Titanic Tidbits

heh_dragon_EX

While the online services continue to be down, some little tidbits regarding planet Harukotan were revealed during the event in Osaka. Harukotan is a new planet set to arrive with the release of Episode 3 in August.

Titans are bigger than you!

bigger_than_you

While rather self-explanatory and not entirely unexpected, this image does at least give us a scale. With it it’s a little easier to appreciate just how large the monsters are on this planet. The Shiro-Nation Titan is on the left, the Kuro-Nation Titan is on the right. Lets call an individual from each nation a Shironian and a Kuronite.

Alternative names are White Nation and Black Nation. Why not use them? Well, for one thing the planet is very Japanese so using the Japanese names in Romaji seems thematically appropriate for once. The other reason is to avoid certain unfortunate racial implications the names would have otherwise…

The Shiro Nation

fieldinfo

The Shiro Nation, the first field that players will be visiting on planet Harukotan, is suffering an invasion by the Kuro Nation. Where the ARKS will fit into this is kind of a good question, but hints would appear to be that the Shiro Nation are the er, “good guys”. That said, watching through the video it does seem like Shironians will also attack you.

The field is populated by titans and Yokai-like enemies.

This slide also shows the field does indeed have an environmental mechanic, this time in the form of a purple Miasma which is said to strengthen the Kuronite invaders. Players will be able to purify these fields somehow. They sound mechanically similar to the corrupted relics in the Ruins field but clearly the scale is larger.

No information yet on what future fields may be, though I still feel the Kuro Nation is a pretty safe bet!

New Darker Type and Titan Boss

toy_wars_indeed

 

So there we have it, I said before how the field appeared to be lacking a Darker type and speculated which type may inhabit the field. Turns out it will be a new Darker type entirely, the Plaything/Toy type. We know Dark Falz Double is in the area due to the previously released teaser trailer for Episode 3 content, but given the events towards the end of Episode 2 it seemed like Double was in control of the Bird-type Darkers. Well, this revelation rather shoots that idea in the face. Dark Falz Loser really was the king of the chickens, after all. The aesthetics on the new type certainly are different, so different that if I was shown an image of them without being told they were Darkers I doubt I’d say for definite that they were. The only hint I’d have is the patterned red+black parts of them. In fact the teaser does show one of the Darkers and I don’t think anyone figured it was a new Darker type.

This makes me rather curious as to what Toy Falz is going to look like in its various forms…

The field boss is a Kuronite Titan by the name of Gigiru Gun’negamu (Gigil Gunnegam?).  It uses ice-based attacks. That’s all there is to say about that for now.

 [Thanks to Mewn for names]

South-East Asia Players IP-Blocked From PSO2JP?

LOSER-LOSER-LA-LA-LAAA

A good amount of noise is spreading among various places. Noise made by concerned players from the SEA region who have found that they can’t log in to the Japanese servers today.

So has there been an IP block?

Well, it certainly would seem to be that way judging by the number of people reporting it. Among the complaints about GameGuard mucking up the early access for those who actually want to play on Asiasoft’s servers, there’s a good number of complaints about being unable to connect to JP on Asiasoft’s facebook page. 

There’s also this thread on PSO-World, this thread on Reddit and various comments over on Bumped. The word has spread, people in the region are unable to connect.

Update: Seems it’s official, according to this post by CM Dynareus. Quote below:

“Hello, unfortunately yes, as countries from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines will only be able to access our server.

Cheers “

 

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Before recently, the only official word on anything regarding IP-blocks was that players outside the SEA region would be unable to connect to Asiasoft’s servers. There was, as far as I am aware, no official word stating that SEA players would no longer be able to play on the Japanese servers.

There is a slim chance that this isn’t an IP-block. This could be a coincidental connection issue, perhaps in light of cable maintenance or something. Although my gut feeling says this is incredibly unlikely, given that it’d be a remarkable coincidence that all 6 countries covered by Asiasoft happen to be blocked at the same time and on the day after their early access is underway.

I’m in South East Asia and fuck all things Asiasoft, how do I play on PSO2JP?

You’re in luck, potentially! Head on over to PSO-World here, where AIDA of Arks Layer has put together a guide to setting up a VPN.

Thoughts

If this is indeed an official IP block, then it’s a dick move. Yes, it is within Sega’s right to do so. don’t get me wrong there. In fact, all players from SEA and indeed players from anywhere in the world aside Japan aren’t officially allowed to connect to the servers in the first place. The terms of service state that you must physically be in Japan, after-all. Blocking entire regions with no word or forewarning is still a dick move, however. It’s a dick move because Sega or Asiasoft would have had the option to inform their players this was going to happen. Give the players who were maybe willing or considering playing on the SEA servers instead some time to prepare, to bid farewell to their old characters and other players on the JP servers they may be acquainted with.

Whose fault would it be? Given that Taiwan players can freely choose to play either their local version or the Japanese version, the finger of accusation points squarely at Asiasoft. Maybe it was a part of a deal they negotiated with Sega? Who knows.

If this was indeed Asiasoft’s decision as part of a tactic to increase their playerbase, I suspect it will only further the resolve of players who don’t wish to play on their servers and drive them towards VPNs instead.

DOES THIS MEAN WE WILL BE IP-BLOCKED WHEN PSO2 COMES OUT IN THE WEST?????

No. Remember, PSO2 Taiwan (hosted by Gamania) aren’t IP-blocked, indicating this wasn’t Sega\s decision.

All this incident would prove, should it be absolutely officially confirmed that it is an IP-block, is that Sega are willing to comply with requests to IP-block regions. So should whoever be hosting the western release of the game ask for it, Sega may comply.

 

Mining Base Defense: Drop Rebalance

BEEEEEES

Almost anyone who has played either of the Mining Base Defense quests will have experienced it; You’re about to defeat Dark Vibrace (however you want to spell it), your group is making good time and you might even get three runs in, when a massive lag spike suddenly brings the whole thing to a halt. Players worked out a long time ago that this lag occurred when the faster groups completed their runs and hit the big crystal at the end and that the server was choking while generating all those items.

Seems this has been officially acknowledged by Sega now and they’re set to implement a fix of sorts as detailed by this post here. 

You're killing the server, you assholes!

You’re killing the server, you assholes!

In true Sega fashion, they’re fixing the symptom rather than the cause by reducing the number of items that the crystal will generate from now on. In fairness this may be the only good fix available to them, the cynic in me is just convinced they’re taking the lazy way out. Remember when they removed the number of chairs in the lobby because they caused lag? CHAIRS.

Before you go turning all your 10*s into Photon Spheres instead of EXcubes, they’re not just reducing the number of drops but changing how the drop system works. Here’s a rundown:

11* drops will not be affected at all. This means that you’ll still have the same number of rolls for them, depending on your rank on the quest result screen (5 rolls at S-rank, 4 rolls at A-rank, 3 rolls at B-rank and 0 rolls at C-rank).

The total number of items dropped from the table built up during the quest will be reduced, but when picking items to drop it will be sorted by descending rarity. Before, this selection was completely random, now it sounds like any 10*s that were added to the table during the quest will be selected to drop before anything else. This means, potentially, you could get more 10*s from the quest than you did previously if I understand this right.

The total number of Meseta drops will be reduced. OH NO! But there will be no change to the average amount of Meseta you can obtain from the quest this way.

No other quests will be altered, it’s just both Mining Base Defense: Invasion and Intrusion.

PSO2 Live Broadcast 16 Gallery

GOOD_EVENINGI can’t understand a word of Japanese! As such, all I can really do for a live broadcast post for now is post a gallery of images. I hope they’ll be useful for those who can read japanese and just something pretty to look at for everyone else. Well as pretty as screen-shots from a livestream can be, anyway.

PSO2 ES
Question and Answers
Campaigns, Contests and Collaboration
Attack on Titan Teaser Image

stream-Attack-on_Titan


Videos

All of the following videos were uploaded by Manta Oyamada of PSO2UP.

Episode 2: Official Update Page and Broadcast Information

hairy_sakai

The official update page for the start of Episode 2 has been posted up. It of course comes with a trailer, which I’ll embed as par for the course, however this one is unusually lengthy. You can find a rundown of the update page here on Bumped.

This post will pretty much be going over some information about particular aspects of Episode 2 that I’ve come across, as well as sharing my thoughts on them. If I find more information I’ll probably go and put it into a new post because I think this one is quite long enough now..

The background music at the start is the theme of the new Coast field’s boss, Bal Rodos. From around 2:49 on-wards I believe it’s the Coast field’s theme.

It seems Bal Rodos is Lv55 in the trailer, which puts it on the same level as Sanctum. So I guess that’s how they’re going to be keeping Advanced Quests relevant for longer, which makes me wonder if Lilipa3 will share the same fate. Seabed shouldn’t, as it’ll be released after Super Hard is out.

You can watch the live broadcast in its entirety through the following links:


Braver

The class is defined by the two new weapon types, both of which seem to at least look decent. The Katana has good mobility and area-of-effect capability, which will be good for all of melee’s demands. Katanas are at least more mobile than Swords for example, but the damage numbers that they put out seem.. small. In fact their stats and even Photon Art modifiers seem relatively low, however they could well make up for this in damage per second given how rapidly they can attack. Bows on the other hand seem to lay somewhere between Launchers and Rifles with a bit of Twin-Daggers thrown in for good measure. Certainly versatile but I have yet to be convinced of their overall effectiveness.

braverweapons

braverPAs

Tsukimi-sazanka, Gekka-zakuro, Kanran-kikyo, Sakura-endo, Hien-tsubaki, Asagiri-rendan, Master Shot, Penetrating Arrow. Thanks to Qwerty for these names.

Braver seems to be a class oriented around the Ability (or Dexterity) stat primarily. It has an Ability Up skill, which is notable for being at lv3 in the livestream as that indicates it’s a pre-requisite for something. Both Katanas and Bullet Bows also require dexterity to equip, or at least all of the weapons shown so far do. However there may be no need to go raising a pure Dexterity Mag just for this class, as the requirements are quite low anyway. One revealed Braver skill, namely “Braver Mag”, converts up to 50% of the S-atk and R-atk into Dexterity. Whether or not this will add to your base and count for equipping things I don’t know (data suggests it’s a passive skill).

braverSkills

Ability Up 1, Braver Mag, Step, Step Advance, Snatch Step, Step Attack, Just Reversal, Average Stance, Katana Combat, Katana Gear, Rapid Shoot, Reversal Cover, Rapid Shoot Up

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The Braver Skill Tree. Skills are: Ability Up, Sriking Up, Shooting Up, Average Stance, Average Stance Up, Average Stance Critical, Average Stance Charge
Katana Combat, Combat Just Attack Bonus, Combat Finish, Katana Gear, Rapid Shoot, Rapid Shoot Up, Rapid Shoot Mastery
Weak Stance, Weak Stance Up, Ability Up 2, Weak Stance Critical, Weak Stance Charge
Step, Step Advance, Snatch Step, Step Attack, Just Reversal, Reversal Cover, Rare Mastery Braver, Braver Mag. Source: Dengeki Play.

Of interest to me are the utility skills surrounding step, as for melee it’s absolutely crucial to mobility. Snatch Step is a skill that will deal damage during a Step. It is seperate from Step Attack as that skill allows you do perform an attack at the end of a Step. You can perform step with both Katanas and Bullet Bows at that, so you’re not losing out if you choose to go ranged.

While you can guard with Katanas, Braver doesn’t have any guard skills at all. The broadcast demonstrates that Just Guarding is possible with Katanas, but possibly only through their gear. If this is the case, I wonder if there’s any point investing in Just Guard should someone decide to have Hunter as their subclass? Or if the regular Just Guard would apply to the Katana without gear applies or even if it would affect the weapon at all.


Coast Enemies

The trailer revealed a number of enemy names, as did the coast field playthrough that was done during the live broadcast. I’ll list them here with names and pictures where I can.

Torpon

torpon

A small shelled enemy, weak to both fire and ice element interestingly. Better picture of them from the official site below. At a distance they appear to be similar to Micdas, possibly sharing the same bone structure. The one on the right below makes be doubt that a little..

torpon2

Aculpus

aculpus

Seems to share its skeleton with Naberius’ Galphs. Of course, their attack behaviors don’t resemble them much, with them swimming through the sand with their fins poking out. Land sharks. They also appear to do a somersault attack.

Blumegalla

blumegalla

It’s a flower! It pretends to be a regular giant spikey flower and then jumps out at the player after spraying something about. It also fires laserbeams because why not. Smaller versions of this enemy exist as well, namely Blumetta. They appear to share the same bone structure as Sanctum’s Pendira’n.

blumetta

A picture of both of these enemies is up on the official page, re-hosting below.

blumegalla_blumetta

Blundarl

blundarl

One of the new bird-type Darkers. The second one named I believe, after Luda Sorcerer. A higher quality picture of Blundarl is posted below.

blundarl_hq

Strahda

StrahdaForgive me for the quality of these pictures, but it’s from a compressed video and there don’t seem to be any clear shots of these enemies sadly. Anyway, this is the somewhat legendary BIRDBIRDCROW in the flesh as it were. Their weak point looks like an exposed brain… It’s the standard orange colored weakpoint that most Darkers have it’s just how it looks given its position.

Another variant of this small bird is Tyraluda

Tyraluda

Unfortunately there are no official pictures that I’m aware of for either of these.

So it seems that the Coast field’s elements are Fire and Ice for the natives and Wind and Light for the Darkers.

Now that we have a planet full of fish, after having been fighting fish-based Darkers for a while now, I wonder if a planet populated by insects is on its way in 2014? After all, PSO2 still doesn’t have a Grass Assassin!


Subclass EXP

Old news now, but confirmed at least once and well, it being on the official update page means Sega aren’t going to be changing their minds about it. It’s sad, but subclass EXP will be capped to level 40. Before that, your subclass will gain 10% of the EXP that your main does. Yeah it’s not particularly popular this decision, but it’s still decent at least initially for a subclass. However I imagine like others, I was hoping this would mean the end of having to switch to a class you don’t like playing in order to support a class you do, but alas.


Class Appropriate Rare Drops.. From Bosses

Nothing like hearing the rare drop jingle only to get an item you can’t even use, eh? Well from Episode 2 this problem will be slightly alleviated! By how much of course isn’t really all that specific and I have a feeling that, as a player, you honestly won’t be able to tell that the drop rates had been increased at all. 1/1000 is barely better than 1/2000 for example and I highly doubt they’d give that generous a boost anyway. The idea is at least good, I just have no faith that the difference will be at all noticeable.

Also, despite the update page itself not mentioning bosses according to an article on Shougai which contains a transcript from Sakai and someone else, it only applies to boss enemies. This is kind of a shame as a number of decent items do still drop from regular enemies, but it’s a least a step in the right direction.


EXP Penalty Readjustment

The EXP penalty, which I’m still not a fan of even now, is being relaxed somewhat. Instead of altering the rates however instead they’ll be increasing the number of levels before it applies from 5 to 11. They’re um, turning up to 11 as it were…

This means that you’ll be able to run Advanced Quests a little earlier, however you’ll still have your EXP reduced to 75% at least initially (unlocks at 45, enemies start at 56). However, being able to start running Advanced Quests at lv46 is a significant improvement over having to wait until Lv52. It also means you can skip ahead areas more quickly at the lower levels, which doesn’t really affect Normal mode at all for new players in any case.

On arrival to Hard mode, you’ll be only 1 level out of reach for Forest Exploration.

On arrival to Very Hard mode, you’ll be able to run all the Free Field quests except for Sanctum Exploration and presumably Coast.


Client Order Adjustments

Reducing the cool-down time for daily repeatable Client Orders (not to be confused with Daily Orders… I know) from 24 to 22 is a big deal. Why, you might ponder, it’s not much of a change. It means they truly become daily orders. The current cool-down of 24 hours is problematic because it introduces what I call “crawl”, whereby the time you can re-do the Client Order crawls around the clock and becomes later with each day.

Say you start the Order at 12:00pm, it takes you half an hour to complete and you turn it in at 12:30pm. The next day you can’t start it any earlier than 12:30pm, so the next day you won’t be able to start it until 1:00pm. Then 1:30pm, etc. A 22 hour cool-down gives you a much better chance of being able to take on these Client Orders at a time you’d prefer to take them. It’s good to see the change, but annoying that it took them a year to do something about it.

Episode 2 Predownload Schedule

HEEERE IT COMES! Are you ready to download a bunch of files you probably already have? Cause a new area, class, client features and stats sure don’t justify a 5GB download on their own. Of course this patch could also include a chunk of the story, which has a lot of audio files and.. that can be big.

Whatever the case is, we’ll know soon enough once eager dataminers get their hands on the first part of the pre-download which is available with tonight’s maintenance.

Schedule