42nd Broadcast Thoughts

Claris_Permanent_Kisama

I’m a little salty! I’m not ashamed to admit that. With that in mind, I’m going to go over some thoughts on some of the things they announced today.

As always, a complete list without wordy opinions can be found on Bumped here. I’m just here for a rant mostly.

Summary

To briefly summarize what’s coming up;

  • Limited Quest set in Sanctum and event in June
  • New story stuff
  • Some new PA customizations (!)
  • Stuff about Es but no one cares about PSO2Es
  • A bunch of new costumes, some new but mostly collaborations and Anime crossovers (collabs from FF14 and Sakura Wars)

That’s kinda it really. They didn’t show off a whole lot of actually new stuff.

Trailers:

 

Stargem Shop and Scratch

This is the source of most of the salt I’ve got and most of the salt I’ve seen from the general community. The star gem shop displays a random selection of items at random prices. I’m not sure how often the items are re-shuffled, but it seems you only get 3 items at any given time. It also seems to re-roll the one item you bought, so you can’t just endlessly buy the same item for the same price.

Items so far include:

  • Triboost 100%
  • Mining Base Defense Trigger
  • Magatsu Trigger?
  • All-Candy Remover
  • Multiple of any of the above?

As the prices are randomized, there’s not much point listing them.

So yeah, they’re adding the ability to essentially buy your way into Emergency Quests, effectively turning them into Guardians Cash quests from PSU in a sense. This probably isn’t that big a deal, but for me it sets a worrying precedent when people can directly buy additional goes at lucrative Emergency Quests.

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Scratch

The Dark Falz outfits are finally being added to the game! But they’re also locked behind the Star Gem grind as part of the Star Gem scratch. This probably caused me the most salt given I was waiting for these outfits to come out and now I’m not sure I can even reliably get them.

But PSO2Blog, you silly sausage, most outfits are part of a random pool of items you have to pay real money to have a go at. Why is this any different? Well, I will tell you!

The biggest problem is they’re untradable. That’s right, they’re account locked. This means that unlike with Arks Scratch Gold or whatever, if you get something you don’t want you can’t sell it off to someone who may want it! This sucks for everyone, because the people willing to pay don’t get to make any Meseta and the people not willing to pay  more than the Premium subscription fee are going to have a significantly harder time getting the outfits they want.

The rest is sort of a compound issue. First, unless you’re willing to spend cash beyond a premium subscription you will be acquiring Stat Gems very slowly. You’ll be getting them faster than you are now at least, as they’ll be changing the login stamp system to include a 5-Stargem ticket every 5 days. This means effectively you’ll be getting 2 per day if premium or 1 per day if freemium. Given it then costs 80 Stargems per attempt, combined with the fact you’re much more likely to get something you don’t want it’s a pretty shit deal.That’s like, one roll every 80 days for freemium and 40 days for premium players, worst case. That’s just to have a try, mind. Remember, it’s random what you get!

Now, we don’t actually know what the odds are for getting the outfits. It’s hard to tell as we don’t know the complete list of items the scratch will include, just that four of them will be outfits. Accessories will presumably be in judging by the fact that Persona’s mark isn’t forced on and there’s a chance that it may include other tickets like makeup or hair.

Ultimately, if you don’t want the Dark Falz outfits anyway you haven’t lost anything, but this situation is a real kick in the teeth for those who have been waiting for them to be released for some time.

I remember when they said that Star Gems would be restricted to stamina bars and things. Either I made that up or they sure turned on that quick…

 

Web Event

We’re going to the Sanctum this time! To fight all the dragons, or well most of the dragons. Also featuring Banthers because why not. This limited quest is the main focus of this years PSO2 anniversary and is your typical “run around until you max out the quest points” affair, with presumably the recent trend of ending the quest with some big encounter (which this time seems to be Goron Zoran plus another boss).

WebEventQuest

Seems like your general Web Event, complete with limited time Xie orders and Bingo cards. The main difference is this time we’ll also have the winners of the Weapon General Election as supposedly all-class 13*s. There is a rumour however that these weapons are incredibly weak (weaker even than Xie’s weapons), though I’m finding it difficult to find a source. They may still potentially fill in some sub-class weapon gaps (at least while Crafting is falling behind).

 

Boosted Profound Darkness

Double and Profound Darkness will be getting the same treatment that Elder got back in the day it seems. It’s a bit more like Loser’s boosted self for Extra Hard in that the pair of bosses have gained a number of new moves. This will also be lacking the Arks Effect buff present in the current quest.

Seeing as I never got round to posting it, here’s the trailer for it from the 41st broadcast.

While this is cool and all, I feel I need to point out that most of the reason Double and Profound Darkness are so easy in their current form is due to the Arks Effect buff trivializing their attacks. The pair are otherwise the most aggressive and among the hardest hitting bosses in the game. Like if you took the buff away, they’d already be considerably more difficult! I’m sure the additional moves will at least revitalize the quest for some people, though I am concerned that much of the new difficulty may be due to the fact that it’s a sea of particle effects making it difficult to actually mitigate incoming damage. Some attacks also seem like they hit excessively hard, like the chest laser Profound Darkness uses. Seriously, 1800+ damage? Why? Most people are running around with <900HP, even the tankier builds tend to not go over 1500. That level of damage seems excessively high, but it may be what’s required to make the boss remotely challenging to a 12-man MPA. Plus the attack does have a long windup, so it’s probably a lot more fair than the trailer makes it seem. Either way, I look forward to trying it out at least!

This will arrive with a new collection sheet for the “Ray Series” weapons. Not a lot to say about them, other than the fact they seem to have a decent amount of attack power and that I’m not really sure why they felt the need to add a new weapon series for this quest. Ray Sword has 1130 attack on it at +0, which puts it slightly above Seiga Sword and slightly below Sword Revolucio. No details at all on its potential, of course.

 

PA Customizations

THEY_REMEMBERED

They remembered this existed! Don’t panic, I’m sure they’ll forget about it again soon. You can see them in action in the first trailer but I’ll go over them briefly.

Other Cyclone Type Zero

Spin to win, baby! Much like with Twister Fall Zero you can hold the button to spin and spin and spin and spin. What’s more, it doesn’t seem to blow enemies away anymore.

Infinite Fire Type Zero

Remember when Infinite Fire was great? Well I’m not sure if this will bring it back into a usable state as I’m not sure how much additional power it’ll get (the notation shown is 2594% (thanks to this tweet), which is quite a bit higher than its current 1526%) . It does root you in place however, which is pretty risky so it had better be worth it.

Kestral Rampage Type Zero

Consume all your weapon’s Gear Gauge and go fucking apeshit with Dual Blades. It’s nice that they finally got an interesting Photon Art after all this time I guess, though honestly it looks so different to vanilla Kestral Rampage that I’m not sure why they didn’t just make this a new Photon Art. It’s not like Bouncer has too many Photon Arts… That said, it’s nice that they finally got a PA customization at all, though Jet Boots are now somewhat left out.

Type Zero Zonde and Type Zero NaZan

This is an interesting turn up. I did not expect techs to start to receive the same treatment as PA customizations. Zonde ends up being turned into something resembling Sattelite Cannon and NaZan changes into a small amount of damage followed by many small hits as the enemy is trapped in a whirlwind. We’ve seen too little of either tech to make any real assumptions as to what their practical uses are going to be, however.

While these are neat, not sure why it it took so long to have only 6 new customizations added. It still leaves this system dreadfully under-utilized which is a shame, but all the same it’s nice that they added any new ones at all. I wonder how long it will be before they add any more…

 

New Skill Rings

OK, it’s been a while since I posted. My last post was about the skill ring system. Since then, they’ve added 4 Skill Rings and now 2 more are on the horizon. The 4 they added before were AIS Exclusive rings and they were almost completely awful. Now they’re adding two more rings at least, both of which relate to resisting Status Effects.

Now, in my posts about this I voiced concern that their effort would fizzle out on this like it did with PA Customizations. So far, I feel like I’ve been proven pretty correct. The last four rings added literally nothing to the existing classes as they were just for AIS and these new rings will be added without expanding on the gathering system as they use a new event quest exclusive item named “Pure Photon”. Alright, I won’t deny it, my inventory is happy that they’re taking their time adding new gathering items and I’m not really a fan of the gathering system anyway. So my primary concern rests in the lack of new class augmentations that these rings were meant to provide. I mean there’s still nothing for Rangers in the left ring slot!

That said, it’s only been three months. It’s a little soon to be throwing my hands up all “Hah! I knew it was going to go the way of PA Customizations!”. There aren’t any new skill rings on the longterm schedule, but the schedule isn’t actually all-inclusive (as these new rings weren’t on there either). We’ll see! My cynical asshole senses are tingling that’s all.

 

Collaborations

As has been the norm for a long time, the collaborations keep on rolling out. I’m not too fussed mind as Collaborations have produced some genuinely cool outfits and it seems like just about anything fits in PSO2’s setting, so they’re really fairly harmless.

SakuraWars

This time we have Sakura Wars (and also Hagito) and Final Fantasy 14 stuff. Both of which for the most part look generally fantastic, with some great looking weapon camos thrown in for both collabs.

The FF14 selection includes both Miqo’te male and female outfits, as well as the relic outfits and weapons for White Mage, Black Mage, Dark Knight and Pugilist. Not sure on the gender limitations on the last outfits or if they’re Unisex as the trailer didn’t really demonstrate much. Seems like White Mage and Monk are female and Black Mage and Dark Knight male, which is a slight shame as it could have been an opportunity for some cool female armor. That all aside, the FF14 stuff all looks great. They did a fantastic job with this collaboration.

 

Question and Answers

Thanks to twitter user @kami_pepe for re-posting and summarizing the questions and answers during the broadcast I can attempt to post a summary of this section of the broadcast. I am however dependent on Google Translate and Bing so this is really my best interpretation. Let me know if I’m grossly wrong. I won’t re-post anything that gets truly mangled of course.

Q: Why is the post-quest photo-op on the deck of the Yamato after we destroyed it?

A: Cause it’s cool! Also because the photo didn’t fit in the landing craft.

Q: Does breaking the guns on Yamato yield extra drops?

A: No.

Q: What is a summoner’s pet?

A: Artificial life created from Photons. Not to be confused with robots.

Q: What’t the male/female ratio of the development team?

A: About 9:1 male:female.

Q: Are the timelines of PSO2 and the PSO2 Stage Play the same?

A: They’re considered parallel universes.

Q: Will Collection Files come back after they’ve expired?

A: Nope! This will be your only chance to get these weapons via collection files. Once the file expires, it’s gone forever.

I’m tempted to share my thoughts on collection files another time, but suffice to say I’m perplexed by the temporary nature of them. This makes no sense to me, so it’s even more perplexing to hear that they really are a limited-time deal and won’t be available later. 

Q: Is there a plan to add more Ultimate Quests?

A: In the distant future, yes.

Yes there was still no Ultimate Amduscia. Who knows when we’ll see it but this does suggest we will see it at some point at least.

Anyway, this was fun to write. Cheers if you read this far and let me know if I got anything horribly wrong.

 

Upcoming Content: Festa Part 2 and Gathering

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Some new details about upcoming content are out, in part from events and part from the update site itself. Check out Bumped’s summary of the Sapporo event here and the official update site here.

Embedding the trailer below:

Additional Story

What’s that? You wanted more slice of life high school anime in your PSO2? Well you’re in luck, my friend, as we’ll be hitting a number of anime tropes late February including a bath scene! I can feel myself dying inside already.

notXie

No, don’t get excited. This isn’t Xie, it’s just someone who looks a whole lot like her!

Between this and the actual anime, I will be honest I’m kind of holding out that some actual plot will happen at some point. Will it be this update? Probably not.

There is the persistent mystery of who ESC-A are (the company behind the magical wireless internet they have over there and the owner of the giant blue tower) and why their technology is having the effect that it is. I mean it’s managing to create life out of fantasy and projecting people’s PSO2 characters into the actual Arks fleet. They’re completely faceless at the moment and it’s kinda wierd… Earth also feels incredibly empty as well for a planet full of people, but then so did Harukotan and Amduscia; Both planets with some form of society and intelligent life.

There’s also the fact that all these wierd Arks are meant to be a recent phenomenon and even our boss, Ulc, doesn’t know where they’re coming from. After the events of Chapter 1, we know that they’re projections of characters played by Earthlings, sure. But the Anime is set 1 year prior to the events of Chapter 1 and there is an Arks operative freely travelling between Earth and the Arks Fleet. What’s up with that? By the way I have a horrible habit of getting invested into stupid plots for stupid things…

Part 2 of the Festa

Part 2 will arrive with a new bingo card as well as a new Limited Quest. The new one will function pretty much exactly the same as the current one with a few minor differences:

  • It will have some different enemies; essentially the ones that didn’t appear in the previous quest
  • Nemesis weapons will drop instead of Slave weapons
  • Caligulas seem to drop!

psfesta2016bingo2

The new bingo is only marginally better than what we have now if only because it gives 20 gold medals instead of 10. It’s still a fairly weak offering compared to cards of the past. I can’t tell if this replaces the current Bingo card or not given the video doesn’t show the menu navigation to it.

Gathering Info

Gonna just cut to the chase: this system will only be put in place in Forest, Ruins, Coast and Tokyo. That’s it. Why so few areas? Are they going to expand into others later? If so, why so few at first? I don’t get it.

bigthecat

When I first heard about the gathering system I was immediately cynical about it. We’ve had systems introduced to PSO2 in a half-assed state before and then subsequently completely forgotten about. Photon Art crafting is the major one. As I said at the time, “Prove this cynical shithead wrong, Phantasy Star Crew, see your system through!”. They might still! For all I know the Skill Ring and Cuisine systems might turn out to be excellent. They might expand on the system in a timely manner, eventually opening the system across the entire selection of fields. It’s just that starting off with a measly four is for me, kind of worrying. I’d understand if it was a feature that requires a party, as it’s not a good idea to split up the player-base too much for these things. But this is a solo activity…

I don’t really dislike the idea of gathering as if nothing else it does add some purpose in running around on the planets. The Skill Ring system does have some serious potential to be interesting, as it can augment our character skills in various ways if the listed abilities are anything to go by. For reference:

  • Double Saber Whirlwind Lv. 1
  • JG Heavenly Fall Lv. 1
  • JG Sonic Arrow Lv. 1
  • DB Snatch Lv. 1
  • KA Gear G Release Lv. 1
  • Killing Bonus Lv. 1

No, this is not the entire list (could you imagine?). There were some other skills mentioned as I recall, but I don’t know what they were. Who knows with Cuisines, frankly.

Also come on, we have a volcanic cavern peppered with ore veins and a mining facility filled with abandoned materials. We can’t go mining in the actual mine?

At least Henri will be back.

 

Extreme Quest Expansion

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It’s something we’ve known was coming for some time, but the exact nature of the update was left purely to speculation. A certain shot from a teaser trailer for unrelated content showed us a later version of the title counter, which seemed to suggest that we would be getting one new XQ and possibly new floors for the existing ones.

Dengeki recently posted an article talking about the January update, including information on scratches and other uninteresting stuff. This is concerning early January, so presumably these are the final Episode 3 updates.

Extreme Solo

On January 13th, a new Extreme Quest will be added, with a few restrictions.

doublefalz_not_falzdouble

It consists of a mere 10 floors and can only be cleared once per week. It also costs 5 Extreme Passes to run at all and as the subtitle suggests it can only be run solo. Clearing the quest will give you a chance at earning a class sticker. That’s it.

No information on new stones or new weapons, so it seems it isn’t quite the Extreme Quest update I was expecting at least. The quest itself does appear to be tough at a glance, with Ultimate bosses being hurled at you along with the above pictured brawl with both Angel and Hunar.

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Not sure what’s going to be more annoying here, the Nyaus or Karin…

While it’s nice to see a new quest aimed at solo players, it’s a little irritating that such a strict limit  and steep cost seems to be placed on it. There’s a chance that once the reward is better understood that this limit may prove necessary. The rewards hinted at so far also don’t seem to justify the apparent difficulty and cost of the quest. Maybe they haven’t revealed all the details yet, but at this point I’m cynical enough to believe that they think a random chance at a bit of aesthetics you can barely see is reward enough.

If this is all there is to the XQ update then I would say I’m extremely disappointed… heh heh… heh.

Thanks to EspioKaos for some clarification.

36th Broadcast Trailers, Info and Thoughts

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The monstrous 36th broadcast has just drawn to a close. This won’t be a complete run-down of things (you can find a summary on Bumped here), it will instead be a collection of trailers and things I thought were worth commenting on.

Update Trailers

First, the return of Arks Ship Fire Swirl! Put out the people on fire by shooting them, awh yeah! No lies I actually quite liked this quest so I’m glad to see it making a return. It’s good to have more quests which have goals other than “kill things” or “kill things quickly”.

Also featured is a 4-man Challenge Mode Quest which features pre-set class builds for you to pick from. Unlike other Challenge Mode Quests, it won’t feature multiple stages or shops and unfortunately is only a temporarily available quest as part of the Arks GP contest. Pity.

MORE school girl outfits. Does the player-base not have enough? Will they ever be satiated!?

On a more positive note, seems Zieg will offer weapon camos of the genesis weapons and various legendary weapons wielded by the council and other NPCs. Some pretty cool weapons among them. You will apparently need an item to exchange for them that you can only get from clearing all of an episode’s Matterboards to 100%.

Harukotan is also getting a time attack quest. Seems I might finally need to work out how to kill Anjhadu-lili quickly. It also features Gal Gryphon, making it the first permanently available quest that will feature the boss. Lv70 should be below the drop tier that includes its 13*s though, so no need to get excited. Of course it comes with its own Time Attack Client Order, rewarding 160,000 Meseta.

I WANT TO COMMIT GENOCIDE AGAINST THAT SMALL BOY AND HIS PEOPLE. HOLY BALLS. I have seen a few seconds of him and I already hate him more than I hate Matoi.

New Story and Christmas quest

Meet Aurora, because none of the lolis in PSO2 were loli enough! As it seems, she is the previous host of Apprentice before it tried to take over the young Eucrita. Might explain her obsession with youth I guess. It seems this episode may act as a story explanation for either Ultimate Lilipa or some extra exposition for Mining Base Defense. Could just be Lilipa in general I guess.

Interested enough to see what’s going on, anyway. This chapter will be an extra chapter for Episode 3, possibly acting as a prologue to Episode 4. Plus there might be the chance of obtaining Eucrita’s partner card which should get certain people excited (if only she was wearing her Falz dress…).

Speaking of which, seeing as the Dark Falz story is done where are the Falz avatar outfits? I want to wear Persona’s coat, damnit! Gimme gimme gimme!

Also some collaboration stuff but who cares.

The Christmas quest seems to be the same fair as last year, only this time it has gained Gal Gryphon because it needs to be in EVERY EQ for some reason. It will also be the first quest to feature the humanoid form of the Profound Darkness outside of the story; Dio Hunar. Actually every single Falz humanoid can spawn in this quest, making it potentially a good place to obtain Nero stones from for Austere weapons.

Ares Weapon Exchange

The interesting thing here is that they will be adding a new exchange shop for Ares weapons. With 60 Ares stones you can obtain a 20% Ares weapon, meaning you’ll need 180 for a complete weapon. Of course, Dio Hunar can drop them, but you can also get them by exchanging unwanted Ares Weapons for 20 stones per weapon. Not the greatest exchange rate but it’s nice that you can do something with the unwanted weapons. I bet the people who threw away Ares weapons for inventory space are feeling a bit sour, though…

Theory Time

This is just a thought I had, but given that Apprentice was seemingly adept at summoning things to an ability that far out–classes the other Dark Falzes and seeing as both of the Apptentice hosts have decided to show up, I can’t help but speculate that this is how the Summoner class may be introduced into the story.

It’s possible that they were already summoners and that Apprentice simply used their powers for its own gain, or that the pair may have gained some abilities from Apprentice allowing them to create a new class. Suppose we may see in a couple of months… It’s just a thought, it could be complete bullshit.

Mining Base Defense 4: Demise

This is the final Mining Base Defence quest and it promises to be the hardest yet. The very first wave had a Dark Vibrace spawn! Additionally, all three Dark Falz humanoids will be joining the fight, making for an incredibly intense quest.

By wave 3, corrupted AIS will start attacking the towers. These corrupted AIS seem to be resistant to Weak Bullet, not sure if this weakness applies to other enemies. The corrupted AIS can seemingly deal massive amounts of damage to towers if they’re allowed to, but they don’t seem to be particularly durable. They also give a fairly long time before they fire their photon cannons, though they do seem to fire them upon spawning.

The quest also features a new enemy, “Damoth” (internally referred to as buglegion”). As their internal name might suggest, they’re small but swift swarming enemies. The demonstration seemed to imply they have a very low amount of HP each, making me wonder if they’re actually a mob that players should prioritise instead of AIS going after them.

Of course, this is also going to be Apprentice’s full form’s debut. During the final wave, Apprentice will smash its way onto the arena and give you all an earful.
Remember, you’re still in a Mining Base Defense quest, and Dark Falz is as eager to destroy them as it was to prey upon small girls. It can seemingly summon
corrupted AISes, small bombs and possibly other things not shown as well as throw a considerable number of its own attacks at players. It also features a giant
laser beam, because everything is better with giant lasers. The actual mechanics of this beam aren’t that well understood as far as I know, though the trailer
does show what amounts to a Dragon Ball Z-like energy beam battle between Apprentice and a giant laser cannon.

Notably it’s called “DF Apprentice Gia”. Not sure what the significance of this is, but it might have to do with the seeming reality that Apprentice currently lacks a host and by this point also lacks a creator as the Profound Darkness has been repelled. It could be that the body is acting on it’s own accord, but this is just speculation.

The quest looks like it’ll be a hectic experience at least, which is fine. My worry is just that the inherent lack of teamwork present in random groups is going to create considerable annoyance in trying to get any good items from the quest. Remember, Mining Base Defense scales its drop rolls depending on how well you do. Though anything better than a C-rank was fine in previous quests.

Also oh dear at that lobby action… oh dear indeed. I assume they’re syncing up character actions there because if you can just perform romantic domination on anyone you feel like it could get a might uncomfortable in the lobbies!

Episode 4 Tidbits

The first bit of news is the next episode will be arriving on the 27th of January. For something releasing in a mere three months I feel we have shockingly little information about it but hey, they have time to say things. They did at least unveil a couple of new things; additional character customization options and a new class.

Before that, a short tidbit about characters and storage. Character warehouse storage can be taken up from 300 to 1000 slots through Arks Cash. The character’s inventory (item pack) can be expanded to 150 slots through Arks Cash.

The first revealed feature is that a number of new customization options will be added to the game, including accessory rotation and scaling. Additionally, you will be able to finally adjust your character’s waist, butt size, neck size and head size. These are nice to see as it’s currently nearly impossible to adjust these parts of your character without altering too much of the rest of their build. There’s also a modifier added for the head and neck, allowing you to scale both. The absolute monstrosities this will allow players to create should be impressive, but I am pleased they added these.

A second body paint has been added, allowing you to combine body paints.

You can also preview your character in different locations in the game and adjust
the lighting conditions. The latter I’m particularly impressed by as its something so few character creators do, which can create some annoying discrepancies between
what you see in the character editor and what you end up seeing wandering around in the world. The perfectionist is due to get some powerful tools to help them out soon!

Finally, you can adjust the position of your weapon on your back. No longer will you have to put up with your weapons mysteriously floating 3 feet behind you! Potentially, anyway.

Overall gotta say I’m impressed, although those bothered by silly-looking characters might not like the monstrosities these new features are sure to spawn. I’m sure
there are going to be a good number actually nice-looking combinations.

I also have no real clue what the trailer music may be. It could be a theme of the boss of whatever area the phantom-type enemies belong to, but that’s kind of a shot in the dark.

New Class: Summoner

Seems the data-mining was on the money with this one, as the Summoner class was confirmed. As the name suggests, it’s a pet-based class with a number of Pokemon-like critters at its disposal. The summoner directs their minion around using a weapon akin to an orchestra conductor’s baton.

Beyond that, there isn’t a terribly large amount known about how the class will work. Presumably we’ll be getting details at a later date. At the very least,
like other classes it will come with its own outfit. I suspect it may be an AC item like Bouncer’s class outfit turned out to be…

The summons themselves are kind of sickeningly cutesy, which is fine. There’s nothing wrong with that, but given the diversity our characters can show
it might be nice to have some more bad-ass or outright monstrous summons as well. I’m sure they haven’t shown every single kind of summon the class has
at its disposal.

Besides the aesthetics of the class summons, I’m a bit concerned with how this class is going to fit into a game such as PSO2. PSO2 is a fairly intense action game, so having a class where your character is essentially just standing around may feel jarring. That said, it does seem to behave as a weapon rather than an independently functioning entity, so the class’s performance won’t necessarily be dependent on random number making the AI do the right things at the right time. I’m also curious to know if the summons are tied to the weapons or if a Summoner can freely use other weapons alongside their summons. If they can’t, this could seriously impact the class’s viability as a sub-class, as it may not offer any useful skills to them while also potentially denying them the ability to summon. If they can, it wasn’t demonstrated. Their un-named weapon seems to allow them to use something like Mirage Escape (the sound, speed and visual effects seem different to it). They were not demonstrated as being able to cast Techs.

I’m also disappointed that the summoner is more Pokemon and less Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure.I guess I’m not going to go dropping a steamroller on a Rockbear anytime soon…

They also don’t really seem like the R-atk T-atk hybrid that people were assuming was going to happen. The assumption was that they might end up with a magic pistol or something which isn’t something without precedent. Persona 3 let you summon things with pistols! Having your character shooting themselves in the head might not be terribly appealing I guess.

I’m willing to give the class a chance, so I guess in the meantime we’re just going to have to wait until they reveal more information about it.

Things not said

Still no Ultimate Amduscia! For that matter, nothing on Extreme Quests either, however it was noted by a user of PSO-World that the titles shown during one of the trailers suggested that we would be getting a new Extreme Quest as well as new floors. This is because each quest has 5 different tiers of Stage Order titles. While cool, guess you can say goodbye to 4 more inventory slots, potentially!

Other than that I believe we’re pretty much set for the road towards Episode 4. We don’t know terribly much about it yet, but I imagine we’ll be due another broadcast soon tat will reveal more. Hopefully not another 15 hour one, though. Those poor people by the end looked like they wanted to just keel over and die…

Let me know if I got any information wrong or if any looser parts were in fact clarified during the stream and I just missed it.

The Profound Update

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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!

MY INVENTORY!! Part 2: Storage Expansion

another_banner_of_lisa_being_crazy

It’s finally time for a follow-up post to my original inventory woes. Seems we will indeed be getting a storage expansion and what’s more it’s for free! However, there are some conditions that do apply to this which I’m going to go over in this post.

These changes are set to arrive some time in January.

Character Storage

This is the major new addition and is completely free. Each character you have will have its own personal inventory storage. This will contain items only for that character and items in it cannot be transferred to other characters. Each character will be able to hold 300 items each, which can be expanded permanently with Arks Cash. The time of the mule is coming, given you could now roll an alt for an additional 350 storage slots.

If your character transfers ship, their personal storage will be transferred with them. Given how seemingly unstable transferring is at the moment (causing such severe issues that they had to change how the EQ system worked to a degree just to prevent them) I can’t help but worry that the addition of this character-bound storage may introduce even more hilarious serious issues whenever people decide to jump ships.

Storage Changes

On a more minor note, Premium storage space will be expanded by 100 slots, bringing it up to 400. Basic and OTP storages are not being expanded.

storage_box

Extra rental storage will also not be being expanded, but it will have additional restrictions place upon it. You will no longer be able to send items to or sell items from any of your Extra Storage boxes. You will have to go to a storage terminal in order to interact with it. The “display all storages” tab also won’t show any items in the Extra Storage boxes. These changes will not apply to your other storages.

Sega admits that this is a downgrade but has deemed it necessary to do in order to implement the other changes for whatever reason. Given how flimsily put together their database seems to be, I wouldn’t be surprised that their hands really are tied on this issue. Sega being Sega.

So ultimately this is what your new warehouse is going to look like:

  • Basic Storage 200 slots
  • Character Storage 300 slots (permanently expandable via AC)
  • Premium Storage 400 slots
  • Extra Storage 1 500 slots
  • Extra Storage 2 500 slots
  • Extra Storage 3 500 slots
  • Extra Storage 4 500 slots
  • Extra Storage 5 500 slots
  • OTP Storage 200 slots
Thoughts

Hey it’s additional storage space, I’ll take it! While the changes to Extra Storage seem bizarre and un-necessary, it honestly won’t affect the vast majority of the player-base anyway as most people never rent the additional storage. This is more of an issue for Sega themselves, as it makes the extra storages seem less worthwhile.

While this does go some way to alleviate storage issues caused by all the currencies that they keep insisting on adding, I still feel an actual currency storage would have been a preferred change. As it is, this doesn’t prevent them from adding ever more currencies to eventually screw us down the line again anyway.

Also my storage issues are partly caused by how annoying it can be to sort through which items are worth selling on the player shops and which can just be NPC’d. Some UI improvements could go a long way to helping deal with inventory management, as to an extent additional storage space just adds additional work on the player’s part.

These details may be subject to change. Please let me know if anything in this post is inaccurate.

Towards the Future: 36th Broadcast and Episode 4

Nyauuuuu

The 36th Broadcast has been announced and it’s a whopping 15 hours long. Yeah that\s right, 15 freaking hours. What the shit!?

It starts at 2:00PM and ends at 5:00AM in Japan time. which is ridiculous. Do they really expect their fans to stay awake that long? More to the point the hosts are gonna be shattered themselves, surely? This does however mean that for once I won’t have to lose a night’s sleep just to catch the broadcast live this time! Manta’s created a timezone table here.

Anyway bemusement at the length of the broadcast aside, this post is mostly going to be looking at things they’re announcing and what may or may not turn up at the show. So mostly speculation and pondering over announced and data-mined content.

The broadcast is planned to include the following:

  • Information on November and December content
  • New information about Episode 4
  • Live-playthrough of the Arks GP preliminaries and Mining Base: Demise.
  • Setlist for the Sympathy 2015 concert
  • Phantasy Star Festa 2016 details
  • Developer Q and A
  • Chats with PSO series staff
  • PSO2 Anime news

There’s also a sub-channel but that’s just going to be celebrities streaming.

Main Channel

Sub Channel

It’s Nico, so you’re likely going to want to find some fan re-stream if you want to catch it live. Unless you’re a subscriber in which case you probably have more money than sense anyway. If you can’t catch it live, don’t worry because people will almost certainly upload the more important parts to Youtube and I’ll endeavor to collect information into a post as I normally do.

Stuff No One Cares About

Among the updates are anime and video game collabs. There’s also going to be some new information about the PSO2 anime including characters and zzzzz…

Moving on.

Information on November and December Updates

Notably there doesn’t seem to be much room for actual updates in November. October will be ending with the Dark Falz Double and Profound Darkness Emergency Quest, making it a major month for story content but November just seems to be getting an anime collaboration and perhaps a Limited Quest.

December on the other hand could be more interesting. Among the things we know are arriving are Mining Base Defense 4: Demise, in which we face off against Dark Falz: Apprentice and corrupted AIS in what looks to be the most hectic Mining Base Defense yet. If the Profound Darkness has been defeated before this quest is set in the storyline, the Darkers aren’t going quietly into the night it seems!

Other possible things for December include a new Time Attack Quest and the Extreme Quest expansion. Presumably the Time Attack Quest is set on Harukotan, seeing as it’s the only planet without one at this point. As discussed in a previous post, the Extreme Quest expansion could either be new floors with Extra-Hard level enemies or it could be a Harukotan themed Extreme Quest. It could be both! This carries with it the possibility of a new weapon series, which has a decent chance at being 13* rarity. I’ll be hedging my bets for this in the meanwhile by doing full runs of the quests to save up on stones, but there’s obviously no guarantee that if they do add new weapons that they’ll be worth shooting for, especially as the stones will also used for Austere weapons by then.

Episode 4: Reborn

This is likely on the forefront of the minds of the playerbase right now. With Episode 3 coming to a rather definitive end and the very existence of the Darkers now under question the Arks seem to be going foward without a nemesis. This leaves room for a brand new threat to arise, which leaves me eagerly wondering where they might be taking the game next.

The data we have so far isn’t definitive enough to make any solid predictions either. Right now the only major tidbits we have are the possibility of a new class and the “phantom” enemies.

The phantoms seem to be military themed, with tanks, helicopters and various classes of soldiers among them. This suggests the possibility of a new planet or at least a foe with technology far beyond any enemy encountered so far. Well, any aside Lilipa that is. This leads me to ponder the possibility that the phantoms could be native Lilipans, either returning to the planet or some wibbly-wobbly timey-space stuff happens and in the newly altered timeline they never left. Yeah there’s not really enough information to go on, not even any new planets or areas that the phantoms could belong to. Sadly, planet and area data doesn’t seem to arrive ahead of time anymore. Assuming the phantoms are the new big bad could be like datamining Naberius enemies and determining that the grand threat in Episode 1 was a bunch of monkeys and a giant cat. That said, if it was a separate threat you’d think we’d be seeing the Episode 4 equivalent of “antsoldier” (El Dagan) or something.

As for the new class, it was found a while ago that Episode 4 files contain references to “Summoner” PAs as well as at least one summon-able pet. There isn’t enough data to definitively say that it’s a new class and not a mechanic that’s just available to all players. That said, a Summoner class could conceivably fill in the R-Atk T-Atk hybrid they have yet to add to the game.

As for what they will actually say and show is anyone’s guess. I’m more hopeful for some tidbits that might help with speculation over the details we know, though anything beyond a release date would be nice!

Surprise Trailer

As often is the case with these broadcasts, they drop an unannounced trailer at the end. They don’t always do it, they didn’t last time, but if they do I feel it will almost certainly be a teaser for Ultimate Amduscia. I mean come on, it’s been in the data for a year now. If it’s going to be a thing that happens this side of Episode 4 they’re going to have to announce it soon! Though it could well be post Episode 4 content or not happen at all.

I’m curious to see what ultimate Dragon Ex, Quartz Dragon and Tranmizer-dragon will look like!