Episode 2 Speculations: New Fields and Super Hard

quartz_did_it

With a little over two weeks to go til Episode 2 arrives I feel like I might make a bunch of speculative posts in the meanwhile. Based on information I’ve seen floating about. As these are purely speculative, none of the information in this post reflects what will end up in the game.

Level Ranges of the New Fields

There are 3 new fields on the long term schedule. All of them will have been added by the end of the year. Two of them will be added before the addition of Super Hard difficulty.

This is an estimate based on the pattern of level ranges they’ve been using for the current free-fields.

  • Coast (Vopar) – Lv54-56
  • Lilipa3 (Obvious) – Lv.55-57

Why not cover up to Lv.60? I’m assuming they want to keep Advanced Quests and Extreme Quests relevant for a bit longer. I’ll be sharing thoughts on that in another section.

Of course, as Seabed won’t be released until after the lv.65 cap it could be that Coast and Lilipa3 could push closer to 60 than I’m guessing here. Seabed itself could well cap at lv60.

Level Ranges of the Super Hard Fields

The next level cap raise won’t be for some time, but it will arrive somewhat appropriately with the next difficulty level. Now, with the Very Hard update the existing fields and quests all gained the new difficulty but their level ranges were effectively crammed into a small-ish space. Back then, there were six fields and the level cap was 50, with 10 levels to squeeze them in (as the cap had raised from 40).

Call of Mortality Part 1

  • Forest – 41-43
  • Caverns –  42-44
  • Desert –  43-45

Call of Mortality Part 2

  • Tundra – 44-46
  • Tunnels – 45-47
  • Skyland – 46-48

By the time Super Hard is released, the game will have 10 fields and only 5 levels in which to squeeze them. In addition to the above fields we’ll also have:

  • Ruins (added back in the Destroyer of History update November 2012)
  • Sanctum (added back in the Solemn Sentinel update April 2013)
  • Coast (Scheduled to be added with Episode 2’s release 17th July)
  • Lilipa3 (Likely to be released with the upcoming Reminiscent Sands update, possibly in September)

It’s plausible that, like with the addition of Very Hard, not all fields will gain the difficulty at once. Can’t have us having too much “content” at once after all. But as-is, the free fields probably won’t be pushing all that deeply into Super Hard’s level range (estimated as lv60-80).

This isn’t a bad thing initially, as players will have the largest selection of level appropriate fields the game has ever offered. But like with Very Hard before it, it seems the Free Fields are set to become mostly irrelevant when fields beyond Seabed are added, never mind other content that could easily push deeper towards lv80.

Advanced Quests and Extreme Quests 

Currently, these two quest types are PSO2’s endgame. They offer difficulty that the rest of Very Hard just doesn’t come close to. Note I’m talking about relative difficulty here, not whether or not the content can be classified as “difficult” (because it mostly isn’t). They also offer players current tier gear that’s obtainable and with decent stats, ones you could only improve upon with extreme luck.

So how will these quests fare when higher level content comes out? This won’t be an issue until we’re beyond October, so they will remain PSO2’s endgame until then. But beyond that the pull of having lv60 enemies in either quest type fades, which is a particular problem for Advanced Quests given they require you to run them 12 times before you see lv60 enemies in them (which then resets a few days later). Advanced Quests will still at least offer players an easy-ish way to get decently geared up for the next difficulty, even after it’s out. While it’s true that Super Hard will introduce new gear, given the astronomical odds rare items seem to have right now I wouldn’t go depending on drops to gear you up. Unless the drop rates are more generous, Advanced Quest exchange items will still be relevant a while longer.

Extreme Quests have a different issue. They don’t require you to grind them to get lv.60 enemies, but nor do they offer you much in the way of drops. Not outside of ingredient items required for Advanced Quest exchange items anyway. If you’re really lucky you can get 11* units from them, which are powerful items in their own right. However, the Extreme Quest exchange items will still take an ungodly amount of time for a player to acquire (ignoring the strategy of buying other people’s runs). I’ve talked about it before effectively requiring in the region of a year’s worth of playtime just to get ONE weapon. With that kind of time scale, you have decent odds of finding equivalent or better gear out in the field, which if true raises the issue of “what’s the point of running Extreme Quests once I have Advanced Quest gear?”.

I doubt the levels of the current Advanced Quests or Extreme Quests will be raised to match the current tier. Instead I imagine we’re going to get an update down the line that simply adds a new tier of them. Assuming they’ll want them to be the end-game of the current difficulty again and noting that the lv70 cap isn’t even on the timeline, let alone lv80, that could be some time away indeed.

3 thoughts on “Episode 2 Speculations: New Fields and Super Hard”

  1. In the episode 2 trailer there’s parts where it shows the beach area with lvl 19 enemies and lvl 28 enemies. If the lvl 19 enemies part is from normal mode and lvl 28 from hard mode, there’s the possibility the new area could be set between desert and tundra?

    1. Would be.. unusual for them given they tended to pile the new areas on top of each other before. Possible the ones shown are unrelated test areas, but then again maybe Episode 2 areas will conform to a separate line from Episode 1.

      1. Who knows…Since the beach area is the first area of a new planet, it is possible that it could end up being a somewhat early area. Or it’s just test footage, yeah…

        Oh, also remembered now the picture that they used to tease the new photon blast, it’s set in the desert free field (or at least it has the same quest objective as the desert free field), but it has lvl 53 enemies…
        Wonder if that’s something that will change/be added in the future (rebalancing of difficulty modes? new versions of free fields, like a desert free field 2?) or just more test footage…

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