Advance Quest Update

YOU_SOUND_THE_SAME

With today’s maintenance, the Advance Quest update has arrived. Gonna just start the post with a summary of the changes:

risky

  • You can now raise advance risk by paying additional caps (from +0 to +50 costs 50 caps)
    • Risk bought this way persists for a week, the same as risk gained the old fashioned way.
    • You can also apply this to Very Hard Advance Quests, which I’ll discuss below
  • Enemies can now be leveled up to 80 (this occurs at +30 risk)
  • Drop rates for Large Pyroxenes is boosted at maximum risk
    • This is what they say, anyway. So far I’m finding it hard to believe.
  • Additional E-trials and bosses can occur, such as Nyau, Apprentice, Persona and Dark Falz Angel.
    • There may be others, at this point it’s too early to say

I’ll edit additional details in as they come to light.

Apprentice

Well not really, she’s a clone of the previous Apprentice made by Dark Falz: Double. She made her first appearance in story mode, much like Persona did, however unlike Persona she didn’t wait something like a year to appear outside of it.

apprentice


I’ve only fought her once so far, all I can say about her is she seems to hit like a wet noodle most of the time however she seems to be considerably more violent than her story mode self. Small hits they may be, but they come often. She also has a hell of a lot more HP, but I was not playing the most DPS-oriented build. Additionally, she can also summon Predicahdas to assist her.

Like most other boss characters and unlike all gingers, Apprentice has a soul (ORIGINAL JOKE ALERT). Her soul gives +40 s-atk,r-atk and t-atk and also boosts the transfer rate of Modulator by a measly 10%. While small on its own, it will help with up-slotting modulator onto something. If I’m correct in how the formula works, instead of being 86% when pushing from 3 to 4 slots, it would be 93%. This is assuming you’re using a 30% booster, which I feel you should if dealing with Modulator because I’m poor. For 4-5 it’d be 84% instead of 78%.

Very Hard Advance Quests

As said in the summary, you can also raise the risk of Very Hard Advance Quests. This is particularly relevant to those wishing to level alts, as the exp gained from boosted rare enemies is formidable. That said, it does require that you can reliably kill max-boosted enemies at that level, which is why this is only really suitable for alt characters as they’re likely going to be the only ones that can be twinked to cope with it. As such, this method isn’t really suitable for new players.

The small pyroxenes you generate here can also be used on the new Live-series weapons at that!

Live-Series Weapons

This update added a new series of exchange weapons, the “Live” series. They’re straight-up recolours of  the “Bio” series weapons from Extreme Quests. Each one requires a selection of 15 large pyroxenes of 3 different kinds (for a total of 45 large pyroxenes).

They require a rather daunting 450 dexterity in order to equip them, which may demand points in Mags or Skill trees for some race/class combos at 75/75. This makes them pretty strictly end-game weapons.

LiveSword

The exchanges for each weapon class are as follows:

  • Sword: Vayu, Agni, Prithvi
  • Wired Lance: Indra, Himalaya, Brahma
  • Partisan: Ishana, Nirrti, Yama
  • Twin Daggers: Yaruna, Sarasvati, Apsaras
  • Double Saber: Vayu, Agni, Prithvi
  • Knuckles: Indra, Himalaya, Brahma
  • Gunslash: Vayu, Agni, Prithvi
  • Katana: Ishana, Nirrti, Yama
  • Bullet Bow: Yaruna, Sarasvati, Apsaras
  • Dual Blades: Yaruna, Sarasvati, Apsaras
  • Jet Boots: Yaruna, Sarasvati, Apsaras
  • Assault Rifle: Vayu, Agni, Prithvi
  • Launcher: Indra, Himalaya, Brahma
  • Twin Machineguns: Ishana, Nirrti, Yama
  • Rod: Vayu, Agni, Prithvi
  • Talis: Indra, Himalaya, Brahma
  • Wand: Ishana, Nirrti, Yama

As can be seen, there are some which require the same stones. The weapons come with 20% element and 4 affixes (Stat IV, Arm IV, Ability III, Status Effect IV).

Their potential at level 3 appears to boost damage for each consecutive Just-Attack by 5% to a maximum of 10%. To take a single weapon as an example of attack power, the Live Katana has 499 S-atk at +0 which puts it on the same level as Orochi Agito and Evil Rakuka but inferior to Yamigarasu in terms of stats. However, the Live-series are all-class weapons, so it’s something to consider before writing them off entirely.

Zieg’s Order

zieg

You can also obtain a Dark Falz 12* weapon by showing Zieg 3 Live-series weapons. Which ones he wants to see depends on the weapon you want to get!

Here’s the list of weapons and their required Live weapons:

  • Ely Sion  – Sword, Wired Lance, Partisan
  • Lavis Blade – Twin Daggers, Double Saber, Knuckle
  • Yasminkov 7000V – Assault Rifle, Launcher, Bullet Bow
  • Blitz Fender – Twin Machinegun, Assault Rifle, Gunslash
  • Psycho Wand – Rod, Talis, Gunslash
  • Magical Piece – Wand, Talis, Jet Boots
  • Edel Arrow – Katana, Bulletbow, Sword
  • Niren Orochi – Dual Blades, Jet Boots, Twin Daggers

This leaves out a good number of Falz 12*s however, which is kind of a weird decision I feel. I get that they might not have wanted to give classes more weapons than others but this would be the case regardless anyway by virtue of classes having differing amounts of weapons they can use in the first place. In any case, if the Falzes have been stingey to you for the past two and half years then you can work towards getting one now. It will not be a quick trip, necessarily, but this is probably for the best.

At this time it isn’t know what affixes or elements the weapons have when you receive them.

Rumourmill – Hatou Rindou Nerf

ハトウリンドウ!!(っ’ヮ’)╮▁▂▃▅▆▇█▓▓

Going by forum posts and twitter, it seems Hatou Rindou has been nerfed somewhat. The exact how has yet to be established, but it appears that it doesn’t land as many hits as it used to. As far as I know there’s no official word from Sega at this point, so it isn’t known if this is a bug or a stealth-nerf.

Thoughts

I’m pleasantly surprised. As I tweeted, I would not have been surprised at all if Sega had just updated 3 of the Advance Quests and then rolled out the rest whenever they felt like. The company is reputable for drip-feeding content like this, I mean it’s precisely what they did when they released SHAQs in the first place. So I’m glad I was wrong, it was good of them to upgrade the entire mode like this.

The downside is they’re still not worth running solo, even if you’re capable of handling them at maximum risk. The capsule reward rate simply varies far too highly, making profitability dubious and risking making a loss in caps overall.

Also solo PSE bursts are still the saddest things in the game.

The Grind

Live-series weapons have 20% element, which means you’ll need 3 of them to max them. As each requires 15 of 3 different types of pyroxene and each large pyroxene is about 100 regular pyroxenes this means you’ll need roughly 4500 of each stone or 13500 total. That number seems familiar somehow…

So far, running the missions solo I’ve managed to make something like 70 regular pyroxenes throughout 4 quests. I have yet to earn a single large-pyroxene, which feels roughly a similar drop-rate to how they were before. I’m feeling mildly cynical that maximum-risk actually boosts the drop rate at all, if it does then it’s such a small boost that it might as well not even be there. Regardless, this appears to demonstrate that Super Hard Advance Quests are still not worth running overall which is a pity. Once again the effort-reward ratio feels off judging by experience so far, especially given that you can still obtain Apprentice Soul on Very Hard as well as the materials you can use to buy the Live-series weapons without the risk of making a loss in caps. My opinion on this may change over time, especially if I can get some decent group runs going.

The worst part arguably is that as the weapons need specific combinations of stones, you’d better hope your entire group want weapons which happen to use the same or else people will be wasting their time. The issue is due to the fact that you can’t exchange Advanced Quest pyroxenes into any other kind.

All in all, not the most enjoyable of updates. It is nice that we have a higher tier of all-class weapons at least.

As always, please let me know if there are any inaccuracies in the facts stated within this post.

Possible Hint of PSO2’s Localized Development?

enthusiastic-dorfThis one sits quite firmly in rumourville territory, even if it’s just my own speculation. Sega posted up a job advert here. In case the listing is taken down at a later point, I’ll also include a screenshot below.

GET-A-JOBSee? Told I’d you post a screen-shot. Anyway, as you can see it’s a position with Relic Entertainment. Relic was bought up by Sega in January last year. They’re a studio known for such games as Homeworld, Company of Heroes and a number of Warhammer 40,000 games. None of which I can say I’ve played or even really know all that much about.

So could this be it? Could this be how PSO2 will finally arrive in the US? As a project managed by Relic? I can’t think of any other major established Japanese MMOs that Sega has under its possession that aren’t already out here. Well, OK, I’d hardly call the likes of Rusty Hearts “major” from what I know of it.

Let’s say it is true. Is that a good or a bad thing? I really don’t know! I know almost nothing about Relic, though to do a worse job than Sega of America has done previously would be a fair achievement.

In terms of other places speculating on this, I see a post up on DualShockers here, on SegaBits here and on TSSZ here. This news is about a month old and since nothing has been said about it one way or the other, which isn’t entirely unexpected. Say it is actually PSO2 localization work finally coming to fruition, there’s still things that could go wrong between now and any arbitrary date. If Sega says nothing, then they haven’t committed to anything so no one is let down! Apart from that 2013 release date they mentioned a little while back. If an article on PSO-World isn’t official enough for you, the vague release date of “2013” was mentioned by Ken Osagawara at the end of the PAX 2012 demo of the game here.

Wonder if this means their website might finally get any updateds?

Western Release Announced

So it actually happened. Sega of America announced that PSO2 will in fact be coming to the US and Europe in Spring 2013. Along with this news came the release of the official PSO2 US site here. Not much to mention about it, other than it’s a very similar format to the official JP site during their testing phases.

Along with the new site is an official blog post announcing the release.

PSO-World, which is interestingly directly linked to on the official site, has also made a post about it here.

Finally, an official release trailer is due out today at some un-determined time. I’ll update this post with the video when it is released. It’s out!

It’s the same PSO2 trailer we saw months ago, pretty much.


Thoughts.

Well I guess that history of Phantasy Star thing that SoA’s official Twitter was going through was related to PSO2 after all. It was a pretty safe bet, but unfortunately there is still no information on the real nature of this release. Is it just a localization, hosted on global servers or will it be separated servers with its own update schedule, the kind that has already failed twice in the past? What does this mean for US/EU players and people from other parts of the world who have already started on the Japanese servers? Hopefully this information will come out soon, as I know I’m not the only person thinking of these questions.

Update: Speculating on a post by Edward (SoA staff) here, it seems like it may well be separate servers. It’s not a definite, but it’s how I’m interpreting it myself. It would be great if I were proven wrong.

Personally speaking, Sega of America has hurt my trust in them enough as a company so that I won’t be investing most of my time in their servers, IF they turn out to be separate. It is however free to play, so I see no harm in rolling a character on there for the purposes of this blog and information gathering. This is all assuming they’d be separate at all, because don’t forget that there is a fair amount of things within the client which could indicate support for a globally hosted game such as:

  • language options in the Japanese launcher
  • localization files in the Japanese client
  • in-game content listing your local time instead of JP time (timers on repeatable Client Orders)

If they are separate, I do wonder how they’re going to handle content. By spring 2013 the Japanese game will have multiple fields, their first “gigantic boss” whatever that will turn out to be and other things mentioned on the long-term schedule. When the western version is out, will the worst happen and only Forest and Volcano Cave be available to them? As much as I have said I won’t be putting much time into their servers, I do hope they don’t let history repeat itself.


About PSO2Blog.

I will be posting about the western version of the game, no matter the nature of the release. However this does naturally mean that some aspects of the site will need to be changed to reflect that there is more than 1 version of the game, particularly the manual section which assumes you’re playing an un-patched Japanese client.

This also means I’ll need to go with the official translations of names and things for the sake of consistency, regardless of whether I agree with them or not.

PSO2blog was always intended to be an opinions blog over a news blog. I write it for fun and will continue to write the blog for as long as I find it fun to write. Recently the blog has passed the 100,000 hit mark, which is a figure I never thought I’d hit, let alone this soon. It’s a great feeling to know people are reading and I hope that this site has helped you out in some way, or at least given you something pretty to look at.

At the very least, thank you for visiting!