So 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.
Unlike 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.
So yeah, as I guessed this is indeed “dragonhammer”. Pendolans swing their hefty tail about to attack.
Previously 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.
One 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?
The 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.
The 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
No 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.
“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..
“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.
“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.
“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.
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
This 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).
While 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.
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?
- “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.