During the broadcast, a new class was announced. That class is Bouncer. The rest of this article probably won;t be stating the obvious quite so much.
Alright, so this one really kinda came out of the blue. There was no data in the client at all which suggested that a new class was coming, nevermind additional weapon types for such a class. The client has plenty of space for new classes, so them adding one at all is less of a surprise. Through speculation and pondering which classes Sega would add next, I doubt “Bouncer” ever entered anyone’s minds. Let’s see the trailer dedicated to the class:
Bouncer is a hybrid melee/teching class which… hm. This sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
While the preface sure makes it sound like the already existing hybrid melee/teching class, Techer, the trailer clearly shows it plays nothing like it. Techer’s melee portion is really just the ability to bonk things with a wand. Normal attacks. Unlike Techer, Bouncer has access to photon arts for its striking weapons.
The class’s native weapons are Dual Blades and Jet Boots. That’s right, Twin Sabers are back and stabbier than ever if the demonstration is anything to go by. Dual Blades are a pure melee weapon, whereas Jet Boots are a hybrid melee/teching weapon which allows you to er, cast spells with your feet.
As a striking weapon, Dual Blades seem to be remarkably nimble. As agile, if not more so, than Twin Daggers I would say, with similar amounts of airtime between the two weapons. There does seem to be a mechanical difference between the two weapon classes however, that being an array of photon weapons that the player seems to surround themselves with. This is plausibly the weapons “gears” mechanic.
Aside stabbing things, I’m not sure what these photon blades actually do. The trailer shows the character embedding a Rockbear with numerous of these blades, however I don’t believe they ever show the purpose of this. Can the player detonate them for extra damage, for example?
Goddamn Jet Boots. We’re really Sci-Fi now! Much like Dual Blades, these are also very agile weapons with plenty of air-time. Jet Boots will allow players to double-jump.
The weapons will automatically cast support techs, as well as allow you to cast techs with them in general. The exact mechanism behind auto-support casting isn’t known.
Really, Jet Boots weren’t even on the radar as far as potential future Teching weapons go. Looking back on the series, the only weapon type I imagined would fill this role would be Slicers (given their role in Phantasy Star Zero as casting weapons).
Jet boots allow for aerial tech casting, holding the user in the air while charging. Forgive the poor quality of the image as it is captured from a stream, but it shows the player charging an Ilfoie whilst mid-air. Being able to charge such a tech with increased safety may prove interesting…
So we have two more very agile melee weapons,
With regard potential sub-classes, it partly depends on stats. If for example, Dual Blades are purely S-atk based striking damage then, under the current environment, Hunter would be by far the best subclass choice.
Rumour has it that Jet Boots ate T-atk based, but I can’t find the source to confirm this. Should this be true, it then depends on if the damage from melee attacks with Jet Boots counts as striking damage. If it does, then Hunter still remains the best choice even if specializing in the weapon as it offers the highest modifiers for striking damage. If, however, all Jet Boot attacks are counted as teching damage, then Hunter will offer pretty much nothing! In that case, Fighter and Braver (Weak Stance) become the better options. Oh my, imagine a Bouncer/Fighter. You’d be able to kick things with legs of fire and then switch to Knuckles to punch things with fists of fire. Kick, punch, it’s all in the mind! Of course, augmenting their support abilities could be achieved through Techer, as well as Force offering the most augmentation for attack Techs.
The Jet Boots image posted above shows a firey effect, but I don’t know if this is attached to casting techs or may be an effect on a given Photon Art or maybe by weapon gear. Watching the video, it seems to be the former.
If I’m interpreting an interview correctly, it seems one of the ideas behind the class is to make it easier to support players in the midst of all the action. So its like Techer, but better because it doesn’t need to do that thing where it stops attacking in order to support other players. I can’t help but wonder where Techer is gonna fit into the game after the introduction of this class? As a main class, Techer still has the strongest support skills and it can apply them for the longest amount of time per cast, so really it comes down to wether or not Bouncer has skills that augment the strength and effectiveness of support techs.
In any case, this is the second true hybrid class to be added to the game. Where Braver was a hybrid melee/shooting type, Bouncer is a hybrid melee/magic type. Doesn’t really tax the imagination to imagine that the next class to be announced may be a shooting/magic type.
Also I am going to say it, Bouncer is a really odd name for a class. No wierder than “Braver” I suppose but still pretty odd!