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Everything posted by Marmalade

  1. Y'ello, I arrive with a progress update just to keep you in the know. Last few weeks have been shit, so I apologize for the silence, but I'll cut to the important things. The first thing I should explain is that I've made the decision to split the team up into two parts. Because I'm finding it too frustrating to work on certain things, and it's hurting my drive, I'm focusing on the things that I enjoy and want to do without the unnecessary stress. Aside from Myself and Gnome, Kyu now has the ability to manage and push updates to the server without having to rely on me. With this change, everyone will be in the better position to push the rest of the existing games content to you, and not have to worry about me breathing down everyone's neck. While they work on doing that, I'll be reworking my schedule and focusing on the things I want to do for PSU. Below is what has been worked on, and what the current plan of attack is. Thanks for your patience and understanding. The Upgrade Device & Grinding That thing I spoke about already. I can confirm now that The Upgrade Device is possible and has mostly been implemented, with the exception of figuring out GC income. My approach hasn't strayed terribly far from the official mechanic, but I will share with you some changes that I hope you can benefit from. It's important to note that The Upgrade Device is unfortunately limited in its abilities to be customized. It can not currently be changed beyond the system that was originally implemented, but working with it is possible, and has improved weapon management. The biggest concern was how inconvenient Grinding and Repairing was, or could end up being, but most of those concerns have been buffered out. We have made a new location on the Guardians Colony which is dedicated to weapon Grinding and Upgrade management. It has congregated all of the Grinder NPC's into one location, as well as an easily accessible terminal for The Upgrade Device services. It isn't much of a hassle to Grind or Repair your weapons, or even raise their element. It is incredibly convenient, so I hope it will improve the situation immensely. With the introduction of The Upgrade Device and Repairs, it shouldn't be a massive shock that weapons can now break again. The biggest concern or complaint that I want to avoid is people thinking grinding will remain as toxic as it currently is. It will not. The chance of getting your weapon to 10/10 will be a little more generous than the official system. I have rewritten the Grinding system completely. My goal here is to keep the integrity of the original AOTI system in place, without it being an incessant, time wasting mechanic. Besides the reintroduction of weapon breaks, there are a number of other changes you should be aware of. Weapon "breaks" will no longer reset your weapons to 0, but rather will reduce the current grind by a predetermined amount, and the maximum grind by 1. The first few grinds will always be guaranteed. The number of grinds that are guaranteed are determined by the rank of the weapon. Naturally, C and B are easier than A or S. Additionally, this also includes a bug fix where the client would report "No chance of failure", but would still fail at a 1% chance. Depending on the weapons rank, there will be a floor for how low a weapon can realistically break. C and B rank weapons will not break nearly as badly as A or S, for example. S rank weapons will not be able to drop below 4/4, and C rank weapons will not be able to drop below 8/8. There is now an additional mechanic in place where users can gain +2 grinds instead of +1, at a 5% chance when Grinding. The success rate of actually grinding your weapon to 10/10 without a single break has been raised considerably. Currently, the chance of getting a weapon to 10 without a single break is around 4% without a boost, and 11% with the boost, best case scenario. The new system raises this to a 16% chance worst case scenario, to a 44% chance best case scenario, for A and S. The success rate of a weapon successfully grinding is altered by the weapons rarity grade. The higher the rarity grade of the weapon, the slightly lower its chance of success are. For example, a 15 Star weapon has a lower chance of success compared than a 12 Star. I have spent a considerable amount of time on this and testing it to make sure it works around the stop gaps and the time waste aspects of grinding, to the best of my and the games abilities. You can expect to repair your weapon a few times, but you would be very incredibly unlucky to not have your weapon to 10/10 within 15 to 20 minutes. Compared to the fact that it currently takes people multiple hours and grinders to 10/10 a weapon, this is an overall improvement. The last part of this, obviously, is obtaining GC in order to repair and upgrade your weapons and equipment. This is something I would like to be farmable, so that it's available to you consistently and constantly, and without any bullshit. I think a good starting point currently is having it be rewarded for S clearing missions, at a reasonable rate. While I would like to incorporate multiple methods to obtain GC in the future, this is the most simple and straight forward solution for the time being. You shouldn't expect GC to be awfully difficult to obtain, it won't be 100 runs to repair once, but please don't expect it to be 1 run to repair your shit. Guardians Trial Service This is something that I've been working on in my own free time, and while it's still being worked on and planned, I would at least like to make you aware of it. The Guardians Trial Service is (or will be) a collection of missions that include trials and challenges. My goal is to have them be solo friendly, time attack friendly, and challenge friendly, depending on your preference. Because Challenge Mode never really went anywhere, and I'm now spending a fair amount of time learning PSU's scripting language, it's a good opportunity for me to turn it into content. Unfortunately I don't have a great deal to show off, but the basic concept is working. I would like my initial release of this system to include a minimum of 4 trials, each making use of the Forest, Caves, Mines, and Ruins areas that are in PSU. After that, I would like to create trials for some other areas, like Ohtori for instance. Trials will be taken from the previously assigned Challenge Mode lobby. There is a mission there, but all I could really show you is fighting Booma's. You know what that looks like. These trials will typically include a timer, so you can somewhat accurately mark your times. On top of this system, I would also like it if it could reward players with GC or something useful, so you have additional options for that. I would like to include the odd puzzle or challenge inside of these missions when possible, however my main concern is how nicely these mechanic can play with each other, so I will have to experiment further. Halloween Event & S3 Content While the Halloween Event and the upcoming S3 content isn't my field, I can at least share information about the expected plan. The Halloween Event mission will potentially drop on Monday 25th, however it depends on whether testing goes well. At the very latest, expect it by the 31st, but it would be preferable for Monday. It is a basic event which will hopefully aim to reward players consistently, and it will run for 2 weeks. As for S3 content, the plan is for it all (or most of it) to be released after the event has passed and ended. Whether this is immediately after or not, I couldn't tell you. It depends on whether they can finish loot and drops or not, and I don't intend to rush or push for it anymore. With the launch of the event, the level cap will be raised significantly to 150 in order for players to prepare for the next content burst. While this isn't entirely everything, it is all that I can really report on for the moment, so I hope it's something you can look forward to, or at least be reassured that things are still happening. The rest of what I'm working on is just NPC cleaning, new player experience, and the junk I spoke about in my previous post (with some reconsiderations). Making missions is time consuming and at times very frustrating, so I can't give you a realistic time for my work to become available. The Upgrade Device, Grinding and GC is something I want to be thoroughly tested before release, as well as the Trial missions. I can tell you that it will be after the Halloween event, but most certainly not with it. After I finish what I'm working on, and it's convenient, I would very much like to work on creating an event that is fun and highly polished. Thanks, as always, for your patience and support.
  2. Keep up the good work. It's a lot of effort to do, but I'm glad to see people tackling this c:
  3. Yeah, but how they remain useful is up for debate. I'd be fine if it was like +10 added +10%, and +1 added +1%. Or if it was needing +1 to get 1/10, and +10 to get 10/10. There are a lot of grinders though, and if it were viable I'd probably lean more on the side of only having a few, rather than 10 of each. Of course infinity grinders become useful again as well, so, that's fun.
  4. I believe it comes back to weapon depth and the lack thereof. Depth has slowly been stripped away from weapons in Clementine due to what I would say is a major misunderstanding of the problems at hand. Similar to what Gaz mentioned in their stream, there is simply 0/10 and 10/10. There's no longer an in-between and the item will only ever be its best or its worst. I touched on this in my original post, and why it's important to have weapon depth, and why it really needs to be reinstated. People are afraid of it because they think it will be terrible and awful and it will take them 5 months to find one item and 500 grinders to 10/10 it, but that simply isn't the case. If every weapon dropped at 50%, which is for some reason very slowly creeping up, and every weapon can 10/10 with ease, then you can expect the drop rates to become more difficult and the market price to rocket even more. This has already happened, and it's pretty much the reason we're in the position we are with drops. The elemental floor was raised, and the chance of 45-50%'s was massively increased, so now items have less depth and they drop in pristine condition more often. As a result, drop rates go down, Meseta income goes down, the item becomes even more unpleasant to hunt, and the market price goes into unaffordable territory. Having 5/5's on the market is good and so is 1/1, especially with the inclusion of The Upgrade Device, because it gives people another option besides 500+ runs. As I've said in a previous post, it's the same as buying junk online, restoring it, and then flipping it for a profit or keeping it. Say you want an old Playstation 1 game, and your choices are Disc Only $10 / With cracked case and no manual $15 / Light scratches, case, manual $50 / Unopened factory sealed $1,000. You could easily piece together a respectable copy for less than $50 or $1,000, if you wanted to put the time in. Now remove those options except the unopened factory copy, and all you've got is work hard for money or hope you come across one somehow. That's Clem. So, right now if I want something, I can either run the mission as many times as it takes, or I can just not. Alternatively, I could hunt until I find a "bad" one, or I could get a "bad" one off the market, then I could repair it, and hurray. I did it in less time and effort than if I had to hunt for a good one and got nothing while I did it. There are, or were, multiple roles to play here, and it's different for everyone. Some people like hunting difficult items, some people like grinding weapons all day, some people like synthesizing goods, and some people just like making Meseta. The idea is that people fill their part and have options to obtain what they want through their own means, but right now those options are also removed, and everyone is expected to do the same thing. There is more to PSU than running the same missions 1000 times, but there is also more than just grinding a weapon to 10/10. I don't agree that 10/10'ing a weapon is considered the overall end game, but it is an end point for something and some people. The inclusion of GAS will be another end game goal for players that want to take part. People will argue that repairing it is pointless and that they might as well not break, but because of what I've explained above, it should be somewhat obvious why there's more to it than just adding an extra step to grinding, and why broken weapons hold value to people. You will (or should) sell your junk 40% 0/3 on the market because someone will buy it and repair it. They make money off your junk, and they can feed that money back to you. Do this enough and you will have enough Meseta to buy a 10/10. Item depth is important to the game and the community, even if people don't think it to be. Now, this is where I get incredibly confused, and I can only assume people have somewhat misunderstood me in the past. I'm afraid people think I'm trying to make things even more difficult when I'm not. I'm trying to make things better. A lot of people voted that they liked the idea of filling the gap between good and bad items (I.E 10/10 and 0/10), but have then voted against bringing item depth back in some form or another. They are mutually necessary. The more "bad" items that can drop, the higher the drop rate can be, the more Meseta people can gain, and the more option there is on the player market. Options are important, and so is stimulation! Both of which is something that has seemingly been removed from Clementine through a barrage of complaints and a misunderstanding of those complaints. If weapons aren't going to break through grind failure, then weapons should have the potential to drop with less than 10 max grind potential, because the drop rate will be higher, and you can repair it or sell it for Meseta for... essentially free. I could argue that this is better than getting nothing at all. If grind fails break weapons again, then they can continue to drop at 0/10 no problem, but pushing all of the item depth into elemental percent alone isn't fair, especially for striking. No, not particularly. Someone will always hate something about it, and not just grinding in particular, but people hate things for different reasons. I see why people like weapons breaking and all that, and I can see why people would rather just be handed a 10/10 after 2 runs. Really, it all comes down to options and stimulation, which are being removed rather than added. I'm not against the idea of weapon repairs, because I know that it can be made in a way that isn't a tedious and time-wasting mechanic, but I'm afraid people think it will be what it is now, but with the added bonus of a 2 minute run to the 5th floor between grinds. Just... no. Getting your weapon to 10/10 will be less time consuming than it is now, and will cost you less resources, with the added bonus of there being more options to obtain that weapon, for everyone else. Well the drop rates would increase! Which is something everyone likes to hear, I'm sure. Grinding to 2/10 isn't entirely the same as 2/2, because the potential has value as well, even with the ability to repair it. Either in the form of it CAN go to 10/10 or it may cost less to repair in order to 10/10. The value of an irreparable 2/2 is beyond me though, but humans also have a fascinating relationship with numbers.
  5. Just wanted to make a quick post to let players know that there will be a small booster event running until the 20th of September. We hope to be able to deliver the JP Photon Arts some time next weekend, but until then this is for you. 1.5x EXP 1.5x MP 1.5x Meseta 2.0x PA 2.0x Rare Enemy Rate 1.5x Rare Mission Rate 10% Additive Grinder Success Rate 5 Silver Voloyal Coins Daily Additionally, clear boxes on S and S2 difficulty will drop 2 items instead of 1. This is experimental though, so if it doesn't work then please let me know. Thanks!
  6. Most of this is addressable and can go in with OUF rebalancing. The one thing that isn't so easy though is this: Up until fairly recently I believed that the stat modifiers for enemies were consistent, so Sword being enabled would always be Sword for any enemy, and sadly this isn't true. Instead of it being Crown, Sword, Shield, Staff, Boot, etc, it's more like Crown, Buff 1, Buff 2, Buff 3, Buff 4, where the buff is specific to the enemy in question. This means a Pannon can have Buff 1 be Sword, while a Bal Soza can have Buff 1 be a Staff, and a Rogue Jasse has Buff 1 as a Shield (or something like that... I forget, but I remember it annoying me). Until we find a way to identify all of these buff types for enemies then there isn't a lot that can be done. I suspect it's more an enemy type thing than an individual enemy thing, so most of the enemies should be ok. It's just a few that are different, I guess? Cross referencing them with Official would help in some places, since I have a better chance of knowing which buff is set or unset for that enemy back then, and what it corresponds to. If anyone wants to do that... feel free. I would need to know the Enemy, what Buff(s) it has, and in what mission/rank. Generally speaking, once it's set from one mission then it should apply to all of them. Just keep in mind that the buff is set by the mission, so an enemy might have Sword in one, but Sword and Shield in another. Having them be as isolated as possible gives the best chance of recovering them. If an enemy has two buffs applied, it's going to be difficult to know which one is which. I have this vague memory of them freezing in White Beast, but I think I'm remembering the blue fire... huh. That means Turrets potentially have a flag to enable or disable inflicting a status, but again, kind of need a mission that had that behavior... Thanks for reminding.
  7. I fear that a lot of what I'm trying to get across is still being misunderstood, partly because some of these counter arguments aren't lining up with the idea in my head lol. But I think that's largely because of what's been going back and forth on these recent posts, so it's difficult to know where I stand. I'll try and catch up... I'd forgotten about the repairs only being available with the item is max grind, I've been working around the assumption that it can just be used even if the item was 0/8. I'm somewhat hoping it can be, or I can force it to, otherwise I can see the general concerns. I can also agree that your weapon progress going backwards is pretty much pointless, especially with the introduction of The Upgrade Device. Since it has the ability to Grind without fail, it makes regular Grinding somewhat obsolete especially if they have the potential to reverse your efforts. That much I can agree with. Just so we're working on the same page, I want to be clear that I'm now currently working on the assumption that Weapons can be repaired at The Upgrade Device regardless of their current grind. Your weapon progress wouldn't reverse. When it comes to The Upgrade Device, there's more to it than its relevancy, and it somewhat goes beyond Grinding as well, unfortunately. I might be missing something obvious, so feel free to point out anything else I might miss, but as it currently stands I believe Striking weapons are the only ones with considerable depth, in the form of Elements and Element Percent. This is already something that's slowly being put to rest, where I fear eventually all that we'll see is 45-50% drops, due to how rare and how much effort it takes to get a respectable palette. This also unfortunately affects Line Shields. Item Depth is something that exists in most of the Phantasy Stars, but for some reason we're slowly chiseling it out of PSU. Players are afraid of efforts that aren't inherently running the same mission over and over. I would ask why players are seemingly ok with the idea of lower Element Percentages, but not lower Max Grind Potential? Considering Grind Potential affects everyone evenly, and Element Percentages affect Striking worse. When neither are going backwards, it really does seem like things are becoming a very bland and straight line, where nothing can have a flaw. Ignoring Prototypes and hidden effects, right now Striking weapons have an depth of 27--6 Elements, an elemental range of 20 (30-50%) for each, and 1 Neutral. Line shields have a depth of 26. Again, 6 Elements, and an Elemental range of 20. Ranged and Tech weapons have a depth of quite literally 0, with the exception of RCSM's. They will always drop in a consistent state. They will always be Neutral 0/10. This means that drop rates on anything with Elements and Percentages need to be higher, plus the added RNG layer of it being the Element and Percent that you want, which in turn makes anything without an Element, well, rarer. Once these items stop being BiS, or generally less sought after, then they should become somewhat more common. If we were to remove Elemental Percentages then Line Shields would get a depth of 6, Striking gets a depth of 7, and Tech and Ranged get a depth of still 0. If this were the case then you could expect to be doing an even more unhealthy amount of runs to obtain such items, which is beyond acceptable. In the original game, all of these items had depth, albeit through the grinding system most people tend to hate. If we were to lower the Elemental Floor and Ceiling to create depth in exchange for healthier drop rates, then this only affects Striking and Line Shields still. If this were the case, then Melee players would have to spend even more resources than anyone else. They already have to work harder to get a respectable palette, now they have to spend more than anyone else in order to polish their weapon, if they decide to. The only way GC is going to be at all useful for Techers and Gunners is if they work on their shields, or they play the market on Striking weapons which most likely will be NPC'd. If they don't, then they just sit on a mountain of GC with nothing to spend it on, which means GC may as well be Meseta, but that's also another thing being argued against...? It can't always be Give Give Give. The phrase "Give and Take" exists for a reason. So going into my current point, and hopefully I can clear up some confusion... I'm slightly worried that people think I'm trying to slap this whole thing on top of an already difficult system, which isn't at all the case. Grinding isn't going to remain the 300+ Grinder, 5 hour macro session that it is. It also isn't initially going to return to the old breaking system, since The Upgrade Device effectively makes it obsolete, at least to 8/10. I genuinely have no intention of making people run back and forth between NPC's in an attempt to 10/10 their weapon. As I've previously stated, I'm a fan of PSO's grinding system, and I was never a huge fan of weapon breaking in the first place, and that's just my opinion. The intention is that you only ever have to visit The Upgrade Device once for any weapon you intend to work on. However... as it currently stands, there are two prominent issues that can be smoothed over by incorporating The Upgrade Device along with lower Max Grind potential, without particularly punishing anyone because it's not going to add on to the existing struggle. In fact it's going to relax the struggle considerably. Right now in order to obtain an item you want, you realistically have two choices. Run the same mission a mind numbing amount of times and hope it drops, and especially in an Element and Element Percent you want, if Striking or Line Shield. Chances are you will be completely burned out or fed up by the time it drops, or worse, you may never see it due to bad luck. You will see people with multiple 50%'s of the item you want, for less time, and you may wonder why you bothered spending so much of your time in the first place. Then what? Give up? Quit playing? There's not much else to do. Your options are very limited. Be rich enough and hope someone is selling what you want on the market, and fight with the idea of dropping most of your wealth. We all know how you become rich in Clementine. Either play the market and hope it pays off, or try to hunt for an item that other people want and hope it drops and then sells, potentially multiple times. Regardless of what you do, you're spending resources. A lot, actually. You can expect to do between 300-500, even 1000+ runs just to see some of the item you want, which is a considerable amount of the most valuable resource you'll ever have, that being time. Otherwise, you're spending Meseta, which was also your time, and in ways is no different to spending GC, since these are both interchangeable. No matter what you do, you're always spending resources, and that's just the nature of the game and life in general lol. What I'm proposing with items dropping with lower Max Grind potential occasionally, instead of lower Elemental Percent floor, isn't forcing you into a play style. It doesn't mean that you will always have to spend resources to repair every item you find. You will find that 50% 0/10 via hunting if you really want to, ideally no more harder than it is now. No one is taking that away. If you find a weapon with lower Max Grind Potential and you don't want it, you now have 3 additional options that are only beneficial to you. Exchange it for GC. Sell it on the market for Meseta. Repair it in 2 minutes and save yourself another 200-300 runs of a mission you're already fed up of. Either way you're gaining something and spending less than you are currently, even more considering that you're also gaining GC just by hunting for the item, so you're not going to be going backwards very much at all. What's being added is a 3rd option, not a replacement of an option. It's a much needed ceiling for your time and effort. I don't see weapons dropping with lower Grind Potential as going backwards either, it's simple a potential starting point for you or for someone else, and it encourages circulation and market health. You don't have to use The Upgrade Device at all, if you don't want to. You will still find the item you want by hunting as you do now, that isn't being made any harder for you or anyone else. In fact, the drop rate is being relaxed so you find things a little easier. Simply all this does is add a 3rd option while simultaneously rewarding players for their effort and time spent, and I don't see that as being a bad thing? At least it certainly isn't any worse than what we have now, where you get next to nothing for hours of your time. On top of all of this, if I'm a relatively new player and say all I have is 2 or 3 mil, I can buy up one of these lower grind weapons by my own will, repair it, and then either use it or sell it off for a profit return. It helps me catch up to a constantly inflating economy and power scale. I don't want to make things harder. I don't want to make all drops worse. I don't want to make progress reversible, there is no going backwards. I simply want to add options for players to obtain their items and catch up to the current level. It's either Do 500+ runs for your item, that you're going to do anyway OR Find/Buy, Repair, and be done with it in less time and resources. It IS NOT: do 500+ runs, find your item, repair it, grind it, repair it, grind it, repair it. That's just simply not happening. Imagine Minecraft, but instead of being able to craft your Diamond items, you can only find them at 10% of their original rate, and hope their durability isn't completely done. That's PSU, right now. Now imagine Minecraft, but you can find Diamond items that you can repair, or you can get a pristine version if you choose to spend the resources. I mean, either get rich and buy a new car for full price, or buy it secondhand and do work on it over time. Right now, your only option is to get rich and buy a new car. With Item Depth, it means people who can't swing quite so high can still have a chance to pick low hanging fruits. It is an alternative to obtain the items they want. Otherwise, they're expected to do the same 500+ runs, while everyone else is going off ahead in a different location. No one is going to wait for them, and there are only a handful that have the resources and would consider helping them up to the current equipment level. GC is for everyone, new and old. It becomes the effort to reward currency. Without it, PSU has one very bland, time-sucking mechanic, that is pure RNG. At least with GC, we can give players options to buy, repair, or even exchange for items that help them. Nooo no no no. Once Attribute Grinders are attached, they're permanent. If you put 5 Attribute Grinders onto a weapon and you fail a regular grind, it won't revert the current grind at all. As for the "99% of drops need to not suck" and "pity mechanic", see above for Item Depth and GC. I would refrain from adding too many alternate currencies like tickets, because eventually it becomes really overwhelming. Similar to how a bunch of worthless mats drop in C rank, you don't really know what to keep and what to sell. Explained this above, but the Element features only become relevant for items that use Elements, which means no Firearms, no Rods, no TCSM's, and no Wands. That's pretty much half of all the item types. This one has confused me, but it might be because I've worded this incredibly poorly. By filling the gap between good and bad items, I'm specifically talking about Item Depth. Not, say, making B ranks as good as S ranks, or making obsolete gear as good as BiS. Have I misunderstood you o_O? Essentially it's suggesting that items should drop at lower percentages instead of weighting toward 45-50% pretty much always, which means worse drop rates because the item is "good". When all the items become nothing but good, then Prototypes become the good, and the 50%'s become the bad. Then we push toward guaranteed Prototypes, which is already happening... Eventually, everything will be 1 thing and nothing else, and they will either be ridiculously hard to find, or ridiculously cheap to buy. Because of how PSU works, it's not possible because missions rely heavily on the counter they're designed to be in. If we had a counter that held every party that's currently active then you would be able to join it, but you wouldn't be able to join the mission because the counter isn't the correct one for the mission. Solving this is another issue, and it tends to mean modifying or changing the mission on the fly. Well, pretty much this is why it's not the best idea to keep adding currencies. I can lean on GC mostly because the systems already seem to be there. Converting Meseta to GC or vice versa isn't a major issue, so we can at least have some kind of Meseta sink going on here. Putting useful things in NPC's is fine, but they also need to be perishable goods, otherwise it's just a straight conversion to an alternative currency. The same reason buying an item from the player market isn't a sink, unless we cheesed Meseta Tax. But you're right, adding Meseta onto existing systems is difficult without adding extra steps. If it were at all possible, then it would be the first thing on the list. We're very much stuck using the systems that are present. Meseta, GC, AP, Exchanges. At least with something like the Fortune Teller or the Offering Box, they have the UI's available to show the player what something costs. With Grinding cost, it would be invisible and would cause more complaints than already exists. --- Anyway, as is the general feeling of mine, and from my point of view, right now we're very steadily drifting toward "only the best exists", and I'm afraid we're only going to keep removing things as time goes on. The element floor already gets tampered with, and still gets pushed for more change. We've already basically removed grinding depth, and now element percent's are being chiseled out, too. It's largely down to the fact that it takes a very large amount of time and effort to get anything, much more anything you want. So of course people want it to be the best it can ever be because if they have to put all their effort into simply finding it, then why do they have to spend more time just to polish it. It's somewhat disheartening, considering my goal has always been to restore and keep all of the games mechanic going some way or another. Removing them one by one is turning PSU into a very big safety net that only provides the best of everything and never challenges you. Well, outside of "Hey kid, think you can do 1000 laps? lmao". A lot of problems come about because of something else, generally something we've caused, and we end up "fixing it" by altering the wrong things. Drops are too hard, hunting is too unrewarding, exhausts players. Appease by raising the element floor and kill grind fails. Make drops harder because good items are too common and easy??? Item Depth is diminishing as a result of bad drop rates and exhaustion. Fix it by making a hodgepodge Prototype system that adds more exhaustion to the hunt get asked to make it more common. Incap is too effective, everyone using it. Fix it by limiting the scenarios it can be used in, instead of fixing its proc rate. Consider nerfing it more or remove it because it's still "too good"??? Enemies are too hard, Confusion is too useless against them, so is Charm. Fix it by swapping SE's for DoT's, make some SE's 100% proc to disable enemies. Make enemy HP and resistances even higher because it's too easy for the 10%? Do you see where I'm going with this? PSU used to be a bit of a bumpy hill, and now it's a very sharp and spikey mountain of extremes in either direction. For some reason we make things overly difficult, and then resolve it by making everything else easy, or vice versa. The game is very slowly being reduced down to nothing if it carries on like this. Right now, the overall time balance seems to be whack, where most of it is going straight into running the same mission over and over, instead of anything else. I can very much see this going down the path of completely removing grinding, removing < 45%, and being 100% run mission 2000 times for item. I'm trying to avoid this. There's more to PSU, but for some reason we're constantly removing pieces. I want to rebalance the effort-to-reward ratio. Let there be more to the game instead of less, let items have their intended depth back, let some drop rates be relaxed. Hopefully we can stop trying to make things so uniform and tightly wrapped, and we can stop doing extreme fixes for problems we seem to create. Cheers for the feedback thus far. I've been making some changes to my ideas and I'll reflect them on my original post in the near-ish future.
  8. Unfortunately there's no apparent way to have more or reskinned bosses, so having it be visually obvious that it's a rare variant might be difficult. Back end I could work some kind of magic to change the behavior of certain bosses if they're considered "rare", but not really sure how far something like that could go... Outside of giving it more HP or buffing other stats. Adding more boxes dynamically wouldn't work, but spawning items where the boss died, or near the crystal, might be a solution. Sucks because there's not much room for something like an Ultimate Mode, as cool as it might be. Reskinning certain areas is doable, but enemies not so much. At best we have contamination variants of some enemies, and the alternate models (Pannon, Bel Pannon). I suppose with some kind of magic, we could put De Ragnus into the De Ragan arena, but yeah... boundaries and mission edits.
  9. Looks like there was a limit of 10 per day? Probably only became apparent now that there's a lot of liking going on. Let me know if it still happens?
  10. Right, but working from the idea that grinding itself doesn't diminish the item in a way that means you have to go and repair it, and if it did, it would be very uncommon. The current grind would diminish, but the maximum potential is set. Bit like slots rather than attempts available. I don't like the idea of grinding taking so long, and having to pump a load of grinders into a weapon just to 10/10 it, it's a bit ridiculous and the only challenge is having the patience. A lot of people have expressed annoyance with it, myself included :/ I'm a big fan of PSO's system, but having it apply here has various concerns. From the runs I've done, and from what people have been complaining about for the past 10 months, generally there seems to be a lack of anything or any obvious reward, either at all, or between the point of starting and getting the drop. They might not be getting absolutely nothing, but from a second glance they might not be getting all that much either. If anything, a little more loot overall wouldn't hurt, if not for visual stimulation, then for the sake of circulation. If drops were geared around the idea that people can hunt for what they want but still get items other people want, then they have a chance to go into circulation for the players that do want them. And unfortunately this brings up another point... Yet another thing I ended up stripping from my original post was that drops often get, or have gotten, balanced around "how many are in game" and "how many people are/were running it". Except the problem with that is, there can be thousands upon thousands of a given material for instance, but the majority of them are on players who don't play, or don't intend to sell them, making them basically nonexistent to circulation. This leaves players who need that material with no other option than to hunt it, most likely solo, because everyone else is hunting some other item. They will likely never find it with relative ease because it was rated around the idea that there's 5,000 in game, when really only 20 are in circulation for insane prices, and someone with Meseta is buying and flipping them for more. It can be made worse by the fact that you can only find some of these items in certain missions, and other items in other missions. In the case of Shijin, I think it was more a violation of nostalgia, and compensating for a problem that was earlier introduced by making the board overly rare. If people want the very best it's ever going to be, say 50%, then sure they can keep hunting. But anything like 30% can go on the market, the same with any damaged weapons people don't want. They're there if people want to buy and repair them, of course. It's the same reason people argued that broken weapons make the market healthy. A 30% 0/5 is going to sell for a lot less than a 40~50% 10/10, because it needs time and effort, but it's a measurable time and effort instead of RNG. I.E, I'm going to get my 40~50% 10/10 in X amount of runs or less VS I'm going to get a 40~50% drop eventually, right? ...right? I wouldn't call it a tax so much as it's the GC you get for running regardless and recycling fodder drops. One way or another, you're getting a measurable reward, and you can say "If I run for one hour, I will at least get..." instead of "If I run for one hour, I might get..." For the market, it's the same concept as buying used junk off of Ebay, repairing it, and then flipping it for a profit. Generally, regardless of how it goes, the people that have time and resources will always fair better off, but for players that can't play for more than 1 or 2 hours a day, then they're still getting GC as a measurable reward for effort, which they can put toward their equipment if they ever feel like they're behind, or just simply want flip the market for a profit, and catch up. At the end of the day, it comes down to options. When the only option is to run the same mission an unhealthy amount of times, then I can't help but feel like something needs to change. I would argue that it's a healthier trade off, simply because it turns "X item in maybe X time" into "X item in X time or less" Well, that's my reasoning behind it anyway, sorry I'm like a broken record. Admittedly a little typed out the last few days lmao. I just think it adds a bit more depth to everything, but I can see the overall concerns, and I'll reconsider some solutions.
  11. I'm not trying to make the entire game baby smooth, I think I'm just bad at explaining it. Specifically the entrance for new players is particularly rough right now, even for players that know how to play the game ahead of time. I mean, a lot was pointlessly removed from the early game because of this fear it was "too easy". There's no starting Meseta, there was initially no starting Scape Doll, your equipment sells for 1 Meseta, and the income is massively undershot, while the prices overshot. There's a lack of interaction, a lack of equipment, a lack of Meseta income, just the whole thing is bland and isn't rewarding at all. The early game seems to be Vanilla, while the late game seems to be a nerfed AOTI, and it's a weird progression. Inviting players in shouldn't give them the hardest task right from Level 1. New players should be able to learn the game first, the game should equip the player with the tools they need, and then present challenging content in the form of difficulty changes, or what have you. I've no problem with there being a difficulty jump when the mission difficulty goes up, I don't have any intention of trying to smooth that, it should exist. It's a good feeling when you start getting better and you can feel the difficulty becoming easier through your own hard work. But at the same time, when you get to B rank and the game has failed to equip you for the challenge, or even hinted at a possible way to become equipped, then I believe there's a problem. When I say "smooth", I don't mean removing all challenge or difficulties presented such that it becomes a straight line, I mean the entrance to the game specifically. The idea is to welcome new players and equip them, and say "This is how you get equipment, these are your options, and this is how you can learn". Essentially, you wouldn't take someone who's never driven before to a drift track and say "Go on then. If you scratch it, you buy it. Gear stick? figure it out lmao". Of course most of them will get out and go home lol it's not a good learning model. New player retention is equally, if not more important, than old player retention. This is true for virtually any game. If more people go out than new people come in then we have what we have now, but inevitably, old players will always leave regardless of how good things are. That being said, I am on the side of casual players. That's not to say the things you're enjoying need to change, again, they're not the issues. I'm just worried about the initial starting curve for new players! I hope that makes more sense c:
  12. Depending on how it all balances out, the solo modifier might have to be dumped or have less of a reduction. The combat progression with 75% as it currently had made solo really smooth and fun, but if the stats go back to how they originally were then it will need to be readjusted accordingly! My soul burns in a way I've never felt before.
  13. So you can only post or DM when you're in incognito mode? I haven't had anyone else complain to me about issues like this, but if clearing your cookies and whatnot doesn't help... er, let me know, I guess? Although I'm not sure why that would be. Does it give you any kind of error when you try to do these things?
  14. Thanks everyone for giving your feedback so far. I am reading through all of it and I've made some changes to my original post based on some valid points people have raised, and the fact that you've reminded me of some other very cool changes Clem has made in the past. I wasn't able to get to everyone, so sorry about that. Forum ended up trashing my last post, so meh. Energy. This is my main concern. I don't want to boost players up to 100 in like 2 hours. I think it should take a reasonable amount of time, but it should still be fun. However, I do want the beginning to be enjoyable, particularly for new players coming in. Part of what makes it not fun is the fact that you don't feel like you progress at all, whether it's leveling or just equipment. This is one of the points I ended up stripping out of my original post. Rate Manipulation is something I often bring up or touch on, a lot of games do this behind the players back with the goal being to ensure they don't get stricken with bad luck for too long. However, the illusion kind of falls apart once you realize it's happening, and for the most part every time I bring up such a mechanic, it quickly gets put to bed. I'm still an avid believer of rate manipulation, but whether it will happen or not isn't decided yet. Another form of Rate Manipulation is that the item has a near 100% drop rate for every box break that is equal to it's actual intended rate. If an item was rated at 100/100,000 then it would have a near 100% chance to drop every 1,000 box breaks. This may be a minor misunderstanding. The idea of raid missions are there for the people that want to do them, rather than being forced onto people. It's something you would prepare for and group up to do, with the return being actual rewards. IC was supposed to have a Master Mode where the difficulty resided, but sadly it got pushed into S2 where it just wasn't fun. It was supposed to be high reward, but for some reason wasn't, even after the Tickets got introduced. Personally not a fan of forcing difficult content on people, but I do like the idea of a lengthy mission for people that want to do it. Thanks, you reminded me of another funny change, and ties more into my gripe with Half Guard. Because of that, I've changed my original post to exchange Half Guard for returning the original stats. I would rather make difficult content for the players that want it, than to make the original content difficult and then add more difficult content on top. This is something we're considering with the whole Item Ticket thing, where you could exchange them for useful equipment, just not the latest equipment or BiS. I don't mind the idea of a global AMP system, but there's no real way to track this over all missions. If the GC Shop could somehow be restored then it might be possible to have GC be used for purchasing those items. Right now the only real currency is Meseta, and whatever exchange mission that can be fluffed for item exchange. Something that I do want to avoid is having there be level 100's that don't know how to heal or use a Moon Atomizer. Generally speaking, my concern is only with the early game, say 1-50, but as others have pointed out there is still also the problem of players that are a few levels under the cap and can't join anyone else still. I suppose the best approach for something like this, if it's to happen, would to just allow players to enter a tier higher or so, or to fluff their level so they can enter 1 tier higher. Although, if it was to be fully open and we take a level 1 into S2, I think the Experience and MP should have a ceiling to at least limit how fast they get to 50, and avoid rare mission power levelling. I would go down the route of a levelling mission for newbies, but it feels a little too TTF for me. Maybe something up to B or A, but I also don't want to spoil players so hard that they notice the drop in progress. It absolutely should be a smooth experience getting into the game, and catching up. Levelling speed isn't a major issue so much as it's just boring. There's no real sense of progression. This is already somewhat a problem with PA levelling, at least on Ranger. Every time I tested levelling as a Ranger, my bullet always levelled so fast that my starting rifle and pistol couldn't keep up, PP wise. I'm not entirely sure what the remedy for this is, but Supplementary Drops has definitely helped to equip me, and give me options while my weapons recharge. The Title rewards are most likely going to be dumped, mostly because the Supplementary Drops solved the issue of getting equipped. Admittedly my gripe with making new players rely on the crafting system is that it kind of isn't fun, and there's nothing in the game to teach you how or why. The introduction of crafting should be optional from start to finish, but I think it's one of those things I'd rather introduce later, rather than overwhelming the player immediately. On the flip side, if it was to be options alongside simply finding loot, then I wouldn't mind. If I got my friends to play, I could at least tell them "Buy these things and go make this, it'll help you a lot", and it's all good. When it's required to progress though... eh. Get's into forced playstyle territory, which I'm against. There's a certain pleasure to be gained from finding items and equipment that are a bit better than your current gear, at least early on. Nope. Only player to enemy is affected! The general consensus seems to be that weapon breaking is still bad, even if it's become a lot less common, or is repairable. Because of that, Attribute Grinders wouldn't get removed if it failed to grind. If they're rare enough, simply losing it to the failure would be harsh enough, I suppose. If breaking remains, then they will likely be 100% success, and will either not remove on failure, or will get removed at random. My examples might not have been the best, but for various stat enhancements toward your character, people might opt for ATA, CHR, or Status Effect override. etc. As for damage creeping, to be honest I don't think the overall difference between a 10/10 and 15/15 even with a stack full of ATP grinders should introduce enough of a difference that 10/10's become useless. It should only be enough for the weapon to feel nice, even if the boost in damage is small. As for balancing S4 around Protos, this is another one of the points I ended up stripping from my original post. Having things be balanced around the spreadsheet numbers instead of overall feeling is a trap that things keep falling into. Balancing around this idea that players might do something is largely why IC ended up being awful for a lot of players, and it's something I think should be avoided. I want the team to strongly consider how something might feel, instead of the number on the screen. Feel is important, it's what makes things fun and fluid. I would be disappointed if things were balanced around the idea that players might have a maxed weapon. This is something that is entirely possible, but it gets somewhat strange when the difficult content doesn't have an easy mode. If there's a mission that has a hard and easy mode, but they both give the same reward, then it's kind of pointless. On the flip side, if the hard mode version rewards more, then people start complaining that it's unfair and shouldn't punish the player. That being said, I would rather the current content wasn't made difficult, and instead we made missions geared toward players that enjoy the challenge without forcing it onto everyone. This is essentially the purpose of items dropping with lower percentages, and 0/8 instead of 0/10. There's not enough room to make duplicates of sought after items either. The item depth is already there, it just needs to be used. When items are geared toward the idea that it will always be the best version of itself, then we start getting ridiculous drop rates because it might be too strong, so it should be hard to get. Except most players that want to go casual and easy would settle for a lower percent and lesser grind, with the trade off being that you can work toward the better version at a measurable and guaranteed pace. Essentially it's this: Common: 499 Runs, Nothing at all Rare: 500 Runs, 1x 40~50% Maybe VS this: Common: 200 Runs, 20% 0/5 Uncommon: 300 Runs, 30% 0/8 Rare: 500 Runs, 50% 0/10 All the while, you're gaining GC for running the mission. --- I know people hate the idea of weapons breaking, and the general consensus seems to be that it shouldn't ever return. I don't have a solid answer on it yet, but it may be possible to turn the Repair Grind option into a Prototype option, giving players the ability to turn a weapon into a Prototype for GC. However I'm still curious on why people dislike the idea of weapons dropping at 0/8. Most of the answers just seem to be "no", without any reasoning. The idea behind it is that the GC you get running the mission and hunting the item can go into fixing it at The Upgrade Device, if you want. In turn, the item you want becomes more common with the exchange being that you put time into something else, instead of the same mission all week. If you don't plan on using the weapon then you can sell it on the market, or fodder exchange it for GC to put toward things you do want. I know it's probably underwhelming to get the item you want and it's gimped by something like that, but at the same time, is it really that much worse than getting nothing at all for 500 runs? If you were going to get your item on run 500 regardless, then is there any real downside to getting a lesser, but repairable version on run 100, 200, 300, and 400? My fear is that people may have misunderstood the purpose of it, that's all. But if people are really against it, then I'll reconsider it for sure! Thanks to everyone for taking the time to give feedback. I am reading it all, and I'll try to keep everyone's concerns in mind. With ATA, Mission Level Req, and anything that hurts the overall feel, I understand and will tread carefully.
  15. So, I’m not really sure how to get into this, or how to really open, but I suppose I oughta touch on a couple of things before we get rolling. Firstly, this post is going to be quite large and I want to make sure that I detail as much as possible. I did end up trimming out a lot of the bulk and pointless junk to get it down to a reasonable size, but while I understand that it may take a fair bit of time for everyone to read, I would appreciate it greatly if you could take the time, when it’s convenient of course. It’s important because this marks potentially a rather sharp turning point for Clementine as a whole, and I can only really take people's silence as either not caring, or happy enough to not complain. If you do care about Clementine, or just PSU in general, then this may be for you. Secondly, most of this is just on paper right now. While GAS is in the works and some other things have been implemented and tested, a lot of it is held off with the concern that, well, maybe this isn’t what anyone wanted after all and maybe I am wrong. I don’t want to waste my time doing all of this if people are going to hate it regardless, so we’ll see. This is mostly just a discussion, with the majority of content in this post not even being started, only considered and experimented with. Thirdly, I realize that there’s a lot here that most people probably don’t care for, and that’s fine. I’ll be marking sections out, so you’re welcome to comment on anything that takes your interest or concern. However, because a lot of the system and ideas detailed in this post tend to cross at some point or another, there was no definitive way to write this so it would be clean, unfortunately. I hate to say it, but there are parts you may need to re-read again, when it's convenient for you. Specifically, the sections pertaining to Prototypes, Grinding, and Drops. Read it top to bottom a couple of times, it will hopefully make more sense on the 2nd pass. For everyone that can't be bothered, I suppose you could just skim through the questions in the poll, but you will be missing out on important context and reasoning. I appreciate everyone's input and feed back, but just keep that in mind. Thanks, let's go... --------------------------------------------------------------- The Original Plan --------------------------------------------------------------- The original plan for Clementine when it launched was to give you the game, at least what was finished of it. There was to be a short period where the level cap sat comfortably at 50 or 60 to ensure that everything was ok and that there were no major errors. At worst it would only be the early game that I would have to compensate for in the event of a disaster. After the initial 2-4 week period we were supposed to make hasty progress toward 180. That's what I wanted, but I guess we crawled. All of the content is being dripped out like it’s new and amazing and wow, like we spent weeks making it all. I ask myself quite often, what’s honestly the point of me saying that Clementine will provide all of the working and implemented content, when half of it is withheld? It wasn’t exactly my intention, but I’m sorry, I guess. I was told that it would be possible to get the drops done in time, but in reality it turned out to be a lot more time and effort to get these level cap updates out. I don’t fault anyone, it’s a lot of work, and there’s more to life than PSU. If I’d known ahead of time that it would flow like this then things would have been very different. The energy and time spent over the past 10 months was supposed to be spent on custom content, custom events, everything we can do after 180 to add more to the game and to finish unimplemented features. After all, Clementine isn’t “finished” per se, it’s just in a state where I no longer have to wipe your data to continue. --------------------------------------------------------------- So what’s the idea? --------------------------------------------------------------- I’ve been thinking a lot about what should probably happen, and what I’d like to happen. Around the time IC came out I started to get more serious about it and the odd bit of experimenting began. With everyone's help, we’ve been testing and experimenting to provide a major course correction for Clementine, and below is where we currently stand. Please keep in mind, these changes are actually being tested. A lot. All of these proposals come from the fact that we’ve put in the time to experience the problems, and the time to test every applicable solution. Extended (aka “Operation Unfuck”, aka "OUF") I would like to tell you about "Extended", aka "Operation Unfuck". It is in effect a combination of implemented game features, both new and old; fixes, adjustments and general changes. Think of it as a set of expansion packs. Expansion packs, because I genuinely don't believe that rolling out small fixes here and there will hit the same way as much larger updates. Its whole purpose is to boot Clementine into a state that I had originally intended 10 months ago, and as it should have been today. At least, as close as I can get it to the state I intended anyway. Keeping in mind that there are now changes I can’t even begin to combat anymore. Clementine is approaching its 1 year anniversary, and in all seriousness, if I’m not enjoying Clementine myself, if I’m not happy with what I have to work on, then what’s the point of me being here? There are a million other things that I could be doing. I stay, because I want Clementine to be better, but I find it crazy that after almost a year, it feels like we've gone nowhere. Anyway, this post should outline the general idea anyway, so. Let’s dive in, I guess. --------------------------------------------------------------- Character Progression --------------------------------------------------------------- Whether it’s Solo or Party, PSU is super sluggish. I mean really, there’s a lot to improve on here and make the game feel nicer. While I’m always on the fence about change, remember: Adding and improving is fine, removal is often not. Starting a new character is really awful. Even with the additional experience boost that new characters get, it is bland and not at all interesting. Hell it isn’t even rewarding. It’s bad for a lot of reasons, and they’re all different problems that… I mean yeah, they can be solved, but fear, opposing opinion and nostalgia are fierce traps right now. Experience and Progression Experience requirements and MP requirements were something that got heavily stomped on at launch, and while I did move to get that resolved as best I could, it still sucks. It sucked then and it sucks now. Even with the additional experience new players get, it isn’t enough to make the early game feel even remotely fun. Getting into the game is arguably the hardest part, and it’s like a test. It isn’t inviting at all, and it’s incredibly backwards in some regards. With the changes suggested below, playing and getting into PSU has honestly become a much more pleasant experience. I actually had fun, can you believe it? The Level Cap will go to 180, or Level Cap updates will drop as full difficulty tiers. Because all of the content is there and it doesn't need to be dripped out quite so sparingly. This is also healthier in terms of Maintenance. Once in a while is fine, once a week was killing me. The Experience boost for new characters would be raised between 100-200%. I don’t particularly think that there’s any major issue with the level progression speed, except very early on. Maybe after level 50-80, the speed we have isn’t awful, but starting a new character shouldn’t be more challenging than starting a successful YouTube channel. This would most likely have an upper limit where the boost ends, instead of it being Max Level minus 15. Possibly 80? I don't want people to be carried to cap, but I do want the early game to be smooth. Also, before you panic and scream like most people do when they see numbers, it’s actually not as bad as you might think. Having run the early game a considerable amount of times, even 300% is still abysmally slow, and it still takes multiple hours to hit level 30. It will take many many more to hit 100. B rank Enemies would reward more Experience than C Rank. One of the issues right now going from C to B is that the reward in experience is too diminished to be worth the hassle. You actually level faster fighting C rank enemies initially. Alternatively, C rank enemies just won’t give so much experience, and the curve can pick up the slack. Removal of the enemy tagging requirement for experience, with the intention of improving party play. Because it’s not 2006 anymore, no matter how much you wish it was. The MP Requirement for base types would be significantly reduced. Alternatively, they won’t be required at all for changing to an Expert Type, or you would just start as an Expert Type, unless it can be made enjoyable otherwise. Increased MP Payout by 50%. Because by the time you get to B rank, you might as well be level 1 again. Admittedly depends on the whole Basic Type changes, since switching is the main issue here. To escape the slug, we must confront the slug Dying would no longer lower the mission's clear ranking. Because having to restart the entire mission just to get your rewards… funny. Missing enemies and other conditions would still hurt your clear ranking. Admittedly I was never big on the idea of making death completely fucking pointless in PSU, but for the player experience, I can understand. Limit Break hitboxes would be enabled by default without the requirement of Type Level. The alternative is to remove MST from bosses in C and B rank difficulties. This one is important because it massively improves boss fighting for Force players, especially in Solo. Equipment Title Rewards for reaching a certain level milestone. These would reward the player with basic equipment to help bridge the gap between equipment and level until the player is ready to go and hunt for actual loot. The down side to this is that it may harm the early game market, but if Meseta is coming in from other sources for new players then it might not be a major issue. Adjusting the enemy HP party modifier nonsense. This is one of the many things that I face resistance with, but it violates the entire game as a whole the second someone joins or leaves the party. It completely changes the way the game feels, as well as your muscle memory. It just doesn’t feel good at all. The Enemy HP most likely would be reduced to 75% for solo play, and 100% for 2 to 6 member play. Increased Velocity of attacks. This one is actually already out for you, but specifically, straight shooting bullets and line techs. There’s no real downside to having your Bullet or Technic travel faster. It just feels nice. Junk all of the clothing exchanges and just put the clothing in the clothing shop. Still don’t understand this one. These exchange missions are never going to work correctly. I know it’s meant to be like… working toward something? But the fact that there’s an entire system there to let you try before you buy, and we’re not using it... please. Area chat can be area-wide. Not to be confused with global chat. This essentially means if you’re on the 4th Floor then everyone else on the 4th Floor can talk to each other without having to huddle up. Increase the probability of rare missions. The probability of rare missions is something that was mostly unknown, but the current system isn’t particularly bad, it could just use some adjustments. The down side to this of course is that 1 = 6, but only sometimes. Increase the probability of rare enemies. Rare enemies are something we do have some information on. On most AOTI and EOL missions, the rare enemy chance was 10%, opposed to the 1% it was on Vanilla. Judging by how pointless rare enemies are, there’s no real reason it can’t just be 10%, or higher if we keep the abandonment check. Another mild attempt at Partner NPC's I hate them, but y'know. If I can get them working at least for solo then it would be helpful, no doubt. Restricted Lobby access really isn’t helping anything Obviously PSU is a game that was designed around the whole idea that there would be crowds of people, hence the excessively fragmented lobby system that fucks us all over. There are multiple solutions to this problem, but for reasons I’ll never understand, none of them seem acceptable. I get that exploring and unlocking lobbies is like, yeeeeah cool, I’m “making progress”, but that whole mechanic becomes completely pointless once you either unlock them all, or introduce taxiing. At best it makes it more difficult for new players to get to the lobbies that people are in. If people want to explore, just let them explore via the flight NPC. If they want to explore missions, it literally couldn’t help them more by letting them get to those missions. However, this is another of the many things that I face resistance with. Of course we can argue that it forces people to “explore” or “talk to people” for a taxi, but I sincerely doubt anyone getting a taxi is going to make a new friend any faster than just getting to the lobby with people in. Having them be unlocked doesn't harm anything. At the very very least, have all of the City areas unlocked by default. My prices are too strong for you, traveler. Well you know how this one goes. It’s particularly bad as a new player to actually get equipped. The fact that you get the lowest tier of items from enemies starting out, y’know, junk that you actually start with, it’s not helping. Picture it: I’m level 15. I have the saber I started with, a pistol with no PP ‘cause my bullet levelled at the speed of light and my weapon can’t keep up, a wand I can’t use but forgot to sell, and the game’s gonna be like “Hey rookie, go tell that dragon why it can’t be playin in this field no more. I’ll give you a photon if you do.” Thaaaat’s whhhhyyy.... Supplementary Drops! Ta-da~ Because of the pain myself and many others have experienced, we’ve experimented with a new drop system that we ended up calling “Supplementary Drops”. Originally made to be “Planet Drops”, Supplementary Drops are part of the Enemy Drops category, and they have one purpose and one purpose alone: To equip you early on, and to help you fly. Not literally. It doesn’t matter what mission you do or what enemy you fight, they’re global, and it provides items that you can commonly find in NPC stores around that level. Weapons, Shields, and Units. At best you will find items that you can use and that will give you small boosts in equipment and performance from time to time. At worst it gives you Meseta so you can actually buy things you want, instead of trying to explain to the NPC why you can’t even afford a Meseta Card, let alone the overpriced weapon. That’s about it. Actual drops are still something to address. Fix the item prices Simple enough. At least on paper LOOOOL. Most prices are done by a formula, so adjusting individual items is more difficult than it needed to be, but whatever. I’d like to see the NPC item shop prices come down a touch. We can see how Meseta income fares after some time spent with Supplementary Drops. If it’s still too difficult to buy basic equipment then we’ll make more moves. Relaxing the mission level requirement I’m really on the fence about this one because it stomps right into the removal category, but with the intention of improving. While this is a mechanic that exists in other Phantasy Stars as well, one could argue that it’s a bigger issue for PSU because: There isn’t a centralized lobby, meaning you don’t get to see many people even if you can’t play with them. Unless you want to count “go to a hotspot that’s locked by default” as “seeing people”. You can’t catch up quite as quickly, and starting again isn’t exactly welcoming for older players, either. Going back to the experience boost for new characters, I know people will likely panic at this one as well. Screw power levelling! Except, again, it’s not as bad as you may think. The only situation that this is bad in is rare missions, which can be addressed. Even starting out at level 1 and having someone bring me into an S or S2 mission, I still level up slow enough that it’s not even concerning. A big problem with playing PSU in general is that it’s very difficult to actually play with people when you start out. You have to play an entire game of catch up before you can begin to play with anyone, and all the while people are moving away from you as they also level. Not to mention that half of the missions are simply boring to solo, and they’re not even rewarding. Remember when games had beginner training areas and you couldn’t wait to get out of it, but it just dragged on and on? That’s what starting fresh on Clementine is like right now. Work your ass off and prove that you want to play, before you can begin to play the game. Fun. Granted, this isn’t a major issue if you have low level friends to play with, but at the same time, it doesn’t exactly encourage anyone to invite their friends in either. In order to help them out you essentially have to start again, or slog through mundane C rank missions that don’t benefit you at all while experience gets dripped onto your friend. If you could bring them into your mission and help them to actually get caught up, and not just to level 10, it would be a lot more welcoming. Hours of play at best boosts me up to A rank tops, and even that’s a stretch. Quite rapidly I get to a point where levels start coming in slowly and I have to start pulling my weight, which I can do because all of the junk that dropped gave me just enough to buy some gear from the player market and go flat broke. The point is that I get to play. Not to mention that it also provides a fun challenge. It was actually fun going into a mission that was above me and actually being able to do it. Sure I cheesed it and it took a while to kill enemies, but it actually felt good. It was fun, and it didn’t rocket me into level 100 in 5 minutes. There are downsides to this though, of course. I can see it becoming quite annoying for players having random low levels join their mission. Obviously you can kick them, but it’s going to be annoying for both sides. To remedy this problem, I would probably lean heavily on the idea that low level players can only join high difficulty missions if they are explicitly invited by the party leader beforehand. This way, you can invite your friends in and help them get situated without the worry of keeping unwanted company out of your party. There may be runaway situations with EXP and MP, especially with Rare Missions. To remedy this one, we could implement some kind of EXP and MP limiting on extremely low level characters in high ranking missions. It would still be faster than dragging them through C and B, but it won’t get them to Level 50 in 10 minutes, kind of deal. Alternatively we can just not allow low levels into rare missions unless they pass the entry requirement. We’ll see. A funny mechanic called Attack Accuracy You missed. I don’t care that the attack landed and made an audible smack. You missed, because a funny number generator said you missed. It makes me laugh every time with its funny 0's. Also I'm lying. Hitting 0 is bullshit, in my humble opinion. Yeah I know that the enemy is supposed to guard against the attack, but even if they did it’s still lame. The idea that you can put a bullet in an enemy and it just bounces off them like they’re Captain Scarlet is nutty. The worry was that we didn’t want to make accuracy useless by removing the whole “hitting 0” thing, so something that we ended up toying with was to incorporate the idea of attack accuracy into the damage variation. In effect, you wouldn’t “miss” unless you legitimately missed, because we all know you can’t aim. Instead you just hit more accurate numbers. If you have 100% accuracy, then the only variance in damage comes from your weapon. This only really affects you if you have bad accuracy, like 50% or less, because you have the potential to do 50% less damage as opposed to no damage. Note* This only really applies to Player->Enemy interactions. You can still dodge enemies. It makes combat feel nicer, I promise. Very helpful NPCs that hold nothing but the knowledge Normally I would be fine with the idea of a tutorial mission, or even the old one that doesn’t work because of NPC's and missing data, ahaha. I hate the idea of forced hand holding or anything that takes control away for too long. The PSU tutorial was really annoying and you couldn’t get out of it because the NPC wouldn’t shut up for 5 minutes. What I’d like instead, is to just have NPC’s around the cities and whatever. Just regular roaming NPCs that you can talk to, if you want. We can have: 2nd floor friend tell you about some of the shops around. Person outside of grinding tell you about grinding. 4th floor friend tell you about the counters and planets. And pretty much anything else you can think of that might help guide unfamiliar players. Meseta Sink Something that does need to be addressed eventually is the lack of any real Meseta sink, and I can only really come up with a handful of solutions, considering what is actually possible. Have a community Donations NPC where everyone can work toward a goal. Once a predetermined sum of Meseta has been reached, there can be server-wide rewards for all players. EXP+, MP+, Meseta+, PA+, Rare Mission+, etc. Have a way to convert Meseta to GC in some way, and potentially find a way to add back the GC Shop We could sell useful equipment that isn't BiS, but good enough to help players that may be struggling due to bad luck. Guardians Quest System I mean, this one is fairly straightforward. I know that they got cut down significantly already, but I still think I’d like to see them become based around the idea that you just get rewarded for playing. At least Daily Quests. If it’s a daily chore, then I think it should stay within the bounds of, say, Clear 5 missions, Break 50 Boxes, Kill 100 Enemies. Just simple shit that you do without having to go out of your way to accomplish. Weekly quests, I don’t particularly have a big issue with them being something specific. Go and kill De Ragan, Go and kill whatever enemy. But I also think that Weekly quests should steer clear of being a chore. I’d mentioned this in another post a while back, but Weekly quests shouldn’t be a week long chore, it should be something you finish and then you get the rest of the week off. Like cleaning your house, you don’t do it all day every day, you just do it once or twice a week and then it’s done and you feel good. --------------------------------------------------------------- Advanced... Stuff --------------------------------------------------------------- Guardians Cash might actually become a reality after all, y’know? Only it would be free, of course. The inclusion of Guardians services is a major milestone for Clementine because it incorporates a lot of added progression as well as solutions to problems we have. Of course we still need to come to some general agreement on how to obtain things like AP and GC, but at the very least I know it will be free and obtainable through playing. Guardians Advanced Style Where do I even start with this one? The GAS system is utter garbage and it’s so obviously outsourced. It doesn’t follow AAAANY of the rules set by the rest of the game. Getting it to work this far has been the most stress I’ve gotten from Clementine in a while, and in general it just scares me with the amount of conditional shit going on. Of course it isn’t finished yet, but as it currently stands I can level up abilities, remove abilities, and all of the Basic and Special abilities are working. The weapon abilities and attribute abilities aren’t in yet, nor are styles, and I need to implement saving and loading. The plan is to have it working and implemented properly of course, at least to a reasonable extent. Obviously if I can’t tell the client certain things then we’ll have the usual hodgepodge and workarounds, or it just won't exist. I do foresee changes though, and I’m not totally sure how I feel about it right now. Whether it’s the group opinion that some abilities are “too strong”, or the condensing of abilities into one package, I would prefer to keep things as close to the original intended system as possible. As it stands, the current abilities I’m to implement are as follows: Limits (Basic, special, weapon, attribute): Human Basic: 20 Special: 11 Weapon: 25 Attribute: 20 Newman Basic: 15 Special: 9 Weapon: 20 Attribute: 15 Cast Basic: 15 Special: 9 Weapon: 20 Attribute: 15 Beast Basic: 15 Special: 9 Weapon: 20 Attribute: 15 Basic abilities (max level in parentheses): Maximum HP+ (5) Strength+ (5) Accuracy+ (5) TECHNIC+ (5) Defense+ (5) Evasion+ (5) Mental+ (5) Stamina+ (5) Special Abilities (max level in parentheses): Full Custom Power (2) Exact Attack Damage+ (2) Exact Counter Damage+ (2) Attack Range+ (2) Support Range+ (2) Critical Rate (2) Critical Mastery (2) First Strike (2) Sluggish (1) Old Fashioned (1) Weapon skills (max level in parentheses): Two Handed Mastery (10) One Handed Mastery (10) [WEAPON] PA Level + (5) [WEAPON] Damage + (5) [WEAPON] Element+ (5) [WEAPON] Critical+ (5) [WEAPON] Extra+ (1) [WEAPON] PA Master (3) [WEAPON] Bullet Master (3) Attributes / resistance (max level in parentheses): LB Line TECHNICs (3) LB Single TECHNICs (3) LB Ra TECHNICs (3) LB Gi TECHNICs (3) LB Dam TECHNICs (3) LB Nos TECHNICs (3) [ELEMENT] TECHNIC Level+ (5) [ELEMENT] TECHNIC Master (3) [STATUS] Resist+ (3) [STATUS] Rate+ (3) [STATUS] Power+ (3) Weapon Style (only 1): [ELEMENT] Burst (3) Enhanced C Weapon (2) Enhanced B Weapon (2) Enhanced A Weapon (2) Status Crusher (2) Lucky Striker (2) Finishing Blow (2) Power Drain (1) Giant Slayer (3) Hybrid Warrior (2) Revenge Blaster (2) Shield Style (only 1): Reduce [ELEMENT] (3) Rapid Action (2) Ragan’s Breath (3) Protection (3) Multiple Parry (2) Berserk Stance (1) Aegis Sword (1) Aegis Guard (1) Extra Style (only 1): Competent Trapper (2) Competent Pharmacist (2) Double Time (1) Wild Blast (1) SUV Lover (1) Trusty Partner (2) Vampire Strike (1) Avenge (1) Regenerate (2) Did I mention that I hate b u l l e t p o i n t s? The Upgrade Device I haven’t started on this one yet, but Jakoo has done enough research into it that it should be possible to recover this one alongside GAS. For anyone unfamiliar, The Upgrade Device is another service that is used to manage and maintain your weapons in exchange for GC. This service included: Increasing Current Grind (Max 8) Repairing Maximum Grind (Could potentially be reworked into a "Prototype weapon" feature. I.E turn your weapon into one) Removing Element Changing Element Adding Element Increasing Element Percent (Max 40, perhaps) In general I doubt there’s much freedom with this one. It doesn’t seem possible to add or disable any of the features, which means we generally have to work with it. Since it changes the way weapons are managed, we may end up having to address some things. Low element percent drops don’t really warrant being trashed anymore, broken weapons can be repaired, and getting the wrong element is no longer a big deal. Admittedly this does worry me. Not because it’ll become “too easy”, but because I’m afraid drop rates will get the machete even more, based on the idea that you only need to get the item a handful of times at best. For more information on The Upgrade Device, please see: http://re-psupedia.info/The_Upgrade_Device Weapon Potential. Grinding and Prototypes! Aaaahahaaa hahaaaaaa. Fucks sake. Well, I’m not going to be making any decisions right now, but obviously with the inclusion of The Upgrade Device, we’re going to be opening some doors. Grinding is a hot topic, without a doubt it’s something people can’t seem to ever agree on. Like obviously, yeah, there are people that want it to be left alone, and there are people that want the breaking to be removed (free repairs, if you will). Either way, someone’s getting a little too salty at grinding, and I don’t believe it’s a system that’s ever meant to induce such an unpleasant mood. I can understand why people put a lot of worth into grinding, and I can understand how others don’t. I can understand why someone might not want to waste time with it, either. If I’m being honest, I fear that the ideas of Grinding weapons in PSU are stuck inside of a box, like Grinding can only ever be one thing or the other. Either it breaks, or it doesn’t. Sure, with The Upgrade Device you can repair it, but it’s just an extra step between Grinding and Getting a 10/10. Sometimes people come up with ideas to try and improve Grinding, and a lot of the time they’re not very workable ideas. Mostly because, well, this is PSU, and PSU isn’t a flexible game; It’s difficult for people to know what is and isn’t possible. Take the Prototype System for example. The only workable property was the incredibly limited item name, which is why Prototypes were named the way that they were. The Prototype system is something people seemed to enjoy, but there also ended up being a lot of confusion around them. The name isn’t easy to grasp, a lot of people get confused by them when they drop, and they don’t show up easily on the player market. But Marmalade, why don’t you just use the description window to show the attribute? Well, I can’t. Because of how the client handles item descriptions, it would be applied to all versions of that item regardless of whether it’s a Prototype, different Prototypes, or just basic. I know, I know, DA is bae, but I didn’t particularly plan on there being any variety either. The concept behind Prototypes was to simply make them all the same. Your weapon was either a Prototype, or it wasn’t. There was no DA, NV, AMP, EE, or whatever--it was just a status weapon to add rarity to items that were supposed to become a little more common. My biggest worry with Clementine and obtaining equipment is that we’re very slowly creeping towards the loss of rarity. Rarity is a Sin. 50+ runs is a Sin. Bad RNG is a Sin. Some items are allowed to be rare, and sometimes you can’t have the latest and greatest. Some items need to be rare, some items need to be hard to get. Prototypes were meant to be the rarity to the progressively common rare items. Here’s a really nutty idea for Grinding and Prototypes. When it comes to actual weapon rarity and signature, there’s honestly a lot more that can come about than the basic 10/10 and some random ability. Let’s say that Prototypes got cut back to what they were initially supposed to be--one thing. The naming convention and the 15 star rarity would be dumped, making the weapon easily identifiable. Instead of it being a minor boost to stats, it simply has the potential to 15/15 instead of 10/10. This also makes it identifiable on the market, because it’s information that you can actually see on the weapon stat window. I can also add in a filter similar to element, so you could search "Agito Repca Prototype", or "Agito Repca Proto", etc. Ok, so our Prototypes go to 15 instead of 10. Now let’s say alongside regular-ass Grinders we have the addition of Attribute Grinders. These are Grinders that could be ATP+, TP+, SE+, CHR+, and so on and so forth. Grinders like this would be uncommon and you would use them on 11-15 specifically. Their chances of success could be 100%, or they wouldn't break your weapon on failure. You would use them sparingly of course, but they would add an additional stat bonus and let you filter it on the player market. This opens up a few doors. Obviously this lets you customize your weapon(s) to what suits your needs and play style, instead of depending on the RNG of, say, a DA Prototype roll. But it also adds a layer of progression, it gives you control, and it adds rarity of varying degrees. It adds choice. It’s worth noting though that even though prototypes go to 15, the generic grinder bonus would have to stop at 10, because there are no stats beyond 10. We would either have to fluff something in, or it would be strictly for Attribute Grinders (regular Grinders would be a waste on 11-15). The bonus gained from Attribute Grinders would also be fairly small. Enough to make the weapon feel nice, but not enough that the gap between 10/10 and 15/15 is a problem The boundaries of this are limited for sure, but there’s a lot we can toy around with. You can easily have ATP+5, ATP+20, ATP+30. You could have grinders for PP recovery speed, attack range, even Status Effects. It’s literally GAS for your weapon, on your weapon, as opposed to your character. So, instead of this: AR-DA0103 You have this: Agito Repca 0/15 Alternatively if there's space in the item name then we can probably prepend a ★ symbol to the item name, like ★Agito Repca. The down side to this is that we have to disable Prototyping for items whose names are too long, or we need to manually shorten those names. But Marmalade, what about our existing Prototype weapons? Yeah, well, that's a tricky one. They would most likely get converted to 15 max, with the applicable stat bonus added on top in the form of grinds. If you had an Element Enhanced, then your weapon would turn into 5/15, with 5x Grinder ELE+1's attached. Alternatively they all just become 10/15. Thanks for listening to my crazy idea. Grinding Regardless of what actually ends up happening with Prototypes and the sort, it would be best to at least incorporate the weapon repairs via The Upgrade Device, whether it's to repair weapons, or in theory to prototype them. However, the main concern here is the time-to-reward ratio with Grinding. What I want to avoid is having players break their weapons going to 9 or 10, run to The Upgrade Device, repair it, run all the way back, and then break it again. That's not going to be any better than what we have now. There are a few ways that I could really think about doing this, but I want to say the best approach is this... Failing a grind could lose your current grind by some value, but not the entirety of it. Which is to say, if you fail a grind, you may lose 1~3 current grind, and a very small chance to lose 1 max grind potential. I would say that it should be okay to fail a grind and not necessarily always lose max grind potential. The idea here being that grinding overall becomes easier, but there's enough of an edge to keep the GC sink from time to time. On top of a system like that we can have weapons drop with less than 10 max grind potential, but no less than 8, which gives The Upgrade Device some use without putting it all on the idea of Grinding. It also means we can bolster drops for items and increase drop rates, because if an item has a chance to drop at 0/8 and has a chance to drop as 20~30%, then there's no reason for them to be quite as rare as they are. This is explained more in the Drops section below. Please read it, if you're interested, but the trade-off means that these weapons would drop a little more often, turning your time and attention toward efforts to repair it via The Upgrade Device, rather than pure RNG hunting, unless you want the 0/15 Prototype. This would at least make your efforts guaranteed, since you’ll most likely get AP and GC through a measurable effort, like the time you already put into the mission hunting the item. Essentially, it pays for itself. You could at least calculate how much work it’s going to be to get your weapon to where you want it to be otherwise, and figure out if it’s worth it. Add on top the idea of Attribute Grinders, and there's a lot to work towards with your weapon without leaning on RNG too much. The added bonus is that for people who genuinely don’t give a shit about having the latest and greatest, they would most likely settle for a 0/5 and be more happy with the look of the weapon rather than its performance. One thing I think I’m certain of though is that if players are going to spend a ridiculous amount of time doing anything to progress, I would rather they didn't spend it talking to the Grinder NPC. I'd Much rather be on the field hunting and playing, than snoozing my way through the slowest NPC in the world 500 times in a row. To summarize: Grinding has a low chance to reduce Max Grind potential to a limit of 0/8, to keep The Upgrade Device mildly Relevant. Grinding has a reasonable chance to reduce Current Grind by 1~3. --------------------------------------------------------------- Adding Fun and Challenge --------------------------------------------------------------- BUT MARMALADE, where’s challenge mode? Y’all said it was coming and then it never did kekw Challenge mode is something I still want to do, and I still have the plans and the intention to do it. The problems I have right now are this: Firstly, there’s a lot of mission stuff that still needs to be figured out. I would enjoy having a fair few puzzles in Challenge mode, but in order to make any fun puzzles we need to figure out as much with missions and customizing them as possible. IC was a big step toward doing custom missions, since it was the first custom scripted thing we did, but there still needs to be more. Secondly, I wanted there to be an isolated lobby for Challenge Mode, but the problem I face is that because it’s a custom map, there’s no way to enable PP Cubes or Universe Cubes, which means leaving the lobby is very difficult. The best approach that I could come up with was to have an NPC that forces an area change, which would force a universe change. The problem with forcing universe changes is that we kind of assume that the server is fit to take your request and move you. General Challenges As for a general challenge, I think it’s worth keeping in mind that sponge-ass enemies aren’t exactly challenging so much as they are frustrating. A fun challenge usually revolves around things like timed events, easter egg hunting, or puzzles to get the mind working. I know there are a lot of people that will scoff and go “lmao TA boring”, but y’know, to each their own. Anything that generally takes control away from the player isn’t and shouldn’t be considered “challenging”. Anything that depends on RNG isn’t necessarily challenging either. Overly punishing a player for failing a challenge is also a sure way to make that challenge not at all fun. I think what could be fun for the future is some long raid shadow legends style missions, with the main difficulty focused on the boss or mini boss instead of the whole mission. This isn't to say that all missions will be like this, they would be a planned group activity amongst players seeking higher rewards. We could also have some missions that revolves around keeping enemies away from something, like a poor man's tower defense. These aren't regular missions, but something to go to when you want challenging content. --------------------------------------------------------------- Missions --------------------------------------------------------------- There are a fair few missions in Clementine that need to be looked at, mostly because half of them are pieced together from various difficulties and game versions. A lot of Vanilla missions need to be addressed, and some JP missions need to be looked at. It would be nice to have some more variety in missions and rare missions. Maybe some that utilize uncommon areas, or ones that explore the unused parts of the PSO areas. Additionally, some different rare missions overall would be nice, and missions that make use of basic boobytraps and puzzles (I.E, 2 switches, 1 is trapped). Having a mission that sits along side Unsafe Passage that is more geared toward teaching players basic mechanics via message terminals would be nice. Things like switches, gates, keys, teleporters, and dark rooms, etc. It would eventually loop back to the G.Colony instead of dumping you in a dead end lobby. Extended Missions Extended missions are missions designed around some form of gimmick, puzzle, or attitude. They would use uncommon areas, event areas, or just plain cool areas. Their purpose is to give players an alternative to hunting certain drops where they might otherwise be boring or unpleasant to hunt. Bad “Timed Quest” smells To clarify: This isn't a timed quest system like Emergency Quests, I ended up wording this poorly. I know most people hate the idea of having missions available through a timed window, as much as it would help us with the whole gathering people into one spot concern. Not all that far off from the idea of Mission Spotlight, it may be an idea to have spot lit missions based around Contamination in PSU, where players can group up to do runs and get actual rewards. Something to break away from the boring grind of hunting, anyway. The idea behind spotlit missions is that they would rotate daily, either on the 4th floor, or around various lobbies in the game. With something like this we can reward players with various guaranteed rewards, like GC, AP, Boost Items, or even Item Tickets to exchange for goodies. It would be available all day, but with limited rewards after so many runs to prevent abuse. This lets you group with your friends to help them without locking you out because you already did it. Automated Seasonal Event Missions Because figuring out seasonal enemies never happened, we would like to make seasonal missions that automatically enable and disable depending on the active season. If the Valentine season was active, then there would be a mission available based around Valentines Day and Rappy Amure. The same for Easter, Halloween, etc. This wouldn’t interfere with actual events either. We can have bigger events during these seasonal events, and it wouldn’t hurt much. It’s just something else to do if you’re bored. --------------------------------------------------------------- Drops --------------------------------------------------------------- You may already know how I feel about this, assuming you read everything up until this point. Otherwise not a lot of this is going to make sense. Besides the usual “lol drop rates bad” complaints, I think there are other issues that desperately need to be addressed before the rates get tampered with. However, combining all of the time, work, effort and research I’ve put into improving the overall drop system, I can now safely say that I’ve done everything I can do to ensure that drops have the best possible potential to be good. Now it's really just a matter of how things get distributed, which leads me into... My concerns with loot My initial concern with loot is fairly simple. We can not have an individualistic drop system and still treat loot as if the party, and in turn the entire community, is one collective. Yes the loot may get rolled 6 times, and yes the runs might go faster with more people, but that’s the point, isn’t it? A 6-player party doesn’t mean that players get 6 dice. All that being in a party means is that players get to roll their dice just a little more frequently, but I worry that this gets lost somewhere along the way. There should be very little discrepancy between one player running a mission alone, and 60 individuals running the mission alone. This is why solo hunting stinks, and hunting in general is just unpleasant. People don’t complain just because. Ok, maybe some times, admittedly people would still complain even if the rates were the same as official, but the point is they complain because there’s an issue that keeps going ignored or unresearched. We can’t keep gearing items toward the idea that they will “come into circulation” either, like any one player in the community getting it will provide instant gratification for the rest of the player base. Like excess items collected will automatically work their way down into the poor man's pocket. Not only would people rather just find their item instead of buying it, but circulation just doesn’t exist, I don’t believe that it does. Even if it did, there isn't usually a good supply of Meseta to afford a lot of these things without taking a major hit. If you want to have loot be based around the idea that people always share what they find, whether they need it or not, then circulation needs to be cultivated. To cultivate it, you need to feed it. To feed it, you need to source loot. If you don’t source loot, then you don’t feed it, and it doesn’t circulate. But how do you source loot without ruining the market? Well, depending on what we define "ruining the market" as, it's pretty straight forward. Dilute every rare hot spot that exists with other items people want. If a mission has 1 item I do want, and 2 items others want, then chances are I'm going to find something to sell on the market that other people want. Exhausting the idea of “Rare” Don’t get me wrong, there should be rare items in PSU, that’s not a problem. There are allowed to be ridiculously rare items eventually, near the end game. But right now we’re at fake wish.com end game and it’s burning people out before they even get to the part where rare items are meant to exist. I've already somewhat touched on this, but there's consistently nothing between run 1 and run 500. Seemingly a lot of why players are fed up with hunting items is because of this, and it's a problem that a lot of games have remedied in recent years. I get that these items are strong and there are a lot of items that need to be rare, that's not a problem. Rare items can still be rare, but the idea of a rare item hurts a lot when there's next to nothing along the way. If we're to measure the best scenario, how would we? 50% all elements? The absolute very best it's ever going to be for the item. If it takes 300-500 runs to get 1 of these 6 elements, and it's 32% then... ok. Now the metric is set, it's going to take me another 300-500 runs probably, for a shot at another potentially worse item, or a duplicate of what I have. I can sell it, but I'll probably price it ridiculously high that no one can buy it, because it took a large chunk of my time, and time is valuable. Unintentionally, we've ended up burning people out on this idea of “rare items” so much that when it comes time to put in actual rare items, players are already finished and done with the idea. Of course there’s no real choice, those rare items still need to be rare, so the only real solution is to make rare hunting fun and worthwhile by addressing the nothingness in-between. Which leads me to... Closing the gap between The Best and The Worst The lack of depth is hurting drops right now. I mean, the miniscule content updates aren’t helping, but there’s no actual depth to the item or what to hunt. If people argue that grind breaking adds value to a weapon, then low elemental percent floor and the theorized lower/higher max grind bridges the gap between the best and the worst. You can have the weapon, and then you can have the best version of that weapon, which was essentially what prototypes were meant to be but aren’t. --- TL;DR: When you have all the items pushed up against one side, I.E 40-50% element, then the rates get nutty because it's "too good". Allow more 20-30%'s to drop in exchange for raising the drop rates, which means more loot and less nothing. These items can be repaired through guaranteed input through The Upgrade Device. Essentially it's this: Common: 499 Runs, Nothing at all Rare: 500 Runs, 1x 40~50% Maybe VS this: Common: 200 Runs, 20% 0/5 Uncommon: 300 Runs, 30% 0/8 Rare: 500 Runs, 50% 0/10 All the while, you're gaining GC for running the mission, which you can optionally use to repair the weapon or change it to your needs. --- You see, if you have a chance to drop a totally bunk item, like 20% fire because we’re daring like that, then by all means you can increase the drop rate a little. Most people will settle, plenty of people will be happy with 20% just to get by, and if they’re not then they can get a Meseta return on it. Then, since naturally you still have the chance to get a 50% and we know it won't take 800 runs, the people that actually want to work for the best version of that item can do so at their own leisure. But when everything is rated toward the idea that it's always going to be the best and you only need to do it once, it ends up sucking the life out of the hunt, and in turn the journey to get the item. If it's not realistic to do this for a certain item then there needs to be something else that drops along side those SR's. So because there’s no real depth to any item, I can also see us gradually creeping up the element floor so 45+% or bust, because the items are so hard to get that people get frustrated when their long hunt paid off with a low-to-mid version of that item. I don't want us to be afraid of low element percent. Let it exist and let it add depth to the item so we can pad out loot. I’d rather get the low-to-mid versions of the item more often along the way, than almost never. At least then I know it’s dropping, and it’s just a matter of finding one I’m happy with. If I get a bad pull, then at least I know that I’ll get another chance in a reasonable amount of runs. Hell, I would even go as far as having at least 1 guaranteed red drop at the end of a mission, even if it’s potentially doodoo. At least I know I’m guaranteed something for my time running the mission. I’ve said this more times than I can even count anymore, but please take Pokémon Booster packs for example. Every time you open one you’re guaranteed a rare or shiny. You at least know that you’ll get something, even if it’s shit. Such is the illusion of reward, and it's why people keep trying. Every time I see the item I want, it’s exciting. It’s a dopamine hit. Is it good? Is it the element I want? How about the percent? I don’t know. Picking it up and finding out is exciting. Well, if it isn’t what I want then I at least know I can try again. At least I know I have another shot at it. Obviously this doesn’t apply so well to weapons, since The Upgrade Device just solves the problem of bad striking weapons. But for weapons we can do something else like needing to be repaired, and for shields we can have the element floor, or a combination. We need to bolster the journey. We need to add something to the journey between starting the hunt, and the eventual climax. The easiest way I can think of is to just have more variation to the item and let it drop a little more. This isn't to say that we need to make rare items flood in, but increasing their chance and lowering the chance of a 45-50% might be more ideal. At least you get rewards this way. BUT IF YOU RAISE THE RATES, THE "MARKET" WILL...?! Dealing with Item Flooding I suppose one of the biggest fears for loot is that too many items come into the game, so the market price tanks and yada yada, but I don't think you need to worry about this so much. Sure, this one is difficult because there aren't many item sinks in the game. There are NPC's to sell to, Synthesis ingredients, Exchange Missions, and the Offering Box. The problem with Synthesis and Exchanges is that they're majorly limited, and it doesn't cover most items effectively. The Offering Box is also so far out of the way that it's just tedious, and it doesn't really give anything exciting. However, the plus side to the Offering Box is that it has the UI to deal with the majority of the items in PSU, so it has potential. The idea, in theory at least, is that we can duplicate it and move it to an NPC or something on the Colony. Assuming we go with this idea that items become a little more common, but can drop with lesser element percent, or in general are just worthless to you. Here you would be able to feed in your garbage items and have a reasonable chance at a return on useful items, such as tickets or whatever would be the item equivalent of PA Fragments. Then you can at least convert your trash items, and in turn your efforts, into a somewhat guaranteed currency that you can spend on items you actually do want. Whether it's boards for desired items, boost tickets, or something like GC. The alternative is to have a shop NPC that you sell to that converts items sold into some other kind of currency along side the Meseta gain. The only down side is that it probably can't add anything to your inventory, so it would have to be rewards like GC or AP. There's also the natural sink of players that just never play or return, which is inevitable. This applies to Meseta and Items. So consider that at least 50% of all incoming Items get removed at some point in time, either through selling, offering, or just being locked behind inactivity. Synthesis A quick note on Synthesis. In general I think it would be reasonable that if we’re going to have boards for items then they should also be able to drop as whole items, even if the chance is lesser. If we’re worried that it would invalidate Synthesis as a whole, then we can work to make it rewarding and worthwhile. At the same time, there are a lot of players that really don’t enjoy crafting, so making it a requirement for some things isn’t all that fun. I know that most of the boards are 100% regardless of the bot level, but still. Some of us just want to kill enemies and farm the item instead of piecing it together. Also can we remove Photon, El-Photon, and Im-Photon from drops? Just put them in an NPC shop. I want to die every time I run S2, break 8 boxes, and get 3-4 regular-ass Photons without fail. --------------------------------------------------------------- Final Notes --------------------------------------------------------------- At the end of the day this is only a game, and It’s a game that happened already. There are plenty of healthier ways to revitalize it, so there’s no need to hold such a tight grip on PSU and its content. Just let it be. I know some of what I touched on was a bit wacky, but these are things that I want to work on or consider. I want to think that most of what I spoke about is in everyone's best interest, but if it isn’t then… huh, I guess I really am lost. Of course I know it’s a lot to ask, but if you do end up reading all of this, I would somewhat urge you to give the parts you cares about a re-read when it’s convenient, just so you can be sure that you got everything. There’s a lot to take in here, and I’m sure there will be a lot of questions, a lot of “This is dumb”, and a lot of confusion. I don’t want to cause a stir between people, and I don’t want people to start pointing fingers or calling names like usual. A lot of you will probably wonder when something like this could happen, and how long. The short answer is that I don't really know, but most likely this year for most of it. The way I envision all of this would roll out is as so: The First update is the early game character progression, so new players don't immediately die on entry. Possible. Next up would probably be drops with the level cap bump, either 180 or whatever the next difficulty tier is at the time. Possible. Then we would work on finishing GAS and The Upgrade Device, along with the Prototype stuff and Grinding, if people want it. Should be possible. Well I think that might be it, or at least as much as I can be bothered now. I’m sure there are some things I missed, but if I write any more than this then I'll be 90 before I know it. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and give feedback. Now’s the time, after all. Cheers, thanks for your time, really. Love from the Team
  16. Keeping in mind that all of the boss AI had to be rewritten from scratch using reference material, a lot of them most likely won't act exactly how you remember them acting. Enemy speed modifiers don't tend to do much to bosses except speed up their animations. I believe the problem you're experiencing is that Dimmagolus and Onmagoug think logic is too fast, especially for C rank. This is something I noticed about a week or so ago as well. By the time you get close enough to attack, they move again, which makes for a frustrating battle. I'll slow down their think and movement logic in the future so hopefully it will be a more enjoyable battle.
  17. @Dakkon You're fine to post these things on the forum, generally it's better to do it here than on our discord where it can be sunk with relative ease. While I don't know if any of this stuff will come to pass (I keep my hands off balance these days), I did at least want to pass mention to some things in regards to: Over the course of Clementines development, proper hit flags and enemy responses have been a fair bit of challenge. Up until recently there was one important hit flag that was missing, which people call "phase", aka "interrupt". This is the soft flinch that was present on things like guns, dam techs, and striking PA's in general, which interrupt the enemy but don't push them back out of range. It's the correct flag to replace what is the frustrating hard flinch, which makes combat feel somewhat awful for all, that's why it was removed in favor of no knock back. After next maintenance you can expect to see phase be active on guns, technics, and striking PA's, which brings it way closer to how the game officially did. I'm told from testing that it feels way better than things do right now, so I'd like to hear from you after that update whether it helps your concerns with guns or not. I hope it's another step in a chain of many to bring the game back to feeling like it always had. Thanks! c:
  18. Speak for yourself. The problem doesn't lie in the community, except for ridiculous and unhelpful nonsense like this, which seems to only ever serve to drive people away further with lies. Are you trying to help solve the problem, or make it worse? I could hazard a guess. If I'm a shitty owner then so be it, but unfortunately I'm what you landed with and I apologize for that. But there are plenty of amazing people in this community who are passionate about a game they love, as am I, and we've all always done our best. If I didn't care then I wouldn't have spent as much time as I have working on this project or fighting the fights. I would have left years ago with the rest of them. I try hard because I love this game, and I owe it to the community to get PSU into as full of a state as I possibly can, even if it drains me dead some times. Please don't forget that we actually have to reverse engineer all of this, and we're confined to the limits of what is realistically possible. We don't have any resources or packets from JP, so there is very little reference data. Lastly, there are no more wipes! I don't know where people keep getting this idea, but blathering it out blindly doesn't help to reassure new players reading that. Most of what Selphea has listed we're already aware of and started working toward solutions. Being that it's likely to be a major update, it will take some time to get going but you can expect a couple of helpful tweaks next maintenance at least which address some bad feels and bad smells. The problem for me is that the game isn't fun right now and fails to scratch certain itches. It's grindy as hell to catch up, running the same mission is boring, nothing rewards your time and effort, and it isn't friendly for new players to even begin. There's little to no stimulation. Rather bafflingly, there's also an entire game here that isn't... here. All of which are problems we're aware of and have been working to address for quite some time now. Last patch introduced huge changes to how the drops system worked back-end, which was massively from community demand, but also sets us up to solve many other problems over time. Now drops can be filled into boxes without the worry of them being full, since in the past they were limited to 3 items, as well as allowing boxes to roll multiple items instead of 1, which will be utilized more in the future, as is the hope. We'd introduced the guardians quests which, while I'm aware they're not enough still, are a step in a better direction for helping new players get into the game. I know early game Meseta is an issue, as well as leveling basic types, and generally gearing up. We've already kicked into action and are experimenting with this specifically since 2 weeks ago. I'm happy to tell you that it feels a lot better than it did, and I hope it will help players ease into the game in a much more natural way, when the patch releases anyway. Realistically, and if I'm being honest, there's a very real barrier between what we can do, and what we can be allowed to do. I could list off many things that could help to resolve these issues and make the game fun for new and old players, but would it be accepted and allowed? The general standing for a lot of us for a long time was that change = bad, but maintaining an old RPG in 2021 with unpleasant mechanics will only bring in temporary nostalgic fans, who will inevitably leave either way, and thus we have "50 players" all the same. If I'm to maintain a server, if I was in Sega's position, shouldn't I make some effort to resolve these issues with more modern and generally accepted changes from this era, to align with what current gen players expect? Well to some extent, yes? if we want new players to come in anyway. The important thing is that PSU maintains its charm and character, and I can already identify many things that directly violate that, and hope for it to be resolved sooner rather than later. Although not all of the changes Clementine has introduced are inherently bad. On a closing note, people will come and go from Clementine, others will wait for something to release or to be resolved, and others will take breaks from time to time. It is the nature of private servers. I'm painfully aware of the people that have moved on, why they did, and the ones making complaints about Clementine not being like official (and the others making complaints it is like official), whether in features (again, working on it), or overall feel. People often think I'm oblivious to it, that I want it or ignore issues with it, but I can tell you that the biggest waves of depression that come from Clementine, for me, are from some of the changes it's had. Half of the problems that exist come from things being changed and "balanced", but can you believe that going backwards is harder than going forwards? at least in some aspects of these changes. Naturally I want to fight it, and I do when I have the energy to. Thank you to all of you for taking time to share your concerns and ideas. While I might not reply often, I do still read them all and think about them. Rest assured, we've been working ridiculously hard to resolve issues and bring in more features, and I hope to be able to write up about it soon. I hope people will continue to work with me to resolve issues. As always, much love
  19. Thanks! This should be resolved today. It's an issue with the seasonal Neudaiz lobbies, and a fix I did months ago to try and resolve out of bounds issues. Oops.
  20. That's an odd one... Assuming they're using the installation from our forum. Do they have any anti virus software that might try to block the domain after an initial connection? You can check their anti virus or firewall for psu-clementine.network Additionally, you could also do an nslookup to see if the domain resolves. Most likely it's being blocked by something after game uses it the first time.
  21. This is a fairly common occurrence, more with Defender, but I wouldn't be surprised if other anti virus software's flag the installer. If you're in our discord, you can see other people that had the same issue, but worked past it. As long as you're downloading Clementine from this forum ( see: Downloads ) then it's as clean as can be. Nothing has changed with Clementine on the client end in the past however many years, aside from a domain name update is all I can really recall. The reason your anti virus may be flagging the installer is for a few reasons. Our launcher is susceptible to false positives because of the Windows Defender cloud-based detection, and we never got very far with Microsoft to resolve it. It went resolved for about 5 hours, actually, and then it came right back. This is a problem that's popped up quite viciously in the past year, not just with Clementine, either. Rest assured the launcher is clean, and most likely only gets flagged because of the optional mods it applies to the game client (custom resolution, faster start up, farther viewing distance, etc). Because it directly modifies game memory, it's seen as suspicious. The other one is that the client is modified to point at the Clementine domain rather than the now defunct Sega domain. Essentially the game client is "tampered" with, so it too is suspicious. In reality, all that changed was the redirect, but it's enough to cause concern for most anti virus software's, which tend to go with "Better safe than sorry", which is fair. You've got every right to be wary of it, and ultimately it comes down to whether you trust it or not. I can only really explain why it gets flagged, and leave the door open for you. It sucks that it's a problem we need to fight against, but unfortunately it is what it is right now. Also, if your anti virus is going hard on it already then be ready for a bit more trouble down the road. The most common issue people run in to (again, see Discord if you have it), is that the client will open and close immediately from Defender blocking it. If you have any other concerns or questions, feel free and I'll do my best to answer them when I can!
  22. Hey, I wanted to make this topic for players to throw ideas into the pot for new missions. Generally, because I still need to put time in to figuring out more with mission functionality and the sort I figured something good may as well come from it. I'd like to know what kind of areas in the game people would like to see more missions of, whether it's lobby or mission scenery, as well as the kinds of enemies you think would be exciting to see more of. Obviously these are going to be basic missions, so nothing terribly crazy can happen with them (no cut scenes or scripted events). Just A to B, kill enemies, maybe a boss, and loot. Want to see more Beach missions? Maybe more Moatoob missions? Let me know if you have any preferences.
  23. Yes I agree, we'd had concerns about it being too much of a drag after the first few times. It's worth noting though that there is still some things that need discovering about enemy spawns and their behavior, specifically their spawn size and radius. Spawning anything inside of those corridors or tight spaces often ends up with enemies out of bounds. This is partly why a lot of these areas only have one or two enemies, and the larger rooms have fuller spawns. Unfortunately it's a bit too late to go back and change some of it. I was going to move the key for the first Grass Assassin box closer to the console a few days ago, but it would have only confused players more after having figured out the puzzle. This one isn't quite in our hands, because these maps are still Sega's. They were just changed to be sundown and midnight. If you run BBB and you get lucky with the variant, you'll notice that Block 2 in IC is about 80% the same as BBB. This wasn't really our intention, but when the map was loaded and most of the walls, gates, and spawns were in place already, it just came about that our initial plan wasn't far off what Sega had already made in the past. Block 1 is another beach area, but I don't know if it was used in any BBB variant. Most of the beach maps we found were unused, which might be saying something in the way of "too open" lol. I'll admit though that Block 2 is my least favorite of the blocks. Yes, you most likely will die at some point by some stray bullets or an unfortunate Groode stomp or missile, and I don't want to be lame and fall back on that we did say it would be a difficult mission, and that running in a team is somewhat preferred. People have solo'd S2 just to see if they could do it, a lot of them had to restock on consumables. I will say that S2 is overtuned, and as was discussed in the Discord last night, we're aware of that and it will likely get re-tuned before too long. Specifically because, if it's going to have items that people want, which aren't available in lower ranks, then it's not aligning to the original idea for us. Just like Zeta back in the past, S2 was effectively going to be Master Mode with higher reward, but somewhere along the line that got sidestepped, and now it's a weird smashy bit in the middle. But! From the S2's that I have run, yeah it hurts, but with a party it isn't unbearable in my own opinion. Yes Grinna Bete is terrifying especially if you forget to change armor, or you're solo, but in a group their aggro can quickly change to someone who isn't you, opening up huge opportunities to get damage in. With that said, leading in to this... This unfortunately is something I want to disagree with. Yes Renvolt and Howzer are difficult, and in solo it probably is the worst thing to be dealing with and I doubt it's very much fun. However, in every party I've ran with, the boss arena is by far the easiest part of the mission. Howzer, Renvolt, and Seed Magashi aren't enemies that do well against multiple targets, they're not really designed for it imo. Not being able to CC Howzer and Renvolt probably sounds awful on paper, but there's a few things I want people to at least acknowledge. Howzer and Renvolts AI both (that is client controlled) have built in flinch and stun when you catch them during certain frames or inflict a threshold of damage. It's quite possible to interrupt both of them by getting hits in. Unfortunately, fighting both of these isn't the same as fighting regular enemies. You can't get into a rhythm of jabbing with your weapon and hitting a Dimate or Trimate, depending on whether you get hit, and what by. You have to play offense and defense with these bosses, and I know PSU's combat isn't really designed for this kind of play, but it isn't painfully impossible either. All three of them have massive openings, and a lot of their attacks are avoidable. Howzer has warnings on pretty much all of his attacks; Megid, his round kick, dive kick, his jabs, and his laser attacks are all openings for you to get behind him and deal damage, and potentially flinch him so he goes down for even more damage. The same can be applied to Renvolt! a lot of his attacks are major openings, and you can get behind him and stun him. If you're in a party then chances are he isn't even coming after you, and if he is, or if you can't get close, then just wait for an opening and play defense. I know this might not be "the PSU way", but just because it's different doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. I can appreciate that it's probably frustrating, however. SEED Magashi is the biggest joke of a boss, since you can stun lock him indefinitely and that's honestly all people do in every party I've ran. I want to say that, for particularly a boss fight, it should be allowed to be a boss fight. What fun is it when you can bind all three of these bosses to the ground with endless knock down, and wail on them? they would be no threat, and instead boring jokes that don't even try to fight back. Sure there are people that might enjoy that, and to feel powerful, but it's not much different from switching their AI off at that point. As for the traps, yes I agree. The boss fights alone are fine enough, it didn't really need anything extra. This unfortunately falls into the "Out of the players control" frustration category. Imagine someone walking up and taking your controller every 10 seconds, and giving you the cheesiest shit eating grin. No thanks. This isn't the mindset, but there are a few things going on. There isn't much in Clem that I would even consider wanting to be "difficult" or "hard". In terms of PSU in today's world, there is a lot that can absolutely be improved. It's worth keeping in mind that the whole damage formula thing was reworked to fix buffs, debuffs, and DFP in general and this ultimately alters how the game feels. Not to mention that there are still some unknowns about enemies and how to really stat them up correctly. However I'd still like to flip this on its head and say that, us having a mindset of "difficulty = fun" and everything must be difficult, isn't far off being the opposite of people in the community saying "PSU isn't hard, it can't be hard, so it should just be easy". Every mission would generally be the same. Specifically, not every mission or content we make needs to conform to the easy nature that people expect from a mission. Just because people don't believe that PSU can be engaging or difficult in or outside of combat doesn't mean we can't try or experiment around, or worse put it off completely. I personally, and I know others, wouldn't really want to just give up the idea of a challenging mission because something might be too frustrating or too annoying. There were absolutely scenarios like this on the official server, where getting slapped around by enemies wasn't shocking. That said, I agree and also think IC has overshot the mark that we were trying to land, and I'll get in to everything we've learned and everything to take away from it shortly. In terms of difficulty vs frustration, what's the line here? I feel like frustration can stem from "difficult" really easily. I think frustration comes from situations or scenarios where you're either forced to play or learn to play a certain way, or scenarios where the control is completely stripped away from you. That's frustrating, and I can see how some parts of IC are this way. But what I can comment on is that while some parts of IC are challenging and difficult, many parts of it are not. For instance, a lot of the enemies seem to be placed around and geared toward the big maybe scenarios. Maybe you can stun Bead Groode, and maybe you can drop a Freeze EX, therefore they should be tuned toward such a scenario where it's you or the enemy. That, in my honest opinion, is foolish. At that point, the enemies and the overall experience is no longer tuned toward the relaxed or casual play style, and more tuned toward the types of players that know every nook and cranny of every enemy. Not everyone has the tools to disable Bead Groode, and even if they do, not everyone wants to be forced to incorporate that play style into their own. No, enemies won't go above Level 200, and their HP on S3 will be the same as what it was on Official, or so I'm told. Although it's important to mention, quite a lot of S3's weren't logged, and they had to be remade based around lesser difficulties, which runs into a handful of issues. Unfortunately there's no way for anyone to know what kind of mission modifiers these enemies had in place. It's all good knowing the base stats, and the enemy specific modifiers, but there wasn't any information about the individual mission itself apply modifiers. In essence, while C, B, and A could have a 90-100% HP modifier on enemies, S+ could have had 80, 70, 60, and so forth, to bring them into some level of comfort. Most of these missions being made from lesser ranks runs the risk of S3 having higher HP modifiers than what was officially set, or intended, and it's something we'll most likely have to address over time once we get there. I would greatly encourage people to call this stuff out, please. I know there are plenty of people who would sit silent and hope it changes, or complain about it where I may not see it. Milestones are good on paper, but generally this whole thing is a test. Up until recently, it wasn't possible for us to apply a lot of this stuff in real time, and is partially why it's gone through this system. I want to point out though that we're not quite at the level of custom exchange missions, which is why this one might be a bit short in the way of rewards. Differently to official, these are active during the event and apply globally, not just to the event mission itself. We did it this way because we already knew that forcing people to attend IC for 4 weeks straight wouldn't be ideal, even if it was a fun and enjoyable mission for the majority. We wanted this event to benefit you in your day to day as well, which is generally preferred and encouraged. Don't think of it as a bad thing to go somewhere else to farm for an item, or MP, or whatever you might be looking for. The event enables people to do that, so I'm at least glad for that. Generally what I'm getting from this is that you went on the hardest difficulty and then got discouraged because... you went on the hardest difficulty, and then you just didn't try it ever again. Basically, you haven't played the event. I'm not saying that disqualifies your opinions on it, far from it, just that it kind of boils down to that you got discouraged, which I can understand. Here you also said: I can't help but feel that your best course of action would have been to learn the mission on S, and then when you were comfortable to continue, take it on S2 with or without a party. This way you know what to expect on the hardest difficulty. There's no shame in going on a lower difficulty to learn the ins and outs, and what to expect. There is no fundamental difference between the difficulties, so what you learn on C, B, A, or S, also applies to S2. To compare this to another game, say like Resident Evil, for the very first time would you pick Nightmare mode and then complain that all the enemies do too much damage, there's not enough ammo, and there's no healing items, aside from not really knowing where anything is or the dangers that lurk. Inevitably putting the controller down and saying, "Man, Resident Evil isn't fun". I've already covered this up above, but the gist of it is, these bosses are quite possibly the easiest part of the mission. Would you also push for De Ragan to be consistently stun locked, poisoned, frozen, or paralyzed easily? They're bosses, not another spawn at the back of the room. They're designed to make you move and be cautious, and play defense once in a while. We do this already! the level cap always get raised to 1 under the up coming content requirement, so that people can access the next tier of missions for the least amount of work. While IC S2 requires Level 100 to enter, you can level to 104, because the next set of S2's (when drops are finished for them) is at 105. Unfortunately it's not simple for us to let the level cap go past certain tiers of missions, it would end up causing too much confusion and headache for everyone. ALSO! I want to point out something important here that was discovered the other day... And going back to this comment: There's a bug going around where your equipped line shield isn't actually a line shield. There have been a few players with Synthesis Boards or Materials as line shields when players check their equipment. I'm supposing this is another sync issue, possibly tied to armor switching with less slots than the previous one. This means that you may not even have armor on at all. This has likely been a thing since... forever, and rather frustratingly has probably not helped with balance at all. Until I can find more leads on this one, it might be worth uneqipping your units, then your armor, and then equipping it all again to make sure you're still synced up. Nothing in IC should be doing 2-3 hits. Now here are my thoughts... I wrote this whole post a few days ago, but I didn't post it because I wanted to further confirm my thoughts before anything. Since then, S2 has already been tweaked further, and the enemies are now no longer as strong. Having played the event quite a lot since it started (and still am), I hope that my input can be taken as another player, and seen just as valuable or taken into consideration. I have to agree in some instances that S2 can be quite rough. IC was designed to be a challenging "party focused" mission and will probably only be one of very few that come about, but still I don't think this was entirely the intended outcome. Currently there are a handful of problems that blindside us here. First is the armor bug that was recently discovered, where your equipment can become desynced and your armor ineffective at times. The second is that the whole damage formula was changed to incorporate DFP better, so that armor and buffs were effective. The third is that enemy data is just too basic and misunderstood right now for proper enemy balance, but this will soon be fixed as I've been researching a lot more into it. Things like iframes on players don't exist either, and it's a major problem because you can get hit many times while you're being knocked down, and it's out of your control completely. That, or you can get launched again while you're still recovering from one already. If it's of any use, I'm an Acrofighter, and my equipment isn't so good due to time, but I still manage to do alright in a party despite it being harsh for melee players. I haven't found myself sighing in disbelief, or getting annoyed because the sponge with legs won't die. Honestly, I've actually been having a lot of fun with the mission, and it's been making me smile and laugh. Not in a sadistic kind of way, but most of the people I've played with are chill AF, and laugh when they get ultra-clapped by a coconut or one of the bosses. It's honestly just the Bead Groode x Rogue Mazz combo that make me think twice, because you can't equip any elemental armor that will protect you. You have to hope that the maybe scenario comes around, and someone manages to get the Groode stunlocked. Outside of that, it's either 1.5k from the Groode with range, or 1.5k from the Rogue Mazz's normal attack multiple times. Either way, you're getting that hit, and it's going to take a Trimate or two. In terms of the event itself, it was a cool idea and I don't hate it, but I'm also not big on the overall thing. The design didn't really go how I'd have expected it, being that it was meant to be more of a scenic summertime mission with icecream (at least in my mind), it took a darker turn at the end and became somewhat of a story... thing. Admittedly I don't think any of us on the team plan to or want to make any kind of story related event mission again in the future. It's fun for a 1 or 2 time run, but after that, it just becomes a pain and it isn't fun. Unfortunately I don't think the mission I was hoping IC to come out as will ever come about, at least not soon, just because the maps and all have been used and seen and it's meh. It was also to be a more rewarding mission, but unfortunately as is the curse of Sega right now for us (and will soon be fixed, thank god), boxes are far too limited when it comes to item space, so it becomes difficult to put in something for everyone right now. Rest assured, these issues with enemies and boxes are next on my list of things to improve drastically upon, and it will open doors for the drops team to fix a lot of the problems going around right now (I.E Base C in S rares lmao) For future events, depending on how soon anyone would even want one, this is generally what I've learned and would honestly prefer to be the case: Length is OK, but it's only OK if there's something good at the end of it. The reasons I wouldn't really opt for lengthy missions anymore is both: 1. If it isn't highly rewarding, or at least some guarantee of a good outcome, then it's incredibly draining. 2. Peoples connection stability doesn't work so well with a long mission. In fact, I think boss gates and blue gates will be avoided as much as possible from now on. For future custom events, I'm feeling that a better approach would be to have multiple shorter missions, and either let them all be run by player choice, or if an event ends up running for as long as IC, perhaps released them on a weekly basis to keep the event from going stale. For example, we would make 3 or 4 different stand alone missions, each with different maps, enemy layout, and rewards, and then release one for week one, another on top for week 2 (so you'd have parts 1 and 2), and then another on week 3. This way, there's something new and refreshing, something to look forward to, and hopefully naturally rewarding for players. Difficult enemies I don't mind, but things like that should be restricted to secret or side rooms. As Skinny mentioned above, the final secret room with Grinna Bete and Bead Groode is kinda rough, but It feels alright. In instances like that I think it's fine, but when it's the whole block, erm... not so much. Secret rooms and puzzles we're all for, but we're all definitely feeling that making them required for S rank isn't a great approach at all, especially if some of those secrets aren't fun to do on repeat. Any future "secrets" are likely to be optional instead of required or forced. Real time milestones I honestly am not sure I will be doing again. As mentioned, a lot of these boosts can generally just be enabled for the event overall, and most likely will be. Dealing with the milestones ended up being more stress than I was expecting, or really willing to deal with even if it is once every however long between events. I would much rather they were just on, and any "milestones" would be for after event rewards. Balance it around feel, rather than the woulds, the coulds, and the numbers on the sheet. One of the biggest problems that arose about IC S2 was that a lot of it seemed to have been balanced around this idea that players might do something, and was assumed that most players would do it, which isn't good at all. There also seemed to be a lot of changes based around the idea and the numbers, rather than how it actually felt to play the thing. At this point it's difficult to really fix IC S2 completely, but it has had some improvements since. For the future I will be pushing harder for game feel rather than the math behind the scenes. I think this is honestly the most important thing, and now that I've got more time to actually play PSU, I'm hoping to get us all on the same page as everyone else. Obtainable rewards is important. If the mission is to be incredibly difficult for players then it also needs to be incredibly rewarding for players. Difficult to play + difficult to get loot isn't a combination that should often exist. When it comes to rewards as a whole, I would much rather that it was a guaranteed approach, similar to how IC is now with its guaranteed tickets for item crafting. Just a little less... demanding? It isn't the end of the event just yet, and I will likely be expanding my thoughts on the whole thing once it's all said and done, but I would still like to hear feedback during or after as well. When it comes to events, I wouldn't hate working with the community to make something fun or exciting. Sorry that this is huge, and I also couldn't get to every point :( Thanks for taking the time.
  24. There's currently no easy way to export game models to a readable format, but you can use NinjaRipper to grab a dump of the scene, which usually includes T-Posed models of NPC's, Characters, and Enemies. You will have to do some clean up in something like Blender, since it grabs a lot of garbage from the scene. This is how we grabbed our character models for VRChat in the past, so hopefully it can be applied here as well.
  25. Quite a lot of us agree that it's too heavy on the chore factor, and would rather it was geared toward rewarding players for simply playing. There are already plans to tweak them hopefully for the near future. If you haven't already then you can read and join in on the discussion here: https://psu-clementine.net/community/index.php?/topic/26144-extreme-guardian-quest-requirements/
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