The Dark Falz Family

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Guess that could be the Profound Family too? This post is dedicated to everything Dark Falz so far!

As this post is going to contain story details this is likely to contain big spoilers. If you haven’t done the story and care about spoilers, don’t read this post! This also contains a good deal of my interpretation as well as observed interpretations of the story, so let me know if I’m way off base with anything! Details are fairly sketchy on some Dark Falzes…

Not helped that there isn’t a story wiki of any kind and as far as I’m aware the efforts to translate the story ended some time ago (Update: They are still going apparently, though at a very slow rate compared to the older days). That said, there is a Japanese site that has story dialogue here, though naturally it’s all in Japanese.

Dark Falz: Elder

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Also known as “Collosus”, Elder was the first full Dark Falz introduced into Phantasy Star Online 2. Elder was sealed in the Naberius Ruins area 40 years before the player character became an ARKS operative. During the events of Episode 1, a man named Gettemhart unsealed it and became its new host (seemingly unwillingly, at that). It is the head of all fish-type Darkers.

This is by far the largest of the Dark Falz introduced yet, being the size of a small planet at full power. The only way the ARKS can successfully fight him is to wear him down slowly by defeating many thousands of its fragments, known as “Dark Falz Arms”.  Despite its sheer size, when it erupts from Naberius the planet doesn’t seem to suffer any major effects.

Dark Falz Elder in its current form is rash, reveling in the thrill of battle and as such is eager to duel with any ARKS operative he deems worthy of his attention. He just really fucking loves fighting, it doesn’t matter whether he wins or loses. In fact, losing seems almost preferable to Elder as it meant he found a worthy adversary. Despite his status as a force of evil, Elder does seem somewhat honor-bound as he refuses to fight the ARKS while they’re tending to the wounded Shina and waits patiently for Zeno and the player to be ready to fight him.

Dark Falz: Apprentice

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Apprentice is technically the second Falz introduced in the story via the “End Cluster” cutscene. Apprentice was severely wounded in a battle with the second Claris around 10 years ago. In her dire state, she opportunistically made Yucretia, Affine’s sister, into her new host. While she was transferring into her new host however, she was devoured by Dark Falz: Double, rendering the process somewhat incomplete and arguably not a true Dark Falz as a result. She is the leader of all insect-type Darkers.

Notably, her hair has retained some of its original colour. This is unlike any character that has transformed into a Dark Falz shown so far. This presumably is due to her incomplete status.

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Nothing is known about Apprentice’s additional forms, though I believe it is implied that she does have a full body buried somewhere on planet Lilipa. It’s possible that it may be underneath the mining bases, but I don’t know where in the story this is confirmed. It would explain why she’s so focused on attacking the bases, however. Data recently discovered in the game client confirms she has a full form, at least. 

The current Apprentice is more cautious and strategic than Elder, preferring to plan an attack method rather than jumping into fights with the ARKS fists flying. In fact so far she has never directly challenged any ARKS to a fight in her current incarnation, where her past incarnation seemed more aggressive. Her summoning abilities seem to out-do any of the other Dark Falzes revealed so far, seeing as she is capable of summoning an entire army to do her bidding. This is all the more impressive when you consider that she’s been partially devoured by Dark Falz Double.

Dark Falz: Loser

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Otherwise known as “the vanquished” (and “dentist”). Dark Falz Loser is the end result of the ultimate ambition of a Photoner scientist by the name of Luther. Luther was combining Darkers with all sorts of things, including Dragonkin and even citizens on the ARKS ships. He was hoping to combine it with Xion, a world computer, in order to fuse it with himself and obtain omniscience. He essentially wanted to become a god as far as I could tell, but anything and everything that could go wrong for Luther did go wrong, except for his fusion with the Dark Falz he created. He was the leader of all bird Darkers.

Loser is extremely convinced of his own power. He considers himself god-like and has tremendous technique power as well as a degree of control over time itself to back up his claim. He seems to bear no camaraderie with any other Dark Falz. In fact, the other Falzes don’t consider Loser a true Falz at all. Also unlike the other Falzes, as the host Luther seems to be in total control.

After the ARKS find and defeat Loser in the center of the corrupted Mothership, Loser is executed by Regius with his unsealed Yonohate. His corpse is devoured by Dark Falz: Double, who thereafter gained the ability to create clones of Loser at will. Despite being killed, Luther somehow got better and is currently alive within Double’s inner universe. However, he is not eager to escape into the outside world, as Xion is now dead and he has lost his chance of gaining omniscience forever.

Dark Falz: Double

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The third Falz introduced during the “End Cluster” cutscene, this Falz is unique in that as the name suggests it is a pair of hosts instead of a singular one. Little is known about Double’s origins, although it is shown destroying a planet in an early cut-scene in Episode 3. It is the leader of all toy Darkers..

Double isn’t mentioned in the PSO2 timeline as far as I know, so there’s not much of a history to speak of. It behaves in a distinctly childlike manner however, doing a lot of what it does seemingly for fun and turning the things it encounters into toys until it gets bored of them. Currently, it considers the Kuronites of Harukotan its playthings and is the main antagonistic focus of Episode 3. Alarmingly for the other Falzes it won’t hesitate to turn other Dark Falzes into its toys if it gets the opportunity. It devoured Dark Falz: Loser after Reguis killed him and it also partially devoured Apprentice. It may or may not have also consumed Dark Falz Elder, we’ll see when the next story chapters are out.

While its actions may seem selfish and immature, it’s possible that Double may be the only Dark Falz that remembers its true purpose; the revival of the Profound Darkness. Elder exists only to fight, Apprentice being a shell of her former self isn’t really sure what her purpose is and Loser was solely in it for himself. In this sense, absorbing the other Dark Falzes is an essential part of reviving the Profound Darkness, as the other Falzes have forgotten their true purpose anyway. As such, defeating Double may be the only way to prevent the Profound Darkness from being reborn.

While this may be true, the other Dark Falzes aren’t willing meals for Double. On Lilipa, Dark Falz Elder challenged Double directly. Elder considers Double’s actions a betrayal, regardless of whether or not they may have been correct. During their fight, they teleport away. It isn’t known yet what the outcome of the fight was, however as Double seems to have gained some of Elder’s abilities it doesn’t bode well for Elder.

Dark Falz: Persona?

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A recurrent character in the storyline, Persona hounds the player initially with murderous intent. However, despite wearing the clothes of the other Falzes and having a lot of the same abilities as them, Persona is never directly referred to as a Dark Falz and is merely presumed to be one. Unlike the other Dark Falzes so far, Persona does not appear to be in charge nor is he ever shown to be able to summon Darkers. Though it is implied that he can influence Darkers when he was hunting for a fragment of the Clarissa in Episode 1.

Despite challenging the player on a frequent basis, Persona is arguably the weakest Dark Falz yet. Until recently Persona didn’t have any additional forms in the data nor was it implied to have any addiional forms. This may have changed with the last patch, adding in a reference to “DpAbyssChar ProtagonistEnemy enemy/en_dp_abyss_char.ice”. More on that in another section.

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At the battle between Claris and Apprentice 10 years ago, Persona is revealed to have the player character’s appearance. While it is strongly implied that Persona is actually the player character (possibly from a different timeline) it has yet to be fully confirmed this is the case as far as I know. Originally, Persona was out for the player’s life but lately they seem more interested in warning them about the Profound Darkness for whatever reason. Indeed, during the cutscene they attempt to kill Matoi even after they’ve begun turning into whatever it is Matoi is turning into. If she is turning into the Profound Darkness and the resurrection of it is their true goal, why did they try to kill her? Similarly, why did Persona protect her from Apprentice if the goal was to kill Matoi anyway?

Aside the player and possibly Xiao, Persona seems to be the only other character doing any time travelling. Apparently the player requires Xion or Xiao’s Matterboard technology in order to travel through time. If Persona is the player then they may still be in possession of their own Matterboard, presumably allowing them to travel through time as well. This is just speculation, of course.

Dark Falz: Abyss?

This is an as-yet unreleased and technically unrevealed Dark Falz. Although the player character was deemed “Code: Abyss” when they were marked an enemy of the ARKS by a mind-controlled Regius this is could be nothing but a coincidence. In that case, the “Abyss” was instead an “Avis” (絶対令), or an absolute order. At the time, the absolute order was to take down public enemy number 1, which was you!

What’s known about Abyss is entirely data-mined stuff for now. It has a human and full form in the data, making it a likely candidate for the next Dark Falz encounter beyond Double. That’s actually all that’s known for now, so the rest of this section is pure speculation.

Is Abyss the Profound Darkness?

I argue this as somewhat unlikely, as the enemy file’s internal name includes “dp”, which is used on all other Dark Falz. For those unaware, another translation of Dark Falz is “Dark Phallus”. Yes, get your giggles out of the way. Point is, the Profound Darkness is the source of Dark Falz but isn’t a Dark Falz itself.

Who is the host?

Judging by recently data-mined information, the indicatoin is that it is you. Or rather, Persona. This would mean that “Dark Falz: Abyss” and “Dark Falz: Persona” are in fact one and the same, but as this isn’t confirmed yet I felt it better to split them into their own sections. Before this latest data however it was presumed that the host would be Matoi under the assumption that Abyss is the Profound Darkness.

The Profound Darkness

The ultimate goal of the Falz family is to resurrect their creator, even if some of the Dark Falzes appear to have forgotten this goal. This entity is mentioned numerous times throughout the plot, finally being revealed to have apparently been an attempt by the Photoners to create an artificial world computer, an Akashic Record like Xion. Unfortunately, it absorbed negative emotions (as photons are fueled by emotions, I don’t know either) and it became the destructive force it’s now known as.

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It’s implied that Matoi, or the second Claris, is the current host of the Profound Darkness. During her transformation, Xiao remarks that the energy emanating from her is much worse than that of a Dark Falz. Beyond this, I believe there’s very little to speculate on about the Profound Darkness.

The Profound Darkness has been the main antagonising force behind almost the entire classic Phantasy Star series, with leaking fragments of it manifesting as Dark Falz in all of the games and finally showing itself during the events of Phantasy Star 4. PSO2 is the first online game in which the Profound Darkness may make a direct appearance (even if it was argued to be Amplam Umbra in PSO:Episode 3). Defeating the Profound Darkness in PS4 ended the 1000 year cycle, preventing any future Dark Falz from being generated. However, there is no known link between the classic series or the online series (though there has been plenty of speculation) so it’s likely that it’s a separate universe.

As we have another story chapter coming out soon it’s likely some of the information in this post will need to be updated. As said before, much of this is interpretation and speculation, as some of the facts haven’t even been acknowledged canonically. That said, if I’m wrong about anything let me know, preferably with reasons why. It’d be nice to nail down some of the looser information here.

PSO2: The South-East Asian Hype Train

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Recently it seems the region lock preventing people outside of the South-East Asia territories from connecting without a VPN has been lifted. This means at least for now, anyone can play a fully English version of the game.

This should be good, right? I should be happy about this and hyping it up to people who were holding back from starting the game due to the fact parts of the Japanese version will always be in Japanese despite the awesome efforts of the patch team. Well I’m not, and I’m even somewhat concerned about the hype train going on about it. Don’t get me wrong, as a fan I’m happy to see that people are still excited about this game but I worry people are getting ahead of themselves and don’t know what they’re in for. Particularly as the news seems to be spreading fast.

Now I’ve read plenty of rumours about the SEA version of the game and to look into them I’ve made an account over there to see if there’s any truth to them. I’ve only reached about lv14, mind, so there’s some things I have yet to confirm. I may detail more stuff in a future post, we’ll see. At most I just want to make sure that people know what they’re getting into and to confirm/dispel any of the rumours about the game. Overall I want people to be making more informed decisions and to not be swept up by the hype train and shocked by what they find.

Update: As of the 22nd of July it seems the IP block has been re-instated. This means you’ll need a VPN if you want to keep playing on the SEA servers.

The IP Block (or lack thereof) 

The first thing is the lock itself. There hasn’t been any official acknowledgement of it yet by Playpark, meaning there’s a fair chance that it was removed by accident. This means that at any time the lock could be re-established, barring you from playing without a VPN. Now, it’s true that to an extent, the non-native Japanese playerbase faces a similar issue however the reason players were blocked from the Japanese servers were not as deliberate as with the SEA servers.

This naturally should be a significant concern for anyone thinking of investing real money into this game, but shouldn’t bar anyone from just checking the game out if they want to.

Content Lag

Currently the final area of PSO2 SEA is Lilipa’s Quarry area, which was added to the Japanese servers on September 4th 2013. This roughly puts the servers around 2 years behind the Japanese version. You’re getting considerably less content, however frankly this is likely to be a danger with the official western servers as well should they ever come to be. The SEA version also has yet to have its first Tower Defense quest, which is something we got on the Japanese servers back in 2013. This should not be taken as a direct indicator as to when to expect content however, as updates aren’t arriving entirely in order on SEA.

For players who never encountered any of the content this really doesn’t make much of a difference anyway, however it’s something to be aware of.

Photon Art Balance

The only word that need be said in this section is “Nazonde”. For some reason, this tech has been absurdly overpowered for a while. This speaks somewhat negatively about how much the company cares about player feedback on the issue. How strong is it you might ask? Well.. video speaks more than words here.

Incidentally, that’s a Force/Hunter. Yes, a Force/Hunter. Using a junk rod and no affixes. That should say it all, really. To compare, as a lv75/75 FoTe (non-lightning specced) with +70 T-atk on all gear I do a whopping 2000 damage a pulse with Nazonde on the Japanese version. That’s how broken this Technique is right now!

I can’t really form an opinion on how quick Playpark are to address balance issues as I haven’t interacted with them long enough. The Japanese servers have had their fair share of balancing issues as well (and arguably still do) however I’m not sure they’ve had anything as severe as Nazonde on SEA.

Localisation

The localisation on SEA is extremely spotty in places. I made a post comparing names across the patch team’s efforts and SEA in the past. Essentially series specific names were dropped in favor of things that people could more easily relate to, such as renaming “Force” to “Wizard” and “Braver” to “Samurai” and “Monomate” to “Health Drink” among a long list of other changes.

Does this matter much? I can’t argue for you. This bothers some people hugely and others frankly couldn’t give a shit. You can call whatever as dumb a name as you like as far as I’m concerned, but when you’re naming it different things in different places such as Oceanids in e-trial names and quest objectives, Neptunians in some quest text, Sea Kings in other random places, all referring to the same enemy type. There’s also Vaadersoma (tips call it Vardha Soma), rare counterpart Embryo Vardha and Big Varder, soul is “Vardha Soul”… You can find some more examples here. Note that some of it has actually changed, so work is being done by them to make things more consistent, but still something to be aware of.

It’s a mess, basically. If this kind of thing will bother you, beware.

Pay To Win

Now I know what some of you are thinking, “PSO2JP is P2W as well!”, but hear me out because it’s more exaggerated on PSO2SEA.

According to some posts I’ve seen, it largely revolves around outfits. Outfits are exclusively cash content, much like with the Japanese version, but unlike there they can come with affixes.

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These affixes are absurdly strong compared to anything you could create on regular gear and what’s more the game’s content appears to be balanced around them. The gear can confer some serious defensive stats, so in an attempt to likely make the gear seem more attractive all monsters in the game apparently deal significantly more damage than in the Japanese version. Unless you go Guard-stance or are able to never ever get hit you’re going to find life much harder unless you pony up. What’s worse is apparently these abilities are time-limited and they expire just about when it’s time for the next round of cash-shop items to turn up.

Sadly I’m too low level to confirm the enemy damage rumour, so if I get the chance I’ll do a comparison in another post.

While on the subject of cash…

ECONOMY

Players familiar with the Japanese version are going to likely say that the economy is an issue on PSO2JP as well, seeing as dance lobby actions and some hairstyles usually go for 20M+ on JP. However, searching a few items on the SEA server does seem to suggest that things are at least a little more expensive over there. Whether this is due more to inflation or it’s simply down to content differences is a little more tricky to say.

Here are a few item price comparisons (noting that I’m comparing SEA Ship 1 to JP Ship 2):

  • Item – SEA price(JP price)
  • Photon Sphere – 156,000 – (20,000)
  • Grinder – 6,000 – (1050)
  • Grind Risk +1 – 156,000 – (6,300)
  • Affix Success +10% – 250,000 – (7,000)
  • Grind Success +10% – 1,000,000 – (105,000)
  • Mizer Soul Units (1-3slot) – 315,000 – (1050-26,000, 1-3slot)
  • Vol Soul Units (1-2slot) – 130,000 – (19,000)
  • Modulator Unit (3slot) – 315,000 – (871,000)
  • Male Cashshop Outfit – ~735,000 (starting) – (315,000)
  • Female Cashshop Outfit – ~1,500,000 (starting) – (315,000)

Now some of the price differences could be explained with content difference. Excubes are much more difficult to obtain on SEA compared to JP, which has a couple of Emergency Quests that shit them out in large quantities. I remember a time when the 6 Excube price of a 250% rare drop booster ticket was a considerable price to think about, so being able to convert cubes into Fun and subsequently into grind boosting items is rather out of the question for SEA players right now.

Grinders were also rarer once upon a time, which may explain why they’re more expensive.

Boss souls are likely skewed in price due to the fact that Japan has had better alternatives for some time now. Mizer Soul has been replaced by Siorg Soul and Vol Soul by Leopard Soul (Quartz by Bayari at that).

While it would appear that costume prices would be solid evidence of an inflation issue, it has to be pointed out that costumes on the SEA version are bind on equip. This will constantly remove items from the supply chain, as you can’t resell old unwanted clothing. As such, the price is going to naturally be higher. Edit: It’s been pointed out that this seems to only apply to scratch-complete items. So scratch that off as a potential explanation for the state of the economy.

Modulator is the clear anomaly of this data sample, being more expensive on PSO2JP by a considerable margin. I’m going to guess that this is because it’s only lately on the Japanese servers that it’s been practical to include Modulator in affixing setups. A big thing to remember is that SEA doesn’t have Soul Receptor, making some affix setups significantly more impractical than they are on the Japanese servers.

Another factor that may be pushing the economy out of balance is that SEA currently still has the daily TACO system. With enough alts, this used to be an absurdly good way (if incredibly mind-numbing) of generating Meseta. While PSO2JP does have the additional daily system and weekly Extreme Quest orders that allow you to make a similar amount of money, it’s a fair sight more spread out.

I don’t know, maybe I need to search more items or maybe I’m making some gross mis-interpretations here, but I’m not convinced that SEA’s inflation issues are significantly worse than JP’s.

Conclusion

Alright, I can’t tell you not join the SEA servers. I can’t make you come to a decision, that’s not what I’m here for, so I’m not going to say to join the Japanese servers if you’re considering playing like so many other people may. The purpose of this post isn’t to tell you what to do but to make sure you’re better informed before you make a decision to go join these servers.

The main concerns I argue are how bothered you are by localisation issues and pay to win issues and most importantly whether or not the IP block will return. If you just want to try PSO2 out, go right ahead.

That said if you’ve been waiting for an English version I can fully understand your excitement, as an official western version of the game seems exceedingly unlikely at this point. This is a shame as evidently there is still an eager fanbase awaiting its release. If nothing else, the reaction from the fans should encourage any efforts to localise the game for the west that may currently exist. Despite the odds and all the time that has passed, it seems they still have an audience.

Also sorry for the long post, turned out there was a lot more to cover than I anticipated! But of course, let me know if I’m particularly wrong about any aspect of this post.

PSO2 33rd Broadcast Junk

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Hey, been a while I know. May talk about this towards the end rather than the beginning because I’m sure most people want to see the new stuff and not me talking about my thoughts regarding this blog.

So yeah, Sega did it’s 33rd live broadcast and as is the norm they showed a bunch of new trailers. This post is more gonna act as a means to collect the videos together into one place for more convenient watching and some information that I can share below them.

Kurona – TERRITORY OF BLACK

The first trailer’s main focus is the new Kurona area of planet Japan Harukotan.

Highlights include:

  • New compound Technique: Barantsion (need a better rendition of this name)
    • Carve your enemies up with blades of frozen light in a furious melee combo. Looks like a solid boss-killer from what they’ve shown so far.
  • New Photon Arts
    • Wired Lance PA: Adapt Spin
    • Assault Rifle PA: End Attract
    • Katana PA: Guren Tessen
    • Twin Dagger PA: Fall Nocturne
  • Blazblue costumes
    • Ragna (male female), Jin (male, female), Noel (female), Izayoi (female), Mu -No.12- (female). I wonder why we didn’t get male versions of the primarily female outfits…
    • Hairstyles and voices too!
  • Blazblue weapon camos
  • New accessories
  • And of course, Kurona
  • New 12* weapons and new 13* dark themed weapons (Pyroxene exchange weapons)

As far as I know it’s not actually explained where to get the pyroxenes for the dark-themed weapons, unless they’re adding a clear incentive for running Kurona free-field at all. If it was explained during the presentation, please let me know.

Kurona as an area looks great, if nothing else it seems far less annoying than Shironia was with its multi-story gimmick where jumping on roofs would make some enemies easier to hit. Hey it was a nice idea, but it didn’t really work out in my opinion. I also generally feel that this area just plain looks more interesting than a generic ye olde Japanese towne…

Challenge Mode Part Two!

  • Guilty Gear Xrd Collab
    • Costumes for Sol (male), Ky (male, female), Millia (female), Elphelt (female) and May (female).
    • Weapon camos, hairstyles and voices too!
  • Various new accessories, room decos, new room theme
  • Photon art customisation demo (brief one, alas)
  • Time Attack Rankings split into “Team”, “Solo” with “PC” and “Vita” platform sub-categories.
    • Probably about time for this change, naturally solo players could never compete with teams and the PC has some clear technical power advantages over the Vita. Doesn’t mean players like me are gonna have a better shot at the gold, though! They can’t fix my sucking…
  • Racaseal and Racast PSO costumes revealed.
  • Sato accessory
  • New Challenge Mode quest revealed
    • As was datamined, it starts in the Tundra and proceeds to Tunnels and Skyscape (not necessarily in that order).
    • Includes Darker enemies from Kurona
    • Ideal Units can now be obtained with challenge miles as well as “Photon Boosters” (20,000 miles each)
    • The new Photon Booster items can be used to unlock hidden weapon potentials on 12★ weapons.

Well one of the fears I was aware of among the playerbase for Challenge Mode was they’d include new weapons or something, which would make the current set of Ideal Weapons obsolete potentially. This turned out not to be the case so those people can relax for now! Ideal Units were not something I expected, however. At this point their stats are completely unknown, let alone any hidden stats or potential set bonuses.

According to Bumped, there are going to be some other changes to Challenge Mode quests too, such as relaxing the VR drain for 9+ player parties and granting bonus miles for picking up excessive VR capsules. While cool, I imagine this won’t change the current strategy of having a VR manager to pick up capsules only when needed for as much time in the quest as possible.

Meanwhile it appears that Advance Quests may be getting a permanent 100% exp boost applied to them, making them a viable way to level up outside of emergency quests. Cool enough, I’m quite happy with this idea if it turns out to be true. They’re also going to boost the drop rate of large Pyroxenes, which is another welcome change although the cynic in me anticipates that it won’t be that much of a boost to be noticeable.

Toy Falz: Dark Falz Double

No need for a highlight section, it’s just toy falz! So yeah, seems that Double will indeed be the next raid boss and the next Falz we will encounter in the story. Not particularly surprising perhaps, but there was a small chance that the plot could have diverted and we ended up fighting a different Falz instead. There was another Falz revealed in the data at least, by the name of Dark Falz Abyss. More on that possibly in a separate post.

The humanoid form of Double seems appropriately hectic, in line with the other humanoid Falz forms so far. Looking at the trailer it does seem like the boss has a few moves that could get somewhat cheesy, but without any damage numbers or player level shown it’s hard to say for sure how damaging some of its moves may be. It seems to borrow Hunar’s ground-pound attack, but then Loser has a similar attack in its full form as well.

As for the full form, I have to say it was nothing like I imagined Double would be. A dark, living castle. It’s cool looking! The moves it has look pretty dynamic. I can’t wait to see what the boss’s mechanics turn out to be. It seems to lack a Loser-style MPA-wipe move going by the trailer, but I’m sure they haven’t shown everything the boss can do.

Other Tidbits

Class Cap Bonuses

Seems you will be able to earn a stat bonus for capping a class on a character. For example, getting to Lv75 on Braver will give you +2pp, +20 all attack and +30 dex. This bonus will apply to all of your classes forever. This will also apply to all of your classes for each character on your account, so you won’t need to cap all classes on all characters. Well, in theory. They haven’t actually said that it doesn’t stack, but I doubt it will. Regardless, there is a chance that this could be a really nasty pay-to-win incentive if it does stack…

This, along with the class Excube system and SP-orders tied to them after hitting the lv75 cap does make me seriously speculate that we could be at the ultimate cap in PSO2 now. If so, this means the only progress our characters would make from here on out would be gear alone. I may be wrong on this, but if not I’m not really sure how to feel about it. I can say that I wouldn’t be eager for any level cap raises anyway.

Casino Changes

Along with increasing the payouts for all the casino games (aside Roulette), Lambda Grinders, Yurlungers (otherwise only obtainable from Ultimate Lilipa) and Lilipariums will also be added to the prize shop there. Rare Enemy Trigger E-Trials will also reward Arks Badges (Peach!) and a unit with the “Spirita Alpha” ability. Not a clue what effect this ability has at this time.

And something about a Neptunia collab in the fall but no one cares about that.

Thanks to Bumped for some names and Manta for uploading videos from the stream.

Oh right, before I forget PSO2 IS GETTING A GOD DAMN ANIME!? Like, what the fuck? I mean OK, it isn’t really that huge of a stretch because the game is already neck deep in anime as it is but still! God damn, man, god damn! It’s apparently an original story set on a near-future Earth which… if true I’m not really sure how that’s going to be related to PSO2 at all? I don’t know. For those of us with a morbid curiosity, we’ll find out in 2016 when it airs.


About the Blog

I’ve found myself getting a bit worried about the purpose of this thing. I mean it’s always been a semi-news blog/mostly my dumb opinions blog. A thing to exercise my writing skills with and above all it’s been fun to write. The trouble is, not being able to do news cause I can’t read the language and because its one of the less enjoyable things to write about in my opinion, it means when I don’t have an opinion on something I just end up not writing anything. And of course, I have my own professional skills to develop (I do not intend to ever do writing for a living) and these things can take a surprising amount of time to write.

Truthfully, I did also anticipate being able to cover the western version of the game whenever it would decide to rear its ugly face. So far this has yet to happen and honestly, judging by the data present in the South-East Asian version of the game I’m pretty sure the western version has been canned. This is just my thoughts and the thoughts of a few others I know, so we could be wrong. I’d happily eat humble pie on this if an announcement were to come out from either Sega or some company that buys the license. I know there are people out there who still don’t want to play on the Japanese servers and I really don’t blame them. Yeah I know signing up isn’t hard and there are some seriously awesome community efforts to make it all the more trivial but some people still don’t feel welcome on the Japanese servers and are also put off by the fact that playing there entitles them to zero support from the developers. The latter is a particularly understandable concern for some people.

All in all, I’ll keep this going when I can and as long as it’s fun to write. If I end up in a position where I can’t keep the blog going anymore, I’ll make a post saying so and put this thing to rest.

Datamining Tidbits

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That didn’t take long. Pretty much the moment after I published the other post in fact.

So all I’m gonna do here is recap some of the stuff found today. There is other datamined information out there but it’s better suited to other posts so I’m gonna leave those out. Mostly stuff with regard to Dark Falz and Ultimate.

As always, as all of this isn’t officially announced (aside maybe one thing) the content here may change or never actually make it to release. Don’t treat it as confirmation of anything!

New Emergency Quests

Oh, my favorite. There’s one in which you fight Dark Falz Elder and Loser, one after the other and an unnamed one which has a unique PSE condition. In this quest, PSE rates are boosted if people are wearing swimsuits. So that’s a first for the game; a quest which is affected by what your character is wearing.

The Elder/Loser Quest is named 来襲せし虚なる深遠の躯.

Future Limited Quests

Aside the Max Attack quest which we already know about (Which is presumed to be named “混沌まねく未知なる影”) there is one more.

境界を貫く双角の凶鳥, for now translated as “Border Breaking Bird” occurs on the altered Naberius field, otherwise known as Ultimate Naberius. This seems to almost certainly be the Gal Gryphon quest, so it’s nice to know where in the game this is taking place. It also appears that Anga Fundarge can spawn in the quest, joy of joys. Related to this, it seems that Bingo Orders that require Lv51+ Aberrations are included, so the area seems likely to be populated by them. I don’t know if they’ll have the full HP of their Ultimate Quest counterparts or not.

There’s also an unnamed story quest but who cares about the story. No data on it yet.

Sonic Fever

Sonic Nyau unsurprisingly comes with its own “Fever” affix in the form of Sonic Fever. It boosts all attack stats by 20 and PP by 4, making it by far the best Fever affix to date. It is essentially all of the Flict affixes in one (with 1 extra PP)!

While is a powerful affix, I think it’s probably going to be a fairly uncommon one to the point where it won’t make the Flicts worthless. I think this partly because this affix will only be available once a year, whereas the Flicts can be farmed all year round. It does however mean that all-round units just got a bit stronger. Take the theoretical combination of Apprentice Soul, Modulator, Sonic Fever and Ability III for example. This would grant 105 to all attack types, meaning it’s pretty much a universal combination that works for all classes. Due to the anticipated scarcity and limited availability of the affix however I imagine this combo would be prohibitively expensive to produce.

Photon Art Customisation

It seems that work has begun on infrastructure to allow Photon Art customization to happen. During an interview some time ago, it was said that they were considering allowing players to customize Photon Arts in the same way they can for Techniques now, though nothing has come of it until this.

Personally, I’m on the fence about this. I didn’t really enjoy customizing Techs much so I’m loathe to the idea of Photon Arts getting the same treatment. The worst bit for me is the randomness involved in creating that “perfect” combination of stats for a given Tech recipe. However, I’m for it because I think it’s also only fair that you should be able to customize all of the Photon Arts rather than just the magical ones. I wonder if it’s going to be its own crafting type or if they’ll extend tech crafting to accommodate it?

Aside that, every class will be getting 2 more skill points in exchange for 6 class Excubes each. That’s all for now, though this may not be the end of the data-mining for this particular patch…

Credit goes to Agrajag for finding this data.

News Tidbits for June

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There’s been a few news snippets popping up here and there, figured I’d make a post to collect a few of them up.

32nd Live Broadcast

Sort of a self-explanatory subtitle but yes we’re getting another live broadcast. It’s been known about for a while but details about what exactly they’re going to do during the show were only just revealed.

Highlights will include:

  • A fight with Gal Gryphon
  • Latest update info
  • Latest details on the PSO 15th Anniversary project
  • New collab and retail goods (Yaay…)

You can catch the stream on NicoNico here (though if you’re not premium I wouldn’t bother). It’s likely fan re-streams will be up on the day.

Gwanahda Bit Fix

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From the 10th of June, Gwanahda Bits will no longer drop items. They say it’s because during testing they found that they could farm Bronze Weapons Badges from them, which could break the upcoming event (PSO2’s 3rd Anniversary and Max Attack).

For those unaware, you could use Gwanahda Bits to get Client Order items and I believe Advance Quest items as well. This was useful for the more annoying Client Orders but it was always a fairly obvious oversight on their part.

That said, I’m really not convinced that it would have broken the event in any major way. I mean surely it’d be better badges/hour to just straight run the quest?

In order to compensate for this change, they’re apparently raising the number of items that Gwanahda can drop. Which is nice I guess.

Ultimate Busting

From the 10th we’ll be able to transfer Ultimate Buster onto weapons. This comes with a couple of restrictions:

  • In order to transfer, at least 5 of the items will need Ultimate Buster on them
  • Ultimate Buster can’t be transferred onto 13* Weapons or above

For the unaware, Ultimate Buster is an affix which boosts a weapon’s damage by 10% if the target is an Ultimate enemy (known as an “Aberration”).

So you will be able to make weapons just for Ultimate it seems, though whether or not it’ll be worth doing depends I’d argue. First I’m not sure that any weapon with Ultimate Buster attached will be able to compete with 13* weapons anyway. That said, it may well close the gap for those who don’t have 13* weapons yet and it certainly opens up options for classes where 13* weapons are not a reasonable or optimal (mostly due to element requirements or specific latents).

Personally, I have at least two weapons I’d like to bolster with Ultimate Buster and I don’t expect it will cost that much. This is mostly due to the fact that Ultimate Buster is only useful in Ultimate combined with the fact that plenty of weapons with the ability are generated with every Extra Hard Emergency Quest. That said, certain rare combinations of affixes with Ultimate Buster might become expensive, such as in combination with a boss soul. Given that five of the six items involved in the affixing process must have Ultimate Buster on them you’re going to need to use at least 3 souls if you want one or the one without Ultimate Buster will need Soul Receptor on it. Alternatively, you could build Ultimate Buster fodder and go from there, but that could just drive soul prices even higher as you’ll need Ultimate Buster + Soul + however many junk just to make them in the first place.

Kuronia – Harukotan’s 2nd Field

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Yeah this was announced at the last live broadcast but I didn’t get to post about it before so why not now?

Thanks to data-mining it’s been known for some time that Kuronia was coming. I mean if nothing else, it was a pretty safe bet given the story set out for Harukotan and the big looming dark temple on the map.

The video below is so far the only preview we’ve had of the area. Skip to 1:36 to see it, though be warned the image quality is abysmal.

The area itself however does look quite pretty; a giant temple decorated with golden statues of… what looks like Asura? Why would a temple on an alien planet have statues of human deities in it? Oh well, I\m sure it will be enjoyable for the first week or so while it’s fresh.

Beyond the enemies showcased here they’re still missing the “dollhouse” and “toypipe” darker enemies. I really want to know what the dollhouse type involves. But hey, PSO2 finally has a regular centaur type enemy (Blu Ringahda notwithstanding). It wouldn’t be an online Phantasy Star game without centaurs of some kind.

Thats all for this post. With the release of the pre-patch it’s likely some tidbits about the game’s future could be released shortly, though be aware the the more interesting stuff tends to be from the maintenance patches.

Thanks to EspioKaos for translations.

Maximum Nostalgia: PSO’s 15 Anniversary

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In July, PSO2 will be celebrating PSO’s 15th anniversary in a variety of ways. Just going to go over what’s known in this post.

First off, the event page for the anniversary can be found here.

Here is a trailer which includes video footage of the update. Skip one minute in to see the PSO stuff.

Gal Griffon

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When this thing was found in the game’s data there was quite a reaction from the fanbase. I don’t think anyone saw this enemy coming, not even in the wildest of speculations. What’s more, it seems to be an original mesh with its own skeleton, which is to say it isn’t a re-skin! Aside the colour scheme in this picture, the model seems pretty faithful to the original. I mean the colours we’re seeing makes it look kind of like an Oceanid enemy from one of the Vopar maps but who knows, maybe that’s down to the lighting. The old Griffon was just brown rather than pink is all.

As far as I know, this is all it has so I don’t think we’ll be running through any of the Central Control maps. A shame really, as I’d have really liked to see a rendition of the Jungle area at least. Well, I think I would anyway, afterall PSU’s renditions of some of PSO’s areas left a lot to be desired (FOREST). In fact really, something’s looking a little off about the arena itself if you ask me, which… again maybe it’s just the lighting? Like the arena’s ground just seems to be way too brightly lit for what’s going on around it. Both incarnations of the boss seem to be set during dark storms, but the arena in PSO just seems better lit for it. As a result, it seems to lack that same intimidating atmosphere that the old one had. This video here I think helps illustrate what I mean. Still I’m working with still images and teasers, maybe it works better in action so to speak.

At this point we don’t really know the exact nature of the quest it’ll be involved in. There’s an unlabeled one in the translation files with operator chatter about “defeat the one who caused the accident” but that may not be related to this at all.

Team Room: Administrative District

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Pump that nostalgia up to the next level by turning your team’s room into Pioneer 2. Very nice addition, the area looks pretty good so far. I don’t actually know if the area offers any unique functionality at this point and the trailer seems to show a bunch of empty shops. Essentially, it’s something that will be cool for a couple of days before everyone gets bored of it.

PSO Outfits

So far only Humar and Hunewearl have been revealed. While I am quite OK with this myself, this does leave Cast players a little out in the dust. I’d at least expect a Hucast and Racaseal given how iconic they appear to be to the fanbase, but I wouldn’t expect them to make a rendition of every single PSO outfit. Not unless this is a part of some larger content plan, anyway.

Images captured from this video. 

Credits to Manta for uploading the video and Agrajag for sinning

Maximum Attack: PSO2’s Third Anniversary

happyfish

The web-event site for PSO2’s 3rd Anniversary event (of which Maximum Attack is a part) is now up here. Reposting the trailer below:

The update page can be found here. 

The event is set to kick off on the 10th of June and ends on the 22nd of July.

Ah the Maximum Attack event, a long tradition of the Phantasy Star Online series. It started with Max Attack in the original PSO and would go on to appear a total of 4 times in PSO and 4 more times in PSU. It occurred an extra time on the US version of the game due to issues with the login/billing servers during the first event, preventing a large number of players from taking part at all (Error 56!). That said, the US never got Maximum Attack: Infinity so I guess that makes them even!

Anyway with that bit of nostalgia out of the way, let’s look at what’s coming up.

What We Know

Details are still being revealed. The main quest of the event will be a Limited Quest set in the Darkers Den. Like Limited Quests before it, it seems to be a run-around-in-circles style Multi-Party Quest which features enemies from various places in the game, including bosses such as Snow Banther, Blu Ringahda, Chrome Dragon, Gigur Gunnegam, Varder Soma and Big Varder. Big Varder in the Darker’s Den is something I have to witness. Imagine if that spawned with the infected gunship Emergency trial? Missiles everywhere! Alas, the trailer seems to indicate that it doesn’t but a man can dream… Also what is it with Sega and putting the Fang/Snow Banthers in all the cross-planet quests lately?

webpanel

While there is a web-panel and that points can be earned for it like in previous events, we don’t know what all the panel rewards are yet. I feel like it may be a safe bet that an affix and grinding boost period will be on the table, however. Certainly an EXP, Rare drop, Meseta and Rare enemy boost at least. The preview of the event appears to show bonus daily login stamps and a 1000 FUN points ticket, though that could change.

Points are earned by defeated targeted bosses for the event. Details are scarce, aside that the amount of points rewarded per kill may scale with difficulty (as in a boss killed on normal will be presumably worth less than one killed on Extra Hard). Interestingly, PSO2es players will be able to contribute towards the event as well which is a first in the game’s history.

Given there’s an exchange shop for them, it seems safe to assume that Weapons Badges can be obtained from the quest.  Exactly how is anyone’s guess at this point, they could be random drops, given at the end of the quest or given out as Client Order rewards.

More information is set to be revealed when the event begins, but I wouldn';t be surprised if we hear more in the meanwhile. It won’t be during the 32nd Broadcast however, as that’s scheduled 4 days after the event has begun!

Update: And just like that, new information surfaces a day later. According to Gheaven’s post here we’ll be getting the badges like so:

  • Bronze Badges will be area drops
    • All difficulties
  • Silver Badges will be boss drops
    • All difficulties
  • Gold Badges will be rewarded for clearing e-trials and the quest itself
    • Super Hard and Extra Hard only.

Unsurprisingly, you’ll need Gold Badges if you want the Yozakura weapons.

New Weapons (Kinda)

There are two series of weapons to be aware of for this update: additional Nox-series weapons (12★) and the “new” Yozakura-series of weapons (13★).

The Nox-series are going to be random drops. The Yozakura-series weapons can be obtained by exchanging Weapons badges for them at the Third Anniversary Exchange Shop.

youcallthataknife

The Yozakura series are essentially re-coloured Extreme Quest weapons much like the Live-series. Quite why the Extreme Quest re-colours have been repurposed like this I don’t know, going to go with “laziness”. Whatever the case I like the way they look, although I am slightly disappointed that their on-attack effect isn’t as pretty as their old sun-god counterparts.

As for their potential abilities, it was revealed during the 31st Live Broadcast that the striking weapons would have a 6% damage boost whereas teching and ranged weapons would have a 3% damage boost. Additionally, all weapons reduce PP consumption on using a Photon Art or Technique, though as far as I’m aware it isn’t known exactly how much this reduction is.

Stat-wise, Yozakura is the weakest 13★ series yet, so anyone who has an Ares weapon can pretty much ignore these entirely. Those with Ideal weapons might want to think about these as they will be better for mobbing, though some weapon types might have better options.

I can’t help but be a little cynical about the weapons, given previous exchanges have required a ludicrous amount of a material or grant a low element percentage (or both!), however I understand that these are quite powerful weapons in their own right. It’d be bad for the game to hand these weapons out too quickly, but I’m still dreading the potential effort.

Come on step it up!

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The 3rd Anniversary also coincides with the Sonic lobby. The lobby will be adorned with statues of various Sonic characters like last year, however this year you’ll also be able to run around and get rings. For what purpose? I have no idea but it’s kind of nifty I guess.

It also has.. this… thing

sonyack

Urgh

sonyack2

No please go away

sonyackandnyackles

:(

I really did not want to know what the love-child of Sonic and Tails would look like. That’s for the shippers, those gross fuckers.

There’s also some collaboration stuff but no one cares about that.

Additionally, some details about the PSO anniversary set to take place in July have started to be revealed, but I may cover that in a separate post.