Class Cap Bonuses and Mission: Decision

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The official page for the next series of updates is up here. This post is just gonna share information on the class cap bonuses and anything else I deem interesting.

For the unaware, getting a class to lv75 will make all characters on your account eligable for these bonuses. You won’t have to cap every class on all of your characters.

The bonuses are as follows:

  • Hunter – +50 HP, +15 R-atk, +40 S-def
  • Ranger – +20 R-atk, +15 T-atk, +40 R-def
  • Force –  +15 R-atk, +20 T-atk, +40 T-def
  • Fighter – +2 PP, +50 S-atk, +15 T-atk, +10 T-def
  • Gunner – +2 PP, +15 S-atk, +50 R-atk, +10 S-def
  • Techer –  +2 PP, +15 S-atk, +50 T-atk, +10 R-def
  • Braver – +2 PP, +20 S-atk, +20 R-atk, +30 Dex
  • Bouncer –  +2 PP, +20 S-atk, +20 T-atk, +30 Dex

Totals for all classes capped on at least one character:

+50 HP, +10PP, +120 S-atk, +120 R-atk, +120 T-atk, +60 Dex, +50 S-def, +50 R-def, +50 T-def

Roughly the stats you might get from a selection of good all-round affixes on units. It’s not a bad boost overall. In order to claim your stat boost, you will need to collect it from the title counter upon reaching level 75. This rules out the danger of these bonuses stacking (as in getting multiple characters to say, lv75 Braver to stack the bonuses).

Challenge Quest: Mission: DECISION 

The next challenge quest is set to arrive on the 26th of August and will feature Tundra, Tunnels and Skyscape areas, this was already known so there’s no need to go into detail here. What’s more interesting to me is how they’ve decided to handle a poential flaw in having multiple Challenge Quests.

Challenge Quests are best run by organised groups, but most people don’t have this option. Most of us are gonna have to run with randoms, and randoms will typically refuse to even attempt the quest if there are less than 12 people there. So having multiple Challenge Quests would be an issue, as it’d split the player-base and in theory make it more difficult to start the run you’d like to do. This is just my theory-crafting of course, there are other reasons this could be problematic; such as one quest being easier than the other causing the more difficult one to become a ghost town as everyone takes the path of least resistance.

Anyway their solution is to seemingly alternate a boost between the two quests on a weekly basis. The boosted quest will pay out more Miles, giving incentive to people to run it. Is this a good solution? It’ll probably prevent the player-base being split up at least.

Mission: Decision will be boosted between 26th Aug to 1st Sep.

Mission: Start will be boosted between 2nd Sep to 8th Sep.

These could of course be one offs or just done every so often.

Mission: Decision is incidentally not necessarily the name the patch team will go with. If they choose a different name I’ll edit this post to reflect it.

PSO2 News: The Gathering 6th Aug

YAAAAY

With yesterday’s update, we could finally journey freely into the lands of Kuron. Bunch of other things have arrived too, some of which I have mixed opinions about so hey let’s have a look at some of them. Odd tidbits of information came out elsewhere so let’s gather some of those up too because why not.

Kuron

kurontempleentrance

I do like this field’s aesthetic quite a bit, it’s certainly got a distinct colour theme to it and a few of the map pieces are quite interesting looking. It has both indoor and outdoor areas, with architecture in various states of disrepair with a natural cloud-top mountainous backdrop.

Hit the right head and make me scream!
Hit the right head and make it scream!

The enemies that wander Kuron are certainly a varied bunch, from ghosts to clown cars. The centaur enemies also boast their own e-trials, with various (if simple) mechanics attached to them. The doll-house “Orota Biketta” is itself a mini-game of sorts, where you have to hit the correct head in order to have an available weakspot. Get the wrong head three times and it’ll enrage.

Oh and everything screams. EVERYTHING.

Overall however it still suffers from the same issues some other maps do; the enemies are too sparse for the size of the area. It’s quite spacious, so it’s incredibly noticeable if you’re running the field by yourself, as you have these massive areas populated by about 2 or 3 enemies…

Unique Qualities

Well, beyond enemy types which are often unique enough for every field there are some truly unique things about Kuron, at least for now. For one, it’s the only field in the game with a permanent Extra Hard difficulty attached to it.

Presumably, this was to support the next unique thing about the field; it is the only non-Ultimate field to give a currency. You are rewarded with 2 Chandra stones for clearing Extra Hard with an S-rank as well as a chance of obtaining one by clearing e-trials. Hans also offers two daily orders which can grant you 6 Chandra stones per day per character, assuming your alts can handle Lv70 Kuronites. This currency can be spent on a selection of 12* and 13* weaponry, making it the only area where you can earn items over time.

kurongrimdark

It’s also the only Free Field in which you’re forced to get 500 quest points before you’re granted access to the boss. This I guess is to mete out the quest currency at a relatively controlled pace. Related, it’s the only field where you can opt to never fight the boss at all if you want, as getting 1000 points clears the quest.

Finally, and something I feel somewhat strongly about, it’s the only field in which you’re allowed to go back to the campship and re-engage the boss where you left off should you die to it, even if you’re solo. This is for me, quite irritating as it’s one of those things that I always felt was un-necessarily punishing for solo players. While I’m happy they finally broke their own stupid rule on this, I wonder why this hasn’t been applied to the other fields and boss areas? It perhaps makes sense for some bosses (especially Advance Quests, where after all it is a risk that you need to consider), but given the fact you’re solo means you’re already having a harder fight and that your rank will go down if you return to the campship upon death, why was there any need to then tack on additional punishment by making them go back to the beginning of the stage?

In general, some of these unique qualities I have mixed feelings about. I love that you can actually work towards something and not depend entirely on random numbers, but I don’t love that this is yet another currency eating yet more of my inventory up. This is also why I’d be mixed about them retroactively adding these to the other fields, as while it would curb some of the RNG and make progression a thing, that’d be 13 more inventory spots eaten up by yet more currencies. If they’re going to do this, I feel the developers should seriously consider adding a currency storage of some kind.

Codotta Idetta

Opens up by donning its armor assembled from various toys and then screams at you. Because this is Kuron, you have to scream.

An interesting boss, but not at all a difficult one. Just break its limbs and while it’s down just kill it. If your gear is remotely up to scratch you should one-cycle this boss, even on Extra Hard.

Guar Zigmorde

guarzigmurde

The first yokai boss in the game (the other being a miniboss). How is she? Aggressive would be my choice of word. Low-hp characters may find her attacks difficult to dodge with how frequent they are, however she’s overall not that difficult a boss. She does frequently use a stunning attack and when she’s in phase 2 she can inflict injury with a number of her attacks as well as stun, so those depending on Massive Hunter might want to be wary. The frequency of her attacks can cause injury to stack dangerously high surprisingly quickly.

You can break her tails and her mirror. Breaking the tails reduces the number of projectiles she fires (though her tail projectiles aren’t usually a threat anyway) and breaking the mirror will expose a weak-spot.

The primary mechanic teased about her when Kuron was being discussed before was her curse of death. She will perform a pulling area-of-effect that will end with a pulse. If any player is hit with this pulse, they’ll have a blue orb floating above their head. I believe after a certain period has passed this orb will turn purple, making you eligible for execution. When she does this, any players eligible will be instantly incapacitated. This sounds threatening but in practice it really isn’t, as all you need to do is break her glowing thorax when anyone is cursed. This will break the curse and it has very low HP, even on Extra Hard, so this mechanic shouldn’t be a threat…ever. Her fast-stacking Injury de-buff is far more threatening in my opinion.

What’s fun is the curse of death is currently disabled on the boss because apparently it was causing people to disconnect from blocks. I don’t even know how they managed this fuckup, this is possibly as funny as the old “chairs cause lag” issue from way back…

Weapons of Kuron

Here I’ll go over the exchange weapons added with Kuron and purchasable with Chandra stones. Are they any good? Judge for yourself:

The 12*s:

  • Sword [イクサコウシャ]: 15%/17%?/20%? increased damage for attacks activated with a just-counter.
  • Daggers [センノシュウハ]: Potential currently unknown.
  • Double Saber [ イダテン]: 6%/8%/10% bonus damage for attacking while mid-air.
  • Bullet Bow [ハマノゲンシ] – Chase Arrow PP consumption reduced by 35%/50%/65%
  • Wand  [メイセン] – 17%/19%/21% bonus damage to enemies inflicted with status effects
  • Jet Boots [ハクジレンセイ] – 10%/15%/20% bonus damage and ?/?/150% PP recovery when striking breakable points.

The 13*s:

  • Knuckles: [グリダフヘクス] – Reduce PP consumption from PAs and Techs by 20/25/30% but reduces damage by 5%
  • Katana: [ベクスダグーナ] – Reduce PP consumption from PAs and Techs by 20/25/30% but reduces damage by 5%
  • Gunslash: [スカルシュクター,] – Weakpoint Damage increased by 7/?/?%
  • Rifle: [スカルソーサラー] – Weakpoint Damage increased by 7/?/?%
  • Twin Machinegun: [スカルフェジサー] – Weakpoint Damage increased by 7/?/?%
  • Talis: [ベクリュサバーカ] – Reduce PP consumption from PAs and Techs by 20/25/30% but reduces damage by 5%

No Partizans, Wired Lances, Launchers, Rods or Dual Blades. They made sure to add yet another Katana though! That said, it appears no class was entirely left out this time.

In terms of attack stats, the 13*s typically seem to sit at stronger than Ares (just) and are slightly weaker than Slave weapons. That said, Ares Weapons are still better than most of them in terms of damage, in part thanks to latents. Rifle and Twin Machinegun might be stronger against weak points, not sure.

Note that 12* weapons come with 20% element and cost 80 Chandra stones, meaning you’ll need 240 to 50% one (at worst). 13* weapons cost 200 Chandra stones and come with 15% element, meaning you’ll need 800 Chandra stones at worst to 60% one. Notably, all of these weapons can drop in the quest. So it’s the “get lucky or get one eventually anyway” approach which I’m quite in support of.

Ideal Units

G-heaven posted up the Ideal Set bonus stats here. Re-posting the numbers below:

Set Bonus:

  • Leg and Rear: +50 HP, +5 PP, +75 all attack, +40 Dex, +80 Rdef and Tdef, +2 Ice, Wind and Dark resist.
  • Weapon and Arm: +8 PP, +75 all attack, +40 Dex, +80 Sdef, +4 Fire, Lightning and Light resist
  • Total (excluding elements): 50HP, 13PP, 150 all attack, 80 Dex, 80 all defense.
  • Unfortunately, the element icons are too blurry to tell total elements. Thanks to a video uploaded just today, it seems the units come with 5% ice, 5% fire and… 5% ice. I don’t know if those are inherent or if the units come with any element resist affixes though.

Each unit costs 20,000 miles, for a total of 60,000 for all armor, 240,000 for a weapon and 600,000 for all units and a maxed element weapon.

So a total of 150 all attack. Not bad, but the loss in PP has made the set rather unattractive for those already in possession of a Saiki set. The only remaining unknown factor is what stats each unit provides (not even element or the displayed Sdef really, as those could be affixes) That said, it doesn’t appear to be a bad armour set either and those who use Ideal weapons should certainly consider it, though affixing is afterall expensive and this set is only at its best with Ideal Weapons, which themselves are only good for killing bosses. It’s a niche set, so those not willing to spend the Meseta may want to pass these units by.

Level Up Quests

A new-ish feature. Truthfully, all these are are re-labelled Limited Quests but with a permanent +50% exp boost applied to them. Like Limited Quests they’re only going to be around for a limited time, but their primary intention is to help with levelling from 1 to 70.

So are they any good at this? Not when compared to other options, no. It could be an alright way to level up from 1-45, but beyond level 45 it’s likely better to just run Advance Quests. Since the entry requirement to Advance Quests is minimal, the permanent 100% exp boost is pretty much always available to you, so in light of this why would anyone run the Level Up Quest from 45 onwards? I mean with Advance Quests you can even work towards 12* weapons, as if the superior EXP wasn’t enough.

For that matter, new players are likely going to be carried to level 30 or so just by unlocking areas. It’s been a while since I ran a new character, so I don’t know the exact level you might end up at, but regardless this makes the actually useful window for the Level Up quest ever smaller…

PSO2 Anime

In case you forgot that was a thing (I know I did), looks like we got a promo image of the anime land some details about the staff involved located here at Crunchyroll. Reposting below cause that host seems to load slow as hell for me.

pso

Guess this confirms the idea that it’s set on earth. Beyond that, still very little is know about the animation and is frankly likely to stay that way until it’s out. What a painful wait it will be.

34th Broadcast

Finally, the 34th broadcast is coming up. It’s on Nico which is a shithole of a website, but you should be able to find re-streams on the day. Of note, we seem to be getting a schedule detailing a series of “Large Updates” over a period of six months and there’s going to be a “major announcement” regarding the story. We’re also going to get a preview of the content for this fall.

The broadcast is set to happen on the 16th of August.

That’s all for this post! Maybe I should consider splitting these up in future… As always, give me a poke if there’s anything wrong in this post or if you have additional information.

News Tidbits for June

oh_its_purple_my_favorite

There’s been a few news snippets popping up here and there, figured I’d make a post to collect a few of them up.

32nd Live Broadcast

Sort of a self-explanatory subtitle but yes we’re getting another live broadcast. It’s been known about for a while but details about what exactly they’re going to do during the show were only just revealed.

Highlights will include:

  • A fight with Gal Gryphon
  • Latest update info
  • Latest details on the PSO 15th Anniversary project
  • New collab and retail goods (Yaay…)

You can catch the stream on NicoNico here (though if you’re not premium I wouldn’t bother). It’s likely fan re-streams will be up on the day.

Gwanahda Bit Fix

where_all_the_schoolgirls_at

From the 10th of June, Gwanahda Bits will no longer drop items. They say it’s because during testing they found that they could farm Bronze Weapons Badges from them, which could break the upcoming event (PSO2’s 3rd Anniversary and Max Attack).

For those unaware, you could use Gwanahda Bits to get Client Order items and I believe Advance Quest items as well. This was useful for the more annoying Client Orders but it was always a fairly obvious oversight on their part.

That said, I’m really not convinced that it would have broken the event in any major way. I mean surely it’d be better badges/hour to just straight run the quest?

In order to compensate for this change, they’re apparently raising the number of items that Gwanahda can drop. Which is nice I guess.

Ultimate Busting

From the 10th we’ll be able to transfer Ultimate Buster onto weapons. This comes with a couple of restrictions:

  • In order to transfer, at least 5 of the items will need Ultimate Buster on them
  • Ultimate Buster can’t be transferred onto 13* Weapons or above

For the unaware, Ultimate Buster is an affix which boosts a weapon’s damage by 10% if the target is an Ultimate enemy (known as an “Aberration”).

So you will be able to make weapons just for Ultimate it seems, though whether or not it’ll be worth doing depends I’d argue. First I’m not sure that any weapon with Ultimate Buster attached will be able to compete with 13* weapons anyway. That said, it may well close the gap for those who don’t have 13* weapons yet and it certainly opens up options for classes where 13* weapons are not a reasonable or optimal (mostly due to element requirements or specific latents).

Personally, I have at least two weapons I’d like to bolster with Ultimate Buster and I don’t expect it will cost that much. This is mostly due to the fact that Ultimate Buster is only useful in Ultimate combined with the fact that plenty of weapons with the ability are generated with every Extra Hard Emergency Quest. That said, certain rare combinations of affixes with Ultimate Buster might become expensive, such as in combination with a boss soul. Given that five of the six items involved in the affixing process must have Ultimate Buster on them you’re going to need to use at least 3 souls if you want one or the one without Ultimate Buster will need Soul Receptor on it. Alternatively, you could build Ultimate Buster fodder and go from there, but that could just drive soul prices even higher as you’ll need Ultimate Buster + Soul + however many junk just to make them in the first place.

Kuronia – Harukotan’s 2nd Field

kuronia_tower_or_something

Yeah this was announced at the last live broadcast but I didn’t get to post about it before so why not now?

Thanks to data-mining it’s been known for some time that Kuronia was coming. I mean if nothing else, it was a pretty safe bet given the story set out for Harukotan and the big looming dark temple on the map.

The video below is so far the only preview we’ve had of the area. Skip to 1:36 to see it, though be warned the image quality is abysmal.

The area itself however does look quite pretty; a giant temple decorated with golden statues of… what looks like Asura? Why would a temple on an alien planet have statues of human deities in it? Oh well, I\m sure it will be enjoyable for the first week or so while it’s fresh.

Beyond the enemies showcased here they’re still missing the “dollhouse” and “toypipe” darker enemies. I really want to know what the dollhouse type involves. But hey, PSO2 finally has a regular centaur type enemy (Blu Ringahda notwithstanding). It wouldn’t be an online Phantasy Star game without centaurs of some kind.

Thats all for this post. With the release of the pre-patch it’s likely some tidbits about the game’s future could be released shortly, though be aware the the more interesting stuff tends to be from the maintenance patches.

Thanks to EspioKaos for translations.

Vopar Time Attack

you_aint_seen_us_alright

It sure has been a while since we got a new Time Attack quest. With the changes to Time Attack Client Orders ensuring that new ones won’t go and destroy the economy, I hope that there’ll be more down the line. That said, how is it?

All these Hydras are giving me Guild Wars flashbacks...
All these Hydras are giving me Guild Wars flashbacks…

Area one is a straight-up kill-fest. There’s a slight mechanic with having to go around the outer islands to clear out smaller waves of mobs in a couple of laps, ending on 2 mini-boss encounters and then a boss. Beyond that is just a room with more buttons than I think I’ve ever seen in a Phantasy Star game, with various buttons either gating spawns or gated by spawns. It’s a relatively chunky quest in terms of mob density but geographically I think it’s by far the smallest Time Attack yet. In terms of how long it takes to complete? It’s a little early to judge, as we’ve had months and for some years to practice them. Give it some time for people to get used to the run.

It’s a quest that’s more in the vein of Naberius 2 and Sanctum, as opposed to the more puzzle-like nature of Naberius 1 and Lilipa. The quest will appeal to players who want a more traditional-style dungeon run. It’s not bad, I just kind of wish we could see a return to the more puzzle-like style of Time Attacks for at least a couple of any future ones. As far as I can tell, there are no short-cuts but it’s early days, they may just not have been found yet. There is a chain killing shortcut at the start, akin to one present in Naberius 2, however.

Enemy Counts

Time Attack Quests are good for certain Client Orders, as they offer fixed spawns of enemies that may be annoying to find in the wild. This information may be helpful if any suitable Daily Orders or Team Orders come up.

Vid Gilos 

  • Amount: 4
  • Where and when: In the very first room! Spawns after the Aculpus are defeated.

Decol Malluda

  • Amount: 1
  • Where and when: After clearing the outer islands to a certain point, one will spawn on an outer island.

Wolgahda

  • Amount: 1
  • Where and when: After clearing the outer islands to a certain point, one will spawn on an outer island.

Zeshrayda

  • Amount: 1
  • Where and when: After defeating both Decol Malluda and Wolgahda, one of these will spawn in the first room.
The orientation you encounter the switches in, Closest summons mobs. Left and right each summon an Org Blan. Furthest summons Biol Meduna.
The orientation you encounter the switches in, Closest summons mobs. Left and right each summon an Org Blan. Furthest summons Biol Meduna.

Org Blan

  • Amount: 2
  • Where and when: They’re each tied to their own giant button at the end of the quest.

Biol Meduna

  • Amount: 1
  • Where and when: Spawns after pressing one of the giant buttons at the end of the quest.

Others, but not including all types of monsters.

  • Gul Solda: 7 total. 2 in area one, 5 in area two.
  • Deue Solda: 7 total. 2 in area one, 5 in area two.
  • Blundarl: 3 total. 1 in area one, 2 in area two.
  • Strahda: 6 total. 4 in area one, 2 in area two.
  • Tyraluda: 2 in area two.
  • Doluahda: 5 in area two.
  • Dicahda: 4 in area one.
  • Predicahda: 1 in area one.
  • Coast Oceanids: 36. All Oceanids in area one count.
  • Seabed Oceanids: 36. All Oceanids in area two count.
Applicable Client Orders

Here I’ll list which Client Orders can be completed in a single run, as well as anything else of note. I’ll only list Client Orders which are available at all times.

Hans

  • 暴威をまとう海の王 / Tyrants of the Sea: Defeat 2 Lv50+ Org Blan. Reset: 22 hours. EXP: 13,000
  • 甲殻を持つ三つ首 / Three-Headed Shells: Defeat  3 lv60+ Vid Gilos. Reset: 22 hours. EXP: 13,500
  • 強鋏の海獣 / Marine Pincers: Defeat a Lv60+ Biol Meduna. Client: Hans. Reset: 22 hours. EXP: 14,500
  • 火弾を放つ黒甲 / Black Shells and Fire: Defeat a Lv60+ Zeshrayda. Reset: 22 hours. EXP: 14,000

Ravelle

  • ブラッディ・スカフォード・Ⅲ / Bloody Scaffolds III. Defeat 1 lv47+ Wolgahda and 1 Zeshrayda. Reset: 22 hours. Exp: 20,000
  • イレイザー・レポート・Ⅳ/ Eraser Report IV: Defeat 1 lv50+ Luda Sorceror. Reset: 22 hours. Exp: 9,000
  • ファナティック・キリング・Ⅲ/ Fanatic Killing III: Defeat 1 Lv60+ Decol Malluda. Reset: 22 hours. Exp: 12,000

Rubert

  • ヴィド・ギロスの部位破壊を! / Destroy the Vid Gilos parts!: Defeat a lv50+ Vid Gilos after breaking the middle head. Reset: 22 hours. EXP: 11,000
  • グル・ソルダの弱点は!? / Gul Solda’s Weakness!?: Defeat a lv60+ Gul Solda via its weakpoint. Reset: 22 hours. EXP: 11,000
  • デコル・マリューダの弱点は!? / Decol Malluda’s Weakness!?: Defeat a Decol Malluda via its weakpoint on its head. Reset: 22 hours. EXP: 13,000
  • ビオル・メデューナの部位破壊を!/ Destroy the Biol Meduna’s parts!: Defeat a Lv60+ Biol Meduna after breaking the tail. Reset: 22 hours. EXP: 13,000

Sadly I feel the various Darkers throughout the run aren’t numerous enough to support Ravelle’s Client Orders. All three of Hans’ area-based Oceanid Client Orders can be over half-done, so you may want to consider taking them and then finish them off elsewhere.

Of course there’s a TACO for it. Like the others, it’s on a 166 hour reset timer (so weekly). Unlike the others, there’s only one and it counts for any difficulty of the quest. It awards 160,000 Meseta and 10,000 exp, so not bad. If you play your cards right and complete all the above orders in one run you’ll net yourself 144,000 EXP before the TACO.

Franka

As her orders require items from enemies that may or may not drop, these are more suggestions. I feel like there’s not much point counting area two’s monsters given that I don’t think its especially practical to fight your way to the 2nd area if youre going to farm for things for Franka.

  • ヴィド・ギロスの肉の調達 / Supplying Vid Gilos Meat: Get 5 items from Lv60+ Vid Gilos. Reset: 166 hours, EXP: 12,500
  • セヴァニアンの肉の調達 / Supplying Sevanian Meat: Get 15 items from lv60+ Sevanians, Reset: 166 hours. EXP: 11,500
  • タグ・セヴァニアンの肉の調達 / Supplying Tag Sevanian Meat: Get 10 items from Lv60+ Tag Sevanians. Reset: 166 hours. EXP: 11,500
  • タグ・アクルプスの肉の調達 / Supplying Tag Aculpus Meat: Get 10 items from Lv60+ Tag Aculpus. Reset: 166 hours. EXP: 11,500
  • 活発なアクルプスの肉の調達 / Supplying Healthy Aculpus Meat: Get 25 items from Lv60+ Aculpus. Reset: 166 hours. EXP: 11,000
  • アクルプスの背びれの調達 / Supplying Aculpus Dorsal Fins: Get 5 items from lv50+ Aculpus. Reset: 166 hours. EXP: 8,200.
  • セグレズンのもも肉の調達 / Supplying Seglez’n Thigh Meat: Get 10 items from lv50+ Seglez’n. Reset: 166 hours., EXP: 7,000

That’s all I can pick out for now. If there are any Client Orders that I’ve forgotten about, particularly any that can be one in one run of it (preferably lv40+ enemies) let me know.

Datamined Photon Art Info

getting_the_spider_up_the_spout

Along with character base stats, Agrajag of psumods managed to find, extract and format the Photon Art stats. Now, before you go getting excited and leaping in to find out which Photon Arts are now going to rock I’m afraid to say that a good chunk of this data is essentially worthless. Here are some good reasons as to why:

  • Satellite Cannon is slated to have its power reduced. Its current power at lv16 is displayed as 522, its future power is listed as 4436!
  • The old power of 522 is a pretty horrible indicator of just how powerful Satellite Cannon is anyway.
  • The same is essentially true of Ilmegid, Ilgrants and Cosmos Breaker
  • There is often no way to determine what part of the Photon Art the power rating is referring to. Is it the combined power of all parts of the attack or not? Is it referring to the charged or uncharged version?

Essentially it has been well known for a while that the display stats for Photon Arts and Technics are either deceptive or outright wrong. This makes comparisons for the sake of determining what has changed hard to impossible in terms of power. OK, you could maybe do so for a select few Photon Arts which have neither charge time or multiple hits (like Twister Fall) but otherwise for a comparison you would need to determine what they were referring to and what they are going to refer to in the future. While apparently it was said that the display numbers would now display their “true” damage, or at least damage you’re likely to get from the photon art, this still makes actual comparison very difficult. Someone has had a considerable go at it, attempting to use the “actual mods” where they can for the sake of comparison, but again it’s not the most useful gauge for a lot of abilities. That said, so far it’s the best indicator of power growth we have for now, just take it with varying pinches of salt.

For PP the number is perfectly reliable, so that’s what this post is going to look at. Below is just a list of current PP values compared against the ones in the data. I have omitted any Photon Art or Technique whose PP values are the same as before. All listed values are at lv16.

Oh and before the list begins, please remember that as this is data-mined information these numbers may not reflect their values on release.

Swords

  • Rising Edge: 28pp -> 20pp
  • Twister Fall: 25pp -> 20pp
  • Nova Strike: 30pp -> 20pp
  • Ride Slasher: 28pp -> 25pp
  • Stun Concido: 25pp -> 20pp
  • Sonic Arrow: 28pp -> 25pp
  • Cruel Throw: 28pp -> 20pp
  • Guilty Break: 30pp -> 20pp
  • Sacrifice’s Bite: 25pp -> 20pp

Wired Lance

  • Bind Through: 28 -> 20
  • Grapple Charge: 25 -> 20
  • Heavenly Fall: 28 -> 20
  • Kaiser Rise: 25 -> 20

Partizans

  • Rising Flag: 26 -> 15
  • Zenith Throw: 28 -> 15
  • Sacred Skewer: 35 -> 30

Twin Daggers

  • Shoot Polka: 28 -> 20
  • Scar Fugue: 30 -> 20
  • Wild Rhapsody: 26 -> 20
  • Dark Scherzo: 28 -> 20
  • Quick March: 25 -> 20
  • Symphonic Drive: 28 -> 25
  • Orchestra: 30 -> 25

Knuckles

  • Ducking Blow: 28 -> 20
  • Flicker Jab: 26 -> 20
  • Slide Uppercut: 28 -> 20
  • Straight Charge: 28 -> 20
  • Quake Howling: 25 -> 20
  • Surprise Knuckle: 28 -> 20

Double Sabers

  • Tornado Dance: 30 -> 20
  • Scissor Edge: 28 -> 20
  • Rumbling Moon: 30 -> 20
  • Fake Capture: 30 -> 15
  • Surprise Dunk: 25 -> 20
  • Acro Effect: 26 -> 20
  • Deadly Circle: 30 -> 20
  • Chaos Riser: 27 -> 20

Rifles

  • All are precisely the same as they are now.

Launchers

  • Divine Launcher: 40 -> 35
  • Crazy Smash: 25 -> 15

Twin Machineguns

  • Dead Approach: 25 -> 20
  • Satellite Aim: 25 -> 20
  • Elder Rebellion: 40 -> 32
  • Reverse Tap: 28 -> 20

Katanas

  • Tsukimi-sazanka: 28 -> 20
  • Kanran-kikyou: 28 -> 25
  • Sakura Endo: 28 -> 25
  • Hien Tsubaki: 30 -> 25
  • Fudou-kuchinashi: 40 -> 30

Bullet Bows

  • Penetrating Arrow: 38 -> 30
  • Torrential Arrow: 30 -> 25
  • Gravity Point: 32 -> 20
  • Million Storm: 35 -> 30

Techs

  • Nabarta: 34 -> 30
  • Ragrants: 20 -> 30
  • Nagrants: 40 -> 20

The only other thing of note is that they’ve gotten rid of the spike in power at lv11 and lv16 for all Photon Arts and Techniques, like they said they would. The only exception is “JetBootsPA04” which for some reason jumps from 529 to 3413 power from lv15 to 16. Anyway this is a good thing of course, I always hated how some Photon Arts were basically worthless until you happened to find their lv16 disc.

It isn’t too long now before we’ll get to see how all these numbers and changes play out. Episode 3 is due out in a mere 3 days as of this post.

Datamined Skill Tree Info

THEEYES

Looks like the first real juicy bit of data is on our hands, posted up on psumods here. The raw data of every single skill from every skill tree in the game! While some of it just confirms the numbers we had before, a good amount of this is actually new.

However, as it is data-mined information it should not be taken as confirmation of anything. Parts of this could well change before release.

This post will simply talk about the data and share my thoughts on it where I can. This information is in addition to details about classes revealed by Sega before, which you can read about on Bumped here or on PSO-World here.

General

All stat-up skills are now tiered, meaning the higher versions of them give more stats than before. For example, S-Atk Up 1 gives 50, S-Atk Up 2 gives 75 and S-Atk up 3 gives 100 at lv10. If your build fills out all three in any given stat, you will now have gained 75 of it, so not bad.

Stance skills are now infinite duration with a 5 second cooldown. Well most are, as for some reason Bouncer’s Break Stance and Elemental stance currently have a duration of 30 minutes. Oddly inconsistent.

Hunter

Fury Stance as we know caps at 120% now, with Fury Combo reduced to 10% and Fury S Up both capped at 5% each. This, along with Just Attack Bonus 1 and 2, brings Hunter’s total damage bonus to 176%, down from 219%. For ranged types, it’s now 161%.

Now this is where it may get a bit more interesting. Hunter has an exclusive offensive option in the form of War Brave. This boosts damage by 3% per monster taunted and regains PP at 7 per monster, to a cap of 15% and 35 PP. This means that a Hunter’s damage potential against a crowd of enemies is higher than it is against a single target, working out to a total of 202% against 5+ enemies, or 181% if War Cry is used on one target. War Cry itself has also had its threat doubled across the board, starting at 200% and ending at 400% instead of 100% and 200%. I suspect this still may not be enough for tanky Hunters to maintain hatred from the DPS players around them, but we’ll see.

Defensive Skills

The Flash Guards are now 100% activation, instead scaling on amount of damage reduced per level. Flash Guard still maxes at 20%, while Tech Guard still caps at 30%. Guard Stance will no longer penalize your attack at all at lv10, but is otherwise the same.

Massive Hunter has changed a bit, now boasting an uptime of 45 seconds over its previous of 25, with its cooldown reduced from 100 seconds to 90. This of course means that it’s uptime is now 50%, which for what the skill does isn’t bad really.

Iron Will and Never Give Up have had their abilities changed a tad. Instead of requiring Never Give Up to gain invincibility upon triggering Iron Will it’s now an innate part of Iron Will. The invincibiility caps at 5 seconds at lv10. Never Give Up meanwhile has had its duration extended to 15 seconds at lv10, up from 5. I’m not sure if this is just referring to its attack or if its referring to invincibility as well, it’s a little confusing.

Fighter

All Slayer skills now add T-Atk as well as the other stats. This means they’re now useable options for teching types. Deadline Slayer has been boosted to 150 attack from 100.

Chase Advance has been reduced from 140% to 125%. Despite my previous assumption, this won’t apply to all damage types. “AtpRate” (in game this just displays as “power”) sounds like it would apply to all damage. The confusion here is that other skills that use AtpRate like Elemental Weak Hit use the same stat to mean “all damage types”, plus there are stat names for each attack type (AtpStrikeRate, AtpFirearmRate and AtpTechniqueRate). This is the source of my confusion and I’m sorry for that. 

Adrenaline now only requires 1 Skill Point, but still caps at 30s.

Brave Stance was boosted from 120% to 125%, making the bonus total (with maxed Brave Stance Up) now 150%, up from 144%. Wise Stance was boosted from 130% to 135%, making its total 175.5%, up from 169%. Both stances have had their positional penalties essentially removed as well.

Limit Break reduces HP to 25% of your character’s maximum HP, while boosting striking damage by 120%. Its duration is 60 seconds with a 90 second cool-down, giving it a 66% uptime. These numbers are all at lv10. Note that Limit Break is a skill unique to Fighters, so this number is irrelevant if you want to consider Fighter as a subclass. It still isn’t known whether or not this skill will trigger Halfline Slayer and Deadline Slayer as far as I know, please correct me if I’m wrong.

Tech Arts Just Attack Bonus boosts damage to 115%. The conditions for this aren’t exactly known, though.

Ranger

Weak Hit Advances have had their damage bonus boosted from 125% to 135%. That’s kind of it with regard damage bonuses that this class offers.

Bullets and Traps

Weak Bullet has had its damage bonus reduced from 300% to 255%. Mirage Shot, Bind Bullet, Panic Shot and Jellen Shot have all been compressed to 5 point skills, with all of them having the same stats at lv5 that they used to at lv10. Jellen Shot is the exception, as its damage reduction effect has been boosted from 10% to 15%.

Trap skills no longer consume items, instead they have a cool-down attached to their use.

Stun Grenade now works 100% of the time from lv1 and has a 15 second cooldown. Upper Trap has a 20 second cool-down. Poison Trap has a 20 second cooldown. Upper T Custom and Poison T Custom are both now 1 point skills, but they still do their old lv10 cap damage boost. These cool-downs sound somewhat prohibitive if you were intending to spam traps, but it might not be too bad in practice.

Gunner

Chain Finish Bonus has 4 of… something. Agrajag’s guess is that it’s cooldown – chain count * 4 when you finish the chain, essentially working to reduce the time you’re waiting before you start your next chain depending on how high a chain you built. If this were the case, if Chain Trigger is at lv10 you would need to build a chain of 15 or more to reduce the cool-down to nothing. If this is the case, then this means almost endless chaining for Gunners from here on out. Seems a little too powerful to me, so this may not be the case. When combined with Twice Chain, this would mean that you could get infinite chains with just 2 normal attacks with Machineguns, which just seems to be far too low to me.

Showtime, like War Cry, has had its threat generated doubled across the board. It’s also had its duration extended from 30s to 45s, on a 60 second cool-down.

High-Time’s damage bonus at max has been raised from 15% to 20%. It’s a little better in combination with the extension that Showtime is getting.

Stylish Roll JA Bonus has been reduced to 150% from 200%. It’s still a meaty enough boost to ignore doing any attack other than those that synergize well with Stylish Roll, but hey maybe the strength of the attacks that aren’t so friendly to it will be raised enough that this won’t matter so much.

Force

Freeze Ignition’s cool-down has been reduced to 30 seconds from 60. I think this is still too long but its at least out of the realms of “utterly ridiculous”.

Photon Flare has has its duration raised to 45s while its cool-down has been reduced to 100 seconds from 120, granting it a 45% uptime. It has also had its HP penalty removed . Photon Flare Afterburst now caps at lv1 with its old lv10 bonus of 100 T-atk.

Techer

Deband Toughness grants 25% to your base maximum HP at lv5. Shifta Strike boosts damage to 110% at lv5. Along with the other changes to Techer such as Extend Assist as an innate skill, Territory Burst as a 1 point skill and Super Treatment as a 1 point skill this class is getting a lot of help towards its support abilities. It should definitely help make the role a bit less of a hassle to play as well as boost its demand due to Shifta Strike if nothing else.

Wand Lovers is now a stance and boosts wand striking damage to 140%, up from 135%. Wand bonkers rejoice, for your build now sounds considerably less cumbersome to me.

Braver

This first bit is mostly relevant to Bullet Bow users. Attack Advance boosts the power of normal attacks by 150%. Charge Advance boosts charged shooting-type normal attacks to 110%, while also boosting the speed of the bullets to 150%. Rapid Shoot Up 2 has had its power boosted to +150 R-Atk during Rapid Shoot (while using a Bullet Bow).

Average Stance boosted from 110% to 115%. Weak Stance was boosted from 130% to 135%. The totals are a little dependent on attack type, so going to lay them out in a list:

  • Average Stance with uncharged attacks: 126% up from 121%
  • Average Stance with charged attacks: 139% up from 133%
  • Weak Stance with uncharged attacks: 148% up from 143%
  • Weak Stance with charged attacks: 163% up from 157%.
Bouncer

The actual function of Bouncer skills is of course rather poorly understood, so the ramifications of this are pretty difficult to judge. With that said, lets see some numbers.

Stances

Elemental Stance: 120% damage bonus to elemental weaknesses, Elemental Stance Up 1 boosts boosts damage to another 110%. This makes the total bonus Elemental Stance offers a rather paltry 132%. It seems to be a shit version of Weak Stance.

Break Stance meanwhile grants a 135% damage bonus to breakable parts, with Break Stance Up 1 boosting this by a further 110% for a total of 148.5%.

Gears

Dual Blade Gear: Lasts 10 seconds upon activation, boosts PP regeneration to 110%, possibly Gear regeneration to 110% and can stack up to 6 times. No idea how said stacking works!

On-Use Skills

Elemental PP Restorate Field: +3 PP per hit on an enemy for 60 seconds on a 90 second cool-down, so 66% uptime.

Rapid Boost increases the speed of attacks to 115% and lowers the charge-time of all charged attacks to 85%. This skill is up for 45 seconds on a 120 second cool-down, giving it a 37.5% uptime. Rapid Boost JA Bonus boosts the power of Just Attacks to 115%.

Passives

Deband PP Restorate: +3 PP per hit on an enemy while under the effect of Deband.

Shifta Air Attack Boost: 105%. The name suggests to me that it’s only applicable while your character is airborn.

Just Reversal PP Recover; Regenerate 20% of your max PP upon successful Just Reversal.

Heal Share is 20% of something. Not known.

Heal Bonus boosts healing to 115%. I wonder if this just means Resta or if it applies to all sources of healing?

Weapon Skills

Photon Blade Fever has a 130% damage multiplier, lasts 45 seconds and has a 120 second cool-down giving it an uptime of 37.5%. What the multiplier is applied to or how it works isn’t known. Same goes for its supplementary skill, Photon Blade Fever Up 1 which has a further 130% boost.

Photon Blade Escape: Whatever it does it does it for 0.35 seconds.

Craft Mastery just increases.. craftmasteryrate by a maximum of 0.1 or 10%. I have no idea.

Thoughts:

If these numbers are final something feels amiss. For one thing, the stances last 30 minutes, which runs counter to every other stance in the game being changed to an infinite duration. Elemental Stance is much weaker than Weak Stance, which mechanically speaking does the precise same task for teching types. Other abilities also seem markedly weak given how.. specific they are. That said, it’s pretty hard to really gauge the utility of the class without trying it out, so its a bit difficult to judge the overall effectiveness of the class at the moment. If these cold hard numbers are both indicative and final, then I feel like Bouncer might need a boost down the line…

Of course if it is accurate then it means my worries about the class in this post are for naught, which is a good thing I guess.

Critical Skills

I decided to separate these from their parent classes, as Criticals aren’t really relevant to most current builds. They may or may not make entirely new builds possible, however.

  • Hunter’s Fury Stance Critical: 25% up from 20%
  • Fighter’s Brave Critical: 25% up from 20%
  • Fighter’s Wise Critical: 25% up from 20%
  • Gunner’s Zero Range Critical is still 50%
  • Techer’s Shifta Critical is 20% up from 15%
  • Braver’s Average Stance Critical is 25% up from 20%
  • Braver’s Weak Stance Critical is still 25%.
  • Bouncer’s Elemental Stance Critical is 25%
  • Bouncer’s Break Stance Critical is 25%
  • Bouncer’s Critical Field is 30%

So Hunter, Fighter, Braver and Bouncer all have the option of adding 25% to their crit-rate for any of their stances. Shifta can then boost it by a further 20% and Bouncer’s Critical Field by a further 30%, with Gunner having the unique property of granting a 50% bonus to critical damage for ranged attacks in close range.

So it’s 25% + 20% for single classes under the effect of Shifta Critical, or 25% + 25% + 20% for certain hybrids (any combination of Hunter, Fighter, Bouncer or Braver). Fighter’s Critical Strike skill also grants an additional 15%, but this is only available to Fighters. This would grant a critical hit rate of 45% for a single class or 70% for certain hybrids, not including whatever the base critical rate is. Naturally if you then add Bouncer’s Critical Field you then have a critical hit rate of 100%. Gunner can achieve a critical hit rate of 75% on its own, or 95% with Shifta Critical.

Remember that critical hits cancel all variance, so if you could maintain 100% this would utterly remove the biggest downside to using crafted weaponry. Of course, Critical Field has an up-time of 37.5%, so for the rest of the time you’re going to be at around 70%. When combined with Fighter’s ability to boost the damage of critical hits to 115% (Fighter main only) as well as boosting their critical chance by a further 15%, it feels like critical builds may be more viable than they are now. Fighter/Hunter, Fighter/Braver and Fighter/Bouncer could get a critical hit rate of 65% before Shifta Critical, which is pretty nice. If you were the slightly more unusual Fighter/Gunner, should you have Fighter-usable Twin Machineguns you can get a critical hit rate of 90% while attacking things in close range. I’m actually pretty interested in looking into this a bit further…

Anyway that’s all. It’s been a long enough post as is without considering the implications for various class combinations. I was originally going to do this in another post, but as the numbers here are pre-release and thus unpredictably volatile it seems like a wasted effort, especially when all this is going to be out in a week anyway.

Bouncer: My Fears.

bounce_for_me

Some details about Bouncer’s skills have been revealed. By some I really do mean a select few details, which you can read about on Bumped here. As we don’t know all that much this post will just be my speculative worries about what could go wrong with the class.

Craft Mastery

Description: Boosts the power of crafted weapons.

Given that all classes can use crafted weaponry this seems like an unusual skill to give to a single class. Perhaps the designers consider it a method to make crafted weapons better if you were to take Bouncer as a sub-class? While that may be true, there are some potential issues with this I feel.

First, we don’t really have any idea what they mean by “boosted power”. If it’s just attack power then it remains potentially useless as crafted weaponry has some immense damage variance. I won’t go into detail if you don’t know much about it, but suffice to say it means the damage output of crafted weapons is remarkably unreliable. This could be circumvented if you could get your critical hit rate high enough though, which may make another Bouncer skill by the name of “Critical Field” quite relevant. Critical hits in PSO2 don’t work like they do in most other RPGs/MMOs, as instead of granting a damage bonus on hit they just do the maximum damage your current attack power can do with a given attack, effectively cancelling variance.

Of course, the possibility remains that the skill may do something about this variance, which then threatens the game in an entirely different way. If it’s too good, it makes higher rank weapons pointless. If this is combined with any boost to attack this skill could do, it could make Bouncer a mandatory subclass for all classes. Not a fun outcome, but due to how 10* and 11* equipment rely on players spending money on the game (in order to buy them from other players) this kind of outcome seems vanishingly unlikely.

Break Stance

Description: Boosts damage dealt to breakable parts on enemies.

Really just two questions about this stance: How much is the damage boost? Does the boost persist after you have broken the part?

To me, it seems unlikely that the answer to the 2nd question will be “yes” due to how the game works. A breakable part on a boss is a different hit-box entirely. That is to say. Quartz Dragon’s crystal nose is not the same as its exposed squishy nose. That said, something like Vol Dragon’s face may or may not be considered “breakable” given how its hit-box will also disappear once you pass a certain damage threshold. It depends on how the game internally defines what is breakable and what isn’t, as of course the skill will use that data to determine if the damage boost applies. If it’s more flexible in this definition than I expect, then Break Stance could be extremely effective at killing bosses.

Well, it could be anyway. This rather depends on the answer to the first question, to which the answer is “we don’t know”. The damage bonus could be so much that it out-does Weak Stance as a boss killer or it could be so bad it isn’t worth bothering with. If it is bad and only applies to what we understand as breakable parts then the stance would be almost utterly worthless. The worst case scenario for me is if it were something like +50% damage and it was liberal about what it defines as breakable…

Elemental Stance

Description: Boosts the damage dealt to an enemy if you use a weapon with an element that they are weak to.

Essentially this is Element Weak Hit, the stance. If you’re using a fire weapon on enemies weak to fire, you’ll boost your damage. This stance seriously worries me, as I feel it has the potential to do the most damage to the game out of all of Bouncer’s skills.

If this boost is too weak, or around the 20% range, then it clashes with Element Weak Hit too much. Element Weak Hit is a passive skill, making it essentially a free stance. This would suck for Bouncer but it wouldn’t threaten the game.

It being too strong sounds like an obvious thing to worry about, but I’m going to tell you why I think that this could threaten the game more than even Fury Stance. See, if it greatly boosts your damage if you use the correct element, then it also boosts the effectiveness of weapons which also have a latent ability that does the same. One such latent ability is “Ancient Oath”, which boosts the damage dealt by 14% for striking an enemy’s elemental weakness. As it happens, there aren’t many weapons that have this latent but this could change going into the future. The issue this creates is the new top-end could be to take Elemental Stance and equip a rainbow selection of the highest available weapon with Ancient Oath in your given class. Essentially it tuns the game into Phantasy Star Universe. I don’t know about you, but I find the idea of having to find at least 4 copies of the same difficult to obtain weapon, +40 each of them and affix them all accordingly to be a bit of an obnoxious task to undertake. Unless of course you have bottomless pockets of Meseta which is related to my final point in this paragraph. The essential reason why I worry that this skill could make the game worse is it could make the gap between best and decently geared players even more severe than it is. For a lot of players, the top end already feels unattainable due to the layers of random numbers involved. To have that multiplied by several times just seems unreasonable to me. It’s difficult enough, I argue.

This stance may have strong synergy with Force’s skill. “Element Conversion”. If it’s too powerful, this may make Bouncer a mandatory subclass for Force, returning us to a time where Fire and Lightning techs rule the Teching side of the game. OK, ice techs may have a place too if the re-balance adjusts them accordingly.

Again though, this is speculation based on my own fears about how things could go wrong.  It may just be a minor power boost over using a non-elemental power boosting stance (with an Ancient Oath weapon), in which case people are still having to get a rainbow selection of weapons but now they’re spending hundreds of millions of Meseta on something marginally better instead of significantly. The gap between best and decent wouldn’t be changed much.

Deband PP Restorate

Description: Boosts PP regenerated per attack while Deband is active.

The damage this skill could do to the game seems limited on its own, it really depends on how much the bonus is and how strong the above skills are. This skill could make the above worse by allowing people to use Photon Arts more frequently on top of the bonuses the other skills may grant.

Closing Thoughts

While the balance changes announced during the last broadcast are for the most part interesting and do sound like they could go a fair way towards balancing things, I worry that they may not be balancing Bouncer along with them. I just hope they are carefully considering the power of the skills involved, not just so we don’t end up with new overpowered builds but also so that Bouncer actually can compete with the other classes.

State of the Servers

waahgahda

Figured I’d hold back on making such a post til it was perhaps a little clearer what exactly is going on. It’s still about as clear as mud and nothing is definite here, but I will share some thoughts now.

To recap, on June 19th pso2.jp, the game’s and PSO-World’s servers were taken down or rendered inoperable by a DDoS attack. Who did it? Who cares. The attacks ended and Sega implemented some countermeasures, bringing the servers back online. However, most foreign players were still unable to connect. As of making this post, people outside of Japan still can’t connect for the most part.

A word of warning to anyone thinking of using a VPN to connect: Rumours are flying about that this could result in an actual account ban. Bans are error messages in the 800 range, anything else is for the most part connection issues. Using a VPN is a risky endeavor and I would advise against it, myself.

WE GOT IP BLOCKED!!

It’s funny how many people lept to this conclusion. Suffice to say, this conclusion is still wrong.

  • First, an IP block is entirely ineffective against a DDoS. But Sega doesn’t do effective things I hear you cry!
  • Second, Japanese players are also suffering from connection problems.
  • Third, players have reported that persistence can work for certain errors. Some IP block if so.
  • Fourth, Sakai himself said during a talk at the Osaka event that an IP block would achieve nothing.
  • Fifth, that some ISPs were able to connect and some that weren’t before are now able to, it puts the IP ban theory quite firmly in the coffin.

Now, just because we haven’t been IP blocked doesn’t mean we’ll all be able to play this game any time soon. I’ll be talking about that later…

Our Position.

Well, aside no IP ban the most obvious fact is right now most of the foreign player-base still can’t connect.

So what does this mean for us? Well, frankly, we must come to terms with the possibility that we will never be able to play on the Japanese servers again. Whatever measures Sega has taken to protect itself has rendered most of us unable to connect, so although it isn’t an IP ban it will behave as an effective one. While Sega does acknowledge that users are suffering from connection issues and is attempting to fix them, this actually means nothing to us.

See, we as foreign users have the rights to absolutely no support whatsoever from Sega. If you get banned or if you are for whatever reason no longer able to connect, this is none of Sega’s concern and they will not help you. You violate the terms of service by connecting from outside of Japan at all, after all. As foreign players, many of us knew and accepted that risk anyway, knowing full well that Sega could pull the plug without a word. It’s a shitty position to put ourselves in but in the continuing absence of local servers it was that or don’t play at all.

The point I am getting at is, if Sega’s anti-DDoS measures have indirectly rendered it difficult or impossible for foreign users to connect, they not only have zero obligation to fix it they don’t even have to acknowledge it’s a problem. In other-words, if the measures to fix it for the Japanese players don’t work for us, this current situation may be permanent.

The Community

If it is indeed permanent,  what does it mean for other parts of the community? I imagine it’ll just quietly die as the core user-base will shrink down to those willing to risk it and use a VPN to connect, or to those who happen to be on an ISP that can connect. Those who can still connect may stop as none of their friends can play. Communities outside the game won’t be as active with fewer people able to log in, as there’s only so much you can talk about a game you can’t even play.

The english patch team will stop working on it. I speak of the core english patch team at psumods, who will likely no longer provide effort towards the patch. It’d be considered a waste of time at that point with such a diminished user base. Aida may or may not continue working on things. Update: Looks like instead the patch will fall back to a lower-effort mode, whereby newer content may not be delivered as quickly as it was. I was told otherwise

As for this blog? Well, if I can’t play it I feel the purpose of an opinions blog is somewhat diminished. If I could, the number of people it’d be relevant to would be severely diminished anyway! This never was a news blog and never will be unless I can learn how to read Japanese. Machine translation doesn’t cut it. So that may well be it for this blog unless we get our own version of the game.

Thoughts

Not a lot to say. Sega has handled this whole thing in a remarkably clumsy manner, but Sega of Japan owe us nothing at all anyway. It does rather rub salt deeper into the wound that we still have no sign whatsoever of a local version heading our way any time soon. If this is permanent, it may be in Sega of America’s interest to say something relatively quickly.

This seems all rather gloomy. If you want something to hope for, the possibility remains that whatever fixes Sega of Japan implements will actually fix the issues for foreigners as well. Nothing is definite. We may all be able to play again eventually, just prepare for the possibility that we won’t.

New Class: Bouncer

missionEp3banner

During the broadcast, a new class was announced. That class is Bouncer. The rest of this article probably won;t be stating the obvious quite so much.

Alright, so this one really kinda came out of the blue. There was no data in the client at all which suggested that a new class was coming, nevermind additional weapon types for such a class. The client has plenty of space for new classes, so them adding one at all is less of a surprise. Through speculation and pondering which classes Sega would add next, I doubt “Bouncer” ever entered anyone’s minds. Let’s see the trailer dedicated to the class:

Bouncer is a hybrid melee/teching class which… hm. This sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

While the preface sure makes it sound like the already existing hybrid melee/teching class, Techer, the trailer clearly shows it plays nothing like it. Techer’s melee portion is really just the ability to bonk things with a wand. Normal attacks. Unlike Techer, Bouncer has access to photon arts for its striking weapons.

The class’s native weapons are Dual Blades and Jet Boots. That’s right, Twin Sabers are back and stabbier than ever if the demonstration is anything to go by. Dual Blades are a pure melee weapon, whereas Jet Boots are a hybrid melee/teching weapon which allows you to er, cast spells with your feet.

Dual Blades

As a striking weapon, Dual Blades seem to be remarkably nimble. As agile, if not more so, than Twin Daggers I would say, with similar amounts of airtime between the two weapons. There does seem to be a mechanical difference between the two weapon classes however, that being an array of photon weapons that the player seems to surround themselves with. This is plausibly the weapons “gears” mechanic.

Horse_Wizard

Aside stabbing things, I’m not sure what these photon blades actually do. The trailer shows the character embedding a Rockbear with numerous of these blades, however I don’t believe they ever show the purpose of this. Can the player detonate them for extra damage, for example?

Jet Boots

Goddamn Jet Boots. We’re really Sci-Fi now! Much like Dual Blades, these are also very agile weapons with plenty of air-time. Jet Boots will allow players to double-jump.

firey_kicks_fuck_yeah

The weapons will automatically cast support techs, as well as allow you to cast techs with them in general. The exact mechanism behind auto-support casting isn’t known.

Really, Jet Boots weren’t even on the radar as far as potential future Teching weapons go. Looking back on the series, the only weapon type I imagined would fill this role would be Slicers (given their role in Phantasy Star Zero as casting weapons).

airteching

Jet boots allow for aerial tech casting, holding the user in the air while charging. Forgive the poor quality of the image as it is captured from a stream, but it shows the player charging an Ilfoie whilst mid-air. Being able to charge such a tech with increased safety may prove interesting…

Thoughts

So we have two more very agile melee weapons,

With regard potential sub-classes, it partly depends on stats. If for example, Dual Blades are purely S-atk based striking damage then, under the current environment, Hunter would be by far the best subclass choice.

Rumour has it that Jet Boots ate T-atk based, but I can’t find the source to confirm this. Should this be true, it then depends on if the damage from melee attacks with Jet Boots counts as striking damage. If it does, then Hunter still remains the best choice even if specializing in the weapon as it offers the highest modifiers for striking damage. If, however, all Jet Boot attacks are counted as teching damage, then Hunter will offer pretty much nothing! In that case, Fighter and Braver (Weak Stance) become the better options. Oh my, imagine a Bouncer/Fighter. You’d be able to kick things with legs of fire and then switch to Knuckles to punch things with fists of fire. Kick, punch, it’s all in the mind! Of course, augmenting their support abilities could be achieved through Techer, as well as Force offering the most augmentation for attack Techs.

The Jet Boots image posted above shows a firey effect, but I don’t know if this is attached to casting techs or may be an effect on a given Photon Art or maybe by weapon gear. Watching the video, it seems to be the former.

If I’m interpreting an interview correctly, it seems one of the ideas behind the class is to make it easier to support players in the midst of all the action. So its like Techer, but better because it doesn’t need to do that thing where it stops attacking in order to support other players. I can’t help but wonder where Techer is gonna fit into the game after the introduction of this class? As a main class, Techer still has the strongest support skills and it can apply them for the longest amount of time per cast, so really it comes down to wether or not Bouncer has skills that augment the strength and effectiveness of support techs.

In any case, this is the second true hybrid class to be added to the game. Where Braver was a hybrid melee/shooting type, Bouncer is a hybrid melee/magic type. Doesn’t really tax the imagination to imagine that the next class to be announced may be a shooting/magic type.

Also I am going to say it, Bouncer is a really odd name for a class. No wierder than “Braver” I suppose but still pretty odd!

Mission: Episode 3: Castletown Revealed!

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So really a handful of hours after posting the previous entry, the 21st Live Broadcast took place. This broadcast revealed a fairly sizy amount of future content that I didn’t really expect them to! This post will focus on the newly announced area and planet.

Castletown: The White Nation of planet Harukotan

Remember all that stuff I said in the previous post? I was completely correct!

Alright that’s all for this post, see you next time everybody! Byeee!

 

 

Alright well I suppose I better talk at least a bit about what we were shown.

Let’s begin with the first trailer for Episode 3. This also includes a showcase on the new class but we’ll get into that in another post.

It certainly is Japanese, isn’t it? I mean it pretty much is feudal Japan, complete with feud! The area is the “White Nation”, set on the planet Harukotan (or Hulkotan). The White Nation is in conflict with the Black Nation. Alternative names would be the Shiro Nation and the Kuro Nation.

hulkotan

The planet itself seems to be modeled after the Yin-Yang symbol, though the light spot in the dark side seems to be missing. The dark side of the planet also seems to be continuously emitting darkness into space. The term “pissing into an ocean of piss” rather comes to mind…

So how does “Mono” act as a shorthand for the planet as an internal name? At a guess, it may be short for “Monochrome”, which is a type of bitmap image where the only two colors are black and white. Only a guess, though.

Harukotan, or whatever the community eventually agrees enough on to call it, is populated by titans. True to their name, they are some big bastards for the most part! I can’t really obtain screenshots for the sake of comparison as the compression is too high to get anything worthwhile from it, however you probably can see it well enough from watching the trailer yourself anyway.

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The map itself seems to have a fair degree of vertical room to it. Not quite the amount that Caves has right now but in any case to be able to climb up onto the rooftops and fight enemies on there is pretty cool looking!

wanyudont

 

This flaming wheel creature would appear to be the White Nation’s miniboss. Reminiscent of the Wanyūdō of Japanese mythology, this boss rolls around while emitting jets of flame. As for the apparent area boss:

BIGMANTOO

 

So far this is about the best image I can obtain of it, until someone uploads an HD version of the trailer this muddy mess of pixels is all we got (Update: Got a slightly better image from the official channel\s video). It certainly looks large and I expect it may even be large even among the rest of its Titan brethren. Kind of impossible to get a real sense of scale right now, though.

The selection of enemies certainly is pretty varied looking, from the thug-ish club-wielding ogres to the more ferocious sword-wielding oni types and the mystical floating horse wizards. From the more beastly to the more human-looking, it’s a pretty nice selection. The area itself looks good, though I’d want to see some more screenshots of it before I make my mind up on certain aspects of it, like how the town looks while up on the roof-tops. There don’t appear to be any environmental hazards or mechanics demonstrated through the trailer however, it would be a bit of a shame if the map lacked them. 

The Darker Threat

Speaking of things that are absent, there’s currently no sign of any Darkers on the planet. Well aside from the creepy twins, Dark Falz Double. No individual Darker enemies have been shown, which leaves it rather up in the air as to which Darker type will be dominant in the White Nation. While Double is implied to be the true master of the bird-types, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the planet will only be besieged by angry chickens. Afterall, Naberius could be argued to be very much the planet of fish-type Darkers given Elder’s body resided there, but that didn’t stop bug-types crawling all over the forest.

While I imagine the planet’s aesthetics might be a better fit for the fish-types myself, this is only based on the idea that the biggest regular Darkers seem to belong to the type and it is a planet populated by titans. The actual size of the Darkers really doesn’t matter at all, as afterall, it doesn’t matter how hard the titans may stomp all over the likes of Krahda and Strahda. The story established very early on that the only way to defeat Darkers is through the use of Photons. The Dragonkin of Amduscia learned the hard way that all their might crashing down on the Darkers was only spreading them.

Speculation

So we have a planet in the apparent grips of a war between two nations. We know that there is a Black Nation as well as a White Nation, so I don’t think it would be entirely unsurprising if the Black Nation turned out to be one of the other fields available for the planet. I like to think that the area between them would be a battleground, making it three possible fields for the planet. Three fields would bring it in line with the other planets, at that. At this point though, we don’t really know all that much about what’s really going on on the planet or what its story and history may be. Honestly, with Sega’s track record of story telling I somewhat doubt that will ever really be all that well fleshed out anyway!

The field is set to arrive with Episode 3 in August.