44th Broadcast Writeup

ElderRappy

The 44th broadcast happened today so let’s get this opinions machine rolling again.

Bumped has its bullet point write-up here as always. As usual, I’ll generally be sharing my opinions on the stuff I care about as well as a gathering spot for the various videos captured from the stream.

GODZILLA


Las Vegas Update Trailer 1:

Arks League

ArksLeague

Seems to be a new ranking system in which you’re matched up with 19 other players. If you score well within your league, you can earn prizes like Stargem Tickets and Tri-boosters.

It’s nice that at least casual players will stand a hope in hell’s chance of actually competing as opposed to a ship-wide ranking. That said, I’m curious if there’s any matchmaking involved or if it’s just completely random.

SG Scratch Recycle

SG_recycle

So this was finally shown and no surprise it’s a disappointment. For one thing it requires 40 Stargem Scratch items to be exchanged, which is a huge number of items. Secondly, the selection of items you can exchange for doesn’t include every item in the scratch. In particular, you can only exchange for the default variations of the Dark Falz costumes excluding the battle damaged Apprentice costume. So if you want any color variation or that, you’re still at the mercy of RNG.

To illustrate, you will need 3600 Stargems total (80 * 40), which means you need to be earning 21 Stargems per day (153 days until the scratch expires, so 3600/21). If you’re not, you don’t stand a hope of using this exchange unless they get very liberal with Stargems down the line.

As someone who has been wanting these costumes for nearly 4 years, this system continues to be an insult.

Chat Commands

Chat commands to change your facial expression and your fashion preset will be added. Not sure why it took them this long to add these, really.

New story stuff

StoryStuff

Seems we’ll be learning more about “Earth Guides”, the resistance force against Mother Cluster. New Unite E-Trials will appear on Earth featuring members of the Earth Guides battling against Phantoms.

During the events, we meet yet another Mother Cluster Apostle, this time an Apostle of Fire named “Phaleg”. She’s demonstrated to have considerable power, which surprises the player even after the tough enemies they’ve had to deal with in the past. Not sure why we needed another apostle introduced so soon seeing as we’ve barely gotten to know the 5 they introduced all at once last time.

Bikini Scratch

Bikinis

Normally I wouldn’t write about this kinda stuff but it’s interesting because the three costumes on the right are the first conversions of old outfits into the Layered wear system. So it seems they are willing to do this after all, which naturally makes me ponder what other outfits are due for conversion.

Las Vegas Part 2

 

The two main things of note with this update are the new pet and selection of skill rings.

New Pet – Lucari- er Synchro

The main gimmick of this pet is essentially Tech-Arts, in that the pet’s power rises as you combo different PAs together.

Might be interesting, I just personally have no interest in playing Summoner myself so I’ll likely end up sticking to easy-mode Wanda whenever I’m on that alt.

Skill Rings

LV_skillrings

These are the skill rings shown so far (with credit to Bumped for the names).

  • L / Bullet Bow Homing
  • L / JB Elemental Keep
  • L / Standing Sign
  • L / A Launcher Mode
  • L  / Short Mirage
  • L / Wand E Change
  • L / Mate Lovers
  • R / J Reversal Cover

Ranger finally gets some skill rings!

Another Launcher Mode changes Launcher’s basic attack to be like that of PSU Grenade Launcher weapons. Not sure why you’d do that seeing as I’m fairly sure that would make the weapon much more inconenient to use. Standing Sign on the other hand shows an effect when Standing Snipe is active which… why is this even a ring? Sure, it’s useful but this is a basic gameplay feature they’re relegating to something you have to grind for. I genuinely feel bad for Rangers right now unless those rings have some other bonuses.

Bullet Bow Homing sounds like it might change up Bullet Bow gameplay a bit, depends on how accurate it is.

Mate Lovers has a kinky name, but it’s hard to guess exactly what this ring will do. May be use-time, may be boosted heals, may change the animation, it could be all the above and other things I’m too dumb to think of.

Wand Element Change could be potentially interesting, enabling Wand users to get away with just having a single Wand rather than a rainbow selection of them. Kinda sucks for those players who already gathered a rainbow selection, but at least they have a ring-slot freed up.

Rider Quest

LasVegas01

Kill enemies to get points, collect emblems to get bonus points. Try to get as high a score as you can within the time limit!

Enemies will still reward drops and exp, however all drops will be pooled into an end-crystal like with the current Odin Limited Quest and Mining Base Defence. The higher the score, the better your rare drop rate will be.

An emergency trial can occur during the quest which is essentially a giant Independence Day reference. Destroy the UFO’s shields before it annihilates the city!

This is a new type of quest which is separate from the Free Field. I don’t know what kind of limitations there’ll be on it if there are any. There is however at least a Klotho Client Order associated with it, though it only pays out a measly 10,000 Meseta. Sugar daddy letting me down.

Las Vegas Field

 

LasVegas02

Las Vegas will first be appearing in story mode, which is slightly unusual for the release of a field but they did do it before with Kuron in Episode 3.

Aside the verticality of the map, the free field seems to be mechanically identical to the Tokyo field in that enemies are pointed out on the radar and you need to grind out quest points to clear. This may, much like Tokyo, make the field tedious to complete solo due to the smaller spawn sizes. The lower point requirement may ablate this somewhat, I also ponder if the boss may be guaranteed to spawn at a certain point quota as with recent event quests.

The map looks alright enough, albeit embarrassingly low poly in places. The most striking thing is how small it feels while riding around on the Rideroid vehicle. On foot, the map feels spacious enough but in the air it ends up feeling really small. It does also seem like it won’t be using the old map-generation system present in other areas.

Other Trailers

 

Es Update: Starring the new character EDGELord and a badly drawn weaponoid made by someone who has never seen a woman in real life or has no understanding of anatomy at all (Whipblade Paratizel). Some pretty dang nicely drawn ones in there as well.

 

Arks Festival Items: WUB WUB WUB WUB WUB

 

Live Concerts: Featuring Dark Falz Loser as an old woman firing lasers into the Arks Shopping mall.

I’m afraid this was the surprise trailer, so no grand surprises to talk about this time.

 

Question and Answers

 

Once again, thanks to Kami_Pepe on twitter for posting summaries of these. These are interpretations based on machine translation, so please please get in touch if you can provide something more accurate or if I’ve gotten something horribly wrong.

Q:武器迷彩を複数装備できるようになる?
A:元々武器迷彩自体がイレギュラーでしてシステム上難しいので今後も絶対にないです。

Q: Why can’t we have multiple weapon camos at once?

A: The original implementation of the weapon camo system was clumsy, so we can’t do this for now.

This is reminding a bit of the problem they had back in PSU when they wanted to expand the number of Photon Arts a character could learn but couldn’t due how the game was programmed. One day, Sega will learn how to do basic software engineering I’m sure…

Q:一括鑑定できるようにしてくれない?
A:前々から試行錯誤してまして、早くても年末や年明けになりそうです

Q: Is it possible you could allow for bulk weapon appraisal?

A: It’s something we’re currently doing a trial and error approach for, we may have something for the end of the year or early next year.

Nice to hear I guess, though I’m not sure how they’d handle the element portion unless people would be fine having bulk appraised weapons all having the same element. For the most part, I would be anyway.

Q:ラスベガス実装にともなってロケとか行かれたのですか?
A:行ってないですよ Googleストリートビューを元にしました

Q: Did you go to Las Vegas to do research for the new field?

A: No, we just used Google Street View.

Astounding.

43rd Broadcast Thoughts

TEAM_BETHOR

As always, you can read the bullet-point rundown on Bumped here. I’m just gonna be sharing my thoughts on any particular part I feel anything about. So I’m not going to be talking about PSO2es and the additional lolis it’s gaining or the Anime character CD. That said, still quite a lot I want to talk about so strap in and get comfortable if you want to come along for the whole ride.

To start off, here’s a trailer for content coming up in July

Includes a new casino game,  yet more Gunner themed outfits and this year’s Beach Wars quest which sees the return of Emperappy as well as a titled Chrome Dragon as its end-boss.

Casino Coins for Star Gems

What’s that? 1 Star Gem per day isn’t enough for you? Fear not, as you’ll soon be able to buy Star Gems with Casino Coins for the following amounts:

  • 5 Star Gems for 5000CC
  • 10 Star Gems for 9,800CC
  • 20 Star Gems for 19,400CC

So you’ll be able to have a free roll at the Star Gem scratch for the low low price of 77,600 Casino Coins! Who knows, you might even get Casino Coins as a prize from the Scratch! You’re always wanted some of those!

So yeah, fairly obviously this is meant to be a bonus and not so you can use the Casino to gamble your way to victory on the SG scratch. That said, it still feels like a steep price for what it is, but I admit that even I’d be tempted to drop excess coins on it unless some good rare-boss triggers came up.

As an aside, in late July it seems you’ll be getting 1 more Stargem per account per day for simply logging into PSO2es. So they do seem intent on adding extra ways for players to earn gems, so over time the scratch may become more viable for free players. Right now the odds are still stacked against you if you want a particular outfit from the scratch.

 

Final Fantasy 14 Collab Stuff

Miqo’tes, Relic Weapons and more!

Most of the cosmetics stuff looks great and I’m sure this is going to be a popular scratch when it’s out. Again, it’s a bit of a shame there was no female armor among this lot but that would have been a mere cherry on top of a great cake for me.

The Limited Quest

The center of this update is going to be a quest set in the Ruins that’s essentially another all-star dungeon-style quest with set encounters. Featured enemies include Dark Falz Angel, Anga Fundarge and Guar Zigmorde among many others. Odin awaits at the very end of the quest.

Enemy drops are all pooled into a crystal at the end of the quest, much like with the recent Easter quest and the Mining Base Defense quests. That means you must clear the run in order to get any items at all.

Odin

Odin himself works much like he does in FF14, with all his AOE and spear mechanics in place. He also retains his Zantetsuken ability, which is an outright DPS race. If the MPA fails the DPS race and Odin gets to use Zantetsuken at all, the quest immediately fails.

Weakbullet is jammed on Odin, which is fast becoming the standard for PSO2 bosses it seems like. Really if they feel that strongly about Weak Bullet I’m not sure why they don’t just give the skill itself a direct nerf, except perhaps because they’d need to rebalance a bunch of existing content which expects Weakbullet at full strength (such as Magatsu).

Healing effects are also reduced during the fight, which I assume is an attempt to make the encounter feel a bit closer to how it was in Final Fantasy 14. If it’s just using the same method they use for Extreme Quests however the likes of Megiverse and HP-steal weapons shouldn’t be affected. Automate Users may want to be aware, however.

I’m really not a fan of the way this guest is engineered. Because the quest fails when Zantetsuken fires and because items are only handed out for clearing you will lose an entire quest’s worth of drops. Given this is a DPS check right at the end of the quest, for me this seems far too punishing. My worry is if the DPS check is too brutal, then after a short while it’ll be extremely difficult to actually get a run going at all as people furiously check each other’s gear and quit out of panic.

Could you blame people if they did that though? It’s not a short quest, so embarking with a group you know might fail the DPS check is a potential complete waste of your time and boosters! You will gain no items for doing so and you will make no progress with Collection Files either. If the DPS check is brutal, this is a disaster waiting to happen. If it’s forgiving however, it might be alright. The encounter looks fun enough without the DPS check. Yeah, you may argue what’s the point in a DPS check you barely notice as why have the check at all and I actually agree with you! Mostly because I detest DPS checks, however. For PSO2, this normally boils down to “how many people can get away with carrying the entire MPA”, as in how many people with the optimal builds and great gear are needed before the quest isn’t doomed from the start. Or I suppose the inverse question would be “how many people in terrible gear can the DPS check tolerate”?

In short, Sega better be careful about the design of this quest as could create an extremely toxic environment with the wrong numbers.

FF_Odin
Comes complete with FATE JOINED message. FATEs are essentially FFXIV’s equivalent of Emergency Trials, so it’s a nice touch.

Odin will also spawn outside of the quest in regular Free Fields. Not sure if his Zentetsuken remains in-tact and I certainly hope it doesn’t retain its quest-fail mechanic! As someone pointed out on Bumped, it sure would suck to spawn into a map where a random Odin somewhere in the area uses Zentetsuken, resulting in an instant quest fail the moment you warp down there. I mean even if it doesn’t fail, getting randomly one-shot because an Odin across the map got to use the move would still be very irritating.

Weapons

The relic weapons themselves are going to be camos, not drops. There is going to be a weapon collection for this quest however and it’s a new weapon series called the “Aura” series.

aura_weapon

What’s interesting about these weapons is more the implications it has for the game than their power. In terms of attack, they sit about the same level as Revolucio weapons. I judge this based on the Wired Lance shown, which boasts 1350 S-Atk at +35 (after removing affixes). Their latent is entirely focused on bosses however, offering a 12% boost to damage dealt to and a 15% damage reduction from bosses.

As you can imagine, this makes them relatively useless weapons in general but the interesting part of this is that they directly compete with Ideal weapons. In the case of the wired lance, the difference between Ideal Scissors and Aura Wired Lance (can’t interpret its name) is about 142 S-atk. Of course, the Ideal weapon latent is 18% damage to bosses vs Aura’s 12%. So does 142 S-atk cover the difference of about 6% damage? I’m not expert enough in the damage formula to say, but gut feeling says that the two weapons would end up fairly comparable. That fact alone is interesting, because it makes Ideal weapons redundant; at least for as long as this collection file is active (until late August it seems).

While challenge mode has had a bit of an incentive issue for a while now (Ideal weapons are already outclassed by other weapons even for bossing) to have yet another thing come along and erode it even further is kind of sad. Some of my fondest memories of PSO2 come from Challenge Mode…

 

AMERICA – FUCK YEAH

So yeah, they teased the next field and it turns out it’s Las Vegas in the good old USA. I’d joke that PSO2 is finally coming to America but I already did that. So did literally everyone else so… ahem.

Based on the enemies we’d seen in the data, Las Vegas was a strong guess and it turned out that one was correct! Other guesses were just America in general, Paris and Akihabara. I would not have been surprised with any of those outcomes.

Anyway, it’s just as crazy as the Tokyo reveal and I adore it, check out the trailer:

The music is “Neon Days” by a group named Rumblebee, who seemingly previously did music for Sonic Riders.

The chief thing you’re going to notice (besides all the FREEDOM) is that this map has more vertical space than any map released so far. Seeing as the ARKS can’t fly, in order to facilitate this they’ve introduced a chicken-walker style mech called the “Rideroid” that you can use to fly around the map. Vegas also seems to be enormous compared to what we’ve had so far, though that may be a misleading artifact due to the way the trailer was shot.

LV_esca_tower
Notably, but not surprisingly, the Las Vegas field has an ESCA tower just like Tokyo. 

Given the nature of the map, I’m pondering if it might not have the same random generation that all maps have had so far or even any at all. I’m not against this idea, as a properly hand-crafted map would be a refreshing change for PSO2, it’s just this seems like it might be the death of the old style of Free Field quest.

I should say, I don’t think the old style of Free Field quest is perfect by any stretch. I always felt like a free field shouldn’t even have a boss and should instead just be about freely wandering an area til you get bored. The boss arenas should go to a set map like they did with Train Ghidoran’s Arks Quest. In my opinion, the Kuronia and Tokyo fields becoming point grinds was not the right direction to take them as it runs counter to the philosophy of “run at your own pace”, never-mind the really irritating way Tokyo handles its spawns. Hopefully Las Vegas doesn’t handle its spawns in the same way, and with the shift from grinding stones to doing collection sheets there should be no need for a point system.

Enemies

As is tradition, let’s take still shots from the best video we can find and have a look at the enemies and, where possible, try to match them to data-mined names. As is always the case, these are caps taken from a live-stream so the quality of the images is going to be very muddy.

ball_cowskull

Let’s start with the first enemy shown, which is a thing walking on a ball. There is one enemy with AI that has a ball and that’s Phantom Pierrot A. The AI file suggests it also has a knife attack.

That thing in the bottom right seems to be a cow’s skull. While this could be Phantom Buffalo, it seems Buffalo’s AI includes the ability to stomp. I guess a skull could stomp, but these are phantom enemies so for all I know the little guy could suddenly grow a ghost body or something.

Clowns and Jesters

 

By appearance, I would assume this pair of clowns are the two Phantom Pierrot variants. There do seem to be two different enemies here, with the red jester in both of them.

Judging by the AI, however, it seems that both of them are in fact Phantom Pierrot B, as it’s the only one with a chainsaw attack and balloons. Unless one is a rare variant or they decided to split this into two enemies I’m not sure why the two are different colours.

In case you don’t know, a “pierrot” is essentially an old pantomime character which was a kind of sad clown.

Phantom Sniper

I did not expect this to be a rabbit riding the sign for a gun shop, but then who would have? There are two variants of this little guy, one of which  seems to be the sniping variant we see above and the other can fire rockets. We only seem to see the sniping kind in the trailer.

Phantom Biker

Big beards, mullets and leather. Just about everything I wanted out of this enemy.

The AI for this guy is surprisingly complicated, but despite  this there’s only really a couple of methods that stand out. It seems to have dashing attacks as well as the attack it uses in the trailer, which I assume is it’s “drift cutter” ability.

Phantom Caravan

Now, I’m making an educated guess that this enemy is caravan as it aligns with the overall circus theme the map seems to have going for it. Do a Google image search for “Circus Caravan” and you’ll see what I mean.

caravan

It has an attack where it fires something, a “cracker” attack and some slashing attacks. It also may be able to grab the player. It’s possible that it’s using the firing attack during the trailer, where it seems to be shooting balls all over the place.

Phantom Goddess

phantom_goddess

The boss is Lady Liberty riding a Sphinx. I mean, we had various guesses as to what “PhantomGoddess” would turn out to be but I don’t think any of us expected this! It’s dumb as hell and I love it.

Now, PhantomGoddess is one of the earliest datamined enemies for this area and is in fact the source of the speculation that this field would take place in Las Vegas. In particular, she has a number of attacks based on Roulette, attacks involving the Eiffel Tower (seemingly using it as a lance) and of course the Sphinx. These and of course the statue herself were all things present on the Vegas strip, which is where the assumption that the next field may have been Vegas came from. From the AI I’ve seen so far, I don’t see any suggestions as to what status effect it might be weak to however it’s a boss so naturally its AI is long and complicated so I may have missed something. It does appear to have a phase shift at 60% HP.

The rest of the enemies in this section are enemies that are presumed to belong to this field either thematically or because they arrived in the data at around the same time. However, they seemed to be missing from the teaser.

Phantom Maxwell

Has “red shot”, “blue shot” and it may have some self destruction mechanic. Beyond that, I really don’t have a clue what kind of enemy this could be. I just can’t associate “Maxwell” with anything related to the theme of the field and googling so far hasn’t turned up anything.

At least, it didn’t turn up anything for those themes. What it did turn up however was a scientific concept known as “Maxwell’s Demon“. I won’t detail too much, but the important thing is that it’s concerned with violation of thermodynamics by way of separating out hot and cold particles. There was a game based on this concept called “Maxwell’s Maniac” in which the goal was to separate red and blue molecules into color coded chambers. I suspect it’s not a coincidence that this enemy has red and blue shots!

Phantom Laplace

Again, much like Maxwell, “Laplace” as a name just doesn’t ring any bells for the overall themes of “America” and “Circus”.

Laplace does seem to have quite a number of abilities however, including a barrier of some kind, slashing and shooting attacks, the ability to summon things (summons “N” and “B”) and routines to keep track of and to go to its summons. It appears the summons are either Maxwells or it’s just that it has special routines for Maxwells in particular, I’m not sure. The complexity of its AI honestly puts it as a fairly good candidate as a mini-boss or even a boss.

So yeah, evidently Laplace and Maxwell are fairly closely related. So the question is raised, “Does Laplace turn up when I search up scientific stuff?”.Well, it doesn’t turn up in science (outside of the concept of “Laplace pressure”) so much but it does seem to come up a lot in mathematics. In particular, probabilities and statistics.

So we have potentially a  mathematician/scientist theme with Laplace and Maxwell. This seems to be a fairly sharp departure from the overall themes in Las Vegas which makes me ponder if this pair of enemies may actually belong to a future field. Notably, Laplace has some routines specific to story mode.

Notably, Och Miller is a member of Mother Cluster who is a progeny mathematician. So odds seem pretty good that this pair of enemies are related to her.

Phantom Vulture:

Seems to have the ability to stick to targets and may include group-AI abilities. It contains a few grouping methods, but it’s possible that instead of having an enemy with actual flocking behavior it may be.that it’s spawned by a commanding enemy, similar to how Vardha summons Kindidds and Angel summons birds which he subsequently commands to explode.

Phantom “Track”

I guessed a long time ago that there was a good possibility that this would be an american themed field. With that in mind, I figured “track” was meant to be “truck”, especially given we already had a train in Tokyo. Its just “a” in Japanese sounds more like the “uh” sound in how most english speakers would say “Truck”, hence why they might spell it as “track”.

However, I didn’t take into account that roller-coasters were a thing, and seeing the focus on one during the trailer did make me consider the possibility that it’d be a bunch of rollercoaster cars attacking us or something. However looking at the AI it does seem like it is indeed a truck, in particular a circus truck.  Its AI file is big compared to regular enemies, suggesting it may be a mini-boss. It attacks with its “carrier car”, has a “horn bazooka” and can drift. It also has methods “Circus” and “Circus Attack”.

Phantom UFO

Las Vegas is a city in the state of Nevada. Another thing that exists in Nevada is “Area 51”, so yes UFOs are quite thematically appropriate for this field. So while no UFOs showed up in the teaser I’m fairly sure this will be in Vegas.

Phantom UFO has a number of abilities, including multiple laser attacks, a method named “UFOCatch” and a “LittleGrey”. In case you’re unaware, Greys are very much a pop-culture icon in the US and the most common depiction of aliens in that region. Though the greys themselves don’t seem to be separate entities from the UFO,  they do have attacks and theres a few routines for their height as well as “greydown”. Given how a common depiction of flying saucers has them grabbing things with tractor beams  I’m surprised there don’t seem to be any grab or hold attacks.

Phantom Dog

Bark! The AI has a dash attack and a “fire” attack.

Phantom Roach

It has an AI file but it’s completely empty. While it’s true that Goldrahda-type enemies are all labelled “Roach”  as well, it’s likely that in this case it means an actual cockroach. This enemy was only recently added, so there’s a chance this won’t show up in Vegas.

 

 

Questions Corner

 

Much like last time, Twitter user @kami_pepe reposted the summaries of the questions and their answers. Special thanks to Mewn and Espiokaos for help interpreting these. Let me know if theres anything drastically wrong.

Q: How do you know the breast-size of characters for the Arks Report?

A: It’s stored on characters as numerical data, so we just calculate the size based on that!

I’m glad the Japanese are asking the important questions.

Q: Sachiko has moving fingers! Will you be adding finger posing to PSO2 anytime soon?

A: There are no plans to implement this. 

Presumably the main problem is they would have to add finger bones and rigging for every single outfit in PSO2, which would be a massive undertaking for such a relatively minor feature in the grand scheme of things. They’d also have to animate the fingers for most existing animations, which is a fair amount of work in its own right but not as taxing as rigging the 100s of costumes they’ve released. This I’m afraid is just going have to be something you’ll have to hope is present in PSO3 instead, whenever that happens.

Q: Why can’t we trade SG items?

A: There are two reasons for this.

  1. Because if we didn’t, people with multiple accounts would take advantage of it given we distribute SG for free.
  2. SG Scratch is aimed at only a portion of the userbase, so allowing trades would go against our intents.

Their first reason seems a little nonsensical to me. For one thing, you can already do this with FUN points. I mean, I guess FUN Scratch doesn’t typically last for 6 months, nor does it ever contain costumes but it can occasionally contain desirable haircuts, accessories and such, all of which are trad-able.

For the second reason, it’s possible that the system is engineered so that people are meant to log in every day. Letting people trade would mean people would just buy what they wanted instead. If this interpretation is accurate, it’s an irritating reason indeed especially given that right now even if people did log in every day they wouldn’t have nearly enough Star Gems for the amount of attempts they’d need to get what they want.There is of course the possibility that it’s aimed at whales which has its own unfortunate set of implications… Either way, I’m more convinced by their second reason than I am their first one and indeed I feel it explains their motivations for the first. A system that wants you to log in every day would potentially fall apart if you allowed people to trade.

Q: What are we supposed to do with duplicate items from the SG Scratch?

A: We plan to implement a way for you recycle duplicate items at a later date. For now,keep any spare items you have in storage! We’re sorry about this, there’s no excuse for expecting you to hold on to duplicate items. 

So yeah, if you have any duplicate items or just generally SG items you don’t want I guess, hold onto them! I mean goodness knows what the eventual recycling items will end up being, but it’s better to hold on and be disappointed than to destroy your items and regret it later.

It’s anyone’s guess as to what items they’ll introduce into such a recycling shop however. I severely doubt it’ll result in a trade-in for additional Stargems, but hey that’d be appreciated!

Q: Why is there a 120 Casino Coin ticket in the SG Scratch?

A: The scratch will be up for six months, so it’s going to be a long-term thing. As you can get SG for free, you’ll have plenty of time to amass the Star Gems you require.

This is a particularly funky answer as it doesn’t really address the question at all… Assuming interpretations are correct it seems that the intention is for you to take an exceedingly long time to get what you want from the scratch. Unfortunately, as I’ve pointed out many times now, if you’re depending on the login bonuses logging in every day will give you an uncomfortably small shot at getting what you want.

Generally,  I’m not at all satisfied with their answers justifying this terrible system they’ve concocted. However, as said elsewhere in this post, it’s plausible we may gain more ways to get Star Gems at time goes on, which may bring things into the realms of obtainable for dedicated players. As of right now, it doesn’t matter how dedicated you are as even if you used all the currently available methods to get Gems and logged in every day for the whole 6 months, you still basically have a small chance of getting what you want. That alone is criminal, and I hope the Japanese continue to pressure Sega over this system.

 

Ultimate Amduscia!??!?

 

There was no mention of Ultimate Amduscia, but fear not because it definitely is not canned.

As of the latest patch, PSO-World user Shadowth117 was able to piece together this shot by swapping out some of the client’s files with some recently added assets for Ultimate Amduscia.

UldDuscia

As you may recognize, it seems to resemble Caves 3 from PSO. Of course, this is a work that is still heavily in progress and the file-swap may have altered the look of the area in unintentional ways, so this does not represent the final product at all. The little glimpse is appreciated, however.

Another thing that was added which suggests they’re working on it still is a new enemy showed up in the client, named “ult_waker_beast”. “Ult Waker” is the internal name given to Anga Fundarge, which may suggest that Ultimate Amduscia may arrive with a brand new variant. All the data can tell us is that it has a tail, has biting attacks and still uses bits like Anga Fundarge does. “Beast” is normally used to describe creatures similar to Rockbear (such as Wolgahda) but given it has a tail and bites, it may not be or resemble a Rockbear re-model at all.

So yeah, it’s still being worked on. Who knows, we may well be getting a teaser trailer for it in a live broadcast or two! Will be interesting to see what they intend to do with it with the apparent death of the stone grind post Episode 4.

38th Broadcast Writeup

HAPPYCLARIS

The 38th broadcast went out last night. Being the final broadcast before the actual expansion, its time to iron out any remaining questions surely? Well of course not, while some details are fresh we mostly got stuff we already knew about.

As usual, this post will be a gathering of the various trailers shown throughout as well as sharing my thoughts. Bumped has done their summary of the broadcast as usual, and will cover some details that I won’t. If you’re interested in taking part in the PS4 beta in particular, check it out. Naturally I’ll be talking about some things Bumped didn’t as well as sharing my own dumb thoughts cause that’s what I do here.

First off; Henri is BACK, motherfuckers!

henriiii

Was worried he’d drowned in pussy or something, welcome back you… guy who walked back and forth in the lobby! You’ll notice the area he’s wandering around in is new: more on that in a moment.

Gathering – Phantasy Runescape Online 2

I guess this explains the inventory expansion. I think I’d be livid if they introduced an entire new way to fill your bag up with no expansion to help you out.

Much like with other games, you essentially seem to walk up to a node and press buttons to make a thing happen and you get an item. Fishing requires at least some timing it appears, for which I assume you’re just pressing a button when a fish bites I guess.

fishing_star_online
This potentially re-defines “Phishing” I suppose.

Gathering is limited via a stamina bar. It isn’t certain exactly how this works, but i feel confident in saying that Arks Cash will probably be the miracle cure for fatigue.

So what do you do with these newly acquired materials taking up all that additional inventory space you just got? Why, you take them to Franca’s Cafe turn them into cuisine and rings of course! You know, your regular jeweler in the Cafe. That’s where Henri is wandering about earlier in the post, by the way. That handsome devil.

We’ll be gaining 2 equipment slots in which we can equip said rings. Presumably Rings will be made from metals and such, but some will also need Lambda Grinders. They’ll be in the armor and costume menu. Rings seem to mostly augment class skills, but they can also raise stats. Some mentioned include:

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

The skill augments are potentially interesting I suppose, but I can’t help feeling that at some point there’s gonna be some straight up damage boosting rings and those are going to be the only ones worth going for. Unless they keep them strictly utility of course, in which case it mostly won’t be worth bothering with unless the augments really are interesting. I’m being cynical here I know, but I’m so used to them half-assing systems they’ve introduced before. Yes, the skill augments could be interesting but remember when Photon Art customization came out? Remember how that “could” have been interesting? What about Timed Abilities?

Rings seem to have something like a grind value (they’re pictured at +1) but they also have an EXP bar. How this EXP is acquired, who knows. It’d be easy to assume its just via killing enemies and such, but it could also be feeding it materials for all we know right now. They also seem to be restricted to the right or left ring slots, though I don’t know the significance of this yet. As in, what trends might right-slot rings have that left doesn’t and vice versa.

Cuisines are gonna work like the food items we can get now I would assume, so essentially stat boosters. The food shown lasts 1 minute and 5 minutes though, which is kind of a tiny period of time. I assume higher ranked food lasts longer, but who knows.

This system is set to arrive in March. Why so long after the expansion starts? Cause I have no idea, gotta spread it out or something. While on this cynical bent I guess I would say that they’ll probably only release 10 rings and 10 foods initially or something too, then six months later remember they started this project and bother to add some more things. Prove this cynical shithead wrong, Phantasy Star Crew, see your system through!

Other Trailers

We got a good selection of videos this broadcast, but unfortunately the vast majority of the time they don’t really show anything we didn’t already know. As such, I feel the best I can really do here is comment on various tidbits after the trailers.

First is a trailer showing us essentially everything we know about so far. This is a long one and it does show quite a lot of things, worth watching for a refresher and for the adorable emperor Rappy rolling around.

Next is a shorter trailer showing off the Valentines update.

We’re getting a new character creation demo, complete with new bench-marking test video. As always with these, I’m kinda saddened we don’t get cutscene’s this dramatic in-game. That said, maybe I just like over the top cheesy things I don’t know. The demo is slated for release in late February.

Gameplay Demo

Just a couple of videos demonstrating Summoner game-play as well as showing off the Tokyo field. Skip about 5 minutes in to get to actual game-play.

I don’t know, the class looks kind of awkward to me still. Maybe it’ll feel OK to actually play it, but it just seems like you don’t really have as much control over your pacing as this class as you would for all the others. It seems like the game-play would just be too passive for my liking, though this style may well appeal to some. It’s only a little over a week before we get to try the class for ourselves, so we’ll see soon I guess. More importantly we can finally start to answer some questions the developers never seem to, such as how certain class skills interact with pets and how summoner skills may interact with other weapon types (if at all).

Notably, Train Ghidoran doesn’t seem to be the boss of the Free Field on Tokyo. Instead, it;s the boss of what seems to be the 2nd Arks Quest. I doubt the Free Field has a new boss, so instead I have to ponder if the quest itself essentially just functions like an Ultimate Quest; where it ends once you’ve reached the quest point quota. As they didn’t demonstrate it, I can only guess for now.

Tidbits

As we know, the character storage box starts at 300 items but can be expanded to 1000. It seems that you can increase it in 50 item increments for 800 AC each. This brings the total cost of expansion per character to 11,200 AC. That’s kind of expensive, but then +50 personal storage costs 1600AC right now.

Mutation II is coming out. It’s been in the client data for as long as I can remember. You can obtain it from a special titled Diabo Igrythis that only appears in a seasonal Emergency Quest. You can also create it yourself from 5 Mutation I at a 50% success rate. Mutation I boosts the fusion success rate of stat II into stat III. Its more advanced form will do the same for III to IV.

more_pso_nostalgia_stuff

2016 Weapons Badges are coming out. You can get camos of various PSO weapons with them, that’s about it. You can exchange 2015 for 2016 badges at a 10:1 rate. Given you need 350 just for one camo, that exchange might be a little harsh but then if you got your entire badge supply from the get-go it might impact the upcoming event. The badges will primarily be available during a Limited Quest set on Vopar’s Facility field for the PS Festa event. This will be a full on web-event, so there’s a chance of event bonuses that can be earned as well. Rico and Flowen seem set to turn up, but who cares about them.

There will be a bingo card for this event, but so far the rewards on it look pretty unremarkable compared to previous offerings.

There’s a rumour that soul fusion was mentioned during the show, involving things like Vol Soul and Vardha Soul. Essentially it’s a new Astral Soul type of soul fusion, only with different results. One of the alleged results is an R-atk +35 PP + 3 soul. I have no solid source for this however, so treat it as a rumour.

Tokyo Weapons

Seems Tokyo weapon potentials are out. Seiga series weapons regenerate HP over time and boost outgoing damage by 11%. Earth series weapons grant a 6% damage boost and a 10% damage boost for critical hits. There’s also the Quartz series weapons, which apparently have increased PP regen on attack and a damage bonus when above 30% PP. Unsure on source, so treat this information tentatively.

These are some strong potential abilities if they turn out to be true, possibly even trumping Austere weapons depending on how exactly they work and how strong the weapons themselves end up being.

Seiga Sword is listed as having 1152 attack. As the weapons appear to come with Ability III, Mutation I and Stat III, you can take away 55 attack from them.  This brings Seiga Sword’s base attack down to 1097. This puts it at slightly better than Orbit but inferior to Invade and Austere in terms of raw attack.

The 13* exchange weapons seem to cost 200 Kagaseo stones, so I expect that the overall acquisition rate is going to match Kuron exchange weapons just-about.

Thoughts

 

Still no Ultimate Amduscia! I’m starting to wonder if the area got scrapped. It’s likely more a case of bad timing, as you probably don’t want Ultimate Amduscia coinciding with the release of a new area and a web event. It’s that ever persistent fear of splitting up the player-base that modern MMOs seem to have, but they may have this “fear” for a very good reason. As a reminder, Ultimate Amduscia isn’t on the schedule between now and late Spring.

Overall, between the pets, rings and the associated gathering systems it seems we’re gaining a number of new grinding treadmills. It’s difficult to pass judgement on them completely until the systems have arrived, and much of it won’t be until Spring starts. For all I know, these systems might well boost the experience but maybe it’s my overly cynical mood today but I’m just not convinced.

There’s really not a lot else to say I don’t think, so I’ll end the post there for now. I know this has come across as cynical and I’m sorry for that. Just consider that I’m a bit burned by the developers introducing new systems before, full of promises that then kind of fell flat. For all I know, these systems really could be good, Summoners could be fun to play and pets won’t be irritating to raise. PSO2 may be a better game with all this stuff, or it could be really about the same as it is now. We’ll see.

Broadcast 37 Writeup

romance

Well, that certainly was a show. Let’s preface this article by saying no one gives a shit about the cosplay contest, Arks GP, collaborations or any of that stuff. We’re just going to be looking at the actual expansion content and what’s there has both impressed and left parts of the community speechless. That’s not the good kind of speechless.

Final Episode 3 Content

Border Breaking Chaos returns as a level up quest. This ought to take a chunk out of Persona Soul’s price, though I still argue Astral Soul is more trouble than its worth.

We also get a look at the solo extreme quest in action, showing additional battles with Gal Gryphon, Dragon Ex and Knight Gear among the floors we already knew about. The video also confirms that the quest does not come with its own unique rewards, however it does seem to drop the 2nd tier stones from all three Extreme Quests as well as the recently added Torana stones. Like the current Extreme Quests, you can pick up to 5 items. Other rewards include Photon Boosters, Lambda Grinders and you can get Nero stones from title rewards. The quantities seem low for a weekly limited quest, but it’s at least nice to see that the quest gives more than a sticker! That it won’t eat up an extra inventory slot is also a plus.

New Summoner Trailer

Unlike other classes added so far, Summoner is considerably more complicated an affair.  It includes its own user interfaces, both for levelling the class and its mechanics as well as in battle (if datamining turns out to be accurate).

Finding eggs lets you name and raise your pet, combining eggs lets you level them up. This makes it almost a 2nd mag, though given how dependent Summoner is going to be on the pet I’m not sure how this is going to work out in practise. If the pet lags behind the player’s level or the player lags behind the pet will things get awkward?

You can also use candy items in what looks like an inventory management system from a classic PC RPG in order to customise your pet’s abilities. It’s also reminiscent of the chip system from Megaman Battle Network.

There really isn’t a lot to say that hasn’t been said already about the class; it doesn’t look like something that belongs in Phantasy Star Online, but in retrospect it does somewhat stylistically remind me of things that might have shown in up classic Phantasy Star.. I mean Phantasy Star did have Nyau.. I can say the class seems to be needlessly complicated but the pet raising side of the class might appeal to some people. It isn’t clear if there are more than the three pets shown, either.

Much like with the addition of Braver and Dewman, you will be given an additional character slot. The maximum number of characters any one account can have has also been increased from 12 to 20.

Episode 4 Trailer

The main course is coming. The expansion content itself! The first thing on the menu is additional character customization options.

This is an extended version of a trailer we’ve seen before. I’m still impressed with the additional morphers they added, as it should help address some glaring shortcomings with character creation as it is. The additional accessory and weapon positioning options as well as layered body paint are also nice additions.

A brand new feature is layered clothing. The three layers are “Inner”, “Base” and “Outer”. Inner seems to be types of underwear, base some clothing and outer things like jackets and coats. Casts will also gain this system. This layered system means that you’ll be able to mix and match individual layers, granting a new dimension to your clothing not seen since Phantasy Star Universe. The “inner” layer goes underneath body paint, so you won’t have your underwear on top of your tights (maybe I want to be Superman though!).

This is a nice new addition, though I’m assuming this will only apply to outfits added from here on out. I won’t rule out the possibility of them going back to outfits they’ve added before and seeing if they can reasonably split them into these layers, but I imagine many outfits would be incompatible with this system for various reasons.

Story Expansion

Introducing: The Story Board! It’s different to the Matter Board because I don’t know it’s different OK? Look! The interface design is different and everything! In all seriousness it is supposed to be different to the Matter Board system but there are no details at this time. All I can say is, it just looks like a rose by another name.

Some things to note at least are that Episode 4 can be skipped to by all players, even new characters. So it’s getting the same treatment Episode 3 got. It also seems that Episode 4 may include areas only accessible if you choose “Episode 4” when selecting a character upon log in. Given the story seems to show your character waking up from cryogenic sleep or something like it, it’d seem that Episode 4 won’t be taking place on the Arks Ship at all. Could this mean an entirely separate lobby?

“New” Planet Trailer

Yup, Earth. More specifically, Japan in the year 2028. Who would have thought that after going to Planet Japan in Episode 3 that we would go to actual Japan afterwards? Well, more to the point, it’s more like planet Anime if the story trailer is anything to go by. I wanted to talk about it in that section but I figured it’d ruin the surprise a bit.. or something I don’t know I haven’t slept well oh god.

So the Phantom type enemies turned out to be ghosts, essentially. It includes mutated humans, Polar Bears and even Tyrannosaurus Rex.

So we’re going to planet Anime and we’re going to beat up T-rexes in Tokyo. I mean the actual content itself is at least surprising. I will throw my hands up and admit I didn’t see this coming. The community reaction to this news has been incredibly negative to the point of entertaining. Some people are very salty about this trailer. In general my overall reaction is one of confusion…

Thoughts

There is so much confusing stuff in this trailer that I don’t think I can coherently summarize all of it. All I’ll say is I can understand people’s concerns from a story/setting point of view. So far, the game has essentially been about chasing and suppressing space-Cthulu in various alien worlds. It was a bit science fictiony, but it was mostly fantasy with smatterings of thematic roots in Star Wars. When thinking about the game from this point of view, having a story trailer which looks like it was taken from a slice-of-life anime set some kid’s bedroom it’s a bit of a unexpected shift. Going from space-Japan to actual Japan also feels incredibly hokey.

That said, I’m actually somewhat impressed by some of the creativity shown in the enemy design. A T-Rex that opens its chest cavity to fire a laserbeam from its skull? An emergency trial where you’re anime running alongside drifting ghost cars? A transforming tank? A hydra made out of TRAINS? I actually kind of like it! The area these enemies are set in isn’t terribly interesting looking, given its an environment that we’re naturally fairly intimate with already. That said, I actually don’t think it’s any less interesting than say, Shironia. I’m slightly sad that it’s another point grind quest like Kuron if nothing else because it means they’ve given up trying to make Free Field quests interesting anymore. There’s also a distinct lack of environmental hazards, which has been another thing missing in areas lately. Finally, there’s the somewhat uncomfortable fact that we already have a city field…

Tokyo is just the first field that Earth will be getting. What the other fields will be is anyone’s guess at this point, though I feel like watching some anime might help narrow it down. Judging from the schedule, we won’t know until next summer… I cant imagine anything terribly earth-shattering (heh heh) but who knows, Earth has a lot of interesting places on it. Not that most of you would know.

Yes, it isn’t a direction I would have liked to see the game go. I’d have preferred it being set on an alien planet whose tech level matches the modern era, given we’ve already been to planets that are in their respective pre-historic and medieval eras.  Or that the phantoms turned out to be a split faction within the Arks, setting the stage for some kind of civil war. It didn’t need to be set on Earth, this is a game where we’re meant to be exploring the unknowns of  a fictional universe!

Unfortunately, it seems it’s going this way as part of the transmedia campaign that PSO2 seems to have become, tying it in with the anime possibly. I mean it already had mini novels, a stage play, a radio play and possibly other things I’m forgetting. PSO2 isn;t just a game anymore, it’s a marketing campaign which includes a lot of different forms of media. That its story is spread among them is what I believe makes it trans-media. Is this a good thing? I don’t know, it frankly depends on what is important to you. What I will say is that the community response while extreme in some places is at least understandable. For the most part, we only care about the game and increasingly it could be seen like the game is being pushed into the background.

It’s wierd, but it isn’t destroying the game for me. Could be worse! The area could’ve been an anime high school (wait we go to an anime high school as part of the story, SHIT!) or we could have sprouted from a PC monitor like out of some basement dweller’s wet dream. I will say that content past Earth had better go back to alien worlds again.

Also still no mention of Ultimate Amduscia! It’s not even on the long term schedule! Truly, Dragonkin Aberrations are the real phantoms…

Code: CLIMAX

the_bug_queen_has_arrived

Heh heh heh.

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

Halloween

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

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

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

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

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

Additional Power – Main Class Weapon Boost

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

weapontitle

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

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

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

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

Braver and Gunner Balance Changes

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

bravergunnerrebalance

Braver:

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

Gunner

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

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

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

Dress Up!

Fairy Tail Collaboration

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

New Costumes and Nostalgia

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

gothic_stuff

Halloween costumes are set to arrive mid-October.

NINJAS

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

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

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

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

RicoAndFlowen

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

More Anime Collabs

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

Double and Profound Darkness

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

doubly_profound

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

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

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

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

Dark Falz Apprentice – Mining Base Defense 4

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

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

D-AIS

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

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

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

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

Weapon Exchanges

12* Exchanges

zieg12

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

The weapons include:

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

Invader and Austere

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

These new weapons will arrive late October.

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

invade_series

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

austere_series

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PS4 Version Trailer: Improved Graphics

OhNurse

Fresh from TGS 2015 is a small trailer showing off the game to its future brand-new PS4 audience.

Update: Additional trailer shown last night:

So it seems they changed a few things and it does at least seem like an overall improvement to me, you may not agree. I’m gonna go over a few things but this won’t be a long post because for one I’m not a graphics expert so there are some things I’m not gonna be able to comment on and for another there’s not really a lot to cover anyway.

Gameplay Demo and Details

Below is a 15 minute playthrough of a quest just for TGS to demonstrate the changes to the graphics.

Gonna pop some details that were revealed during the TGS presentation as well:

  • Japan only. I don’t know where people got the idea that a PS4 version meant a US release was imminent but there, just in case you needed it confirmed.
  • Free to download and play.
  • Servers and updates are shared with the PC and PS:Vita versions.
  • Supports PS:Vita Remote Play.
  • Plans for SHARE and Touchpad support
  • Arks Cash may be purchasable from the Playstation Store (in planning, this may not happen)
  • The new graphics will be available on PC under “setting 6” in the options.
Shaders!

This isn’t something entirely alien to some members of the PSO2 playerbase. If you’re unaware, some people like to use tools such as RadeonPro and SweetFX to tweak the graphics of PSO2. Naturally, these mods can’t do anything much about the textures, but they can fuck around with the lighting and shaders. The result is often screenshots with excessive amounts of bloom and lolis that glow like the sun. I guess some people like their women like their lightbulbs; incandescent. I can’t criticize too heavily, I’ve also changed some settings in SweetFX enhance the visuals so to speak. I feel my settings are kind of marginal though, I’m not a fan of the look some players go for but that’s not really what we’re talking about in this post. Point is messing with the shaders is a pretty easy-ish way to drastically alter the look of the game.

So yeah, the first thing any veteran PSO2 player should notice from the trailer is that they’ve clearly done something to the shaders. Things are much more strongly lit. What’s more, it seems like some of the textures may have been changed and the normal maps on the environments are much more pronounced than they are currently (if they even exist at all right now).

Comparison Shots

Words are fine and all, but let’s compare screen-shots from my game to any shots we can from the trailer and elsewhere.

Evidently the colours are more vibrant and the grass has a greater sense of detail to it. The walls also have a texture to them, though whether that’s an improvement or not is going to be up to the individual. The area also appears to have more depth to it, with objects further away having the appropriate blue tint to it along with some desaturation.

The rest of this post will have additional comparisons, but this is likely the only fair comparison that can be made at the moment. The rest are screenshots taken from the trailer earlier in this post, which is compressed video so certain details can’t be appreciated.

You can see that the brightness is considerably higher on the PS4 version. The water texture also seems like it might be higher quality.

The glare on Tranmizer seems a little excessive here, but it does highlight its details quite nicely. The textures seem to be about the same quality, however.

Additional Shots – Post TGS Stream

Adding them here rather than making a new post.

desert_caseal_ps4

The HUcaseal in her slightly higher res glory. The character does seem to look a bit nicer. The ground also seems to have higher quality textures applied to it as well as the addition of bump-maps.

Notably the environment textures seem to be the same resolution here, but they may not have gotten around to this area yet. The main focus of this image is the sword’s photon blade effect, which is visibly glowing more on the PS4 image. This one is a bit of a wierd point for me, because really I never got why these weapons didn’t glow in the first place. Afterall, they did in Phantasy Star Universe, so that they couldn’t do a similar effect in a more advanced graphics engine is something I always found a little curious.

Tundra is both really bright and really blue…

Thoughts

Overall, the colours seem to be set to become more vivid, more saturated and a whole lot brighter in general. Possibly too bright in places. The textures might be better quality or they might not be, there’s not really enough to compare yet to say for sure. It seems environments have gained normal maps and interact with lighting more strongly. Details on the enemies seem to be better defined than in the current engine, likely just an effect of the improved shaders. Like I said, I’m not a graphics expert, so some of this I’m not too certain about.

What I can say is I’m not terribly surprised that the poly-count doesn’t seem to have improved any. That would be a considerably more daunting task to undertake than to address texture and shader problems, as changing the models would also mean re-rigging, re-doing UVs and probably other stuff I’m not aware of for every single model in the game. As someone who has frequently dug into the game’s files I can assure you there are way too many models they’d need to do this for to be done within a reasonable amount of time. If they really are upgrading textures, that’s already a tough job. I’ve experienced how half-assed “HD Texture Packs” look in games like Oblivion, Skyrim or Fallout 3/New Vegas. Anyone can take a texture and quadruple its resolution, it’ll still look like shit if it isn’t done properly.

While this is fine and dandy for the PS4 version, what are the odds that these changes will make it to the PC version? Fairly decent I feel, as the trailer is using the new PSO2 logo intended for Episode 4. As such, I expect that these graphics changes will be arriving on the PC with the Episode 4 update, whenever it decides to show itself. Hopefully, the graphics options will allow players to stick with something more akin to what we have now should people prefer the current look. Update: It was confirmed during the TGS stream that these graphics will be arriving on PC as well, under “setting 6”. This means that these new effects are entirely optional.

All of this is currently a work in progress, apparently. Frankly, while a graphics face-lift is appreciated I’m much more concerned about improvements to the game outside of this. Things like alterations to the item upgrade system, questing system, client orders and currency items/inventory as well as business model changes would be far more interesting to me than this.

We may learn more about this during the next live broadcast set to take place on the 20th of September (12:40-13:50 JST).

End of Episode 3: Thoughts on The 34th Broadcast

abyssmatoi

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

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

Ultimate Changes: Giving You a Reason to Run Naberius Again 

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


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

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

 Roadmap

roadmap

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

For this Autumn we’ve got:

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

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

For the Winter we’ve got:

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

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

Things Not Said.

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

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

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

End of Episode 3

newlogo

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

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

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

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

PSO2 on the PS4

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

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

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

Maximum Nostalgia: PSO’s 15 Anniversary

griffon

In July, PSO2 will be celebrating PSO’s 15th anniversary in a variety of ways. Just going to go over what’s known in this post.

First off, the event page for the anniversary can be found here.

Here is a trailer which includes video footage of the update. Skip one minute in to see the PSO stuff.

Gal Griffon

that_looks_painful

When this thing was found in the game’s data there was quite a reaction from the fanbase. I don’t think anyone saw this enemy coming, not even in the wildest of speculations. What’s more, it seems to be an original mesh with its own skeleton, which is to say it isn’t a re-skin! Aside the colour scheme in this picture, the model seems pretty faithful to the original. I mean the colours we’re seeing makes it look kind of like an Oceanid enemy from one of the Vopar maps but who knows, maybe that’s down to the lighting. The old Griffon was just brown rather than pink is all.

As far as I know, this is all it has so I don’t think we’ll be running through any of the Central Control maps. A shame really, as I’d have really liked to see a rendition of the Jungle area at least. Well, I think I would anyway, afterall PSU’s renditions of some of PSO’s areas left a lot to be desired (FOREST). In fact really, something’s looking a little off about the arena itself if you ask me, which… again maybe it’s just the lighting? Like the arena’s ground just seems to be way too brightly lit for what’s going on around it. Both incarnations of the boss seem to be set during dark storms, but the arena in PSO just seems better lit for it. As a result, it seems to lack that same intimidating atmosphere that the old one had. This video here I think helps illustrate what I mean. Still I’m working with still images and teasers, maybe it works better in action so to speak.

At this point we don’t really know the exact nature of the quest it’ll be involved in. There’s an unlabeled one in the translation files with operator chatter about “defeat the one who caused the accident” but that may not be related to this at all.

Team Room: Administrative District

psow_wet_dream

Pump that nostalgia up to the next level by turning your team’s room into Pioneer 2. Very nice addition, the area looks pretty good so far. I don’t actually know if the area offers any unique functionality at this point and the trailer seems to show a bunch of empty shops. Essentially, it’s something that will be cool for a couple of days before everyone gets bored of it.

PSO Outfits

So far only Humar and Hunewearl have been revealed. While I am quite OK with this myself, this does leave Cast players a little out in the dust. I’d at least expect a Hucast and Racaseal given how iconic they appear to be to the fanbase, but I wouldn’t expect them to make a rendition of every single PSO outfit. Not unless this is a part of some larger content plan, anyway.

Images captured from this video. 

Credits to Manta for uploading the video and Agrajag for sinning

Maximum Attack: PSO2’s Third Anniversary

happyfish

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

The update page can be found here. 

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

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

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

What We Know

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

webpanel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Weapons (Kinda)

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

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

youcallthataknife

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

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

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

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

Come on step it up!

ringringringringring

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

It also has.. this… thing

sonyack

Urgh

sonyack2

No please go away

sonyackandnyackles

:(

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

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

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

The New Field: Quarry

it was thiiis big

In this post I’ll talk a bit more about the things shown for the newly revealed field, currently named “Quarry” by the community. Embedding a video below that displays the new field, uploaded by PSO2UP. 

dorfland

Quarry is the third field on the planet Lilipa, which data has only really hinted at for some time with the somewhat vague internal name of “Lilipa3”. It’s an abandoned mining facility that the Lilipans have made their home, despite all the hostile machinery about.

This new field is due to arrive this September.


Enemies

This section will list enemy names that were spotted in the videos released so far, with pictures where possible.

ヤクトバルガー – Jagdbalger
カノンバルガー Cannon Balger

cannonbalga

Yakuto is the kana used for “Jagd”, a German word for hunting. “Balger” is a bit more difficult to place.

jagdbalga

This pair of mecha wolves use the Phongalph skeleton. One wields blades in its mouth and uses a jetpack to deliver powerful thrusting attacks. The other has a twin cannon mounted on its back for.. well I’ll let your imagination fill in the blank there.

ヤクトディンゲール – Jagdingell

jagdingell

This monster sort of resembles Cougar, but whether it’s using the same skeleton or not is a bit hard to tell from this little footage. Even if it is, the enemy behaves nothing like Cougar so far. It wields a sword and appears to have a weak-spot on its bum.

 シュタークガン – Stark Gun

starkgun

Stark Gun seems to be using the Gilnas legs skeleton or at least resembles it. Packing a cannon which is seen firing a large laser-beam and what may be rocket launchers this enemy could be troublesome.

カストキンディッド – Custom Kindidd

custokindidd

Kindidds are an enemy that Big Vardha spawns during its boss fight. All this enemy appears to be is a wild variety of it.

カストガーディナン – Custom Guardinane

You can see it around the 3:06 mark in the video embedded in this post but it’s too blurry to really screenshot. However Guardinanes are a well known enemy that inhabits the Tunnels field on Lilipa, so I imagine the enemy will behave similar to that.


Bosses

At first glance, I was surprised to learn that the field has three bosses. Barba Lilipa, Vardha Soma and Blu Ringahda. This isn’t the case however, as Barba Lilipa is a rare encounter.

Barba Lilipa – Barbaripan?

warrior_without_fear

Barba Lilipa is possibly a pun on “Barbarian”. In the Japanese it’s Barbariripan, but the pun doesn’t really work in English. Will be interesting to see what the official localisation turns out to be…

Despite clearly using Rockbear’s skeleton, it looks to be a fight that will be nothing like either it or Wolgahda. It can pull various weapons out from its backpack, thrown and melee weapons are shown. Reminds me a bit of Mimiga transformation in Cave Story, only after defeating them in their mutated forms the Lilipan returns to normal instead of dying.

Vardha Soma

vardha soma

Vardha Soma is the detached torso of a Big Vardha, naturally. You might expect that this would make it Quarry’s main boss but observe the quest goal text. It matches the style used for an Arks Quest, not a free field. This would make Vardha Soma technically a mini-boss, although thanks to the likes of Goron Zoran the line between miniboss and boss isn’t as definitive as that any more. Like Goron Zoran, despite being a “miniboss” you only fight one of it at a time instead of two or three when you face it with a party of two or more players.

Blu Ringahda

bring it

Blu Ringadha on the other hand is shown with quest text that does match the style of a Free Field. That makes it the field’s main boss, despite my initial expectation and assumption of it being a mini-boss. This is unexpected for two reasons for me. One, I thought Blu Ringahda was going to be the miniboss of the yet to be revealed “Seabed” field. Two, it’s a bird-type Darker. While story quests and the Advanced Quests do have fish-type Darkers typically the planet has been the domain of bug-type Darkers. I expected Quarry to be crawling with bug-types, perhaps even new ones of that type.

As for the name, it’s suspected to be a pun referencing an enemy from PSO; Chaos Bringer. They are both centaurs and both are dark-types of sorts (one being D-Cell the other being Darker).

Blu Ringahda has a large variety of ranged attacks, as well as being fairly nimble on its feet. This is going to be a fun fight for melee types..

Towards the Future

Well despite being inhabited by bird-type Darkers, the “birdsoldiers” have yet to make an appearance, so they’re at least likely to turn up in the unannounced Seabed area.

Given there is now a third area for Lilipa coming up I wonder if a new Time Attack quest will be crafted to go with it? An Advanced Quest seems unlikely until Seabed is out (they come in threes, afterall), which won’t be until December. This raises another issue for the new class, as Braver currently lacks any Advanced Quest exchange items, Iritista stone items or anything from Extreme Quests. If the old exchanges aren’t going to be updated, will Braver really have to wait approaching six months to be on equal footing with the other classes, gear wise?

[Thanks to Epsiokaos, Qwerty and Agrajag for names and discussion]