5th PSO2 Station Writeup

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The fifth broadcast rolled out just today and only came with 3 trailers. One of the trailers was particularly packed though so there’s a few things to go over in this post that I have opinions about. As always the complete run-down can be found on bumped here.

Trailers

Some collab no one cares about (OK maybe a few do (a lot)…). If you’re only interested in the Emil Head just say ニーア発売おめでとう in chat before March 1st. But yeah, Nier Automata stuff!

Early March Content – NT Grind change, new custom Photon Arts/Techs, the return of Revolucio Files, Skill rings and Battle Arena stuff.

Late March content – The return of Necky, Aura and Orbit files and Class Level 80

Early March Content

NT Grinding Change

NT Grind limits are now additive. That is, if you use a +32 on a +32 item it’ll push the limit to +35 now rather than +33 (+1 from the weapon itself and +2 from the limit on the ingredient item). Not exactly sure about the intricacies of this system, like if it needs the ingredient item to be fully grinded or if it’s just the limits it’s adding up but either way this is a positive change particularly for those who are grinding collection sheets. You’ll no longer have to hold on to every completed Collection File weapon just in case a weapon drops with a higher grind limit.

Photon Art Customisations

Some new Type-0 Photon Arts and Techs are on their way.

Rodeo Drive Type-0

The rush part of the attack will continue as long as you’re holding the button. Letting go results in a slam-dunk attack.

Sakura Endo Type-0

Changes the animation of the 2nd slash to be the last part of Guren Tessen. It also removes the need to charge the attack, so you’ll be able to spam it mid-air which you currently can’t (you have to drop to the ground while it charges up then jump back up again). Because the charge is removed, it may no longer benefit from Average Stance Charge or Weak Stance Charge so be aware of that.

Sacred Skewer Type-0

Turns it into a chargeable attack and hurls the spear directly in front of the user, striking a large number of enemies at once.

It seems like it does decent damage and has good range but it remains to be seen how it’ll compare to the likes of Slide End and most of Sword’s PAs. With Partizans I’m personally left pondering how it’ll synergise with Vol Graptor which I guess depends on if this attack can hit multiple hitboxes of a single target like other piercing Photon Arts can (like End Attract). If it can, this could be potentially interesting against certain bosses.

Ein Raketen Type-0

Lets you place stationary energy blades that deal damage as enemies wander into them. Kinda wierd and probably awkward to apply consistently.

Gigrants Type-0

Amps up the blender part of the attack by extending it into an attack that revs up over time. At the end of the attack, you wield a sword made of light for one powerful over-end style slash.

It’s always hard to gauge power from the test players that they demo these things with, but I wonder if it could beat out Zondeel + Ragrants for mobbing power? Won’t know until it’s released I guess.

Nabarta Type-0

Replaces the ice stream with a shield that consumes a lot of PP over time and deals damage to enemies that wonder into it. If this doesn’t do pulsing damage this feels like a significant downgrade over the regular Nabarta just due to the sheer increase in PP it drains.

Raging Waltz Type-0

Alters the attack so it can home in on any direction instead of just directly ahead.

I’m honestly not sure this will have any greatly appreciable impact on this attack but I’m not well versed in Daggers.

Revolucio Revival

Revolucio weapons will return with significantly relaxed conditions and with an entire year before they time out. They’re meant to serve as a way for players who don’t have +35 13* weapons to obtain them at any time they like as these sheets are not tied to Emergency Quests. Additionally it includes a 13* Wanda egg.

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The old files required 8 different things to farm, the new ones require only 3. However, one of the requirements teased included lv71+ Fang Banther which are not at all trivial to find. Your options are run Super Hard Advance Quests at +11 risk or higher or run the higher floors of the Sylvan Wyverns Extreme Quests.

New Skill Rings

Sanctum and Kuronia will be getting Gathering spots. With these two areas I believe that is every Free Field area to date covered. I’ll go over my thoughts on each of the rings in this section but be aware they are my speculations, we don’t have any solid numbers so it’s hard to judge a number of the rings fully.

R / HP Restorate

Recovers HP while it’s below a certain value. I’ll with-hold judgement until I see the numbers, but it’s interesting that this didn’t end up being an R/Ring which means it could actually stack with Summoner’s HP Restorate skill… Correction, it was mistakenly noted as a left ring. As it’s an R ring it won’t be usable by Summoner main or sub so it can’t stack with the aforementioned skill.

L / Atomizer Lovers

Like Mate Lovers but for Moon, Star and Cosmo Atomizers (if anyone actually buys those). Like Mate Lovers it boosts the speed of use and the amount of HP recovered.

L / Point Weak Bullet

Turns Weak Bullet into Point Assist basically. It lets you apply the Weak Bullet directly to the currently targeted hitbox regardless of obstacles (including other hitboxes). This actually could be pretty useful for Rangers particularly for the more awkward hit-boxes in the game.

 L / Katana Combat Count Up

Not really sure what this one does… Bumped says “Increases the hit counts for Katana Combat” but I don’t know if that means increasing the limit or increasing the number of counted hits per hit, effectively reducing the number of hits you’d need to do in order to hit maximum power with Combat Finish. I assume it’s the latter but I’m not 100% sure. If it is then it’s a pretty nifty ring I guess because it’d make Katana combat slightly burstier and possibly more practical to use on bosses.

R / Flame Tech S Charge

Speeds up the casting time of fire element techs. Not sure what use this ring serves as any build using fire techs would involve Force and Force won’t be able to use this ring.

Battle Arena (PVP)

Get some friends or strangers together and beat the shit out each other for a brand new currency; Battle Coins! We already know a fair amount of how it works from previous streams so I’ll go over that briefly;

  • Up to 12 players are split into 2 teams for a 6v6 match.
  • At the spawn point, you “mine” for a random weapon. This weapon is effectively your class. There are mining nodes in the arena itself if you want to re-roll.
    • Available weapons are Sword, Assault Rifle and Rod.
    • If you’re defeated you’ll have to mine again to get a new weapon.
    • Whenever an Update message occurs, stronger weapons will become available
  • The match is a point attack. The team with the highest score wins
  • Earn points by collecting emblems in the arena and defeating enemy players
    • Enemy emblems may be worth more points than friendly ones!
    • Occasionally an Emblem Fever will occur that spawns rainbow emblems around the map. These are presumably worth the most points.
  • Three different maps with differing gimmicks
    • Except Forest. Forest is boring.
    • Caverns has a rising lava mechanic. Don’t touch the lava! Good general life tip really.
    • Tokyo is also kind of boring in that its mechanic is it has greater verticality.

While you can kill enemy players, the main objective is about getting points, though I’m not sure how effective it might be to just ignore enemy players and go for emblems over just killing enemy players. Dead enemies can’t collect emblems, afterall.

The weapon mining mechanic makes me think of Overwatch’s Mystery Heroes mode and it might suffer from the same faults. It’s likely that of the weapon types available some will be much more effective than others. This could lead to one team getting an effective team composition off the bat and end up snowballing the other side into submission or indeed bad RNG on weapons screwing a side over generally. In the long run this should work out because both teams have the same chance to be screwed by random numbers anyway.

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There is a progression system in PVP in the form of your own personal rank. Shown ranks were D5 and D4. Presumably this means the highest rank is S1. It doesn’t look like your PVP rank does anything beyond bragging rights. When you win a match you gain ARP (Arena Points). In the demo the winner gained 20 ARP while the loser (in what seemed to be a different game) gained 0. It’s unknown if you can actually lose ARP or not. It’s possible they could use your rank data to try to do some rudimentary matchmaking but I’m not certain on that.

You’ll earn Battle Coins whether you win or lose, however. It seems like you might earn slightly more for winning as well as for being the MVP in various areas but other than that the difference is pretty small in the example.

You can also set up private games which you  can protect with a password. It’s unknown how this affects Battle Coins but presumably you won’t be able to rank up in private games.

PVP Prizes

So what do you get for your efforts? A few things it seems with potentially 2 items that might be more interesting for min-maxers and the rest are kind of cosmetic.

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  • Battle Sword (Sword Camo)
  • Battle Rifle (Assault Rifle Camo)
  • Battle Rod (Rod Camo)
  • Rappy Make-Up
  • Vraolet 4-slot
  • Vraolet 6-slot (details below)
  • Arena Booster
  • Lambda Grinder
  • Extreme Pass
  • Other items not shown.

The Vraolets include Phrase Receptor and Sentence Receptor, which presumably allow you to transfer the various Sentence and Phrase affixes you can only obtain with certain Special Ability Factors. Seeing as these factors typically come from temporarily available Collection Files tied to Emergency Quests this could be a decent way of carrying these factors on to future gear.

Arena Boosters are as you can imagine much like Photon and Weaponoid Boosters in that they grant access to new weapon Potentials on certain weapons. The preview does not show a description of the example potential however, so I can’t speculate on if these are going to be worth the effort or not. The example weapon series shown however is the Aura series, whose current potential only applies to bosses so it could be interesting.

Other cosmetics include costumes and lobby actions as well as 12* “Shine Series” units. Most cosmetic items will be temporarily available because I don’t know fuck you that’s why. This includes the weapon camos mentioned earlier.

Battle Scratch

After a battle, victory or defeat, you’ll have the chance to roll for a random item. Among the potential items you could get include boosters for the amount of coins you gain in the next battle as well as a selection of weapon camos. You also have a low chance of obtaining an item that lets you raise the grind limit of an NT weapon by 1.

You get up to three scratches per battle, though presumably only the first one is free. Additional goes will cost you Stargems.

Just a mechanic to encourage you to play more games I guess. Though I suspect players will be walking away with EXP+3000 tickets more often than not.

Late March Content

Lv80 Class Requirements

Nothing new here, it’s really just confirming that you will indeed be required to clear the titles in order to unlock lv80 for a class. This means you’ll only need to do it once per class per account and not for every single character. This means the guide I made on getting your classes ready for the lv80 cap raise is still accurate.

Quest Abandon Penalty

If you abandon a multi-party raid EQ you’ll be locked out from the quest for the remainder of the EQ period. This is pretty clearly meant to be a punishment for people who’ll join an MPA then abandon if the classes and gear they see don’t meet their expectations or if a run is going poorly. This penalty will apply if you disconnect, too.

This penalty will only apply to the first person who abandons or disconnects and only if the MPA was at full capacity beforehand. This measure means that anyone remaining who ends up screwed by the fact you’re now down a person can safely abandon the quest to queue up again if need be which is a smart measure.

That said, I feel like this penalty is going to be incredibly annoying for those occasions where the quest bugs out and enemies take far longer to spawn than they should. It does also doom random Magatsu MPAs to excessively long runs should they have the misfortune of having no Weak-Bullet.

More Collection Sheet Revivals

The Orbit and Aura weapon collection files will be returning with some slight changes.

Aura sheets will be up until May 2018 which is over a year, while Orbit weapons will be up until the 24th of May this year. Hey that’s longer than they were around for first time, so if you got some Orbits to finish you’re in luck!

Aura sheets will require you to defeat lv70 Dio Hunars, which makes it possible to clear by just running the Level Up Quests (which will be returning once the event is over), even on Super Hard! They no longer require you to defeat Odin.

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Orbit Sheets seem to be largely unchanged however so they will require you to run the upcoming Necky’s Challenge quest.

Really at this point I don’t know why they don’t just ditch the time outs on these files and just leave them up permanently. I guess it would get awkward for files that are tied to seasonal EQs and EQs that only turn up on rare occasions but then I’d argue that’s an issue with them tying Collection Files to Emergency Quests period.

The Return of Necky’s Challenge

Necky’s Challenge is back, baby! Only this time without Necky as Sierra will be the one talking to you throughout the quest. The developers claim it was a popular quest though the reaction from the community was a fairly mixed one as I remember. Of course I’m only exposed to the English speaking community so who knows maybe it really was well recieved over in Japan.

It’ll have some slight differences however as Esca Darkers will be added to the mix of enemies trying to break the towers down.

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Esca Ragnus is seen latching onto and hugging a tower during the trailer (daww). It looks like it might be spinning a web around it…

The old datamined “PhantomBugLegion” (the phantoom version of Damoth) will be showing up in this quest with the name “Esmoth”.

Dataminers might be slightly disappointed that the unreleased Mining Base Defence didn’t turn out to be another fight with Apprentice (presumably her airborne Mothra mode instead of the one we fight deep underground) but honestly I think that boat has long sailed. Depends on exactly where the story goes after Episode 4 I suppose, speaking of which…

Final Episode 4 Raid: Deus Esca

Yggdrasil! The raid appears to function much like Yamato did where players will be fighting through hordes of regular enemies before squaring off against the boss itself. Unlike Yamato though we’ll be doing this on foot.

I have my worries that this boss will function much the same way as Escafalz Mother did, where we’ll be destroying it’s “arms” (more like heads in this case given it’s a Hydra) which will expose the real weak point which we then wail on before it gets up and repeats the process. This phase far out-stays its welcome with Escafalz Mother unless you have a very burst heavy composition so I’d rather not see a repeat of that.

Beyond that, there’s not a lot you can really ascertain from this footage. Presumably we’ll be getting a demonstration before its release.

Incidentally, data-mining doesn’t really hint at much more than this trailer does. From that, all that’s really known is aside all the storm based attacks displayed here it has some attack involving a horn.

With this raid arriving in late April, it seems Episode 4’s story will be coming to its conclusion fairly soon. With that, one is left pondering where the game may go from here and just how long it’ll be before we have announcements concerning Episode 5…

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Also, segways.

Preparing for the lv80 Cap

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So we’ve had some clarifications as to how the level cap requirements work. Thankfully, it’s not quite as bad as everyone thought but not everyone is ready for the new level cap all the same. Hopefully this post will help people be better prepared for when the update hits on March 22nd.

Conditions

  • You’ll need to have the classes you want at lv75. Seems obvious but you can’t complete the other conditions easily without it and as it is there are a few class combos that get by just fine if their subclass is under 75, so many may have just no bothered to finish them.
  • You’ll need to have completed all of your target classes SP COs.
    • This means getting 21 class cubes which you earn by “levelling up” after hitting lv75.
    • This unlocks a title so you’ll only have to do this once per class per account!
  • You’ll need to have a +35 13* of one of your classes main weapons
    • Qualifying weapons (One per class):
    • Hunter: Sword, Partizan, Wired Lance
    • Fighter: Knuckle, Twin Dagger, Double Saber
    • Ranger: Rifle, Launcher
    • Gunner: Rifle, Twin Machinegun
    • Force: Talis, Rod
    • Techer: Talis, Wand
    • Braver: Katana, Bullet Bow
    • Bouncer: Dual Blades, Jet Boots
    • As you can see, GuRa and FoTe players have it a little easier than everyone else.
    • If you’re a Summoner, you’ll need a 13* pet at lv120.
    • This unlocks a separate title per class.
  • Turn both of these titles in per class and you unlock the right to level up to 80.

So yeah it’s a little bit less mean than the 4th Broadcast indicated. It’s not much different to someone with one character but this makes life considerably easier for those wishing to keep all their alts up to date.

So generally, you can split the requirement up into two main parts: Experience and 13* NT weapons or a 13* Egg. Those are going to be the main targets of any class you wish to bring to the new cap.  As such the guide is really going to just address techniques to approach either of these goals and the pros and cons to em.

Update: OK with the live broadcast tidbits released last night it seems things might change down the line, particularly with regard to the weapon condition. They may be making +35ing a weapon easier and reviving the Revolucio Files for a year to make it easier to get weapons in the first place.

Experience

To complete all of your SP orders takes a considerable amount of experience points. If you’re starting from scratch, you’re looking at 41,307,000 EXP per class in order to complete them all. Considering its 39,357,500 EXP to go from 1-75 in the first place you can see this is a considerable amount to get. There are a few ways to make this more manageable though.

What You Should Not Do

Grab an Emperor Axeon or Edel Io with EXP Boost III and go leech in an emergency quest. It’s a dick move that might get you banned for one thing and it’s honestly not the most efficient way to get EXP in general.

VHAQ Urban Exit Burst

This is the most effective way to get EXP in the game but I don’t like it for various reasons.

Essentially, you have your intended class you wish to level as your main and you sub-class Force. Then you simply trigger a PSE burst near an exit and just spam your techs while firing off your Photon Blast as soon as you can (preferably the one that restores PP). If done right, you can have a ridiculously long PSE burst which can net you potentially millions of EXP. There’s a number of caveats however:

  • You’ll need to have 3 other people with you, otherwise not enough enemies will spawn to make the PSE burst itself any good. It scales with the number of people you have in the party and AI Partner Characters won’t count towards it.
  • You’ll need spare Advance Capsule – As in order to raise the quest’s risk to 50. Max risk boosts the number of enemies that have, well, boosts which dramatically increases the EXP per kill. Only one person in the group needs to do this, mind
  • It’s possible the PSE can trigger in an inconvenient spot on the map. If this happens you might not trigger a Cross Burst or get a One More, leading to a fair amount of time wasted.

So yeah, because you need to find 3 other people to group up with you this method isn’t for the unsociable. In general, I don’t like playing to other people’s schedules so that plus the RNG factor of when a PSE burst can happen and just how boring it is to stand in one spot spamming techs turns me off from this method. It is unarguably the best way to get EXP (outside of Bonus Quests) in the game though so if you can pull it off go for it.

VHAQs and SHAQs

This takes advantage of the high rate of enemies in Advance Quests, the rate of boosted enemies at high risk and the boosted EXP rates the quest offers.

In terms of EXP, I actually feel like VHAQs are slightly better than SHAQs. It’s less EXP per kill, but you’re killing things much faster in VHAQs and its considerably cheaper to run. However, SHAQs do have marginally better drops and because items can drop with Ultimate Buster you can get higher affix slot counts on dropped weapons.

If you’re going to run SHAQs though, I recommend pushing to +12 risk because the drop rate of capsules is considerably higher and it also puts you in range to potentially get some decent drops. It’ll also potentially be useful for Collection Files that require lv71+ enemies that are otherwise difficult to find in the general game.

The downside to running SHAQs is you will need to run them fairly regularly in order to not have fewer caps than you started with. Ideally you want to make a profit so I advise clearing out the entire map which is kind of time consuming.

If you’re running VHAQs I actually suggest not clearing the entire map unless you really need caps. For one thing VHAQs only cost 1 cap per attempt, so you really don’t need to clear the map to make the quest pay for itself anyway. For another, getting rare boosted bosses is a ridiculous chunk of EXP (figures like 350,000 exp per kill aren’t unheard of). As a result, I argue it may be worth just killing mobs that happen to get in your way and just getting to the boss to increase the number of shots per hour you get at a rare boss.

One upside to this approach is you can get shots at Arks Clones appearing as well as Apprentice. These both can give very useful Affixes, though for clones it’s better if you have more people with you. You may also get shots at Tagami which can net a huge burst of EXP but it’s extremely rare.

Featureds

Run the daily featured quests. This will keep your daily boost up which is a 50% tri-boost plus it will give you shots at getting bonus keys. Bonus quests, particularly Gold-Key Tokyo can give insane amounts of EXP if you use enough boosters on them.

This is the most casual approach to levelling up and considering we have until March 22nd until it’s available even those with limited amounts of time to play should be able to use this method to be more than ready when the day comes. You won’t get a key every day, in fact you may go multiple days with no keys at all. However it’ll be more than worth it when you do get one because a Gold Key could net you up to two class cubes in one go.

Catch Emergency Quests

Naturally this has the disadvantage of having your playtime held hostage by the EQ schedule. I don’t recommend this as your main way of gaining EXP but it can be a nice way to supplement it.

Not all Emergency Quests pay out a good amount of EXP, but the following are of note:

  • Chaotic Tranquility – Nothing but boosted enemies. Very nice EXP.
  • Mothership – Again, nothing but boosted enemies. Includes Goldrahdas and shots at a boosted Nove Ringadahl, Dark Agrani and Rigshrayda. Generally a high EXP quest.
  • Mining Base Defense 3 – Probably the best emergency quest for EXP. Focus on killing enemies as quickly as possible. Succeeding at the quest isn’t actually required.
  • Dark Falz Elder – The Arms phase pays out a huge amount of EXP, though it can get repetitive fairly quick.
  • Dark Falz Loser – I’ve heard that Apos Dorios pays a decent amount of EXP on Extra Hard. Not played the quest in years so I can’t confirm.
  • Raidboss EQs – If the group is fast the boss can pay a pretty nice chunk of EXP. Not as much EXP/min as some of the other EQs here but its not a bad little chunk plus you get shots at some very nice items in some of them.

Bribing Franka

Franka has a large selection of Client Orders which all require items that can be bought off the player market. If you turn them in all at once it totals up to something in the region of 1M exp. They’re on a weekly cooldown, so its not an awful way to get some EXP however some of Franka’s Client Order items might be quite expensive.

Treasure Shop

Keep an eye on the Treasure Shop. Occasionally it sells bonus keys (silver Tokyo is 1.6M and gold Tokyo is 5M). It’s expensive, but if you have the Meseta to spare it may be worth considering dumping some in exchange for that sweet Bonus Quest EXP.

Weapons and Pet

This one is a bit trickier, because the ways you can obtain these items changes much more frequently than ways to gain good amounts of EXP. These will kind of be more general suggestions for now.

Collection Files

These are likely going to be the most effective way you can meet the +35 requirement, though it does depend on what the file is dependent on.

If it’s tied to an Emergency Quest you’re going to have to be able to catch as many instances of that quest as you can. In otder to +35 a 13* star weapon you will need to complete a file 6 times, which can be a tall order given that the files are usually on a limited timeframe.

You may have to use Stargems to reset your completed sheets in order to speed things up, otherwise you’ll end up having to wait 2 days which can be precious opportunities lost if any EQs happen in that time.

There’s also the downside that not all Collection files cover all weapon types. As it happens, we currently have one that does and another coming up.

Collection files are by far the easiest way for Summoners to get a 13* pet. If you’re a summoner, this is pretty much your only way. Don’t care about which pet happens to be available at the time, just get it.

Astra Files

Astras are a pretty good one for now as there’s plenty of time before they expire and it doesn’t take many Escafalz Mother kills to clear a file. You’re still going to have to plan your schedule around the Emergency Quest schedule though which just isn’t practical for everyone to do.

Ray Files

Ray files will be back next week. Like Astra, it covers every weapon type but unlike Astra you will be able to make progress on these in your own time. You’ll be able to buy Quest Triggers for the Emergency Quest these are tied to for 50 2017 Gold Badges each which you can earn in a mere 5 runs of the current Limited Quest. This Limited Quest will be gone next week, however the quest taking its place might pay a similar or better amount. It has to pay some at least because the Web Event’s progression is based on Badges earned.

Bare in mind however that parts of Ray files will require you to run other quests to get kills of specific high-level Darker bosses and enemies. This might involve running SHAQs or doing runs of either of the Heaven and Hells. The sheets are also likely to be around for a limited time, possibly only a month which means you’ll have very little time to clear all 6 files that you’d need. You may need to use Star Gems to help.

Revolucio Files

Late March will see the return of the Revolucio Collection Files. Unlike the other two mentioned here, these files are not bound to any Emergency Quest and can be progressed at your own pace. They’ll allegedly be available for an entire year, which gives you plenty of time to obtain the weapons you need in order to satisfy both the level up requirement and the future Expert Block requirement.

They’ll also apparently be making them less demanding to grind out, which is potentially a good thing because the original files required enemies that were pretty difficult to find in the general game. Things like lv71+ Goronzoran, which only shows up occasionally in Sanctum’s SHAQ or certain Emergency Quests (Who knows though, maybe one day we’ll see Extra Hard added to all Free Fields and Arks Quests…). The amount of time it took to progress certain files was also pretty harsh, with boss kills netting maybe 1 or 2% towards completion.

NPC Client Order Weapons

Fairly easy weapons to get when they’re available.

One downside is they  tend to only offer two weapon types at a time. This only covers a very small portion of classes as you can imagine.

Another downside is the client orders are on a 1-week cooldown and are typically only available for a month. The good news is if you have alts this is less of an issue, as the weapon hand-out cooldown is only 2 days. So as long as you complete it on alts and turn in one of your alt’s quests every 2 days you should easily get the 6 weapons required to +35 a weapon. If you don’t have any alts then this option is impossible for you.

2016 Badge Weapons

The old 2016 badge weapons are 13* NT weapons, so if you have enough 2016 Badges laying around (about 1200 gold at least) you can pick up enough weapons to make a +35 that way.

The very obvious flaw in this approach is that 2016 Badges aren’t available anymore, so this isn’t an option for new players or anyone with less than 1200 gold badges.

2017 Badge Weapons

Xie’s current selection of weapons are 13* NTs as well though! If other methods are impractical to you then saving up enough weapon badges might be the best option you have. You’ll need 1200 badges total in order to get 1 +35 weapon.

The big advantage to this approach is these weapons are permanently available. As you’ll be able to earn 2017 Badges all year this method doesn’t suffer from the limited time-spans that the EQ limited Collection Files or NPC Client Order weapons suffer from. So you really can progress these entirely at your own pace. If you’re a casual player this may be the best way to meet this condition by far.

The downside of course is this consumes 2017 badges, which might be better spent on other things.

Summary

So for gaining EXP, consider any of the following methods:

  • Get a team of 4 people together and see if you can get VHAQ Urban exit bursts Boring but very effective if you can pull it off.
  • By yourself or with other people farm EXP in VHAQs or SHAQs. Lucrative EXP but need to play often to not lose Advance Capsules.
  • Run Featured Quests and hope you get keys. Fairly RNG but Bonus Quests have the highest payout of EXP of any quest.
  • Keep an eye out for particular Emergency Quests. Some pay good amounts of EXP
  • Consider dropping Meseta on Franka Client Order items for a decent chunk of EXP per week.
  • Consider watching the Treasure Shop and dropping Meseta for Tokyo keys.

These methods ought to help with actually getting to lv80 as well.

To meet the +35 weapon condition or the lv120 13* pet condition consider the following approaches:

For Eggs:

  • Do whatever Collection File happens to be up at the time. You only need one 13* Egg.

For weapons:

  • Do Collection Files if you think you can satisfy their conditions, ie: if you can make every Emergency Quest it needs. Consider using Stargems to reset files to speed things up.
  • Collect 2017 Weapons Badges for Emergency Quest triggers for the upcoming Ray collection files.
  • Consider clearing NPC Client Orders that give out 13* weapons. This method is only practical for people with alts. Remember that the Client Orders are on a weekly cooldown but the weapons themselves can only be given out to an account every two days.
  • Consider 2016 Badge weapons if you have enough 2016 Badges left (at least 1200)
  • Consider 2017 Badge weapons as they’ll be available permanently and you can make progress towards them at any time.

These are all the techniques I can think of for now. Let me know if there’s any I’ve forgotten about or if there’s anything wrong with the techniques I’ve laid out. I hope this at least helps some people out there because I know these conditions have taken people by surprise.

PSO2 4th Station

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The fourth PSO2 Station went out today. With it we got a preview of content coming up in February and March, including information about the new level cap requirements, the solo Profound Darkness, 4-player Multi-Quest, Union weapon exchange and some PVP stuff.

Details of this post may change if I notice anything new or of course if I got anything wrong.

Trailers

Wouldn’t be a proper broadcast without em! With thanks to Goukezitsu for uploading these.

Arks New Year Carnival Part 3

Lots of cosmetic stuff, part 2 of Xie’s shop, Solo EQ, Union gear and 4-man Multi Quest! Kinda curious what the background music might be teasing…

Arks New Year Carnival Part 4

White Day, seasonal Emergency Quest and new cosmetics. Chat up all your husbandos in the lobby!

End of Stream Teaser

Battle arena stuff. Zzz.

Level Cap Info

During the stream they confirmed some details that I talked about in my last post, unfortunately.

Koffie will be getting a new Client Order that will require you have completed your class SP orders (all of them) and have one of your class’s main weapons at +35 (Gunslash presumably doesn’t count), 13* rarity or higher. Summoners will need a pet at lv120.

So yeah, Gheaven was right about most of it unfortunately. They were wrong about the affix requirement at least which is a minor relief in the face of now having to grind out additional Collection Files just to get a +35 weapon for potentially every class and subclass of any alts you might want to level to 80. I need someone to check the wording on the condition, otherwise it sounds like Gunner/Ranger and Force/Techer might have it a little easier than other combinations seeing as they share weapons or if indeed said shared weapons won’t count (Rifle and Talis respectively).

Beyond that, my opinions are much the same as in my speculative post on this. This is going to be a significant bump in the road for new players down the line who will now have to be stuck at lv75 grinding out 21 class cubes just so they can earn permission to level up to 76. The +35 13* requirement might also be awkward down the line unless future collection files will still cater well enough to content under lv80.

Still, they’ve been known to relax these kinds of conditions given enough time so it probably will get better in the future. The whole thing seems needlessly clumsy to me but they kinda engineered themselves into this corner.

Solo Emergency Quest

The solo fight against Double and the Profound Darkness will be arriving early February. With it we’ll be seeing the return of the Ray series Collection Files. You’ll need Ray weapons if you want to be able to exchange for Union weapons.

It’s worth noting that even if you don’t want Union weapons you may want to run this quest just to complete Ray files as its Special Ability Factor is Astral Soul.

soloeq

This quest is only available on Extra Hard and requires your Main and Subclass to be Lv75. The enemy is lv80.

You’ll have 20 minutes to clear the quest. While it was fairly obvious they’d reduce the boss’s HP I feel this detail confirms it because I just can’t imagine them expecting you to defeat a boss intended for 12 players in 1/3rd of the time.

Looking through the trailer, it seems like the boss is using the newer AI but it also has the old behavior where it rests its head on the arena. It also seems like its attacks don’t hit nearly as hard as in the full raid on Extra Hard (I believe the fly-by attack deals roughly 1200 damage in the raid, 550 or so in the trailer) though of course it’s hard to tell how the test player’s build is interacting with that. They’re not running Guard Stance at least.

xiepos2

Xie’s weapons will be getting a 2nd potential which will help you clear the quest more easily. It appears to boost damage dealt and reduce damage received while running this quest, but the numbers are hidden so it’s hard to tell how good this is.

 

Quest Trigger

solotrigger

They’re going to be adding a Quest Trigger for the solo Emergency Quest for 50 Gold Badges a shot. Not too bad! I guess there’s a use for medals now outside of getting the dance lobby actions.

Union Exchange

unionunits

In order to upgrade from a Ray weapon or unit to a Union weapon you’ll need 5 Union Boosters. You’ll get one Union Booster per clear of the solo EQ as well as an additional one for each S-rank.

unionweaponexchange

When you upgrade, the item will retain all the upgrades you applied to the old item (so element, grind, affixes etc).

It seems Union Sword has 1215  S-Atk, which if true makes it the 4th strongest sword in terms of raw attack power. If it retains the Ray potential this just means that it’s a slightly weaker Astra weapon though it does offer some damage resistance which Astra doesn’t.

4-Man Multiparty

A short romp through all the Ultimate area bosses! Presumably it’ll let you have shots at their gear and affixes should you even want them by this point, though their rates might be even lower than their regular counterparts because…

Enemy Lv75

The enemies in the quest are lv75. I don’t understand why they felt the need to do this. Is it because they don’t want to make the current Ultimate Quests redundant? I mean in many respects they already are so I’m not sure what this decision is for.The exception is for Ultimate Amduscia enemies I guess, which could still drop 12* units and Gix weapons which are still relevant for now. Beyond that though I’m certain they can’t be being too wary that we might get Ares weapons too often!

I’m sure they have a good reason for it and ultimately I don’t think it’ll take too much away from the quest itself. What’s worth noting is that most of the bosses seem to have titles, so it might offset their droprates towards something a bit more reasonable. I’m looking forward to getting a couple friends together to smash some boss’s faces in whatever the case may be.

Scaling Stats

Apparently, if you run the quest by yourself the enemy’s stats will be adjusted. Pretty neat if so because I believe this would make this the first quest with actual scaling in it, which is something I’ve felt the game’s been in need of for years…

Weapon/Unit Pass Change

In the near future, you will no longer be required to have 10-12* weapon passes or 10-11* unit passes in order to be able to buy those items. This has been a long time coming as it’s felt wrong to have most of this gear which has been years out of date to be locked behind a paywall.

The upside is this means it will be easier for new players to get kitted out with 12* items and Affix fodder items wont be restricted to 9* and below anymore. The downside is those of you who converted 12* gear into passes will have potentially lost out.

I’m curious if this means we will be seeing 13* weapon and 12* unit passes soon? It might make +35ing weapons significantly easier for paid users at least though that might make the requirement all the more irritating for free players.

Over for Now!

So that’s it really. The surprise trailer was just showing that Battle Arena will have at least 3 maps with one set in Amduscia’s Cauldron and the other in Tokyo. I was actually hoping they’d at least give some more details about things surrounding the PVP mode (like if any items can be earned).

 

 

Lv80 Cap: Tentative Info

sierrafacepalm

Just a short post speculating on what’s out there for the lv80 cap raise coming up in March. I’ll likely talk about this again as we’ll be getting some new info on the 28th with the 4th PSO2 Station. In this post I’m just going to go over and have a bit of a rant on what’s known with my primary source being this post on GHeaven.

Unlike more recent level cap raises there’s going to be a couple conditions you’ll need to satisfy in order to level past 75.

Skillpoint Orders

The first is arguably reasonable in the current environment most lv75s are in. It may require you to have completed all of your class’s SP orders. Seeing as you’re likely going to want to  have both your main and at least one subclass to lv80 you’re going to want to make sure you have those SP orders done! If you haven’t, start running your daily Featured Quests for shots at Bonus Keys or hit up Advance Quests with some friends.

For new players however this could make the levelling up experience stilted, because once they hit lv75 they effectively now have to level from lv74 to lv75 22 more times in order to then be able to proceed to lv76. Unless they make getting those class cubes easier later on that’s going to create something that could feel like a brick wall to new players, especially when you then add in that they’re going to have to do it for their subclass as well!

However! The alternative significantly less dumb idea is that the SP orders will simply shift to lv80 instead, which means it’ll take longer to clear them as each class cube will take longer to earn. Still dumb but not a massive bump in the road dumb.

Weapon Grind and Affix Requirement

But there’s more! So we know recently they’ve been considering measures to try to combat people entering end-game Emergency Quests with really bad gear by adding a weapon grind requirement to Expert Blocks. I assume that this condition, if it turns out to be true, is yet another attempt to combat it with content beyond Extra Hard on the horizon.

If Gheaven is right, you will need to have +35’d a weapon and have at least 6 affixes on it.

I genuinely hope they don’t go through with this mostly because +35ing a 13* weapon is a tedious affair even if you’re playing relatively hardcore. The affixing requirement on top of that just seems like overkill to me, especially when you can have a more than adequate weapon with 4 affixes!

Consider:

  • +35 Astra weapon with some attack soul , stat IV, Flict/Alter and Noble/Elegant.
  • vs
  • +35 Astra weapon with Spirita 1, Power 1, Arm 1, Mind 1, Body 1, Lucky rise 2

I know which I’d rather people have! It’s not the quantity of affixes, it’s which affixes that are important. Beyond that, actually creating a 6-slot affix can be pretty irritating to pull off.

Typically when affixing, people tend to push from lower slot count to higher slot count because it’s cheaper to do so. However doing so comes with a risk, as up-slotting reduces the success rate of every affix depending on the current total number of slots. It’s harder to up-slot from 3 to 4 than it is from 2 to 3.

With careful planning and using booster items you can keep up-slot success rates at 100%, which is wise as some affixes are very hard to obtain. However, this luxury ends at 4 slots. You can check for yourself at http://pso2affix.seilent.net/ but I’ll go over some numbers here:

  • Pushing from 3 to 4 slots reduces success rate by 40%.
    • The maximum booster happens to be 40%, so this is the last time you can completely cancel out the chance of failure outside of an event boost
  • Pushing from 4 to 5 slots reduces success rate by 50%
    • Event boosts tend to be 10%, so this combined with the strongest boost item you can use will be the last time you can cancel out failure even with an event!
  • Pushing from 5 to 6 slots reduces success rate by 55%
    • Doesn’t take much math to work out you can max out your odds at 95% with an event and 85% without.

The thing to keep in mind is if it’s 100% you’re going to pass. If it’s 95% this success rate is rolled on every single slot you have, which means in this case it’s 95% 6 times. During an event and using a 40% booster your total chance of success is 73% which is pretty good odds. Without it’s 85% 6 times, which leaves you with an uncomfortable 37.7%. This is why people making high slot affixes treasure event boosts so heavily because that 10% makes an enormous impact when spread out over 6 slots! Note that this assumes you manage to get 100% before the up-slot on all affixes, because if you don’t the odds of that 6-slot succeeding go down even further.

Point is, they effectively expect you to do a gamble in order to earn the right to level up to 76. I get the idea, you want people to have better gear in the very top end of the spectrum but this isn’t going to achieve that because this system doesn’t care what affixes you use. It’s also just going to serve as a barrier to those with solid gear just because the affix count isn’t quite high enough, which is ridiculous. If you have something like Astral Soul, Power V, Modulator, Flict/Alter Arma and Elegant Power you are more than decent enough. Adding one affix isn’t going to change your performance much, though arguably in the face of high weapon attack power affixes in general don’t have the impact they used to so putting so much importance on them just seems silly. For example, on a weapon with 1500 attack, adding 30% more element is adding 450 more effective attack to it. That competes with the total attack you could get from weapon and armor affixes, let alone dwarfing the amount of attack you could gain from the most extreme 8-slot weapon affix never-mind 6.

Tidbits

According to G-heaven there will be no new skills added with the lv80 cap raise. It’s just simply going to amount to 5 more Skill Points and some extra stats. That’s it. Pretty disappointing to find this out, especially for classes already struggling to work out where to put all their points as it is.

It does seem like there will be content in the future that will require lv80; content possibly beyond Extra Hard. The cynic in me is convinced that this is going to end up being Emergency Quests only and the rest of the game will remain untouched but hopefully I’m proven wrong on that. Just like I hope my rant on the affixing requirement turns out to be a waste of typing because it’s that stupid.

Closing Thoughts

If this update plays out as current information seems to suggest it will this could possibly be the stupidest update that PSCrew has ever rolled out. The requirements as proposed are likely to have a negative impact on the game going forward as it presents an unreasonable barrier to new players and an unexpected barrier to older ones. It’ll also fail to create an environment where everyone queuing up for end-game content has consistent or at least reasonable gear unless the actual requirements are more intricate than they’ve let on. Guess we’ll see on the 28th but my best hope at this point is that it isn’t as stupid as it sounds. Who knows though, maybe this entire post is wrong. That’d be nice…

ARKS New Year Carnival 2017

vegas_night.jpg

A little more than a week into 2017 sees the addition of 2017 Weapons Badges and a brand new web-panel event. Just gonna go over some potentially useful data and share a couple thoughts here and there. Because some stuff is still being discovered some of the post contents might change over time.

Limited Quest

It’s your standard run about and kill monsters from various fields affair. The most interesting parts about the selection this time is it is for now the only reliable source of Esca Darkers in the game. The quest advances based on E-trial clears and ends on a titled Dark Falz Dourumble with either Giguru Gunnegam or Zeta Garanz.

Unlike previous years, where you could get Weapon Badges from drops and Etrial clears this one only gives you them for clearing the quest. How many you get depends on your rank and the current difficulty.

Known values:

  • Normal: 1 for S-Rank
  • Hard: 2 for S-Rank
  • Very Hard: 3 for S-Rank
  • Super Hard: 4 for S-rank
  • Extra Hard: 10 for S-rank, 8 for A-Rank.

You’ll need to clear the quest within 15 minutes for an S-Rank.

Like Riding Quests, all drops are pooled together into a crystal that spawns in the center of the map. You aren’t warped there however, you’ll have to get there by foot. Do not take the telepipes that spawn, because if someone breaks the crystal while you’re on the Campship you won’t get any drops at all! This actually has a negative effect when Emperappy shows up, as its drops end up having to compete with the rest of the drops which can potentially drastically reduce the number of Emperembrace items you’d normally get.

It’s an alright enough quest it just really needed some additional polish to help it out. Like I don’t know why they didn’t just warp you to the drop crystal at the end like they do for Riding Quests. The quest is kind of easy with enemies like Anga Fundarge having severely reduced HP but the primary purpose of the quest is to grind out items for welfare weapons anyway so I didn’t expect the quest to be terribly difficult.

They did seem to do a good enough job of covering as much ground as they could with run-boost rings and jump-pads to make the map as painless to navigate on foot as they could. I’m kinda glad they took this approach with the map, because I like that I get to run around and appreciate Vegas more than I could saddled up on a Rideroid.

 

Xie’s Back!

It’s been a little while, but that woman that stands around in the lobby wearing outfits from the future has returned. She has a brand new selection of utterly useless items.

2017 Badges

This year, there are no Silver Badges. They’ve done away with the latter tiers entirely which I don’t really fault them for. Fewer items taking up space in my inventory is appreciated.

What’s curious is so far they haven’t added any kind of exchange to turn in older badges for 2017s. They also haven’t updated the Pyroxene exchange, which still offers 2016 badges in exchange for 100 of any Pyroxene. They also took Levelup Quests out of circulation, which means for now the only source of 2017 badges is the current Limited Quest.

I guess they wanted attention focused entirely on the event quest, so all alternative ways of getting badges might be being put off til after it’s over.

Weapons

Boasting as much attack power as Ray weapons, these are fair sight behind the Astra series on offer from Escafalz Mother. They require 200 gold Weapon Badges each and come with 30% element. This means you’ll need 400 for each 60% weapon and 1200 if you want to +35 them. The question is of course, would you want to?

Potential

Boosts power and chance to inflict status effects as well as deals extra damage to enemies suffering from status effects. At lv3 it’s a 10% base power boost and an additional 10% if the enemy has an SE. Allegedly, it boosts the infliction rate of status effects by 70-75% which if true does potentially make Chase a more reliable skill while using these weapons. The power boosts are multiplicative, so if an enemy is suffering from a status effect the total damage bonus is 21% which is pretty solid!

While a strong boost, it’s still a situational potential as it can only be used at its fullest against enemies that can have proper status effects inflicted on them which makes the potential worthless on every boss in the game! So it’s primarily going to be useful for mobbing (particularly on Ultimate) and against most mini-bosses. Assuming this works with techs, classes that have access to more status effects at once get better mileage out of them (classes that can use Techs really), where classes that have to rely on a status effect being affixed to the weapon might have to get one for each of them.

The wand may be useful for those running Te/Fi who make use of Wand Gear Element and Chase Advance skills but aside that I can’t really see these being useful for anyone. Combined with their low-ish attack power Xie’s weapons kind of continue this trend of being kinda useless overall.

What’s also a shame is the weapons have a kind of neat aesthetic to them. I kinda like them and once again I’m sad that there’s no mechanic in PSO2 that lets you take any weapon and turn it into a camo or else I’d grab a few weapons just for their skins.

Curiously, it was hinted this weapon series would make the solo Emergency Quests a little easier. Given the only known one is Profound Darkness and Dark Falz Double I’m not sure how a Chase Advance potential is meant to really help. Being able to inflict Panic more reliably would help out a little bit I suppose…

Special Ability Factor

At +35 you’ll unlock Phrase Chase, which boosts the effectiveness of Chase Advance by 5%. So really much like similar Phrase SAFs it just boosts the effectiveness of the weapon potential. Unlike the others I’m not sure you’d want to transfer this to another weapon though.

Units

Xie offers two units at 50 gold each. Like the weapons, their usefulness is questionable.

Stats (+10):

  • 257 def
  • 80 HP
  • 5PP
  • 2% all resist
  • +10 all atk

That said, they are 12* units so if for whatever reason you absolutely must have some budget units you can stick some Skill Rings into then I guess these are OK.

Skill Rings

This update saw the addition of quite a few Skill Rings.

L / Step JA Combo

Adds a Just-Attack circle during a Step.

This also works on Bouncer’s Mirage Step. The main use of a ring like this would be to reduce the amount of time before you can do a Just-Attack out of a dodge and in cases where doing a step into Just-Attack would be faster than doing a normal attack or some other ability into one.

So does it do this? Well it’s kinda hard to call. The JA circle appears very late into the Step, later than even Braver’s Snatch Step JA. Here’s a video demo posted on Twitter:

Still if it does shorten the time to a Just-Attack it’s a potentially extremely useful ring which has the added bonus of being usable at lv1.

L / Mag Excite

Increases the power and frequency of your Mag’s normal attacks.

  • 150% and 80% internal attack cooldown at lv1
  • Unknown final numbers, 220% and 58% at lv12

This has no effect on trigger or SP actions. Mag normal attacks do so little damage that even if the numbers work out 300% power and 50% cooldown at lv20 (effectively 6 times the damage output) it’s going to make no noticeable impact. This ring seems like a complete waste of space.

L / Just Reversal B

Damages enemies around you when you pull off a successful Just Reversal.

  • 100% power and 100% attack range at lv1
  • Unknown final numbers. 450% power and 160% range at lv13.

This works with L / Air Reversal.

L / Another Rod Shoot Mode

Changes rod shoot to fire a slow moving projectile instead. This projectile will speed up and home in on a target after 1s. On contact with an enemy it explodes, dealing damage to all enemies in range. The hitbox seems to roughly match Launcher normal attacks in range at Lv1.

  • 50% power and 100% Explosive range at lv1
  • 110% power and 150% Explosive range at lv20

Swiki notes that due to how slow the projectiles are, in an MPA most enemies may be dead before they get to do anything. As such, this ring may only be practical solo.

R / Poison Guard, R / Panic Guard, R  / Mirage Guard and R / Shock Guard

Like the other Guard rings, reduces the likely-hood you’ll be inflicted with the specified status effect. Presumably to 100% at lv20 like the others but it hasn’t been confirmed.

Useful but very situational. The specific status effect would have to be a significant enough threat to warrant wearing one over a more useful ring.

R / Critical Field

Works the same way as Bouncer’s Critical Field. Creates a field around you, boosting yours and anyone else’s critical hit rate by a certain amount. Cannot be used by Bouncer main or sub.

  • Boosts critical hit rate by 10%, lasts for 20 seconds and has a recast of 120 seconds at lv1
  • Unknown maximum, but is 22%, 30s uptime and 100s recast at lv13
  • Seems to cap at 30s up and 100s recast, so has a 30% uptime

Could be helpful to classes that need the additional crit rate. Fighter/Hunter springs to mind, though they can also utilize the class rings for a permanent 10% crit rate boost.

R / Quick Mate

Works like Braver’s Quick Mate. Boosts the speed of using healing items.

  • Boosts use speed by 2% at lv1
  • Unknown maximum, but is 28% at lv12. Possible max of 140% but it could spike up towards lv20 so we’ll see

The effect stacks with L / Mate Lovers. If you want a build around extremely fast healing item use time the pair of rings could work well but honestly I feel like Mate Lovers does the job well enough on its own. Having both would be excessive in my opinion.

So yeah a couple of interesting rings here and one or two kind of useless ones. There’s been a better selection but there’s been worse too. The thoughts I’ve shared on them are mostly first impressions so they could change as people work out their nuances or any other details change my perception on them

Hi, Mom!

ardembanner

With the latest update we got to face off against Episode 4’s second raidboss; the malevolent shell of Escafalz Mother. I hope you’re somewhat used to the Rideroid by now!

I did want this post out sooner but new information kept kinda trickling in, making me re-write good portions of it. It’s possible some of the information in this will turn out to be wrong later on anyway..

The Fight

Chase

mom_chase

You’ll chase Mother around the moon base on your Rideroid. The base is more like a racetrack, which you can end up doing multiple laps of before it times out. Each lap the course gains additional obstacles, making keeping up with Mother increasingly difficult.

As well as avoiding obstacles, Mother herself will be throwing a large array of attacks at you all of which do considerable amounts of damage. There’s not much you’re going to be able to shrug off, as the healing circles restore very little of your health.

You’ll need to keep up with her, as if you get too far away you’ll take constant damage and be killed.

mom_walls
Get close and break her balls! You can also barrel-roll into her wall attack to deflect them into her. Doing so seems to slow her down.

In order to defeat Mother, you’ll need to break her four cores which stuns her. In that time, you’ll need to do as much damage to her as you can! Repeat this a few times (she’s typically down on her third break) and she should be defeated with relative ease. They give you a huge window of time to do this, so after people get used to the Rideroid part you should see very few failures. If you do fail, you’ll get a B rank which has a huge impact on the amount of drops you’ll get. At that point, you may want to consider abandoning unless you’re not sure you’ll get an additional run. It’ll still count just the same for collection file progress even if you do get a B-rank.

You have a few abilities at your disposal:

Autoshoot

Autoshoot will automatically fire at Mother as long as your crosshairs are over an attackable point.

Missiles

Fires a bunch of homing missiles that do decent damage. Again, you need to have your crosshairs over an attackable target for this to work. Take the environment into account, too, because the missiles can crash into them wasting your attack.

Do a Barrel Roll

You’ll spin on the spot, dealing damage within melee range. This is by far your most damaging attack and you should be mercilessly spamming it when the opportunity presents itself. This attack also serves other purposes, such as reflecting Mother’s spinning wall attacks back at her!

Overboost

Puts your Rideroid into overdrive, letting you catch up to Mother more quickly. It should be noted that most of the time you’re moving faster than Mother is but she can move in bursts or you spend too much time dodging and she gets away from you.

Dying

Well it’s sort of an ability! If you run out of HP you’ll be “dead” and have to wait 5 seconds to be respawned. You’ll be respawned right in front of Mother and are allowed up to 12 deaths before it negatively impacts your rank. As a result, if you fall behind far enough it might be better to die and respawn than attempt to catch up.

Phase 1

Phase one is relatively straightforward. She uses a bunch of well telegraphed attacks, based largely on which arms happen to be up. The main body is invulnerable while arms are alive, so the only thing you can do here is DPS those down. Once all arms are dead, Mother will be stunned for a while, exposing her core. Burn the core as hard as you can, as you only have a limited window.

She’ll repeat this cycle a few times, summoning more arms each time you down her. The more arms she had at the time, the longer she’ll be stunned for when you break them all. The number of times you’ll have to do this depends on your MPA’s DPS, as if your MPA fails to meet the DPS check while she’s stunned you’ll have to stun her an additional time meaning you’ll have to kill more arms. Their HP is not shared with Mother, so failing these checks will mean a significantly longer fight, overall.

Each arm has an attack or two borrowed from a Dark Falz. You can tell which arms are generating which attacks by looking at their crowns; Loser has wings, Double has a wall , Apprentice has sort of bug-eyes with mandibles and Elder has the head and fins from its Falz Arms. Due to the way they attack, generally Loser’s arm ends up being the last one to be taken down as it’s the most mobile. The most dangerous one is Double’s, which can put up a circular wall around the party and deal devastating damage to anyone who fails to escape. The rest deal very little damage and isn’t difficult to heal through.

Overall I like this phase but it overstays its welcome if your MPA’s DPS isn’t up to scratch. You can end up going through the cycle of breaking arms and assaulting Mother’s chest up to six times and personally by the fourth I’m bored of it. It feels repetitive, which is a shame because otherwise mechanically I quite like it.

There’s other minor annoyances in this part too, such as Mother’s hitbox taking priority if an arm wanders near her. If this happens, the Arm won’t take any damage! This is because the arms are not considered separate targets like Falz Arms are, which means you can only hit one at time even if they’re clumped together.

Phase 2

mom_fight

Mother plants herself in the arena and starts using a number of new attacks. She is incredibly aggressive in this state and can dish out surprisingly high amounts of damage out of the blue. Techers will want to try to keep pumping Resta out or putting down Megiverse fields just so your DPS can keep it up.

So much happens here that it’s kind of a cluster-fuck and as a result I can’t say I’m much of a fan of it. At least a lot is happening and she does have a wide variety of attacks it’s just the speed and number of them might be a little much for me. Mother herself also moves a lot, so if there are any mechanics attached to breaking parts I’m not going to find out any time soon as a sword Hunter! Otherwise the only thing I could really pick out so far is she summons bombs which I think you can break to neutralize.

That said, this phase is a welcome sight in certain groups after the first phase has long out-stayed its welcome.

Death Cubes

cube_mom

This is Mother’s raid-wipe move. She’ll use it at 50% and at around 25% HP. She creates a ring of cubes that slowly make their way to the center of the arena, while also gently pushing players out toward the edge of the ring. You’ll need to break as many cubes as you can before they reach the center of the arena, as the damage she deals after scales with the number of cubes left alive. I’m not sure what the lethal cutoff point is, but the attack pulses and hits around 4 times (possibly more at higher numbers of cubes left). With 4-5 cubes left, she was dealing 350 damage to me, for a total of 1400 damage which is only just under my maximum HP. So I’d say you wanna shoot for 1-5 cubes left, as any more and unless you have a tank or Deband Toughness up you’re going to lose people. The damage is Tech based, so the higher your T-def the less damage you’ll take from the attack.

cubesplosion

You can’t guard the damage but you can dodge it if your timing with evasion skills is spot on.

Note that the cubes are not considered separate targets, so area-of-effect attacks will still only hit one cube.

Your typical MMO raidboss DPS check. I was never a fan of this kind of thing and it’s sad to see it come up more in PSO2. It’s not the most strict check, but again it’s the classic problem with raiding in a game like this; its intended for random groups to run it so you have little control over everyone’s builds and such. You don’t know if they’re going to be running ideal builds or having ideal weapons for dealing with the raid-wipe mechanic, which favors classes that can do sustained damage in an area without the worry of the push-back effect moving them out of effective range. Worse is when you have a bunch of people giving up before the DPS check begins; holding the Photon Blast button while those without end up doomed to the attack!

That said, the raid doesn’t end when everyone’s dead so there’s no punishment for being caught in the attack. So it’s not really a big deal.

Loot

Mother can drop the game’s very first 14*s but you’re basically never seeing them. She can also drop 12* units, but their rate is similarly dire. Not comparable to 14*s but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were comparable to Invade Units.

The 14*s

Just gonna go over what is currently known about the weapons. The information out there is still shakey and at times outright self-contradictory. Expect this bit to change as things become more well known.

Kazaminodachi – Increase effect of Katana Gear (12% at lv3) as well as Gear fills up when weapon is unsheathed.

If it’s as it sounds this is potentially fun at least. It means that you’ll be under the effects of Katana gear for longer so you’ll want to be triggering it to get the most out of the weapon. I mean you kind of have to do that anyway, so the only real difference is in theory it’ll be easier to keep the effect up with this weapon.

The below twitter video demonstrates the gear aquisition effect while the weapon is unsheathed during Katana Gear. That’s a sentence that’s gonna make no sense to anyone not familiar with this game… Anyway so yeah as you can the regeneration rate isn’t enough to neutralise the decay, but it does greatly slow it down. The clip shows the regular decay later on in the vid for comparison.

Spread Needle – Increased damage and chance to stun enemies. Also damage increases when you get closer to enemies.

This one’s hard to call because there’s so many unknowns around it. Does the effect apply to Photon Arts? How strongly does the close range damage effect scale? Unfortunately this doesn’t align with the rumoured potential which is unfortunate all things considered. I’ll have to update my opinion on this when we actually know more about it.

It does fire multiple projectiles like the classic Spread Needle, but it’s believed this is just a visual effect and only the regular center bullet is the valid one. Scratch that, it’s not just a visual effect! This makes its basic attacks significantly stronger than any other rifle in the game, potentially.

I still don’t have any numbers to hand, but apparently the “close range” effect kicks in on the same range that Sharpshooter counts from. This means there’s a narrow range in which you can have both bonuses up, which makes it an overall impractical weapon for traditional RaHus. GuRa is probably gonna be the one to get the most out of this weapon, as they can abuse it’s multi-projectile effect on Parralel Slider and One Point the most. This information is still tentative.

Eternal Psychodrive – Confirmed as Boosts Element Conversion’s power, reduces PP consumption
Its Special Ability Factor is “Ability IV”

As far as far as I’m aware the only one confirmed is Eternal Psychodrive with one known drop. Its potential apparently boosts the power of Element Conversion by 50%, which means you get 45% additional damage with matching element instead of 30%. If the element doesn’t match, it’s boosted by 200% so instead of 15% you do 45% damage. So if the stars align and you do get one, you only ever need that one! Now of couse forces can get 30% from element convert with any 13* rod, so really the effective potential is a 15% boost in damage. Boring, but it does mean getting one will free up a few slots in your inventory!

Max potential Gix is allegedly slightly stronger than this, but realistically you’re not going to have that up at all times.

Falz Drops

During the Christmas broadcast it was revealed that the 14*s can actually drop from all old Falz raids and Profound Darkness. However the drop rates in those quests are even lower than they are in Mother’s raid if you can believe that. Still, good to know that they didn’t forget about the old content.

Astra Weapons

The replacement for Austere is here! They’re not really much of a replacement…

collection_files

Alright I’m being a little unfair. They’re solid weapons, it’s just for something that was heralded as something to topple Austere I was just expecting something a bit more than a tiny bit of extra attack and PP regen. For those who’ve had Austere for months it’s an upgrade you’re barely going to even notice for most weapon classes. For those who haven’t and instead are wielding previous collection file gear such as Gix you might also feel a little underwhelmed. However, their potential is active at all times without stringent conditions that Gix weapons have.

Suppose I should actually say what the potential is:

  • 12% additional damage and 40% additional PP recovery on attack.

Their special ability factor is “Phase Recovery” which boosts PP recovered on attack by 5%, so you can put this on your Astra weapon to boost it up to 45%.

The files themselves are pretty generous enough, with a 250% booster meaning you’ll need  to attend something like 18 runs to get a 60% (assuming no cooldown time on the files). The rest of the file can be done in Riding Quests, which are fairly active again because of this. With a 250% booster on you’re looking at 4-5 kills for each boss. The alternative is to see if your target weapon drops from an enemy elsewhere, because it’ll also count towards your file progress is so. As far as I know, for Summoners the only option is the bosses specified. If you’re need Train Ghidorans I’d suggest going to Train Ghidoran’s Arks Quest.

Astra Units

They exist, I assure you. You just might not ever see one if the rates are anything like Invade Units.

Stats:

  • S-DEF – 233
  • R-Def – 230
  • T-Def – 236
  • S/R/T-Atk+20
  • All def attribute +2%(S/R/T and all element)
  • HP+60
  • PP+10

Pretty good, overall. They have a set bonus with the weapon and arm unit which grants 60 Dexterity. I don’t know why they bother with set effects that terrible, honestly. If you’re gonna drop Set Bonuses because you’re put off by the idea just drop them entirely don’t half-ass it.

Like the weapons, these can be recolored which is neat!

Ledran

ledran

The newest addition to Summoner’s ever-expanding selection of pets. This time though it’s a badass little dragon with moves reminiscent of Panzer Dragoon. Or maybe I’m justing seeing Panzer Dragoon in it because I want to, I don’t know. It has homing lasers!

I don’t really play Summoner enough to give an in-depth so I’ll only go over some factual stuff and the rest is kinda third-hand info.

Personalities

It has two personalities like all the other pets (with rare drop variants of course)

The first is a stacking buff where Ledran’s power increases with every kill by 0.8% / 1.0% / 1.2% / 1.4% / 2.0% up to a rather staggering maximum of a 50% boost. Whats more is according to rumours, this carries across to new areas. The effect is reset on swapping pets or getting into a vehicle however.

The second is a scaling buff which depends on the number of enemies near the pet. It’s 1% / 2% / 3% / 4% / 6% for 1-4 enemies, 2% / 4% / 6% / 8% / 12% for 5+. While weaker than the other personality in total, this one doesn’t require you to kill enemies to generate it. “Nearby” in this case means within its auto-attack range, which is fairly big.

Between the two I think I’d prefer the killcount one, but the other would be superior for raid boss quests where you don’t get the chance to kill anything. That’s just my gut feeling though, I’d need to play the class more to really judge because there might be nuances to either personality that I don’t understand.

Attacks

Ledran Laser

ledran_laser
It looks like a homing attack!

It has a homing laser attack which can be charged up. The longer you hold it, the more lasers will lock onto things. I believe it stacks up to 8 lasers, which all deal a moderate amount of damage each. It functions a little bit like Homing Emission in that it can lock on to targets that you can’t. While each individual hit isn’t much, it does charge fast so I feel like it’s an alright mobbing PA so far.

Ledran Slash

A simple melee slash attack which also returns the pet to the user. Helpful for ending its auto-attack but not much else.

Ledran Gravity

ledran_gravity

Creates a gravity well wherever the projectile lands. Similar sort of effect as Gravity Bomb but I think it persists for a bit longer.

Ledran Burst

ledran_burst

Like Ledran laser except it locks on to one target and charges up to 8 projectiles to launch at it. Unlike Laser, each hit is pretty strong making its overall damage fairly high. Useful for high HP single targets and bossing.

Ledran Mine

Not gotten to use this yet, but it places a mine on a target which when detonated by most other Photon Art creates a damaging area (it can’t be detonated by Ledran Slash). This mine works much the same as the Vol Graptor projectile, as in if Ledran is too close to the enemy (launching the projectile inside an enemy hitbox I believe) the mine will disappear even though it displays the hit effect.

This includes Ledran Gravity, so placing a mine then firing the gravity well results in enemies trapped inside the AoE. It’s also apparently fast enough that you can sneak one in before the homing lasers reach their target, allowing you to deal additional damage.

Consensus

Again, this is really third hand stuff but the general consensus I’m getting for Ledran is it’s an overall solid pet. It’s good at both bossing and mobbing (it’s likely inferior to Aero and Maron for bossing power, however), so for Summoner mains or alts this might be a good one to get. Though for a while it’ll be expensive to get one with a different personality than the Collection File offers.

PSO2 Station #3 Writeup

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Saturday saw the broadcast of the third PSO2 Station at an ungodly hour for UK folk. This time they went over some of the content coming up in January/February as well as unveiling the new long-term schedule which covers things up to early Summer.

For such a short broadcast compared to the old format there ended up being a lot of things to go over this time, including a large selection of quality-of-life changes, PVP stuff and some interesting new things on the horizon.. Brace yourselves, this one’s a big ‘un.

Arks New Year Carnival 2017 Part 1

Starting us off is a web-event in January. This comes complete with a Limited Quest set in Las Vegas that pits players against a wide selection of enemies, so your usual all-star quest. This time they’re throwing ESCA Darkers into the mix and Anga Fundarge can show up in it which is neat. I’m kind of curious if ESCA Darkers and Darkers would fight each other… The quest ends with a special titled Falz Dourumble.

2017 Weapon Badges

Right out of the gate we’re getting 2017 Badges. These can be exchanged for various items in Xie’s brand new shop (yep she’s back), which includes a weapon series named “Shin-Wafuu”. At first I thought they were yet another reskin of the old Sun God weapons but they are actually something new.

xieweapons.jpg

In terms of stats, historically Xie’s weapons have always been a bit underwhelming. The sword this time has 1192 S-Atk at +0 and comes with Freeze V, Ability III, Power III and Vinculum. So that’s 55 in affixes, bringing its actual S-Atk to 1137. This puts it at the same level as Invade Calibur… So yeah I suspect these weapons won’t be worth bothering with unless they have some decent Special Ability Factor. I can’t even suggest it for covering any gear gaps  because Astra weapon files will be out by then and the weapons don’t seem usable by multiple classes either.

I note she still offers Photon Boosters, Caligulas and Toranas at least. Caligula and Torana are also still 20 gold badges each, though Photon Booster seems to have come down to 30 gold. Not sure what the point is really as I doubt anyone will be after Austere weapons or units anymore.

Turret Buff

Seems Turrets are gonna get buffed as they teased about in the last stream. This seems to only affect the gatling-gun variant of turret and as far as i can tell the only real change is they increased the amount of damage it does. I can’t remember the current damage numbers right now, but it looks like they doubled it? I mean that’s nice for those classes that find dealing damage to Magatsu before the first knee break difficult to impossible, but I can’t really see the use for it anywhere else in the game.

Mag Stealth

You’ll be able to stealth your Mag by feeding it a stealth device. This will make your Mag invisible, as you might expect, but it will otherwise still function as normal. This is one of those things that I’m surprised took them this long to add, given how much of the game focuses on cosmetics.

Though I don’t know why it couldn’t be a UI fix instead of a Mag Device that will set you back 10 AC scratch items each time. This makes switching back and forth awkward or not even a choice at all for those who have an uncommon or unobtainable Mag skin…

Hide Sticker

Now you can choose to not have a sticker on your costume. This one surprises me even more than the Mag device!  Unlike that though, it seems this one will be added for free and you can just select it in the Este counter.

Is This Eaaasy Mode?

Story Quests will now have an Easy Mode added to them. I have no idea why because surely the Story Quests are easy enough as they are? Well, if you’re one of those people struggling to clear Story Quests I guess this is a good thing for you at least.

Critical Indicators

Just a simple change to make critical hits stand out more. Beyond the more striking color, they seem to take display priority over normal hits. This will be sorta handy for those doing damage tests I guess, otherwise the clearer feedback for landing crits might be welcome.

Boost Item Toggle

You will be able to set whether or not your boost items will be consumed during the current quest. This choice takes place at the drink counter and will be in effect the moment you choose a drink.

This is needed really, because I know there’s been times where I’ve chosen not to run content because I have boosters active. So it’ll be nice to have the additional flexibility in when and where I want my boosters to count down.

Cuisine in the Player Shops

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You’ll be able to list completed cuisines on your shop, which is great and all but unless the food involves rare ingredients it’s really just removing one step from what you can do already by just buying ingredients. As it costs Meseta to make them however, I wonder what degree of profit the market will settle on. Will there be a good reason to sell the cuisines rather than the individual ingredients?

Skill Rings

With gathering set to arrive in Skyscape and Seabed comes a new set of skill rings. So far 5 have been announced;

R/Panic Guard

Grants immunity to Panic at lv20.

R/Quick Mate

Grants access to Braver’s “Quick Mate” skill. Presumably stacks with Mate Lovers.

I feel like Mate Lovers is fast enough if your build needs fast-use healing items. Doubt this ring will see much uptake.

R/Another Rod Shoot Mode

Changes Rod Shoot to multiple slow moving projectiles that explode on contact

Guess the usefulness of this one depends on the function of the new projectiles. The main point of Rod Shoot is for PP recovery (though it can do some pretty alright damage) at a distance on command. The projectiles this ring replaces them with move very slowly in comparison, though if the PP recovery is counted for each one I imagine this will be a pretty nice way to recover PP quickly for point blank casting (such as spamming Ragrants into bosses).

L/Step JA Combo

Adds a Just-Attack circle to Step.

This seems like one that might go down well in the community and for decent reason; being able to just-attack out of a step is kind of a big boon. Just-Attacks make up for a lot of the damage you deal, afterall (even more if you’re a Hunter main or sub).

L/Just Reversal B

Adds a shockwave on successful Just Reversal that damages and potentially stuns enemies.

This is a really cool ring. I imagine the damage won’t be that great, but the chance to stun enemies could be that extra bit of crowd control you need to top your health up once you’re back on your feet.

Arks New Year Carnival Part 2

Mostly story stuff in this one with a look at Where’s the Chocolate 2016 for Valentines season. Not nearly as much to go over in this trailer in general.

Where’s the Chocolate 2017

You know the deal with this kinda quest by now. Seems this time we’ll be seeing Ultimate Amduscia enemies as well as the usual mix of dragons and Darkers. Interestingly unlike previous seasonal emergency quests this one seems to lack a point counter and instead has a boss E-Trial as the quest target. The target seems to be a special titled Drago Deadlion.

valentines_collection.jpg

Of course the new tradition is the seasonal Collection File! This Valentines you’ll be able to obtain a new 13* Wired Lance, Twin Dagger and Twin Machinegun. Also included are sheets for the 13* eggs of Viola and Synchro in case you missed out on those.

Roadmap Overview

Something new for PSO2 broadcasts is this general teaser for future content down the line. We get a bit of sneak peak at Solo Emergency Quests, 4-man “Multi Quests”, the Battle Arena and what I assume is the CG intro to Episode 4’s second and final raidboss.

Along with that, they posted the usual text form up:

roadmap.jpg

It reads:

Winter to Spring:

  • 4-Man Multi Quests (limited time)
  • Solo Emergency Quest (limited time)
  • PSO2 Anime Characters are back (yay…)
  • Union Weapon series in an Exchange Shop

Spring to early Summer 1:

  • Battle Lobby and Battle Arena
  • Gathering update
  • Franka’s Cafe seasonal change
  • PA and Tech customization update
  • New Bonus Quest
  • Nier Automate Collab
  • Class Level raised to 80

Spring to early Summer 2

  • Episode 4 chapter 8 (part 2)
  • New 12man Raidboss
  • Design Contest Scratch
  • PSU 10th Anniversary Part 3
  • New fashion feature?

So yeah I’m gonna comment on the major things I can here.

Union Weapon Series

They’re Ray weapons with a little bit stuck to them I guess.

unionseries.jpg

What is kind of curious though is they’re listed as an exchange item and not a Collection File one. Does this mean we’re not quite out of the stone age in PSO2 or is there going to be some entirely new exchange mechanic introduced with these?

To go along with those, it seems like there’ll be a matching upgrade to the Ray Unit set as well. Will these also be exchange items I wonder?

Solo Emergency Quests and 4-man Multi Quests

Well this is a surprise! Seems during January we’ll get to challenge Double and Profound Darkness 1v1 as well as take on various Ultimate enemies in a single party. I’d say that we’re finally seeing some content that isn’t intended for 12 players but unfortunately it seems like these quests will be temporary. I kind of hope we’ll be seeing more quests like this in the future though, because really I’ve despised for some time how it feels like every new thing that comes along requires 11 other people or you may as well not bother.

double_dragon
Somewhat interestingly the quest expects you to take on multiple bosses at once, which is often more than they expect for 12-man Ultimate Quests. Presumably they have less HP than their full MPA counterparts, though.

I should say I don’t hate 12-player content nor do I think its a bad idea for the devs to keep making it.

Speaking of which…

New Raidboss

earthraid3.jpg

Due some time in Summer, Earth will be getting its third and presumably final raid. As Mother has perished (or has been absorbed, you can never fully tell with PSO2’s story) this would be Ardem’s doing. The trailer shows a continent materializing out of nowhere.

Given Episode 4’s mythology undertones I wouldn’t be surprised if this turned out to be something like Atlantis (even though it’s clearly rising in the Pacific!) or The Garden of Eden or something. Whatever it is, it seems set to be the stage for Ardem’s forced evolution of humanity or whatever it is he wants to do.

Maybe there’s some story details I’m missing out on but er … why do the ARKS care about this situation? Mother was the one who wanted to go after the ARKS and she’s gone now so are we just being heroes for the sake of it? Maybe there’ll be an explanation between now and then I don’t know. For now we have a continent with no context and giant ether Cthulu tentacles sprouting out of the ground.

Level Cap Raise

Rasing level caps isn’t anything new for an MMO, but PSO2 I felt had designed itself into a corner with all the level-cap related stuff it’s added over time. Things like Excubes, Class Excubes and Skill Point orders beyond cap… these are things that become a bit more awkward with a higher level cap.

There’s also the problem of whether or not there’s any new content to warrant levelling up, but the same thing can be said for adding new tiers of gear and they’ve been adding new gear long after we got the lv75 cap. It could be they reached a point where it felt wrong to continue giving us new levels of content without also letting us level up. In the end it’s just a number.

In any case, new levels means more skill-points, which may also mean new skills to put those points in. They haven’t confirmed this (there’s nothing on the schedule for it at least) and there’s a few classes that probably could use the extra SP somewhere but there’s also a few that players may struggle to work out where to put them. I’m sure additional details will be revealed closer to release.

But yeah, this has been a long time coming hasn’t it! We got the lv75 cap sometime in November 2014 just to give a bit of perspective. So it’s only been two years…

Phantasy Star Universe Anniversary Part 3

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It’s on there! Looks like we’re getting the third and final part of the anniversary some time in the Summer.

This crossover event has gone on for some time now, considering it started in August this year. With the last part some time in the Summer this could bring the entire event to a span of about 8 months or so.

As for what they might do we can only speculate. There’s not even anything in the data to help with it as far as I know, so it really is anyone’s guess. It could be just costumes, weapons and partner cards (with some additional cutscenes like we had for Emilia) or it could be a Limited Quest like they did for PSO complete with a remade boss from PSU. I mean I know I’d kind of like to see one of the PSU bosses ported over, but that’s really just my love for PSU talking.

Episode 5

No mention of Episode 5! I think anyone following along with Episode 4 can tell that things are starting to wrap up, so it wouldn’t have been too surprising to see something regarding the next episode turning up. As it hasn’t, this indicates that we may he with Episode 4 longer than we were with previous episodes and it may not turn up until late Summer or later still.

For perspective, Episode 4 started on January 27th. If we assume “Early Summer” covers up til the end of June then the expansion seems like it’ll end up with a lifespan of at least 18 months (because I assume it wouldn’t hit in July unless there were some announcements between here and then).

So for the heck of it let’s compare:

  • Episode 1 released with the game of course: 4th July 2012
  • Episode 2 released 12th July 2013
  • Episode 3 released 27th August 2014
  • Episode 4 released 27th January 2016

So from that we can say:

  • Episode 1 lasted 12 months
  • Episode 2 lasted 13 months
  • Episode 3 lasted 17 months
  • Episode 4 lasts for at least 18 months going by the roadmap

So at the very least we can say that Episode 4 is looking to end up the longest lasting episode in the game so far. We can also say that they’re slowing down but there’s more going on here. I mean this doesn’t take into account the volume of content added with each episode or the amount of story there was (Episode 1 had more chapters than Episode 2 for example).

I guess for fun we could also project and guess how many episodes PSO2 will have in the end. Sakai once said that he intended the game to last for 10 years and it’s gonna be its 5th year once we get to the end of the current roadmap. That may be no coincidence; it could well be that Episode 5 will end up releasing on the 4th of July 2017 to mark PSO2’s 5th anniversary. It certainly would be thematically appropriate! But yeah how many episodes might we end up with by the time it’s time to take PSO2 out back and put a bullet in its head? Well seeing as they’re slowing down each episode and they have a total of 120 months to get through (60 by the 5th anniversary of course), let’s say 22 months of Episode 5 and  23 months of Episode 6 just to sorta resemble the pattern. By the time this theoretical Episode 6 is out, there’ll only be 15 months of  PSO2’s planned life left and by then we’ll have probably had PSO3 announced or something. So I reckon that’ll be it, I suspect Episode 6 is going to be their final one.

Now to be clear that’s just a bit of fun, I’m not making any serious predictions here. If you’re reading this from the future, let me know if I was right though.

In terms of potential plot points, well we still have the Profound Darkness to deal with which I don’t know if they could stretch that out over two years but you never know. Maybe we’ll end up spending another episode on Earth… :(

PEE VEE FUCKIN PEE

So yeah, chalk this up as another feature I never thought they’d actually add! To be fair, I had plenty of decent reasons as to why something like this wouldn’t work such as latency issues, the game’s wonky class balance, the fact players have 1000hp and are tuned to fight things with 100,000s of HP…

Anyway, I wanted to withhold comment about this since they announced it in the 2nd PSO2 Station because I knew they were going to talk a bit more about it. Irritatingly this is where my lack of Japanese really does hinder me as someone’s clearly explaining mechanics in the background. For now I’m going to have to put together something from my own observations and things I’ve seen mentioned in the community at large.

Class

In order to solve the issue of class imbalance every player is set to the same class in the Battle Arena. It functions much like Challenge Mode in that respect and much like the Challenger class you can use any weapon you find in the field.

In terms of passive abilities, it seems the PVP class has Summoner’s HP Restorate as you slowly recover HP over time.

It seems you recover PP very slowly in this mode too, but I do see it also recovers in bursts without the player seemingly doing anything. It looks like it might be tied to picking up Emblems.

Emblems

The main mechanic of a match seems to be emblem collection. While you can kill enemy players, obviously, it’s not actually the main objective of the match. There are friendly, enemy and neutral (rainbow) emblems, though their individual worth in a match is unknown. It’s assumed that enemy emblems are worth the most to your team. There’s also some kind of effect that can make a lot of emblems appear near your spawn point.

Emblem collection also seems to occasionally have some kind of detrimental effect on the enemy team. The effect shown was a massive stacking Injury debuff which lowered the players HP to something like Fighter’s Limit Break levels.

Weapons

Weapons can be “mined” from various locations, with a bunch of nodes at the spawn point and various nodes placed on the actual field. You can re-roll your weapon by mining a field node, but there’s some kind of cost for doing so. Observed weapons are Sword, Rod and Rifle. There seem to be different tiers, as there’s a regular Sword and a 4* Calibur.

How you actually get the higher tiers of weapons I’m not certain, as during the video the players seem to get them from field nodes and spawn nodes on occasion, but then get the lower tier weapons afterwards. Maybe it’s random?

All weapons have in-built photon arts. Observed are:

  • Sword: Nova Break and a variant of Rising Edge with a greatly extended blade
  • Rifle: Piercing Shell, One Point
  • Rod: Megid, Foie, Zonde
  • You can also run in unarmed if you like but you probably shouldn’t!

Each weapon only has one photon art.

Additionally it seems the weapons do boost your other stats, as Sword users appeared to gain 100 HP or so.

Thoughts

So yeah, making everyone the same class and giving them equal access to all the same gear was one of the only ways they could really make things fair in a game like this. Letting people bring their own class and gear introduces so many variables that I’m not sure you could ever get anything resembling balance with PSO2 having been engineered the way it has been.

I’m also on board with their decision to make it objective based rather than about player duels. Player dueling is at least a small part of the mode however and in that respect I actually think that damage is a little too high still. It’s not really a fight if it’s over in one attack which it seemed to be most of the time in the demo video.

I can’t say I’m a fan of the randomness from a competitive point of view but from a “mode to fuck around in when bored” sense it’s perfect. Like to me, this whole thing comes across as a mode intentionally designed to be not taken seriously, which is for the best as I doubt PSCrew are capable of making something competitive with all the tweaking and balancing that requires.  But really if PSO2 has to have a PVP mode something that’s there just for shits and giggles is pretty acceptable to me.

They haven’t said if there are any items you can earn by playing this mode yet. I kinda hope there aren’t, mostly because I want this to remain a completely optional mini-game rather than something you’re expected to do. I mean, if the mode turns out to be fun then I guess it doesn’t really matter either way but otherwise if there was to be some progression tied to PVP I’d want it to actually be competitive. Competitive PVP is something I just don’t think is ever going to be viable in a game like PSO2 right now, because if nothing else it’s going to have netcode and latency issues that I don’t think PSCrew would ever be able to come up with good solutions for.  Even if they could for Japanese natives, anyone playing from outside would be at a major disadvantage.