State of PSO2 – Thoughts and Upcoming Content

As you’ve probably heard it was recently announced that PSO2 has been a roaring success in Japan, netting itself over 1 million account creations. How many of these were just accounts for gold farmers and RMT I’m sure they would never admit, but it’s a still an impressive number in any case. There’s even a campaign being held in celebration of it, which is going to be awkward if any of the large number of Tarou Sega’s end up winning this lottery. From October 24th to November 7th you will also receive double the FUN points when you log in as well as 3 prize items (EXP +50%, Drop Boost +50% and Meseta + 50% tickets) if you log in at any point during this time. The items won’t be distributed until some time in November.

October 24th is also kind of a big deal in general for PSO2, given that’s the date when the 2nd half of the Call of Mortality update will hit, which includes the rest of Very Hard. I’ll talk about the Call of Mortality update in general for the bulk of this post, but first here’s the trailer for the 2nd half of the update.

As you can see, it also includes Halloween stuff such as costumes, a seasonal Rappy variant (Latan Rappy!), various items and accessories as well as a Mag device. That cape is pretty badass, sad that only male characters can get something like that. :(


Very Hard – Thoughts

Very Hard hasn’t been what I expected, honestly. The day it hit the servers, locked behind yet another series of tedious Client Orders, I was anticipating essentially what I experienced when I unlocked Hard. New Client Orders for example, as well as maybe even new NPCs to get them from. We had other things too now, like Dailies, Team Orders, things that were tiered to difficulty. I think it was reasonable to expect a new round of these things, but alas there wasn’t a single Very Hard difficulty Client Order. Not one.

The next part was I was at least expecting all the missions to recieve the new difficulty level, again like what happened when Hard was added. My suspicions that this wouldn’t be the case were raised when the first trailer hit, only showing rare enemies for mostly the first three areas (with King Verder being an exception, given that it spawns during an emergency quest). So two hits of disappointment. On the plus side, the game only requires you to be lv41 to access almost all the content this update added, aside from Free Field Volcano Cave and Desert which required lv42.

The final disappointment was a real kick in the balls, but that’s already been addressed. Well, somewhat. The EXP brick wall that anyone who hit lv41 was met with on the first day caused such grievance that an official announcement had to be made, as well as an apology from Sakai on his blog. So new EXP requirements were set and they were a little less insane than before, but still fairly insane nonetheless. I can illustrate the difference between the new and old rates on a graph, as I have done below.

Comparisons between the new and old EXP requirements.
Same as above, but as a chart!
The new EXP requirements on a logarithmic scale.

Fuck yes, Calc.

While this brought the leveling curve from out of this world insanity to plain old poop-socker territory, it didn’t solve the underlying problem of the complete lack of Client Orders. Client Orders were, unless you spent all day in 12 man multi-parties (I can’t think of anything more tedious..), the main source of EXP between levels 1-40. The nerf that was applied to item collection orders hit that somewhat hard, but they’re still generally a good source of EXP. Enough to make you wish to take on a few of them if you happened to be heading to a particular area. Without any Orders however, the only truly effective means of leveling is to join the zergfest of MPAs. Of course some of the Hard Client Orders still pay fairly generously, but all the ones that do concern themselves with areas that don’t have Very Hard yet…

Now, don’t get me wrong. Multi-party areas can be a blast, sometimes. I just personally find them completely mind numbing after a while given that none of the enemies ever get to take a breath, never mind actually put up a fight. Even the bosses keel over practically as soon as they spawn. It could be a scaling issue, it could be a lack of reward for doing other things, I’m not really willing to discuss it in this post as it’s a fair topic all on its own. Suffice to say, I want to feel like I’ve struggled enough to earn something and multi-party areas extremely rarely make me feel this. Unfortunately, Very Hard doesn’t really give the monsters enough durability to cope in MPAs, so just like Hard you may sometimes find it difficult to even land a hit on enemies before they die.

The Future of Very Hard

The October 24th update is set to add Very Hard to the rest of the available missions, essentially completing the difficulty. While this will be great and all, I hear no mention of new Client Orders. Are we done with Client Orders for now? Has the paradigm for levelling shifted entirely to plain old monster grinding? Well it’s possible that Team Orders and Dailies were held back as they concern themselves with the entire range of missions, but I don’t know. Hans, Lavelle and other familiar NPCs could get new orders when the Ruins area is added some time in November, which would presumably be starting on Very Hard difficulty. That still leaves a fairly sizey gap..

Going by the trailer, it looks like we can sort of pin down the level ranges of the upcoming areas:

  • Iceberg will have lv44-46 enemies.
  • Underground Complex will have lv45-47 enemies
  • Sky Land caps at lv48, I could hazard a guess that it’ll start at lv46 going by the pattern so far.

Presumably this will work out to be the level ranges of the respective Free Fields, but we won’t know for sure until the update hits. As for the level requirements, I dread to even think about them. Hopefully, given the sharp increase in EXP requirements to level in the 40-50 range, they’re not too unreasonable.

This leaves a gap towards lv50 of course, which the Ruins could easily fill. Then of course there is the as of yet un-named Darker themed area (internally known as darkernest), which will also presumably sit in this level range somewhere. Emergency Quests go to lv50 already.


Sub-classing

Sub-classing is neat. I like the fact that I can experiment with a number of class combinations to see what works, or just to see what feels fun. Currently I’m finding pure melee from Hunter/Fighter to be the most fun, but I also enjoy taking on either Force or Techer as a sub and going in as melee support. The only thing I dislike is of course you will still need to get each class to lv30 in order to try all possibilities and it extends the total grind to ridiculous degrees, but thankfully you don’t need to cap a sub-class to start feeling some real benefits from it.

It’s a bit of a shame that you can’t earn EXP for your subclass as well as your main class, still. I’m also disappointed that despite adding such a new system as well as adding new skills to each class’s skill tree that there were no free resets handed out. I feel for anyone who ended up learning that their build is broken and they can’t access skills they had no idea were even going to exist. Heard nothing suggesting they’re going to change the way that resets work either, so yeah really not pleased about that.


Rare Enemies

Yeah yeah, they’re re-colours. Well, a number of them are also re-sized! But otherwise, behaviorally and in terms of their attacks, they’re precisely the same. Despite this, I can’t deny that it’s fairly exciting when one does turn up. Nice to have the odd surprise here and there I guess. Currently, this is the complete list of them as far as I’m aware:

Unreleased:

There is a rare variant of Zeshrayda, the boss of the upcoming Ruins area, as well as a rare variant of the still un-announced enemy Wolgahda. There also appears to be a rare variant of Dargash (floatagefish!) that has yet to show itself.

Of course, the best chance you’ll have of seeing these is by effortlessly steamrolling through everything in a Multi Parties. Well, you’ll encounter them at least, you might not get to see them before they evaporate in a sea of particle effects.

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