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A really, really crazy discussion about all of the things.


Marmalade
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What are your overall feelings toward the changes detailed in this post?  

154 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you feel about the Character Progression detailed in this post?

    • I like raising the Level Cap by a full difficulty tier instead of 4~5 levels every update.
      115
    • I like the experience bonus to new characters.
      127
    • I like the removal of enemy tagging requirement.
      126
    • I like the MP requirement for basic types being reduced.
      120
    • I like the MP payout being increased by 50%.
      131
    • I like that Dying no longer reduced clear rank.
      102
    • I like that Limit Break hitboxes are enabled for all levels.
      94
    • I like that all of the clothing is in the clothing store, instead of Exchange MIssions.
      114
    • I like the increase to Rare Enemies and Rare Mission probabilities.
      129
    • I like the removal of the Lobby Restrictions for new players.
      120
    • I like the idea of relaxing Mission Level Requirements.
      83
    • I like that Attack Accuracy affects variance instead of hitting 0.
      113
    • I like the ideas for the Meseta Sink.
      91
    • I like the idea of relaxing Guardians Daily and Weekly Quests.
      121
    • No Comment
      6
  2. 2. How do you feel about the Prototype and Grinding suggestions?

    • I like the idea of using The Upgrade Device for weapon repairs.
      86
    • I like the idea of lowering the chance of Max Grind reduction when failing a Grind.
      81
    • I like the idea of Prototypes having Max Grind Potential of 15 instead of the current system.
      93
    • I like the idea of Attribute Grinders to customize my weapon how I want.
      106
    • No Comment
      25
  3. 3. How do you feel about the approach to Drops in this post?

    • I like the idea of filling the gap between good and bad items.
      114
    • I like the idea of Weapons dropping with lower Max Grind Potential to bolster drops and keep The Upgrade Device relevant.
      71
    • I like the idea of Weapons and Shields dropping with lower Element %, again to bolster drops and increase the chance of items dropping.
      87
    • I like the idea of having an Item Sink in exchange for an alternative currency to use in guaranteed rewards.
      117
    • I like the idea of all Synthesis items having the ability to drop in missions.
      110
    • No Comment
      15


Recommended Posts

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:

  1. 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”.
  2. 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.


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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:

  1. The First update is the early game character progression, so new players don't immediately die on entry. Possible.
  2. Next up would probably be drops with the level cap bump, either 180 or whatever the next difficulty tier is at the time. Possible.
  3. 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 💕

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  • Marmalade changed the title to A really, really crazy discussion about all of the things.

I feel like a yes man that I pretty much voted for wanting everything on this list, but honestly, I just want a game that'll feel more fun to solo. I understand people want the game to be EXACTLY the way they remember it, but that doesn't make the game good and fun to play. If there was a way to make things optional for like "purist" mode or "clementine" changes that'd be the best solution (though people would prob whine about unfair advantage) but I doubt that's possible.

As of right now, this game just sort of unplayable and too frustrating to play by myself that my only option to really play is waiting for my friends to come on every once in awhile for a group play. Otherwise, this game is not solo friendly, and can be very tedious. People forget that this isn't the official SEGA servers with thousands playing at a time now. 

I'd join random parties more often though if people weren't speedrunning and in such a rush to do things. qq

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Everything here I pretty much agree with mostly, would just like some more detail on a meseta sink idea, would it be now or in the future, the boost we can buy would be a meseta sink im guessing. What else could be done to counter meseta flooding maybe towards later game, removing the 99,999,999 meseta cap per person or bot somehow, allowing someone to hold more than a stack of gold bars, introduce another currency that is more than 10m being 50m or a stack or w/e.

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Please, for the love of god, if there is one singluar thing in this post that should not be implimented, it's the changes to accuracy. Too many games are ironing out hit/miss on accuracy. It might not totally invalidate ATA, but it will devalue the stat since you'll always do damage. Please, PLEASE, leave ATA the way it is. It's the only major gripe I have with this post.

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5 minutes ago, Hatsodoom said:

Please, for the love of god, if there is one singluar thing in this post that should not be implimented, it's the changes to accuracy. Too many games are ironing out hit/miss on accuracy. It might not totally invalidate ATA, but it will devalue the stat since you'll always do damage. Please, PLEASE, leave ATA the way it is. It's the only major gripe I have with this post.

They could always raise EVP as a trade off if you want to keep the stat value, one nice thing that I definitely like about the proposed accuracy trade off is that you're guaranteed to get a flinch when executing a photon art which would just make the game -feel- much nicer/smoother rather than getting counter attacked because of RNG'ing a 0.

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Quote

Do you like Half Guard? No.

  • We could make it less effective.
  • We could implement a guard break mechanic.
  • We could just remove it.

What is "Half Guard"? The wiki search didn't return any hits.
 

Quote

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.

Yes, please! I've only found one single rare mission on one character this entire year, despite having played quite a lot on each of them, including some serious farming in the (epically fun!) event missions we've had.
 

Quote

First we just put back the chance to lose max grind potential when you fail a grind .. [then you can] repair it via The Upgrade Device

This could be interesting, but only if a) grinding success rate is upped, especially at the higher levels where failure is more costly, and b) players can farm currency used to make the Upgrade Device go. And by 'farm' here, what I mean is, the currency is not luck-based and is also not limited to daily rewards. Otherwise it becomes just another arbitrary & boring time sink, and grinding is already too much of that if you're aiming for good grind levels.


I don't really have a lot to say about the other points right now.

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Basically all of your planned changes sound good. Removing tagging makes a lot of sense given that this is a game with OHKO effects (player-side). And, likewise, removing the mission-ranking penalty for deaths also makes sense in a game with OHKO effects (enemy-side). One person can choose to just delete a whole lot of MP/PA frags across the party if they get impatient waiting for a moon. I think death still has some penalty in the form of losing SUV / nanoblast. More challenging quests, especially ones with strict time limits, could keep death-avoidance meaningful, since dying empties your meter and potentially ruins your run's pace. Maybe there could be another penalty along the same vein, like losing your equipped weapon's PP? Not exactly a setback you can't bounce back easily from, just adding another strand of spaghetti to the wall.

The grind system changes sound like we're approaching base-PSO2 OT grinding, but with a few tweaks to make it unique. I kinda like it. The question I have is, though, what happens when you lose grinds added by Attribute Grinders due to a failed grind? I'm assuming that you'd also lose the bonus attributes, but the question would then be, how badly would that hurt your soul to see? I'm guessing they wouldn't be as sparingly obtained as, say, the anti-RNG guaranteed grinders, so hopefully not TOO bad? I do like the idea of hunting for rare-ish consumables, though, it reminds me of trading capital-m Materials in PSO1.

I'd be curious to hear about what a halfguard guard break would work like.

Also have to say that, in particular, your thoughts about the new player experience are spot-on. I know you've done a bunch of changes to help that experience out, and I want you to know I appreciate them. But I'm still sheepishly nodding along as you ask yourself, "but it's not enough, is it?" I love the idea of being able to pull beginner friends into high-level missions in particular, even if they experience some penalties to exp/drops. Introducing them to steady PA frag income will help them work towards some shiny new stuff too.

Controvertial as it might be, I'm on board with ATA changes. I agree with what Rain said, in base I kind of preferred to play CAST melees over beasts because of how ATA works. I'd be more likely to play The Melee Race ™️ as a melee type, given that I had reliable PA functionality.

Thank you for writing up such a big and thoughtful post, you make us feel loved, Marm 💖

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I agree with the majority of what you said.. though I think a lot of what was said, and what people will argue is all kinda a jumbled mess of personal opinion. THAT said, I'd like to express my major concerns. I don't understand why people want the max grind to be lowered for starters. I'd rather just fail the grind 100x before a success than to see it reset to 0/10. ESPECIALLY if u plan on increasing grind  to x/15 or higher. Its hard enough to get a 10/10 as is. Even with a 10% grind boost during one of the last events i spent about 10mill on grinders, and exhausted everything I had to only get maybe 4-5 10/10 weapons. May seem like a lot to some people...but lets be honest..that was 300-400 hrs of effort on my character, gone within 2-3 hrs of grinding, to not even get a full palette of 6 10/10 weapons. If people want to complain about something taking a reasonable amount of time..well just look at the facts. Also, not everyone has 1000 hrs a week to play 24/7, or a group of tightly knit friends to share loot amongst themselves for a collective gain/feed. Nvm the fact that pso, pso2, and new genesis didnt have/ditched the breaking concept pretty much entirely (to my knowledge neway). Seems quite obvious what the majority was thinking/saying. If you need to do 100+ runs to get a single item..what's so wrong about someone enjoying a max grind? PS. At least when I was playing, grinders weren't exactly "easy" to come by, thus my mentioning burning everything I had and pretty much all my meseta. Doesn't help that grinder prices in shops went up to help with a meseta sink. Made sure my meseta earned goes to nothing but grinding.

My 2nd issue I wanted to speak on was simply a game balance one, and I'm sure pretty much 0 ppl will agree with me, but personally I feel like gunners and techers are heavily overpowered next to melee. When PSU first released, melee annoyance with low % weapons or some such and the ability to get 50%'s was to offset rangers and techers not really needing % weapons in the first place. Melee was supposed to be stronger, or potentially stronger, and tankier, at the expense of being more expensive, and needing more work. Minor issue at best I suppose to most people, but game balance is important to me and its really messed up when squishy jobs with huge aoes that can hit an entire room or gunners who can blast enemies from miles away do the same or more dmg than the melee whos getting knocked around and has to chase annoying mobs who like to run from 1 side of the room to the next on a constant basis. 

3rd, I wanted to speak of the drop rates. I understand people who play more feel like they deserve more. If you put in the time you should be rewarded and I of all people get that.. And I understand things should be rare..but yeah I feel like some  things need to be dumbed down. I really don't think anything should take 200-300 runs to get..if it does, it SHOULD be really good to compensate..but the biggest reason I mention this is because I'm one of the poor souls who did 200ish runs of the beach event (sry forget what it was called) and I never got a vijeri resist nor, what I wanted most, the Rappy Parasol. The biggest Issue I take with this is that this is the 2nd event to pass (1st being the ice event) where I spammed my life away and didn't even see some of the drops. This is mostly only a problem cuz Lul timed events? I mean I guess if the stuff comes back in a new mission in a somewhat reasonable amount of time its not a problem anyway..but I basically quit the game after that. I'd love to come back but...sheesh. 

Lastly my thoughts on enemy stats and the ability to play solo vs party. I'm sure I'm also in the minority when I say this...but I think most missions tend to be way too easy with 3-6 people in them..and unless a lot of the new missions being released have enemies with much more hp (which seems unlikely, esp considering dmg on clementine seems hella higher than on vanilla and at a much lower level) then yeah. If you think 75% hp for solo play is fair..I'm thinking maybe 125% for 2, and 175% for 3-6 or some such..would make it easier to solo, but would make it less of a Romper Stomp when playing with a team, while still making enemies die collectively faster, benefitting party play nonetheless. I say stuff like this cuz it's hella boring to watch most enemies die before u can even finish a melee combo, or to watch mobs disintegrate to techers/gunners b4 u can even touch them. 

Feel free to ignore or disregard. Not trying to start a debate. Just my personal thoughts. No hate pls - Anytime I open my mouth I get flamed so I won't be checking back up here anyway. Ty marm and team for all yer hard work regardless. Ps. I put out my votes hope it helps at least a little.
 

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My thoughts on what I actually care about after reading this: 

 

 ***New character progression***
I feel from levels 1-75 it should be a flat 300% Exp boost. Once you are that level you should have enough meseta to go buy boosters from the NPC (if we get those added which I am for) and also use any boosts that you received via daily/weekly rewards to help keep you boosted.
Also, not sure if possible but it would be great if you could increase the chance of rare missions for those levels as well for an extra boost and possible items for starting out.

I personally do not want to drop mission level requirements. 

Maybe just make baseline level breakpoints across all C/B/A/S/S2/S3/S4 missions and when we do level cap increases go ahead and release ALL missions available at that rank.

This might work? That way every 25 levels you unlock the next rank mission set.

C Rank Levels  1-25
B  Rank   26-50
A  Rank   51-75
S  Rank   76-100
S2    101-125
S3   126-150
S4   151-MAX

 

***Remove Tagging***

Yes please!!

***Lobby Restrictions***
I would like to have them removed OR have them universally unlocked across all your characters once they have been unlocked. If this isn't possible then I would just prefer that they be unrestricted from level 1.

***Attack Accuracy***
I am good with any system that takes away or significantly reduces "0" hits... it happens much too often.

***Boost Shop***
This sounds great and I am all for it.  CAN WE PLEASE ADD A PA BOOST ITEM????

***GAS/Advanced Style**
I would much rather this get refined and release more towards end game.  

***Upgrade Device***
I like being able to utilize this to repair weapon breaks and increasing element. I do not like the idea that we can change the element all together or remove it. Also, when adding element % there should be a cap of like 10-15% with a max of 50%.
I do like the idea of it being able to add the 10th grind guaranteed if the cost associated fits the bill... not sure what that could be as I am not sure what the Upgrade Device is capable of accepting as "currency".

***Grinding***
I would like to see weapons break again... but repairable with Upgrade Device. 
I love the idea of Protos reverting back to your initial plan and being able to grind 11-15 with other cool grinder types. However, you should ONLY be able to use those grinders once the weapon has reached 10/15.

The name change on these and them being identified with a "star" and the 0/15 status would be much better than the current system.

***Grinding/Weapon Drops***
I don't like the idea that a weapon can drop that is already 0/5 since I am in favor of weapons now breaking again.
I do like that there is a slight chance that it can fail the grind and it not break though.  That is a neat idea.

***Item Drops***
I do like that some items are extremely hard to find and also wish there were a few other items out that could help bridge the gap.  Perfect example was Gratia before I had Orpa/Knight.  Similar items but at the time Orpa/Knight was the best unit.
I also hear what you mean on more frequent drop rates for weapons and shields. If I was to find something I wanted but it was a 20% I would at least feel good knowing that it DOES actually drop instead of never getting it at all.
The drop rate for units/techer gear should not be messed with as they do not have % that affect them.

***Sythesis***
I don't mind the current system but I would like to see more current and usable mats drop a little more often.
Removal of junk photons would be great...

***Flooding the market***
All I can say about this is... who cares.  Cry me a river. 
We are only at level 115 cap.  There is PLENTY of time for new stuff to get rich off of in the future. Let's get the game fixed and get players back PLAYING the game. Population now is suffering because of lack of drops and boredom.

***Rare Missions***

I would like to see an increased rate on these as I never get them. The alternative is to keep these at the same rate and just increase the drop rate in the actual mission but I feel like that would be a mistake since most of the population here seems to think selling these instead of running with friends is the better choice. In doing this, all you would actually be doing is making people even more willing to sell instead of sharing... and selling at a more steep price as you've increased the drop rates. But, if you just increased the chance of them and keep the rate the same I think more people would feel better that they are getting them with the possibility to get something ultra rare.


*** My personal suggestions ***

1. Please do not just drop level 180... I think this would kill the market more than more items being dropped as everyone will just rush to get to level cap and the items that come with that.

2. Get rid of offering box and just add all those items to an NPC.
Photon Fortune lady should never give anything lower than 1* luck... raise the price if needed.

3. Weekly or bi-weekly boosts.  Rotate boosts out at all times... Exp/PA/Rare Monster/MP/ect ect.  This is something that keeps people playing and potentially starting new characters if they get bored enough or trying a new Type.

4. Gambling.... can we please add an NPC that games like PSO? His item pool can change daily/weekly/bi-weekly when the weekly boost changes? Not sure how this could work. This could be a great meseta sink.

5.  New Incap Slicer PA with lv4-5 incap

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for most of the items I like, I'll just vote on instead of discussing it.  I'll just add some notes on some items.


Experience and Progression

1. Experience boost-Listening to discord discussion, I feel like having the experience boost even on the higher levels may not be bad.  I believe that the idea is good, and can be tampered with in the future if necessary.

2. Basic types-if they aren't really any use, then they may as well be removed.  The other option is to untrash basic types.  What if they had access to A rank equipment, and maybe higher skill ceilings(30 and 20 instead of 20 and 10), so that they don't feel like that trash starter card you have to suffer through?  The purpose isn't so you can cap skills at basic, but so that you can possibly get advanced type before you even cap.

3. MP payout vs. type lvl-before, I suggested just raising a basic type's stat at level 1(while maintaining original stat at level 10), and just having the increases for each level be smaller.  I now feel that doing this for EVERY type would probably result in a better overall game play experience.  Or, possibly, not a static stat increase with each level.  Let's say level 2-5 will have a really low increase, and have 5-20 bring it up closer to original progression.

To escape the slug, we must confront the slug

1. Equipment title rewards-this is probably not too useful, unless there are a handful of titles which will reward different weapon types for your selected type.  Probably better to have those global drops on your C and B rank missions.

2. Half Guard-I'm interested in this guard break idea, but not sure how it could be implemented.

3. Exchanges-yes, if they serve no real purpose, then there's no point in having them, unless you really wanted us to use some kind of exchange for some reason.

4. Rare missions and rare enemies-While I don't enjoy how they are currently, I don't believe just increasing them is actually beneficially.  There are enough rare occurences, but when we run them, we usually get junk.  I don't like getting more chances to see them.  I feel like I see enough rare run announcements on discord.  Instead, I would like them to drop good things more often rather than flood the game with them.

5. NPC's-!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Restricted Lobby access really isn't helping anything

1. At this time, I believe it would be a good move to bring in the universal mission lobby(for each planet).  I have an idea for this, which I'd guess probably isn't possible to code.  You'd have access to all the missions in one counter, but to select it as leader, you have to unlock the mission by traveling to the corresponding lobby once.  So you can still explore, and when you need to find people, you'd just need to go to one spot.  Think of it like /sprinkles for missions.

My prices are too strong for you, traveler

1. Supplementary drops-This sounds nice, but how will it affect native drops?  Will it replace boards/weapons/items, or only a chance to drop if nothing dropped?

2. Fix the item prices-I also feel like the prices shouldn't be messed with, so much as players need to be able to earn more meseta from the start to be able to afford these items(or otherwise).  One thing I am really concerned about is how it will affect raising your PM, unless we're also considering reducing the effort for that.  ON THE OTHER HAND...

3. Player market-the game doesn't determine the market so much as players do.  They want to be rewarded for their time spent, even though they just put themselves in a trap because everyone else will hike up their prices so they can afford w/e it is the other guy put up for a high price.  I had an idea that maybe in order for people to actually get things, maybe the market needs to crash.  If everything is priced low in the first place, maybe people can actually trade for things the way they're supposed to instead of playing meseta wars.  Dropping NPC prices can certainly help towards this.

Relaxing the mission level requirement

1. I feel like this can be a really good thing, and a possible fix for the associated problem would be a way for the party leader to establish a requires original level restriction lock on their mission.  This way, people can still get their normal runs, and there can be rushing runs.

Some things that sound nice, but I'm not sure if they'll work out:

1. A funny mechanic called Attack Accuracy, The fortune teller, Boost shop

Guardians Quest System

1. been waiting for this fix for months

Advanced... Stuff

1. Upgrade device-I'm thinking that we could maybe earn GC through effort, and the way to do that would be to exchange equipment for GC.  This will let people get GC for their effort, as well as dump the excess gear that we get because of no breaks.  BUT, exchanging items is TEDIOUS.  I wonder if it's possible to add a new function to vendors to "GC sell" items, so you can speed sell items and turn them into GC.  The values would have to be set individually for each item based on the dev team's perceived rarity.

Adding Fun and Challenge

1. Bad "Timed Quest" smells-so the idea of the timed quest is for players to gather up.  Having the quest for a day and limiting number of runs does not remedy this, and I feel like it's just adding an unnecessary system that probably will be unfun.  I feel like there can be a way to do "timed", but I have not come up with a way to resolve the issues with that yet.  As before, the most common sense thing to me would be to have intermittent times like every 3 hours lasting 1 hour, with a suite of missions that can offer rewards, but obviously it still has huge problems.

Drops

1. My concerns with loot-I've already touched on this earlier.  It doesn't feel good to not be able to get things.  There isn't "ruining the market", because as soon as an item stops being in demand, it becomes a non-item.  There honestly isn't much of a middle ground.  I believe that trying to reach this dream is probably a vain idea.  This isn't a disagreement to your idea.  In fact, I'm agreeing with it.  I'm just saying that I don't think we can reach the idealistic dream of a balanced meseta market.  I really feel like the selling gear for GC idea may be a good starting point though, but it'd obviously clash with drop rates that are too strong.

 

 

One last thing

Since the official release, I've never lost faith in you, even though there are some, weird, issues that took some/is still taking some time to resolve.  I know that you will take the game into a good direction(at least from my perspective), and I'm looking forward to a long future.

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20 minutes ago, Hatsodoom said:

Of course I'm the only one who doesn't like the ATA suggestion. Ugh, might as well enjoy it while I can...

ATA already doesn't apply to techs and BARELY applies to guns.
Striking has to get high element weapons and not hit 0s just to keep up with GM and MF's damage 

Quite obvious why people want it changed.

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On 8/16/2021 at 6:24 PM, Marmalade said:

First we just put back the chance to lose max grind potential when you fail a grind, but I would honestly consider making the chance of it actually breaking a lot less than it currently is, lest you still spend actual hours grinding.

For your grinding idea you lost me at "Let's put back in break chance lowering max grind." Sorry, but Sega really dropped a shitty idea on everyone with that, even if you have a NPC that'll put a band-aid over it and let you try it again. It just adds an extra tedious step to the process that shouldn't be there in the first place. The entire grinding system as a game of odds is garbage AND it's a massive contradiction people dance around while trying to validate it.

 

"There's a weapon upgrade system in this game!" Instantly we are encouraged to take part in it.

"Oh but it's only a CHANCE that it gets upgraded." Now the system is showing its vestiges of tedium, and the player gets discouraged from it since it's a game of luck. 1d100 on if it upgrades or not.

"You also lose your current grind if you fail!" Now you REALLY don't want to do it because you can get up to that sweet 9/10... and then you're back to 0/10. Made worse if you end up with x/9 from a break. Wasted time.

"Some weapons need to be ground to really shine." Here comes the real hitch in all this. Now you're pushed to do something that is deeply flawed and rather disrespectful just to make a weapon really shine like it should.

 

Do I have an alternative answer for the grinding system? Not really, except to look at PSPo2 (Infinity), and point at it doing grinding right.

"BUT MUH GRINDERS!" Please, PSU's grinding system is massive bloat, which is another part of its flaw. Do the math. PSO has THREE items for item upgrading. Mono, Di, and Trigrinders. Four if you wana count Photon Spheres for weapon percentages. Yes they only affected ATP for a weapon, but it was nice an simple. In PSU we have FOURTY-EIGHT items dedicated to an upgrade system that is made way more complicated than it needs to be. SIXTEEN TIMES THE ITEMS! My god that's bloat as all hell. My overall suggestion would to be to devalue grinders, put the odds at 100%, but make the process cost a proportionate amount of meseta, possibly multiplied by star rating rather than rank. There ya go, a meseta sink AND something that people end up working toward naturally by doing all that rare hunting and selling junk off. However I don't know if that can be done. If it can't, then oh well. The idea can be completely disregarded. Even if it could, I can already hear people screaming about it being unbalanced, about devaluing grinders, and how it shouldn't be so easy to get 10/10, or 15/15 as what's being proposed. That's why I originally wasn't going to suggest this, and why I know it won't be accepted, PSU's internals allowing for it or not not withstanding. Would such a thing invalidate the existence of a NPC? Yes. Is that a bad thing? No not really, in my opinion... sometimes certain things should be invalidated when they prop up something already deeply flawed, disrespectful, and a walking contradiction to begin with. But a lot of that hinges on if grinding can be made to require scaling amounts of meseta in the first place as well as if people would accept it. Turns out Meseta cost can't be attached to the grinding process. Just ignore most of that. Thanks Marm for that info via Discord.

 

Upgrading should be a part of the progression flow, not something some players look at and loathe because it could take anywhere from 10 minutes to 10 days or longer to get even 1 weapon to 10/10. Don't add senseless extra steps... that makes an already horrible process even worse. It doesn't solve a problem, it creates more and pushes people further away from the idea.

 

Also please don't talk at me about how it'll affect the player market. I am NOT someone to talk about that with, because I despise player markets and feel they'll always be horrible no matter what. This comes from experience across multiple online games, and I'm quite embittered about it. So please just... don't talk at me about how my idea for grinding would also affect the market. You're better off talking at a wall about it, because I won't respond to it. Sorry if that seems rude, but at the same time I'm not sorry for holding the stance I do about it.

 

Additional Edit/Addition:

 

After a bit more thought, I have to ask something. Why re-introduce the lowering of weapon grind max, and then right behind it have a NPC that'll fix it? Just don't do it. You are actually fence sitting with that idea, and you should just not do that. Pick one or the other, don't put in an idea, and then immediately invalidate it. You may as well just not do it in the first place. Save yourself the time and effort.

 

Also the idea for weapons to drop with less than 0/10 feels just as horrible, because now you're adding a process that doesn't need to be there, AND it echos the above problem. You invalidate the idea just because you want to make a specific NPC relevant. It's okay to make a NPC relevant by addressing the game's problems. Having all the vanilla stuff is great, but you also need to look at it and ask yourself if it's really needed or if you can make it better. This idea doesn't make things better. It just creates guaranteed vendor trash because people won't want to spend valuable resources on restoring a flawed weapon... and if you force it, then you're gonna have some unhappy players. The idea introduces yet MORE RNG into an already very muddled RNG pool. Please don't make it worse. If you do, then it becomes this process for melee (who have it worse, be honest):

Did the enemy drop anything?
Did the enemy drop what I'm after?
Did the weapon drop in the right element?
Did the weapon drop with a high element %?

Did the weapon drop as a prototype?
Did the weapon drop with 0/10?
Is it worth spending resources to repair a 0/x weapon that just dropped?

 

See what I mean? It's horrible.

Edited by ScarletMel
Removing redundancy and fixing typos. Adding extra thoughts.
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Maybe I should be fair and give this some detail. Adding in variance for every attack, I get it. The damage is about the same, the loss of damage from 0's just gets divided across all attacks. However there are other factors to consider.

Miss Chance/Variance: It's pretty difficult, if not impossible to actually get 100% accuracy against something your level. So you'll always have some level of variance, even with super high ATA. Always having that variance could cause issues when it's combined with things like weapon variance and enemy half-guards. It could end up causing damage dealt to be much lower than intended depending on where the "miss variance" is in the equation. There's other factors to consider in this than just ATA and miss chance.

ATA vs. EVP: As someone else suggested, just raise enemy EVP to keep ATA's value as a stat. If that was done the entire formular for attack accuracy would have to change then because or damage variance would be even higher. Even worse, you would have to change literally every single thing in the game that has an ATA stat or modifier. Units, weapons, PAs, everything would have to change in order to fit this new accuracy formula/curve.

Enemy Stagger: You hit an enemy and it likely staggers given you use the right weapon/PA. If you always hit, the enemy always staggers. Yah it's annoying to be using a PA and get knocked out of it, but it's part of the game and a counter to high damage melee users which this change would benefit the most. It wouldn't really be fun to just stun lock an enemy regardless of your ATA. So if you do this there needs to be something in place to determine if the enemy gets staggered or not because 100% stagger from a low ATA weapon like a shotgun just kind of makes things like that overpowered.

 

I may be getting some of what I said wrong. The short version of all this is that ATA and accuracy is a core combat mechanic. Changing it will not be simple and those changed will go beyond what they were originally intended to change. It's a chain reaction, the devs need to be very careful and consider every aspect of physical combat when considering this. One wrong step and suddenly everything is imbalanced. I just want to avoid that.

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8 minutes ago, ScarletMel said:

For your grinding idea you lost me at "Let's put back in break chance." Sorry, but Sega really dropped a shitty idea on everyone with that, even if you have a NPC that'll put a band-aid over it and let you try it again. It just adds an extra tedious step to the process that shouldn't be there in the first place. The entire grinding system as a game of odds is garbage AND it's a massive contradiction people dance around while trying to validate it.

 

"There's a weapon upgrade system in this game!" Instantly we are encouraged to take part in it.

"Oh but it's only a CHANCE that it gets upgraded." Now the system is showing its vestiges of tedium, and the player gets discouraged from it since it's a game of luck. 1d100 on if it upgrades or not.

"You also lose your current grind if you fail!" Now you REALLY don't want to do it because you can get up to that sweet 9/10... and then you're back to 0/10. Made worse if you end up with x/9 from a break. Wasted time.

"Some weapons need to be ground to really shine." Here comes the real hitch in all this. Now you're pushed to do something that is deeply flawed and rather disrespectful just to make a weapon really shine like it should.

 

Do I have an alternative answer for the grinding system? Not really, except to look at PSPo2 (Infinity), and point at it doing grinding right.

"BUT MUH GRINDERS!" Please, PSU's grinding system is massive bloat, which is another part of its flaw. Do the math. PSO has THREE items for item upgrading. Mono, Di, and Trigrinders. Four if you wana count Photon Spheres for weapon percentages. Yes they only affected ATP for a weapon, but it was nice an simple. In PSU we have FOURTY-EIGHT items dedicated to an upgrade system that is made way more complicated than it needs to be. SIXTEEN TIMES THE ITEMS! My god that's bloat as all hell. My overall suggestion would to be to devalue grinders, put the odds at 100%, but make the process cost a proportionate amount of meseta, possibly multiplied by star rating rather than rank. There ya go, a meseta sink AND something that people end up working toward naturally by doing all that rare hunting and selling junk off. However I don't know if that can be done. If it can't, then oh well. The idea can be completely disregarded. Even if it could, I can already hear people screaming about it being unbalanced, about devaluing grinders, and how it shouldn't be so easy to get 10/10, or 15/15 as what's being proposed. That's why I originally wasn't going to suggest this, and why I know it won't be accepted, PSU's internals allowing for it or not not withstanding. Would such a thing invalidate the existence of a NPC? Yes. Is that a bad thing? No not really, in my opinion... sometimes certain things should be invalidated when they prop up something already deeply flawed, disrespectful, and a walking contradiction to begin with. But a lot of that hinges on if grinding can be made to require scaling amounts of meseta in the first place as well as if people would accept it.

 

Upgrading should be a part of the progression flow, not something some players look at and loathe because it could take anywhere from 10 minutes to 10 days or longer to get even 1 weapon to 10/10. Don't add senseless extra steps... that makes an already horrible process even worse. It doesn't solve a problem, it creates more and pushes people further away from the idea.

 

Also please don't talk at me about how it'll affect the player market. I am NOT someone to talk about that with, because I despise player markets and feel they'll always be horrible no matter what. This comes from experience across multiple online games, and I'm quite embittered about it. So please just... don't talk at me about how my idea for grinding would also affect the market. You're better off talking at a wall about it, because I won't respond to it. Sorry if that seems rude, but at the same time I'm not sorry for holding the stance I do about it.

not sure about the whole idea, but simplifying the system and also the market thing doesn't sound bad

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11 minutes ago, Hatsodoom said:

Maybe I should be fair and give this some detail. Adding in variance for every attack, I get it. The damage is about the same, the loss of damage from 0's just gets divided across all attacks. However there are other factors to consider.

Miss Chance/Variance: It's pretty difficult, if not impossible to actually get 100% accuracy against something your level. So you'll always have some level of variance, even with super high ATA. Always having that variance could cause issues when it's combined with things like weapon variance and enemy half-guards. It could end up causing damage dealt to be much lower than intended depending on where the "miss variance" is in the equation. There's other factors to consider in this than just ATA and miss chance.

ATA vs. EVP: As someone else suggested, just raise enemy EVP to keep ATA's value as a stat. If that was done the entire formular for attack accuracy would have to change then because or damage variance would be even higher. Even worse, you would have to change literally every single thing in the game that has an ATA stat or modifier. Units, weapons, PAs, everything would have to change in order to fit this new accuracy formula/curve.

Enemy Stagger: You hit an enemy and it likely staggers given you use the right weapon/PA. If you always hit, the enemy always staggers. Yah it's annoying to be using a PA and get knocked out of it, but it's part of the game and a counter to high damage melee users which this change would benefit the most. It wouldn't really be fun to just stun lock an enemy regardless of your ATA. So if you do this there needs to be something in place to determine if the enemy gets staggered or not because 100% stagger from a low ATA weapon like a shotgun just kind of makes things like that overpowered.

 

I may be getting some of what I said wrong. The short version of all this is that ATA and accuracy is a core combat mechanic. Changing it will not be simple and those changed will go beyond what they were originally intended to change. It's a chain reaction, the devs need to be very careful and consider every aspect of physical combat when considering this. One wrong step and suddenly everything is imbalanced. I just want to avoid that.

 

I feel the issue is that currently gunners & techers do the most consistent damage and don't really miss....  having melee never hit a zero is more about bringing some balance back to the fighters...  sure they CAN do high damage but so can gunners & techers and even more so at a more frequent rate.  Just my opinion of course.

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I feel like fighters are the most powerful right now honestly. And gunners can still miss too you know. In case you forgot while they have higher base ATA from their class, melee weapons have higher ATA stats. Fighters do higher damage but have lower ATA, that's their thing. Again though if it was just math at play I'd get it. But there's other gameplay/combat mechanics to consider that may become imbalanced if this is implimented. All I'm saying is there's a lot more to consider when attempting to make these changes.

Edited by Hatsodoom
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6 minutes ago, Hatsodoom said:

I feel like fighters are the most powerful right now honestly.

You play Cast Masterforce....

 

Anyway I think it would be good if the Damage Chart Clem's balance team uses to make decisions was public so we could have a dialogue about it, balance is far from perfect and there some glaring issues like Assault Crush and Renzan being better than 1 and 2 target PAs while being able to hit 3 
 

 

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Reading through this, I get the feeling that Clementine maybe isn't for me anymore and that I might be quitting after this patch, at least if certain things here go through. Well, that's fine - it's not like you guys owe me anything. If anything, I should be thanking you for all the fun I've had grinding mobs and hunting for items so far. You do what you gotta do, and if I end up leaving over it then so be it.

I'll reply to the points that I feel the most strongly about. If I don't reply to something it means I either agree with it or just don't have a strong opinion either way.

On 8/16/2021 at 7:24 PM, Marmalade said:

Experience and Progression

Relaxing the mission level requirement

I've made my opinion on the early game and 'the journey' clear enough in other threads that repeating it would probably be beating a dead horse. I'm okay with the removal of tagging (not a mechanic that accomplishes anything good), the removal of basic types (they're just awful to play as and they discourage you from trying different expert types - that said, an alternate approach that I might prefer is to instead make basic types less awful), maybe making B rank a touch more rewarding, and of course the 180 cap (or dropping entire difficulties at once).

I do think that capping the exp boost at level 80 or whatnot and having normal rates beyond that is significantly better than just having boosted rates across the spectrum, though. Globally boosted exp rates would be a deal breaker for me. And if you absolutely have to add +50% MP rates, I'd suggest it be capped at level 20 too. 

On 8/16/2021 at 7:24 PM, Marmalade said:

Dying would no longer lower the mission's clear ranking.

Please don't do this. Scape Dolls already exist as a method of mitigating death (but still leaving it with a cost that means you want to avoid dying where possible). Making death largely pointless will devalue the importance of all defensive stats... as well as the importance of careful play.

On 8/16/2021 at 7:24 PM, Marmalade said:

Adjusting the enemy HP party modifier nonsense.

This is a deal breaker. I often play solo for the challenge it provides, and now everything is going to die faster - making the game significantly easier overall. I enjoy fighting enemies that have some weight (HP) to them, and I don't find the current HP values to be unreasonable. I also tend to avoid large parties because they feel too 'we just steamroll over the enemies'-ish... and now enemies will die even faster to large parties.

On 8/16/2021 at 7:24 PM, Marmalade said:

Do you like Half Guard? No.

Yes I do. I absolutely love it as a mechanic (with one exception). Why? Because it forces me to vary up my gameplay, making the game more interesting and diverse. When a pair of Svaltus spawn against my Acrofighter, I drop a Virus Trap G on them and trigger my SUV (which I've been saving specifically to deal with these strike resistant mobs). And that's super cool! I love that traps and status ailments are a worthwhile way to work around damage type resists. Remove the resist, and I just Shunbu them like I Shunbu every other multi hitbox enemy.

And in some missions, resists make me want to vary up my gameplay even further and hop on my Newman Masterforce/Wartecher.

That one exception: Enemies with both shield buff and strike resist (or shield buff + range resist, or staff buff + tech resist). Doing half damage is one thing, but shield buff + strike resist tanks my damage to so low (~1/3rd-ish) that 'slug through the enemy with striking anyway' is no longer a reasonable option. I'd be all for making the two not stack, or removing shield buffs from things with strike/range resist, whatever.

On 8/16/2021 at 7:24 PM, Marmalade said:

A funny mechanic called Attack Accuracy

I can understand why you'd want to do this. Hitting a 0 on an attack that was supposed to crowd control an enemy can be quite a shock. But I fear that this change will make the game feel significantly more bland. I think this is easiest to explain with an example: Right now, Bal Soza is 'that dodgy asshole that I have to be careful around, because there's a good chance that the second hit of Spinning Strike won't connect and won't crowd control them'. After this change, Bal Soza will just be generically tankier - which will make my Scarred Planet S2 runs feel a lot blander. There's also the matter of how different weapons feel when compared to each other (and different PAs too).

On 8/16/2021 at 7:24 PM, Marmalade said:

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.

I'm not going to comment on the grinding system as a whole (because honestly it's a pretty minor thing to me, at least in comparison to some of the other potential changes), but I'd like to say that I agree with this statement. I'd rather not spend much time at the grinding NPC, same as how I don't like to spend much time managing my player shop.

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Yes to all.

PSU is a dated game. Modern MMOs have had time to recognize and remedy the shortcomings of earlier competitors. Nostalgia will get you interested enough to put your foot in the door. Retaining that interest is a different story. I can't speak for everyone, but I think standards have collectively been raised over the years as the market has matured. PSU was (and still is in some respects) very unique. Even still, there'd be no hope in hell of it standing on its own two feet if it were released nowadays. This isn't because it's a previous-gen game in terms of graphics/technology, but because of its glaring, dated design imperfections that have been touched on here.

I'm probably just being captain obvious here, but ultimately we all want the game to be fun and to last a long time. This entails an active and sizeable player base, which I don't think is achievable by playing into nostalgia and leaving certain flaws as is simply because it's the "authentic" experience; the fragmented lobbies make PSU extra needy in terms of player count. PSOBB servers like Ephinea could get by with just a few adjustments since it's all centralized into one lobby. I don't think the "vanilla with sprinkles" approach is applicable to PSU.

Not trying to brown nose, but I don't think this game could be in better hands. You've obviously given it more thought than anyone else. I'd say just go ham with improvements and changes. If it's really that bad, we'll yell at you and withhold pizza money. EAFP, after all.

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32 minutes ago, WouldntYouLiketoknow said:

You play Cast Masterforce....

And this comes into play... how exactly? I also play Human Fortegunner and Newman Fortetecher, doesn't change how I view the damage comparisons between classes when watching other people. Keep rips on me in Discord please.

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Also as for the half-guard thing I say keep it. It encourages grouping up with people and having a balanced party. Also makes fusion classes like Guntecher more helpful. This is also one of the downsides to master classes, if you bump into a foe that's resistant to your type sure you got crazy damage, but there's no counter for the halfguard. I like having a balanced group, half-guard encourages it.

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Read the entire thing and wow that was a hell of a novel you've wrote for us, thank you for taking the time.

I just want to say I love everything mentioned but a few I have concerns about.

1. The relaxing Mission Level Requirements I'm cool with just the lower difficulties like C-S but not sure about S2.

2. I'm okay with a meseta sink as long as it doesn't effect the poor players too much.

3. The idea of Weapons dropping with lower Max Grind sounds kinda bad but if I can get GC in a decent enough rate (or however its implemented) it should be okay. Or maybe have certain uber rare weapons drop with lower max grind?

In the end I really hope everything here gets implemented. It all is looking like a completely better experience.

I'm mostly excited about the level cap to 180, the enemy hp party modifier removal, GAS, The Upgrade Device, and of course drop changes.

Also yes please get rid of the 0s they are so infuriating lol.

Edited by demonv1
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EXP: Simple fix for early game, even if it "invalidates" running C-B rank missions is to bring back Innocent Girl or a custom mission similar to it. It gave large EXP boosts and numerous large mobs with NPCs that helped you kill them easily early on. On JP, this was the way to aim for getting out of the first 50-70 levels so you could actually try to go play the game. I still think there needs to be EXP/MP boosts separate from that, but this would deal with early game. Considering the goal down the line is GAS which requires massive EXP, there should I think eventually be a shift away from "getting to 180 takes forever". GAS is millions of EXP to customize a few class, and you can start it until you're capped.

Drops: I've all but given up on arguing with others on this, so I will state my opinion only. So long as the community size stays roughly what it is, rates should be made with the idea that you can farm stuff yourself. As long as RNG exists (which it always will for this game), if you make rates too low, it's too easy for people to just get ass blasted by bad RNG or fork over an obscene amount of money. Also I dislike the idea of things being rare on clem for no reason compared to official (see Ouryu).

Grinding: With full custom power on the horizon with GAS, grinding seriously needs to be addressed in some way where a player can use *some* type of resource to more consistently 10/10 gear. Whether that's GC, or introduction of grind boost items I don't know. All I know is the rates for grinding are abysmal even for B-ranks, and with FCP, that will only make people even more frustrated.

GAS-related: If LB becomes GAS only, this makes teching feel really bad until you're level cap in any quest with a boss. At least for some of them, they should remain tied to class levels or simply be innate to begin with.

Enemies: This is not addressed, but I find it frankly unacceptable how strong enemies already are when we're not even at S3/S4 endgame. I don't know who's idea it was to give enemies so much more HP and ATP, but it needs to be reversed to official or toned down a fair amount. At the current rate, S4 trash mobs will one shot people with 50% endgame armor. 

Accuracy: 0s are trash, and removing them is a great idea for just reduced damage instead of no damage. I still can't tell if RNG just makes accuracy feels worse than how it should be, but 0s need to be gutted.

 

Overall opinion: having played both PSU and PSO2 for thousands of hours, PSU remains the king of excessive, needless time spent grinding it out. There were plenty of times where PSO2 was grindy... endgame. But that endgame kept evolving, so you'd have to regrind for all your gear again and again, and it's why a lot of people quit. PSU has a lot more gradual grind to get to endgame in the first place, but right now, the rates for rares is so low that it's repeating PSO2's same biggest mistake: constant "endgame" gear grind. You compound those two things, and it does not bode well. 

Edited by milranduil
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