It’s that time again! The 6th PSO2 Station went out earlier and it introduced a bunch of new trailers and some things to discuss. This time around we have new PVP features, Easter 2017, a glimpse of the new raid-boss Deus Esca Zephyros and the final part of the PSU celebration.
Also, say “エピソード4いよいよ完結” in-game before the 29th to get yourself a bunch of voice tickets!
Easter 2017. Includes the Easter lobby, weapon and costume design contest winners (including Sadinian Suit for you wannabe Argonians out there) and the final chapter of Episode 4. Curiously does not include any Easter Seasonal quest…
A lot of stuff in this next one. Battle arena update, including new weapons and a skill system. Also a mini Rappy suit, the return of Annette and Jean (with Bruno as a new arrival), new Timed Abilities, Fashion catalogue system, furry themed costumes and the new Raid Boss.
For the final part of the Phantasy Star Universe celebration: Laia, Lumia and Beast face.
So yeah, a few bits to go through. I’ll only go over the stuff I personally feel is interesting to talk about, but as always you can find a full recap over at Bumped.
Battle Arena Update
So the update introduces 3 new weapons and an expansion to the system in the form of skills. So yeah, the mode has barely been out and they’re already adding a brand new system to it…
Yeah I know, that sounds like the most pointless whine and it probably is but I feel like for something competitive like this introducing something that can completely shatter the meta so soon after releasing it just feels wrong to me. That said, the mode as it stands does lack depth, so perhaps the addition of the skill system will go some way to address this… maybe. It’s just it feels like rather than this being an update it instead comes across as they released the mode before it was properly finished and are only now rolling out the rest of the features they wanted for it. Maybe I’m overthinking this, though.
The new weapons this time are Bullet Bow and Jet Boots.
Bullet Bows come with Last Nemesis, which is an attack that takes a very long time to charge but hits very hard when it fires. It also has considerable rage in PvE but it remains to be seen how much of that is kept for the PvP version.
I can’t imagine Last Nemesis really successfully hitting many people in battles unless they’re distracted, because the charge time is so long and well telegraphed that outside of corridors people are going to have plenty of opportunity to either head for cover or attack you while it’s charging up. even in a corridor situation, a Sword user could block it and if the latency is low enough it should be trivial to time your i-frames around the fire time.
That said, one thing to remember about Bullet Bows is their normal attack damage is actually quite high. This makes them a potentially powerful ranged attack which doesn’t even require PP to utilize.
Jet Boots are going to be a pretty interesting addition as well. They retain their ability to double-jump, making these the most mobile weapons in the mode so far. It also lets you attack from angles that other weapons currently can’t by allowing you to jump up to areas that are otherwise tricky to access. Effectively they’re gonna be the Genji of this game if that makes any sense to you.
Jetboots come with two Photon Arts: Gran Wave and Strike Gust.
Gran Wave retains its ability to home in on players, though the demo footage suggests it might be tricky to actually land it on people. It could be the demo player was bad at using it but it just seems like it can whiff pretty easily. It also retains its shift action though, which is an absurdly long period of i-frames. This could let you zoom in for an attack then try to use your i-frames to escape. It does not retain its ability to cast Deband, however which would be pretty ridiculous if it could.
Strike Gust shift-action seems like it’s a hard hitter, though it has much smaller range than the likes of Nova Break or Rising Edge. I could maybe see it being used to get a surprise attack from above, but other than that I feel like this PA would be too easy to miss with and might leave you too vulnerable. It does not retain its Shifta effect.
So yeah, the pair of weapons seem like they’ll be interesting additions to the mode at least. Bullet Bows will grant a back-line sniper role that may be more effective than current sniping options and Jetboots seem to suit a more assassin type of playstyle. These are my thoughts of course, it’s hard to tell exactly where these weapons will fit into the meta until people have had the chance to try them.
One downside I can think of is there will be a bigger pool of items that are going to be randomly assigned when you use one of the weapon nodes. This means you’re going to be less likely to get the weapons you want or the ones your team needs than you are currently. This problem will only get worse if they add more weapon in the future (and datamining does suggest there are more to come, including Katana and Launcher if I recall correctly)
PVP Skill System
Either at the start of a Battle or whenever you respawn (it’s not exactly clear) you’ll get the choice between 3 different skills to take. These 3 are randomly chosen out of a pool of 5 different skills, because the game mode needed yet more randomness.
Once you pick a skill, it gets added to your action bar and you can use it a certain number of times. There seems to be no apparent cool-down on these skills.
Massively reduces the amount of damage you take for a period of time.
It’s essentially an on-command use of the spawn-room buff you get whenever you re-spawn. It looks like it reduces damage by around 90% which is pretty crazy as it’d allow you to pretty much tank any attack the game currently has including Rising Edge. Might allow Sword users to jump into a pile of enemies without fear to help break a bunkered team in the rainbow emblem spawn area perhaps.
Increases your movement speed for a short time.
Straightforward ability. The demo footage uses it to get behind enemy lines quickly which is what I imagine the main use of this skill would end up being. It could also be used as an escape tool, though it might not work that well if the enemy is using ranged attacks (or you’re lagging…). Seems to be a pretty minor buff to movement speed, so I don’t know I’m honestly not sure this skill would have much of an impact generally.
Fires a fast moving projectile that inflicts a short duration stun on enemies.
If you want to make PVP an un-fun experience a surefire way to do it is to add crowd-control abilities. Stunning a player successfully pretty much turns it into a guaranteed kill if you have a followup attack to use with it. Combine this with lag and this either has the potential to become one of the most frustrating abilities in the mode or one of the most unreliable. It depends on how it interacts with lag, really.
Massively reduces the PP consumed by Techs and PAs
I feel like the application of this skill should be obvious. The ability to spam your PA without consequence is kind of major.
Recovers HP and cures status effects
Effectively quadruples your HP pool. This could be potentially nasty if combined with the relatively high HP that sword grants but naturally the ability to self-heal is a powerful addition to any weapon type.
I have serious concerns about this system for the health of the mode. Now, my concerns in the past have proven needless before (I will never forget my post on Bouncers..) but I honestly think these skills in general will make the mode more frustrating than it is now.
Now you may rightly point out that other PVP games have skills just like this, what’s the issue? I argue the issue lies in the fact that anyone could have any skill. In other PVP games you can tell either by their class or by the character the enemy is using what skills they’re likely to have at their disposal. So you can potentially bait out dangerous skills or anticipate abilities that might be dangerous to you and decide whether you can countermeasure them or just choose not to engage because you’ll likely lose if you do. You can do that in PvP at the moment because you can see the enemy’s weapon which gives you some idea of how you could go about fighting them. Do they have a Sword? If you have One Point it’s not a wise idea to engage unless there’s considerable distance or they’re distracted. Do you have Piercing Shell? You can greatly cripple their survivability! You can make these kinds of decisions when you have some idea of what abilities the enemy is going to have; you can’t with the skill system because it’s completely random.
It’s also an additional level of RNG at the spawn. What happens if one team ends up with a majority of a skill that the other team rolled no effective counters to? For example, the enemies get majority Cure and none of yours do? One team is likely to utterly stomp the other! This could be a real issue as winning a fight early gives you control over the Rainbow Emblem spawning area, which can be very difficult for the losing team to take back. .
I’m not even going to go into the issues that lag could create with these skills…
But as I said, I’m not sure if these skills are assigned at the start of a match only or if they’re rolled every time you die. It’s also probably not going to be as bad as I suggest it is, honestly.
New Battle Coin Items
You can obtain the new Jet Boots and Bullet Bow as weapon camos. You can also obtain Rappy Suit Mini for the princely sum of 100,000 coins!
I should note that being smaller doesn’t reduce the size of your hitbox in this game, however it might make you harder to spot…
All of this will be arriving late April.
Phantasy Star Universe Part 3
So yeah, data-mining was right about Laia and Lumia joining us in the final part of this event. Laia arrives sporting Guardians Formal and wielding her signature weapon “Laia Axe”, which turned out to be a Partizan. Lumia meanwhile is sporting the Guardians Uniform F and is wielding her rod the Viedima, which is a low-tier rod made by GRM (a weapons company in Phantasy Star Universe).
So in the end it seems they decided to create a new face model type for Laia. I was curious how they were gonna handle her beastly features. I’m also quite glad to see Guardians Formal make its way to PSO2 as it’s one of my favorite outfits from the game and it doesn’t look like they went too nuts with the physics on it. As for how it looks, it does seem rather flat like other PSU model ports, but it’s hard to really tell with compressed video.
Beyond that the event will see the revival of a bunch of different Phantasy Star cosmetics, including a lot of the PSP2 outfits we already have and the addition of the default Beast costumes from PSP2:Infinity among other things.
You’ll also be able to get the Beast face model for your character…. if you’re willing to shell out enough cash because they stuck it in the Bonus Scratch. God damn it.
And that’s it for the Phantasy Star Universe event. In the end it was some crossover characters and a large pile of cosmetics. Pretty nifty as I like the characters and some of the oufits, I’m just a little disappointed that we didn’t get any of the bosses like they did for the PSO event.
The final visit from the Guardians of Gurhal will start mid-April and they’ll be around in the lobby until the 7th of June.
Deus Esca Zephyros
The boss whose name just keeps on growing it seems. The (probably) last raid boss of Episode 4 will be arriving in late April.
Like the Yamato quest, the first part will see the Arks going up against hordes of heavenly Phantom Angel enemies as they climb Yggdrasil. This includes a re-skin of Maxwell’s demons and Kuron’s centaur enemies. All of the minions on the way to Deus Esca seem to be weak to Dark element.
Deus Esca himself however is weak to both Dark and Light which… I don’t understand why we needed yet another Raidboss weak to Light. Guess the Ragrants spam carries on!
It also generally doesn’t appear to hit that hard and no raid-wipe move was demonstrated. It did fire off an attack which did between 1200-2200 damage to anyone it hit, which depending on which stats it scales from could effectively be a raid-wipe but it doesn’t appear to be attached to any mechanics plus you can just move out of the way of it…
Zenesis Weapon Collection
It wouldn’t be a raid-boss post Episode 4 without a weapon collection!
All we really know about the Zenesis series so far is numbers and what they look like. We know absolutely nothing about the weapon potential.
The weapons come with Ability 3, Deus Factor, Stamina 3 and Spirita 3. It can be assumed that Deus Factor will be +20 S-atk, +10 T-atk, +10 R-Atk, 20 HP and 1 PP based on Yamato and Mother Factors. So S-Atk weapons come with +35 attack and all others come with +25. With that information, we know that Zenesis Sword comes with 1232 S-atk at +0, which makes it ever so slightly stronger than Astra Separ and 51 S-atk weaker than Gix Zangulum. As always it really just comes down to whatever its potential turns out to be.
This Collection Sheet does not come with any eggs, but it does have a 13* Tact. You can obtain a 13* Rappy but only as a drop.
They’re units from a Raid Boss. Even if they’re decent they might as well not exist.
I might be a little bitter about unit drops given that I have yet to get a single Mother unit since its been our and I’ve only ever seen one Invade Unit drop.
Aside its appearance though we know nothing about its stats so who knows maybe they’re rubbish anyway.
Speaking of items you will never see, Deus will come with 3 brand new 14* weapons; a DoubleSaber, Wand and Tact. Yes, a 14* Tact.
The Tact seems to be Rykros Baton from Phantasy Star Portable 2. It has the special ability to fire un-charged Megids with each swing.
The Wand seems to be Lavis Cannon. Its special ability seems to be the same as Form Wand in that it can fire shock-waves on each swing.
The Doublesaber however is a mystery. It was initially presumed to be Twin Blaze from Phantasy Star Online but it doesn’t really look very much like it. It’s also unknown what the weapon’s special ability is as they don’t really demonstrate it doing anything unique.
Episode 5 Announced
The teaser at the end of this broadcast actually teased two separate updates; a Chapter EX for Episode 4 and the announcement of Episode 5 in name and vague theme alone.
Phaleg has taken off the training gloves and will be going all out, testing Player-chan for all they’re worth.
The fight seems to play out much like the one we’ve already had with a couple of new moves; a ranged stun combo and a large area-of-effect stomp.
She also seems to pull off a cutscene phoenix-kick attack that nukes the tower platform. It’s not known at this point whether this is a punishment for failing a raid-like mechanic, for running out of time or if she’ll use this move regardless of wether you win or lose because she’s canonically far more powerful than anything else in the current lore (including the player character).
I’m also not entirely sure when this fight is set, because it’s slated as “coming soon”. So this could either be happening before or after Ardem’s defeat, it’s hard to tell at this point.
Here we go, official confirmation that Episode 5 is happening. They didn’t share any details aside some themes however, which are:
- A new world
This has led some to worry that the reincarnation system from PSP2:Infinity might be coming back but I think they’re jumping the gun a bit sharply. For one thing, you could equally argue that the theme of Episode 4 (which was “Reborn”) could have been that as well. If I were to hazard a guess, it has something to do with Profound Darkness doing something to finally break free of the time-loop that Persona and Xiao have had it trapped in for the last 2 years. However with so little information to go on I feel like any speculation is no better than a shot in the dark for now.
A new world does suggest we’re heading to a new planet at least, though it might also be referring to the world we knew but changed in some drastic manner. Or indeed the comment thread on the datamining post is on to something and it turns out we’re re-writing Phantasy Star 3…
We should definitely know more before spring is done, mind, as Episode 5 is due for release some time in the Summer.