First, this is what you’ll need to do to unlock the new field.
This one can be very tough to solo (pretty much for all the wrong reasons IMO) within the time limit while also scoring an Srank.
Unlock Free Field Tunnels
The usual unlock path. Complete each of the Subterranean Tunnels missions once to unlock Kofi’s next Client Order. She will then require you to complete the last 2 missions (the first ending with protecting Liliputians, the second with Tranmizer) with an S-rank and within 18 minutes for the first, 22 minutes for the second. She also requires you to find 2 items which can drop from any Subterranean Tunnels mission.
About The Tunnels
It continues the colour theme from the Desert, that is to say it is various shades of brown. While the stage is littered with the spoils of previous mining efforts by whatever used to live there the stage itself is much more factory than mines.
Environment + Hazards
The spikes from the surface are present, as well as cursed turrets from the Urban stages. New threats include laser sensors that can set off traps, spiky things on conveyor belts that seem to have wondered out of a platforming game and explosive purple barrels. The last item in particular is very prone to griefing, as you can deliberately set them off near players to deal a tremendous amount of damage to them. They can also be used to damage enemies and inflict burn on them.
I love Gilnatch, they’re just so brilliantly goofy. They’re not at all threatening, but I just like how they go all ambulance mode when nearby machines are in trouble, waddling over to them to throw out heals.
Signo Beats are not nearly as threatening as their namesakes. While they are able to make holograms of themselves and are capable of dishing out some pretty mean combo damage for much of the time they kind of stand there and take whatever punishment you deal to them. Their illusions are somewhat spoiled when a Code:Attack will point out the real one. An infected Signo Beat will also spawn uninfected illusions.
Overall the stage is much more machine heavy than the planet’s surface, although you will still encounter plenty of Darkers (all insect type).
Tranmizer is the new mini-boss. It’s a transforming mech that can switch between bipedal mode, which is primarily melee and a more vehicular form which is all ranged attacks. Not really fought it enough times to get a feel for its abilities, but it certainly is durable for a miniboss. As a Hunter, it can be quite annoying chasing it around while it’s firing its machineguns.
Big Varder is so far the most satisfying boss to fight, but certainly not the most challenging boss by any measure. Not at all disappointed by the lack of challenge however, as the boss is fun enough to make up for it. Unlike Vol Dragon and Ragne, breaking parts of this boss can change the flow of the battle considerably as it will remove abilities at his disposal. This is the kind of boss battle I want to see more of, because I think it’s a very good thing when players can directly manipulate the boss in some way. Here’s a video of the encounter by XtremeStarfox.
Of course, with Vol Dragon breaking his tail can prevent him using certain moves if you’re quick enough. With Dark Ragne breaking his legs will stun him for a short while. But in both those cases the boss quickly recovers and can carry on as if nothing happened, which isn’t the case with Varder and Banther/Banshee. Unfortunately, enough about the Banther fight ruins the fun of that fight, but that isn’t for this blog post. Just showing appreciation for mechanics like this.
Towards The Future
You may have noticed that PSO2 has had an awful lot of maintenance periods during its time so far (a pattern that seems to be set to continue for a while it seems). Well because of this, people who have bought premium time will be compensated in some manner, although what that will actually turn out to be has yet to be seen.
An always helpful translation by Ricardo here of an interview with Sakai concerning future content. Among this is the winner of the character creation contest held a while back will be being added in August, so we’ll finally see MW in the lobbies. I wonder how that 3D print awarded to one of the runner-ups came out..
Also mentioned were named bosses. You may have seen a couple in-game before (any boss with extra kanji at the front of their names), well it seems more may be on their way. I’m somewhat hopeful that further named bosses will actually properly scale up to multi-parties, especially if they’re going to scale the trash mobs around them as well. 12-man parties are great and all, but it would be nice if occasionally things popped up that were an actual threat to the whole party (without being too ridiculous, remember that 12-mans are almost exclusively PUGs atm).
Wondering what he means by “content that any level can play”? The only thing that springs to mind would be a type of mission where the monsters scale to the highest or lowest level party member or something. As with many things Sakai likes to say though, I suspect it will be a few months before we hear about that again.