Extremely Lonely: Solo XQ

thisstickermaynotbeworththeeffort

The somewhat anticipated Extreme Quest update is here and it’s just a 10-floor solo quest. All I’m gonna do here is summarize the floors and briefly write my thoughts up on it. This should act as sort of a guide, but I’ll link some others I find towards the end of the post if I find any.

Each run costs 5 Extreme Passes and you’re allowed up to 5 clears per week per ship. Clearing stages 1-5 counts towards this limit, so at most you can only do 4 runs of 6-10 this week. The quest doesn’t “clear” like the other Extreme Quests, so you only need to unlock 6-10 once.

The Quest!

Stage 1:


 

Stage Order: Don’t take damage for 30s.

Enemies: ALL the Nyaus

Consider kiting them if you’re not confident a stray hit won’t get you.


Stage 2:


 

Stage Order: Defeat 3 enemies from the front

Enemies: Knight Gear -> Dragon Ex -> Gigur Gunnegam.

Nothing much to say about this. Just defeat the bosses as they appear. Their HP is lower than normal, so they should die pretty fast.


Stage 3:


 

Stage Order: Break 3 parts of Diabo Igrithys

Enemies: Bird Darkers -> Nove Ringadarl and Agnis -> Diabo Igrithys

Don’t kill all the birds at the start, or you’ll have to deal with both Nove Ringadarl and Diabo at once. Kill the Bird Darkers first. When Ringadarl spawns, simply break its rings then burst it down via its weakspot. Then kill the Agnis to spawn Diabo. Beware that Diabo has its un-nerfed AI so its much faster than the variant you’ll find in Ultimate Naberius. Try to break its wings and horn to clear the stage order, though it can be tricky with some weapon types.


Stage 4:


 

Stage Order: Defeat 5 x Bonta Bearahda via their weakspot

Enemies: 6x Bonta Bearahda, Toy Darkers and various Kuronites

A very easy stage order. Simply tap a bear to make it turn around and show you its weakspot then smash it. You even get an extra bear so you’re allowed to make up to one mistake.


Stage 5:


 

Stage Order: Defeat 1 Rappy in 60s

Enemies: ALL the Rappies and Gryphon Gels

The Rappies can actually be tricky to keep an eye on with an angry Gryphon running amok. Consider using Nifta to gather all the Rappies in one place to take them out. This’ll make hitting them again when they get up significantly easier.

And you’re done with the first part! Nothing too horrible here, as long as your gear is OK you should have no issue clearing these five floors. The next 5 ramp up the difficulty…


Stage 6:


 

Stage Order: Defeat 2 enemies via weakspot.

Enemies: 3 x Catadran and 1 x Vol Dragon

A potentially hectic floor if you don’t keep your calm. I find it’s easier to focus down Catadrans to kill them via their tails or out-stretched bodies. Just keep an eye out for Vol Dragon’s fire breath, though you could consider breaking his tail or freezing him to reduce the chaos a bit.


Stage 7:


 

Stage Order: Don’t die.

Enemies: Bug Darkers, Fish Darkers and Bird Darkers with Decol Malluda and Wolgahda. Defeating Wolgahda and Fish Darkers will spawn Elder’s avatar, defeating that will spawn Falz Hunar. Defeating Bug Darkers will spawn Apprentice Doppleganger. Defeating Decol Malluda and the Bird Darkers will spawn Loser Clone, which will spawn Falz Angel on defeat.

There are a few very dangerous enemies on this floor, so the main aim is to spawn the Falzes in a controlled manner. I suggest going Apprentice -> Hunar -> Angel, as Apprentice and Hunar both have low HP and can be burst down fast. Angel can be a bit more awkard and has considerably more dangerous attacks, so killing everything else before him will make things considerably easier. Loser’s Clone is the least dangerous avatar, so clearing out all the birds then leaving him til after you’ve defeated the others is a potential strategy.

Interestingly, Elder’s Avatar will attack Darkers and other Dark Falzes as seen here. It has little strategic value but it’s fun nonetheless!


Stage 8:


 

Stage Order: Do not heal for 100 seconds.

Enemies: Naberius and Ult Naberius Trash. Defeating Oodan etc will spawn Rockbear and defeating Rockbear and will spawn Bayaribbles. Defeating wolves will spawn Snow Banther/Banshee and defeating them will spawn Falka Leone/Leopard. Defeating Malmoths will spawn the ultimate variety.

This can be an extremely hectic floor, but most enemies here have significantly reduced HP so they should die fast. Consider breaking Falka parts to keep them stun-locked.


Stage 9:


 

Stage Order: Do not take any damage for 60 seconds.

Enemies: Matoi and Persona (Sword)

Both enemies have very low HP, but you may want to kite them around for a minute before you engage just to clear the stage order safely. If you’re technical enough, you could burst them down before they get the chance to attack but its a considerable risk as failing the order will make Stage 10 difficult to impossible to clear.


Stage 10:


 

Stage Order: Defeat Profound Darkness from the front

Enemies: Casra, Claris Claes, Huey and Regias. Anga Fundarge, Dio Hunar and Profound Darkness.

This is where shit gets real. This stage is significantly harder than the rest, so brace yourself.

Ideally you want to burst down all four NPC enemies at once, but if this isn’t possible then prioritize Casra and Claris as they’re by far the most dangerous. Beware that both Huey and Regias can both lock you down. Consider using Nifta at the start to group them all up and AoE them down.

Those guys are already hard, it just gets rougher from here. Anga Fundarge spawns next and you will want to DPS it as hard as you can. It absolutely needs to die, and unfortunately for you it seems to have considerably more HP than any enemy in the quest. If you can’t kill it fast enough, Dio Hunar will spawn during the fight which will make things significantly more difficult. Anga lacks its weapon-resist ability, so you won’t have to worry about that.

If Dio and Anga are up, keep prioritising Anga but beware of Dio’s attacks as they can hit extremely hard. Also beware of doing too much damage to Dio as if you accidentally send her to Phase 2 things may get impossibly difficult. Consider using a photon blast during Dio’s nuke if you’re not confident you’ll dodge it. Once Anga is dead, defeat Dio by breaking her arm cores then bursting her down while she’s stunned.

After Dio is defeated, Profound Darkness will spawn. It’s the solo-part of the raid fight, only with higher HP, slightly altered attack pattern and a massive boost to damage. Beware that if Anga still isn’t defeated by this point you’ll be fighting both of them at once. The Profound Darkness needs some caution, as their over-end attack comes fast and will deal around 1300 damage if it hits you. Don’t ever sit still! Keep moving and DPSing as best you can and you should clear it.

This stage is so much harder than all the others that I’d say it’s a little overtuned. The bosses deal too much damage and Anga has way too much HP I feel. It’s refreshing to have such a challenging encounter in PSO2, but Phantasy Star Crew may want to consider reducing the difficulty somewhat or increasing the rewards to offset this significant challenge.


Overall:


 

Ranger is going to have the toughest time here, as Weak Bullet is jammed throughout the entire quest. Some enemies also lack a weak point, meaning Weak Hit Advance won’t apply.

High durability builds and HP recovery builds may have an easier time staying alive, but don’t sacrifice too much DPS. Hunter main and subs are going to manage this quest a little easier with Automate or Iron Will (don’t take both) as even if you’re usually amazing at avoiding damage it can be tricky to keep track of the number of highly aggressive enemies present in the later floors. Braver / Hunter may be the most reliable class for this quest with its access to Katana Combat invulnerability.

As usual, a well-played and well-geared Force shouldn’t find this quest too hard. Force brings by far the highest damage to this quest at the cost of durability and life-saving skills. Use your cool-downs and compound techs wisely and you should be able to burst down any enemy before they become a major problem (even Anga). Light and Ice are particularly powerful here. Beware however that being hit by even one attack may set you up for being stun-locked to death, which can easily happen with a badly timed charge.

I would recommend having at least a 12* or at least a decent 11* fully grinded (+40, preferably damage-boosting potential), affixed and 50% element and a full set of top-end or at least special Ex8 crafted 11* armor before attempting this quest. Preferably affixed with at least 100 attack, durability affixes are still optional but they might help. This quest is tuned for end-game geared players, so having less than this may make things significantly harder though it probably is still possible to clear it. You’re also going to need to play well and play smart for this one, particularly in stages 7, 8 and 10. Bring a Half Doll as insurance, 5 passes is a lot to lose to a mistake and one mistake is all it will take on Stage 10.


Loot

 

disappointment_probably

So what do you get for your five extreme passes and clearing this reasonably challenging quest? Not a whole lot, really. You have a small chance of getting Toranas, Lambda Grinders and Photon Boosters which is nice but really their quantities are quite small for the investment. You get a decent amount of Tier 2 Extreme Quest stones of all flavours, which is a considerably faster way to acquire them than running the regular Extreme Quests. You also seem to have a decent shot as Nox weapons as well as various 10-11* weapons and units.

Like the other Extreme Quests, enemies do not have their usual loot tables and thus you won’t be able to get things like Ares Stones, Caligulas etc.

There is a small chance that Profound Darkness will drop a class sticker upon defeat. Yeah, despite the challenge you’re even subject to RNG to be recognised for overcoming it… Though I suppose you could also just wear the title for clearing it!

Like the other quests, you’re limited to a choice of 3-5 of whatever drops depending on how many stage orders you failed.


Other Guides

I’ll link some other guides here as I find them. Let me know if you have any guides.

Fulldive.nu

PSO-World Guide


Thoughts

It’s a quest that could use some fine-tuning. It’s a refreshing challenge, especially as the upper end and I do like the selection of enemies they chose for the quest. But due to the steep entry cost and level of challenge it presents, the rewards are really underwhelming. I’m also not convinced that Stage 10 is properly balanced at all, as the damage the enemies deal out there as well as Anga’s durability just seems too harsh compared to the other floors. It’s right that the final floor should be the hardest, but  it’s so much harder than the previous that it almost feels like a mistake. I’m not sure if I’d prefer them to reduce the difficulty there or raise the rewards instead, though the best result may well be a mixture of the two.

Is it worth running? If you want quicker access to Tier 2 Extreme Quest stones and Photon Boosters it actually might be. It’s actually pretty generous for both of these items. For anything else? No, it isn’t worth it.

The Profound Update

teeheehee

Episode 3’s finale finally arrives with the showdown against Dark Falz: Double and the Profound Darkness.

Progeny of the Apocalypse

Let’s go over the quest briefly. This will not be a breakdown of tactics and mechanics, as its too early to make an exhaustive list of what the boss does to you and you can do to it. So instead it’s going to be more of an overview.

As was stated in promotional material, the quest works just like the “Utterly Profound” quest where players face off against Dark Falz Elder and Dark Falz Loser in succession. It’s slightly more complicated in its cutscenes and one quest directly leads into the other with Double’s arena shattering upon defeating it.

df_double

Double’s attacks are fairly nippy for such a large boss, it’s also invulnerable everywhere apart from its weakspot attached to one of its “legs”. Melee classes might have issues keeping up with the weakspot due to how quickly it can move, where forces should have the easiest time with their tracking attacks. Beyond this, most of its attacks are well telegraphed enough that they shouldn’t really cause a problem for most players. Its wall and sweeping attacks can hit pretty hard, but it lacks a raid-wipe move like Falz Loser.

profound_darkness

Profound Darkness itself has at least 4 phases. Mechanically, there isn’t really a lot to the fight, as it throws attacks at you and you can throw attacks at it as long as it’s next to the arena. There’s no complicated order to things like there is with Dark Falz Loser or arguably even Magatsu. During phase 3 your raid will need to defeat some floating balls it sends into the arena however, as much like Anga’s bits destroying them all will stun the Profound Darkness, allowing you to freely DPS it.

The part of the fight that I thought was the coolest was the part where players are separated into their own spaces and they have to challenge themselves. It’s much more than clone fight however, as your alternative self behaves much more like an enemy with its own unique movesets and abilities. This is seemingly Profound Darkness’s raid-wipe mechanic, as failure to deal enough damage to your alternative self will result in the Profound Darkness dealing massive damage to the entire raid. Once you pass this DPS check the boss is seemingly motionless until you defeat it.

For both parts, Weak Bullet is significantly weaker than it is in the rest of the game. Instead of a 250% damage mod it’s around 120%, which is nice to have but it won’t make or break a multiparty (hooray!), . It really doesn’t matter much, as both bosses have much less HP than the other raid bosses meaning you won’t need to worry about your multiparty failing, especially as they give you an hour to complete it. You’re also given a stacking bonus to your stats (PP regeneration and HP at least) which all but trivialize an already easy but definitely cool fight.

So what does Episode 3’s final boss give you?

Nero/Caligula Rate

For the gear hunter in all of us, this is probably the most interesting part. That is to say it isn’t terribly interesting but whatever.

Judging from posts by players and my own experience with the quest it seems to give roughly 6 Caligula stones on average, with a varying amount of Nero stones (I’ve seen reports of 0-2).

At this rate, it would take at worst around 67 runs worth of Caligula stones in order to obtain a 60% Austere weapon. Given they probably aren’t going to typically do more than 2 rounds per day (more at the moment because they tend to do additional rounds of freshly released emergency quests), but of course this is just taking Caligula into account. Why not count the significantly more scarce Nero? Well let’s talk about that…

Nero stones can drop from any Dark Falz and Dark Falz humanoid. This means Angel, Dourumble,Hunar and Apprentce Doppleganger can all drop them. While this is great, what isn’t known is what the drop rates on them will be. The jury’s out on this one, as people haven’t done enough runs to really establish how good or bad the rate is. It’s assumed however that it only drops in the lv76-80 tier, which does severely limit your options for hunting them. This essentially restricts it to any Extra-Hard Emergency Quest featuring any of the Falzes and Super Hard Advance Quests at +12 risk or more, with Ruins being the one most likely to give you a Falz to fight. Data collected so far suggests the rate isn’t particularly good, which isn’t surprising.

Austere weapons will take a long time to obtain as a result; at least a month assuming you manage to catch every instance of the quest. Those with multiple characters parked on multiple servers with enough friends to assist may get the weapon more quickly if they’re willing to transfer characters to pool their resources. The quest is limited to once per ship, not once per account. That isn’t an approach I recommend, but doubtlessly some of the richer players in more organised teams will be doing this. This isn’t the most unreasonable of grinds they’ve presented to us even if we assume that currently observed rates are the standard.

When you clear the quest you may be given a number telling you which position you came in on your ship. It has absolutely no effect on your drops or your mission rewards, it’s purely for ego stroking and nothing else. It’s OK, we all like a good stroking now and then.

Drops

So what about general drops? An average if running the quest with +250% and +100% boosters seems to be around 30 10*+ items. Pretty decent. It’s a pale shadow of the Excube pinata that is Magatsu but Double and the Profound Darkness can drop a much wider selection of weapons and has the largest pool of 13* weapons to pull from than any enemy in the game.

It seems to be able to drop any Dark Falz 13* weapon as well as significant 11*s from other bosses (including Gran Fol). It can also drop the Invade series weapons, which will significantly reduce the Caligula stone requirement should you get the type you want, it’s just an inventory space waster otherwise. What’s more, the boss can drop Austere weapons, allowing players to potentially skip this item grind entirely.

Invader and Austere Weapons

So you go through the trouble of getting all those materials together, or maybe you’ve got some gear gaps to fill in and Invade weapons look promising, how good are they really?

pdweapons

Invade weapons will only be +10, 60% with no potential if you purchase them from Zieg for 100 Caligula and 100 Excubes. Apparently they have a potential which boosts critical hit rate by 40% at level 3, which isn’t a terribly useful latent for most builds but it could be worse. Essentially if you’re hurting for gear, Invade weapons even with no latent could be an excellent stopgap, as they still provide a ton of attack power. At the rate discussed earlier, you should be guaranteed an Invade weapon after about 17 runs.

Austere weapons however are the strongest weapons in the game right now. Their potential is 12% bonus damage with a 10% bonus to passive PP regeneration, which combined with their superior attack and the fact that their damage bonus is unconditional makes them stronger than Ares weapons. That said, they’re not a massive improvement over them, so those with finished Ares weapons might not really miss them.

New Affixes

Surprisingly, this update added three new affixes, two of which we had no idea about.

Darkness Soul: +15 all attack, HP+15 and PP + 2

Soul Catalyst: HP+10, PP + 1

Astral Soul: +35 all attack, HP + 35, PP + 5

Creating these affixes requires some significant investment on the part of the player. Darkness Soul can simply be obtained from anything that drops from the Profound Darkness. Soul Catalyst and Astral Soul both need to be synthesized from other affixes however.

To make a Soul Catalyst, you will need to combine any four of Elder Soul, Loser Soul, Double Soul, Apprentice Soul and Persona Soul. This will grant a 10% success rate for creating a Soul Catalyst. Yes you read that right, 10%. Once you manage to succeed with this, your job isn’t over yet, as if you want Astral Soul you’re going to need to use four Soul Catalysts together with a Darkness Soul in order to create Astral Soul. The transfer rate on Astral Soul currently isn’t known.

That sure is a lot of gambling steps on top of a system that is already absolutely riddled with gambling steps! It’s a lot of work for +5 PP per item, but it is 20PP if you manage to get it on all of your units and your weapon. That’s a pretty significant amount, so min-maxers are likely going to want to go for it. For the rest of us, frankly it might be too much effort and you’ll be better off sticking to certain Ultimate souls instead.

40% Affix Success Rate Booster

excubeshop

Hey! Related to the previous section, don’t fret about those abysmal transfer rates because if you’re willing to put up 100 Excubes for a 40% booster you can bring Soul Catalyst creation to a nifty 50%! More likely this is an item intended for regular affix synthesis to cover things that may cap out to less than 100% with the 30% booster. Given it’s 5 times as expensive as the 30% booster, it really isn’t worth using unless failing a 90% would incur a significant Meseta loss. There are certainly affixes out there that this is a genuine concern for (hello, Modulator).

Thoughts

This was already a fair amount to go over so I’ll try to keep my thoughts brief.

The Austere/Invade weapon grind on the surface doesn’t seem that bad a grind, though you need to consider that Caligula stones are entirely restricted to the quest. This is not a quest that is available at all times, or one that can even happen randomly. This means that the rate at which you could obtain the weapons from it is almost entirely dependent on whenever Sega fancies allowing you to do the quest. If it’s twice per day, you might obtain an Invade weapon in a week or an Austere weapon in a month and a half. There could be weeks however where the quest only occurs once or not at all, in which case who the fuck knows when you’ll ever have enough materials for a weapon! Essentially my issue with it isn’t that it’s a grind, as a grind suggests its something you can work towards when you want to. This is something you can only work towards when yours and Sega’s schedules happen to be convenient for each other…

My other problem with this quest is that it’s the conclusion to the story. As such, to me it just feels kind of strange to have it confined to a quest that happens occasionally. If it was something that happened on a rotation both my main issues with the quest would be largely gone.

That said, I do overall really enjoy the quest. It’s not particularly challenging, however it is fun in a lot of ways which for me makes up for the lack of difficulty. It’s visually very appealing and technically quite impressive for them, both of which make me eager to see what content they have in store for us down the line. It also feels like a satisfying way to end Episode 3, particularly with the story events that lead up to it which I also enjoyed even if I couldn’t understand them. Ignorance might well be bliss in this case, who knows… Roll on Episode 4, I say!

Code: CLIMAX

the_bug_queen_has_arrived

Heh heh heh.

So yeah, Sega revealed a few trailers and talked about the end of Episode 3. I’ll do what I can in this post to summarise and discuss this stuff. As is usually the case with these posts, some details may be hazy. I do my best to make sure information here is accurate, but if you spot anything factually wrong please let me know.

Halloween

Just a trailer about the Halloween stuff, including your usual affair of Bingo and a seasonal Emergency Quest.

Trick or Treat 4 is the same old map, but with a selection of new enemies. This includes the Toy Darkers from Kuron (which really are probably the most appropriate Darker type for the season), Falz Dourumble and Zeta Guranz. It also seems to include an emergency trial involving pumpkins, nice.

Of course, Gal Gryphon will also be attending this quest. Seems it’s gonna just be thrust into any Emergency quest from now on. Well, for as long as its weapons are relevant I suppose. Not really an issue.

Some new 12* and 13* weapons will be obtainable during the quest, including Daggers of Serafi that are actually daggers instead of boots this time.

Halloween festivities are set to arrive in PSO2 mid-October.

Additional Power – Main Class Weapon Boost

Similar to the class-boost titles, there will be titles added for finding a certain number of rare weapons of a given selection of categories. As it’s a title, it’s expected to be account-wide just like the class-cap titles.

weapontitle

They only show the requirement and numbers for Hunters during the trailer. While it’s likely safe to assume the power boost will remain the same for all classes, apparently the number of weapons required will vary per class. I assume this is to offset that some classes have fewer main-class weapon types than others. Here is a rundown of the values shown for Hunter:

  • 20 7-9* Hunter weapons: 2.5% boost in power when using Hunter weapons as a Hunter.
  • 25 10-12* Hunter weapons: 2.5% boost in power when using Hunter weapons as a Hunter.
  • 40 10-12* Hunter weapons: 2.5% boost in power when using Hunter weapons as a Hunter.
  • 70 10-12* Hunter weapons: 2.5% boost in power when using Hunter weapons as a Hunter.
  • Total: 20 7-9* weapons, 135 10-12* weapons, 10% boost in power when using Hunter weapons as a Hunter.

Will this help classes stand out I wonder? In particular I’m thinking about Bouncer as a main class for either of its weapons, as it’s currently inferior to sub-class combos such as Fighter/Bouncer. Or perhaps Hunter main using Partizans or Wired Lance, where again Fighter/Hunter out-paces it in terms of raw damage. Or Braver main Katana instead of… Fighter/Brave- basically Limit Break kind of trumps a lot of main-class weapon load-outs. Note that I’m not having a go at Limit Break, I actually don’t have a problem with it, just pointing out that it does seem to have this effect.

10% certainly will go some way to help close the gap, but the attack bonus from Limit Break as well as other modifiers available to Fighter main helps it edge out still. That said, this may well change as additional weapons arrive in the game, with a particular weapon series announced that I’ll go over later in this post.

Braver and Gunner Balance Changes

This has been something a lot of players seem to have been anticipating, probably Gunners more than anything given how they were treated in Episode 3.

bravergunnerrebalance

Braver:

  • Katanas will be stronger as the Gear Gauge increases.
  • Rapid Fire will no longer have that “wind up” time. This is a really good change in my opinion, that wind-up made no fucking sense.
  • Skill point requirements relaxes for Katana Combat and Rapid Shoot. This should make builds that take both weapons more viable at least.
  • Some Katana and Bullet Bow PAs will be buffed.

Gunner

  • Increase the rate at which High Time accumulates power. Yay?
  • S-roll speed increased for the first and second parts. I’m not sure this is an improvement, it entirely depends on how the i-frames are affected I guess.
  • Buffs to nearly all of the Twin Machinegun PAs. Probably what Gunner needed most out of these to be honest.

Braver’s changes are more interesting overall than Gunner’s, which I have to say sound a little weak. It adds little incentive to play as a Gunner main and does almost nothing to encourage using it as a subclass. Though I guess to be fair, potentially nether does Braver’s changes in that respect.

This re-balance is set to arrive mid-October.

Dress Up!

Fairy Tail Collaboration

I like Fairy Tail and even I don’t care about this. Moving on.

New Costumes and Nostalgia

Well most are new, we’ve got the Halloween costumes and some ninja costumes coming up.

gothic_stuff

Halloween costumes are set to arrive mid-October.

NINJAS

Ninja and oriental themed costumes are set to arrive late October.

I actually quite like the ninja outfits, it’s somewhat unusual for their style. Notably, we also seem to be set to get two uniforms that were previously regional exclusives.

Those regional exclusives do make me wonder what the NA/EU ones might have turned out to be if they had followed through with that localisation…

They’re also continuing their PSO nostalgia series of costumes, this time finishing off the selection of Casts.

RicoAndFlowen

Perhaps a little more surprisingly, there will be item codes for Rico and Flowen stuff. This includes costumes, accessories and hairstyles. Attendees of the Sympathy 2015 concert in Japan will receive item codes for all of these.

More Anime Collabs

Other collabs coming up include another with 7th Dragon III, Aria the Scarlet Ammo Double AA (what?), The Legend of Heroes: Sen no Kiseki II,  and even Disgaea 5. This game is anime collaborations featuring PSO2 at this point…

Double and Profound Darkness

Much like the previous Dark Falz raid Emergency Quests, this will be a two parter. Unlike previous ones however, Dark Falz is the first part and the Profound Darkness is the second. Makes sense in terms of hierarchy I guess.

doubly_profound

Double and the Profound Darkness’s quest is apparently a “once per account” affair, where the fight will get easier as time progresses. Once Double has been defeated, you move straight on to the Profound Darkness.

It seems that both Dark Falz Double and the Profound Darkness both may have countermeasures against Weakbullet. Double’s comes in the form of a “jammer”, no real details on how that works and the Profound Darkness apparently will punish players who use it. Again, no real details. This could use some clarity.

The theme for the Profound Darkness appears to be a straight up remix of its theme “Ooze” from Phantasy Star 4.

Get ready to wrestle this dynamic duo late October. This will seemingly arrive close to if not at the same time as the release of the final chaper of Episode 3’s story.

Dark Falz Apprentice – Mining Base Defense 4

It took what felt like an age but she’s finally gotten her full body back. Bad news for you is you’re her first target (you ought to be used to this from the Falzes by now though).

As predicted, she is a part of the fourth Mining Base Defense quest, though whether she’s part of the one quest or if she’s a separate part in a quest series I don’t know.

D-AIS

Unlike the previous Mining Base quests, this one is set underground. The Darkers are bringing their entire arsenal that they deployed in other quests up til now, with the addition of Dark Falz Dourumble and Angel. In fact, aside Persona the entire Dark Falz family has come out for this one. Additionally, as seen above, the Darkers have learned to imitate even the AIS. These corrupted AIS have all the same abilities as the player ones do, including the photon cannon.

Apprentice’s trailer theme is a remix of IDOLA The Strange Fruits from PSO Episode 3. 

It looks like it’ll be fun, I just worry about the players going into it. If it’s too difficult for people, it’s just going to lead to chain-abandoning and people getting left out. At the very least, I can’t wait to be frustrated by people who are either inadequately geared for Extra Hard or simply don’t know how to play leading to catastrophic failures. Hey, at least those failures are set to look amazing if the trailer is anything to go by!

The queen of the bugs is set to grace our servers some time in December.

Weapon Exchanges

12* Exchanges

zieg12

Zieg has had additional 12*s added to his Client Orders, to cover a few Falz weapons not previously covered for whatever reason.

The weapons include:

  • Serpent Grigoros (Live Radle, Live Spat, Live Rias)
  • God Hand (Live Dogaut, Live Fanger, Live Pyrus),
  • Celestial Laser (Live Zect, Live Slidawn, Live Trina)

Invader and Austere

A new selection of 13* weaponry is to arrive in a new exchange shop also hosted by Zieg. This will require a large selection of items, possibly meant as a way to encourage people to play a wider variety of the game’s content as the wait for Episode 4 to begin has started.

These new weapons will arrive late October.

This exchange comes in two parts; the Invader series and the Austere series. Austere is an upgrade to the Invader series.

invade_series

The Invader weapons require 100 Caligula stones and 100 Excubes. As we don’t know how many Caligula stones are rewarded for clearing the Profound Darkness Emergency Quest it’s impossible to say how long it will take to get these weapons.

austere_series

Austere weapons on the other hand require a huge selection of materials.Only the sword is shown so only its materials will be listed.

  • 1 Invader Caliber
  • 100 Caligula Stones
  • 100 Nero Stones
  • 50 Yurlunger Godstones
  • 50 Garel Godstones
  • 5 Heart Key Stones
  • 5 Blood Moon Stones
  • 5 Phantom Night Stones
  • 10 Photon Boosters
  • 300 Excubes

That’s some list. You’ll note that the weapon comes with 30% element as well and you know that what means. You’re going to need two to finish the weapon! So if we include the materials to buy the Invade Calibers necessary, the total comes to:

  • 400 Caligula Stones
  • 200 Nero Stones
  • 100 Yurlunger Godstones
  • 100 Garel Godstones
  • 10 Heart Key Stones
  • 10 Blood Moon Stones
  • 10 Phantom Night Stones
  • 20 Photon Boosters
  • 800 Excubes

Some of these numbers may seem intimidatingly high, but remember we know the approximate acquisition time of most of these materials. This is naturally going to vary based on the parties you find (the Excubes may be 4 Magatsu sessions or 12 depending on your luck with randoms) as well as availability of Extreme Quest passes. Yurlungur and Garel stones both have daily Client Orders to help you obtain those more quickly, so those shouldn’t take terribly long to get.

Arguably the Extreme Quest stones may be the most irritating to get, as a full clear nets you 25 of the 2nd tier stones and you require 30 for a single tier 3 one. This means you’ll need to do 36 full clears (or 12 of each quest) in order to get the stones you need. Of course, this is a worst case scenario as it doesn’t include any of the stones acquired during the quest itself.

If you were starting from scratch and depended on only the daily passes, let’s assume the absolute worst case scenario for these calculations:

  • 1 full clear of a single XQ requires 14 passes.
  • To get 10 of its respective stone, you need to clear it 12 times, totalling 168 passes
  • To get all three required for the weapon, you will need 504 passes total.

That’s only around 1.4 years! Of course Extreme Passes can be obtained in other ways now, plus you get additional passes for clearing the weekly Client Orders associated with them.

So how strong are they? This is also difficult to pin down exactly, but they do appear to be stronger than Ares weapons. Austere Caliber starts at 1244 S-atk. Now, we can take away Power III (30), Vinculum (20) and Mutation I (10) to bring it down to 1184 S-atk (a fair sight stronger than Ares at 1083), but it isn’t known what Darkness Soul contributes to this total. In any case, this means at +10 it can be roughly projected to be around 1657 S-atk, though this total is being calculated off the lowest value we have right now. There is also no information with regard to its potential. This notably puts it on roughly equal footing with the Invader weapon, which is displayed as being 1666 S-atk wth all its affixes. However it may be that Invader weapons don’t have a potential.

Essentially, the Austere weapon series appears to be aimed at people who have been playing most of the game’s content for some time now. Those who are starting fresh may have some difficulty obtaining some of the materials required for these weapons I feel.

That’s all for this broadcast. Seems like Episode 3 will have some sprinklings of interesting content to end on. I’m a bit disappointed that the main focus seems to be on 12-man Emergency Quests but oh well. This hasn’t covered everything there was on the recent long-term schedule, leaving the exact nature of the Extreme Quest update and the new Time Attack Quest a bit of a mystery. We’re also due a new Limited Quest at some point and of course Ultimate Amduscia still hasn’t been mentioned. We’re not done with news about Episode 3 just yet, it seems.

End of Episode 3: Thoughts on The 34th Broadcast

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The 34th live broadcast just ended on a somewhat limp note it has to be said. Overall, given that it was allegedly meant to be the host of some major news I feel the show was kind of disappointing for it. They did however reveal some things, so I’ll discuss some of those and maybe look at some of the things they didn’t announce with relation to things found in the data. Not gonna cover all of it though, because no one cares about the collabs.

A summary re-cap can be found on Bumped here.

Ultimate Changes: Giving You a Reason to Run Naberius Again 

Yes, Ultimate Naberius will become relevant once more. How will this be achieved? By adding yet another currency of course as well as adding in a few more 12* weapons. On top of this, they’ll be adding Hans and Franka orders akin to the ones that already exist for Kuron. These will reward you with Yurlunger stones from Lilipa as well as the new “Garrel” stones that will be obtainable from Ultimate Naberius required for the new 13* “Nemesis” series of weapons.


Skip to 2:00 to get to the Ultimate stuff.

This is a welcome-ish change. I’ve said before that it was a daft decision to leave Ultimate Naberius in the dust like they did with both the Ultimate Lilipa and Free-Field Kuron updates. That said, I fear for my inventory space if they continue to add all these currencies to solve the problem. This is also an age-old complaint of mine, one they have not only not addressed but continue to make worse.

 Roadmap

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This road-map covers Autumn and early Winter it appears.

For this Autumn we’ve got:

  • New Story Quest
  • New Dark Falz
  • New 12 Person Boss Battle
  • New Anime Collaboration Scratch
  • Limited Quest

Somewhat confusingly they list the new Dark Falz and 12-person boss battle as separate items. I’d figure they’d be related, given there’s nothing else in the data to suggest a new raidboss that isn’t a Falz. This could be referring to Dark Falz Abyss and the 12-man is Dark Falz Double seeing as technically Double isn’t a new Dark Falz. But then, Dark Falz Abyss could well be the Profound Darkness (or a simulacrum) which also isn’t a Dark Falz! A might confusing.

For the Winter we’ve got:

  • New Video Game Collaboration Scratch
  • New Time Attack Quest
  • New Mining Base Defense
  • Extreme Quest Expansion
  • A new legend..

Mining Base Defense 4 has been known about for some time. It’s possible that this is where Dark Falz Apprentice may make her full form known, as she’s finally gained a full form in the client’s data. It’s also nice to see that Extreme Quests will get some attention again, as they’re among my favorite quests in the game. While I feel like it’s likely to get the Extra Hard treatment that Advance Quests got a while back, there has been nothing said about it so far, I’m expecting either additional floors with Lv80 enemies or an entire new Extreme Quest that includes Harukotan enemies. Good chance that Ultimate enemies might well sneak their way into the quests, though perhaps not as I’ll elaborate in this next bit…

Things Not Said.

No mention of Ultimate Amduscia. The data-miners have known about the area for a long time now, we know it’s coming but it’s seemingly mentioned nowhere on the road-map. This could put the addition of the quest after the Extreme Quest expansion and thusly some time in early 2016. All we know is that they’re counted as “Episode 3” enemies, so they ought to be out before the expansion at least, but who knows. So while Ultimate Naberius and Lilipa enemies could sneak their way into the first two Extreme Quests, the second may be missing its Ultimate Dragonkin equivalents. Likewise, the third quest would be lacking any Ultimate bird Darkers or Oceanids, if an Ultimate Vopar is ever to be an area anyway.

There was also no mention of Dark Falz: Apprentice. Or at least so it would appear. Curious given how big a deal Apprentice finally having a form should be, but then again mentioning her at all could spoil the contents of the quest.

There was also no mention of the Episode 4 content, though that’s somewhat understandable.

End of Episode 3

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Like the blog title suggests, Episode 3 is indeed drawing to a close. Following that will of course be Episode 4, entitled “Reborn” for now. That’s essentially all that has been announced for it, aside that the logo is the same as the one used in the upcoming PSO2 anime. Trailer for the end of Episode 3 below:

So yeah, that’ll be the Dark Falz Abyss model extracted a while back. It also seems that the next Story Quest will be set on Corrupted Naberius, possibly confirming the link between the Profound Darkness and those areas. I mean that and the rough similarity in appearance between Abyss and Anga Fundarge anyway!

As a side note, I’m getting increasingly irritated at their insistence of showing the trailer characters constantly dying in all their trailers. It does less to make the content seem more intimidating and does more to just annoy, I feel. Especially as most of them seem like they’re deliberately walking into certain doom just for the trailer footage.

So with Episode 4 officially announced for 2016, what do we know about it so far? Nearly fuck all! The only real snippets in the client are references to a “phantom” series of enemies, which are specifically noted as Episode 4 enemies. With enemies like “Phantom Rex”, “Phantom Man Assault”, “Phantom Man Gun” and “Phantom Heli” you might be forgiven for thinking it’s a bizarre Metal Gear Solid crossover. Unfortunately, it’s no longer possible to ascertain if a new planet is coming. As mere speculation, they could be a new Darker Type, a new form of corrupted ARKS or something entirely unrelated.

PSO2 on the PS4

Yo, remember when they said that a console version wasn’t gonna happen? Well I guess that went out the window! To be fair, it was already out of the window when they released the PS:Vita version of the game. Do I really care? No, though the only real concern is similar to the concerns they had before; where developing and managing the game for multiple platforms may make things more difficult for them. Perhaps the relative success of the game since has granted them the resources to cope now, who knows.

PS4 players will be welcomed to the world of PSO2 some time in 2016. It will be playable at this year’s Tokyo Game Show.

And yes, still no word on an NA/EU release. Did you really expect it?

Datamined Skill Tree Info

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Looks like the first real juicy bit of data is on our hands, posted up on psumods here. The raw data of every single skill from every skill tree in the game! While some of it just confirms the numbers we had before, a good amount of this is actually new.

However, as it is data-mined information it should not be taken as confirmation of anything. Parts of this could well change before release.

This post will simply talk about the data and share my thoughts on it where I can. This information is in addition to details about classes revealed by Sega before, which you can read about on Bumped here or on PSO-World here.

General

All stat-up skills are now tiered, meaning the higher versions of them give more stats than before. For example, S-Atk Up 1 gives 50, S-Atk Up 2 gives 75 and S-Atk up 3 gives 100 at lv10. If your build fills out all three in any given stat, you will now have gained 75 of it, so not bad.

Stance skills are now infinite duration with a 5 second cooldown. Well most are, as for some reason Bouncer’s Break Stance and Elemental stance currently have a duration of 30 minutes. Oddly inconsistent.

Hunter

Fury Stance as we know caps at 120% now, with Fury Combo reduced to 10% and Fury S Up both capped at 5% each. This, along with Just Attack Bonus 1 and 2, brings Hunter’s total damage bonus to 176%, down from 219%. For ranged types, it’s now 161%.

Now this is where it may get a bit more interesting. Hunter has an exclusive offensive option in the form of War Brave. This boosts damage by 3% per monster taunted and regains PP at 7 per monster, to a cap of 15% and 35 PP. This means that a Hunter’s damage potential against a crowd of enemies is higher than it is against a single target, working out to a total of 202% against 5+ enemies, or 181% if War Cry is used on one target. War Cry itself has also had its threat doubled across the board, starting at 200% and ending at 400% instead of 100% and 200%. I suspect this still may not be enough for tanky Hunters to maintain hatred from the DPS players around them, but we’ll see.

Defensive Skills

The Flash Guards are now 100% activation, instead scaling on amount of damage reduced per level. Flash Guard still maxes at 20%, while Tech Guard still caps at 30%. Guard Stance will no longer penalize your attack at all at lv10, but is otherwise the same.

Massive Hunter has changed a bit, now boasting an uptime of 45 seconds over its previous of 25, with its cooldown reduced from 100 seconds to 90. This of course means that it’s uptime is now 50%, which for what the skill does isn’t bad really.

Iron Will and Never Give Up have had their abilities changed a tad. Instead of requiring Never Give Up to gain invincibility upon triggering Iron Will it’s now an innate part of Iron Will. The invincibiility caps at 5 seconds at lv10. Never Give Up meanwhile has had its duration extended to 15 seconds at lv10, up from 5. I’m not sure if this is just referring to its attack or if its referring to invincibility as well, it’s a little confusing.

Fighter

All Slayer skills now add T-Atk as well as the other stats. This means they’re now useable options for teching types. Deadline Slayer has been boosted to 150 attack from 100.

Chase Advance has been reduced from 140% to 125%. Despite my previous assumption, this won’t apply to all damage types. “AtpRate” (in game this just displays as “power”) sounds like it would apply to all damage. The confusion here is that other skills that use AtpRate like Elemental Weak Hit use the same stat to mean “all damage types”, plus there are stat names for each attack type (AtpStrikeRate, AtpFirearmRate and AtpTechniqueRate). This is the source of my confusion and I’m sorry for that. 

Adrenaline now only requires 1 Skill Point, but still caps at 30s.

Brave Stance was boosted from 120% to 125%, making the bonus total (with maxed Brave Stance Up) now 150%, up from 144%. Wise Stance was boosted from 130% to 135%, making its total 175.5%, up from 169%. Both stances have had their positional penalties essentially removed as well.

Limit Break reduces HP to 25% of your character’s maximum HP, while boosting striking damage by 120%. Its duration is 60 seconds with a 90 second cool-down, giving it a 66% uptime. These numbers are all at lv10. Note that Limit Break is a skill unique to Fighters, so this number is irrelevant if you want to consider Fighter as a subclass. It still isn’t known whether or not this skill will trigger Halfline Slayer and Deadline Slayer as far as I know, please correct me if I’m wrong.

Tech Arts Just Attack Bonus boosts damage to 115%. The conditions for this aren’t exactly known, though.

Ranger

Weak Hit Advances have had their damage bonus boosted from 125% to 135%. That’s kind of it with regard damage bonuses that this class offers.

Bullets and Traps

Weak Bullet has had its damage bonus reduced from 300% to 255%. Mirage Shot, Bind Bullet, Panic Shot and Jellen Shot have all been compressed to 5 point skills, with all of them having the same stats at lv5 that they used to at lv10. Jellen Shot is the exception, as its damage reduction effect has been boosted from 10% to 15%.

Trap skills no longer consume items, instead they have a cool-down attached to their use.

Stun Grenade now works 100% of the time from lv1 and has a 15 second cooldown. Upper Trap has a 20 second cool-down. Poison Trap has a 20 second cooldown. Upper T Custom and Poison T Custom are both now 1 point skills, but they still do their old lv10 cap damage boost. These cool-downs sound somewhat prohibitive if you were intending to spam traps, but it might not be too bad in practice.

Gunner

Chain Finish Bonus has 4 of… something. Agrajag’s guess is that it’s cooldown – chain count * 4 when you finish the chain, essentially working to reduce the time you’re waiting before you start your next chain depending on how high a chain you built. If this were the case, if Chain Trigger is at lv10 you would need to build a chain of 15 or more to reduce the cool-down to nothing. If this is the case, then this means almost endless chaining for Gunners from here on out. Seems a little too powerful to me, so this may not be the case. When combined with Twice Chain, this would mean that you could get infinite chains with just 2 normal attacks with Machineguns, which just seems to be far too low to me.

Showtime, like War Cry, has had its threat generated doubled across the board. It’s also had its duration extended from 30s to 45s, on a 60 second cool-down.

High-Time’s damage bonus at max has been raised from 15% to 20%. It’s a little better in combination with the extension that Showtime is getting.

Stylish Roll JA Bonus has been reduced to 150% from 200%. It’s still a meaty enough boost to ignore doing any attack other than those that synergize well with Stylish Roll, but hey maybe the strength of the attacks that aren’t so friendly to it will be raised enough that this won’t matter so much.

Force

Freeze Ignition’s cool-down has been reduced to 30 seconds from 60. I think this is still too long but its at least out of the realms of “utterly ridiculous”.

Photon Flare has has its duration raised to 45s while its cool-down has been reduced to 100 seconds from 120, granting it a 45% uptime. It has also had its HP penalty removed . Photon Flare Afterburst now caps at lv1 with its old lv10 bonus of 100 T-atk.

Techer

Deband Toughness grants 25% to your base maximum HP at lv5. Shifta Strike boosts damage to 110% at lv5. Along with the other changes to Techer such as Extend Assist as an innate skill, Territory Burst as a 1 point skill and Super Treatment as a 1 point skill this class is getting a lot of help towards its support abilities. It should definitely help make the role a bit less of a hassle to play as well as boost its demand due to Shifta Strike if nothing else.

Wand Lovers is now a stance and boosts wand striking damage to 140%, up from 135%. Wand bonkers rejoice, for your build now sounds considerably less cumbersome to me.

Braver

This first bit is mostly relevant to Bullet Bow users. Attack Advance boosts the power of normal attacks by 150%. Charge Advance boosts charged shooting-type normal attacks to 110%, while also boosting the speed of the bullets to 150%. Rapid Shoot Up 2 has had its power boosted to +150 R-Atk during Rapid Shoot (while using a Bullet Bow).

Average Stance boosted from 110% to 115%. Weak Stance was boosted from 130% to 135%. The totals are a little dependent on attack type, so going to lay them out in a list:

  • Average Stance with uncharged attacks: 126% up from 121%
  • Average Stance with charged attacks: 139% up from 133%
  • Weak Stance with uncharged attacks: 148% up from 143%
  • Weak Stance with charged attacks: 163% up from 157%.
Bouncer

The actual function of Bouncer skills is of course rather poorly understood, so the ramifications of this are pretty difficult to judge. With that said, lets see some numbers.

Stances

Elemental Stance: 120% damage bonus to elemental weaknesses, Elemental Stance Up 1 boosts boosts damage to another 110%. This makes the total bonus Elemental Stance offers a rather paltry 132%. It seems to be a shit version of Weak Stance.

Break Stance meanwhile grants a 135% damage bonus to breakable parts, with Break Stance Up 1 boosting this by a further 110% for a total of 148.5%.

Gears

Dual Blade Gear: Lasts 10 seconds upon activation, boosts PP regeneration to 110%, possibly Gear regeneration to 110% and can stack up to 6 times. No idea how said stacking works!

On-Use Skills

Elemental PP Restorate Field: +3 PP per hit on an enemy for 60 seconds on a 90 second cool-down, so 66% uptime.

Rapid Boost increases the speed of attacks to 115% and lowers the charge-time of all charged attacks to 85%. This skill is up for 45 seconds on a 120 second cool-down, giving it a 37.5% uptime. Rapid Boost JA Bonus boosts the power of Just Attacks to 115%.

Passives

Deband PP Restorate: +3 PP per hit on an enemy while under the effect of Deband.

Shifta Air Attack Boost: 105%. The name suggests to me that it’s only applicable while your character is airborn.

Just Reversal PP Recover; Regenerate 20% of your max PP upon successful Just Reversal.

Heal Share is 20% of something. Not known.

Heal Bonus boosts healing to 115%. I wonder if this just means Resta or if it applies to all sources of healing?

Weapon Skills

Photon Blade Fever has a 130% damage multiplier, lasts 45 seconds and has a 120 second cool-down giving it an uptime of 37.5%. What the multiplier is applied to or how it works isn’t known. Same goes for its supplementary skill, Photon Blade Fever Up 1 which has a further 130% boost.

Photon Blade Escape: Whatever it does it does it for 0.35 seconds.

Craft Mastery just increases.. craftmasteryrate by a maximum of 0.1 or 10%. I have no idea.

Thoughts:

If these numbers are final something feels amiss. For one thing, the stances last 30 minutes, which runs counter to every other stance in the game being changed to an infinite duration. Elemental Stance is much weaker than Weak Stance, which mechanically speaking does the precise same task for teching types. Other abilities also seem markedly weak given how.. specific they are. That said, it’s pretty hard to really gauge the utility of the class without trying it out, so its a bit difficult to judge the overall effectiveness of the class at the moment. If these cold hard numbers are both indicative and final, then I feel like Bouncer might need a boost down the line…

Of course if it is accurate then it means my worries about the class in this post are for naught, which is a good thing I guess.

Critical Skills

I decided to separate these from their parent classes, as Criticals aren’t really relevant to most current builds. They may or may not make entirely new builds possible, however.

  • Hunter’s Fury Stance Critical: 25% up from 20%
  • Fighter’s Brave Critical: 25% up from 20%
  • Fighter’s Wise Critical: 25% up from 20%
  • Gunner’s Zero Range Critical is still 50%
  • Techer’s Shifta Critical is 20% up from 15%
  • Braver’s Average Stance Critical is 25% up from 20%
  • Braver’s Weak Stance Critical is still 25%.
  • Bouncer’s Elemental Stance Critical is 25%
  • Bouncer’s Break Stance Critical is 25%
  • Bouncer’s Critical Field is 30%

So Hunter, Fighter, Braver and Bouncer all have the option of adding 25% to their crit-rate for any of their stances. Shifta can then boost it by a further 20% and Bouncer’s Critical Field by a further 30%, with Gunner having the unique property of granting a 50% bonus to critical damage for ranged attacks in close range.

So it’s 25% + 20% for single classes under the effect of Shifta Critical, or 25% + 25% + 20% for certain hybrids (any combination of Hunter, Fighter, Bouncer or Braver). Fighter’s Critical Strike skill also grants an additional 15%, but this is only available to Fighters. This would grant a critical hit rate of 45% for a single class or 70% for certain hybrids, not including whatever the base critical rate is. Naturally if you then add Bouncer’s Critical Field you then have a critical hit rate of 100%. Gunner can achieve a critical hit rate of 75% on its own, or 95% with Shifta Critical.

Remember that critical hits cancel all variance, so if you could maintain 100% this would utterly remove the biggest downside to using crafted weaponry. Of course, Critical Field has an up-time of 37.5%, so for the rest of the time you’re going to be at around 70%. When combined with Fighter’s ability to boost the damage of critical hits to 115% (Fighter main only) as well as boosting their critical chance by a further 15%, it feels like critical builds may be more viable than they are now. Fighter/Hunter, Fighter/Braver and Fighter/Bouncer could get a critical hit rate of 65% before Shifta Critical, which is pretty nice. If you were the slightly more unusual Fighter/Gunner, should you have Fighter-usable Twin Machineguns you can get a critical hit rate of 90% while attacking things in close range. I’m actually pretty interested in looking into this a bit further…

Anyway that’s all. It’s been a long enough post as is without considering the implications for various class combinations. I was originally going to do this in another post, but as the numbers here are pre-release and thus unpredictably volatile it seems like a wasted effort, especially when all this is going to be out in a week anyway.

Ultimate Naberius

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It was data-mined a while ago that Ultimate would be arriving in some form and last night’s reveal sure did confirm it and then some. As was guessed, the field is altered from its original incarnation and the natives are very different as well, at least visually.

You can see it in motion in the 2nd half of the teaser embedded below. The first half concerns content I’ll chat a bit about in another post.

As is usual with post-stream content, expect compression artifacts in imagery. If Sega releases an HD version of the trailer or some outright screenshots I’ll replace these as appropriate.

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Ultimate Naberius Forest. Shares the sunset hue with Forest Ultimate from PSO.

The slightly worrying thing about this reveal is that it’s apparently a quest type as opposed to an additional difficulty. Both Extreme Quests and Advanced Quests have limitations on them. These limitations are not without reason, but they’re limitations all the same. Essentially the worry is they could place some annoying restriction on the quest type that may mire the experience somewhat.

Regarding the experience, what is there to expect from the quests with regard to that? Well it seems to ditch the old 3 areas per planet approach present in the rest of the game, dragging monsters from other fields into the fray. Heck, it technically drags monsters from other planets entirely. The monsters themselves, while being visually distinct as mentioned, may also have new behaviors not seen elsewhere. At least I’d hope they do, or else it would be like playing any other quest in the game.

That’s really all there is to say about this for now. The sum total of what is known about Ultimate is that it is a quest type and how some of it looks. That’s it! .The data didn’t tell us a huge amount more, other than there are rare versions of some of the monsters here. The old list is as follows:

UltNativeBeast, UltNativeBeastThrower, UltWolfA, UltWolfB, UltWolfARare, UltWolfBRare, UltYetiA, UltYetiB, UltMammothA, UltMammothB

Now, clearly there’s no where in this list a Meduna or Vol Dragon reskin can fit, so hey there were some genuine surprises! Unfortunately if there’s any more information it hasn’t arrived to us yet as the file these names are present in has so far not been included in the pre-patch. For that matter, the executable isn’t in our hands yet either!

Ultimate Quests are set to arrive some time in the winter.

Titanic Tidbits

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While the online services continue to be down, some little tidbits regarding planet Harukotan were revealed during the event in Osaka. Harukotan is a new planet set to arrive with the release of Episode 3 in August.

Titans are bigger than you!

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While rather self-explanatory and not entirely unexpected, this image does at least give us a scale. With it it’s a little easier to appreciate just how large the monsters are on this planet. The Shiro-Nation Titan is on the left, the Kuro-Nation Titan is on the right. Lets call an individual from each nation a Shironian and a Kuronite.

Alternative names are White Nation and Black Nation. Why not use them? Well, for one thing the planet is very Japanese so using the Japanese names in Romaji seems thematically appropriate for once. The other reason is to avoid certain unfortunate racial implications the names would have otherwise…

The Shiro Nation

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The Shiro Nation, the first field that players will be visiting on planet Harukotan, is suffering an invasion by the Kuro Nation. Where the ARKS will fit into this is kind of a good question, but hints would appear to be that the Shiro Nation are the er, “good guys”. That said, watching through the video it does seem like Shironians will also attack you.

The field is populated by titans and Yokai-like enemies.

This slide also shows the field does indeed have an environmental mechanic, this time in the form of a purple Miasma which is said to strengthen the Kuronite invaders. Players will be able to purify these fields somehow. They sound mechanically similar to the corrupted relics in the Ruins field but clearly the scale is larger.

No information yet on what future fields may be, though I still feel the Kuro Nation is a pretty safe bet!

New Darker Type and Titan Boss

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So there we have it, I said before how the field appeared to be lacking a Darker type and speculated which type may inhabit the field. Turns out it will be a new Darker type entirely, the Plaything/Toy type. We know Dark Falz Double is in the area due to the previously released teaser trailer for Episode 3 content, but given the events towards the end of Episode 2 it seemed like Double was in control of the Bird-type Darkers. Well, this revelation rather shoots that idea in the face. Dark Falz Loser really was the king of the chickens, after all. The aesthetics on the new type certainly are different, so different that if I was shown an image of them without being told they were Darkers I doubt I’d say for definite that they were. The only hint I’d have is the patterned red+black parts of them. In fact the teaser does show one of the Darkers and I don’t think anyone figured it was a new Darker type.

This makes me rather curious as to what Toy Falz is going to look like in its various forms…

The field boss is a Kuronite Titan by the name of Gigiru Gun’negamu (Gigil Gunnegam?).  It uses ice-based attacks. That’s all there is to say about that for now.

 [Thanks to Mewn for names]