ARKS New Year Carnival 2017

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A little more than a week into 2017 sees the addition of 2017 Weapons Badges and a brand new web-panel event. Just gonna go over some potentially useful data and share a couple thoughts here and there. Because some stuff is still being discovered some of the post contents might change over time.

Limited Quest

It’s your standard run about and kill monsters from various fields affair. The most interesting parts about the selection this time is it is for now the only reliable source of Esca Darkers in the game. The quest advances based on E-trial clears and ends on a titled Dark Falz Dourumble with either Giguru Gunnegam or Zeta Garanz.

Unlike previous years, where you could get Weapon Badges from drops and Etrial clears this one only gives you them for clearing the quest. How many you get depends on your rank and the current difficulty.

Known values:

  • Normal: 1 for S-Rank
  • Hard: 2 for S-Rank
  • Very Hard: 3 for S-Rank
  • Super Hard: 4 for S-rank
  • Extra Hard: 10 for S-rank, 8 for A-Rank.

You’ll need to clear the quest within 15 minutes for an S-Rank.

Like Riding Quests, all drops are pooled together into a crystal that spawns in the center of the map. You aren’t warped there however, you’ll have to get there by foot. Do not take the telepipes that spawn, because if someone breaks the crystal while you’re on the Campship you won’t get any drops at all! This actually has a negative effect when Emperappy shows up, as its drops end up having to compete with the rest of the drops which can potentially drastically reduce the number of Emperembrace items you’d normally get.

It’s an alright enough quest it just really needed some additional polish to help it out. Like I don’t know why they didn’t just warp you to the drop crystal at the end like they do for Riding Quests. The quest is kind of easy with enemies like Anga Fundarge having severely reduced HP but the primary purpose of the quest is to grind out items for welfare weapons anyway so I didn’t expect the quest to be terribly difficult.

They did seem to do a good enough job of covering as much ground as they could with run-boost rings and jump-pads to make the map as painless to navigate on foot as they could. I’m kinda glad they took this approach with the map, because I like that I get to run around and appreciate Vegas more than I could saddled up on a Rideroid.

 

Xie’s Back!

It’s been a little while, but that woman that stands around in the lobby wearing outfits from the future has returned. She has a brand new selection of utterly useless items.

2017 Badges

This year, there are no Silver Badges. They’ve done away with the latter tiers entirely which I don’t really fault them for. Fewer items taking up space in my inventory is appreciated.

What’s curious is so far they haven’t added any kind of exchange to turn in older badges for 2017s. They also haven’t updated the Pyroxene exchange, which still offers 2016 badges in exchange for 100 of any Pyroxene. They also took Levelup Quests out of circulation, which means for now the only source of 2017 badges is the current Limited Quest.

I guess they wanted attention focused entirely on the event quest, so all alternative ways of getting badges might be being put off til after it’s over.

Weapons

Boasting as much attack power as Ray weapons, these are fair sight behind the Astra series on offer from Escafalz Mother. They require 200 gold Weapon Badges each and come with 30% element. This means you’ll need 400 for each 60% weapon and 1200 if you want to +35 them. The question is of course, would you want to?

Potential

Boosts power and chance to inflict status effects as well as deals extra damage to enemies suffering from status effects. At lv3 it’s a 10% base power boost and an additional 10% if the enemy has an SE. Allegedly, it boosts the infliction rate of status effects by 70-75% which if true does potentially make Chase a more reliable skill while using these weapons. The power boosts are multiplicative, so if an enemy is suffering from a status effect the total damage bonus is 21% which is pretty solid!

While a strong boost, it’s still a situational potential as it can only be used at its fullest against enemies that can have proper status effects inflicted on them which makes the potential worthless on every boss in the game! So it’s primarily going to be useful for mobbing (particularly on Ultimate) and against most mini-bosses. Assuming this works with techs, classes that have access to more status effects at once get better mileage out of them (classes that can use Techs really), where classes that have to rely on a status effect being affixed to the weapon might have to get one for each of them.

The wand may be useful for those running Te/Fi who make use of Wand Gear Element and Chase Advance skills but aside that I can’t really see these being useful for anyone. Combined with their low-ish attack power Xie’s weapons kind of continue this trend of being kinda useless overall.

What’s also a shame is the weapons have a kind of neat aesthetic to them. I kinda like them and once again I’m sad that there’s no mechanic in PSO2 that lets you take any weapon and turn it into a camo or else I’d grab a few weapons just for their skins.

Curiously, it was hinted this weapon series would make the solo Emergency Quests a little easier. Given the only known one is Profound Darkness and Dark Falz Double I’m not sure how a Chase Advance potential is meant to really help. Being able to inflict Panic more reliably would help out a little bit I suppose…

Special Ability Factor

At +35 you’ll unlock Phrase Chase, which boosts the effectiveness of Chase Advance by 5%. So really much like similar Phrase SAFs it just boosts the effectiveness of the weapon potential. Unlike the others I’m not sure you’d want to transfer this to another weapon though.

Units

Xie offers two units at 50 gold each. Like the weapons, their usefulness is questionable.

Stats (+10):

  • 257 def
  • 80 HP
  • 5PP
  • 2% all resist
  • +10 all atk

That said, they are 12* units so if for whatever reason you absolutely must have some budget units you can stick some Skill Rings into then I guess these are OK.

Skill Rings

This update saw the addition of quite a few Skill Rings.

L / Step JA Combo

Adds a Just-Attack circle during a Step.

This also works on Bouncer’s Mirage Step. The main use of a ring like this would be to reduce the amount of time before you can do a Just-Attack out of a dodge and in cases where doing a step into Just-Attack would be faster than doing a normal attack or some other ability into one.

So does it do this? Well it’s kinda hard to call. The JA circle appears very late into the Step, later than even Braver’s Snatch Step JA. Here’s a video demo posted on Twitter:

Still if it does shorten the time to a Just-Attack it’s a potentially extremely useful ring which has the added bonus of being usable at lv1.

L / Mag Excite

Increases the power and frequency of your Mag’s normal attacks.

  • 150% and 80% internal attack cooldown at lv1
  • Unknown final numbers, 220% and 58% at lv12

This has no effect on trigger or SP actions. Mag normal attacks do so little damage that even if the numbers work out 300% power and 50% cooldown at lv20 (effectively 6 times the damage output) it’s going to make no noticeable impact. This ring seems like a complete waste of space.

L / Just Reversal B

Damages enemies around you when you pull off a successful Just Reversal.

  • 100% power and 100% attack range at lv1
  • Unknown final numbers. 450% power and 160% range at lv13.

This works with L / Air Reversal.

L / Another Rod Shoot Mode

Changes rod shoot to fire a slow moving projectile instead. This projectile will speed up and home in on a target after 1s. On contact with an enemy it explodes, dealing damage to all enemies in range. The hitbox seems to roughly match Launcher normal attacks in range at Lv1.

  • 50% power and 100% Explosive range at lv1
  • 110% power and 150% Explosive range at lv20

Swiki notes that due to how slow the projectiles are, in an MPA most enemies may be dead before they get to do anything. As such, this ring may only be practical solo.

R / Poison Guard, R / Panic Guard, R  / Mirage Guard and R / Shock Guard

Like the other Guard rings, reduces the likely-hood you’ll be inflicted with the specified status effect. Presumably to 100% at lv20 like the others but it hasn’t been confirmed.

Useful but very situational. The specific status effect would have to be a significant enough threat to warrant wearing one over a more useful ring.

R / Critical Field

Works the same way as Bouncer’s Critical Field. Creates a field around you, boosting yours and anyone else’s critical hit rate by a certain amount. Cannot be used by Bouncer main or sub.

  • Boosts critical hit rate by 10%, lasts for 20 seconds and has a recast of 120 seconds at lv1
  • Unknown maximum, but is 22%, 30s uptime and 100s recast at lv13
  • Seems to cap at 30s up and 100s recast, so has a 30% uptime

Could be helpful to classes that need the additional crit rate. Fighter/Hunter springs to mind, though they can also utilize the class rings for a permanent 10% crit rate boost.

R / Quick Mate

Works like Braver’s Quick Mate. Boosts the speed of using healing items.

  • Boosts use speed by 2% at lv1
  • Unknown maximum, but is 28% at lv12. Possible max of 140% but it could spike up towards lv20 so we’ll see

The effect stacks with L / Mate Lovers. If you want a build around extremely fast healing item use time the pair of rings could work well but honestly I feel like Mate Lovers does the job well enough on its own. Having both would be excessive in my opinion.

So yeah a couple of interesting rings here and one or two kind of useless ones. There’s been a better selection but there’s been worse too. The thoughts I’ve shared on them are mostly first impressions so they could change as people work out their nuances or any other details change my perception on them

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