may find it tricky to get any attacks in without having to mitigate damage somehow. This will only get worse if enemies get faster in newer difficulties to come. It can lead to situations where the choices are Just-Guarding, Step-cancelling your slow attacks or dying. Nothing wrong with that on its own as long as attacking becomes an option often enough to take bosses down in a reasonable time-span (skill permitting). As the slowest of the three melee-types right now, Hunter may need some adjustments to help it cope with faster and faster enemies going forward.

What about Guard Stance?

I gotta throw my hands up here. I have no idea how Guard Stance could be fixed with the game the way it is now. It needs it, because right now it’s kind of completely useless, but the exact how I’m not sure of. At the very least I think fusing both Flash Guards and Tech Guard into Guard Stance would be a good start. For me, that would seem like a reasonable thing to gain in exchange for giving up almost all of your damage, related to which I think it’d be good to remove the outgoing damage penalty as it’s redundant. By switching from Fury Stance you’re already giving up damage.

Closing Thoughts

And that’s all my thoughts on the problems that Hunter faces in the current game. As always, these are just thoughts and there may be numerous issues I’m not considering or things I did consider that aren’t really problems at all. This is of course also not to say that Hunter is the only class with problems or the class with the most problems. Balance in this game is more than just a mess, it’s an embarrassment that Sega let it get out of control as they did (and non-communication between departments really is no excuse).

Sega has said that they will be putting work in addressing balance issues and that it will take time to do it right. It certainly is something worthy of careful thought, but right now PSO2’s classes aren’t just imbalanced, they show no plausible sign of ever becoming reasonably so. So far, I also worry that they may not ever fix some of the more glaring issues with the classes. Will we see drastic changes to Hunter’s tree? To Ranger’s godawful tree? What about Techer? Fighter’s is also kind of a mess too. For Hunter, will we finally be able to perform the role of area-of-effect melee or will we always be shit Bravers?

I guess in the coming months we’ll see.

Balance Thoughts: The Issues With Hunter Part 2: Fury Stance

drew_a_happy_face_on_kuna

The second part of this series of articles sharing my thoughts on the problems that Hunter currently faces, in light of upcoming balance changes. This part will be focusing on Fury Stance.

the_magic_fistpump

Do the fist pump!

Fury stance is a curse to the game in general, but I argue no class feels it more than Hunter. It’s the main reason for almost anyone to have Hunter as a subclass. Fury Stance is a tremendous damage buff to both melee and ranged classes (it offers no benefit to Teching classes at all). The actual damage bonus is multiplicative, which means that all of the bonuses are multiplied together to derive the actual percentage that’s applied to your damage. If you’re unaware of the numbers involved, here they are:

  • Fury Stance: 125%/110% (striking/ranged)
  • Just Attack Bonus 1: 110%
  • Just Attack Bonus 2: 110%
  • Just Attack Combo: 120%
  • Fury Stance Up 1: 110%
  • Fury Stance Up 2: 110%

Multiply them together!
Melee bonus: 1.25 * 1.1 * 1.1 * 1.2 * 1.1 * 1.1 = 219.6%
Ranged bonus: 1.1 * 1.1 * 1.1 * 1.2 * 1.1 * 1.1 = 193.2%

As a subclass, Hunter nearly doubles ranged damage output and more than doubles melee damage output. What’s more is this comes with almost no penalty whatsoever. Compare to Fighter Stances which offer bonuses to damage with positional restrictions, but don’t offer nearly as much damage as this.

But surely Hunter has access to this as well, so what’s the problem?

Actually, it doesn’t. See, as a subclass, you can afford to throw every single skillpoint into Fury Stance and its related skills with no problem. As I explained in the last post, Hunter has a number of skills that greatly enhance its overall survivability. All of these skills however will have a hugely negative impact on your outgoing damage, which is a significant problem not only from a competitive point of view but it also effectively reduces your survivability. A dead enemy is less of a threat than a live enemy. It is much easier to survive a boss when it dies in 1 minute as opposed to 10.

The reason this occurs is because of the amount of skill points the Fury tree eats up. To max it, you will need to spend 70 skill points total. Right now, at cap players have 75 points available to them. That only leaves 5 points for Hunter to invest in skills that aren’t “do more damage”. FIVE. Let’s ignore all of the cool survival skills and consider just the more vital portions of the class, such as Just-Guard. Step-Attack is a more essential skill for combat, but that can be covered by a subclass.

just_guarding

Just-Guard modifies the guard effect of all Hunter’s weapons, changing it to consume no PP and nullify all damage. A very powerful survival skill for instances where stepping to avoid damage may be dangerous or impractical. It costs 4 skill points to obtain it. If you take this, there will only be 1 skill point to spend elsewhere. What makes matters worse is that 3 non-Hunter melee weapons effectively get this skill for free. Fighter’s Knuckles and Daggers both have something that works like Just-Guard without requiring any skill points, with one dodging and another parrying all incoming attacks (if the time between them is short enough). Note that neither of these effective variants of Just-Guard are direction dependent as they will nullify damage from all directions, not just the front. However, the catch is that the timing on them is much more precise. Katana of course gets Just-Guard and even Just-Counter for free.

all_the_gears

Speaking of which, remember those gear skills I mentioned earlier which boost the effectiveness of Hunter’s weapons? What if you wanted all gears, as you use all the weapons where they perform the best. Well Partisan and Wired Lance are both on the Fury side of the tree anyway, so those are just 1 point each. Sword however is buried under two skills, requiring all 5 of your spare skill points to take. In other words, if you want all weapon gears you’re going to have to give up some damage.

The point I’m illustrating here is that Hunter has to give up 10% of its damage, or that last 1.1, reducing its outgoing damage to 199.6%. This would free up an additional 15 skill points (an absurd amount for that remaining 10% I’d say), allowing Hunter to grab all its gears, Just Guard and even Step Attack if it wanted. Let’s not forget that 30 s-atk for one point skill, otherwise known as Rare Mastery. It could take all that and still have a couple of points left over!

Regardless of how much you may personally value some of the skills I’ve mentioned, the fact Fury Stance eats up 70/75 skill points is the absurd part from Hunter main’s point of view and it effectively makes Hunter its own worst enemy. The reason Braver and Gunner are so strong is mostly thanks to Fury Stance. None of their native skills come even close to the strength that Fury Stance imbues onto them, perhaps not even the mighty Shunka Shunran. I am not saying that Shunka Shunran or S-Roll JA Bonus aren’t in need of re-thinking, because they are, but I argue those skills are much less impactful than this one.

In the third and final part, I will be looking at ways I feel the class could be improved, as well as the issues with gear gauges.

Balance Thoughts: The Issues With Hunter Part 1: Hunter’s Role.

I_bring_you_lo-ARGGH

With Sega recently announcing that they’re going to re-consider class balance over the next 6 months (you can read about their announcement at Bumped), while also deciding that maybe they need a team in charge of balance 2 years after the game was released (oh you guys). The first classes to be hit by this change will be Ranger mostly, with Techer, Hunter and Fighter getting more minor adjustments (at the bottom of the post under “Other Adjustments”). All classes in definite need of help, while at some point Braver will be having its primary photon art reigned in and Gunner will be having its “double all my damage if I flip” skill nerfed. Shunka Shunran and S-Roll JA Bonus. Shunka Shunran needed to be nerfed a long time ago, but Gunner’s skills aren’t necessarily why the class is so strong. More on that, later.

So as the title suggests, this post will be looking at Hunters in particular, with the focus on them as a main class as opposed to a sub. I enjoy the Hunter class more than any in the game, however I have played Fighter, Braver and Gunner pretty extensively too. As much as I love the class, I have no illusions about where it stands in the current game. That said, this post is still how I feel, as such your opinions may differ or I could plain be completely wrong about something.

This is also going to be a considerably long post probably, so I will split it up into multiple parts.

Hunter’s Role.

The first thing to consider is, what is a Hunter? Hunter is a slow, heavy class. It’s backed up by a high S-atk pool and has high hit-points and defense to help it survive, given that the class can’t dodge damage as easily as others can. Its weapons are all focused on dealing damage to a large number of enemies at once, as opposed to hitting single enemies. In the days of old, the single-target melee damage was Fighter’s domain. They’re still pretty good at it, actually.

Hunter has many survival skills at its disposal, with the near game-changing Automate Halfline, the impressive Iron Will, the functional and weirdly named Massive Hunter and Absorption which restores HP when enemies die nearby (only with Guard Stance on). It even has Pretty Good, another weirdly named skill, that reduces status-effect duration on the player by 70%. It also has general damage-reduction skills. Combine the above with skills such as War Cry and you have yourself quite a tank. Not that this game needs a tank…

What Went Wrong

I feel a number of things have contributed to Hunter’s current position. This is not to say that Hunter can’t be played well or that it can’t do well in the current end-game, because it certainly can. The key here is that it absolutely not competitive right now, in any area of the game.

Diminished Attack Role.

As I said before, Hunter’s role was that of the area-of-effect melee attacker. Its individual hits may not have been high, but it could hit a lot of things at once. Certainly on the game’s release and on the arrival of the new classes this role was well maintained. To an extent, the class still does alright today. It is however completely outclassed in this regard by the likes of Braver’s Kanran.

Compare Nova Strike to Kanran Kikyou.

Nova Strike

Nova Strike

Kanran Kikyou

Kanran Kikyou

Yeah, OK, Hunter does have better area skills than this, what with various Wired Lance photon arts and Slide End, but I feel this just illustrates a funny approach to their weapons design. Here we have a great-sword being completely and utterly out-classed in area of effect functionality by a flimsy little one-handed sword.

This trend of course seems set to continue with the imminent introduction of Kazan Nadeshiko. A reminder:

over-ended

Remember that Kazan Nadeshiko has both longer reach and is faster than Over End. How the two will compare after the upcoming patch however (Over End is getting buffed) we shall see.

So we have a weapon which, for the most part, completely out-classes all of Hunter’s abilities as a area-of-effect melee attacker. It’s just that it happens that Katana also has massively superior single-target damage to Hunter as well. There’s no sugarcoating, Braver as it is right now makes Hunter completely obsolete.

B-but, Hunter weapon gears make their weapons good!

Katana can do all the things Hunter weapons can, but better, without having to warm-up through charging weapon gear. Yes, the area of effect of geared Partisan attacks is enormous, but Kanran Kikyou’s is the same or larger. Swords are nippy and have great coverage when geared up, but Katanas are nippier all the time. Wired lance… just hits a bit harder but its still good! Katana hits harder and does more DPS than all Wired Lance Photon Arts, with the possible exception of Holding Current.

Hunter weapon gears do close the gap a fair way, but right now it just takes far too long for Swords to gain gear, with the other two weapons still having to take at least a few seconds to warm up. The fact that the weapons are, overall, still inferior to Katana even after warming up is just salt in the wound.

I realise I only focused on Hunter vs Braver here. It’s because it’s fairer to compare melee area-of-effect attackers against each other as opposed to comparing it with the ranged classes. Fighter was, until recently, solely a single-target damager. It has recently gained some area-of-effect capability that puts it on par with many of Hunter’s attacks, but are a shadow of what Braver can do. As for single-target damage, I actually argue that Fighter isn’t that far behind Braver, if not better in some situations. I diverge, though, this post is about Hunter’s problems, not Fighter’s.

In Part 2 I will be talking about Fury Stance and the various issues that has.