42nd Broadcast Thoughts

Claris_Permanent_Kisama

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

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

Summary

To briefly summarize what’s coming up;

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

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

Trailers:

 

Stargem Shop and Scratch

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

Items so far include:

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

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

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

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Scratch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Web Event

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

WebEventQuest

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

 

Boosted Profound Darkness

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

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

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

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

 

PA Customizations

THEY_REMEMBERED

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

Other Cyclone Type Zero

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

Infinite Fire Type Zero

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

Kestral Rampage Type Zero

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

Type Zero Zonde and Type Zero NaZan

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

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

 

New Skill Rings

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

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

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

 

Collaborations

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

SakuraWars

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

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

 

Question and Answers

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

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

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

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

A: No.

Q: What is a summoner’s pet?

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

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

A: About 9:1 male:female.

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

A: They’re considered parallel universes.

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

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

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

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

A: In the distant future, yes.

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

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

 

Profound Update: Addendum

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Just a short post to clarify some information from the previous post about this update, either to clarify some uncertainties or to share some other useful related information which has been discovered since the update’s release.

Progeny of the Apocalypse

Double Tidbits

Double’s wall attack can be evaded through i-frames but it cannot be blocked. Not sure why this is. If you see it coming, switch to a mirage escape weapon if you don’t think step will cover it. Double’s rush attack can be blocked, but if you’re not confident enough you can just run to any corner of the map and it can’t hit you anyway.

Ultimate Buster and Profound Darkness’s Type

PFD

The Profound Darkness is classed as a Darker Aberration. This means that Nemesis Weapons and Coat Doublis can do additional damage to it but regular anti-darker weapons won’t. As an aberration, it’s also susceptible to Ultimate Buster. While this doesn’t matter terribly as the fight is a pretty much guaranteed win anyway, this may be useful to know if you’re aiming to maximize your DPS against it. Remember, Ultimate Buster cannot be put onto 13* weapons.

Self-DPS Check

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When persona attacks you during the penultimate phase of the fight, it seems to be a DPS check. Persona’s HP and status is shared across the entire multi-party, so it’s a raid-wide DPS check not a personal one. This means that, occasionally, you could be doing as much DPS as you could possibly pump out and still fail because the rest of your multi-party wasn’t pulling their weight. The attack Persona uses cannot be evaded (at least not easily), just-guarded (the guard will land but you’ll take damage anyway) or mitigated by any skill in the game except for Iron Will and possibly Katana Combat (need confirmation). It can be avoided by using a Photon Blast however, so if Persona is about to use the attack (you’ll know because you’ll no longer be able to target them but they won’t be incapacitated).

That said, recently I was in a group filled with Techers who were constantly using Shifta/Deband and Megiverse yet somehow we still managed to pass this check. This makes me wonder about the party I was in which managed to fail it…

According to a note on Swiki, it’s possible the damage that Persona deals is relative to the amount of damage you inflict upon it during this phase. This video certainly seems to support this notion. While cool to know, it seems if you’ve been attacking it much at all that the power scales so sharply that you’re almost certainly going to get one-shot by the attack.

Astral Soul

As mentioned before, Astral Soul requires you to combine four Soul Catalysts and a Darkness Soul. Soul Catalysts require you to combine Elder, Loser, Apprentice, Double and Persona souls (combines at a 10% success rate so good luck..).

The fusion rate of Astral Soul has been found to be 60% which means yes you can raise it to 100% by spending 100 Excubes for a 40% booster.

Astral Soul can be transferred using a Soul Receptor, but only at a 10% success rate.

It still isn’t worth all this effort in my opinion.

Darkness Soul and Returner

Through experimentation, the player-base has noticed that Darkness Soul boosts the fusion success rate and transfer rate of Returner. It seems to boost it by around 10%, but could use confirmation that this is the same across all levels and case scenarios.

Invade/Austere Exchange Stone Rate

So now it’s been a week’s worth of defeated Doubles and Profound Darkness as well as random encounters with Elder and Loser. We now have a much better idea of how many stones we seem to be able to get from each boss.

Rates are dependent on the good old random number generator and are affected by rare drop-rate boosters. For Nero, it seems the enemy needs to be lv76 or higher. Rates are based on things I’ve observed myself and rates I’ve seen reported on forums/twitter etc, so they may not be 100% accurate. Treat it as more a guide.

Boss/Raid Emergency Quests

  • Double and Profound Darkness:
    • 0-6 Caligula (dependent on luck and boosters. Lowest I’ve ever seen is 3, but it may be possible for them to be lower if your luck is bad)
    • 0-3 Nero
  • Dark Falz Elder
    • 0-2 Nero
  • Dark Falz Loser
    • 0-5 Nero
      • I’ve seen a maximum of 5 reported but I’ve only ever gotten 3 at most myself.
    • Note: Experience suggests you only need to run Apos Dorios once in order to obtain all the Nero stones you can get from Loser. Please let me know if your experience has differed with this.
  • Profound Invasion
    • 0-2 Nero

Dark Falz humanoids

  • Dourumble
    • 0-3 Nero
  • Hunar
    • 0-2 Nero
  • Angel
    • 0-1 Nero

Double and the Profound Darkness seem to have the worst Nero drop rate of any of the emergency quest bosses, with myself having gone multiple runs with 350% rare drop rate boosters active without seeing a single Nero. They are however the only source of Caligula stones, so you’ll need to run it if you want the weapons.

While you can get Neros from the Falz humanoids, the only place to reliably encounter them is in high-risk Super Hard Advance Quests. As running these by yourself is still a relatively expensive endeavor and you still might not see Dark Falz Angel that much it already isn’t the most enticing option. Doesn’t help that their drop rate is reportedly abysmal, with reports of only getting a single stone per four encounters with boosters running. According to Swiki, they can drop from lv71+.

Elder and Loser’s own individual Emergency Quests seem to be by far the best way to obtain Nero stones, boasting a better drop rate and with the additional advantage of being able to run the quest multiple times (if you have lv70+ alts anyway).

So how long will it take to get that Austere weapon of your dreams? Well I cant necessarily say for all cases, but I can comment on my own personal progress. Currently I have 91 Caligula and 56 Nero. Assuming the Emergency Quest schedule remains somewhat similar to this, as a player bound to one Ship I’m looking at a little over a month to get one. Though take into account that I also have all the other materials required already, but those can be obtained at your leisure for the most part anyway. This rate also requires you to be able to attend every instance of Progeny of the Apocalypse and any Nero-dropping EQs (the random Falzes at least), of which I think I’ve only missed one this week. That’s a fairly tall order for anyone with a life, work, school, etc…

As Nero can be obtained in decent quantities from two other Emergency Quests, it’s possible that Caligula may be the tougher material for more hardcore single-ship players to obtain seeing as it only comes from a scheduled one. This won’t be an issue for those running characters on other ships for the sole purpose of getting additional Progeny of the Apocalypse runs. Of course, given that both Elder and Loser’s individual EQs can happen randomly on different ships, multi-shippers will also have more chances at the Neros from those quests too. Indeed, multi-shippers have gotten 60% Austere weapons already, although this was through trading for one then using Ideal/Gold Badge weapons to max out their element. A bit annoying for those of us who don’t feel like spending money on top of the money we’ve already been spending on the game for essentially a shortcut to the best gear.

36th Broadcast Trailers, Info and Thoughts

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

Update Trailers

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Story and Christmas quest

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

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

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

Also some collaboration stuff but who cares.

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

Ares Weapon Exchange

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

Theory Time

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

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

Mining Base Defense 4: Demise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Episode 4 Tidbits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Class: Summoner

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things not said

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

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

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

The Profound Update

teeheehee

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

Progeny of the Apocalypse

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

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

df_double

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

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

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

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

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

Nero/Caligula Rate

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drops

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

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

Invader and Austere Weapons

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

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

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

New Affixes

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

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

Soul Catalyst: HP+10, PP + 1

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

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

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

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

40% Affix Success Rate Booster

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

Thoughts

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

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

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

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

Code: CLIMAX

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

The Dark Falz Family

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Guess that could be the Profound Family too? This post is dedicated to everything Dark Falz so far!

As this post is going to contain story details this is likely to contain big spoilers. If you haven’t done the story and care about spoilers, don’t read this post! This also contains a good deal of my interpretation as well as observed interpretations of the story, so let me know if I’m way off base with anything! Details are fairly sketchy on some Dark Falzes…

Not helped that there isn’t a story wiki of any kind and as far as I’m aware the efforts to translate the story ended some time ago (Update: They are still going apparently, though at a very slow rate compared to the older days). That said, there is a Japanese site that has story dialogue here, though naturally it’s all in Japanese.

Dark Falz: Elder

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Also known as “Collosus”, Elder was the first full Dark Falz introduced into Phantasy Star Online 2. Elder was sealed in the Naberius Ruins area 40 years before the player character became an ARKS operative. During the events of Episode 1, a man named Gettemhart unsealed it and became its new host (seemingly unwillingly, at that). It is the head of all fish-type Darkers.

This is by far the largest of the Dark Falz introduced yet, being the size of a small planet at full power. The only way the ARKS can successfully fight him is to wear him down slowly by defeating many thousands of its fragments, known as “Dark Falz Arms”.  Despite its sheer size, when it erupts from Naberius the planet doesn’t seem to suffer any major effects.

Dark Falz Elder in its current form is rash, reveling in the thrill of battle and as such is eager to duel with any ARKS operative he deems worthy of his attention. He just really fucking loves fighting, it doesn’t matter whether he wins or loses. In fact, losing seems almost preferable to Elder as it meant he found a worthy adversary. Despite his status as a force of evil, Elder does seem somewhat honor-bound as he refuses to fight the ARKS while they’re tending to the wounded Shina and waits patiently for Zeno and the player to be ready to fight him.

Dark Falz: Apprentice

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Apprentice is technically the second Falz introduced in the story via the “End Cluster” cutscene. Apprentice was severely wounded in a battle with the second Claris around 10 years ago. In her dire state, she opportunistically made Yucretia, Affine’s sister, into her new host. While she was transferring into her new host however, she was devoured by Dark Falz: Double, rendering the process somewhat incomplete and arguably not a true Dark Falz as a result. She is the leader of all insect-type Darkers.

Notably, her hair has retained some of its original colour. This is unlike any character that has transformed into a Dark Falz shown so far. This presumably is due to her incomplete status.

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Nothing is known about Apprentice’s additional forms, though I believe it is implied that she does have a full body buried somewhere on planet Lilipa. It’s possible that it may be underneath the mining bases, but I don’t know where in the story this is confirmed. It would explain why she’s so focused on attacking the bases, however. Data recently discovered in the game client confirms she has a full form, at least. 

The current Apprentice is more cautious and strategic than Elder, preferring to plan an attack method rather than jumping into fights with the ARKS fists flying. In fact so far she has never directly challenged any ARKS to a fight in her current incarnation, where her past incarnation seemed more aggressive. Her summoning abilities seem to out-do any of the other Dark Falzes revealed so far, seeing as she is capable of summoning an entire army to do her bidding. This is all the more impressive when you consider that she’s been partially devoured by Dark Falz Double.

Dark Falz: Loser

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Otherwise known as “the vanquished” (and “dentist”). Dark Falz Loser is the end result of the ultimate ambition of a Photoner scientist by the name of Luther. Luther was combining Darkers with all sorts of things, including Dragonkin and even citizens on the ARKS ships. He was hoping to combine it with Xion, a world computer, in order to fuse it with himself and obtain omniscience. He essentially wanted to become a god as far as I could tell, but anything and everything that could go wrong for Luther did go wrong, except for his fusion with the Dark Falz he created. He was the leader of all bird Darkers.

Loser is extremely convinced of his own power. He considers himself god-like and has tremendous technique power as well as a degree of control over time itself to back up his claim. He seems to bear no camaraderie with any other Dark Falz. In fact, the other Falzes don’t consider Loser a true Falz at all. Also unlike the other Falzes, as the host Luther seems to be in total control.

After the ARKS find and defeat Loser in the center of the corrupted Mothership, Loser is executed by Regius with his unsealed Yonohate. His corpse is devoured by Dark Falz: Double, who thereafter gained the ability to create clones of Loser at will. Despite being killed, Luther somehow got better and is currently alive within Double’s inner universe. However, he is not eager to escape into the outside world, as Xion is now dead and he has lost his chance of gaining omniscience forever.

Dark Falz: Double

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The third Falz introduced during the “End Cluster” cutscene, this Falz is unique in that as the name suggests it is a pair of hosts instead of a singular one. Little is known about Double’s origins, although it is shown destroying a planet in an early cut-scene in Episode 3. It is the leader of all toy Darkers..

Double isn’t mentioned in the PSO2 timeline as far as I know, so there’s not much of a history to speak of. It behaves in a distinctly childlike manner however, doing a lot of what it does seemingly for fun and turning the things it encounters into toys until it gets bored of them. Currently, it considers the Kuronites of Harukotan its playthings and is the main antagonistic focus of Episode 3. Alarmingly for the other Falzes it won’t hesitate to turn other Dark Falzes into its toys if it gets the opportunity. It devoured Dark Falz: Loser after Reguis killed him and it also partially devoured Apprentice. It may or may not have also consumed Dark Falz Elder, we’ll see when the next story chapters are out.

While its actions may seem selfish and immature, it’s possible that Double may be the only Dark Falz that remembers its true purpose; the revival of the Profound Darkness. Elder exists only to fight, Apprentice being a shell of her former self isn’t really sure what her purpose is and Loser was solely in it for himself. In this sense, absorbing the other Dark Falzes is an essential part of reviving the Profound Darkness, as the other Falzes have forgotten their true purpose anyway. As such, defeating Double may be the only way to prevent the Profound Darkness from being reborn.

While this may be true, the other Dark Falzes aren’t willing meals for Double. On Lilipa, Dark Falz Elder challenged Double directly. Elder considers Double’s actions a betrayal, regardless of whether or not they may have been correct. During their fight, they teleport away. It isn’t known yet what the outcome of the fight was, however as Double seems to have gained some of Elder’s abilities it doesn’t bode well for Elder.

Dark Falz: Persona?

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A recurrent character in the storyline, Persona hounds the player initially with murderous intent. However, despite wearing the clothes of the other Falzes and having a lot of the same abilities as them, Persona is never directly referred to as a Dark Falz and is merely presumed to be one. Unlike the other Dark Falzes so far, Persona does not appear to be in charge nor is he ever shown to be able to summon Darkers. Though it is implied that he can influence Darkers when he was hunting for a fragment of the Clarissa in Episode 1.

Despite challenging the player on a frequent basis, Persona is arguably the weakest Dark Falz yet. Until recently Persona didn’t have any additional forms in the data nor was it implied to have any addiional forms. This may have changed with the last patch, adding in a reference to “DpAbyssChar ProtagonistEnemy enemy/en_dp_abyss_char.ice”. More on that in another section.

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At the battle between Claris and Apprentice 10 years ago, Persona is revealed to have the player character’s appearance. While it is strongly implied that Persona is actually the player character (possibly from a different timeline) it has yet to be fully confirmed this is the case as far as I know. Originally, Persona was out for the player’s life but lately they seem more interested in warning them about the Profound Darkness for whatever reason. Indeed, during the cutscene they attempt to kill Matoi even after they’ve begun turning into whatever it is Matoi is turning into. If she is turning into the Profound Darkness and the resurrection of it is their true goal, why did they try to kill her? Similarly, why did Persona protect her from Apprentice if the goal was to kill Matoi anyway?

Aside the player and possibly Xiao, Persona seems to be the only other character doing any time travelling. Apparently the player requires Xion or Xiao’s Matterboard technology in order to travel through time. If Persona is the player then they may still be in possession of their own Matterboard, presumably allowing them to travel through time as well. This is just speculation, of course.

Dark Falz: Abyss?

This is an as-yet unreleased and technically unrevealed Dark Falz. Although the player character was deemed “Code: Abyss” when they were marked an enemy of the ARKS by a mind-controlled Regius this is could be nothing but a coincidence. In that case, the “Abyss” was instead an “Avis” (絶対令), or an absolute order. At the time, the absolute order was to take down public enemy number 1, which was you!

What’s known about Abyss is entirely data-mined stuff for now. It has a human and full form in the data, making it a likely candidate for the next Dark Falz encounter beyond Double. That’s actually all that’s known for now, so the rest of this section is pure speculation.

Is Abyss the Profound Darkness?

I argue this as somewhat unlikely, as the enemy file’s internal name includes “dp”, which is used on all other Dark Falz. For those unaware, another translation of Dark Falz is “Dark Phallus”. Yes, get your giggles out of the way. Point is, the Profound Darkness is the source of Dark Falz but isn’t a Dark Falz itself.

Who is the host?

Judging by recently data-mined information, the indicatoin is that it is you. Or rather, Persona. This would mean that “Dark Falz: Abyss” and “Dark Falz: Persona” are in fact one and the same, but as this isn’t confirmed yet I felt it better to split them into their own sections. Before this latest data however it was presumed that the host would be Matoi under the assumption that Abyss is the Profound Darkness.

The Profound Darkness

The ultimate goal of the Falz family is to resurrect their creator, even if some of the Dark Falzes appear to have forgotten this goal. This entity is mentioned numerous times throughout the plot, finally being revealed to have apparently been an attempt by the Photoners to create an artificial world computer, an Akashic Record like Xion. Unfortunately, it absorbed negative emotions (as photons are fueled by emotions, I don’t know either) and it became the destructive force it’s now known as.

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It’s implied that Matoi, or the second Claris, is the current host of the Profound Darkness. During her transformation, Xiao remarks that the energy emanating from her is much worse than that of a Dark Falz. Beyond this, I believe there’s very little to speculate on about the Profound Darkness.

The Profound Darkness has been the main antagonising force behind almost the entire classic Phantasy Star series, with leaking fragments of it manifesting as Dark Falz in all of the games and finally showing itself during the events of Phantasy Star 4. PSO2 is the first online game in which the Profound Darkness may make a direct appearance (even if it was argued to be Amplam Umbra in PSO:Episode 3). Defeating the Profound Darkness in PS4 ended the 1000 year cycle, preventing any future Dark Falz from being generated. However, there is no known link between the classic series or the online series (though there has been plenty of speculation) so it’s likely that it’s a separate universe.

As we have another story chapter coming out soon it’s likely some of the information in this post will need to be updated. As said before, much of this is interpretation and speculation, as some of the facts haven’t even been acknowledged canonically. That said, if I’m wrong about anything let me know, preferably with reasons why. It’d be nice to nail down some of the looser information here.

PSO2 33rd Broadcast Junk

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

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

Kurona – TERRITORY OF BLACK

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

Highlights include:

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

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

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

Challenge Mode Part Two!

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

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

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

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

Toy Falz: Dark Falz Double

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

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

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

Other Tidbits

Class Cap Bonuses

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

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

Casino Changes

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

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

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

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


About the Blog

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

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

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