PSO2 Station #7 Writeup

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Not a lot to go over with this one, honestly. Much of it was just going over stuff we’d already seen from the last broadcast with some additional details along with the new roadmap. An oddly dull set of updates, in my opinion.  Episode 4 seems set to go out with a fizzle rather than a bang.

Oh one thing to make clear right at the start is there was no info at all about Episode 5 this time. I expect we’ll get something in the May broadcast.


Trailers

With thanks to Goukezitsu for uploading these as usual.

Deus Esca, Wedding Lobby and more Design Contest winners and Phaleg fight.

Rainy Season 2017, Episode 4 oufits (Kohri and Enga)

PSO2es May Update. Usual guff, new weaponoids (more male ones at that!).

5 Year anniversary project. Cosmetics and Lobby Actions. An Offline event.

Towards the Fu- I mean Arks Battle Chronicle! Plus new Quna concert


Deus Esca: Grasia

In early May, the Deus Esca raid will be getting a follow-up quest which you gain access to after clearing the raid; a rematch against a tougher version of the boss with 3 other players instead of 11. This requires lv80/80 however, so if you haven’t finished levelling up you might want to abuse the boost week while it’s up.

The 4-man version additionally has a quest fail condition; your party must not suffer more than 5 incapacitations total or the quest automatically fails. Sure hope you don’t get lumped with someone who keeps dying…

The trailer doesn’t really reveal any insights into the boss’s mechanics still. We see it doing a sweeping attack that deals in the region of 60K damage so I guess that’s the good old fashioned Raid-wipe attack. Presumably it also has the damage cap like the regular version of the boss, so SuGu won’t be able to cheese it as hard.

While I do hope it is trickier than the regular raid I kinda hope its not too much. This is content that occurs randomly after all, which in my opinion is an inappropriate place to make content that’s too difficult. What’s more is each character’s individual performance and build becomes much more important when there’s fewer characters in the quest, so any badly geared horror story is going to have much more impact than they would in a full raid… All the more motivation to start making friends!

Weapons and Units

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The only thing of note here is confirmation that the difference between Zeinesis and Qliphad weapons is entirely cosmetic. They both have exactly the same stats and presumably will also have the same three potentials. You can even swap Qliphad back to Zeinesis if you prefer the look of it.

  • Zeinesis to Qliphad requires a Zeinesis weapon and 120 Qliphad Fuses.
  • Qliphad to Zeinesis requires a Qliphad weapon.

A kind of one-sided exchange considering the only real difference between the weapons is looks, but I guess they intended Qliphad to be kind of the prestige version of the weapon.

You apparently only get one fuse per clear, mind, which means 120 clears of the raid for one weapon. Kinda nasty, but you might get lucky and have a Qliphad drop from Deus Esca Grasia (Zephytos drops Zeinesis).

I actually didn’t cover the weapon potentials when they were announced, so here’s what we know about them from the Arks Live broadcast a while ago:

  • Boost Affix transfer rate by 10%
  • Recovers party member HP every 30 seconds and boosts party damage
  • Doubles the numeric value of affixes (example: Power 3 becomes 60 S-Atk instead of 30)

So lacking some important details. The stat-boost potential might actually be interesting for some classes if it also boosts the affixes on your units (particularly for Katana Braver).

Units on the other hand do appear to have some differences. Qliphad seem to have slightly lower defense and offer no element resistences unlike Zeinesis. At this point we know absolutely nothing about what the units offer but just be aware it does seem like there may be a functional difference between the two. Unit upgrades require 60 Qliphad fuses per unit as well as a Zeinesis unit.

Deus Esca’s rematch is set to arrive in early May.


Phaleg Side Story

They only really announced a couple of tidbits for this quest. Essentially, the only reward for the fight will be a title for the class you cleared the quest on. So really it’s just a bonus Super-Boss style encounter, which is to say it’s entirely optional. As such, they’re free to make the quest as difficult as they like and it certainly does seem like the quest will be extremely difficult if it lives up to the hype.

The quest disables the use of Scape Dolls and Half Dolls, but it also implements the healing reduction that was present in the Odin quest. This means that all sources of healing will be 20% as effective as normal (that is, a Trimate will only heal 20% of your HP and Monomate a mere 6%). You’ll also need to defeat her in 6 minutes or less.

Its kind of hard to gauge how much damage she does, as the test character is using Guard Stance to muddy the waters a bit but she seems plenty aggressive and possibly deals plenty of damage. This combined with the restrictions on healing does have the potential to make the encounter quite a tough one, though much like the Odin quest this does effectively mean class combos with access to Resta will have a pretty huge advantage. I also suspect Megiverse will be entirely useless.

The footage also reveals that Phaleg is weak to ice, which suggests to me that Ice Force combos are going to be the ones that will find this quest the easiest unless she has some modifier for Tech damage..

Phaleg will have the damage cap fix enabled, which means you will not be able to deal more than 999,999 damage to her per hit. This is an attempt to prevent SuGu from cheesing it, but it also affects BrGu and of course main-class Gunner variants as well as class combos that took advantage of Banish/Graptor. That said, 999,999 damage is still quite a lot and honestly if the likes of the Maron revolver still have trouble taking Phaleg down when they can on-demand deal nearly a million damage I dread to think the issues other class combos are going to have against her…

This fight also lacks an HP bar on the enemy, which for a challenging fight is annoying because you’ll have no idea how close you came each time you fail.

You can do battle with the ARKS favorite anime cliche in early May.


Arks Battle Chronicle

For the 5th Anniversary event we’ll be getting a special quest paying tribute to all of the major content updates along the way.

As well as starring the regular encounters from free fields it’ll also be re-using story mode and emergency quest enemies, with Theodore, Aratron and Dark Vibrace being among the long list of enemies to battle your way through. It also has things like Apos Dorios, which I believe is the first time that boss has ever appeared outside of its raid quest.

There’s quite a lot of hefty looking encounters in this quest, to the point where I wonder if what we’re seeing is actually multiple different quests that are all part of the same event? One for each episode, perhaps?

There’s currently no actual date set on this, but I assume it’s arriving in early June.


The Final Roadmap

…For Episode 4. There’s going to be another when Episode 5 hits.

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So yeah, Episode 5 is going to hit in the Summer. Other than that, to quote Bumped:

Current Update

  • 12 Person Raid Boss
  • Added Emergency Quest Rematch
  • Design Contest Scratch
  • Episode 4 Side Story

5th Anniversary Event: Phantasy Star Festa 2017 Online

  • 5th Anniversary Web Event [ARKS BATTLE CHRONICLE]
  • New LIVE Event
  • Boosted Raid Boss & Boosted Raid Boss Rematch
  • Frame Arms and Frame Arms Girl Collaboration
  • Famous Designer Collaboration Scratch
  • Tokyo Field Real Store Collaboration Part 3

So yeah, a kind of bare-bones roadmap overall. The only noteworthy item there that isn’t already covered in this post is the possibility that the boosted raid boss is referring to Phantom Ship Yamato. While this could be the case, I’m kind of curious how the rematch quest would work for that, given it’s a 4-man quest and I imagine the missile section would be quite tricky with 4 people…

That said, data-mining supports the hypothesis that it’s a boosted Yamato, as “PhantomShipEx” does exist in the game’s data. “Ex” is a term reserved for boosted versions of raid-bosses in the past.


Thoughts

Seems like a regular set of content updates as far as I’m concerned. New seasonal quest, new event quest, some story stuff and a new raid. That’s not too bad for 2 months all in all, and yet somehow it feels… lacking.

Is any of it interesting? I can’t say I’m jumping for joy at it all, except for the Arks Battle Chronicle cause that looks fun. I think my lack of excitement is just I don’t care a lot about the Raid in terms of the story. Ardem just was not that interesting an enemy; in fact everything past Escafalz Mother feels tacked on to me. The rewards for the raid are also not terribly interesting on the face of it, but that may change as more details are revealed. As for the fight itself, who knows the fight might be fun and it might still drop a decent amount of cubes or something worthwhile.

It could well be that the game is just starting to feel its age. Maybe it’s getting stale or the developers are getting sick of working on it and we the audience are unknowingly sensitive to this.

Or it could be that I and others got themselves hyped up for Episode 5 and felt a bit let down when nothing was said! In fairness, it makes more sense to wait until the actual fifth anniversary before they say something (indeed, I speculated as such some time ago).

It could also just be that the upcoming stuff just feels too by the numbers. We expect a seasonal quest, we expect a raid boss every few months and an event here and there. That they’re delivering on it is absolutely fine (indeed, preferable) but it’s hard to be excited when there are no surprises. I don’t know, I’m theorycrafting here and probably overthinking it.

PSO2 Station 6 Writeup

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It’s that time again! The 6th PSO2 Station went out earlier and it introduced a bunch of new trailers and some things to discuss. This time around we have new PVP features, Easter 2017, a glimpse of the new raid-boss Deus Esca Zephyros and the final part of the PSU celebration.

Also, say “エピソード4いよいよ完結” in-game before the 29th to get yourself a bunch of voice tickets!

Trailers

Easter 2017. Includes the Easter lobby, weapon and costume design contest winners (including Sadinian Suit for you wannabe Argonians out there) and the final chapter of Episode 4. Curiously does not include any Easter Seasonal quest…

A lot of stuff in this next one. Battle arena update, including new weapons and a skill system. Also a mini Rappy suit, the return of Annette and Jean (with Bruno as a new arrival), new Timed Abilities, Fashion catalogue system, furry themed costumes and the new Raid Boss.

For the final part of the Phantasy Star Universe celebration: Laia, Lumia and Beast face.

So yeah, a few bits to go through. I’ll only go over the stuff I personally feel is interesting to talk about, but as always you can find a full recap over at Bumped.


Battle Arena Update

So the update introduces 3 new weapons and an expansion to the system in the form of skills. So yeah, the mode has barely been out and they’re already adding a brand new system to it…

Yeah I know, that sounds like the most pointless whine and it probably is but I feel like for something competitive like this introducing something that can completely shatter the meta so soon after releasing it just feels wrong to me. That said, the mode as it stands does lack depth, so perhaps the addition of the skill system will go some way to address this… maybe. It’s just it feels like rather than this being an update it instead comes across as they released the mode before it was properly finished and are only now rolling out the rest of the features they wanted for it. Maybe I’m overthinking this, though.

New Weapons

The new weapons this time are Bullet Bow and Jet Boots.

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Bullet Bows come with Last Nemesis, which is an attack that takes a very long time to charge but hits very hard when it fires. It also has considerable rage in PvE but it remains to be seen how much of that is kept for the PvP version.

I can’t imagine Last Nemesis really successfully hitting many people in battles unless they’re distracted, because the charge time is so long and well telegraphed that outside of corridors people are going to have plenty of opportunity to either head for cover or attack you while it’s charging up. even in a corridor situation, a Sword user could block it and if the latency is low enough it should be trivial to time your i-frames around the fire time.

That said, one thing to remember about Bullet Bows is their normal attack damage is actually quite high. This makes them a potentially powerful ranged attack which doesn’t even require PP to utilize.

PVPJetboots

Jet Boots are going to be a pretty interesting addition as well. They retain their ability to double-jump, making these the most mobile weapons in the mode so far. It also lets you attack from angles that other weapons currently can’t by allowing you to jump up to areas that are otherwise tricky to access. Effectively they’re gonna be the Genji of this game if that makes any sense to you.

Jetboots come with two Photon Arts: Gran Wave and Strike Gust.

Gran Wave retains its ability to home in on players, though the demo footage suggests it might be tricky to actually land it on people. It could be the demo player was bad at using it but it just seems like it can whiff pretty easily. It also retains its shift action though, which is an absurdly long period of i-frames. This could let you zoom in for an attack then try to use your i-frames to escape. It does not retain its ability to cast Deband, however which would be pretty ridiculous if it could.

Strike Gust shift-action seems like it’s a hard hitter, though it has much smaller range than the likes of Nova Break or Rising Edge. I could maybe see it being used to get a surprise attack from above, but other than that I feel like this PA would be too easy to miss with and might leave you too vulnerable. It does not retain its Shifta effect.

So yeah, the pair of weapons seem like they’ll be interesting additions to the mode at least. Bullet Bows will grant a back-line sniper role that may be more effective than current sniping options and Jetboots seem to suit a more assassin type of playstyle. These are my thoughts of course, it’s hard to tell exactly where these weapons will fit into the meta until people have had the chance to try them.

One downside I can think of is there will be a bigger pool of items that are going to be randomly assigned when you use one of the weapon nodes. This means you’re going to be less likely to get the weapons you want or the ones your team needs than you are currently. This problem will only get worse if they add more weapon in the future (and datamining does suggest there are more to come, including Katana and Launcher if I recall correctly)

PVP Skill System

Either at the start of a Battle or whenever you respawn (it’s not exactly clear) you’ll get the choice between 3 different skills to take. These 3 are randomly chosen out of a pool of 5 different skills, because the game mode needed yet more randomness.

Once you pick a skill, it gets added to your action bar and you can use it a certain number of times. There seems to be no apparent cool-down on these skills.

Protection 

Massively reduces the amount of damage you take for a period of time.

It’s essentially an on-command use of the spawn-room buff you get whenever you re-spawn. It looks like it reduces damage by around 90% which is pretty crazy as it’d allow you to pretty much tank any attack the game currently has including Rising Edge. Might allow Sword users to jump into a pile of enemies without fear to help break a bunkered team in the rainbow emblem spawn area perhaps.

Sprint

Increases your movement speed for a short time.

Straightforward ability. The demo footage uses it to get behind enemy lines quickly which is what I imagine the main use of this skill would end up being. It could also be used as an escape tool, though it might not work that well if the enemy is using ranged attacks (or you’re lagging…). Seems to be a pretty minor buff to movement speed, so I don’t know I’m honestly not sure this skill would have much of an impact generally.

Stun Shot

Fires a fast moving projectile that inflicts a short duration stun on enemies.

If you want to make PVP an un-fun experience a surefire way to do it is to add crowd-control abilities. Stunning a player successfully pretty much turns it into a guaranteed kill if you have a followup attack to use with it. Combine this with lag and this either has the potential to become one of the most frustrating abilities in the mode or one of the most unreliable. It depends on how it interacts with lag, really.

PP Unlimited

Massively reduces the PP consumed by Techs and PAs

I feel like the application of this skill should be obvious. The ability to spam your PA without consequence is kind of major.

Cure

Recovers HP and cures status effects

Effectively quadruples your HP pool. This could be potentially nasty if combined with the relatively high HP that sword grants but naturally the ability to self-heal is a powerful addition to any weapon type.

Thoughts

I have serious concerns about this system for the health of the mode. Now, my concerns in the past have proven needless before (I will never forget my post on Bouncers..) but I honestly think these skills in general will make the mode more frustrating than it is now.

Now you may rightly point out that other PVP games have skills just like this, what’s the issue? I argue the issue lies in the fact that anyone could have any skill. In other PVP games you can tell either by their class or by the character the enemy is using what skills they’re likely to have at their disposal. So you can potentially bait out dangerous skills or anticipate abilities that might be dangerous to you and decide whether you can countermeasure them or just choose not to engage because you’ll likely lose if you do. You can do that in PvP at the moment because you can see the enemy’s weapon which gives you some idea of how you could go about fighting them. Do they have a Sword? If you have One Point it’s not a wise idea to engage unless there’s considerable distance or they’re distracted. Do you have Piercing Shell? You can greatly cripple their survivability! You can make these kinds of decisions when you have some idea of what abilities the enemy is going to have; you can’t with the skill system because it’s completely random.

It’s also an additional level of RNG at the spawn. What happens if one team ends up with a majority of a skill that the other team rolled no effective counters to? For example, the enemies get majority Cure and none of yours do? One team is likely to utterly stomp the other! This could be a real issue as winning a fight early gives you control over the Rainbow Emblem spawning area, which can be very difficult for the losing team to take back. .

I’m not even going to go into the issues that lag could create with these skills…

But as I said, I’m not sure if these skills are assigned at the start of a match only or if they’re rolled every time you die. It’s also probably not going to be as bad as I suggest it is, honestly.

New Battle Coin Items

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You can obtain the new Jet Boots and Bullet Bow as weapon camos. You can also obtain Rappy Suit Mini for the princely sum of 100,000 coins!

I should note that being smaller doesn’t reduce the size of your hitbox in this game, however it might make you harder to spot…

All of this will be arriving late April.


Phantasy Star Universe Part 3

So yeah, data-mining was right about Laia and Lumia joining us in the final part of this event. Laia arrives sporting Guardians Formal and wielding her signature weapon “Laia Axe”, which turned out to be a Partizan. Lumia meanwhile is sporting the Guardians Uniform F and is wielding her rod the Viedima, which is a low-tier rod made by GRM (a weapons company in Phantasy Star Universe).

So in the end it seems they decided to create a new face model type for Laia. I was curious how they were gonna handle her beastly features. I’m also quite glad to see Guardians Formal make its way to PSO2 as it’s one of my favorite outfits from the game and it doesn’t look like they went too nuts with the physics on it. As for how it looks, it does seem rather flat like other PSU model ports, but it’s hard to really tell with compressed video.

Beyond that the event will see the revival of a bunch of different Phantasy Star cosmetics, including a lot of the PSP2 outfits we already have and the addition of the default Beast costumes from PSP2:Infinity among other things.

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You’ll also be able to get the Beast face model for your character…. if you’re willing to shell out enough cash because they stuck it in the Bonus Scratch. God damn it.

And that’s it for the Phantasy Star Universe event. In the end it was some crossover characters and a large pile of cosmetics. Pretty nifty as I like the characters and some of the oufits, I’m just a little disappointed that we didn’t get any of the bosses like they did for the PSO event.

The final visit from the Guardians of Gurhal will start mid-April and they’ll be around in the lobby until the 7th of June.


Deus Esca Zephyros

The boss whose name just keeps on growing it seems. The (probably) last raid boss of Episode 4 will be arriving in late April.

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Like the Yamato quest, the first part will see the Arks going up against hordes of heavenly Phantom Angel enemies as they climb Yggdrasil. This includes a re-skin of Maxwell’s demons and Kuron’s centaur enemies. All of the minions on the way to Deus Esca seem to be weak to Dark element.

Deus Esca himself however is weak to both Dark and Light which… I don’t understand why we needed yet another Raidboss weak to Light. Guess the Ragrants spam carries on!

It also generally doesn’t appear to hit that hard and no raid-wipe move was demonstrated. It did fire off an attack which did between 1200-2200 damage to anyone it hit, which depending on which stats it scales from could effectively be a raid-wipe but it doesn’t appear to be attached to any mechanics plus you can just move out of the way of it…

Zenesis Weapon Collection

It wouldn’t be a raid-boss post Episode 4 without a weapon collection!

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All we really know about the Zenesis series so far is numbers and what they look like. We know absolutely nothing about the weapon potential.

The weapons come with Ability 3, Deus Factor, Stamina 3 and Spirita 3. It can be assumed that Deus Factor will be +20 S-atk, +10 T-atk, +10 R-Atk, 20 HP and 1 PP based on Yamato and Mother Factors. So S-Atk weapons come with +35 attack and all others come with +25. With that information, we know that Zenesis Sword comes with 1232 S-atk at +0, which makes it ever so slightly stronger than Astra Separ and 51 S-atk weaker than Gix Zangulum. As always it really just comes down to whatever its potential turns out to be.

This Collection Sheet does not come with any eggs, but it does have a 13* Tact. You can obtain a 13* Rappy but only as a drop.

Zenesis Units

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They’re units from a Raid Boss. Even if they’re decent they might as well not exist.

I might be a little bitter about unit drops given that I have yet to get a single Mother unit since its been our and I’ve only ever seen one Invade Unit drop.

Aside its appearance though we know nothing about its stats so who knows maybe they’re rubbish anyway.

14* Weapons

Speaking of items you will never see, Deus will come with 3 brand new 14* weapons; a DoubleSaber, Wand and Tact. Yes, a 14* Tact.

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The Tact seems to be Rykros Baton from Phantasy Star Portable 2. It has the special ability to fire un-charged Megids with each swing.

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The Wand seems to be Lavis Cannon. Its special ability seems to be the same as Form Wand in that it can fire shock-waves on each swing.

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The Doublesaber however is a mystery. It was initially presumed to be Twin Blaze from Phantasy Star Online but it doesn’t really look very much like it. It’s also unknown what the weapon’s special ability is as they don’t really demonstrate it doing anything unique.


Episode 5 Announced

The teaser at the end of this broadcast actually teased two separate updates; a Chapter EX for Episode 4 and the announcement of Episode 5 in name and vague theme alone.

Phaleg Fight

Phaleg has taken off the training gloves and will be going all out, testing Player-chan for all they’re worth.

The fight seems to play out much like the one we’ve already had with a couple of new moves; a ranged stun combo and a large area-of-effect stomp.

She also seems to pull off a cutscene phoenix-kick attack that nukes the tower platform. It’s not known at this point whether this is a punishment for failing a raid-like mechanic, for running out of time or if she’ll use this move regardless of wether you win or lose because she’s canonically far more powerful than anything else in the current lore (including the player character).

I’m also not entirely sure when this fight is set, because it’s slated as “coming soon”. So this could either be happening before or after Ardem’s defeat, it’s hard to tell at this point.

Episode 5

Here we go, official confirmation that Episode 5 is happening. They didn’t share any details aside some themes however, which are:

  • A new world
  • Resurrection
  • Reincarnation

This has led some to worry that the reincarnation system from PSP2:Infinity might be coming back but I think they’re jumping the gun a bit sharply. For one thing, you could equally argue that the theme of Episode 4 (which was “Reborn”) could have been that as well. If I were to hazard a guess, it has something to do with Profound Darkness doing something to finally break free of the time-loop that Persona and Xiao have had it trapped in for the last 2 years. However with so little information to go on I feel like any speculation is no better than a shot in the dark for now.

A new world does suggest we’re heading to a new planet at least, though it might also be referring to the world we knew but changed in some drastic manner. Or indeed the comment thread on the datamining post is on to something and it turns out we’re re-writing Phantasy Star 3…

We should definitely know more before spring is done, mind, as Episode 5 is due for release some time in the Summer.

5th PSO2 Station Writeup

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The fifth broadcast rolled out just today and only came with 3 trailers. One of the trailers was particularly packed though so there’s a few things to go over in this post that I have opinions about. As always the complete run-down can be found on bumped here.

Trailers

Some collab no one cares about (OK maybe a few do (a lot)…). If you’re only interested in the Emil Head just say ニーア発売おめでとう in chat before March 1st. But yeah, Nier Automata stuff!

Early March Content – NT Grind change, new custom Photon Arts/Techs, the return of Revolucio Files, Skill rings and Battle Arena stuff.

Late March content – The return of Necky, Aura and Orbit files and Class Level 80

Early March Content

NT Grinding Change

NT Grind limits are now additive. That is, if you use a +32 on a +32 item it’ll push the limit to +35 now rather than +33 (+1 from the weapon itself and +2 from the limit on the ingredient item). Not exactly sure about the intricacies of this system, like if it needs the ingredient item to be fully grinded or if it’s just the limits it’s adding up but either way this is a positive change particularly for those who are grinding collection sheets. You’ll no longer have to hold on to every completed Collection File weapon just in case a weapon drops with a higher grind limit.

Photon Art Customisations

Some new Type-0 Photon Arts and Techs are on their way.

Rodeo Drive Type-0

The rush part of the attack will continue as long as you’re holding the button. Letting go results in a slam-dunk attack.

Sakura Endo Type-0

Changes the animation of the 2nd slash to be the last part of Guren Tessen. It also removes the need to charge the attack, so you’ll be able to spam it mid-air which you currently can’t (you have to drop to the ground while it charges up then jump back up again). Because the charge is removed, it may no longer benefit from Average Stance Charge or Weak Stance Charge so be aware of that.

Sacred Skewer Type-0

Turns it into a chargeable attack and hurls the spear directly in front of the user, striking a large number of enemies at once.

It seems like it does decent damage and has good range but it remains to be seen how it’ll compare to the likes of Slide End and most of Sword’s PAs. With Partizans I’m personally left pondering how it’ll synergise with Vol Graptor which I guess depends on if this attack can hit multiple hitboxes of a single target like other piercing Photon Arts can (like End Attract). If it can, this could be potentially interesting against certain bosses.

Ein Raketen Type-0

Lets you place stationary energy blades that deal damage as enemies wander into them. Kinda wierd and probably awkward to apply consistently.

Gigrants Type-0

Amps up the blender part of the attack by extending it into an attack that revs up over time. At the end of the attack, you wield a sword made of light for one powerful over-end style slash.

It’s always hard to gauge power from the test players that they demo these things with, but I wonder if it could beat out Zondeel + Ragrants for mobbing power? Won’t know until it’s released I guess.

Nabarta Type-0

Replaces the ice stream with a shield that consumes a lot of PP over time and deals damage to enemies that wonder into it. If this doesn’t do pulsing damage this feels like a significant downgrade over the regular Nabarta just due to the sheer increase in PP it drains.

Raging Waltz Type-0

Alters the attack so it can home in on any direction instead of just directly ahead.

I’m honestly not sure this will have any greatly appreciable impact on this attack but I’m not well versed in Daggers.

Revolucio Revival

Revolucio weapons will return with significantly relaxed conditions and with an entire year before they time out. They’re meant to serve as a way for players who don’t have +35 13* weapons to obtain them at any time they like as these sheets are not tied to Emergency Quests. Additionally it includes a 13* Wanda egg.

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The old files required 8 different things to farm, the new ones require only 3. However, one of the requirements teased included lv71+ Fang Banther which are not at all trivial to find. Your options are run Super Hard Advance Quests at +11 risk or higher or run the higher floors of the Sylvan Wyverns Extreme Quests.

New Skill Rings

Sanctum and Kuronia will be getting Gathering spots. With these two areas I believe that is every Free Field area to date covered. I’ll go over my thoughts on each of the rings in this section but be aware they are my speculations, we don’t have any solid numbers so it’s hard to judge a number of the rings fully.

R / HP Restorate

Recovers HP while it’s below a certain value. I’ll with-hold judgement until I see the numbers, but it’s interesting that this didn’t end up being an R/Ring which means it could actually stack with Summoner’s HP Restorate skill… Correction, it was mistakenly noted as a left ring. As it’s an R ring it won’t be usable by Summoner main or sub so it can’t stack with the aforementioned skill.

L / Atomizer Lovers

Like Mate Lovers but for Moon, Star and Cosmo Atomizers (if anyone actually buys those). Like Mate Lovers it boosts the speed of use and the amount of HP recovered.

L / Point Weak Bullet

Turns Weak Bullet into Point Assist basically. It lets you apply the Weak Bullet directly to the currently targeted hitbox regardless of obstacles (including other hitboxes). This actually could be pretty useful for Rangers particularly for the more awkward hit-boxes in the game.

 L / Katana Combat Count Up

Not really sure what this one does… Bumped says “Increases the hit counts for Katana Combat” but I don’t know if that means increasing the limit or increasing the number of counted hits per hit, effectively reducing the number of hits you’d need to do in order to hit maximum power with Combat Finish. I assume it’s the latter but I’m not 100% sure. If it is then it’s a pretty nifty ring I guess because it’d make Katana combat slightly burstier and possibly more practical to use on bosses.

R / Flame Tech S Charge

Speeds up the casting time of fire element techs. Not sure what use this ring serves as any build using fire techs would involve Force and Force won’t be able to use this ring.

Battle Arena (PVP)

Get some friends or strangers together and beat the shit out each other for a brand new currency; Battle Coins! We already know a fair amount of how it works from previous streams so I’ll go over that briefly;

  • Up to 12 players are split into 2 teams for a 6v6 match.
  • At the spawn point, you “mine” for a random weapon. This weapon is effectively your class. There are mining nodes in the arena itself if you want to re-roll.
    • Available weapons are Sword, Assault Rifle and Rod.
    • If you’re defeated you’ll have to mine again to get a new weapon.
    • Whenever an Update message occurs, stronger weapons will become available
  • The match is a point attack. The team with the highest score wins
  • Earn points by collecting emblems in the arena and defeating enemy players
    • Enemy emblems may be worth more points than friendly ones!
    • Occasionally an Emblem Fever will occur that spawns rainbow emblems around the map. These are presumably worth the most points.
  • Three different maps with differing gimmicks
    • Except Forest. Forest is boring.
    • Caverns has a rising lava mechanic. Don’t touch the lava! Good general life tip really.
    • Tokyo is also kind of boring in that its mechanic is it has greater verticality.

While you can kill enemy players, the main objective is about getting points, though I’m not sure how effective it might be to just ignore enemy players and go for emblems over just killing enemy players. Dead enemies can’t collect emblems, afterall.

The weapon mining mechanic makes me think of Overwatch’s Mystery Heroes mode and it might suffer from the same faults. It’s likely that of the weapon types available some will be much more effective than others. This could lead to one team getting an effective team composition off the bat and end up snowballing the other side into submission or indeed bad RNG on weapons screwing a side over generally. In the long run this should work out because both teams have the same chance to be screwed by random numbers anyway.

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There is a progression system in PVP in the form of your own personal rank. Shown ranks were D5 and D4. Presumably this means the highest rank is S1. It doesn’t look like your PVP rank does anything beyond bragging rights. When you win a match you gain ARP (Arena Points). In the demo the winner gained 20 ARP while the loser (in what seemed to be a different game) gained 0. It’s unknown if you can actually lose ARP or not. It’s possible they could use your rank data to try to do some rudimentary matchmaking but I’m not certain on that.

You’ll earn Battle Coins whether you win or lose, however. It seems like you might earn slightly more for winning as well as for being the MVP in various areas but other than that the difference is pretty small in the example.

You can also set up private games which you  can protect with a password. It’s unknown how this affects Battle Coins but presumably you won’t be able to rank up in private games.

PVP Prizes

So what do you get for your efforts? A few things it seems with potentially 2 items that might be more interesting for min-maxers and the rest are kind of cosmetic.

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  • Battle Sword (Sword Camo)
  • Battle Rifle (Assault Rifle Camo)
  • Battle Rod (Rod Camo)
  • Rappy Make-Up
  • Vraolet 4-slot
  • Vraolet 6-slot (details below)
  • Arena Booster
  • Lambda Grinder
  • Extreme Pass
  • Other items not shown.

The Vraolets include Phrase Receptor and Sentence Receptor, which presumably allow you to transfer the various Sentence and Phrase affixes you can only obtain with certain Special Ability Factors. Seeing as these factors typically come from temporarily available Collection Files tied to Emergency Quests this could be a decent way of carrying these factors on to future gear.

Arena Boosters are as you can imagine much like Photon and Weaponoid Boosters in that they grant access to new weapon Potentials on certain weapons. The preview does not show a description of the example potential however, so I can’t speculate on if these are going to be worth the effort or not. The example weapon series shown however is the Aura series, whose current potential only applies to bosses so it could be interesting.

Other cosmetics include costumes and lobby actions as well as 12* “Shine Series” units. Most cosmetic items will be temporarily available because I don’t know fuck you that’s why. This includes the weapon camos mentioned earlier.

Battle Scratch

After a battle, victory or defeat, you’ll have the chance to roll for a random item. Among the potential items you could get include boosters for the amount of coins you gain in the next battle as well as a selection of weapon camos. You also have a low chance of obtaining an item that lets you raise the grind limit of an NT weapon by 1.

You get up to three scratches per battle, though presumably only the first one is free. Additional goes will cost you Stargems.

Just a mechanic to encourage you to play more games I guess. Though I suspect players will be walking away with EXP+3000 tickets more often than not.

Late March Content

Lv80 Class Requirements

Nothing new here, it’s really just confirming that you will indeed be required to clear the titles in order to unlock lv80 for a class. This means you’ll only need to do it once per class per account and not for every single character. This means the guide I made on getting your classes ready for the lv80 cap raise is still accurate.

Quest Abandon Penalty

If you abandon a multi-party raid EQ you’ll be locked out from the quest for the remainder of the EQ period. This is pretty clearly meant to be a punishment for people who’ll join an MPA then abandon if the classes and gear they see don’t meet their expectations or if a run is going poorly. This penalty will apply if you disconnect, too.

This penalty will only apply to the first person who abandons or disconnects and only if the MPA was at full capacity beforehand. This measure means that anyone remaining who ends up screwed by the fact you’re now down a person can safely abandon the quest to queue up again if need be which is a smart measure.

That said, I feel like this penalty is going to be incredibly annoying for those occasions where the quest bugs out and enemies take far longer to spawn than they should. It does also doom random Magatsu MPAs to excessively long runs should they have the misfortune of having no Weak-Bullet.

More Collection Sheet Revivals

The Orbit and Aura weapon collection files will be returning with some slight changes.

Aura sheets will be up until May 2018 which is over a year, while Orbit weapons will be up until the 24th of May this year. Hey that’s longer than they were around for first time, so if you got some Orbits to finish you’re in luck!

Aura sheets will require you to defeat lv70 Dio Hunars, which makes it possible to clear by just running the Level Up Quests (which will be returning once the event is over), even on Super Hard! They no longer require you to defeat Odin.

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Orbit Sheets seem to be largely unchanged however so they will require you to run the upcoming Necky’s Challenge quest.

Really at this point I don’t know why they don’t just ditch the time outs on these files and just leave them up permanently. I guess it would get awkward for files that are tied to seasonal EQs and EQs that only turn up on rare occasions but then I’d argue that’s an issue with them tying Collection Files to Emergency Quests period.

The Return of Necky’s Challenge

Necky’s Challenge is back, baby! Only this time without Necky as Sierra will be the one talking to you throughout the quest. The developers claim it was a popular quest though the reaction from the community was a fairly mixed one as I remember. Of course I’m only exposed to the English speaking community so who knows maybe it really was well recieved over in Japan.

It’ll have some slight differences however as Esca Darkers will be added to the mix of enemies trying to break the towers down.

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Esca Ragnus is seen latching onto and hugging a tower during the trailer (daww). It looks like it might be spinning a web around it…

The old datamined “PhantomBugLegion” (the phantoom version of Damoth) will be showing up in this quest with the name “Esmoth”.

Dataminers might be slightly disappointed that the unreleased Mining Base Defence didn’t turn out to be another fight with Apprentice (presumably her airborne Mothra mode instead of the one we fight deep underground) but honestly I think that boat has long sailed. Depends on exactly where the story goes after Episode 4 I suppose, speaking of which…

Final Episode 4 Raid: Deus Esca

Yggdrasil! The raid appears to function much like Yamato did where players will be fighting through hordes of regular enemies before squaring off against the boss itself. Unlike Yamato though we’ll be doing this on foot.

I have my worries that this boss will function much the same way as Escafalz Mother did, where we’ll be destroying it’s “arms” (more like heads in this case given it’s a Hydra) which will expose the real weak point which we then wail on before it gets up and repeats the process. This phase far out-stays its welcome with Escafalz Mother unless you have a very burst heavy composition so I’d rather not see a repeat of that.

Beyond that, there’s not a lot you can really ascertain from this footage. Presumably we’ll be getting a demonstration before its release.

Incidentally, data-mining doesn’t really hint at much more than this trailer does. From that, all that’s really known is aside all the storm based attacks displayed here it has some attack involving a horn.

With this raid arriving in late April, it seems Episode 4’s story will be coming to its conclusion fairly soon. With that, one is left pondering where the game may go from here and just how long it’ll be before we have announcements concerning Episode 5…

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Also, segways.

PSO2 4th Station

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The fourth PSO2 Station went out today. With it we got a preview of content coming up in February and March, including information about the new level cap requirements, the solo Profound Darkness, 4-player Multi-Quest, Union weapon exchange and some PVP stuff.

Details of this post may change if I notice anything new or of course if I got anything wrong.

Trailers

Wouldn’t be a proper broadcast without em! With thanks to Goukezitsu for uploading these.

Arks New Year Carnival Part 3

Lots of cosmetic stuff, part 2 of Xie’s shop, Solo EQ, Union gear and 4-man Multi Quest! Kinda curious what the background music might be teasing…

Arks New Year Carnival Part 4

White Day, seasonal Emergency Quest and new cosmetics. Chat up all your husbandos in the lobby!

End of Stream Teaser

Battle arena stuff. Zzz.

Level Cap Info

During the stream they confirmed some details that I talked about in my last post, unfortunately.

Koffie will be getting a new Client Order that will require you have completed your class SP orders (all of them) and have one of your class’s main weapons at +35 (Gunslash presumably doesn’t count), 13* rarity or higher. Summoners will need a pet at lv120.

So yeah, Gheaven was right about most of it unfortunately. They were wrong about the affix requirement at least which is a minor relief in the face of now having to grind out additional Collection Files just to get a +35 weapon for potentially every class and subclass of any alts you might want to level to 80. I need someone to check the wording on the condition, otherwise it sounds like Gunner/Ranger and Force/Techer might have it a little easier than other combinations seeing as they share weapons or if indeed said shared weapons won’t count (Rifle and Talis respectively).

Beyond that, my opinions are much the same as in my speculative post on this. This is going to be a significant bump in the road for new players down the line who will now have to be stuck at lv75 grinding out 21 class cubes just so they can earn permission to level up to 76. The +35 13* requirement might also be awkward down the line unless future collection files will still cater well enough to content under lv80.

Still, they’ve been known to relax these kinds of conditions given enough time so it probably will get better in the future. The whole thing seems needlessly clumsy to me but they kinda engineered themselves into this corner.

Solo Emergency Quest

The solo fight against Double and the Profound Darkness will be arriving early February. With it we’ll be seeing the return of the Ray series Collection Files. You’ll need Ray weapons if you want to be able to exchange for Union weapons.

It’s worth noting that even if you don’t want Union weapons you may want to run this quest just to complete Ray files as its Special Ability Factor is Astral Soul.

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This quest is only available on Extra Hard and requires your Main and Subclass to be Lv75. The enemy is lv80.

You’ll have 20 minutes to clear the quest. While it was fairly obvious they’d reduce the boss’s HP I feel this detail confirms it because I just can’t imagine them expecting you to defeat a boss intended for 12 players in 1/3rd of the time.

Looking through the trailer, it seems like the boss is using the newer AI but it also has the old behavior where it rests its head on the arena. It also seems like its attacks don’t hit nearly as hard as in the full raid on Extra Hard (I believe the fly-by attack deals roughly 1200 damage in the raid, 550 or so in the trailer) though of course it’s hard to tell how the test player’s build is interacting with that. They’re not running Guard Stance at least.

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Xie’s weapons will be getting a 2nd potential which will help you clear the quest more easily. It appears to boost damage dealt and reduce damage received while running this quest, but the numbers are hidden so it’s hard to tell how good this is.

 

Quest Trigger

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They’re going to be adding a Quest Trigger for the solo Emergency Quest for 50 Gold Badges a shot. Not too bad! I guess there’s a use for medals now outside of getting the dance lobby actions.

Union Exchange

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In order to upgrade from a Ray weapon or unit to a Union weapon you’ll need 5 Union Boosters. You’ll get one Union Booster per clear of the solo EQ as well as an additional one for each S-rank.

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When you upgrade, the item will retain all the upgrades you applied to the old item (so element, grind, affixes etc).

It seems Union Sword has 1215  S-Atk, which if true makes it the 4th strongest sword in terms of raw attack power. If it retains the Ray potential this just means that it’s a slightly weaker Astra weapon though it does offer some damage resistance which Astra doesn’t.

4-Man Multiparty

A short romp through all the Ultimate area bosses! Presumably it’ll let you have shots at their gear and affixes should you even want them by this point, though their rates might be even lower than their regular counterparts because…

Enemy Lv75

The enemies in the quest are lv75. I don’t understand why they felt the need to do this. Is it because they don’t want to make the current Ultimate Quests redundant? I mean in many respects they already are so I’m not sure what this decision is for.The exception is for Ultimate Amduscia enemies I guess, which could still drop 12* units and Gix weapons which are still relevant for now. Beyond that though I’m certain they can’t be being too wary that we might get Ares weapons too often!

I’m sure they have a good reason for it and ultimately I don’t think it’ll take too much away from the quest itself. What’s worth noting is that most of the bosses seem to have titles, so it might offset their droprates towards something a bit more reasonable. I’m looking forward to getting a couple friends together to smash some boss’s faces in whatever the case may be.

Scaling Stats

Apparently, if you run the quest by yourself the enemy’s stats will be adjusted. Pretty neat if so because I believe this would make this the first quest with actual scaling in it, which is something I’ve felt the game’s been in need of for years…

Weapon/Unit Pass Change

In the near future, you will no longer be required to have 10-12* weapon passes or 10-11* unit passes in order to be able to buy those items. This has been a long time coming as it’s felt wrong to have most of this gear which has been years out of date to be locked behind a paywall.

The upside is this means it will be easier for new players to get kitted out with 12* items and Affix fodder items wont be restricted to 9* and below anymore. The downside is those of you who converted 12* gear into passes will have potentially lost out.

I’m curious if this means we will be seeing 13* weapon and 12* unit passes soon? It might make +35ing weapons significantly easier for paid users at least though that might make the requirement all the more irritating for free players.

Over for Now!

So that’s it really. The surprise trailer was just showing that Battle Arena will have at least 3 maps with one set in Amduscia’s Cauldron and the other in Tokyo. I was actually hoping they’d at least give some more details about things surrounding the PVP mode (like if any items can be earned).

 

 

PSO2 Station #3 Writeup

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Saturday saw the broadcast of the third PSO2 Station at an ungodly hour for UK folk. This time they went over some of the content coming up in January/February as well as unveiling the new long-term schedule which covers things up to early Summer.

For such a short broadcast compared to the old format there ended up being a lot of things to go over this time, including a large selection of quality-of-life changes, PVP stuff and some interesting new things on the horizon.. Brace yourselves, this one’s a big ‘un.

Arks New Year Carnival 2017 Part 1

Starting us off is a web-event in January. This comes complete with a Limited Quest set in Las Vegas that pits players against a wide selection of enemies, so your usual all-star quest. This time they’re throwing ESCA Darkers into the mix and Anga Fundarge can show up in it which is neat. I’m kind of curious if ESCA Darkers and Darkers would fight each other… The quest ends with a special titled Falz Dourumble.

2017 Weapon Badges

Right out of the gate we’re getting 2017 Badges. These can be exchanged for various items in Xie’s brand new shop (yep she’s back), which includes a weapon series named “Shin-Wafuu”. At first I thought they were yet another reskin of the old Sun God weapons but they are actually something new.

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In terms of stats, historically Xie’s weapons have always been a bit underwhelming. The sword this time has 1192 S-Atk at +0 and comes with Freeze V, Ability III, Power III and Vinculum. So that’s 55 in affixes, bringing its actual S-Atk to 1137. This puts it at the same level as Invade Calibur… So yeah I suspect these weapons won’t be worth bothering with unless they have some decent Special Ability Factor. I can’t even suggest it for covering any gear gaps  because Astra weapon files will be out by then and the weapons don’t seem usable by multiple classes either.

I note she still offers Photon Boosters, Caligulas and Toranas at least. Caligula and Torana are also still 20 gold badges each, though Photon Booster seems to have come down to 30 gold. Not sure what the point is really as I doubt anyone will be after Austere weapons or units anymore.

Turret Buff

Seems Turrets are gonna get buffed as they teased about in the last stream. This seems to only affect the gatling-gun variant of turret and as far as i can tell the only real change is they increased the amount of damage it does. I can’t remember the current damage numbers right now, but it looks like they doubled it? I mean that’s nice for those classes that find dealing damage to Magatsu before the first knee break difficult to impossible, but I can’t really see the use for it anywhere else in the game.

Mag Stealth

You’ll be able to stealth your Mag by feeding it a stealth device. This will make your Mag invisible, as you might expect, but it will otherwise still function as normal. This is one of those things that I’m surprised took them this long to add, given how much of the game focuses on cosmetics.

Though I don’t know why it couldn’t be a UI fix instead of a Mag Device that will set you back 10 AC scratch items each time. This makes switching back and forth awkward or not even a choice at all for those who have an uncommon or unobtainable Mag skin…

Hide Sticker

Now you can choose to not have a sticker on your costume. This one surprises me even more than the Mag device!  Unlike that though, it seems this one will be added for free and you can just select it in the Este counter.

Is This Eaaasy Mode?

Story Quests will now have an Easy Mode added to them. I have no idea why because surely the Story Quests are easy enough as they are? Well, if you’re one of those people struggling to clear Story Quests I guess this is a good thing for you at least.

Critical Indicators

Just a simple change to make critical hits stand out more. Beyond the more striking color, they seem to take display priority over normal hits. This will be sorta handy for those doing damage tests I guess, otherwise the clearer feedback for landing crits might be welcome.

Boost Item Toggle

You will be able to set whether or not your boost items will be consumed during the current quest. This choice takes place at the drink counter and will be in effect the moment you choose a drink.

This is needed really, because I know there’s been times where I’ve chosen not to run content because I have boosters active. So it’ll be nice to have the additional flexibility in when and where I want my boosters to count down.

Cuisine in the Player Shops

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You’ll be able to list completed cuisines on your shop, which is great and all but unless the food involves rare ingredients it’s really just removing one step from what you can do already by just buying ingredients. As it costs Meseta to make them however, I wonder what degree of profit the market will settle on. Will there be a good reason to sell the cuisines rather than the individual ingredients?

Skill Rings

With gathering set to arrive in Skyscape and Seabed comes a new set of skill rings. So far 5 have been announced;

R/Panic Guard

Grants immunity to Panic at lv20.

R/Quick Mate

Grants access to Braver’s “Quick Mate” skill. Presumably stacks with Mate Lovers.

I feel like Mate Lovers is fast enough if your build needs fast-use healing items. Doubt this ring will see much uptake.

R/Another Rod Shoot Mode

Changes Rod Shoot to multiple slow moving projectiles that explode on contact

Guess the usefulness of this one depends on the function of the new projectiles. The main point of Rod Shoot is for PP recovery (though it can do some pretty alright damage) at a distance on command. The projectiles this ring replaces them with move very slowly in comparison, though if the PP recovery is counted for each one I imagine this will be a pretty nice way to recover PP quickly for point blank casting (such as spamming Ragrants into bosses).

L/Step JA Combo

Adds a Just-Attack circle to Step.

This seems like one that might go down well in the community and for decent reason; being able to just-attack out of a step is kind of a big boon. Just-Attacks make up for a lot of the damage you deal, afterall (even more if you’re a Hunter main or sub).

L/Just Reversal B

Adds a shockwave on successful Just Reversal that damages and potentially stuns enemies.

This is a really cool ring. I imagine the damage won’t be that great, but the chance to stun enemies could be that extra bit of crowd control you need to top your health up once you’re back on your feet.

Arks New Year Carnival Part 2

Mostly story stuff in this one with a look at Where’s the Chocolate 2016 for Valentines season. Not nearly as much to go over in this trailer in general.

Where’s the Chocolate 2017

You know the deal with this kinda quest by now. Seems this time we’ll be seeing Ultimate Amduscia enemies as well as the usual mix of dragons and Darkers. Interestingly unlike previous seasonal emergency quests this one seems to lack a point counter and instead has a boss E-Trial as the quest target. The target seems to be a special titled Drago Deadlion.

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Of course the new tradition is the seasonal Collection File! This Valentines you’ll be able to obtain a new 13* Wired Lance, Twin Dagger and Twin Machinegun. Also included are sheets for the 13* eggs of Viola and Synchro in case you missed out on those.

Roadmap Overview

Something new for PSO2 broadcasts is this general teaser for future content down the line. We get a bit of sneak peak at Solo Emergency Quests, 4-man “Multi Quests”, the Battle Arena and what I assume is the CG intro to Episode 4’s second and final raidboss.

Along with that, they posted the usual text form up:

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It reads:

Winter to Spring:

  • 4-Man Multi Quests (limited time)
  • Solo Emergency Quest (limited time)
  • PSO2 Anime Characters are back (yay…)
  • Union Weapon series in an Exchange Shop

Spring to early Summer 1:

  • Battle Lobby and Battle Arena
  • Gathering update
  • Franka’s Cafe seasonal change
  • PA and Tech customization update
  • New Bonus Quest
  • Nier Automate Collab
  • Class Level raised to 80

Spring to early Summer 2

  • Episode 4 chapter 8 (part 2)
  • New 12man Raidboss
  • Design Contest Scratch
  • PSU 10th Anniversary Part 3
  • New fashion feature?

So yeah I’m gonna comment on the major things I can here.

Union Weapon Series

They’re Ray weapons with a little bit stuck to them I guess.

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What is kind of curious though is they’re listed as an exchange item and not a Collection File one. Does this mean we’re not quite out of the stone age in PSO2 or is there going to be some entirely new exchange mechanic introduced with these?

To go along with those, it seems like there’ll be a matching upgrade to the Ray Unit set as well. Will these also be exchange items I wonder?

Solo Emergency Quests and 4-man Multi Quests

Well this is a surprise! Seems during January we’ll get to challenge Double and Profound Darkness 1v1 as well as take on various Ultimate enemies in a single party. I’d say that we’re finally seeing some content that isn’t intended for 12 players but unfortunately it seems like these quests will be temporary. I kind of hope we’ll be seeing more quests like this in the future though, because really I’ve despised for some time how it feels like every new thing that comes along requires 11 other people or you may as well not bother.

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Somewhat interestingly the quest expects you to take on multiple bosses at once, which is often more than they expect for 12-man Ultimate Quests. Presumably they have less HP than their full MPA counterparts, though.

I should say I don’t hate 12-player content nor do I think its a bad idea for the devs to keep making it.

Speaking of which…

New Raidboss

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Due some time in Summer, Earth will be getting its third and presumably final raid. As Mother has perished (or has been absorbed, you can never fully tell with PSO2’s story) this would be Ardem’s doing. The trailer shows a continent materializing out of nowhere.

Given Episode 4’s mythology undertones I wouldn’t be surprised if this turned out to be something like Atlantis (even though it’s clearly rising in the Pacific!) or The Garden of Eden or something. Whatever it is, it seems set to be the stage for Ardem’s forced evolution of humanity or whatever it is he wants to do.

Maybe there’s some story details I’m missing out on but er … why do the ARKS care about this situation? Mother was the one who wanted to go after the ARKS and she’s gone now so are we just being heroes for the sake of it? Maybe there’ll be an explanation between now and then I don’t know. For now we have a continent with no context and giant ether Cthulu tentacles sprouting out of the ground.

Level Cap Raise

Rasing level caps isn’t anything new for an MMO, but PSO2 I felt had designed itself into a corner with all the level-cap related stuff it’s added over time. Things like Excubes, Class Excubes and Skill Point orders beyond cap… these are things that become a bit more awkward with a higher level cap.

There’s also the problem of whether or not there’s any new content to warrant levelling up, but the same thing can be said for adding new tiers of gear and they’ve been adding new gear long after we got the lv75 cap. It could be they reached a point where it felt wrong to continue giving us new levels of content without also letting us level up. In the end it’s just a number.

In any case, new levels means more skill-points, which may also mean new skills to put those points in. They haven’t confirmed this (there’s nothing on the schedule for it at least) and there’s a few classes that probably could use the extra SP somewhere but there’s also a few that players may struggle to work out where to put them. I’m sure additional details will be revealed closer to release.

But yeah, this has been a long time coming hasn’t it! We got the lv75 cap sometime in November 2014 just to give a bit of perspective. So it’s only been two years…

Phantasy Star Universe Anniversary Part 3

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It’s on there! Looks like we’re getting the third and final part of the anniversary some time in the Summer.

This crossover event has gone on for some time now, considering it started in August this year. With the last part some time in the Summer this could bring the entire event to a span of about 8 months or so.

As for what they might do we can only speculate. There’s not even anything in the data to help with it as far as I know, so it really is anyone’s guess. It could be just costumes, weapons and partner cards (with some additional cutscenes like we had for Emilia) or it could be a Limited Quest like they did for PSO complete with a remade boss from PSU. I mean I know I’d kind of like to see one of the PSU bosses ported over, but that’s really just my love for PSU talking.

Episode 5

No mention of Episode 5! I think anyone following along with Episode 4 can tell that things are starting to wrap up, so it wouldn’t have been too surprising to see something regarding the next episode turning up. As it hasn’t, this indicates that we may he with Episode 4 longer than we were with previous episodes and it may not turn up until late Summer or later still.

For perspective, Episode 4 started on January 27th. If we assume “Early Summer” covers up til the end of June then the expansion seems like it’ll end up with a lifespan of at least 18 months (because I assume it wouldn’t hit in July unless there were some announcements between here and then).

So for the heck of it let’s compare:

  • Episode 1 released with the game of course: 4th July 2012
  • Episode 2 released 12th July 2013
  • Episode 3 released 27th August 2014
  • Episode 4 released 27th January 2016

So from that we can say:

  • Episode 1 lasted 12 months
  • Episode 2 lasted 13 months
  • Episode 3 lasted 17 months
  • Episode 4 lasts for at least 18 months going by the roadmap

So at the very least we can say that Episode 4 is looking to end up the longest lasting episode in the game so far. We can also say that they’re slowing down but there’s more going on here. I mean this doesn’t take into account the volume of content added with each episode or the amount of story there was (Episode 1 had more chapters than Episode 2 for example).

I guess for fun we could also project and guess how many episodes PSO2 will have in the end. Sakai once said that he intended the game to last for 10 years and it’s gonna be its 5th year once we get to the end of the current roadmap. That may be no coincidence; it could well be that Episode 5 will end up releasing on the 4th of July 2017 to mark PSO2’s 5th anniversary. It certainly would be thematically appropriate! But yeah how many episodes might we end up with by the time it’s time to take PSO2 out back and put a bullet in its head? Well seeing as they’re slowing down each episode and they have a total of 120 months to get through (60 by the 5th anniversary of course), let’s say 22 months of Episode 5 and  23 months of Episode 6 just to sorta resemble the pattern. By the time this theoretical Episode 6 is out, there’ll only be 15 months of  PSO2’s planned life left and by then we’ll have probably had PSO3 announced or something. So I reckon that’ll be it, I suspect Episode 6 is going to be their final one.

Now to be clear that’s just a bit of fun, I’m not making any serious predictions here. If you’re reading this from the future, let me know if I was right though.

In terms of potential plot points, well we still have the Profound Darkness to deal with which I don’t know if they could stretch that out over two years but you never know. Maybe we’ll end up spending another episode on Earth… :(

PEE VEE FUCKIN PEE

So yeah, chalk this up as another feature I never thought they’d actually add! To be fair, I had plenty of decent reasons as to why something like this wouldn’t work such as latency issues, the game’s wonky class balance, the fact players have 1000hp and are tuned to fight things with 100,000s of HP…

Anyway, I wanted to withhold comment about this since they announced it in the 2nd PSO2 Station because I knew they were going to talk a bit more about it. Irritatingly this is where my lack of Japanese really does hinder me as someone’s clearly explaining mechanics in the background. For now I’m going to have to put together something from my own observations and things I’ve seen mentioned in the community at large.

Class

In order to solve the issue of class imbalance every player is set to the same class in the Battle Arena. It functions much like Challenge Mode in that respect and much like the Challenger class you can use any weapon you find in the field.

In terms of passive abilities, it seems the PVP class has Summoner’s HP Restorate as you slowly recover HP over time.

It seems you recover PP very slowly in this mode too, but I do see it also recovers in bursts without the player seemingly doing anything. It looks like it might be tied to picking up Emblems.

Emblems

The main mechanic of a match seems to be emblem collection. While you can kill enemy players, obviously, it’s not actually the main objective of the match. There are friendly, enemy and neutral (rainbow) emblems, though their individual worth in a match is unknown. It’s assumed that enemy emblems are worth the most to your team. There’s also some kind of effect that can make a lot of emblems appear near your spawn point.

Emblem collection also seems to occasionally have some kind of detrimental effect on the enemy team. The effect shown was a massive stacking Injury debuff which lowered the players HP to something like Fighter’s Limit Break levels.

Weapons

Weapons can be “mined” from various locations, with a bunch of nodes at the spawn point and various nodes placed on the actual field. You can re-roll your weapon by mining a field node, but there’s some kind of cost for doing so. Observed weapons are Sword, Rod and Rifle. There seem to be different tiers, as there’s a regular Sword and a 4* Calibur.

How you actually get the higher tiers of weapons I’m not certain, as during the video the players seem to get them from field nodes and spawn nodes on occasion, but then get the lower tier weapons afterwards. Maybe it’s random?

All weapons have in-built photon arts. Observed are:

  • Sword: Nova Break and a variant of Rising Edge with a greatly extended blade
  • Rifle: Piercing Shell, One Point
  • Rod: Megid, Foie, Zonde
  • You can also run in unarmed if you like but you probably shouldn’t!

Each weapon only has one photon art.

Additionally it seems the weapons do boost your other stats, as Sword users appeared to gain 100 HP or so.

Thoughts

So yeah, making everyone the same class and giving them equal access to all the same gear was one of the only ways they could really make things fair in a game like this. Letting people bring their own class and gear introduces so many variables that I’m not sure you could ever get anything resembling balance with PSO2 having been engineered the way it has been.

I’m also on board with their decision to make it objective based rather than about player duels. Player dueling is at least a small part of the mode however and in that respect I actually think that damage is a little too high still. It’s not really a fight if it’s over in one attack which it seemed to be most of the time in the demo video.

I can’t say I’m a fan of the randomness from a competitive point of view but from a “mode to fuck around in when bored” sense it’s perfect. Like to me, this whole thing comes across as a mode intentionally designed to be not taken seriously, which is for the best as I doubt PSCrew are capable of making something competitive with all the tweaking and balancing that requires.  But really if PSO2 has to have a PVP mode something that’s there just for shits and giggles is pretty acceptable to me.

They haven’t said if there are any items you can earn by playing this mode yet. I kinda hope there aren’t, mostly because I want this to remain a completely optional mini-game rather than something you’re expected to do. I mean, if the mode turns out to be fun then I guess it doesn’t really matter either way but otherwise if there was to be some progression tied to PVP I’d want it to actually be competitive. Competitive PVP is something I just don’t think is ever going to be viable in a game like PSO2 right now, because if nothing else it’s going to have netcode and latency issues that I don’t think PSCrew would ever be able to come up with good solutions for.  Even if they could for Japanese natives, anyone playing from outside would be at a major disadvantage.

1st PSO2 Station Writeup

sakaibanner.jpg

The first in the successor to the old PSO2 Broadcast aired earlier today. With it, they released a few new trailers and otherwise kind of dicked around doing a lot of nothing for 2 hours. Not sure I’m a huge fan of the new format, but if I’m honest the old one had a lot of the same faults too.

As usual, I’ll be going over the bits I found interesting or had any real thoughts on. The complete summary is on Bumped as per usual.

Trailers

November updates: Famitsu Cup

  • Necky in the lobby, with Client Orders and Exchange shop
  • Event specific gathering tools
  • Gravity Daze collab and various outfits.

Late November

  • Annette from PSO2es making her way to PSO2.
  • Vehicle lobby actions for casts.
  • Story stuff
  • Phantom Darkers
  • Various quality of life changes

Early November: Famitsu Cup Event

All-star Mining Base Defense

In a new twist to the event-specific all-star quest the enemies from far and wide will be being hurled at towers  This takes place on the first Mining Base Defense map; Invasion. This will be the main focus of the Famitsu Cup, though as will soon become apparent the event permeates quite a lot of the game’s content.

Nothing really new could be gleaned about this quest that wasn’t already known as far I can tell.

Exchange Shop:

Throughout this event, you’ll be collecting “Gavas Tickets” from various sources. They’re the currency that’s used in Necky’s exchange shop for a variety of items.

You can obtain Gavas Tickets by:

  • Clearing the special Mining Base quest
  • Clearing the Rideroid quest
  • By using Gathering nodes with Famitsu picks and fishing rods
    • Not sure if it was explained exactly how you get these tools, mind.
  • By playing certain content in PSO2es

FamicupExchange.jpg

Included is Necky’s costume as well as some Famitsu shirts (which are notably outer-wear) among other cosmetic items. Somewhat interestingly it also includes two 12* units; Rear / Heavenly Ring and Leg / Mini Nyau (not sure on the Kanji).

nyau_units.jpg

While that makes these the first 12* units obtainable via currency it does seem that much like the 11* units Xie supplied before their stats are awful. At least their base defensive stats, anyway. Their bonus stats are unknown as well as any set bonuses they may have.

Orbit collection files

For many, this is likely the really interesting stuff. With the Famitsu Cup we’ll see the addition of a large number of Orbit weapons. Sighted are:

  • Wired Lance
  • Partizan
  • Daggers
  • Double Saber
  • Katana
  • Assault Rifle
  • Jet Boots
  • Wand
  • Gunslash

A weapon for every class, pretty much! There are no collection sheets for the currently available Orbit weapons however.

orbit_files

It seems they come with Ability III, Vinculim, Spirita III and Mutation I. This means they have 45 attack in affixes. Judging by that then, Orbit Wired Lance has 977 S-atk at +0. This puts it behind Seiga Shield in terms of raw attack,  but the potential is slightly stronger in terms of a damage bonus. This makes these weapons fairly average although Orbits typically aren’t taken for their power in any case.

Their chief use is as a method for quickly refilling your PP bar, which can be useful for certain classes that have trouble regenerating PP or for those whose mechanics prevent the from doing so normally (such as Ranger with weak bullet loaded). Assuming they still have this latent, that means that for a lot of people they may be good just completing a single file once and being done with it. For a lot of people this may well be Orbit Gunslash, though Ranger may want to consider Orbit Rifle particularly if they never got themselves an Orbit Launcher. In fact, the Rifle may be decent enough to use an attacking weapon, though it will still be some way behind Gix in that regard.

Of course, there may be other reasons you might want to +35 these weapons. If you want to find out about that now, skip ahead to the “New Type Affixing” section.

Late November Content

Aside waifubait Annette joining the lobby with partner card and accessories, the 2nd Update trailer was a particularly interesting one with a lot of things to go over.

Phantom Darkers

They were data-mined a while back but they were finally revealed with the 2nd trailer. Phantom Lanz Vareda, Bonta Bearadda, Dagacha, Goldrahda and Decol Malluda. They’ll be arriving along with Episode 4 Chapter 6.

As well as appearing in the story mission, these Phantom Darkers seem set to appear on Earth fields in general.

In addition to looking different (Phantom Goldrahdas in particular!), it seems Phantom Darkers will also have unique moves. Phantom Bonta Bearadda for example appears to summon tiny versions of itself which it then commands to explode. Pretty nice to see that they’ve gone this far with them rather than just do a recolour (I know a certain someone who still hasn’t forgiven them for Caterdra’nsa).

Datamining does suggest there are other Phantom Darkers either waiting to be revealed or they may have been dropped. These include:

  • Dark Ragne
  • Vid Luda
  • Damoths
  • Pitta Wadda/Parata Picoda? (the one that shoots missiles, I never remember which is which)

As I say though, who knows if these will make it to release. Kinda want to see what Phantom Dark Ragne looks like…

Collection File Change

Collection files will now display a GET message instead of 100%. A minor interface improvement I guess, though I wish this meant you got the item at 100% instead of having to find an additional target enemy to kill, which can be irritating for certain kinds of targets.

Tekker Changes

 

bulk_appraisal

We’re finally getting bulk Tekking! A much needed quality of life change.

13star_icon

13* weapons will have a different icon while they’re unidentified, which should hopefully mitigate accidentally tekking them the wrong element while mass-tekking other items.

Now you might have noticed those prices. Don’t panic, those belong to a new feature known as “Advanced Item Appraisal”.

supertekker

While much more expensive than regular appraisal, it boosts your chances at getting better affixes and evidently may raise your chances at getting a high % element on the weapon.

Gathering on Hulkotron and Tunnels

We can finally go mining in the mine. No one cares abour Shironia.
But yes with new gathering spots comes new rings, so the important question is are they any good?

  • L / PB Homing
    • Delays the blades firing for a small amount of time, but they’ll home in on enemies after

Not sure if this ring will see much uptake as the main point of Photon Blade Fever is to spam blades as fast as possible to maximize your DPS. That delay is going to cause a significant drop in damage, even if it does mean the blades are more likely to hit.

  • L / Jumping Dodge
    • It makes you jump really high.

Kind of an interesting one. Could help the airborne classes get set up more easily as well as making certain bosses even more trivial to deal with (looking at you, Malmoth and Plosiorgles). There’s possibly some other gameplay altering effects this ring could have that I’m not considering (I wonder if it boosts the jump in the Magatsu fight?).

  • L / Slow Fi Action
    • Slows down the speed of Fighter weapon actions

I assume this will also extend the I-frames much like Slow Dive Roll does. Potentially powerful ring to aid in Fighter survivability (as if they didn’t have enough I-frames through Deadly Circle).

  • L / Near Auto Target
    • Pets automatically attack nearby enemies

Tired of having to press buttons as a Summoner? Worry no more! Get your normal-attack boosting Parfaits and you can just walk right on through stages.

  • L / Peace Zondeel
    • Prevents you from detonating Zondeel fields

Handy for those who wish to use lightning techs on enemies while retaining the suction effect of Zondeel.

Overall, a sorta interesting bunch of rings. The only one I can’t really think of a good use for is PB Homing but maybe I’m being short-sighted with it who knows.

New Type Affixing

This is an interesting change indeed. I’ll go over what I can gather from the trailer.

Essentially, getting a new-type weapon up to +35 will unlock a special ability on it. This ability can be transferred in the regular affixing process with a 100% chance of success. Now we don’t yet know all the nuances of this upcoming system but here’s what I can gather from just looking at it:

  • These are only available on +35 NT weapons.
    • Shown weapons are at least 11* rarity, but it may be available for weapons of all rarities…
  • The usual rules of affixing seem to apply. You’ll still need to have your fodder items with an equal or greater number of slots than your target item.
  • The target item’s own special affix counts towards the system, giving you a total of 6 potential high-end affixes you can slot at once.
  • Each weapon has its own unique ability.
    • Ray Sword gets Astral Soul at +35.
    • D-AIS Saber gets Spirita V at +35
    • The other weapons are unknown as the trailer skips through. Can’t even hazard a guess as there’s no guarantee they chose them in order and the affixes have shifted between the edit.
      • Coat Edge Ver2, DaisyChain NT, Sega Shield and  “幻創艦砲甲” (I can’t interpret this one) grant access to Power V, Stamina V, Alter Arma and Spirita Alpha.
  • While all are at 100%, presumably the same rules apply for up-slotting

So yeah, this mostly just seems like an incentive to grinding out collection sheets in order to obtain high grade affixes for the gear you actually want to use. Especially as you’d have to complete a collection sheet 6 times in order to +35 a weapon.

This doesn’t bode especially well for weapons that belong to collection sheets that expired, as their abilities will be difficult to out-right impossible to obtain. Guess we’ll have to wait and see what the list of affixes turns out to be on the more common weapons, but at least a few of the abilities they teased for us are on this list (Ray, AIS weapons, Seiga). For me this only further rubs salt in the wound that is the temporary nature of collection files..

It’s interesting, but in many respects I kind of just wish they’d do away with the current affixing system entirely. It’s one of the most convoluted and un-fun upgrade systems I’ve ever seen, though thankfully due to stat inflation on weapons it’s much less necessary than it used to be.

At the very least, I won’t be bothering to affix my weapons in the meantime!

Heaven and Hell 2 (Not official name)

prepare_to_hug

So the promised “harder than Heaven and Hell” Extreme quest is heading our way with the late November update. There seems to be at least a couple of differences..

First is that it seems it’s only 1 pass per attempt instead of the 5 per attempt that the first one is. There’s no mention of a weekly limit either…

Second is that the enemy pool will be pulling mostly from Episode 4 enemies This includes Phantoms and the recently introduced Dragonkin Aberrations.

Observed floors:

  • 4 Emperappies
  • Falka Leopard, Falka Leone and Goronzoran
  • Hagito Phamut and various Phantoms
  • Drago Deadlion and Dragon Ex
  • Dourumble and Guar Zigmorde
  • Vegas Illusia and Laplace’s Demon
  • Devil Trailer and various Vegas Phantoms
  • 2 x Box Buvals and Zeta Guranz
  • Anga Fundarge (Beast mode)

It looks about as hectic as the first Heaven and Hell, which means it’ll likely favor classes built for durability over other things (or Fighters spamming Deadly Circle Type-0). That said, at least the lower entry fee and thus slightly lower risk factor might not put off the more fragile builds quite so much. Hopefully the floors are engineered in such a way that tactical decisions can make the floors less risky rather than it just being a case of throwing as many enemies at you they feel they can get away with.

Your prize this time, should you be lucky enough to earn it, is a material used to make a special Skill Ring which has a visual effect upon equipping it. There are no details whatsoever about what abilities this ring imparts.

Other than that, the quest demo didn’t seem to drop anything at all. I assume they’re keeping those secret for now, though I do wonder what they’d even potentially give out. It can’t be stones anymore, because they’re not utilized much at all in endgame gear now…

December Raid Boss

After what felt like enough teasing, we finally got to enjoy a  trailer for the next raid boss as promised. This time, we head to the moon to take on something strongly resembling a Dark Falz…

The first part involves chasing the boss in a stage resembling a Star Fox level while the 2nd part is the usual “fighting a space god on a see through disc” deal we’ve had since PSO.

The chase section is presumably the data-mined “DPP1 Chase” that had us so baffled from a week ago. Seem pretty arcade-y, with plenty of obstacles to avoid while you’re chasing the phantom around various parts of Mother Cluster’s moon base. Seem’s the boss itself has a bunch of orbs that you’re going to need to break. Beyond that, not a lot to tell from it. I find the Rideroid controls awkward, though presumably they’re a little different in this quest.

The second phase is a chaotic mess of blue and bloom (bluem?) but other than that seems like your standard Phantasy Star Falz-like boss. It reminds me of a kind of amalgamation between Dark Falz 3 from PSO and Orga Angelus from PSP2. In fact it does seem to take some pretty strong design cues from Dark Falz 3 in general…

We know from datamining its AI that tbe boss uses a number of attacks borrowed from Dark Falz Elder, Double, Apprentice and Loser, though it also boasts some of its own unique attacks. Unfortunately due to the quality of the video and how bright everything is I couldn’t really pick out anything in particular.

Aside the excessive brightness though looks pretty good! I gotta say its pretty cool how after all this time they can still produce content that genuinely surprises me. Unlike the Profound Darkness fight, this one seems like at least the first half will be completely unique and stand out against the other raid bosses. Of course we have no idea at all how difficult it will be, so I guess we’re gonna have to wait for the inevitable play-demo down the line where they deliberately fail the quest.

That’s all for this post. These are largely my thoughts and interpretations of what I’ve seen so I may be wrong about some things. Let me know if there’s anything particularly wrong, because I don’t want to misinform people.

TGS Day 4 Trailer Analysis

ash_and_friends_hanging_out

The 4th day of TGS saw the reveal of a couple of new trailers for content coming up in October. I’ll be going over the bits I’ve got any thoughts on. The complete summarized rundown is on Bumped as always. Despite there being only two trailers (of the main things, anyway) there’s quite a lot to go through.

The Trailers


Just including the main two  trailer that will form the bulk of this post in this section. There’s a third more minor one I’ll go over at the end.

Early October Update:

Late October Update:

PA/Tech Customizations


While only the usual handful they add in these kinds of updates I think they’re an interesting handful in my opinion.

Sacrifice Bite Type Zero:

Speeds up the photon art and strengthens normal attacks. It seems like normal attacks gain an extended photon blade during the attack animation, though it’s hard to tell from the demo if this actually increases range or if it’s just for show. It would have been nice if the demo had used it on an enemy that didn’t have super-armor frames on to see how the full charge looks now.

expand_sword

If it does significantly increase normal attack range, then this is a good buff for swords in general as their normal attacks always had plenty of power but surprisingly small reach for how large the weapon is. This would also greatly help with the PP issues that sword can have, as you should more reliably tag enemies for PP recovery as long as the buff is up.

Straight Charge Type Zero:

Hold down the button to go sailing through enemies. It drains PP as you’re channeling it, so it’ll possibly last as long as your PP does. It’s one of those silly looking customizations that I can’t help but like.

Strike Gust Type Zero:

Kick up and up and up and up. Holding the button down extends the length of the rising part of the attack, which could be very irritating for other party members.

Parallel Slide Type Zero

Finally you can be like Giliam in the original PSO2 OP movie. Aside that, having a controllable high-mobility PA on Rifles might be interesting. Might look a bit derpy on non-cast characters, mind.

Sharp Bomber Type Zero

No longer launches you backwards and greatly increases its power when charged. Bullet Bows are still lacking in good AoE attacks, so this should be a welcome addition for those specializing in them.

Safoie Type Zero

Moves you towards the target before casting and is more powerful when charged. That’s about it, not a hugely interesting customization on the surface of it. However, it may be useful for melee-Techers as a gap-closing skill as presumably the gap-closing part won’t require you to charge the PA. If it does then it’s a bit less useful for that.

Ramegid Type Zero

Surrounds you with dark orbs which deal pulsing damage to enemies on contact. Could be a interesting addition to a melee Techer’s arsenal, though it depends on how long the orbs persist for. The orbs do flinch enemies, so it may also be a handy protective barrier against trash mobs for all casting types.

I think Ramegid and Sacrifice Bite got the most interesting changes, because both of them will potentially have a large impact on game-play. It’ll be more clear when these are released and we can experiment with them.

New Skills: Summoner Quality of Life.


Summoner will be gaining two new skills; Share Assist and Long Distance Love (daww).

Share Assist appears to allow support effects to transfer between pets when you swap pets or weapons. Not sure how big an issue this was for Summoners, but it may mean you won’t have to re-cast support techs as much.

Long Distance Love is probably the most major one, as it allows you to initiate Pet Sympathy without having to recall your pet to you to get it inside Shifta/Resta range.

new_pet_ui

Another major quality of life fix is your pet’s HP and status effects will display on the palette. I’m not sure why this wasn’t a feature from the beginning, as you’d think this is the kind of thing that’d come up during play-testing. It’s great that they’re finally implementing it, but all the same it’s baffling that it took them this long to do it.

I’m not sure if this is the “Skill re-balance” they were hinting towards on the long term schedule, but if it is I’m kind of disappointed. Not because these are bad changes because Summoner needed some help and I like what they’ve proposed. It’s just the name indicates that there’d be changes to most if not all classes, not just the one. We’ll see I guess.

Evolved Summoner Pets


The three basic pets; Wanda, Torim and Ceri will be gaining upgraded versions of themselves.

jinga
Jinga, the upgraded Wanda. It appears to gain a zig-zag motion, possibly extending the width of its dashing attack.
aero
Aero, the upgraded Torim. Aero Spiral seems to have a larger range than Torim Spiral.
popru
Popple, the upgraded Ceri. Popple-plode seems to have a larger radius than Ceri-plode.

Beyond that, it’s not really known how these pets are superior to the old versions. I’m not sure if you can just consume the upgraded egg or if you have to feed it to the base version to “evolve” it. However the demo shows them using a 7* Jinga egg to upgrade a 6* wanda, so it may have similar restrictions to the pet-ability swap/rarity upgrade mechanic. That is to say; you may need an egg of equal or greater rarity. If this is true, it’s going to be awkward to upgrade any 13* pets you currently have.

Skill Ring Update


 

There’s a couple of parts to this; one is the addition of 4 new rings to go with the addition of Caves and Tundra as gathering spots. Gonna go over the new rings here, with descriptions sourced from Bumped’s post:

L/Jet Boots Tech Arts SC

  • Reduces charge times when you combo from a PA to a Technic.

I can’t see this being terribly useful for BoHu or really in general. Seems like a waste of space, but maybe Jet Boot mains can correct me on this.

L / Air Reversal

  • Allows you to perform an air reversal in the air.

This could be really useful. While Just Reversal is trivial enough with practice, its main weakness is it leaves you vulnerable to being juggled to death. This ring should prevent that, by turning a knock-back into i-frames, which mechanically should greatly increase your survivability as long as you’re paying attention.

L / Slow Dive Roll

  • Extends the duration by slowing the Dive Roll speed.

I’m not sure of the use of this ring, unless it’s just to extend the i-frames on Dive Roll. Lord knows Dive Roll needs all the help it can get…

L / Step Jump

  • Increases movement speed if you jump during the [Step] action.

The video demonstration shows it’s a fairly large increase in movement speed. Could this be the return of step-jump for faster movement over long distances? Hopefully not, but the increase in melee mobility is always welcome  It’d be a fair boon if this ring allowed you go skip straight to maximum running speed upon landing, mind! Unfortunately the demo doesn’t show this either way.

Ring Selling/Trading

skill_ring_selling.jpg

The other side of this is you can buy and sell skill rings, which is interesting. I’m not sure what kind of restrictions might be put in place on them, if any. This could work out great for players who are willing to spend the extra time gathering for profit and for those players who just plain don’t want to gather. Given the cost of creating and upgrading rings however, it remains to be seen what kind of profit margin people might be able to make with this.

To The Moon! -Story Board Chapter 5


moon_baseRejoice, those who despise Episode 4 for going to Earth because we’re heading back to something resembling the science fiction setting again. The next chapter of the story quest is set on a moon base, where Hitsugi is currently being held captive. Battle your way past Mother Cluster apostles such as Phul and Och, possibly Kohri based on the data-mining and who knows who else!

The moon base itself doesn’t seem like a terribly complicated map, given it’s just a straight corridor. That said, I guess it’s reasonable for a field that’s only going to be available in a story quest. The background music incorporates Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”.

hi_mom
The quest will see Mother’s face finally revealed. I’m surprised they showed it in a teaser trailer really, as I’d figure this kind of thing would be better saved for the actual quest itself. Still, it does confirm that data-mining was right about her appearance at least. She also doesn’t seem terribly perturbed that her sworn enemies are bashing her door down…

Later on in the month, additional story board events will be added including a fight between Huey and Phaleg and finally re-uniting with Matoi.

This reminds me, I am actually considering doing story summary posts now thanks to story translation efforts by multiple people. More details on that when the time comes.

Ultimate Amduscia: New Info


The second trailer showed some new bits about Ultimate Amduscia.

Quest Teleporter.

Boooo. The inclusion of a teleporter is bad news in my opinion, because with it the quest will likely never get started once interest wanes over time. Initially it won’t be a problem because people will be running them a lot, but let’s see if that’s still the case 3 months down the line.

Presumably they felt the need to include this because they wanted to prevent the return of Anga farming. By syncing up all the players at the start, you can put Anga at the end of the quest, making sure you can’t just shortcut your way to it. The downside however will be you can’t join the quest once its begun, nor can anyone join you after you begin it. The result is if your MPA isn’t full you get to sit there and wait, which is something you don’t suffer from for the other Ultimate Quests. Good luck getting randoms to agree to go in with lower numbers! Anyone who’s had issues getting Riding Quests, Challenge Quests or the recent Odin Limited Quest started should know what I’m worried about.

The Quest Itself

It looks like it might be a fixed-layout quest, which I don’t mind. It does run counter to the spirit of the other Ultimate Quests however which functioned more like free fields and it may have the unfortunate effect of making the quest much more repetitive. However, a fixed layout does give them the potential to engineer more interesting encounters than a random number generator could create, so I’m interested to see how it all works out. Curiously, if you follow the trailer you’ll note that they’re at varying point totals at different parts of the map between obviously different runs. Maybe the route through the quest is randomized even if the map isn’t?

lightning_weakness
The main enemies are weak to lightning element. 

Much like the other Ultimate Quests, you’ll need to amass around 2000 points to clear. It seems the encounters during the quest are randomized enough, though the demo seems to show that a boss encounter happens in the same place (the center of the map) with Deadlion, Gilzoras Drago and the new Anga Fundarge. These all seem to occur around the 1200 point mark. It may pick a random boss to have as the final encounter in the quest if defeating it earns the rest of the points, which should be OK. I don’t think we’ll be in danger of people abandoning the quest if Anga doesn’t spawn as long as the collection files are relevant or their drops are decent.

New Gear

Speaking of drops, this is no doubt what a lot of people were most eager to find out. What kind of gear can we get?

As was expected , the quest will come with a new collection file with which you can obtain the “Gicks” series of weapons. Though along with these, apparently other 13* weapons will also drop from the quest.

gicks_sword_file

Gicks Sword comes with a rather impressive 1333 attack, though it’s unknown exactly how much of that is made up by affixes. If we assume that Deadlion Soul comes with the standard +35 S-atk then its +50 attack with Ability 3, bringing it down to an estimated 1283 attack which is still huge. Austere Calibur in comparison has 1161 S-atk at +0, so its looking like these will be making the Austere series obsolete if they come with a solid potential.

12* Units

After many years of 11* units, we’re finally making the transition to 12*. It appears that there’ll only be 1 complete set and a bunch of boss parts for others. While their stats are unknown, the blue-wing unit appears to start with 225 S-Def which puts it on par with the Tagami units if so. This potentially makes Saiki and Austere units superior for defense in terms of raw stats, but of course we don’t know what set bonuses they may come with or what inherent bonuses they may have. What we do know if that even if they’re statistically weaker they come with one very important mechanic that makes them blow all 11* units out of the water; you can slot L / skill rings into them.

ring_slotting

Take one ring, 100,000 Meseta and 1 Lambda Grinder to fuse a ring with your unit. Once you fuse the ring, the ring is consumed and you won’t be able to get it back. Note that this only works with Left rings and it will also bind the unit to you.

This is a game-changer in terms of the builds that people could go with, as it allows you to essentially equip up to 4 left rings at once! The big issue is going to be that you’ll need to do an additional upgrade step every time they release a new unit set now, which will be irritating as you’ll have to re-gather and grind up a new ring each time. Though I guess the ability to buy and sell rings may help in that regard…

As an aside, the blue units appear to be Ray units. They’re similar to Ray weapons in appearance and have “ray” in their names. As far as I know it isn’t confirmed if they’ll have a set bonus with Ray weapons, but even if they do the presence of the Gicks series may topple the urge to wear them together…

Phantasy Star Universe Part 2


 

Alright, there’s one more trailer to go over quickly! The 2nd part of the Phantasy Star Universe anniversary crossover thingamajig was revealed.

This time, the focus is on the Phantasy Star Portable games mostly, also featuring a shirtless Howzer because why not. Shirtless Howzer is kinda awesome to be honest, he reminds me a bit of Liquid Ocelot  You’ll be able to get Helga, Vivienne and Emilia costumes and accessories. Howzer and Helga’s costumes will be layered wear.

This time, the lobby NPCs will be Emilia and Vivienne. They’ll come with the usual Client Orders, obtainable Partner Cards and  obtainable 13* weapons, with Clarita Visas NT and Vivienne. Both weapons will have editable photon colours.

emilia_and_vivi

What’s new and fairly interesting about this pair is that they both seem to come with their own fully voiced cutscenes. I’m not sure if these will be special story board events or what triggers them. I’m interested to see what they have to say, mind, though I’m not expecting them to do something silly like trying to make a canonical link between PSU and PSO2…

Anyway, looks like that’ll be all for the Phantasy Star Universe anniversary. Kind of a shame we didn’t see anything Laia turn up but that’s how it goes. I originally thought there were going to be three parts based on the fact that we had three major characters on the promotional artwork, but there’s nothing on the schedule for it. Kind of a blow for fans of the Guardians Formal outfit.

That’s finally all I have to write about! Long post, but there was a lot of stuff they revealed on the 4th day of the TGS. As far as I know there’s nothing else to announce, but i could be wrong. Let me know in the comments if I got anything wrong or if you have any observations of your own you’d like to add. Thanks for reading!