Sub Class System – Thoughts

Unfortunately I’ve been too unwell as of late to keep things updated, so I’ll start the post by apologizing for that. There seems little point in re-posting news that was posted some time ago now so I’ll post my thoughts about certain things that have been announced rather than report them.

Starting off with something I’ve been eager to hear more about for some time


Sub-Class System

So we finally heard more information regarding how sub-classing is going to work. We even got a trailer shown to us during TGS last week, which I’ll embed here:

Uploaded by InitialF7. The video also shows off other stuff but this post will be entirely concerning itself with sub-classing. Although Mr Umbra is really pretty terrifying in motion…

To summarize:

  • Your main class will gain 20% of the base stats of your sub class
  • You will gain all of the sub-class’s skills, both active and passive
  • You will gain your sub-class’s access to Photon Arts and Technics.
  • You will not gain your sub-class’s weapon categories

So what does each class offer its main? This section of the post will have a look a this but it’s largely just my opinion.

  • Hunter

Hunter offers some of the strongest defense skills in the game. While the active and passive defense skills are almost entirely concerned with S-def it just happens that most enemy attacks in the game use S-atk. Beyond this however is a skill named “Automate Halfline”, which will automatically use a healing item when your hp dips below 50%. The heal itself is instant, but you may want to be aware that the skill will use Monomates, Dimates and Trimates in that order. It’s a very useful skill in situations where you may get locked down by repeated attacks and are therefore unable to manually heal up. As long as your defense prevents you from taking more than around 66% of your health in one hit this skill will make you nigh-unkillable.

Hunter only offers offensive ability to classes that use melee or ranged weapons. It offers nothing at all for tech users. JA boost is the main boon, granting a percentage increase to Just Attacks (up to 20% extra damage, does not apply to Techics). Fury stance is a nice boost to S-atk and R-atk, but its usefulness will diminish as the cap increases, unless future skills alter it.

  • Ranger

The thing people will mostly take from Ranger is Weak Bullet. You will need to switch to a all-class Assault Rifle in order to apply the skill (at the moment the only weapon that fits the bill is the Bouquet Rifle).

Ranger also offers passive bonus damage against weak points, but this only applies to attacks that use R-atk. This makes this boon only useful for Gunners or potentially Gunslash-focused characters playing other classes.

Having not used them, I have no idea what Ranger trap skills could offer to other classes.

  • Force

Force offers access to Techs. Pretty much it.

Well ok Force has got PP boosting passives as well.

  • Fighter

Access to Brave Stance and Wise Stance, which offer significant boosts to damage depending on a player’s position with the target enemy. Fighter will be a great class for attack-focused players to take, regardless of their main class.

  • Gunner

Access to chaining, which I don’t know enough about to really pass opinion on.

A skill named “Aerial Advance” may be of interest to Fighters who focus on Twin Daggers, given that the weapons are great for keeping enemies in the air.

Another potentially interesting skill is “Attack PP Restorate”, which boosts the amount of PP regenerated from normal attacks.

  • Techer

Access to Techer’s support boosting passives, making it an option with more potential as a subclass than Force if you wish to just have access to Shifta Deband and Resta.

Something I’m not sure on with both Force and Techer as sub-class candidates is if their status-effect infliction rate boosts apply to attacks other than techs or not. I have a feeling that the case will turn out to be “not”, but if I’m wrong there’s slight potential there. Really though, I think the best status effect in the game is Poison. Techer has a skill that boosts the chance of inflicting Poison, so even there it still wins out over Force.

Like Force, Techer also offers various PP related skills.


General

As you gain 20% of your sub-class’s base stats, combining two of the same style of class will naturally offer the biggest benefits for a main class’s style. There is an upside to going pure, thusly.

As sub-classing grants access to all passive skills, things like T-atk Up and S-def Up will directly contribute to your main class’s stats. Something to think about if you’re going for a certain style, for example a tank-y character that wants to boost their T-def could take on Force as a subclass to this end (with the added benefit of access to Force buffs). Having a sub-class’s defense passives may also grant you access to more powerful units without reducing your current attack (although naturally impairing your potential attack, depending on what you’re doing).


Concerns

Currently, there is a real lack of class-less weapons. Many of the ones around now are just joke weapons. Hopefully, new ones will be added down the line as otherwise a number of potential builds simply won’t work. Not everyone can get a Bouquet Rifle now, for example.

It’s not been explained how certain skills will stack up. Presumably, passive stat boosts like T-atk Up will stack (leading to a potential maximum boost of 300 T-atk), but what about things like Step Advance? Step Advance could theoretically stack, leading to a maximum extension of 0.4s to invincibility. This doesn’t sound like much but in the heat of battle that’s a fairly substantial amount of time. However, things like Step Attack and Just Reversal quite clearly can’t stack with each other given that they unlock just the one ability each. As a result, maxing out both Just Reversal branches as a Hunter/Fighter would be a waste of points. But what if you’ve already spent the points in them when playing them as separate classes? What if you’re planning to run a hybrid? Any points in the Step branch would be a complete waste for a non-melee main class.

That brings me to the final concern, the current way in which Skill Tree resets are handled. As a charged service, a new player is potentially locked into any mistakes they make when choosing to spend points. Never mind locked into things that they can’t possibly predict are even mistakes due to either new skills being added or the system itself changing, as it is with the addition of sub-classing. Personally, given that sub-classing adds a whole new layer of complexity to character development I think it only fair that they either re-think how to handle skill-tree resetting or at least reset every single skill tree for all players when this update hits.

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