ARKS New Year Carnival 2017

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A little more than a week into 2017 sees the addition of 2017 Weapons Badges and a brand new web-panel event. Just gonna go over some potentially useful data and share a couple thoughts here and there. Because some stuff is still being discovered some of the post contents might change over time.

Limited Quest

It’s your standard run about and kill monsters from various fields affair. The most interesting parts about the selection this time is it is for now the only reliable source of Esca Darkers in the game. The quest advances based on E-trial clears and ends on a titled Dark Falz Dourumble with either Giguru Gunnegam or Zeta Garanz.

Unlike previous years, where you could get Weapon Badges from drops and Etrial clears this one only gives you them for clearing the quest. How many you get depends on your rank and the current difficulty.

Known values:

  • Normal: 1 for S-Rank
  • Hard: 2 for S-Rank
  • Very Hard: 3 for S-Rank
  • Super Hard: 4 for S-rank
  • Extra Hard: 10 for S-rank, 8 for A-Rank.

You’ll need to clear the quest within 15 minutes for an S-Rank.

Like Riding Quests, all drops are pooled together into a crystal that spawns in the center of the map. You aren’t warped there however, you’ll have to get there by foot. Do not take the telepipes that spawn, because if someone breaks the crystal while you’re on the Campship you won’t get any drops at all! This actually has a negative effect when Emperappy shows up, as its drops end up having to compete with the rest of the drops which can potentially drastically reduce the number of Emperembrace items you’d normally get.

It’s an alright enough quest it just really needed some additional polish to help it out. Like I don’t know why they didn’t just warp you to the drop crystal at the end like they do for Riding Quests. The quest is kind of easy with enemies like Anga Fundarge having severely reduced HP but the primary purpose of the quest is to grind out items for welfare weapons anyway so I didn’t expect the quest to be terribly difficult.

They did seem to do a good enough job of covering as much ground as they could with run-boost rings and jump-pads to make the map as painless to navigate on foot as they could. I’m kinda glad they took this approach with the map, because I like that I get to run around and appreciate Vegas more than I could saddled up on a Rideroid.

 

Xie’s Back!

It’s been a little while, but that woman that stands around in the lobby wearing outfits from the future has returned. She has a brand new selection of utterly useless items.

2017 Badges

This year, there are no Silver Badges. They’ve done away with the latter tiers entirely which I don’t really fault them for. Fewer items taking up space in my inventory is appreciated.

What’s curious is so far they haven’t added any kind of exchange to turn in older badges for 2017s. They also haven’t updated the Pyroxene exchange, which still offers 2016 badges in exchange for 100 of any Pyroxene. They also took Levelup Quests out of circulation, which means for now the only source of 2017 badges is the current Limited Quest.

I guess they wanted attention focused entirely on the event quest, so all alternative ways of getting badges might be being put off til after it’s over.

Weapons

Boasting as much attack power as Ray weapons, these are fair sight behind the Astra series on offer from Escafalz Mother. They require 200 gold Weapon Badges each and come with 30% element. This means you’ll need 400 for each 60% weapon and 1200 if you want to +35 them. The question is of course, would you want to?

Potential

Boosts power and chance to inflict status effects as well as deals extra damage to enemies suffering from status effects. At lv3 it’s a 10% base power boost and an additional 10% if the enemy has an SE. Allegedly, it boosts the infliction rate of status effects by 70-75% which if true does potentially make Chase a more reliable skill while using these weapons. The power boosts are multiplicative, so if an enemy is suffering from a status effect the total damage bonus is 21% which is pretty solid!

While a strong boost, it’s still a situational potential as it can only be used at its fullest against enemies that can have proper status effects inflicted on them which makes the potential worthless on every boss in the game! So it’s primarily going to be useful for mobbing (particularly on Ultimate) and against most mini-bosses. Assuming this works with techs, classes that have access to more status effects at once get better mileage out of them (classes that can use Techs really), where classes that have to rely on a status effect being affixed to the weapon might have to get one for each of them.

The wand may be useful for those running Te/Fi who make use of Wand Gear Element and Chase Advance skills but aside that I can’t really see these being useful for anyone. Combined with their low-ish attack power Xie’s weapons kind of continue this trend of being kinda useless overall.

What’s also a shame is the weapons have a kind of neat aesthetic to them. I kinda like them and once again I’m sad that there’s no mechanic in PSO2 that lets you take any weapon and turn it into a camo or else I’d grab a few weapons just for their skins.

Curiously, it was hinted this weapon series would make the solo Emergency Quests a little easier. Given the only known one is Profound Darkness and Dark Falz Double I’m not sure how a Chase Advance potential is meant to really help. Being able to inflict Panic more reliably would help out a little bit I suppose…

Special Ability Factor

At +35 you’ll unlock Phrase Chase, which boosts the effectiveness of Chase Advance by 5%. So really much like similar Phrase SAFs it just boosts the effectiveness of the weapon potential. Unlike the others I’m not sure you’d want to transfer this to another weapon though.

Units

Xie offers two units at 50 gold each. Like the weapons, their usefulness is questionable.

Stats (+10):

  • 257 def
  • 80 HP
  • 5PP
  • 2% all resist
  • +10 all atk

That said, they are 12* units so if for whatever reason you absolutely must have some budget units you can stick some Skill Rings into then I guess these are OK.

Skill Rings

This update saw the addition of quite a few Skill Rings.

L / Step JA Combo

Adds a Just-Attack circle during a Step.

This also works on Bouncer’s Mirage Step. The main use of a ring like this would be to reduce the amount of time before you can do a Just-Attack out of a dodge and in cases where doing a step into Just-Attack would be faster than doing a normal attack or some other ability into one.

So does it do this? Well it’s kinda hard to call. The JA circle appears very late into the Step, later than even Braver’s Snatch Step JA. Here’s a video demo posted on Twitter:

Still if it does shorten the time to a Just-Attack it’s a potentially extremely useful ring which has the added bonus of being usable at lv1.

L / Mag Excite

Increases the power and frequency of your Mag’s normal attacks.

  • 150% and 80% internal attack cooldown at lv1
  • Unknown final numbers, 220% and 58% at lv12

This has no effect on trigger or SP actions. Mag normal attacks do so little damage that even if the numbers work out 300% power and 50% cooldown at lv20 (effectively 6 times the damage output) it’s going to make no noticeable impact. This ring seems like a complete waste of space.

L / Just Reversal B

Damages enemies around you when you pull off a successful Just Reversal.

  • 100% power and 100% attack range at lv1
  • Unknown final numbers. 450% power and 160% range at lv13.

This works with L / Air Reversal.

L / Another Rod Shoot Mode

Changes rod shoot to fire a slow moving projectile instead. This projectile will speed up and home in on a target after 1s. On contact with an enemy it explodes, dealing damage to all enemies in range. The hitbox seems to roughly match Launcher normal attacks in range at Lv1.

  • 50% power and 100% Explosive range at lv1
  • 110% power and 150% Explosive range at lv20

Swiki notes that due to how slow the projectiles are, in an MPA most enemies may be dead before they get to do anything. As such, this ring may only be practical solo.

R / Poison Guard, R / Panic Guard, R  / Mirage Guard and R / Shock Guard

Like the other Guard rings, reduces the likely-hood you’ll be inflicted with the specified status effect. Presumably to 100% at lv20 like the others but it hasn’t been confirmed.

Useful but very situational. The specific status effect would have to be a significant enough threat to warrant wearing one over a more useful ring.

R / Critical Field

Works the same way as Bouncer’s Critical Field. Creates a field around you, boosting yours and anyone else’s critical hit rate by a certain amount. Cannot be used by Bouncer main or sub.

  • Boosts critical hit rate by 10%, lasts for 20 seconds and has a recast of 120 seconds at lv1
  • Unknown maximum, but is 22%, 30s uptime and 100s recast at lv13
  • Seems to cap at 30s up and 100s recast, so has a 30% uptime

Could be helpful to classes that need the additional crit rate. Fighter/Hunter springs to mind, though they can also utilize the class rings for a permanent 10% crit rate boost.

R / Quick Mate

Works like Braver’s Quick Mate. Boosts the speed of using healing items.

  • Boosts use speed by 2% at lv1
  • Unknown maximum, but is 28% at lv12. Possible max of 140% but it could spike up towards lv20 so we’ll see

The effect stacks with L / Mate Lovers. If you want a build around extremely fast healing item use time the pair of rings could work well but honestly I feel like Mate Lovers does the job well enough on its own. Having both would be excessive in my opinion.

So yeah a couple of interesting rings here and one or two kind of useless ones. There’s been a better selection but there’s been worse too. The thoughts I’ve shared on them are mostly first impressions so they could change as people work out their nuances or any other details change my perception on them

Mining Base Defense

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Also lovingly known as “Tower Defense” and plain “Tower” to much of the player-base.

It is undeniably a fun quest. There’s nothing else like it in the game and succeeding in the quest will require a base level of organization and skill from everyone in the Multi-Party.

With the 2nd part of Tower Defense set to arrive with tonight’s patch, it’s probably a decent time to actually get this guide out there. This may not be an exhaustive list, but the sheer size of this post should shed some appreciation for how complex this quest can be for those who’ve never played it. If you feel there’s anything critical that a player should know when playing with random people then feel free to let me know about it.

Rumour: Remaining tower health affects drops.

This is not a rumour! The more remaining health the towers have at the end of the quest the more shots at items you will get! Ok more specifically it has to do with the rank you get at the end of the quest, but seeing as the rank is almost entirely dependent on the remaining HP of the towers you might as well consider them one and the same.

There was some information posted in a magazine regarding the actual influence rank has on the drop charts, as well as other aspects of the drop mechanics for the quest. Translated by PSO-World member here.

The reward container’s drops are drawn from dedicated tables. Table E is special and stocks up all drops from defeated non-boss enemies, releasing a few tens of them when the container is destroyed. In addition, tables A~D’s drops are drawn when the container is destroyed, while table E’s drops are drawn when the enemies are defeated.

Table types
Table A: Giant container’s dedicated rare weapon table (*6~11)
Table B: Giant container’s dedicated weapon table (*6~9)
Table C: Giant container’s dedicated unit table (*4~9)
Table D: Giant container’s dedicated consumable table
Table E: all items dropped from defeated enemies

Numbers of lots drawn for each final score (tables A/B/C/D)
S: 5/5/5/0
A: 4/5/5/1
B: 3/5/5/2
C: 0/0/0/15

Drop characteristics:
-Tables A~D’s drops are drawn at the time the container is destroyed
-Each table’s number of lots drawn differ depending on the final score at Quest Clear
-Trash monsters’ drops are drawn at the time they are defeated
-Trash monsters’ drops are stocked up in table E and only a few tens of them are released from the container

Assuming the table in the magazine and the translation are both accurate, this would actually confirm the rumour. This is because the rank you get at the end of the quest is pretty much entirely based on the total remaining health of the towers. It also means that as long as you’re getting B-rank or higher, you\re getting shots at 11* weapons, so don’t fret if your towers are taking a lot of damage! Just do whatever you can to prevent a C-rank!

Quest Tips

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Mining Base defense is really one of the trickier quests PSO2 has to offer. If people are playing poorly or are for the most part poorly equipped you may have a difficult time even clearing the quest, let alone getting a decent rank or clearing it quickly. Unless you’ve organized a Multi-Party yourself it’s luck of the draw as to who you’re going to end up being grouped with. While being grouped with rubbish players isn’t something you can do a lot about, you can try to prevent yourself doing things that would make you one of them.

This is not gonna turn you into an MLG pro tower defender, nor will it cover more advanced tactics more organised parties can pull off. It’s just more a how to make the most out of random groups.

General Tips

Don’t be a “Northern Hero”

This I feel needs mentioning first. So what is a Northern Hero? This is a player who attempts to defeat enemies far north of the towers. Enemies tend to spawn from the north and run south towards the towers, so the player in question is hoping to defeat them far from the towers.

On paper, this seems like a good idea. Killing enemies a long way from the towers would prevent any damage to the towers themselves. In practise, this doesn’t tend to work and here is a couple of reasons I think why.

1) Insufficient DPS.

Northern Heroes aren’t always backed up, they may be entirely alone up there. Now in most of PSO2 this wouldn’t be a problem, as most enemies die to a stiff breeze anyway even if your gear isn’t that great. Goldrahdas are the main enemy type in this quest, however. Goldrahdas are no push-overs, they’re aggressive, tough and hit really hard to boot. Even a well geared Northern Hero would take a long time to defeat a pack of them by themselves.

2) You can’t get them all.

Even if the Northern Hero is well geared and has friends, missing the odd enemy is a thing that can happen. Any missed enemies will charge straight for the towers and if too many people are up north this means either too few or no one at all may be at the tower. This means either a slow kill at the tower or one of the Northern Heroes having to split off to chase it down, which would also slow down killing things in the north.

Basically the main issue with having Northern Heroes or being one yourself if that it splits enemy groups up. Players can bring the enemies down much faster if they and the monsters are grouped up. Seeing as the monsters are headed for the towers anyway, being near the towers is better for this overall.

When it is OK to be in the North

Generally speaking, during wave 1 almost the entire multi-party should be at the north of each of the lanes, as the only enemies that spawn are relatively weak.

Arguably, Wave 2 is also fine to be a northern hero at, but be wary. It may be difficult to kill all the monsters at spawn. If you’re struggling, just do everyone a favor and head south to the towers.

All other waves, just stick south to the towers.

Actually Defend A Tower!

This may seem self explanatory, but you may be tempted to go to other towers to attack and kill mobs at them. While this may be OK to do so in certain circumstances for the nearest tower, always keep an eye on the tower you chose to defend.

But which tower should I defend?

I don’t know, pick a colour you like. More practically speaking, there should really be no more than 4 people at a given tower. If there are more, you may want to take the initiative and head to another, less well defended tower.

Use The Tower Console!

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Seriously the number of players who seem to be unaware that these even exist is somewhat staggering. The console will, depending on how many crystals have been collected so far, allow you access to certain functions that will help boost your chances of having the towers be in good shape at the end of the run.

In order, the options are:

  1. Burst Barrier
  2. Heal Tower
  3. Burst Barrier
  4. Heal Tower

Burst Barrier is useful when you are alone or not many on a tower and need to root a pack of enemies that are attacking the tower. The barrier will also prevent damage for a short while (note: This will NOT work on Dark Vibrace’s bomb, which is talked about at the end of this post). If there is a techer or someone who can use Zondeel, be wary of using the Burst Barrier, as rooted enemies can’t be sucked in to Zondeel, which means enemies will be more spread out than the would be otherwise and thus less vulnerable to AoE attacks.

The heal is pretty self explanatory. It repairs the tower for a small amount. More tower health means more shots at 11* weapons, so you absolutely want to use this when you can. Don’t use it if a tower is almost at full health however, as you’ll waste some of the heal.

Don’t Detonate The Zondeel!

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Teching types may use Zondeel to pull monsters together. This is a very good thing, because the monsters will occupy a smaller space and can be blanketed in high damage AoE attacks from all sorts of classes all at the same time. The bottom line is the enemies die faster when bunched up. If you use any thunder based Tech in or around the Zondeel field you will detonate it, causing the field to lose its suction capability and potentially slow the entire run down.

Don’t Pull Aggro and then Run Away

This can be a 3rd run killer. You cause more aggro than perhaps you realised on one particular Gildrahda and you decide to go somewhere else. Oops, that Goldrahda has now run away from the rest of the players and they’re having to chase it down. Goldradhas run very fast on Super Hard so this can be a real pain to deal with. Just keep an eye on your mini-map and if you see a monster giving chase, try to bring it back to the other players.

Use Moon Atomisers!

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Dead players are the worst at defending towers. Help everyone by helping others to help you help us all!

Don’t Play Inefficiently

I’m not saying you should go Braver/Hunter, Gunner/Hunter, Fighter/Hunter or any of the other good combinations. However, if you insist on playing as a Hunter/Force, because you like it for example, then at least play to the classes strengths. I’m sorry, Gunner/Force you’re not going to be able to do much in the way of damage…

If you have a Ranger as main or sub, bring a rifle and get ready to weakbullet bosses. If you have a teching type as a main or sub (and you aren’t specced for pure teching damage) then bring a Talis and make use of buffs, heals, Zondeel and Zanverse. These will help the MPA out far more than your tiny damage will.

I am sorry if that sounds harsh, because normally I really don’t care much for efficiency. But this is a quest in which efficiency will significantly boost your chances of succeeding and being rewarded.

Crystals

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Don’t Just Collect Crystals

Running too far out to collect crystals leaves towers potentially vulnerable. While crystal points are needed to build turrets and repair towers, prioritize keeping the towers healthy over collecting crystals. Remember, number of crystals collected doesn’t affect your drops, tower health does.

Don’t Crystal Race

Seriously, if you see another player going for a crystal don’t attempt to race them to it. This wastes everyone’s time.

Mote than 3600 Crystals is Too Many

3600 crystals will allow players to use up to 2 heals and 2 burst barriers each on the towers. This is optimal for ranking purposes.

Yeah, the big fuck-off laser cannons are really nice, do huge damage an can clear an entire wave of Goldrahdas, but that is quite a lot of time wasted in order to get the required crystals in the first place. Time better spent generally killing things more quickly.

Bosses

General

Bosses can be a tough call for an individual player. If you choose to focus a boss and too many other players think the same way, you end up with poorly defended towers. If you decide to focus on defending towers and too many players think the same, then the boss will die too slowly and the wave may time out. This would potentially deny you boss drops and deny you a third run in the emergency quest time.

Dark Ragne

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The general tactic is to break a leg and then focus on the core. If the group’s DPS is sufficiently high enough, this should kill Dark Ragne near immediately. Otherwise your general options are to focus on the core no matter what Ragne may be doing at the time. Bravers, Fighters and Teching types have the easiest time of focusing on the core at all times.

Dark Vibrace/Bibras/Viblath/Biebers/whatever

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As it happens, breaking the legs and then attacking the weakspot it the same strategy here. However a broken leg stuns the boss only for a very short amount of time and they can effectively be infinitely and repeatedly broken.

Panic can be inflicted onto this boss. This will stun it for a fairly decent amount of time, so Teching types may want to consider casting light-techs on it. I do not know how effective Panic Bullet is on it, nor do I know any Rangers crazy enough to invest in those weird bullets.

THE BOMB!

Dark Vibrace may, at some point during the fight, launch a bomb at the tower it’s furthest from. If this bomb is not destroyed before it detonates it will instantly destroy a tower. You don’t want that! You want 11* weapons! Destroy that bomb!

Pay particular attention to the picture on the left. That is the boss’s pose and how it looks when it’s generating the bomb. Pay attention to where its facing, as that’s where the bomb is headed. If you can’t make it in time, try to warn the MPA where the bomb is headed. Saying it in English is potentially better than saying nothing at all.

That’s All, Folks!

Hopefully this will have helped inform you as a player where you may have been going wrong. It would be awesome if this guide in part improved the quality of Mining Base Defense runs in general, but I hope its been at least useful to someone. As I said, let me know about any particular problems with the post.

Good luck and happy hunting!