8th PSO2 Station Writeup

shiteatinggrin

Yeah, I know this post is late, sorry about this. Honestly, I found this broadcast pretty boring to write about. Maybe it being in the shadow of an expansion doesn’t help! Speaking of which, no they didn’t say anything about Episode 5 however they did appear to announce that we’d be getting more information about it on June 10th.

Calling this post a write-up of the broadcast is honestly kind of a misnomer, seeing as the broadcast itself was mostly fluff and the real meat of the presentation was around the upcoming Arks Battle Chronicle event, so this post is mostly going over that.


Update Express

Normally this is where I’d post all the trailers, however Sega has been issuing take-down notices to uploads of footage from streams. Likewise, people caught restreaming have had marks against their accounts. As such, until Sega changes their stance I will no longer be adding trailers to these posts unless Sega uploads them themselves. It sucks, I know, but this is how Sega wants to do things from now on so we’re just gonna have to deal with it.

For now, I’ll share the official upload of the Update Express section of the broadcast which contains all the trailers.

Timecodes:

  • 7:21 – Arks Battle Chronicle Part 1
  • 17:15 – Arks Battle Chronicle Part 2
  • 24:53 – Arks Battle Chronicle Part 3
  • 35:10 – PSO2es 3rd Anniversary

Surprise trailer was an update Phantom Battleship Yamato raid

It certainly is Yamato with extra attacks. Like with previous updates to raid bosses, I worry the fight will end up a clusterfuck of effects and hitboxes however I’ve been wrong every time to far. The real question is how is the rematch version going to work? Presumably it’ll be like Gracia; requiring 80/80 and restricted to a 4-person MPA with some kind of failure condition.

I’m also pondering how it’s going to handle the old Yamato Collection Files. Will they return? Do we even really need them back? Perhaps some kind of Earth weapon upgrade system will arrive with this update allowing you to say turn your Seiga Sword in for some better version of it.

Finally, I hope that the drop rate of gear with Yamato Factor matches the rates of Escafalz Mother and Deus Esca because it’s currently pathetic. The low rates are why Yamato Factor weapons and units are so expensive which makes creating Ether Factor un-necessarily difficult.


Arks Battle Chronicle

The next major web-panel event; a large multi-stage event spanning a number of different quests. It begins with Episode 1 on June 7th and ends on July 26th. Each quest will be up for a week, with the final part presumably covering the rest of the event.

Like other web-panel events, you earn points which unlock prizes by defeating enemies (this time Bosses) in specified quests. Unlike previous events, however, from the 5th of July boosts earned will apply to both Player and Enemy alike. The higher the points, the more difficult and rewarding the quest gets!

These dates are inferred, incidentally. To the best of my knowledge they’re accurate but don’t hold me to them.

Event Quest Flow:

From 7th June to 14th June – Breakthrough Training: Episode 1

The first quest in the event features enemies from Episode 1 fields and story quests. This includes Rockbear, Vol and Quartz Dragon, Banthers (of at least one flavor), Purple Sword Easy Man (Persona), Chrome Dragon, a special Falz Arms and Hunar and possibly more!

Quite an intense looking quest, overall. In terms of drops, you have a chance to obtain a Coat Edge weapon camo which you can change the Photon Blade colour on. Coat Edge is a nice looking sword and I know a lot of people have been waiting for it to become a camo for some time. I hope I can get one cause damn I like me some lasersword.

From 14th June to 21st June – Breakthrough Training: Episode 2

The second quest in the event features enemies from Episode 2 fields and story quests. Do battle with Org Blan, Bal Rodos, Decol Malluda, Biol Meduna, Vardha Soma, Blu Ringahda, Theodore, Regias and other council members, Persona (Double Saber), Dark Falz Angel and Apos Dorios!

Somehow seems less intense than the first one, but still it’s nice to see that Apos Dorios finally gets to appear in a quest outside of its own raid. The big prize for this one is a recolour-able camo of Coat Doublis. I’m less fond of this weapon myself, but I know some people like it.

From 21st June to 28th June – Breakthrough Training: Episode 3

You get the idea, enemies from Episode 3 fields and story quests. Face off against Giguru Gunnegam, Bal Rodos (again), Nepto Cassadora and Malludarl, Falka Leopard and Leone, Anga Fundarge and Yuga Darkers, ending on a fight against Dio Hunar and Diabo Igrythys. .

The special prize you can obtain from this one is a mini Anga Fundarge Mag Device, d’aww.

From 28th June to 5th July – Breakthrough Training: Episode 4

Now comes Episode 4. Remember Episode 4? Good times.

Kick various phantoms in the face and challenge Train Ghidoran, Devil Trailers, Vegas Illusia, Laplace’s Demon , Anga Fundarge (cat version) with Drago Deadlion and Gruzoras Drago as well as Adam and Deus Hunas.

For the fourth part of the chronicle, you could obtain a camo for Adam’s Rapier (Alchemic Gene: Tact, Wand and Katana camo).

From 5th July to 9th August – Arks Chronicle: Extra Boost

This is when the aforementioned player and enemy boost starts to apply.  I’m not sure why the event boost applies after the event itself has ended though (it’s scheduled to end on the 26th of July) so there might be some extra details that need clarifying there.

Unknown – Breakthrough Training: ALL EPISODE?

We only really know about this one from the original teaser trailer(which curiously, Sega did not issue a take-down for) for the event. Presumably the final quest, it includes battles against enemies from the entire game to date; including Dark Vibrace, Aratron Tolstoy, AIS Exoda and Magastu Sai, Phantom Darker bosses, and ending on Falz Hunar, Angel and Dio Hunar at once.

No word yet on when this quest will arrive or what special prize might be available from it, though I assume it can drop all of the items mentioned so far.

Xie Exchange Shop

During the event, you’ll be obtaining 5th Anniversary Badges which you can trade in for various items from Xie. Xie will hand some out for clearing her Client Orders but presumably you can obtain some by clearing the Limited Event Quests while they’re up.

Below is a composite image of the shop stitched together from the trailer.

xieArksChronicleShop

Xie’s shop includes cosmetic tickets, Lobby Actions,  a music disk, exchanges for old Weapons Badges (2015, 2016 and 2017 badges) and a number of Parfaits. Interestingly this includes Megaton Parfait, which was unique to Challenge Mode. I guess life is going to get a bit easier for those who want to create a Maron revolver build!

Incidentally, who the heck wants Nero stones anymore? Who is still going for Austere weapons or units? Its not that they’re bad, Austere is still solid at endgame but in light of recent gear and PSCrew’s intent to force you to phase them out in favor of 12* units and 13* NT weapons I’m not sure why anyone would bother investing in them anymore.


Thoughts

Let’s face it, it almost doesn’t matter how good this event is because it exists under the shadow of an expansion. Even if there’s not much hype around Episode 5 and that PSO2 Expansions tend to be rather lackluster, it’s still significant enough to pique interest. People wanna know what it’s all about! I wanna know what it’s all about! We want to see the direction the story is gonna take, the new enemies we’re gonna fight, what the heck the new class is gonna be. Beyond that, what mechanics and gimmicks will they introduce and hopefully not immediately forget about?

As of publishing this post, we’re hopefully now about 2 weeks from getting at least a taste of what Episode 5 will offer, though in some ways the fact they’ve said so little about it when its due for release relatively soon is kind of concerning…

Sega To Revive IPs: Is PSO2 Coming To The West?

engapls.jpg

No.

Probably not, anyway.

In case you’re unaware, Sega recently announced that they are planning to revive their old IPs and aim for global releases of their future content, among other plans for their Business Roadmap to 2020 which can be found here. 

Among the slides you might spy something familiar…

SegaPSO2Plan.jpg

So why might this not include PSO2? Well there’s no guarantee that it won’t, but it’d seem rather strange in the face of PSO2 closing down in Taiwan and South-East Asia.

It might just be too late to try. PSO2 is coming up to 5 years old now and the US version announcement is now nearing the same kind of age. The enthusiasm and excitement for a localized PSO2 has surely long gone.

That’s no guarantee, mind, I’m just making assumption based on the time scale for the general populous. I know from people contacting me through Twitter that there are still people out there eager for an official US release and I’m sure if it did happen they might do OK. However I feel even then they would have to release it with everything up to the end of Episode 4 and possibly some of Episode 5 in order to avoid the dreaded Content lag that plagued PSU and the SEA/TW versions of PSO2 before it. Even with all that, people rightfully have trust issues with Sega of America after their dubious performance with PSU (even if that may have arguably been Sega of Japan’s failings that ultimately caused that).

For me, I believe if this presentation means anything that it suggests PSO3 may have become more likely to be a global release. PSO3 could be another 5 years off, as Sakai planned to support PSO2 for 10 years and we’re only halfway through that (though even that’s not guaranteed!). One thing to take into account is this is their company plans for the next 3 years, so it doesn’t mean that they’re going to be acting on all the things they said right this very moment and that PSO2 announcements will occur any day. If they did act on any of these plans it’d take some time for their effects to be noticed, if at all.

It’s honestly hard to tell with a company like Sega. Remember that PSO2 did have a few hints that they were intent on an international release at one point, but for whatever reason those plans fizzled out seemingly abruptly. PSO3 could share the same fate.

Ultimately, this presentation while nifty to think about may be absolutely meaningless. It’s only a set of plans, and particularly vague ones at that. They may not deliver on most or any of it in the end.

New Expert Block Requirements

youknewthiswasgettinusedasabanner

During the recent PSO2 Station, it was revealed there’d be an additional requirement to enter Expert blocks:

A new title will be added which requires you to have 12* rear, leg and arm units grinded to +10 and equipped. This title will be required to enter Expert blocks from the 7th of June

So to recap, all the requirements will be:

  • Clear floors 1-5 of Heaven and Hell
  • Have a +35 13* weapon or lv120 pet
  • Have +10 12* units

This new requirement has created quite a stir, possibly more-so than the weapon requirement. But why?

Getting 12* Units

With a few exceptions, getting 12* units is entirely down to luck. There are no collection files for them so if you’ve been unlucky so far you might not have a full set of 12*s even if your gear is otherwise solid.

But as I said, there’s exceptions to this rule and I’m gonna go over the main ones.

2017 Badge Units

xie2017units

I know, these units are absolutely terrible and no one in their right mind would wear them into a quest. However, they are a pair of units that are guaranteed to get. You’ll need 50 Weapons Badge 2017 for each one.

shineunits

If you want a unit that’s not absolutely terrible, you could head to PVP and farm Battle Coins to get yourself a Shine Red or Shine Blue unit. These units aren’t actually that bad, with Blue focusing on HP/PP and red on Attack.  However, these items are, for whatever reason, only temporarily available. You have until the 9th September to pick em up, which is plenty of time but it still feels arbitrary to me.

This will cover your Leg and Rear units so now you’re just short an Arm unit. I’m afraid the arm unit is going to be a might trickier to get…

Gix Arm Unit

GixArmTitle

As far as I know, this is the only 12* arm unit you can “work” towards, though this may be difficult for most people gearing up to get. To get it, you’ll need to clear Ultimate Amduscia in less than 7 minutes. This is no small feat, particularly as most of the people who will be going for this title are people who don’t have great gear in the first place.

You could argue this acts as an effective choke point for people attempting to get into expert blocks on face value; Clear this difficult quest with an S-rank and you gain access! But in practice I doubt it’ll work like that, because really it’s effectively RNG. Instead of the RNG being on the drop it’s going to be on the quality of the other 11 people who happen to be running the quest with you. As hard as you could try, you’re not S-ranking this quest on your own.

You also have the added difficulty of finding 11 other people to run the quest with in the first place…

You could get lucky in your attempts and obtain a 12* Deadlion Arm but don’t count on it.

Itsuki and Rina Arm Units

itsukirinaunits

Most people who ran recent seasonal quests probably have a stockpile of these units as-is. If you don’t, you might find this is the first 12* unit you get, because they seem to be given out at a pretty decent rate whenever you come across an Itsuki x Rina or Itsuki x Soro E-trial. However, this is still RNG and probably not a viable farming target, I just figured it’s worth mentioning because you may already have some.

Itsuki’s unit (blue) is a pretty decent defensive unit, providing 150 HP. It’s good for all classes, really.

Rina’s unit on the other hand is geared more towards ranged types, so I only really advise Rangers and Gunners invest anything into it.

So aside the complications of obtaining 12* units in the first place, the next issue is the same as the one that plagued the +35 NT weapon requirement:

My Current Gear is Better!

Currently, Saiki, Austere and Orbit units are perfectly viable at end-game and for the large part are more effective than 12* units. For players who invested a lot of Meseta into their affixes, they’ve felt no pressure to go and upgrade to a full 12* set.

Add to this that 12* unit drop rates are so abysmally low that they might not have found any yet and this requirement seems set to bar players with exceptionally good gear in favor of those who just picked up whatever crap they found or just plain Xie units.

This is why it’s the same problem as the weapon requirement; a player with a crappy +35 Revolucio weapon is let in while a player with an exceptionally well affixed Austere weapon (which is still solid at endgame, though is now beaten out by Zeinesis/Qliphad and Fornis alike) is barred from entry! Heck you could just raise a pet to lv120 and enter an expert block with any old shit.

This is what makes these Expert block requirements run counter to their own purpose: They encourage cheap shortcuts for entry rather than enforce an effective test to separate novice from expert.

Thoughts

This is a difficult problem they’re trying to solve; they want to make harder content and for that they need a better measuring stick for player performance with which they can tune said content. It’s particularly difficult in a game where player performance can vary so hugely due to so many different factors (class loadout, skill trees, gear, affixes, Mag stats, access to Team Tree buffs and of course skill).

I think the main concern with this is your progress could be halted by RNG and the idea that your worth as a player is measured by the roll of a dice isn’t a comfortable one. For now, getting a 12* Arm Unit is pretty much entirely luck unless you happen to know 11 other people you can run Ultimate Amduscia with.

However, this is really just under the conditions we have currently. We don’t know what content they might add down the line that might make meeting these requirements easier but then that has the danger of running into another issue; If the expert block requirements are too easy to meet, then are they really an effective barrier to keep novices out?

I am starting to wonder if segregating the player-base like this was really a good idea in the first place. One effect it may have is to put off returning players from returning at all, because they may not meet the expert block requirements yet and to do so will require them to put up with a potentially painful grind in the regular blocks which struggles to pass the content required to get the gear they need to get.

 

Arks Live: Questions and Answers

moaibanner.jpg

So there was an information broadcast held today, in which various questions about upcoming content were answered. This is just gonna be a quick and dirty post to go over some of the questions and info sourced from this blog post here. I don’t speak or read Japanese however, so I’m largely depending on Google translate and bits of interpretation here and there. Hopefully I’ve got it accurate enough, though I’m leaving out some questions that got completely mangled by auto translate. Just a heads up though, there might be some inaccuracies.

Edit: Ah Bumped did one over here. They can actually translate rather than depend on a machine so check em out.

Q: Can any 80/80 character join the Deus Esca rematch quest?

A: No, you must have cleared Zephyros first.

Q: How strong is Deus Esca Gracia?

A: Its HP is reduced to about 40% but all damage dealt by players is reduced to around 50%. 

Because its attack power is high, it’d be wise to dodge its attacks. Gracia uses the same attack pattern as Zephyros.

This is a kind of strange approach they’re taking here. By reducing its health to 40% but also halving the damage we do to it its effective health is actually 80%. This is also effectively a buff to Summoner/Gunner and other Chain builds, because the damage cap will still be 999,999 damage but now each point of damage is worth effectively twice as much… I’m not sure they intended to make things even easier for Gunner types in light of the reason they implemented the damage cap in the first place!

So how tricky is this going to end up being? Well the actual fight is using the same attack patterns so it’ll be as difficult as it is now really. The main hangups are going to be at the 5-minute DPS check at the end and whether or not your party manages to not die 5 times. As far as I know, Zephyros has around 10M hp during the DPS check which doesn’t count the dragon heads. It typically takes a minute to kill the heads, so its more like 10M hp over 4 minutes which is 320 seconds. 10M/320/12 = 2600 total DPS per person at an absolute minimum. It’s a pretty low bar but after having seen some Damage Parser results I can guarantee you some people do not meet this bar.

So Gracia has its hp reduced to 40% and damage dealt to it is halved. Let’s say it still takes 1 minute to deal with the dragon heads so its 4M hp over 320 seconds between 4 people. This means your DPS will need to be around 3100 at the absolute minimum. Now of course, seeing as your damage is halved it means your current DPS needs to be higher than 6200. 6200 effective DPS is still a relatively low bar but you could well end up with people who can’t even do 1000 DPS. It’s gonna largely depend on your luck, really, but as long as each of you is doing at least 10K DPS to Zephyros right now you should quite comfortably clear it. For reference, the top players tend to do in the region of 25-35k DPS, depending on build and circumstances, so it might be possible to solo-carry Gracia in extreme cases.  These players make up a really small proportion of the playerbase though, so I wouldn’t count on it!

This rather brings up a design issue with the game if they’re going to start including more content like this; there is no way right now to measure your DPS without the use of tools that Sega has officially come out and said are a bannable offence. So how is a player meant to know if they’re good enough to run this content?

Q: Why was Deus Esca nerfed?

A: It was a balancing failure on our part. The first week clear rate was a mere 50%. 

Q: What was the clear rate difference between Extra Hard block parties and Expert block parties?

A: Expert blocks cleared it four times as often.

That’s pretty shocking! I had heard from people stuck in Extra Hard blocks that the clear rate was low but I had no idea it was that bad! In that respect, it really isn’t a surprise they felt the need to reduce the boss’s HP. This does rather highlight a serious issue with the current state of the game though and that’s the sheer variance in party performance due to just how much your damage scales off your gear. Whatever the reason people have for not upgrading their gear, the effect is dramatic.

Q: Can you get Phaleg’s Partner Card for defeating her?

A: No.

Q: What’s Hagito up to these days?

A: He’s doing charity work.

Q: It seems like the Just-Guard timing on Sword and Katana is different, is this true?

A: No, the timing is the same for both weapon (about 0.3 seconds)

Q: Are there plans to allow us to adjust and scale Units?

A: There are no plans at this time. 

Q: How far in advance is content planned?

A: We typically have a plan for the next 1 and half years. For example, plans were in place for implementing Dark Falz Elder and Kuna’s concert since the game’s release. Earth was also planned fairly early, however Episode 5 was not in the initial plans at all.

Q: There are four races among the ARKS, but are there children born to interracial couples?

A: Sure, why not?


Additional Details

Deus Esca

Disconnection policy still applies to Gracia (leaving or DCing enough could get you banned).

You can retry the quest if you fail, as long as you’re still within the 30 minute window to start the quest (unconfirmed).

Battle Arena Skill Change

It seems the Battle Arena skill “Protection” is getting nerfed. The plan appears to be to to reduce the max number of uses per match to 1 from 2.

Phaleg Battle

You’ll have 7 minutes to defeat her.

All healing effects are reduced by 80%.

The battle ends on death, but skills like Iron Will still work.

Phaleg will be able to gain weapon and element resists like Anga Fundarge, but can only resist one of each at a time.

Deus Esca Infodump

rip_moon

All I’m gonna do in this post is collect data related to new content that arrived with this update. A lot of this data is still being discovered, so expect the post to change in the coming days and possibly weeks.


Phantom God of Creation

The raid functions much like the Yamato raid; you’ll need to carve your way through a large pile of regular enemies before you get to the big boss itself. You’ll also come up against two different forms of Deus Hunas along the way. I’m just gonna summarise what happens at each part of the raid; this isn’t a guide for the best tactics to defeat him quickly.

Deus Hunas

Deus_hunar.jpg

Beware of his lightning attack; it functions much like Falz Hunar’s ground slam in that it spawns multiple projectiles at once. If you’re in the center of them, unless you time a dodge or guard well you\ll be instantly incapacitated.

He doesn’t have a lot of HP so this part should be over quickly.

Esca Angel Squad and Vines

Not much to say about this section. Don’t run into the vines and kill anything that stands in your way.

Deus Anges

Deus_hat.jpg

It’s Hunas again but with a hat and a new selection of attacks. Most of them aren’t terribly noteworthy though, so just hit him until a cutscene plays.

One attack to watch for is when he teleports into the center of the arena. The ground will start glowing; you’ll want to move to an area of the arena that isn’t glowing! These are typically at the edges closest or furthest away from him but the attack is also fairly easy to dodge with a step or mirage or any abusable i-frames.

Deus Esca: Part 1

Damage snake-heads until their heads are covered in bramble at which point they’re immune to damage. Once all heads are immune to damage, they’ll begin charging an orb. Attack the orbs to stun the heads. Once all heads are stunned, you can jump onto them and traverse them to attack Deus Esca’s core.

snake_road
Unlike a certain anime, you can’t fall off this road and end up in hell but the boss will occasionally fail to create this road properly leaving you stuck on the main platform…

Beware, once Deus Esca recovers he’ll split the arena in two; if you’re near the attack use i-frames or you’ll take around 3000 damage.

deus_arenasplit
If you see Deus Esca holding hiw weapon up like this don’t be where the idiot pictured is standing.

This attack splits the MPA up; each side will have to work on their own snake heads. Once they’re down you can attack the core again

Deus Esca: Part 2

deus_phase2

In this phase Deus Esca will start to use more aggressive attacks on the arena itself. However his core is permanently exposed, so attack it whenever he’s between attacks.

Deus Esca: Part 3: The DPS Check

Deus Esca will blow up the moon, which is rather rude of him. This signals the final part of the raid which starts a 5-minute countdown. This is a DPS check; you\ll need to defeat Zephyros before this timer expires or else you’ll immediately fail!

Break the snake heads first to make him use attacks similar to the 2nd phase, then hit his core as hard as you can when you can to bring this god to its knees.

At some point you’ll deal enough damage to make the boss pass out on the arena. This is actually a secondary DPS race in that you’ll need to defeat the boss before it gets up again or else it’ll use a move that kills everyone in the MPA.

Rewards

Clearing the raid gives you shots at 14* weapons, a 13* Rappy and any Zeinesis item. For the most part though you’ll be getting Nox weapons and 10* trash.

The boss drops special exchange items named Qliphad Fuses. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we’re back to the stone-age. The boss typically drops 1-3 of them so you’re looking at an average of 60 runs to be able to afford the 120 Fuse fee for Qliphad exchanges or to unlock a potential. 90 if you want a full set of Qliphad units. That’s pretty rough…

Deus Factor

The S-Atk factor finally arrives. It’s otherwise exactly the same as the other two factors.

It provides 20 S-atk, 10 R-atk, 10 T-atk, 20 HP and 1 PP.


Weapons

ZeinesisCliffordCalibur

The difference between Zeinesis and Qliphad weapons is entirely cosmetic. You will need 120 Qliphad Fuses and the corresponding Zeinesis weapon in order to obtain a Qliphad weapon. Like the Ray series update, the weapon retains its grind, element, potential level and affixes.

Unlike the Ray upgrade however, it seems the weapon will force you into the Qliphad potential when you upgrade.

Potentials:

The names here are not translations of the actual affix names, just placeholders.

  • Affix Booster
    • Lv3 Boosts success rate of affixes by 10%
      • Only applies to this weapon, not if it’s an ingredient item.
  • Party Booster
    • Boosts power by 12%
    • Heals 10% of each party member’s HP every 30s
      • The timer for the heal starts on area change.
    • Boosts party attack power by 2%
      • The attack boost is like a small, passive Shifta that applies as soon as you enter an area and re-applies every 30s.
      • The buff lasts for 30 seconds
      • Note that it’s like a Shifta buff, so its only raising your base attack by 2% not the amount of damage you do.
    • The heal ability will pulse for all party members, meaning if all 4 people have the potential you get a 10% heal 4 times.
    • The attack boost is fixed, however. It’s always 2% regardless of how many people in your party have it.
    • The attack buff persists even if you swap weapon.
  • Qliphad potential
    • 14% Damage bonus and doubles the stats of your affixes.
    • This seems to include most kinds of affixes, including HP, PP and Resists. It’s not known if it affects things like Phrase.

The “Qliphad potential” potential requires 120 Qliphad fuses in order to unlock. I’m not sure which of the three this is at the moment.

Special Ability Factor

Zeinesis’ Special Ability Factor is “Sentence Triple”. It boosts all attack stats by 30, so it’s essentially equivalent to Modulator and can of course be stacked with it. It presumably cannot be stacked with other Sentence abilities.


Units

Unlike weapons, there are in fact differences beyond the cosmetic. Qliphad units will require 60 Qliphad fuses each as well as the corresponding Zeinesis unit. For the other way round, you only need the corresponding Qliphad unit.

Stats

zeinesis_units.jpg

  • Zeinesis:
    • 120HP, 4PP, 15Atk
    • Rear: 3% S-Res, 3% R-Res, 2% T-res
    • Arm: 2% S-Res, 3% R-Res, 3% T-res
    • Leg: 3% S-Res, 2% R-Res, 3% T-res
    • Each unit also offers 2% all element resist

Qliphadunits

  • Qliphad:
    • ??HP, ??PP, 35Atk
    • Rear: 2% S-Res, 2% R-Res, 1% T-res
    • Arm: 1% S-Res, 2% R-Res, 2% T-res
    • Leg: 2% S-Res, 1% R-Res, 2% T-res

So it seems that Zeinesis units are more defense oriented where Qliphad offers more PP. The values for Qliphad likely aren’t going to be known for a few days as people collect enough Qliphad Fuses.

There does not appear to be a set bonus.


14* Weapons

There’s very little information about them currently, as very few people have been lucky enough to obtain one then go on to share data about them. As such it may be some time before we know the full capabilities of these weapons. To put it into perspective, there’s still some confusion about the Escafalz Mother 14*s and she came out a few months ago..

Lavis Cannon

14wandpanel

  • Potential: 未知なる魔杖
    • Boosts the power of normal attacks. Fires a shock-wave on the third part of the combo.

Interestingly, this Wand comes with kinda low S-Atk. Kind of wierd when the potential seems focused on normal attacks and we know from the reveal that it’s innate ability is to speed up Step and Normal Attack speed. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how much it boosts normal attack damage by to judge this one properly, as well as how the shockwave functions (as in, does it function like Form Wand’s?)

Rykros Staff

14tactpanel

  • Potential: 闇の一瞥
    • During Alter Ego, your Pet’s Sympathy requests are automatically fulfilled.

A fairly handy innate ability, as you won’t need to interrupt your own attacks or lose PP to heal/buff your pet when it requests it. We also know from the trailer the staff will auto-cast Megid whenever you issue commands to your pet.

Kuvele Scarlet(?)

14dsaberpanel

A double saber that turns DS whirlwinds into firey tornadoes.

  • Potential:  緋炎の両刃
    • Increases the power of DS Kamaitachi. Increases power by ??%

DS Whirlwind is already how Double Sabers do a heck of a lot of damage (thanks to the DS Whirlwind Skill Ring) so the fact it boosts the power and duration of those is already enough to make this a potentially seriously powerful weapon. We’ll know for sure once the potential’s numbers have been worked out.


Episode 4’s Astral Soul

As the subtitle suggests, Episode 4 has gained its own version of Astral Soul. What’s more is it could stack with Astral Soul making for some potentially obscene affix loadouts.

The affix is named “Ether Factor” and it boosts all stats by 30, HP by 10 and PP by 6.

You’ll need to do the following to obtain it:

  1. Fuse Yamato Factor + Mother Factor + Deus Factor = Factor Catalyst 10%
  2. Fuse To’ou Soul + Full Vegas Soul = Ether Soul 10%
  3. Fuse Factor Catalyst * 4 + Ether Soul = Ether Factor 60%

So suddenly the likes of Yamato Factor become relevant again. Ether Soul shouldn’t be a problem as those souls are readily available; but supply of the factors will only occur when the relevant raid is up.

While you could combine it with Astral Soul it won’t be easy, however having both would give you 65 in all stats as well as 45 HP and 11 PP. That’s pretty nuts for just 2 affixes!

This would also make Astral Soul, Ether Factor, Returner V and Ability 3 the most solid all-round 4-slot affixes in the game. Getting it would be nearly impossible for most players, mind. For clarity, that would be:

  • 110 all attack, defense and dexterity
  • 75 HP
  • 16 PP

Obscenely good for 4 slots but err… good luck!

I mean if we went completely nuts and shot for the stars you could go for Astral + Ether + Returner + Modulator + Doom Break + Ability  + MutaII. That would give:

  • 170 all attack
  • 110 all def and dex
  • 90HP
  • 18PP

The ultimate all-rounder unit. Or you could throw out the MutaII and put Stat V and Elegant Stat if you want to focus on one attack stat. This is so far into crazytown though I don’t want to contemplate it any..


New Recycle Shop Addition : Class Cube Shop

classcubeshop.jpg

This shop offers Grind Limit +1 items for specific weapon types. The exchange rate is one Weapon Specific Grind Limit +1 for 300 class cubes.

Pretty nasty… You get 5 class cubes every level up at 80, which is 9.8M exp per. So each of these items costs 60 level up bonuses at lv80, or around 588M Exp per item. I’m speechless.

PSO2 Station #7 Writeup

poor_ophiel.jpg

Not a lot to go over with this one, honestly. Much of it was just going over stuff we’d already seen from the last broadcast with some additional details along with the new roadmap. An oddly dull set of updates, in my opinion.  Episode 4 seems set to go out with a fizzle rather than a bang.

Oh one thing to make clear right at the start is there was no info at all about Episode 5 this time. I expect we’ll get something in the May broadcast.


Trailers

With thanks to Goukezitsu for uploading these as usual.

Deus Esca, Wedding Lobby and more Design Contest winners and Phaleg fight.

Rainy Season 2017, Episode 4 oufits (Kohri and Enga)

PSO2es May Update. Usual guff, new weaponoids (more male ones at that!).

5 Year anniversary project. Cosmetics and Lobby Actions. An Offline event.

Towards the Fu- I mean Arks Battle Chronicle! Plus new Quna concert


Deus Esca: Grasia

In early May, the Deus Esca raid will be getting a follow-up quest which you gain access to after clearing the raid; a rematch against a tougher version of the boss with 3 other players instead of 11. This requires lv80/80 however, so if you haven’t finished levelling up you might want to abuse the boost week while it’s up.

The 4-man version additionally has a quest fail condition; your party must not suffer more than 5 incapacitations total or the quest automatically fails. Sure hope you don’t get lumped with someone who keeps dying…

The trailer doesn’t really reveal any insights into the boss’s mechanics still. We see it doing a sweeping attack that deals in the region of 60K damage so I guess that’s the good old fashioned Raid-wipe attack. Presumably it also has the damage cap like the regular version of the boss, so SuGu won’t be able to cheese it as hard.

While I do hope it is trickier than the regular raid I kinda hope its not too much. This is content that occurs randomly after all, which in my opinion is an inappropriate place to make content that’s too difficult. What’s more is each character’s individual performance and build becomes much more important when there’s fewer characters in the quest, so any badly geared horror story is going to have much more impact than they would in a full raid… All the more motivation to start making friends!

Weapons and Units

clifford.jpg

The only thing of note here is confirmation that the difference between Zeinesis and Qliphad weapons is entirely cosmetic. They both have exactly the same stats and presumably will also have the same three potentials. You can even swap Qliphad back to Zeinesis if you prefer the look of it.

  • Zeinesis to Qliphad requires a Zeinesis weapon and 120 Qliphad Fuses.
  • Qliphad to Zeinesis requires a Qliphad weapon.

A kind of one-sided exchange considering the only real difference between the weapons is looks, but I guess they intended Qliphad to be kind of the prestige version of the weapon.

You apparently only get one fuse per clear, mind, which means 120 clears of the raid for one weapon. Kinda nasty, but you might get lucky and have a Qliphad drop from Deus Esca Grasia (Zephytos drops Zeinesis).

I actually didn’t cover the weapon potentials when they were announced, so here’s what we know about them from the Arks Live broadcast a while ago:

  • Boost Affix transfer rate by 10%
  • Recovers party member HP every 30 seconds and boosts party damage
  • Doubles the numeric value of affixes (example: Power 3 becomes 60 S-Atk instead of 30)

So lacking some important details. The stat-boost potential might actually be interesting for some classes if it also boosts the affixes on your units (particularly for Katana Braver).

Units on the other hand do appear to have some differences. Qliphad seem to have slightly lower defense and offer no element resistences unlike Zeinesis. At this point we know absolutely nothing about what the units offer but just be aware it does seem like there may be a functional difference between the two. Unit upgrades require 60 Qliphad fuses per unit as well as a Zeinesis unit.

Deus Esca’s rematch is set to arrive in early May.


Phaleg Side Story

They only really announced a couple of tidbits for this quest. Essentially, the only reward for the fight will be a title for the class you cleared the quest on. So really it’s just a bonus Super-Boss style encounter, which is to say it’s entirely optional. As such, they’re free to make the quest as difficult as they like and it certainly does seem like the quest will be extremely difficult if it lives up to the hype.

The quest disables the use of Scape Dolls and Half Dolls, but it also implements the healing reduction that was present in the Odin quest. This means that all sources of healing will be 20% as effective as normal (that is, a Trimate will only heal 20% of your HP and Monomate a mere 6%). You’ll also need to defeat her in 6 minutes or less.

Its kind of hard to gauge how much damage she does, as the test character is using Guard Stance to muddy the waters a bit but she seems plenty aggressive and possibly deals plenty of damage. This combined with the restrictions on healing does have the potential to make the encounter quite a tough one, though much like the Odin quest this does effectively mean class combos with access to Resta will have a pretty huge advantage. I also suspect Megiverse will be entirely useless.

The footage also reveals that Phaleg is weak to ice, which suggests to me that Ice Force combos are going to be the ones that will find this quest the easiest unless she has some modifier for Tech damage..

Phaleg will have the damage cap fix enabled, which means you will not be able to deal more than 999,999 damage to her per hit. This is an attempt to prevent SuGu from cheesing it, but it also affects BrGu and of course main-class Gunner variants as well as class combos that took advantage of Banish/Graptor. That said, 999,999 damage is still quite a lot and honestly if the likes of the Maron revolver still have trouble taking Phaleg down when they can on-demand deal nearly a million damage I dread to think the issues other class combos are going to have against her…

This fight also lacks an HP bar on the enemy, which for a challenging fight is annoying because you’ll have no idea how close you came each time you fail.

You can do battle with the ARKS favorite anime cliche in early May.


Arks Battle Chronicle

For the 5th Anniversary event we’ll be getting a special quest paying tribute to all of the major content updates along the way.

As well as starring the regular encounters from free fields it’ll also be re-using story mode and emergency quest enemies, with Theodore, Aratron and Dark Vibrace being among the long list of enemies to battle your way through. It also has things like Apos Dorios, which I believe is the first time that boss has ever appeared outside of its raid quest.

There’s quite a lot of hefty looking encounters in this quest, to the point where I wonder if what we’re seeing is actually multiple different quests that are all part of the same event? One for each episode, perhaps?

There’s currently no actual date set on this, but I assume it’s arriving in early June.


The Final Roadmap

…For Episode 4. There’s going to be another when Episode 5 hits.

roadmap.jpg

So yeah, Episode 5 is going to hit in the Summer. Other than that, to quote Bumped:

Current Update

  • 12 Person Raid Boss
  • Added Emergency Quest Rematch
  • Design Contest Scratch
  • Episode 4 Side Story

5th Anniversary Event: Phantasy Star Festa 2017 Online

  • 5th Anniversary Web Event [ARKS BATTLE CHRONICLE]
  • New LIVE Event
  • Boosted Raid Boss & Boosted Raid Boss Rematch
  • Frame Arms and Frame Arms Girl Collaboration
  • Famous Designer Collaboration Scratch
  • Tokyo Field Real Store Collaboration Part 3

So yeah, a kind of bare-bones roadmap overall. The only noteworthy item there that isn’t already covered in this post is the possibility that the boosted raid boss is referring to Phantom Ship Yamato. While this could be the case, I’m kind of curious how the rematch quest would work for that, given it’s a 4-man quest and I imagine the missile section would be quite tricky with 4 people…

That said, data-mining supports the hypothesis that it’s a boosted Yamato, as “PhantomShipEx” does exist in the game’s data. “Ex” is a term reserved for boosted versions of raid-bosses in the past.


Thoughts

Seems like a regular set of content updates as far as I’m concerned. New seasonal quest, new event quest, some story stuff and a new raid. That’s not too bad for 2 months all in all, and yet somehow it feels… lacking.

Is any of it interesting? I can’t say I’m jumping for joy at it all, except for the Arks Battle Chronicle cause that looks fun. I think my lack of excitement is just I don’t care a lot about the Raid in terms of the story. Ardem just was not that interesting an enemy; in fact everything past Escafalz Mother feels tacked on to me. The rewards for the raid are also not terribly interesting on the face of it, but that may change as more details are revealed. As for the fight itself, who knows the fight might be fun and it might still drop a decent amount of cubes or something worthwhile.

It could well be that the game is just starting to feel its age. Maybe it’s getting stale or the developers are getting sick of working on it and we the audience are unknowingly sensitive to this.

Or it could be that I and others got themselves hyped up for Episode 5 and felt a bit let down when nothing was said! In fairness, it makes more sense to wait until the actual fifth anniversary before they say something (indeed, I speculated as such some time ago).

It could also just be that the upcoming stuff just feels too by the numbers. We expect a seasonal quest, we expect a raid boss every few months and an event here and there. That they’re delivering on it is absolutely fine (indeed, preferable) but it’s hard to be excited when there are no surprises. I don’t know, I’m theorycrafting here and probably overthinking it.

PSO2 Station 6 Writeup

hot.jpg

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!

Trailers

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.

New Weapons

The new weapons this time are Bullet Bow and Jet Boots.

PVPbulletbow

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.

PVPJetboots

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.

Protection 

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.

Sprint

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.

Stun Shot

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.

PP Unlimited

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.

Cure

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.

Thoughts

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

PVPShopmk2

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.

BeastFace

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.

DoosEsca.jpg

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!

ZenesisCollection.jpg

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.

Zenesis Units

ZenesisUnits.jpg

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.

14* Weapons

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.

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.

14wand

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.

14dsaber

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 Fight

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.

Episode 5

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
  • Resurrection
  • Reincarnation

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.