Challenge Quest 2 and Other Update Stuff

HONHONHON

This update saw the arrival of a new Challenge Quest, new Levelup Quest and a few other new things that I’ll be going over in this post. I won’t cover the scratch, that’s Bumped’s deal and they always do a great job for that.

Mission: Decision

The first thing to note is that you can’t access the 2nd Challenge Shop at all until you’ve cleared Mission 3 of Decision. Don’t worry, this isn’t a particularly difficult task so you should be able to access the shop fairly quickly.

Unlike Start, Decision is only 5 missions long. It also gives out a mere 2500 miles for completing it, assuming your party opts for VR capsules instead of Mile crystals. Decision’s main gimmick is like the name suggests, a decision as to which resource to take. Seemingly, the true challenge of the quest will be clearing without taking any of the optional VR capsules at all, with the possible exception of the one at the end of mission 4.

So how is the quest? In some ways easier in other ways kind of more frustrating if you ask me. It’s easier in the sense that it requires less coordination than Mission: Start, but it’s more difficult in that not being able to communicate with other players may deny you some builds entirely. Drop rates for consumables seems to be worse than in Start, and weapon drops are nonexistent outside of boxes which seem to love giving me Assault Rifles and Gunslashes. The first two boxes are at least guaranteed to give you a weapon and two random PAs, but you might not get a PA you can use which may lock you into using normal attacks for the first two missions unless you can ask for a disc. In terms of overall difficulty, the community reaction is that it’s too easy which they might be correct about. That said, I feel the fact that we’re used to what challenge mode requires of us may have contributed to how easily people are handling this one.

I have a horrible feeling that this quest is going to end up more irritating to do pick-up group runs of than Start is, because players may have severe differences down the line as to when to pick up miles or when to go for VR capsules. That said, I feel like Mission: Start was a clusterfuck of different strategies until the community seemed to nail down a particular strategy so maybe I’ll turn out to be wrong. The same will probably happen for this one.

As more information is discovered about this quest, I may make a separate post detailing some potential tactics but for now it’d be irresponsible to do so.

Level Up Quest

It’s the Darkernest mission from Maximum Attack! Just in case you missed having Nyau screaming in your ears every 5 minutes.

Again, not really sure of the point of this quest when we have Advance Quests in the state they are, but this could be a way to complete some Client Orders or upcoming Bingo Orders. It will be a decent way to farm for Nyau’s fever affixes at least, but those are relatively valueless anyway nowadays.

Badge Exchange Shop

badgeshop

Xie’s weapon shop is still here, sortof. It’s moved to the badge counter, so you can still spend badges on weapon camos and the Yozakura series weapons. The consumables are all gone, however.

Ideal Units

So now we can get them, are they any good? The answer is, “ish”. They’re inferior to Saiki, but Saiki units are currently considered the best units in the game. The main reason for this is unit crafting makes nearly all units equivalent in terms of stats and hidden bonus stats. It effectively gives every unit in the game 100 HP or 10 PP along with various resistances, which leaves set bonuses as the only differentiating factor. Therefore, unless the unit’s passive bonuses can best crafting their set bonus really is all that matters and right now Saiki provides the best one.

Native Stats:

  • 206 S-def, 202 R-def, 202 T-def at +0
  • 288 S-def, 282 R-def and 282 T-def at +10
  • Rear Unit: +100 HP
  • Arm Unit: +10 PP
  • Leg Unit: +100 HP

So essentially equivalent to crafted units in terms of bonus stats, but a little weaker than crafted in terms of base stats even at the typical Ex8 that people tend to go for. It is stronger than Ex3 but not by much. Ultimately its going to be a preference thing, but a lot of players tend to craft for extra PP instead of HP, rendering 2 of the units needing to be crafted for those players if they were to use these units at all.

Set Bonus:

We knew about this already but for the sake of information:

  • Leg and Rear: +50 HP, +5 PP, +75 all attack, +40 Dex, +80 Rdef and Tdef, +2 Ice, Wind and Dark resist.
  • Weapon and Arm: +8 PP, +75 all attack, +40 Dex, +80 Sdef, +4 Fire, Lightning and Light resist
  • Total (excluding elements): 50HP, 13PP, 150 all attack, 80 Dex, 80 all defense.

Compared to Saiki, which gives:

  • 25PP, 60 all attack, 80 Dex

At first glance this may appear less impressive, but it’s that 12 additional PP plus the fact you can use any weapon with this set which is what makes it so desirable. That said, for bossing the complete Ideal set would likely edge out in terms of power, but only if an Ideal weapon is the best choice for your class combination.

The sketchy side of this is you will need to re-affix your Ideal units to get the most out of them. This presents a major barrier for a lot of people, given that it’s expensive to affix units so it may be hard to justify the cost for such a niche set.

For example, let’s compare my using an Ideal sword with my current Saiki set with the same and an Ideal set. Overall, I would gain 90 S-atk for using the Ideal set while losing 12PP. Given matching the affixes I have would cost me something near 10 million meseta per unit, I’m not really sure that 90 extra attack against bosses is worth it.

Potentials

With the release of Photon Boosters, a bunch of weapons gained new potentials. Some of these potentials are absurdly powerful while others leave something to be desired. This section will list all of the known ones with their weapons. It’ll be updated as new information is gathered.

Notes: Photon boosters are required in varying amounts depending on the level of the Potential you’re about to unlock (3 for Lv1, 4 for Lv2 and 5 for Lv3). They cost 3500 miles each and you’ll need 12 to max your weapon. Seeking confirmation for this.

  • Psycho Wand: Boost tech damage by 10%/12%/15% and reduce PP consumption for techs by 10%/12%/15%
  • Blitz Fender: Boost critical rate and critical hit damage.
  • Lavis Blades: Boost frontal damage during Brave Stance by 12%/20%/23%
  • Sange and Yasha: Recover 0.4%/0.6%/1% of damage dealt as HP to a maximum of 30 HP per attack.
  • Ely Sion (Sword): Boost HP Recovery by 20%/25%/30%, boost attack PP recovery by 30%/45%/60% and boost damage by 10%/12%/15%
  • Magical Piece: Boost Compound Technique gauge fill rate by 50%/ 60%/70%.
  • Yasminkov7000V: Boost shooting damage while moving by 25%/ 27%/30%.
  • Red Weapons: Boosted damage if this weapon is crafted by 14%/15%/16%

Still seeking confirmation for a few things in this post. Let me know if there’s anything wrong.

End of Episode 3: Thoughts on The 34th Broadcast

abyssmatoi

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

roadmap

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

newlogo

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?

PSO2 News: The Gathering 6th Aug

YAAAAY

With yesterday’s update, we could finally journey freely into the lands of Kuron. Bunch of other things have arrived too, some of which I have mixed opinions about so hey let’s have a look at some of them. Odd tidbits of information came out elsewhere so let’s gather some of those up too because why not.

Kuron

kurontempleentrance

I do like this field’s aesthetic quite a bit, it’s certainly got a distinct colour theme to it and a few of the map pieces are quite interesting looking. It has both indoor and outdoor areas, with architecture in various states of disrepair with a natural cloud-top mountainous backdrop.

Hit the right head and make me scream!

Hit the right head and make it scream!

The enemies that wander Kuron are certainly a varied bunch, from ghosts to clown cars. The centaur enemies also boast their own e-trials, with various (if simple) mechanics attached to them. The doll-house “Orota Biketta” is itself a mini-game of sorts, where you have to hit the correct head in order to have an available weakspot. Get the wrong head three times and it’ll enrage.

Oh and everything screams. EVERYTHING.

Overall however it still suffers from the same issues some other maps do; the enemies are too sparse for the size of the area. It’s quite spacious, so it’s incredibly noticeable if you’re running the field by yourself, as you have these massive areas populated by about 2 or 3 enemies…

Unique Qualities

Well, beyond enemy types which are often unique enough for every field there are some truly unique things about Kuron, at least for now. For one, it’s the only field in the game with a permanent Extra Hard difficulty attached to it.

Presumably, this was to support the next unique thing about the field; it is the only non-Ultimate field to give a currency. You are rewarded with 2 Chandra stones for clearing Extra Hard with an S-rank as well as a chance of obtaining one by clearing e-trials. Hans also offers two daily orders which can grant you 6 Chandra stones per day per character, assuming your alts can handle Lv70 Kuronites. This currency can be spent on a selection of 12* and 13* weaponry, making it the only area where you can earn items over time.

kurongrimdark

It’s also the only Free Field in which you’re forced to get 500 quest points before you’re granted access to the boss. This I guess is to mete out the quest currency at a relatively controlled pace. Related, it’s the only field where you can opt to never fight the boss at all if you want, as getting 1000 points clears the quest.

Finally, and something I feel somewhat strongly about, it’s the only field in which you’re allowed to go back to the campship and re-engage the boss where you left off should you die to it, even if you’re solo. This is for me, quite irritating as it’s one of those things that I always felt was un-necessarily punishing for solo players. While I’m happy they finally broke their own stupid rule on this, I wonder why this hasn’t been applied to the other fields and boss areas? It perhaps makes sense for some bosses (especially Advance Quests, where after all it is a risk that you need to consider), but given the fact you’re solo means you’re already having a harder fight and that your rank will go down if you return to the campship upon death, why was there any need to then tack on additional punishment by making them go back to the beginning of the stage?

In general, some of these unique qualities I have mixed feelings about. I love that you can actually work towards something and not depend entirely on random numbers, but I don’t love that this is yet another currency eating yet more of my inventory up. This is also why I’d be mixed about them retroactively adding these to the other fields, as while it would curb some of the RNG and make progression a thing, that’d be 13 more inventory spots eaten up by yet more currencies. If they’re going to do this, I feel the developers should seriously consider adding a currency storage of some kind.

Codotta Idetta

Opens up by donning its armor assembled from various toys and then screams at you. Because this is Kuron, you have to scream.

An interesting boss, but not at all a difficult one. Just break its limbs and while it’s down just kill it. If your gear is remotely up to scratch you should one-cycle this boss, even on Extra Hard.

Guar Zigmorde

guarzigmurde

The first yokai boss in the game (the other being a miniboss). How is she? Aggressive would be my choice of word. Low-hp characters may find her attacks difficult to dodge with how frequent they are, however she’s overall not that difficult a boss. She does frequently use a stunning attack and when she’s in phase 2 she can inflict injury with a number of her attacks as well as stun, so those depending on Massive Hunter might want to be wary. The frequency of her attacks can cause injury to stack dangerously high surprisingly quickly.

You can break her tails and her mirror. Breaking the tails reduces the number of projectiles she fires (though her tail projectiles aren’t usually a threat anyway) and breaking the mirror will expose a weak-spot.

The primary mechanic teased about her when Kuron was being discussed before was her curse of death. She will perform a pulling area-of-effect that will end with a pulse. If any player is hit with this pulse, they’ll have a blue orb floating above their head. I believe after a certain period has passed this orb will turn purple, making you eligible for execution. When she does this, any players eligible will be instantly incapacitated. This sounds threatening but in practice it really isn’t, as all you need to do is break her glowing thorax when anyone is cursed. This will break the curse and it has very low HP, even on Extra Hard, so this mechanic shouldn’t be a threat…ever. Her fast-stacking Injury de-buff is far more threatening in my opinion.

What’s fun is the curse of death is currently disabled on the boss because apparently it was causing people to disconnect from blocks. I don’t even know how they managed this fuckup, this is possibly as funny as the old “chairs cause lag” issue from way back…

Weapons of Kuron

Here I’ll go over the exchange weapons added with Kuron and purchasable with Chandra stones. Are they any good? Judge for yourself:

The 12*s:

  • Sword [イクサコウシャ]: 15%/17%?/20%? increased damage for attacks activated with a just-counter.
  • Daggers [センノシュウハ]: Potential currently unknown.
  • Double Saber [ イダテン]: 6%/8%/10% bonus damage for attacking while mid-air.
  • Bullet Bow [ハマノゲンシ] – Chase Arrow PP consumption reduced by 35%/50%/65%
  • Wand  [メイセン] – 17%/19%/21% bonus damage to enemies inflicted with status effects
  • Jet Boots [ハクジレンセイ] – 10%/15%/20% bonus damage and ?/?/150% PP recovery when striking breakable points.

The 13*s:

  • Knuckles: [グリダフヘクス] – Reduce PP consumption from PAs and Techs by 20/25/30% but reduces damage by 5%
  • Katana: [ベクスダグーナ] – Reduce PP consumption from PAs and Techs by 20/25/30% but reduces damage by 5%
  • Gunslash: [スカルシュクター,] – Weakpoint Damage increased by 7/?/?%
  • Rifle: [スカルソーサラー] – Weakpoint Damage increased by 7/?/?%
  • Twin Machinegun: [スカルフェジサー] – Weakpoint Damage increased by 7/?/?%
  • Talis: [ベクリュサバーカ] – Reduce PP consumption from PAs and Techs by 20/25/30% but reduces damage by 5%

No Partizans, Wired Lances, Launchers, Rods or Dual Blades. They made sure to add yet another Katana though! That said, it appears no class was entirely left out this time.

In terms of attack stats, the 13*s typically seem to sit at stronger than Ares (just) and are slightly weaker than Slave weapons. That said, Ares Weapons are still better than most of them in terms of damage, in part thanks to latents. Rifle and Twin Machinegun might be stronger against weak points, not sure.

Note that 12* weapons come with 20% element and cost 80 Chandra stones, meaning you’ll need 240 to 50% one (at worst). 13* weapons cost 200 Chandra stones and come with 15% element, meaning you’ll need 800 Chandra stones at worst to 60% one. Notably, all of these weapons can drop in the quest. So it’s the “get lucky or get one eventually anyway” approach which I’m quite in support of.

Ideal Units

G-heaven posted up the Ideal Set bonus stats here. Re-posting the numbers below:

Set Bonus:

  • Leg and Rear: +50 HP, +5 PP, +75 all attack, +40 Dex, +80 Rdef and Tdef, +2 Ice, Wind and Dark resist.
  • Weapon and Arm: +8 PP, +75 all attack, +40 Dex, +80 Sdef, +4 Fire, Lightning and Light resist
  • Total (excluding elements): 50HP, 13PP, 150 all attack, 80 Dex, 80 all defense.
  • Unfortunately, the element icons are too blurry to tell total elements. Thanks to a video uploaded just today, it seems the units come with 5% ice, 5% fire and… 5% ice. I don’t know if those are inherent or if the units come with any element resist affixes though.

Each unit costs 20,000 miles, for a total of 60,000 for all armor, 240,000 for a weapon and 600,000 for all units and a maxed element weapon.

So a total of 150 all attack. Not bad, but the loss in PP has made the set rather unattractive for those already in possession of a Saiki set. The only remaining unknown factor is what stats each unit provides (not even element or the displayed Sdef really, as those could be affixes) That said, it doesn’t appear to be a bad armour set either and those who use Ideal weapons should certainly consider it, though affixing is afterall expensive and this set is only at its best with Ideal Weapons, which themselves are only good for killing bosses. It’s a niche set, so those not willing to spend the Meseta may want to pass these units by.

Level Up Quests

A new-ish feature. Truthfully, all these are are re-labelled Limited Quests but with a permanent +50% exp boost applied to them. Like Limited Quests they’re only going to be around for a limited time, but their primary intention is to help with levelling from 1 to 70.

So are they any good at this? Not when compared to other options, no. It could be an alright way to level up from 1-45, but beyond level 45 it’s likely better to just run Advance Quests. Since the entry requirement to Advance Quests is minimal, the permanent 100% exp boost is pretty much always available to you, so in light of this why would anyone run the Level Up Quest from 45 onwards? I mean with Advance Quests you can even work towards 12* weapons, as if the superior EXP wasn’t enough.

For that matter, new players are likely going to be carried to level 30 or so just by unlocking areas. It’s been a while since I ran a new character, so I don’t know the exact level you might end up at, but regardless this makes the actually useful window for the Level Up quest ever smaller…

PSO2 Anime

In case you forgot that was a thing (I know I did), looks like we got a promo image of the anime land some details about the staff involved located here at Crunchyroll. Reposting below cause that host seems to load slow as hell for me.

pso

Guess this confirms the idea that it’s set on earth. Beyond that, still very little is know about the animation and is frankly likely to stay that way until it’s out. What a painful wait it will be.

34th Broadcast

Finally, the 34th broadcast is coming up. It’s on Nico which is a shithole of a website, but you should be able to find re-streams on the day. Of note, we seem to be getting a schedule detailing a series of “Large Updates” over a period of six months and there’s going to be a “major announcement” regarding the story. We’re also going to get a preview of the content for this fall.

The broadcast is set to happen on the 16th of August.

That’s all for this post! Maybe I should consider splitting these up in future… As always, give me a poke if there’s anything wrong in this post or if you have additional information.

PSO2 33rd Broadcast Junk

the_bug_queeeeen

Hey, been a while I know. May talk about this towards the end rather than the beginning because I’m sure most people want to see the new stuff and not me talking about my thoughts regarding this blog.

So yeah, Sega did it’s 33rd live broadcast and as is the norm they showed a bunch of new trailers. This post is more gonna act as a means to collect the videos together into one place for more convenient watching and some information that I can share below them.

Kurona – TERRITORY OF BLACK

The first trailer’s main focus is the new Kurona area of planet Japan Harukotan.

Highlights include:

  • New compound Technique: Barantsion (need a better rendition of this name)
    • Carve your enemies up with blades of frozen light in a furious melee combo. Looks like a solid boss-killer from what they’ve shown so far.
  • New Photon Arts
    • Wired Lance PA: Adapt Spin
    • Assault Rifle PA: End Attract
    • Katana PA: Guren Tessen
    • Twin Dagger PA: Fall Nocturne
  • Blazblue costumes
    • Ragna (male female), Jin (male, female), Noel (female), Izayoi (female), Mu -No.12- (female). I wonder why we didn’t get male versions of the primarily female outfits…
    • Hairstyles and voices too!
  • Blazblue weapon camos
  • New accessories
  • And of course, Kurona
  • New 12* weapons and new 13* dark themed weapons (Pyroxene exchange weapons)

As far as I know it’s not actually explained where to get the pyroxenes for the dark-themed weapons, unless they’re adding a clear incentive for running Kurona free-field at all. If it was explained during the presentation, please let me know.

Kurona as an area looks great, if nothing else it seems far less annoying than Shironia was with its multi-story gimmick where jumping on roofs would make some enemies easier to hit. Hey it was a nice idea, but it didn’t really work out in my opinion. I also generally feel that this area just plain looks more interesting than a generic ye olde Japanese towne…

Challenge Mode Part Two!

  • Guilty Gear Xrd Collab
    • Costumes for Sol (male), Ky (male, female), Millia (female), Elphelt (female) and May (female).
    • Weapon camos, hairstyles and voices too!
  • Various new accessories, room decos, new room theme
  • Photon art customisation demo (brief one, alas)
  • Time Attack Rankings split into “Team”, “Solo” with “PC” and “Vita” platform sub-categories.
    • Probably about time for this change, naturally solo players could never compete with teams and the PC has some clear technical power advantages over the Vita. Doesn’t mean players like me are gonna have a better shot at the gold, though! They can’t fix my sucking…
  • Racaseal and Racast PSO costumes revealed.
  • Sato accessory
  • New Challenge Mode quest revealed
    • As was datamined, it starts in the Tundra and proceeds to Tunnels and Skyscape (not necessarily in that order).
    • Includes Darker enemies from Kurona
    • Ideal Units can now be obtained with challenge miles as well as “Photon Boosters” (20,000 miles each)
    • The new Photon Booster items can be used to unlock hidden weapon potentials on 12★ weapons.

Well one of the fears I was aware of among the playerbase for Challenge Mode was they’d include new weapons or something, which would make the current set of Ideal Weapons obsolete potentially. This turned out not to be the case so those people can relax for now! Ideal Units were not something I expected, however. At this point their stats are completely unknown, let alone any hidden stats or potential set bonuses.

According to Bumped, there are going to be some other changes to Challenge Mode quests too, such as relaxing the VR drain for 9+ player parties and granting bonus miles for picking up excessive VR capsules. While cool, I imagine this won’t change the current strategy of having a VR manager to pick up capsules only when needed for as much time in the quest as possible.

Meanwhile it appears that Advance Quests may be getting a permanent 100% exp boost applied to them, making them a viable way to level up outside of emergency quests. Cool enough, I’m quite happy with this idea if it turns out to be true. They’re also going to boost the drop rate of large Pyroxenes, which is another welcome change although the cynic in me anticipates that it won’t be that much of a boost to be noticeable.

Toy Falz: Dark Falz Double

No need for a highlight section, it’s just toy falz! So yeah, seems that Double will indeed be the next raid boss and the next Falz we will encounter in the story. Not particularly surprising perhaps, but there was a small chance that the plot could have diverted and we ended up fighting a different Falz instead. There was another Falz revealed in the data at least, by the name of Dark Falz Abyss. More on that possibly in a separate post.

The humanoid form of Double seems appropriately hectic, in line with the other humanoid Falz forms so far. Looking at the trailer it does seem like the boss has a few moves that could get somewhat cheesy, but without any damage numbers or player level shown it’s hard to say for sure how damaging some of its moves may be. It seems to borrow Hunar’s ground-pound attack, but then Loser has a similar attack in its full form as well.

As for the full form, I have to say it was nothing like I imagined Double would be. A dark, living castle. It’s cool looking! The moves it has look pretty dynamic. I can’t wait to see what the boss’s mechanics turn out to be. It seems to lack a Loser-style MPA-wipe move going by the trailer, but I’m sure they haven’t shown everything the boss can do.

Other Tidbits

Class Cap Bonuses

Seems you will be able to earn a stat bonus for capping a class on a character. For example, getting to Lv75 on Braver will give you +2pp, +20 all attack and +30 dex. This bonus will apply to all of your classes forever. This will also apply to all of your classes for each character on your account, so you won’t need to cap all classes on all characters. Well, in theory. They haven’t actually said that it doesn’t stack, but I doubt it will. Regardless, there is a chance that this could be a really nasty pay-to-win incentive if it does stack…

This, along with the class Excube system and SP-orders tied to them after hitting the lv75 cap does make me seriously speculate that we could be at the ultimate cap in PSO2 now. If so, this means the only progress our characters would make from here on out would be gear alone. I may be wrong on this, but if not I’m not really sure how to feel about it. I can say that I wouldn’t be eager for any level cap raises anyway.

Casino Changes

Along with increasing the payouts for all the casino games (aside Roulette), Lambda Grinders, Yurlungers (otherwise only obtainable from Ultimate Lilipa) and Lilipariums will also be added to the prize shop there. Rare Enemy Trigger E-Trials will also reward Arks Badges (Peach!) and a unit with the “Spirita Alpha” ability. Not a clue what effect this ability has at this time.

And something about a Neptunia collab in the fall but no one cares about that.

Thanks to Bumped for some names and Manta for uploading videos from the stream.

Oh right, before I forget PSO2 IS GETTING A GOD DAMN ANIME!? Like, what the fuck? I mean OK, it isn’t really that huge of a stretch because the game is already neck deep in anime as it is but still! God damn, man, god damn! It’s apparently an original story set on a near-future Earth which… if true I’m not really sure how that’s going to be related to PSO2 at all? I don’t know. For those of us with a morbid curiosity, we’ll find out in 2016 when it airs.


About the Blog

I’ve found myself getting a bit worried about the purpose of this thing. I mean it’s always been a semi-news blog/mostly my dumb opinions blog. A thing to exercise my writing skills with and above all it’s been fun to write. The trouble is, not being able to do news cause I can’t read the language and because its one of the less enjoyable things to write about in my opinion, it means when I don’t have an opinion on something I just end up not writing anything. And of course, I have my own professional skills to develop (I do not intend to ever do writing for a living) and these things can take a surprising amount of time to write.

Truthfully, I did also anticipate being able to cover the western version of the game whenever it would decide to rear its ugly face. So far this has yet to happen and honestly, judging by the data present in the South-East Asian version of the game I’m pretty sure the western version has been canned. This is just my thoughts and the thoughts of a few others I know, so we could be wrong. I’d happily eat humble pie on this if an announcement were to come out from either Sega or some company that buys the license. I know there are people out there who still don’t want to play on the Japanese servers and I really don’t blame them. Yeah I know signing up isn’t hard and there are some seriously awesome community efforts to make it all the more trivial but some people still don’t feel welcome on the Japanese servers and are also put off by the fact that playing there entitles them to zero support from the developers. The latter is a particularly understandable concern for some people.

All in all, I’ll keep this going when I can and as long as it’s fun to write. If I end up in a position where I can’t keep the blog going anymore, I’ll make a post saying so and put this thing to rest.

News Tidbits for June

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There’s been a few news snippets popping up here and there, figured I’d make a post to collect a few of them up.

32nd Live Broadcast

Sort of a self-explanatory subtitle but yes we’re getting another live broadcast. It’s been known about for a while but details about what exactly they’re going to do during the show were only just revealed.

Highlights will include:

  • A fight with Gal Gryphon
  • Latest update info
  • Latest details on the PSO 15th Anniversary project
  • New collab and retail goods (Yaay…)

You can catch the stream on NicoNico here (though if you’re not premium I wouldn’t bother). It’s likely fan re-streams will be up on the day.

Gwanahda Bit Fix

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From the 10th of June, Gwanahda Bits will no longer drop items. They say it’s because during testing they found that they could farm Bronze Weapons Badges from them, which could break the upcoming event (PSO2’s 3rd Anniversary and Max Attack).

For those unaware, you could use Gwanahda Bits to get Client Order items and I believe Advance Quest items as well. This was useful for the more annoying Client Orders but it was always a fairly obvious oversight on their part.

That said, I’m really not convinced that it would have broken the event in any major way. I mean surely it’d be better badges/hour to just straight run the quest?

In order to compensate for this change, they’re apparently raising the number of items that Gwanahda can drop. Which is nice I guess.

Ultimate Busting

From the 10th we’ll be able to transfer Ultimate Buster onto weapons. This comes with a couple of restrictions:

  • In order to transfer, at least 5 of the items will need Ultimate Buster on them
  • Ultimate Buster can’t be transferred onto 13* Weapons or above

For the unaware, Ultimate Buster is an affix which boosts a weapon’s damage by 10% if the target is an Ultimate enemy (known as an “Aberration”).

So you will be able to make weapons just for Ultimate it seems, though whether or not it’ll be worth doing depends I’d argue. First I’m not sure that any weapon with Ultimate Buster attached will be able to compete with 13* weapons anyway. That said, it may well close the gap for those who don’t have 13* weapons yet and it certainly opens up options for classes where 13* weapons are not a reasonable or optimal (mostly due to element requirements or specific latents).

Personally, I have at least two weapons I’d like to bolster with Ultimate Buster and I don’t expect it will cost that much. This is mostly due to the fact that Ultimate Buster is only useful in Ultimate combined with the fact that plenty of weapons with the ability are generated with every Extra Hard Emergency Quest. That said, certain rare combinations of affixes with Ultimate Buster might become expensive, such as in combination with a boss soul. Given that five of the six items involved in the affixing process must have Ultimate Buster on them you’re going to need to use at least 3 souls if you want one or the one without Ultimate Buster will need Soul Receptor on it. Alternatively, you could build Ultimate Buster fodder and go from there, but that could just drive soul prices even higher as you’ll need Ultimate Buster + Soul + however many junk just to make them in the first place.

Kuronia – Harukotan’s 2nd Field

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Yeah this was announced at the last live broadcast but I didn’t get to post about it before so why not now?

Thanks to data-mining it’s been known for some time that Kuronia was coming. I mean if nothing else, it was a pretty safe bet given the story set out for Harukotan and the big looming dark temple on the map.

The video below is so far the only preview we’ve had of the area. Skip to 1:36 to see it, though be warned the image quality is abysmal.

The area itself however does look quite pretty; a giant temple decorated with golden statues of… what looks like Asura? Why would a temple on an alien planet have statues of human deities in it? Oh well, I\m sure it will be enjoyable for the first week or so while it’s fresh.

Beyond the enemies showcased here they’re still missing the “dollhouse” and “toypipe” darker enemies. I really want to know what the dollhouse type involves. But hey, PSO2 finally has a regular centaur type enemy (Blu Ringahda notwithstanding). It wouldn’t be an online Phantasy Star game without centaurs of some kind.

Thats all for this post. With the release of the pre-patch it’s likely some tidbits about the game’s future could be released shortly, though be aware the the more interesting stuff tends to be from the maintenance patches.

Thanks to EspioKaos for translations.

Maximum Attack: PSO2’s Third Anniversary

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The web-event site for PSO2’s 3rd Anniversary event (of which Maximum Attack is a part) is now up here. Reposting the trailer below:

The update page can be found here. 

The event is set to kick off on the 10th of June and ends on the 22nd of July.

Ah the Maximum Attack event, a long tradition of the Phantasy Star Online series. It started with Max Attack in the original PSO and would go on to appear a total of 4 times in PSO and 4 more times in PSU. It occurred an extra time on the US version of the game due to issues with the login/billing servers during the first event, preventing a large number of players from taking part at all (Error 56!). That said, the US never got Maximum Attack: Infinity so I guess that makes them even!

Anyway with that bit of nostalgia out of the way, let’s look at what’s coming up.

What We Know

Details are still being revealed. The main quest of the event will be a Limited Quest set in the Darkers Den. Like Limited Quests before it, it seems to be a run-around-in-circles style Multi-Party Quest which features enemies from various places in the game, including bosses such as Snow Banther, Blu Ringahda, Chrome Dragon, Gigur Gunnegam, Varder Soma and Big Varder. Big Varder in the Darker’s Den is something I have to witness. Imagine if that spawned with the infected gunship Emergency trial? Missiles everywhere! Alas, the trailer seems to indicate that it doesn’t but a man can dream… Also what is it with Sega and putting the Fang/Snow Banthers in all the cross-planet quests lately?

webpanel

While there is a web-panel and that points can be earned for it like in previous events, we don’t know what all the panel rewards are yet. I feel like it may be a safe bet that an affix and grinding boost period will be on the table, however. Certainly an EXP, Rare drop, Meseta and Rare enemy boost at least. The preview of the event appears to show bonus daily login stamps and a 1000 FUN points ticket, though that could change.

Points are earned by defeated targeted bosses for the event. Details are scarce, aside that the amount of points rewarded per kill may scale with difficulty (as in a boss killed on normal will be presumably worth less than one killed on Extra Hard). Interestingly, PSO2es players will be able to contribute towards the event as well which is a first in the game’s history.

Given there’s an exchange shop for them, it seems safe to assume that Weapons Badges can be obtained from the quest.  Exactly how is anyone’s guess at this point, they could be random drops, given at the end of the quest or given out as Client Order rewards.

More information is set to be revealed when the event begins, but I wouldn’;t be surprised if we hear more in the meanwhile. It won’t be during the 32nd Broadcast however, as that’s scheduled 4 days after the event has begun!

Update: And just like that, new information surfaces a day later. According to Gheaven’s post here we’ll be getting the badges like so:

  • Bronze Badges will be area drops
    • All difficulties
  • Silver Badges will be boss drops
    • All difficulties
  • Gold Badges will be rewarded for clearing e-trials and the quest itself
    • Super Hard and Extra Hard only.

Unsurprisingly, you’ll need Gold Badges if you want the Yozakura weapons.

New Weapons (Kinda)

There are two series of weapons to be aware of for this update: additional Nox-series weapons (12★) and the “new” Yozakura-series of weapons (13★).

The Nox-series are going to be random drops. The Yozakura-series weapons can be obtained by exchanging Weapons badges for them at the Third Anniversary Exchange Shop.

youcallthataknife

The Yozakura series are essentially re-coloured Extreme Quest weapons much like the Live-series. Quite why the Extreme Quest re-colours have been repurposed like this I don’t know, going to go with “laziness”. Whatever the case I like the way they look, although I am slightly disappointed that their on-attack effect isn’t as pretty as their old sun-god counterparts.

As for their potential abilities, it was revealed during the 31st Live Broadcast that the striking weapons would have a 6% damage boost whereas teching and ranged weapons would have a 3% damage boost. Additionally, all weapons reduce PP consumption on using a Photon Art or Technique, though as far as I’m aware it isn’t known exactly how much this reduction is.

Stat-wise, Yozakura is the weakest 13★ series yet, so anyone who has an Ares weapon can pretty much ignore these entirely. Those with Ideal weapons might want to think about these as they will be better for mobbing, though some weapon types might have better options.

I can’t help but be a little cynical about the weapons, given previous exchanges have required a ludicrous amount of a material or grant a low element percentage (or both!), however I understand that these are quite powerful weapons in their own right. It’d be bad for the game to hand these weapons out too quickly, but I’m still dreading the potential effort.

Come on step it up!

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The 3rd Anniversary also coincides with the Sonic lobby. The lobby will be adorned with statues of various Sonic characters like last year, however this year you’ll also be able to run around and get rings. For what purpose? I have no idea but it’s kind of nifty I guess.

It also has.. this… thing

sonyack

Urgh

sonyack2

No please go away

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:(

I really did not want to know what the love-child of Sonic and Tails would look like. That’s for the shippers, those gross fuckers.

There’s also some collaboration stuff but no one cares about that.

Additionally, some details about the PSO anniversary set to take place in July have started to be revealed, but I may cover that in a separate post.

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]