PSO2 Station #7 Writeup

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Not a lot to go over with this one, honestly. Much of it was just going over stuff we’d already seen from the last broadcast with some additional details along with the new roadmap. An oddly dull set of updates, in my opinion.  Episode 4 seems set to go out with a fizzle rather than a bang.

Oh one thing to make clear right at the start is there was no info at all about Episode 5 this time. I expect we’ll get something in the May broadcast.


Trailers

With thanks to Goukezitsu for uploading these as usual.

Deus Esca, Wedding Lobby and more Design Contest winners and Phaleg fight.

Rainy Season 2017, Episode 4 oufits (Kohri and Enga)

PSO2es May Update. Usual guff, new weaponoids (more male ones at that!).

5 Year anniversary project. Cosmetics and Lobby Actions. An Offline event.

Towards the Fu- I mean Arks Battle Chronicle! Plus new Quna concert


Deus Esca: Grasia

In early May, the Deus Esca raid will be getting a follow-up quest which you gain access to after clearing the raid; a rematch against a tougher version of the boss with 3 other players instead of 11. This requires lv80/80 however, so if you haven’t finished levelling up you might want to abuse the boost week while it’s up.

The 4-man version additionally has a quest fail condition; your party must not suffer more than 5 incapacitations total or the quest automatically fails. Sure hope you don’t get lumped with someone who keeps dying…

The trailer doesn’t really reveal any insights into the boss’s mechanics still. We see it doing a sweeping attack that deals in the region of 60K damage so I guess that’s the good old fashioned Raid-wipe attack. Presumably it also has the damage cap like the regular version of the boss, so SuGu won’t be able to cheese it as hard.

While I do hope it is trickier than the regular raid I kinda hope its not too much. This is content that occurs randomly after all, which in my opinion is an inappropriate place to make content that’s too difficult. What’s more is each character’s individual performance and build becomes much more important when there’s fewer characters in the quest, so any badly geared horror story is going to have much more impact than they would in a full raid… All the more motivation to start making friends!

Weapons and Units

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The only thing of note here is confirmation that the difference between Zeinesis and Qliphad weapons is entirely cosmetic. They both have exactly the same stats and presumably will also have the same three potentials. You can even swap Qliphad back to Zeinesis if you prefer the look of it.

  • Zeinesis to Qliphad requires a Zeinesis weapon and 120 Qliphad Fuses.
  • Qliphad to Zeinesis requires a Qliphad weapon.

A kind of one-sided exchange considering the only real difference between the weapons is looks, but I guess they intended Qliphad to be kind of the prestige version of the weapon.

You apparently only get one fuse per clear, mind, which means 120 clears of the raid for one weapon. Kinda nasty, but you might get lucky and have a Qliphad drop from Deus Esca Grasia (Zephytos drops Zeinesis).

I actually didn’t cover the weapon potentials when they were announced, so here’s what we know about them from the Arks Live broadcast a while ago:

  • Boost Affix transfer rate by 10%
  • Recovers party member HP every 30 seconds and boosts party damage
  • Doubles the numeric value of affixes (example: Power 3 becomes 60 S-Atk instead of 30)

So lacking some important details. The stat-boost potential might actually be interesting for some classes if it also boosts the affixes on your units (particularly for Katana Braver).

Units on the other hand do appear to have some differences. Qliphad seem to have slightly lower defense and offer no element resistences unlike Zeinesis. At this point we know absolutely nothing about what the units offer but just be aware it does seem like there may be a functional difference between the two. Unit upgrades require 60 Qliphad fuses per unit as well as a Zeinesis unit.

Deus Esca’s rematch is set to arrive in early May.


Phaleg Side Story

They only really announced a couple of tidbits for this quest. Essentially, the only reward for the fight will be a title for the class you cleared the quest on. So really it’s just a bonus Super-Boss style encounter, which is to say it’s entirely optional. As such, they’re free to make the quest as difficult as they like and it certainly does seem like the quest will be extremely difficult if it lives up to the hype.

The quest disables the use of Scape Dolls and Half Dolls, but it also implements the healing reduction that was present in the Odin quest. This means that all sources of healing will be 20% as effective as normal (that is, a Trimate will only heal 20% of your HP and Monomate a mere 6%). You’ll also need to defeat her in 6 minutes or less.

Its kind of hard to gauge how much damage she does, as the test character is using Guard Stance to muddy the waters a bit but she seems plenty aggressive and possibly deals plenty of damage. This combined with the restrictions on healing does have the potential to make the encounter quite a tough one, though much like the Odin quest this does effectively mean class combos with access to Resta will have a pretty huge advantage. I also suspect Megiverse will be entirely useless.

The footage also reveals that Phaleg is weak to ice, which suggests to me that Ice Force combos are going to be the ones that will find this quest the easiest unless she has some modifier for Tech damage..

Phaleg will have the damage cap fix enabled, which means you will not be able to deal more than 999,999 damage to her per hit. This is an attempt to prevent SuGu from cheesing it, but it also affects BrGu and of course main-class Gunner variants as well as class combos that took advantage of Banish/Graptor. That said, 999,999 damage is still quite a lot and honestly if the likes of the Maron revolver still have trouble taking Phaleg down when they can on-demand deal nearly a million damage I dread to think the issues other class combos are going to have against her…

This fight also lacks an HP bar on the enemy, which for a challenging fight is annoying because you’ll have no idea how close you came each time you fail.

You can do battle with the ARKS favorite anime cliche in early May.


Arks Battle Chronicle

For the 5th Anniversary event we’ll be getting a special quest paying tribute to all of the major content updates along the way.

As well as starring the regular encounters from free fields it’ll also be re-using story mode and emergency quest enemies, with Theodore, Aratron and Dark Vibrace being among the long list of enemies to battle your way through. It also has things like Apos Dorios, which I believe is the first time that boss has ever appeared outside of its raid quest.

There’s quite a lot of hefty looking encounters in this quest, to the point where I wonder if what we’re seeing is actually multiple different quests that are all part of the same event? One for each episode, perhaps?

There’s currently no actual date set on this, but I assume it’s arriving in early June.


The Final Roadmap

…For Episode 4. There’s going to be another when Episode 5 hits.

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So yeah, Episode 5 is going to hit in the Summer. Other than that, to quote Bumped:

Current Update

  • 12 Person Raid Boss
  • Added Emergency Quest Rematch
  • Design Contest Scratch
  • Episode 4 Side Story

5th Anniversary Event: Phantasy Star Festa 2017 Online

  • 5th Anniversary Web Event [ARKS BATTLE CHRONICLE]
  • New LIVE Event
  • Boosted Raid Boss & Boosted Raid Boss Rematch
  • Frame Arms and Frame Arms Girl Collaboration
  • Famous Designer Collaboration Scratch
  • Tokyo Field Real Store Collaboration Part 3

So yeah, a kind of bare-bones roadmap overall. The only noteworthy item there that isn’t already covered in this post is the possibility that the boosted raid boss is referring to Phantom Ship Yamato. While this could be the case, I’m kind of curious how the rematch quest would work for that, given it’s a 4-man quest and I imagine the missile section would be quite tricky with 4 people…

That said, data-mining supports the hypothesis that it’s a boosted Yamato, as “PhantomShipEx” does exist in the game’s data. “Ex” is a term reserved for boosted versions of raid-bosses in the past.


Thoughts

Seems like a regular set of content updates as far as I’m concerned. New seasonal quest, new event quest, some story stuff and a new raid. That’s not too bad for 2 months all in all, and yet somehow it feels… lacking.

Is any of it interesting? I can’t say I’m jumping for joy at it all, except for the Arks Battle Chronicle cause that looks fun. I think my lack of excitement is just I don’t care a lot about the Raid in terms of the story. Ardem just was not that interesting an enemy; in fact everything past Escafalz Mother feels tacked on to me. The rewards for the raid are also not terribly interesting on the face of it, but that may change as more details are revealed. As for the fight itself, who knows the fight might be fun and it might still drop a decent amount of cubes or something worthwhile.

It could well be that the game is just starting to feel its age. Maybe it’s getting stale or the developers are getting sick of working on it and we the audience are unknowingly sensitive to this.

Or it could be that I and others got themselves hyped up for Episode 5 and felt a bit let down when nothing was said! In fairness, it makes more sense to wait until the actual fifth anniversary before they say something (indeed, I speculated as such some time ago).

It could also just be that the upcoming stuff just feels too by the numbers. We expect a seasonal quest, we expect a raid boss every few months and an event here and there. That they’re delivering on it is absolutely fine (indeed, preferable) but it’s hard to be excited when there are no surprises. I don’t know, I’m theorycrafting here and probably overthinking it.

PSO2 Station 6 Writeup

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It’s that time again! The 6th PSO2 Station went out earlier and it introduced a bunch of new trailers and some things to discuss. This time around we have new PVP features, Easter 2017, a glimpse of the new raid-boss Deus Esca Zephyros and the final part of the PSU celebration.

Also, say “エピソード4いよいよ完結” in-game before the 29th to get yourself a bunch of voice tickets!

Trailers

Easter 2017. Includes the Easter lobby, weapon and costume design contest winners (including Sadinian Suit for you wannabe Argonians out there) and the final chapter of Episode 4. Curiously does not include any Easter Seasonal quest…

A lot of stuff in this next one. Battle arena update, including new weapons and a skill system. Also a mini Rappy suit, the return of Annette and Jean (with Bruno as a new arrival), new Timed Abilities, Fashion catalogue system, furry themed costumes and the new Raid Boss.

For the final part of the Phantasy Star Universe celebration: Laia, Lumia and Beast face.

So yeah, a few bits to go through. I’ll only go over the stuff I personally feel is interesting to talk about, but as always you can find a full recap over at Bumped.


Battle Arena Update

So the update introduces 3 new weapons and an expansion to the system in the form of skills. So yeah, the mode has barely been out and they’re already adding a brand new system to it…

Yeah I know, that sounds like the most pointless whine and it probably is but I feel like for something competitive like this introducing something that can completely shatter the meta so soon after releasing it just feels wrong to me. That said, the mode as it stands does lack depth, so perhaps the addition of the skill system will go some way to address this… maybe. It’s just it feels like rather than this being an update it instead comes across as they released the mode before it was properly finished and are only now rolling out the rest of the features they wanted for it. Maybe I’m overthinking this, though.

New Weapons

The new weapons this time are Bullet Bow and Jet Boots.

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Bullet Bows come with Last Nemesis, which is an attack that takes a very long time to charge but hits very hard when it fires. It also has considerable rage in PvE but it remains to be seen how much of that is kept for the PvP version.

I can’t imagine Last Nemesis really successfully hitting many people in battles unless they’re distracted, because the charge time is so long and well telegraphed that outside of corridors people are going to have plenty of opportunity to either head for cover or attack you while it’s charging up. even in a corridor situation, a Sword user could block it and if the latency is low enough it should be trivial to time your i-frames around the fire time.

That said, one thing to remember about Bullet Bows is their normal attack damage is actually quite high. This makes them a potentially powerful ranged attack which doesn’t even require PP to utilize.

PVPJetboots

Jet Boots are going to be a pretty interesting addition as well. They retain their ability to double-jump, making these the most mobile weapons in the mode so far. It also lets you attack from angles that other weapons currently can’t by allowing you to jump up to areas that are otherwise tricky to access. Effectively they’re gonna be the Genji of this game if that makes any sense to you.

Jetboots come with two Photon Arts: Gran Wave and Strike Gust.

Gran Wave retains its ability to home in on players, though the demo footage suggests it might be tricky to actually land it on people. It could be the demo player was bad at using it but it just seems like it can whiff pretty easily. It also retains its shift action though, which is an absurdly long period of i-frames. This could let you zoom in for an attack then try to use your i-frames to escape. It does not retain its ability to cast Deband, however which would be pretty ridiculous if it could.

Strike Gust shift-action seems like it’s a hard hitter, though it has much smaller range than the likes of Nova Break or Rising Edge. I could maybe see it being used to get a surprise attack from above, but other than that I feel like this PA would be too easy to miss with and might leave you too vulnerable. It does not retain its Shifta effect.

So yeah, the pair of weapons seem like they’ll be interesting additions to the mode at least. Bullet Bows will grant a back-line sniper role that may be more effective than current sniping options and Jetboots seem to suit a more assassin type of playstyle. These are my thoughts of course, it’s hard to tell exactly where these weapons will fit into the meta until people have had the chance to try them.

One downside I can think of is there will be a bigger pool of items that are going to be randomly assigned when you use one of the weapon nodes. This means you’re going to be less likely to get the weapons you want or the ones your team needs than you are currently. This problem will only get worse if they add more weapon in the future (and datamining does suggest there are more to come, including Katana and Launcher if I recall correctly)

PVP Skill System

Either at the start of a Battle or whenever you respawn (it’s not exactly clear) you’ll get the choice between 3 different skills to take. These 3 are randomly chosen out of a pool of 5 different skills, because the game mode needed yet more randomness.

Once you pick a skill, it gets added to your action bar and you can use it a certain number of times. There seems to be no apparent cool-down on these skills.

Protection 

Massively reduces the amount of damage you take for a period of time.

It’s essentially an on-command use of the spawn-room buff you get whenever you re-spawn. It looks like it reduces damage by around 90% which is pretty crazy as it’d allow you to pretty much tank any attack the game currently has including Rising Edge. Might allow Sword users to jump into a pile of enemies without fear to help break a bunkered team in the rainbow emblem spawn area perhaps.

Sprint

Increases your movement speed for a short time.

Straightforward ability. The demo footage uses it to get behind enemy lines quickly which is what I imagine the main use of this skill would end up being. It could also be used as an escape tool, though it might not work that well if the enemy is using ranged attacks (or you’re lagging…). Seems to be a pretty minor buff to movement speed, so I don’t know I’m honestly not sure this skill would have much of an impact generally.

Stun Shot

Fires a fast moving projectile that inflicts a short duration stun on enemies.

If you want to make PVP an un-fun experience a surefire way to do it is to add crowd-control abilities. Stunning a player successfully pretty much turns it into a guaranteed kill if you have a followup attack to use with it. Combine this with lag and this either has the potential to become one of the most frustrating abilities in the mode or one of the most unreliable. It depends on how it interacts with lag, really.

PP Unlimited

Massively reduces the PP consumed by Techs and PAs

I feel like the application of this skill should be obvious. The ability to spam your PA without consequence is kind of major.

Cure

Recovers HP and cures status effects

Effectively quadruples your HP pool. This could be potentially nasty if combined with the relatively high HP that sword grants but naturally the ability to self-heal is a powerful addition to any weapon type.

Thoughts

I have serious concerns about this system for the health of the mode. Now, my concerns in the past have proven needless before (I will never forget my post on Bouncers..) but I honestly think these skills in general will make the mode more frustrating than it is now.

Now you may rightly point out that other PVP games have skills just like this, what’s the issue? I argue the issue lies in the fact that anyone could have any skill. In other PVP games you can tell either by their class or by the character the enemy is using what skills they’re likely to have at their disposal. So you can potentially bait out dangerous skills or anticipate abilities that might be dangerous to you and decide whether you can countermeasure them or just choose not to engage because you’ll likely lose if you do. You can do that in PvP at the moment because you can see the enemy’s weapon which gives you some idea of how you could go about fighting them. Do they have a Sword? If you have One Point it’s not a wise idea to engage unless there’s considerable distance or they’re distracted. Do you have Piercing Shell? You can greatly cripple their survivability! You can make these kinds of decisions when you have some idea of what abilities the enemy is going to have; you can’t with the skill system because it’s completely random.

It’s also an additional level of RNG at the spawn. What happens if one team ends up with a majority of a skill that the other team rolled no effective counters to? For example, the enemies get majority Cure and none of yours do? One team is likely to utterly stomp the other! This could be a real issue as winning a fight early gives you control over the Rainbow Emblem spawning area, which can be very difficult for the losing team to take back. .

I’m not even going to go into the issues that lag could create with these skills…

But as I said, I’m not sure if these skills are assigned at the start of a match only or if they’re rolled every time you die. It’s also probably not going to be as bad as I suggest it is, honestly.

New Battle Coin Items

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You can obtain the new Jet Boots and Bullet Bow as weapon camos. You can also obtain Rappy Suit Mini for the princely sum of 100,000 coins!

I should note that being smaller doesn’t reduce the size of your hitbox in this game, however it might make you harder to spot…

All of this will be arriving late April.


Phantasy Star Universe Part 3

So yeah, data-mining was right about Laia and Lumia joining us in the final part of this event. Laia arrives sporting Guardians Formal and wielding her signature weapon “Laia Axe”, which turned out to be a Partizan. Lumia meanwhile is sporting the Guardians Uniform F and is wielding her rod the Viedima, which is a low-tier rod made by GRM (a weapons company in Phantasy Star Universe).

So in the end it seems they decided to create a new face model type for Laia. I was curious how they were gonna handle her beastly features. I’m also quite glad to see Guardians Formal make its way to PSO2 as it’s one of my favorite outfits from the game and it doesn’t look like they went too nuts with the physics on it. As for how it looks, it does seem rather flat like other PSU model ports, but it’s hard to really tell with compressed video.

Beyond that the event will see the revival of a bunch of different Phantasy Star cosmetics, including a lot of the PSP2 outfits we already have and the addition of the default Beast costumes from PSP2:Infinity among other things.

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You’ll also be able to get the Beast face model for your character…. if you’re willing to shell out enough cash because they stuck it in the Bonus Scratch. God damn it.

And that’s it for the Phantasy Star Universe event. In the end it was some crossover characters and a large pile of cosmetics. Pretty nifty as I like the characters and some of the oufits, I’m just a little disappointed that we didn’t get any of the bosses like they did for the PSO event.

The final visit from the Guardians of Gurhal will start mid-April and they’ll be around in the lobby until the 7th of June.


Deus Esca Zephyros

The boss whose name just keeps on growing it seems. The (probably) last raid boss of Episode 4 will be arriving in late April.

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Like the Yamato quest, the first part will see the Arks going up against hordes of heavenly Phantom Angel enemies as they climb Yggdrasil. This includes a re-skin of Maxwell’s demons and Kuron’s centaur enemies. All of the minions on the way to Deus Esca seem to be weak to Dark element.

Deus Esca himself however is weak to both Dark and Light which… I don’t understand why we needed yet another Raidboss weak to Light. Guess the Ragrants spam carries on!

It also generally doesn’t appear to hit that hard and no raid-wipe move was demonstrated. It did fire off an attack which did between 1200-2200 damage to anyone it hit, which depending on which stats it scales from could effectively be a raid-wipe but it doesn’t appear to be attached to any mechanics plus you can just move out of the way of it…

Zenesis Weapon Collection

It wouldn’t be a raid-boss post Episode 4 without a weapon collection!

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All we really know about the Zenesis series so far is numbers and what they look like. We know absolutely nothing about the weapon potential.

The weapons come with Ability 3, Deus Factor, Stamina 3 and Spirita 3. It can be assumed that Deus Factor will be +20 S-atk, +10 T-atk, +10 R-Atk, 20 HP and 1 PP based on Yamato and Mother Factors. So S-Atk weapons come with +35 attack and all others come with +25. With that information, we know that Zenesis Sword comes with 1232 S-atk at +0, which makes it ever so slightly stronger than Astra Separ and 51 S-atk weaker than Gix Zangulum. As always it really just comes down to whatever its potential turns out to be.

This Collection Sheet does not come with any eggs, but it does have a 13* Tact. You can obtain a 13* Rappy but only as a drop.

Zenesis Units

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They’re units from a Raid Boss. Even if they’re decent they might as well not exist.

I might be a little bitter about unit drops given that I have yet to get a single Mother unit since its been our and I’ve only ever seen one Invade Unit drop.

Aside its appearance though we know nothing about its stats so who knows maybe they’re rubbish anyway.

14* Weapons

Speaking of items you will never see, Deus will come with 3 brand new 14* weapons; a DoubleSaber, Wand and Tact. Yes, a 14* Tact.

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The Tact seems to be Rykros Baton from Phantasy Star Portable 2. It has the special ability to fire un-charged Megids with each swing.

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The Wand seems to be Lavis Cannon. Its special ability seems to be the same as Form Wand in that it can fire shock-waves on each swing.

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The Doublesaber however is a mystery. It was initially presumed to be Twin Blaze from Phantasy Star Online but it doesn’t really look very much like it. It’s also unknown what the weapon’s special ability is as they don’t really demonstrate it doing anything unique.


Episode 5 Announced

The teaser at the end of this broadcast actually teased two separate updates; a Chapter EX for Episode 4 and the announcement of Episode 5 in name and vague theme alone.

Phaleg Fight

Phaleg has taken off the training gloves and will be going all out, testing Player-chan for all they’re worth.

The fight seems to play out much like the one we’ve already had with a couple of new moves; a ranged stun combo and a large area-of-effect stomp.

She also seems to pull off a cutscene phoenix-kick attack that nukes the tower platform. It’s not known at this point whether this is a punishment for failing a raid-like mechanic, for running out of time or if she’ll use this move regardless of wether you win or lose because she’s canonically far more powerful than anything else in the current lore (including the player character).

I’m also not entirely sure when this fight is set, because it’s slated as “coming soon”. So this could either be happening before or after Ardem’s defeat, it’s hard to tell at this point.

Episode 5

Here we go, official confirmation that Episode 5 is happening. They didn’t share any details aside some themes however, which are:

  • A new world
  • Resurrection
  • Reincarnation

This has led some to worry that the reincarnation system from PSP2:Infinity might be coming back but I think they’re jumping the gun a bit sharply. For one thing, you could equally argue that the theme of Episode 4 (which was “Reborn”) could have been that as well. If I were to hazard a guess, it has something to do with Profound Darkness doing something to finally break free of the time-loop that Persona and Xiao have had it trapped in for the last 2 years. However with so little information to go on I feel like any speculation is no better than a shot in the dark for now.

A new world does suggest we’re heading to a new planet at least, though it might also be referring to the world we knew but changed in some drastic manner. Or indeed the comment thread on the datamining post is on to something and it turns out we’re re-writing Phantasy Star 3…

We should definitely know more before spring is done, mind, as Episode 5 is due for release some time in the Summer.

PSO2 4th Station

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The fourth PSO2 Station went out today. With it we got a preview of content coming up in February and March, including information about the new level cap requirements, the solo Profound Darkness, 4-player Multi-Quest, Union weapon exchange and some PVP stuff.

Details of this post may change if I notice anything new or of course if I got anything wrong.

Trailers

Wouldn’t be a proper broadcast without em! With thanks to Goukezitsu for uploading these.

Arks New Year Carnival Part 3

Lots of cosmetic stuff, part 2 of Xie’s shop, Solo EQ, Union gear and 4-man Multi Quest! Kinda curious what the background music might be teasing…

Arks New Year Carnival Part 4

White Day, seasonal Emergency Quest and new cosmetics. Chat up all your husbandos in the lobby!

End of Stream Teaser

Battle arena stuff. Zzz.

Level Cap Info

During the stream they confirmed some details that I talked about in my last post, unfortunately.

Koffie will be getting a new Client Order that will require you have completed your class SP orders (all of them) and have one of your class’s main weapons at +35 (Gunslash presumably doesn’t count), 13* rarity or higher. Summoners will need a pet at lv120.

So yeah, Gheaven was right about most of it unfortunately. They were wrong about the affix requirement at least which is a minor relief in the face of now having to grind out additional Collection Files just to get a +35 weapon for potentially every class and subclass of any alts you might want to level to 80. I need someone to check the wording on the condition, otherwise it sounds like Gunner/Ranger and Force/Techer might have it a little easier than other combinations seeing as they share weapons or if indeed said shared weapons won’t count (Rifle and Talis respectively).

Beyond that, my opinions are much the same as in my speculative post on this. This is going to be a significant bump in the road for new players down the line who will now have to be stuck at lv75 grinding out 21 class cubes just so they can earn permission to level up to 76. The +35 13* requirement might also be awkward down the line unless future collection files will still cater well enough to content under lv80.

Still, they’ve been known to relax these kinds of conditions given enough time so it probably will get better in the future. The whole thing seems needlessly clumsy to me but they kinda engineered themselves into this corner.

Solo Emergency Quest

The solo fight against Double and the Profound Darkness will be arriving early February. With it we’ll be seeing the return of the Ray series Collection Files. You’ll need Ray weapons if you want to be able to exchange for Union weapons.

It’s worth noting that even if you don’t want Union weapons you may want to run this quest just to complete Ray files as its Special Ability Factor is Astral Soul.

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This quest is only available on Extra Hard and requires your Main and Subclass to be Lv75. The enemy is lv80.

You’ll have 20 minutes to clear the quest. While it was fairly obvious they’d reduce the boss’s HP I feel this detail confirms it because I just can’t imagine them expecting you to defeat a boss intended for 12 players in 1/3rd of the time.

Looking through the trailer, it seems like the boss is using the newer AI but it also has the old behavior where it rests its head on the arena. It also seems like its attacks don’t hit nearly as hard as in the full raid on Extra Hard (I believe the fly-by attack deals roughly 1200 damage in the raid, 550 or so in the trailer) though of course it’s hard to tell how the test player’s build is interacting with that. They’re not running Guard Stance at least.

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Xie’s weapons will be getting a 2nd potential which will help you clear the quest more easily. It appears to boost damage dealt and reduce damage received while running this quest, but the numbers are hidden so it’s hard to tell how good this is.

 

Quest Trigger

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They’re going to be adding a Quest Trigger for the solo Emergency Quest for 50 Gold Badges a shot. Not too bad! I guess there’s a use for medals now outside of getting the dance lobby actions.

Union Exchange

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In order to upgrade from a Ray weapon or unit to a Union weapon you’ll need 5 Union Boosters. You’ll get one Union Booster per clear of the solo EQ as well as an additional one for each S-rank.

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When you upgrade, the item will retain all the upgrades you applied to the old item (so element, grind, affixes etc).

It seems Union Sword has 1215  S-Atk, which if true makes it the 4th strongest sword in terms of raw attack power. If it retains the Ray potential this just means that it’s a slightly weaker Astra weapon though it does offer some damage resistance which Astra doesn’t.

4-Man Multiparty

A short romp through all the Ultimate area bosses! Presumably it’ll let you have shots at their gear and affixes should you even want them by this point, though their rates might be even lower than their regular counterparts because…

Enemy Lv75

The enemies in the quest are lv75. I don’t understand why they felt the need to do this. Is it because they don’t want to make the current Ultimate Quests redundant? I mean in many respects they already are so I’m not sure what this decision is for.The exception is for Ultimate Amduscia enemies I guess, which could still drop 12* units and Gix weapons which are still relevant for now. Beyond that though I’m certain they can’t be being too wary that we might get Ares weapons too often!

I’m sure they have a good reason for it and ultimately I don’t think it’ll take too much away from the quest itself. What’s worth noting is that most of the bosses seem to have titles, so it might offset their droprates towards something a bit more reasonable. I’m looking forward to getting a couple friends together to smash some boss’s faces in whatever the case may be.

Scaling Stats

Apparently, if you run the quest by yourself the enemy’s stats will be adjusted. Pretty neat if so because I believe this would make this the first quest with actual scaling in it, which is something I’ve felt the game’s been in need of for years…

Weapon/Unit Pass Change

In the near future, you will no longer be required to have 10-12* weapon passes or 10-11* unit passes in order to be able to buy those items. This has been a long time coming as it’s felt wrong to have most of this gear which has been years out of date to be locked behind a paywall.

The upside is this means it will be easier for new players to get kitted out with 12* items and Affix fodder items wont be restricted to 9* and below anymore. The downside is those of you who converted 12* gear into passes will have potentially lost out.

I’m curious if this means we will be seeing 13* weapon and 12* unit passes soon? It might make +35ing weapons significantly easier for paid users at least though that might make the requirement all the more irritating for free players.

Over for Now!

So that’s it really. The surprise trailer was just showing that Battle Arena will have at least 3 maps with one set in Amduscia’s Cauldron and the other in Tokyo. I was actually hoping they’d at least give some more details about things surrounding the PVP mode (like if any items can be earned).

 

 

1st PSO2 Station Writeup

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The first in the successor to the old PSO2 Broadcast aired earlier today. With it, they released a few new trailers and otherwise kind of dicked around doing a lot of nothing for 2 hours. Not sure I’m a huge fan of the new format, but if I’m honest the old one had a lot of the same faults too.

As usual, I’ll be going over the bits I found interesting or had any real thoughts on. The complete summary is on Bumped as per usual.

Trailers

November updates: Famitsu Cup

  • Necky in the lobby, with Client Orders and Exchange shop
  • Event specific gathering tools
  • Gravity Daze collab and various outfits.

Late November

  • Annette from PSO2es making her way to PSO2.
  • Vehicle lobby actions for casts.
  • Story stuff
  • Phantom Darkers
  • Various quality of life changes

Early November: Famitsu Cup Event

All-star Mining Base Defense

In a new twist to the event-specific all-star quest the enemies from far and wide will be being hurled at towers  This takes place on the first Mining Base Defense map; Invasion. This will be the main focus of the Famitsu Cup, though as will soon become apparent the event permeates quite a lot of the game’s content.

Nothing really new could be gleaned about this quest that wasn’t already known as far I can tell.

Exchange Shop:

Throughout this event, you’ll be collecting “Gavas Tickets” from various sources. They’re the currency that’s used in Necky’s exchange shop for a variety of items.

You can obtain Gavas Tickets by:

  • Clearing the special Mining Base quest
  • Clearing the Rideroid quest
  • By using Gathering nodes with Famitsu picks and fishing rods
    • Not sure if it was explained exactly how you get these tools, mind.
  • By playing certain content in PSO2es

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Included is Necky’s costume as well as some Famitsu shirts (which are notably outer-wear) among other cosmetic items. Somewhat interestingly it also includes two 12* units; Rear / Heavenly Ring and Leg / Mini Nyau (not sure on the Kanji).

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While that makes these the first 12* units obtainable via currency it does seem that much like the 11* units Xie supplied before their stats are awful. At least their base defensive stats, anyway. Their bonus stats are unknown as well as any set bonuses they may have.

Orbit collection files

For many, this is likely the really interesting stuff. With the Famitsu Cup we’ll see the addition of a large number of Orbit weapons. Sighted are:

  • Wired Lance
  • Partizan
  • Daggers
  • Double Saber
  • Katana
  • Assault Rifle
  • Jet Boots
  • Wand
  • Gunslash

A weapon for every class, pretty much! There are no collection sheets for the currently available Orbit weapons however.

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It seems they come with Ability III, Vinculim, Spirita III and Mutation I. This means they have 45 attack in affixes. Judging by that then, Orbit Wired Lance has 977 S-atk at +0. This puts it behind Seiga Shield in terms of raw attack,  but the potential is slightly stronger in terms of a damage bonus. This makes these weapons fairly average although Orbits typically aren’t taken for their power in any case.

Their chief use is as a method for quickly refilling your PP bar, which can be useful for certain classes that have trouble regenerating PP or for those whose mechanics prevent the from doing so normally (such as Ranger with weak bullet loaded). Assuming they still have this latent, that means that for a lot of people they may be good just completing a single file once and being done with it. For a lot of people this may well be Orbit Gunslash, though Ranger may want to consider Orbit Rifle particularly if they never got themselves an Orbit Launcher. In fact, the Rifle may be decent enough to use an attacking weapon, though it will still be some way behind Gix in that regard.

Of course, there may be other reasons you might want to +35 these weapons. If you want to find out about that now, skip ahead to the “New Type Affixing” section.

Late November Content

Aside waifubait Annette joining the lobby with partner card and accessories, the 2nd Update trailer was a particularly interesting one with a lot of things to go over.

Phantom Darkers

They were data-mined a while back but they were finally revealed with the 2nd trailer. Phantom Lanz Vareda, Bonta Bearadda, Dagacha, Goldrahda and Decol Malluda. They’ll be arriving along with Episode 4 Chapter 6.

As well as appearing in the story mission, these Phantom Darkers seem set to appear on Earth fields in general.

In addition to looking different (Phantom Goldrahdas in particular!), it seems Phantom Darkers will also have unique moves. Phantom Bonta Bearadda for example appears to summon tiny versions of itself which it then commands to explode. Pretty nice to see that they’ve gone this far with them rather than just do a recolour (I know a certain someone who still hasn’t forgiven them for Caterdra’nsa).

Datamining does suggest there are other Phantom Darkers either waiting to be revealed or they may have been dropped. These include:

  • Dark Ragne
  • Vid Luda
  • Damoths
  • Pitta Wadda/Parata Picoda? (the one that shoots missiles, I never remember which is which)

As I say though, who knows if these will make it to release. Kinda want to see what Phantom Dark Ragne looks like…

Collection File Change

Collection files will now display a GET message instead of 100%. A minor interface improvement I guess, though I wish this meant you got the item at 100% instead of having to find an additional target enemy to kill, which can be irritating for certain kinds of targets.

Tekker Changes

 

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We’re finally getting bulk Tekking! A much needed quality of life change.

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13* weapons will have a different icon while they’re unidentified, which should hopefully mitigate accidentally tekking them the wrong element while mass-tekking other items.

Now you might have noticed those prices. Don’t panic, those belong to a new feature known as “Advanced Item Appraisal”.

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While much more expensive than regular appraisal, it boosts your chances at getting better affixes and evidently may raise your chances at getting a high % element on the weapon.

Gathering on Hulkotron and Tunnels

We can finally go mining in the mine. No one cares abour Shironia.
But yes with new gathering spots comes new rings, so the important question is are they any good?

  • L / PB Homing
    • Delays the blades firing for a small amount of time, but they’ll home in on enemies after

Not sure if this ring will see much uptake as the main point of Photon Blade Fever is to spam blades as fast as possible to maximize your DPS. That delay is going to cause a significant drop in damage, even if it does mean the blades are more likely to hit.

  • L / Jumping Dodge
    • It makes you jump really high.

Kind of an interesting one. Could help the airborne classes get set up more easily as well as making certain bosses even more trivial to deal with (looking at you, Malmoth and Plosiorgles). There’s possibly some other gameplay altering effects this ring could have that I’m not considering (I wonder if it boosts the jump in the Magatsu fight?).

  • L / Slow Fi Action
    • Slows down the speed of Fighter weapon actions

I assume this will also extend the I-frames much like Slow Dive Roll does. Potentially powerful ring to aid in Fighter survivability (as if they didn’t have enough I-frames through Deadly Circle).

  • L / Near Auto Target
    • Pets automatically attack nearby enemies

Tired of having to press buttons as a Summoner? Worry no more! Get your normal-attack boosting Parfaits and you can just walk right on through stages.

  • L / Peace Zondeel
    • Prevents you from detonating Zondeel fields

Handy for those who wish to use lightning techs on enemies while retaining the suction effect of Zondeel.

Overall, a sorta interesting bunch of rings. The only one I can’t really think of a good use for is PB Homing but maybe I’m being short-sighted with it who knows.

New Type Affixing

This is an interesting change indeed. I’ll go over what I can gather from the trailer.

Essentially, getting a new-type weapon up to +35 will unlock a special ability on it. This ability can be transferred in the regular affixing process with a 100% chance of success. Now we don’t yet know all the nuances of this upcoming system but here’s what I can gather from just looking at it:

  • These are only available on +35 NT weapons.
    • Shown weapons are at least 11* rarity, but it may be available for weapons of all rarities…
  • The usual rules of affixing seem to apply. You’ll still need to have your fodder items with an equal or greater number of slots than your target item.
  • The target item’s own special affix counts towards the system, giving you a total of 6 potential high-end affixes you can slot at once.
  • Each weapon has its own unique ability.
    • Ray Sword gets Astral Soul at +35.
    • D-AIS Saber gets Spirita V at +35
    • The other weapons are unknown as the trailer skips through. Can’t even hazard a guess as there’s no guarantee they chose them in order and the affixes have shifted between the edit.
      • Coat Edge Ver2, DaisyChain NT, Sega Shield and  “幻創艦砲甲” (I can’t interpret this one) grant access to Power V, Stamina V, Alter Arma and Spirita Alpha.
  • While all are at 100%, presumably the same rules apply for up-slotting

So yeah, this mostly just seems like an incentive to grinding out collection sheets in order to obtain high grade affixes for the gear you actually want to use. Especially as you’d have to complete a collection sheet 6 times in order to +35 a weapon.

This doesn’t bode especially well for weapons that belong to collection sheets that expired, as their abilities will be difficult to out-right impossible to obtain. Guess we’ll have to wait and see what the list of affixes turns out to be on the more common weapons, but at least a few of the abilities they teased for us are on this list (Ray, AIS weapons, Seiga). For me this only further rubs salt in the wound that is the temporary nature of collection files..

It’s interesting, but in many respects I kind of just wish they’d do away with the current affixing system entirely. It’s one of the most convoluted and un-fun upgrade systems I’ve ever seen, though thankfully due to stat inflation on weapons it’s much less necessary than it used to be.

At the very least, I won’t be bothering to affix my weapons in the meantime!

Heaven and Hell 2 (Not official name)

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So the promised “harder than Heaven and Hell” Extreme quest is heading our way with the late November update. There seems to be at least a couple of differences..

First is that it seems it’s only 1 pass per attempt instead of the 5 per attempt that the first one is. There’s no mention of a weekly limit either…

Second is that the enemy pool will be pulling mostly from Episode 4 enemies This includes Phantoms and the recently introduced Dragonkin Aberrations.

Observed floors:

  • 4 Emperappies
  • Falka Leopard, Falka Leone and Goronzoran
  • Hagito Phamut and various Phantoms
  • Drago Deadlion and Dragon Ex
  • Dourumble and Guar Zigmorde
  • Vegas Illusia and Laplace’s Demon
  • Devil Trailer and various Vegas Phantoms
  • 2 x Box Buvals and Zeta Guranz
  • Anga Fundarge (Beast mode)

It looks about as hectic as the first Heaven and Hell, which means it’ll likely favor classes built for durability over other things (or Fighters spamming Deadly Circle Type-0). That said, at least the lower entry fee and thus slightly lower risk factor might not put off the more fragile builds quite so much. Hopefully the floors are engineered in such a way that tactical decisions can make the floors less risky rather than it just being a case of throwing as many enemies at you they feel they can get away with.

Your prize this time, should you be lucky enough to earn it, is a material used to make a special Skill Ring which has a visual effect upon equipping it. There are no details whatsoever about what abilities this ring imparts.

Other than that, the quest demo didn’t seem to drop anything at all. I assume they’re keeping those secret for now, though I do wonder what they’d even potentially give out. It can’t be stones anymore, because they’re not utilized much at all in endgame gear now…

December Raid Boss

After what felt like enough teasing, we finally got to enjoy a  trailer for the next raid boss as promised. This time, we head to the moon to take on something strongly resembling a Dark Falz…

The first part involves chasing the boss in a stage resembling a Star Fox level while the 2nd part is the usual “fighting a space god on a see through disc” deal we’ve had since PSO.

The chase section is presumably the data-mined “DPP1 Chase” that had us so baffled from a week ago. Seem pretty arcade-y, with plenty of obstacles to avoid while you’re chasing the phantom around various parts of Mother Cluster’s moon base. Seem’s the boss itself has a bunch of orbs that you’re going to need to break. Beyond that, not a lot to tell from it. I find the Rideroid controls awkward, though presumably they’re a little different in this quest.

The second phase is a chaotic mess of blue and bloom (bluem?) but other than that seems like your standard Phantasy Star Falz-like boss. It reminds me of a kind of amalgamation between Dark Falz 3 from PSO and Orga Angelus from PSP2. In fact it does seem to take some pretty strong design cues from Dark Falz 3 in general…

We know from datamining its AI that tbe boss uses a number of attacks borrowed from Dark Falz Elder, Double, Apprentice and Loser, though it also boasts some of its own unique attacks. Unfortunately due to the quality of the video and how bright everything is I couldn’t really pick out anything in particular.

Aside the excessive brightness though looks pretty good! I gotta say its pretty cool how after all this time they can still produce content that genuinely surprises me. Unlike the Profound Darkness fight, this one seems like at least the first half will be completely unique and stand out against the other raid bosses. Of course we have no idea at all how difficult it will be, so I guess we’re gonna have to wait for the inevitable play-demo down the line where they deliberately fail the quest.

That’s all for this post. These are largely my thoughts and interpretations of what I’ve seen so I may be wrong about some things. Let me know if there’s anything particularly wrong, because I don’t want to misinform people.