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

mxYA7rw

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

PSO2′s First Event: Border Breaking Clumsiness

wol_wol_ex

Events. Historically some of the most bug-ridden times in previous Phantasy Star days. Well in the Phantasy Star Universe days at least, I can’t comment on Phantasy Star Online. For the first event, players found themselves unable to complete the reverse-side of their Bingo Cards as particular nodes wouldn’t trigger when their conditions were satisfied. It has since been fixed, but thankfully Sega isn’t leaving it at that as they will be delivering compensation for it, including:

  • 50 x Advanced Capsule a
  • 4 x Extreme Passes

Effectively to cover the broken nodes. Exactly what the qualifying conditions are I’ve got to be honest and say I’m not sure. It could be you had to have unlocked the reverse side of the card before the emergency maintenance on the 21st or have to complete a node post it. Hopefully it’s the former or at least close enough to it. Update: You have to have unlocked the reverse side of the card before the emergency maintenance took place. Thanks, Espiokaos!

If you quality you should receive those items post regular maintenance on the 26th of June.

You will only receive this compensation once per account, even if you satisfy the condition on more than one character. 

As a general apology for having to perform an emergency maintenance, everybody will be given the following items:

  • 1 x Tri-boost 100%

This should also be distributed post the regular maintenance on the 26th of June


Episode 2 is Coming!

BirdBird

Kind of. The total size of the update that will bring us all to the next Episode weighs in at a whopping 5GB. PSO2 has had the pre-download system for a while now and they plan to use that system again for it, they just haven’t said when it is these patches will be available. Shouldn’t imagine it will be that long away though, as we’re now 22 days away as of this post from Episode 2 going live, after all.

Early patches are of course a data miner’s delight, so I’m sure some tidbits are set to be released.

Realy, Episode 2 isn’t as big a patch as I’d expect for something akin to an expansion. I mean yeah, it has only been a year since the game came out but the update itself is barely more than a regular content update. It adds a new race, new class and a new field as well as a bunch of photon arts and weapons and that’s all fine. I’m looking forward to that. I’m just saying that it seems a little lacking for something of its nature.


I Guess I Better Talk About The Event Or Something

youre_never_getting_dudu_bonuses

The latest reward unlocked is Rare Drop Boost +100%. It’s the one I’ve personally been waiting for, as it means I get to stack rare boost items up from the event and use up the Extreme Quest passes I’ve been saving. Of course the reward that most people would like are the two at the end, which boost item grind and ability transfer success rates.

However, due to the way the Bingo Cards turned out to be, the point growth has significantly slowed down. I was expecting randomly generated cards with various objectives for you to fill and the more Bingos you got the more points you contributed. Instead we all got the same card, which is like we all effectively got Matter Boards. Only one card at that, so as soon as both sides of it are filled out you can’t contribute any more points towards the total. This is why the total has slowed down in growth so much.

Still, there is yet hope. Tonight’s maintenance is set to add a new Limited Time Quest (among other things), namely “Arks Ship Fire Swirl”. With it, you’ll also be gaining a new Bingo Card. Will it be enough to slightly tame Dudu? That has yet to be seen..

more_like_this_please

As for the event quest itself, I like it! The best part about it for me is the comparitive ridiculousness of some the spawns that can happen, as pictured above. It’s made even better by the number of combinations of enemies that can be encountered, thanks to the quest’s spawn list including nearly every enemy in the game. I never thought I’d see a pair of De Malmoths spawn along with two Tranmizers and a Vol Dragon for example…

It’s not perfect of course. Persona seems to spawn a disproportionate amount compared to other bosses for one thing, who has a nasty habit of killing players after he’s been defeated. The number of times he spawns vs the number of Coated Edge D’s that have dropped is kind of depressing a ratio at that.

Another aspect of it is that hardly anyone actually bothers killing Cougar. This means the supply of its Weapon Camos (skins) is extremely low in general. Never mind the Sword Weapon Camo, “SW Teardowner“, which can only be dropped by the rare variant of the boss. Persona and Cougar can actually spawn just about anywhere it seems, but only one of these two has a chance of being a permanent addition to the game. If Cougar is gone at the end of this event, then the supply of the Weapon Camo items is likely to be extremely thin forever. Mind, given his appearance rates in the quest logs it’d likely be that way even if it was a permanent addition to the game.

Episode 2: Dewmans and Bullet Bows.

dewmans The 9th NicoNico broadcast took place today. They promised information on upcoming content and in particular with Episode 2 information and they’re delivering. In fact they’re still releasing information currently so this post is likely to change before the day’s out.


Videos

I’ll embed what videos I find here, though I’ll may talk about them in more detail in a separate post.

Episode 2 Content Trailer

Dewman Character Creation

Also contains footage of the new weapon types.

Planet Vopar Footage


Dewmans

We’ve known these guys were coming since the closed beta tests and finally we see them. So what is their race’s defining feature? Eye-patches? Ear-shape? That’s right, you guessed it! Horns.

Dewmans

Uhuhuhuh, they’re horny

Eyes with alternating colours as well it seems, otherwise they’re still albinos by default. The character creation screen there shows that they can customize their horns, though not sure if all male Dewmans have one horn and all female Dewmans have two or if that can be chosen. It also shows that Dewmans get a bit of a bigger choice of skin colour than they did before in PSP2:Infinity (which was white and REALLY white). In PSO2 Dewmans can be pale white, brown, red or blue in various shades. Regarding eyes, I’m guessing that given there are two windows open with eyes that player can customize them individually. Rumour has it that players will be receiving a free character slot when Dewmans are released. I’ve not yet confirmed this, however.


Braver WeaponsBraver was identified in the client fairly recently, with it being internally known as “swordarcher”. Katanas and Compound Bows were revealed, oh sorry, “Bullet Bows”. I guess Compount Bow might be pushing it in terms of name length, but Bullet Bow just sounds off to me. It seems Bullet Bows will have some kind of a charged action, perhaps similar to how some Sword and Partisan Photon Arts do. Fitting given how a bow is used, really. This does confirm that Katana and “saya” are part of the same weapon as well. The feeling was strong that this would be the case but the way the data was it implied they were separate weapons. How the pair function in combat is a bit of an unknown just now.

braver

As Braver is available on the character creation screen it seems safe to assume that there will be no requirements to unlock the class.


Coast CoastThe next field set to be added to the game and the first field that Episode 2 will add is the Coast field. That sure is a coast. The fountain landmark seems interesting, not something I expected to see. I can’t tell at that resolution whether it’s something technical or not just now. The Coast field is also confirmed to be set on the planet Vopar. new_enemiesWith a new field comes new enemies! Most of which were known about but certain details weren’t. It has a boss, the expected “MarineOarFish” which now has the official name of “Bal Rodos / Val Rodos” (Ricardo at Bumped / Mewn) and a miniboss which we thought was going to be “BirdCentaur” but it is in fact something I don’t think we’ve encountered in the data yet, named “Orgublan”. The field also seems to be populated by angry flowers (the big ones being called “Blumegalla”), but not the PSO-like Lilys that were expected. These enemies are all part of a new enemy category internally known as “Chimera”. I can’t tell if that name is mentioned on that image there. “BirdCentaur” might not be a miniboss, but it is still quite significant. It’s pictured in the top-right there, above the actual miniboss. Looks sort of Egyptian themed. It is in fact one of the 3rd type of Darkers, which is significant as it means that all the BirdSoldiers and the infamous BirdBirdCrow are also Darkers. Bird Darkers was a possibility that was considered, but upon looking at their models they didn’t seem very darker-like to us. Didn’t help that they were texture-less as well. I’m aware that the bosses there have their names in Katakana but I’m not confident in my localization skills. I’ll add the names more experienced people grant them later.


Support Partners: The Return of the Partner Machine

A newly announced feature is a small girl you can keep in your room…. aaaaagh

pet_little_girl

A pet little girl you can raise, clearly inspired by the roguelike Elona.

I’m not being serious with that caption. They appear to be reminiscent of Partner Machines  from Phantasy Star Universe. They were a bit like Mags, in that you raised them by feeding them items and what they’d evolve into depended on how you raised them. I don’t know yet if that’s how you raise Support Partners or not.  Unlike Partner Machines, a Support Partner’s appearance is completely customizable, it’s pretty much making a 2nd tiny character.

The 4th item on that menu is “Customize Weapon”, so you can potentially set their gear up too I guess. Wonder if it’s physically giving them a weapon or something? (Thanks to Mewn for that).

aggggggh

Like Partner Machines of Phantasy Star Universe your pet… little person.. can follow you into the field. The Japanese text at the bottom indicates that Support Partners are active when you’re logged out, but it’s not clear really what’s meant by that.

It just seems… weird to me. I mean, you’re raising a tiny character. I mean before you had at least a little comfort in it being a little robot but, here it’s a little person. It can be a robot if you make it a Cast, but otherwise it really is effectively a pet person. There’s something unsettling about that.

Support Partners can only be raised in a room, but it seems you won’t need Premium Set to have the room to raise one in. All characters will be given mini-rooms, which presumably becomes your default room when your Premium runs out.


Long Term Schedule schedule Episode 2′s release date is confirmed as happening some time in July, arriving with other things. I’ll list what I can with their respective month below:

  • July
    • Support Partner
    • Arks Road
    • Planet Vopar with Coast field
    • New race: Dewmans
    • New class: Braver
    • New weapon categories: Katana and Bullet Bow
  • August
    • Nothing!
  • September
    • New Field
  • October
    • New Difficulty: Super Hard (Formally known as Super Very Hard? Or possibly a difficulty before it…)
    • Level cap raised to 65
  • November
    • New Field
  • December
    • 12-man Quest Category
    • Update to the Item Customization System

Nothing at all for August it seems. Anyway, there are two more fields coming up, which are presumably the as-yet un-named “Lilipa3″ and the unannounced “Seabed”.

Tidbits: Campaigns, Boost Days and Persona Soul

pokeIt’s pre-patch time! Last night the first part of the pre-download went up, weighing in at 835MB. On the 10th of June, the 497MB second part will become available.

Campaigns & Boosts

New campaigns are up. Matterboard Campaign 3, Client Order Campaign 11 and Advanced Quest Campaign 3.

We’re also getting three more boost days, which I can only apologise for not mentioning the first round of them. Just managed to miss them, whoops. Well these are the days and their associate boosts, including the remainder of the current round:

  • 6th June – 50% Rare Drop Boost
  • 10th June – Meseta Drops Boosted by 200%
  • 11th June – 50% EXP Boost
  • 14th June – 50% Rare Drop Boost

All of them occur on those dates from 0:00 to 24:00 JST. You can stack booster items on top of these, so might be a good time to use them!

Data

Unfortunately not much in the way of data so far, however some things to note:

The Burning Rangers E-trial is separate to the Chaotic Border Break quest. Updated the previous post to reflect this but it bears repeating. It’s part of a new Emergency Quest named “Arks Ship Fire Swirl” (aka Arks Ship Calamity). Whether or not this is also going to be temporarily available I don’t know. I have a feeling it’ll behave like a seasonal Emergency Quest but I don’t recall it being said anywhere.

Both Chaotic Border Break and Arks Ship Fire Swirl have Client Orders associated with them. Client Orders for an Emergency Quest, yikes.

There are new souls, namely Persona Soul (30 R-def, 2 PP and 20 HP) and presumably Cougar Soul (15 S-atk, 15 R-atk, 15 T-atk, 15 Dex, 2 PP and 20 HP) . Really, now? Affixes that are only available during an event? Wonderful.

Additional Appearance Pieces

Some scratch images were also found among others things, which were shared in this thread on PSO-World. Only gonna mention the more.. interesting new stuff briefly though.

scratch_01What we have here is the return of the summer yukatas seen last July, only of course with new colour variants. Additionally there’s a port of Gokoh Baori and Yoshino Tefura. There’s something else being shown here and I’m not talking about the girl in the Yoshino Tefura giving a horrible smile.

stockingsThose are not a part of the outfit! That is in fact a new body paint, one amongst many on their way:

bodypaintsClearly it was imperative that girls needed more stockings to play with.

There is another Scratch card image that shows of.. err..

scratch_02Dgfdghjk;llk what?!

I_skin_people_alive

JESUS, KILL IT.

That horrifying thing is displaying just one of a few new eye styles that are set to be added to the client at some point it seems. Heres the current selection:

eyes

Really don’t get the star-eyes. The 3rd one reminds me of eyes that Beasts had in Phantasy Star Universe, but I mean they’re really just modeled after a cat’s eyes..

As always, this is data-mined content. As such, the things displayed here may be different when they’re actually added to the game and theres always a chance some things may never be added at all.

Solemn Sentinel and Other Future Content

flycrySo yeah, we got a date for the new field. The 8th freely accessible field will be arriving on the 10th of April. This post will go over some of the content announced for this date as well as looking further ahead at future content. It will also act as a place to share my thoughts on some of the things announced between my last post and the present.


Solemn Sentinel Update

As has been the case throughout PSO2′s life a trailer for the new content was released as well as a new update page. Embedding the trailer below.

Dragon Altar’s map is a lot less organic than the other Amduscia areas, which makes sense given that it’s manufactured by the natives. While this concept makes it close to something like Lilipa’s Underground Complex in structure it seems to be fairly different.

altarmapUnlike the Complex, Dragon Altar’s layout is separated into rooms. Unlike any field so far, these rooms can be separated by doors. This makes me think of it as more like any of PSO’s areas, as it isn’t an open field like PSO2′s other areas. At the very least it looks like there’s enough that’s different about the field that will make it stand out from the others.

In terms of level range, the field seems to cover levels 50-55, which means that this field will be one drop tier below Advance Quests. I wonder if Lilipa3 will cover levels 55-60?

Presumably the existence of this field means we’ll be getting a “Marathon Training: Amduscia II” mission added at some point.

Like DRAGONLAND, the enemies in this field all appear to be weak to dark element attacks.


New Enemies

Pendolan

dragonhammerSo yeah, as I guessed this is indeed “dragonhammer”. Pendolans swing their hefty tail about to attack.

Deegala

flydeegPreviously known as “DragonFlyRaptor”, affectionately known as “FLY DEEG” to about 3 people. Unlike “Deeg”, however, the name for this critter really is Deeg, not Digg. If you’re confused, “Deeg” is the official translation of Digg as seen in footage of the localized client shown last year.

Deegalas appear to be the adds present in the field boss’s arena.

Sol Dilandarl

dragonchariot_01One of the “dragonchariots”, in this case the ranged type. Interestingly, Dinians are riding them. This was first seen in footage revealed a while back, which turned out to be part of the new benchmark which I’ll mention later in this post. Wonder if they die together or if they can be separated?

Goronzoran

dragonfatThe mini-boss of the new field. Fair to say that PSO2 really has had nothing like it. In fact I don’t think Phantasy Star in general has had anything like this.

I’m sure the main attraction to the boss (unless fat lizards are your thing) is the ability it has to summon Vol Dragon. Well, the internal name for this “Vol Dragon” is DragonSummonerIllusion as was mentioned in a previous post. It won’t be a fully powered Vol Dragon, that’d just be mean. Remember, this is a mini-boss, which means in a party of two or more you’re going to be fighting two of these fat bastards at once. Add in summon-able Vol Dragons and it’d just be a mess. To lend credence to this, it appears that the summoned dragon can’t actually be targeted.

Dragon Ex

dragonexThe name of the field’s boss was revealed some time ago. I wasn’t able to comment then but I can share my thoughts on it now, so that’s what I’m gonna do.

Dragon Ex is a dumb name. Moving on..

The fight itself looks like it’ll be similar to fighting Quartz, only Ex is much more sluggish and naturally more focused on melee-ing its foes. Unlike other dragons, Dragon Ex doesn’t appear to be able to fly.


Hatsune Miku costume, hairstyle, Mag and posters in PSO2

mikumikumikumikuNo one cares.


Skill Tree Changes

Been wanting to talk about this for a while. With a new level cap of 60 (which you won’t need a Client Order to unlock, thankfully) comes a new set of skills. There will also be tweaks to a couple of major skills in the Hunter tree. To Sega’s credit, all players will receive an item that can reset all their skill trees. Really glad they’re doing something like that, it’s a decent thing of them to do.

So what are the new skills like? I’ll be re-posting Bumped’s interpretation of them here as well as thoughts/speculation.

  • Fury Combo Up (Hunter)

“During Fury Stance, by performing a series of Just Attacks, you’ll do bonus damage”

Not a bad sounding skill, it’s rewarding the player for decent timing after all. Wonder how the damage will scale? It also seems like faster weapons would benefit more from this than slower ones, in particular I’m thinking Knuckles will benefit from it well. Especially as their Gear ability increases their attack speed..

  • Killing Bonus (Ranger)

“PP Restores when enemies die close to the player.”

Depending on the kind of PP restoration it gives, it might make builds less focused on PP more viable. I’d imagine due to the nature of the weapon, Launcher would benefit the most from this skill. Naturally, it’d be utterly useless against bosses.

  • Photon Flare Afterburst (Force)

“T-ATK increases for a certain amount of time after the end of the Photon Flare skill.”

I don’t really get this skill, it increases T-atk after a skill that increases T-atk has expired? I assume that it loses the HP penalty that Photon Flare incurs? There’s another issue with this skill that I’ll bring up later.

  • PP Slayer (Fighter)

“When PP is less than 50%, S-ATK and R-ATK increases.”

Not much to say about this skill. It just lets you do more damage from Photon Art spam. Kind of boring.

  • Perfect Keeper (Gunner)

“When HP is 100%, your damage towards enemies increases.”

Likewise, Gunner almost never gets hit anyway. I have a bit less of a problem with this one however given that it’s rewarding you for playing the class well I guess.

  • Rare Mastery Techer (Techer)

“T-ATK increases when equipping 10 star or higher weapons.”

This is stupid. I have bad news for Techers as well, because according to datamining efforts ALL classes have a skill like this. Why is it even needed? When you’re using 10* or higher weapons you’re already doing more damage than you would with most things below it. Yeah there are exceptions if you manage to get 50% element with certain 7-9* weapons, but the point remains. While it isn’t rewarding pure luck with the presence of the exchange weapons, it’s still effectively rewarding luck to a degree.

Skill Changes

A few Hunter skills will be altered on the 10th of April. Warcry’s target priority will be improved it seems but the bigger thing on people’s minds are the changes to Guard Stance and especially Fury Stance, as both of these skills will be changed to percentage increases.

Whether the change to Fury Stance is a good thing or not depends on what they mean by a percentage increase, because if it’s a percentage increase to damage dealt then this could potentially be a nerf depending on your current character’s stats. Before going into the mathematics, the basic premise is larger numbers benefit more from % increases to damage whereas lower numbers benefit more from plain stat increases. More to the point, the closer your attack stat is to the enemy’s defense stat the more important a stat boost is. To have some numbers to back this up; given 100 S-atk vs 100 S-def the resulting damage is 1. If S-atk is 250 and the enemy’s S-def is still 100 (say you used Fury Stance as it was) your damage is now 30. If Fury changed to % increase on damage you’d still be doing 1 damage.

If however this is a percentage increase to your stats, then it’d be functioning just as it is now. More importantly it would be functioning correctly for the game’s lifespan, which it wouldn’t have without such a change. 150-250 S-atk is a significant boost to attack at lv50, but the higher our characters go the less useful that becomes. The other question of course is would Fury Stance include S-atk up skills or just your base racial stats?

This leaves me wondering about skills like Photon Flare and Photon Flare Afterburst, which is the Force equivalent of Fury Stance in effect. Will that switch to a percentage increase in stats or will it keep the problem that Fury Stance had?


New Character Creation Benchmark

dorficonThis was a surprise! The character creation benchmark got an update, changing the stage from the Forest and Urban areas to Amduscia areas including the upcoming Dragon Altar field. That’s about it, it’s the same otherwise.
You can get the new benchmark from here (about 654MB).

phallicWhile on the surface there isn’t anything new aside the field, there are some interesting things under the surface which will be talked about in the next section.


Towards the Future

There is yet more content on the horizon, both officially announced and extracted from the data in the client. In this case the client is largely the new benchmark.

Enemies

Seems there’s a new variant of the bird themed enemies named “BirdCentaur”. My slight speculation of the “Bird Warriors” being somewhat Tengu-like may be a wee bit off, particularly with the addition of another bird named “bird_double_head”. Another new enemy is “MarineOarFish”, which may well be the enemy that “GoTo_0690_WaterBoss” concerns itself with. An oarfish is an actual thing, you can see one here at Wikipedia. That might feel a little familiar to a Phantasy Star Online fan, eh? Of course there’s no guarantee that it will function the same as De Rol Le did, as PSO2′s bosses are quite a bit different to bosses in past games.

Going by the area code (06xx) as well as the name of the enemy, the MarineOarFish is likely the boss of the un-announced “Coast” area. I wonder if the bird enemies also inhabit this field?

Area 2000 is a Tower. Before I would have said something like “a tower on lilipa” but that’s the wrong planet identifier for one thing (lilipa is 04xx for reference) plus Falz Arms and Falz Elder seem to be set to make appearances there. Interesting. Area 2000 used to be “DifficultQuest” before, so the chances are good that this field belongs to a new quest type scheduled to arrive later.

There’s still nothing on Lilipa3, although a new emergency trial who’s only reference is ” scene_oc_dwarfhome_defense”. Could the new field be the homestead of the Lilipans? Related to the field, it appears that Cougar, the cross-over boss from Border Break, has a rare variant. I mention it in this paragraph as chances are it’s the boss of this field. If so, I think it’s a bit weird really. A cross-over boss just doesn’t seem fitting as an actual boss as opposed to a thing on the sidelines somewhere.

With the exception of the content associated with Lilipa3, this stuff should all be here before the Summer gets going. There is no sign of Dewmans just yet, but Beasts may have become a more likely addition than they were with the addition of “race_beast” to the client. Before, the only reference to Beasts was in a random list which suggested that it might have just been data that carried across from PSU. It does not guarantee that they’ll add Beasts as a playable race, but as I say it does increase the chances of it happening. I wonder if they’ll hand out free character slots when they add new races?

PSO2 Episode 2

Outside of the client, it seems Episode 2 has been announced. It was announced during the Sympathy Concert which celebrated 25 years of the Phantasy Star franchise. No images of what was shown has turned up, but it seems it may have been no more than a key-word style teaser much like the original announcement of PSO2. To quote Bumped:

  • Oracle’s Collapse
  • Arks Road/Lord?
  • Photoners
  • “Who is the real enemy?”
  • The Third Darkers
  • The Beginning and End of the Arks
  • New Race, New Planet, New Classes.
  • New Weapon Categories.
  • Coming this Summer!

So presumably the new weapon types (Compound Bow and Katana) will belong to the new classes. Given the disparity between the amount of data there is in the client for Beasts and Dewmans it seems certain that the new race will be Dewmans. The new planet will host the un-announced Coast area more than likely, given the order of the area codes so far.

By third type of Darkers they mean a type of Darker other than insect and fish. Could these be Bird Darkers or are the bird enemies the natives of whatever planet the coast field belongs to?

That’s really all I can tie into this announcement from the datamined stuff that I know about. Who knows when we’ll hear more about this, but it probably won’t be this side of the game’s first anniversary.

Those Who Walk Together: Part 1

happydragonAn update page has been revealed for the next content addition to PSO2. Part of this update will coincide with the release date of the PS:Vita version of PSO2 on the 28th of February, but much of this will be arriving in early March. As with all updates, there is a trailer which I’ll embed below.


New Advanced Quests

The next round of Advanced Quests are coming up, much sooner than I expected. Ok granted, they’re not really adding anything new but that still feels pretty quick.

ss_04_lThis batch of quests seems set to include each planet’s second area; Tundra, Mines and DRAGONLAND respectively. Datamining reveals that the Advance Capsules we’ve been obtaining already will be valid for these quests as well.

Update: Apologies, I got it wrong before. The capsules are in fact arranged so you could do an entire round on one planet if you wanted (or will eventually be able to once the third areas of Lilipa and Amduscia are out)

Advanced Capsule a – Forest, Mines
Advanced Capsule b – Caves, Tundra
Advanced Capsule c – Desert, Floating Continent.

Other than that, I don’t really expect any other surprises with these quests.

While the 2nd batch of Advanced Quests came quickly, the 3rd batch should be a while off. I don’t expect to see those until Amduscia and Lilipa’s third areas are added, inklings of which have been found in the client which I’ll go over in a separate post.

These Advanced Quests will be arriving on the 13th of March.


White Day Lobby and Content

It’s the Valentine’s lobby except it’s blue. From the 6th of March to the 27th it’s the time of year to show your appreciation for the men of PSO2, all 5 of them.

ss_03_lLike Valentines Day there will be an e-quest filled with Code: Attack emergency trials, only the NPCs will be exclusively male instead of exclusively female.

ss_02_lXie will also be making a return, although I can’t comment yet on whether or not her event orders will be worthless.


You Thought You Were Done With This Project:CUTE Bullshit Didn’t You?

universe_scratchWell as you saw above, Xie is sporting the Marie Wind outfit from Phantasy Star Universe. Other outfits are set to arrive with the Universe Star Collection Scratch including Guardians Uniform (male and female) and Emilia Replica.

Yes. ONE outfit for male characters. The Rappy Suit is genderless so that doesn’t really count. This scratch will be available on the 6th of March, during the White Day event. If the developers aren’t going to care about the handful for men in PSO2 how do they expect us to? Edit: Well ok turns out that’s not quite what White Day is all about, but I can still whine about the lack of male clothing there. Heck, the complete lack of Cast parts too.


Chrome Dragon

The Chrome Dragon is coming and the trailer shows us the first glimpse of the boss in action. So far it looks like yet another melee-unfriendly encounter..

chrome_attack_1It seems these red crystals are its signature attack. Notice the Darker particle effects.

chrome_forestChrome Dragon functions like Dark Ragne, Wolgahda, Zeshrayda and Falz Hunar in that it’s a boss that can appear anywhere. Interesting how its effects are all Darker themed with the red particles and such but Chrome is still counted as a dragonkin. It is not a Darker.

Chrome will be encounterable on both platforms from the 28th of February, but Vita users will be the first to encounter it. If a PC user is in a party with a Vita user and a Chrome spawns then it’s also unlocked by the PC user and they can then encounter it randomly. This is how Chrome will spread to the PC userbase. Or it’s how it’s allegedly going to work at least.


Story Quest: Chapter 9

Chapter 9 will be available exclusively for the PS:Vita version at first. In it you will be adventuring with a girl who definitely isn’t Kuna.

notquna

Data-mining suggests you can acquire her card, though what the conditions are is unknown.


Story Quest: Arks Battle Tournament

This is a quest in which you get to beat the shit out of Claris Claes. Show her no mercy.

peonpeonpeonpeonpeonpeonMAKE HER STEP ON LEGO.

This quest will be a PC exclusive initially, so PC users will have content that Vita users don’t as well. Data-mining reveals that Claris (and even Huey) will be opponants in this quest as NPC bosses. Think along the lines of Persona (previously known as Masked Man) and Gettemhalt in previous story quests.

Story content will be arriving on the 28th of February.