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What made PSU Easy? (official, And clementine.)


Lupophobia
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I feel we as a community don't exactly know what was best for PSU,
Too many varying opinions and too many changes will end up hurting the game in the long run.
So I want to understand, specifically for those claimed PSU to be easy, what made the official game of PSU easy.
This is just so I can form an opinion of my own based on these claims.

I want to understand where it began that made the change about the games difficulty scaling from official to clementine.

I also want to understand why you disliked the difficulty scaling of the official server,
what made you stick around even after this? What kept you engaged?

Edited by Lupophobia
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7 hours ago, Lupophobia said:

what made you stick around even after this?

If an opinion of someone, whom never even heard about this game, when the official game were out counts. I think there's many thing we can count, that would provide the answer for this  question.

First and foremost, on how i heard about the old community, it was.... way way way more larger than we are currently. (But for the record, if an event pops, the main ship is usually crowded)
So making the game "easier" grants the players to enjoy the game, if they're alone, or with only a friend.

Secound: I'd say people whom play the game back before clementine, simply enjoy the game, for what it is. Secretly hope they'll find someone they were play with, and i bet several old friends found eachother after a long while. On the other hand, someone whom never heard of the game (like me), will get a new experience about a game they never played with, and despite it's an old game, it's really fun.

Third: Most of the players whom came here for nostalgia, probably have jobs, or family, making the game easier is not bad in that case. So they're not going to feel they're abandoned if say.... They can't play for a while, because they can easy rank up well :3

Last but not least, several aspects of the game changed to make the game more enjoyable (Once again, i have no idea how it was a while back). Which may or may not made people sour, or happy. What i experience, is a rather relaxed game, but still have challange ideas i can, and will eventually record.

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18 hours ago, Lupophobia said:

 specifically for those claimed PSU to be easy, what made the official game of PSU easy.

 

PSU does arguably offer Easy, Medium and Hard difficulty levels. The players just have to be aware of how to "**switch**" between those difficulty settings, and have the discipline to stick to it (tough it out, if necessary).

A number of games, seem to use a similar method of "**switching**" between difficulty levels.

 

The idea is that you choose what difficulty level you want, and then play the appropriate mission levels to suit (i.e. there is NO switch as such). E.g. Oblivion, if I remember correctly. Which some dungeons that are too difficult early on, so you can wait until your character levels up a lot, then go back and fight the monsters there, much more easily.

 

E.g. Let's say that playing mission level "A" would give a sort of normal/medium level of difficulty. Then you can choose to play (solo only), on level B for an easy game, level C for a very easy game, level A for a medium/normal difficulty, level S for a hard difficulty and level S2 for a very difficult level.

 

In practice there are a number of complications. Some of the higher levels might not be available to play (entry levels needed), there can be somewhat major 'game balance' issues, which this version (Clementine) and the older versions, perhaps had, to varying extents (opinions can vary on this).

 

Also, playing solo significantly increases the difficulty level of a mission, and team play (especially big parties with very high level players, with good/great equipment), can be easy (or very easy), or at least easier.

 

I.e. It is perhaps too simplistic to say the game is too easy, if tough mission difficulties are playable by the player, while soloing and/or very tough missions available for parties, such as S3 etc.

 

The game (as far as I am aware), has always seemed to allow, ultra-super-easy modes of play, if you want, using various (game legal) techniques. Such as obtaining the best equipment for that level of player, available in the game (buying via the shops), from friends, other player account characters (rich high level players) as part of your 4 save slots, or even buying such stuff using real life money (usually against the game rules), but it does and can happen. Especially or only in the old/original game, by Sega.

 

I remember on the old (closed) servers, that some (lazy or maybe too busy) player(s), would literally join missions, and then sit outside for the entire duration of the mission. Just to gain free/lazy MP points (and maybe meseta, I'm not sure). The game system seemed to allow this (i.e. not refuse to give players who don't participate, the giving of MP points, at the end of the mission). Typically it was between friends when this happened. Whereby, friends missioning, would leave their player character in the mission, while they AFK in the lobby, for hours, gaining free MP points.

I remember in the 'old' days, (fully game legally) cheating (NOT exploiting bugs, just using the allowed playing techniques for power leveling), to get an additional character (not a main character save slot) from level 1 to level 100 (very approximate, I can't remember the exact figures, now), very quickly and easily. 

 

Just give the character great equipment, from the other players in that account, and plenty of meseta. Wait until the next big event. Then get friends to help me power level up, using the somewhat extreme huge/easy exp rates of the ongoing mission, by letting me mark (tag) the targets, especially big monsters. Then see my level number jump from say 5 to 9 in one step, just because the De-regan or whatever boss has just been killed.

E.g. Going from Level 1 to player Level 60 in a day, of a good event, with suitable friends (or even solo, as some events make the monsters so weak, with low HP, to such an extent).

 

I think the original game designers noticed those power leveling tricks, and so later, put in limits and formulas, to reduce the ability to power level, very quickly like that.

Edited by Adooma
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Those formulas existed to the very end of the game, allowing for leeching and such, as for power leveling, missions like innocent girl, and Ohtori encampment existed to, Power level to the extreme, Ohtori even dropped some very powerful gear inside of it.
To add to this, there was also GC in JP that allowed players to spend money to get really really powerful weapons, and good exp/mp to do these missions that I would argue are better than rare missions in alot of ways(actually seeing GC missions return as a sort of rare mission would be excellent content ngl.)

My experience has usually always been between, solo, and duo playthroughs, so the difficulty felt appropriate, since many missions are already stated that you can run it solo, I always thought the intention was that it was balanced in a sort of way to be that way.
There was also more missions, usually during event that were more suited for party play/group play(even stating 4+ is recommended.) those felt good at the time too. But is party play the reason why the game feels easy? I feel like thats one contributing factor of many.
Like having the best gear available for your class to do that exact content that your farming, this is what power creeping does. Enemies themselves don't grow stronger, but the player is constantly getting more and more powerful. So is it the enemy? or the players themselves that make the game feel easy?
Then we have buffs, debuffs, and incapacitate.

Buffs further inflate player stats that might've already been high,
Debuffs completely debilitate the enemy
Incapacitate is a the greatest debuff of them all, Just random death.
But these systems are a part of the game, so how does it balance it all out?

So what is the solution? Negating the effects of party play?
Make content with the expectation that players would be buffing themselves constantly?
Mitigate the effects of debuffs?

Then you would be debilitating a class, OR making it required to have that class in your party.
This would end up shifting players to play and limiting some of the social aspects of the game.

But I do think sometimes if the party limit should be restricted to just 4 players sometimes, which fits  how the portable series, PSO2/PSO:BB, and offline have all functioned..
I think it was more of a design choice to have 6 players in the party so more people can play together.

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I bet the devs are sick of reading my posts 😂 but I guess I'll reply.

On "easy"

It's very hard to make PSU difficult. It cannot possibly be a Soulslike. At the system level heals are just about free flow and have no cast time or recovery. I can even use mates while rolling on the floor. Also unlike a Soulslike there's no dodge button, and yet there's a lot of wide attacks like Bead Groode napalm. That makes for a lot of unavoidable damage, but unavoidable damage and oneshot combos are pretty much the only way to kill a player, otherwise they can just spam mates and resta.

And then at the character level... Wartecher and Gunmaster exist, and Casts and Beasts exist.

Wartecher is beefy, has high DFP, MST, HP, can self buff, can debuff, can Resta. If Orcdillan charges and Galdeen spinballs were rebalanced to murder a self-buffed Cast or Beast Wartecher in melee, the game will be unplayable for Newman Masterforce.

Gunmaster by design is a long range class with mobility. I can park behind an enemy's max spawn range and hold the turbo button with very little risk. If there's a lot of 2000 damage Foies to dodge, a Gunmaster is going to feel challenged but it's going to toast the Techers and Slicer throwers and slower Gunners, or the Fighters that need to get close and commit to a PA animation.

I'm not saying those classes are OP, but that by design they're hard to kill. To make things "challenging" for them, content needs to be designed such that a Gunmaster or buffed Wartecher has a risk of getting oneshotted 6 times - 5 times to empty the Scapes, then 1 time to Game Over. Near-death isn't enough, they can just Trimate right back. It's possible to do it, but imagine any other class trying to run a mission like that!

The way Sega balanced them was to make them lower risk / reward. Wartecher was decent but most of the time attacks came from Fighmaster, Acrofighter, Masterforce... the classes that had to take risks. So the challenge came from thinking of new ways to clear faster and optimize runs.

On staying engaged

For me it's not about easy or hard, it's about depth. PSU may be "easy" but it's also deep because I had a lot of choices to make. On Retail I played more than one class because it was fairly easy to gear classes decently and there were always new event missions or boost events. It was fun to try a new mission out and test different strategies and classes. If a friend was playing AF or FM I'd run AT to buff them, or I might be running AF with a WT friend. And it was balanced around Lv180 so it was easy to find parties because just about everyone was 180. And there were regular balance changes so the meta was fluid. Wartecher especially, at the start of vanilla it was a complete joke on the damage front (though hard to kill) but it eventually became really strong on JP.

7 hours ago, Lupophobia said:

Buffs further inflate player stats that might've already been high,
Debuffs completely debilitate the enemy
Incapacitate is a the greatest debuff of them all, Just random death.
But these systems are a part of the game, so how does it balance it all out?

Buffs and debuffs, namely the DFP ones, Deband and Zalure, were buffed but it does have a compound effect with Shifta and Jellen. Personally, if the cost of buffing buffs/debuffs is enemy stats need to be raised ridiculously, then I think buffs/debuffs have too much of an impact. Ideally it should be that every class is nice to have in a party rather than a must-have so it's about reaching a point where having a buffer/debuffer is attractive but you're not screwed if you don't have them. And I would personally prefer if the value of the buff/debuff class wasn't just buffs and debuffs. If they bring good damage or control to the table besides buffs and debuffs, they'd still be a good addition to a party. Kind of like how GT brings 2 incap attacks and a 100% point blank stun and boom headshot ability besides it's buffs.

If tomorrow enemy HP, ATP and TP goes down 35%, but to compensate, Lv41 Shifta, Deband, Jellen, Zalure gets adjusted to 15% up and 15% down from the current 27%. And in return Acrotecher receives Single or Ra LB and Lv21 Skills, I would still play Acrotecher. An AoE 15% is still a lot.

As for Incap, again it's a question of, if I don't use it, how much worse off am I? Right now, a lot worse off because of higher enemy HP + SE override + bigger risk of leaving them alive. Personally I'd prefer to remove SE Override and rework it to either work like Final Fantasy's Demi or PSO1's Devil's (removes 25% of remaining HP on proc) or an Execute (instakill on proc if target is <30% HP). On both player and enemy side. In return make it work against all the enemies it used to work on it Retail. That's one change I'm happy to deviate from against retail.

So generally speaking, it's okay for something to feel strong but it's always relative. The answer to "if I don't use it, how much worse off am I?", shouldn't be "a lot worse off", whether it's about a class or a BiS item or anything else.

Edited by Selphea
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Responding to the OP as it is the only post that I have read.

PSU was never made or meant to be difficult gameplay wise.  Sure Sega might have thrown in a few missions that were supposed to be more challenging than just running normal runs due to certain parameters in the run itself, but the base gameplay "non-difficulty" always was apparent even through those parameters.  It just might have taken you a few runs to learn that run, but then after that even that run was easy.

When enough "loud" players get together and are heard by devs and/or other players regarding this topic you end up getting both posts like this one (not saying it's bad), and the Illuminous Collusion event (not saying it was bad either).  IC as a whole was the happiest I have been with this server, but also the most frustrated.  Happy mostly because they made their own event run, something that I never thought that I would see, which is great for the server in the long run.  Frustrated because an event run is not supposed to be made around difficulty (likely influenced by those "loud" players), weather the run was difficult or not it just didn't work well as an event run IMO.  (I know it's their server and they can do what they want with it, etc. That is my opinion though.  Events are supposed to be beacons of hope for EXP grinding and rares not attempted punishment while having to earn an EXP boost at the beginning of it.  OK sorry mini-rant over.)

The "difficulty" in PSU always came in the form of an EXP grind for typical gameplay.  First is was getting to lvl 180, then if you thought that was bad then GAS would absolutely kick your ass worse than Bruce trying to solo his own dungeon (OK not that bad).  For others they found difficulty in RNG (grinding or running a run ad nauseum for an item) which I never understood, and still don't understand.  Either way though RNG is RNG (and Sega's Paywall) and the EXP Grind you are still killing the same things over and over while gathering it which loops back to the gameplay not being difficult on purpose.

For me on Clem the most difficult thing currently is finding the motivation to log in.  Which is unfortunate, but I am mostly waiting for an event (with an event run) or possibly some of those changes mentioned in Marm's post (whichever comes first).

The addicting part for me on the official server that kept me playing and coming back was TAing (or speed running) mostly.  It was also a way of getting a run that you might have seen hundreds of times and adding a layer of difficulty to it, as you are always fighting time, along with stuff that you and your party can't control like server ping.  And before I start remembering any more of my repressed Bruce's Dungeon memories... another thing that kept me coming back was breaking Masterforce with GAS.  It took a lot of grinding, but it was fun and engaging with each new thing unlocked.  Also endgame gear was good enough to keep me coming back for.

Clem is on its way, and from Marm's post looks to be going in the right direction.  Just sort of a waiting game for me now.

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14 hours ago, Lupophobia said:

Those formulas existed to the very end of the game, allowing for leeching and such, as for power leveling, missions like innocent girl, and Ohtori encampment existed to, Power level to the extreme, Ohtori even dropped some very powerful gear inside of it.
To add to this, there was also GC in JP that allowed players to spend money to get really really powerful weapons, and good exp/mp to do these missions that I would argue are better than rare missions in alot of ways(actually seeing GC missions return as a sort of rare mission would be excellent content ngl.)

My experience has usually always been between, solo, and duo playthroughs, so the difficulty felt appropriate, since many missions are already stated that you can run it solo, I always thought the intention was that it was balanced in a sort of way to be that way.
There was also more missions, usually during event that were more suited for party play/group play(even stating 4+ is recommended.) those felt good at the time too. But is party play the reason why the game feels easy? I feel like thats one contributing factor of many.
Like having the best gear available for your class to do that exact content that your farming, this is what power creeping does. Enemies themselves don't grow stronger, but the player is constantly getting more and more powerful. So is it the enemy? or the players themselves that make the game feel easy?
Then we have buffs, debuffs, and incapacitate.

Buffs further inflate player stats that might've already been high,
Debuffs completely debilitate the enemy
Incapacitate is a the greatest debuff of them all, Just random death.
But these systems are a part of the game, so how does it balance it all out?

So what is the solution? Negating the effects of party play?
Make content with the expectation that players would be buffing themselves constantly?
Mitigate the effects of debuffs?

Then you would be debilitating a class, OR making it required to have that class in your party.
This would end up shifting players to play and limiting some of the social aspects of the game.

But I do think sometimes if the party limit should be restricted to just 4 players sometimes, which fits  how the portable series, PSO2/PSO:BB, and offline have all functioned..
I think it was more of a design choice to have 6 players in the party so more people can play together.

I suppose what you (and perhaps the rest of us, or at least me) are saying, as regards "Easy", is (when looking at it, at a very high level, from above, i.e. in general terms), probably typical of what RPG (Role Playing Games, at least of the type that PSU is), gaming is all about.

 

Take my hypothetical, but sort of typical (in a theoretical kind of way), game (NOT PSU, but to show a principle).

So, you have a big bad dungeon, full of monsters,  called Dungeon_Difficult_20. When you enter/try it at player level1, and starter gear, you get one-shot-killed, immediately after entering the dungeon.

 

Later, you get enough exp (and anything else needed to level), and reach player level10, better equipment, have learnt the ropes on how to play and fight. Have better armor, restoration aids etc.

Now you can get through the first half of Dungeon_Difficult_20, and get some good drops, Mana, Reward-Barrels/Chests and other supplies.

Much later, when player level38, considerably better weapons, armor, fighting techniques, crafted restoration aids, both in-game pets, etc. You can complete the entire Dungeon_Difficult_20 with ease, fairly quickly, and get all the rich drops/rewards/exp and other benefits, a good player can get from successfully completing that dungeon.

Then on to Dungeon_Mega_Tricky_Difficult_75. Which even a level38 player, still finds almost impossible.

 

In other words the very fact that a game is a RPG (of our PSU type, as opposed to some other varieties, I think, i.e. player-levels/exp etc, rather than board-games/dice etc), means that it can be very difficult at first, but gets easier and easier, until it can even become super-unbelievably easy. E.g. A level 180 PSU player, doing a C-level mission in PSU.

Edited by Adooma
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Easy compared to what?

Easier than release? Easier than official? Easier to other games?
It's hard to stipulate what you mean by easy when there's no comparison.
Perhaps do you mean is, "Is PSUC casual focused or hardcore focused?"

As a quick measurement, what I believe PSUC is at the current time is:

casual --x------- hard
solo -x-------- group
support: ineffective --------x- effective

PSU in general has always been a sit back and push buttons type of game. It's no where near dungeon raiding MMOs where you need a fully stocked and balanced party to succeed. Clementine seems to follow this formula naturally, *aside from the inflated damage and evasion of current problematic spawns.

PSU was soloable for the most part but I felt it did a good deal of balancing the rewards between solo and party groups. However, Clementine heavily focuses on solo play since there is little reason to play with a group aside from bodies to press buttons if desired. No content is locked by party necessity. 

Support-based classes/skills/play-styles/etc are very effective. They are not nessessary since the server is very solo-friendly, but support orientated plays are very useful.

 

----------------------~~-----------------------

 

Agreed, that it's hard to speculate what should Clem be. Should it be casual focused? Completely soloable? Support effective? We also need to understand that we are not near end-game, more like 1/2 - 3/4 there, so we're basing our decisions with an "incomplete" look.

For difficulty, meaning the necessity to play correctly and/or level of preparedness in order to complete a mission to receive rewards, PSUC staying more towards the casual in-general would stay true to what PSU is. One can play however they want and be able to complete most missions without issue. As others have stated, we get to choose the the difficulty setting we wish to approach. This is the best way to apply difficulty, make it a choice. The issue currently is not the challenge jump from S to S2 (it seems a fair difference with previously mentioned exclusions obviously,*) but rather by the rewards between the two. The possible drops we get from S2 are astronomically better than S, so there's little reason to do S unless you simply can't do S2.

As for the solo-bias or party-bias, PSUC heavily tilts towards solo players. No content is locked out by needing to be in a party. It's mostly a preference if you choose to party or not. Now, it should be this way since it would be discriminating to those whom prefer to play by themselves, but sadly this means that the server leaves little reason for people to party up. Those whom enjoy party play will have a harder time finding a group. If we are able to change certain missions, perhaps giving huge short cuts with either buttons or locks that duos or parties could use to get through missions faster, that would incentivize people to group up without ostracizing solo-players.

Support effectiveness isn't usually a huge proponent when talking about game difficulty, specially when one would consider it to be more of a party-play issue. However, the usefulness of a support based playstyle does matter when it comes to the generality of a party-game. Just like there are those whom wish to play alone, there are those whom wish to play only in parties. If support-minded players were ineffective, then it would drive away those players and lower the incentive of party play even more, which again is against a cooperative game like PSU. It's a very good thing this isn't currently the case for Clementine. Supports arn't needed, but highly appreciated. 

The question shouldn't be then, "Is PSU too easy?" but rather, "Should PSU be this easy?" My question to you @Lupophobia is, when was the last time you were unable to complete a mission? When's the last time you ran out of scapes and had to return to lobby, losing your S rank for the mission (if you wanted it in the first place?) Does it take longer than an hour to finish a run? Completing missions, gaining rewards and drops is the essential point of PSU. Therefore, if it's extremely rare that you are unable to complete a mission, wouldn't you say that PSU isn't that difficult?

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if your runs aren't faster in a party, then it means someone or multiple people aren't pulling their weight. there aren't that many missions, especially on s2, that aren't noticeably or significantly faster with 2 or more people, incap or otherwise. given how obscene enemy stats are, if anything, the server is currently oriented towards party play. not the other way around.

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50 minutes ago, Seority said:

Easy compared to what?

Easier than release? Easier than official? Easier to other games?
It's hard to stipulate what you mean by easy when there's no comparison.
Perhaps do you mean is, "Is PSUC casual focused or hardcore focused?"

As a quick measurement, what I believe PSUC is at the current time is:

casual --x------- hard
solo -x-------- group
support: ineffective --------x- effective

PSU in general has always been a sit back and push buttons type of game. It's no where near dungeon raiding MMOs where you need a fully stocked and balanced party to succeed. Clementine seems to follow this formula naturally, *aside from the inflated damage and evasion of current problematic spawns.

PSU was soloable for the most part but I felt it did a good deal of balancing the rewards between solo and party groups. However, Clementine heavily focuses on solo play since there is little reason to play with a group aside from bodies to press buttons if desired. No content is locked by party necessity. 

Support-based classes/skills/play-styles/etc are very effective. They are not nessessary since the server is very solo-friendly, but support orientated plays are very useful.

 

----------------------~~-----------------------

 

Agreed, that it's hard to speculate what should Clem be. Should it be casual focused? Completely soloable? Support effective? We also need to understand that we are not near end-game, more like 1/2 - 3/4 there, so we're basing our decisions with an "incomplete" look.

For difficulty, meaning the necessity to play correctly and/or level of preparedness in order to complete a mission to receive rewards, PSUC staying more towards the casual in-general would stay true to what PSU is. One can play however they want and be able to complete most missions without issue. As others have stated, we get to choice to the difficulty setting we wish to approach. This is the best way to apply difficulty, make it a choice. The issue currently is not the jump in S to S2 (it seems a fair jump with previously mentioned exclusions obviously,*) but is by the rewards between the two. The (possible) drops we get from S2 are astronomically better than S, so there's little reason to do S unless you simply can't do S2.

As for the solo-bias or party-bias, PSUC heavily tilts towards solo players. There is no content that is locked out by needing to be in a party, it's mostly a preference if you choose to party or not. Now, it should be this way since it would be discriminating to those whom prefer to play by themselves, but sadly this means that the server leaves little reason for people to party up. So, those whom enjoy party play will have a harder time finding a group. If we were able to change certain missions, perhaps giving huge short cuts with either buttons or locks that duos or parties could use to get through the mission faster, that would incentivize people to group up without ostracizing solo-players.

Support effectiveness isn't usually a huge proponent when talking about game difficulty, specially when one would consider it to be more of a party-play issue. However, the usefulness of a support based  playstyle does matter when it comes to the generality of a party-game. Just like there are those whom wish to play alone, there are those whom wish to play only in parties. If support-minded players were ineffective, then it would drive away those players and lower the incentive of party play even more, which again is against a cooperative game like PSU. It's a very good thing this isn't currently the case for Clementine.

The question shouldn't be, "Is PSU too easy?" but rather, "Should PSU be this easy? Be harder?" etc. My question to you @Lupophobia, when was the last time you were unable to complete a mission? When's the last time you ran out of scapes and had to return to lobby, losing your S rank for the mission (if you wanted it in the first place?) Does it take longer than an hour to finish a run? Completing missions, gaining rewards and drops is the essential point of PSU. Therefore, if it's extremely rare that you are unable to complete a mission, wouldn't you say that PSU isn't that difficult?

[I will fix errors in a bit.]

Specifically yesterday, The day before, And a few days ago, I would end up running out of Scapes, feeling demotivated because I have the damage, but RNG wasn't in my favor by the end of the run, or if i do complete it it would usually feel like i'm not doing a good enough job on my own. But I usually view this as me falling behind what I was originally capable of doing before. Maybe if I mashed Trimates harder things would be fine, Maybe if I had 50% shijins instead of sticking around with the beekeepers i spent most of my money on, I'd have a better time, Maybe my weapons aren't strong enough, Maybe I should just play a different class. Things that typically go through my head alot of the times when I play currently, it's not exactly the fact that i believe clementine is easy, or the official server. I loved solo play because of the risks involved, what.. do I only use slicers and taking from a distance? do i only use guns and shoot down my enemies? I'd rather not have to play a gun or a mage class because i find it very repetitive in terms of gameplay, but I know for a fact if I did I wouldn't struggle nearly as much.
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I think what I'm really trying to say is, there's been a lot of voices claiming that this game is very easy.
But never specifying what makes the game easy specifically.

and before anyone states Megid, and foie is the only issue in this game, its not. this is sunken shrine s2, mages are dumb and so are svaltus with their 2k hits on wave attacks, having to constantly switch back to freeze and stun because I didn't keep my beekeeper parts.
I'm not exactly seeing what makes the game easy. 
So is what I'm doing the issue? Should I play a differently class that I might not enjoy, or opt for party play even though its already hard to find parties?
I'm experiencing new issues that I never experienced back on my days of PSU official, I was usually always capable of handling myself perfectly fine, And I didnt mind spending for the occasional scape or two because I was at least profiting in someway from my runs, even if they were slow, and painful, I would usually always find anywhere from 3~5 weapon drops, regardless if it was an A or an S rank. And they sold for a decent chunk too, so I can see why the money sinks came into question with clementine

I guess what my point is, I want to understand clearly what makes this game easy for the people that say the game is easy.
A lot of the time when I do any run, I'm not profiting at all, and honestly I don't really care about the market either, I've been playing this game for years, and I loved to solo the content all the way up to S4.
I could handle it even if S4 took me like 20mins sometimes to clear, because at the time, I never cared about having the best of the best equipment at the time, I was running the mission to get to that point.
Sadly, I never did, but regardless it was enjoyable. I never put money into PSU JP, as I found my experiences with the game were most enjoyable when i could farm everything myself, and  not have to trade, It even got to the point where I would just drop meseta cause lul? who needed that when your not buying anything. Freemium players didn't have access to shops, or their bots, or their rooms, but regardless I was still able to get some items I wanted, You could drop money to allow people to let you into their GC runs, so I kind of leeched off their  thicc-whaleness at times like how players currently pay for rares currently. Funny because I ended up replacing all those items at some point too, but i loved alot of their visuals.
Regardless, my gear in JP was still pretty powerful even if I didn't have the best, I would at least carry around the 2nd or 3rd with me, foie did like 2k  at S4, but I also wasnt using the best fire armor to resist it. I sticked to usually dark or light, usually for cosmetic reasons.
I don't believe getting 1~2 shot is difficult. I think it's stupid overall, and playing the game based of a single gimmick isn't exactly how Intended to run PSU,

I feel like the megid concept listed above where it cuts a certain amount of HP would be better for enemies, because removing from all enemies and only placing them on specific enemies creates this weird imbalance in a few missions, Not just RNG, where you don't actually need to engage the enemy, ect. There's so many of these types of missions,  and it gives some classes a free pass on them when 1. They may not even have a damage resistance to your attack type in the first place,
and 2. it shafts players that get resisted based on their attack type and need to brute force their way anyway. and for melee users its worse as our only option is to use some really shitty stick that barely 1shots  anything.
A lot of the rogue missions, and a lot of the AMF missions, alot of parum missions, trains, ect. have these enemies. So right now it feels real easy to just go around and one shot a huge chunk of enemies throughout the entire run without any restraint. The increase on SE for megid should've just been mitigated, It worked fine on official because it was more like a lottery if you were to one shot anything at all, Fun to use, but not optimal.

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Never played retail. If I had to slap a single label onto Clementine's current difficulty, I'd call it "Normal." But really, it varies widely depending:

- Some missions are quite easy - such as Mad Creatures. Some are quite difficult, like Castle of Monsters. Most are somewhere in between. Some missions vary in difficulty depending on what types of damage you can bring, too (try doing Sacred Stream S2 as a striking character and then as a TECHNIC user.)

- If you solo, the game is more challenging than if you play in a large party. My experience with 3+ member parties is that they generally just roll over enemies and clear missions much more quickly than solo. Duo is in between.

- And then it depends on how tanky your character is. If you play a Wartecher you'll be quite durable, and the game will be significantly easier than if you play the ridiculously fragile Masterforce. As I've mentioned before I actually switched from MF to WT because I was dying too much as MF. Being highly mobile (ex: able to fire while moving) can also make the game easier than if you have to commit to being stationary to attack.

- If your character has access to support techs, the game is a fair bit easier than if your character doesn't. Being able to Megistar/Giresta/Resta + debuffs makes a huge difference. (characters with support techs are also a lot more meseta efficient than characters without them, which is something I'm really not fond of).

- Progression. Your level, type level, gear, how well you know the mission and your skill at the game in general. Adooma's post addressed this quite nicely. A lot of the fun in PSU (at least to me) is progressing and mastering missions that I used to struggle on, going from 'I died twice' to 'I can do it without dying' to 'sweet I got my clear time down to 13:27 new record'. 

I remember the first time I rolled into Military Subway as an Acrofighter waaay back in the day, with no clue what I was even getting into. It took me 70 minutes to complete the mission, and I didn't have a single consumable left in my inventory when I somehow managed to claw my way to victory. In contrast, I can complete Unsafe Passage in sub 10 minutes with no danger of dying whatsoever. And like I'd mentioned in a prior thread - I used to use neutral armor prior to S2, and that made the game harder for me than it would have been for someone who a full set of elemental armor.

I don't think making the game easier overall is the solution, especially if we're going to achieve that by ripping mechanics out of the game or slashing enemy HP. I personally wouldn't mind some reduction in the damage that enemies deal on S2, but that's more based on how much of a difficulty jump S2 is than 'it's too hard/easy'. If anything I think we should be addressing outliers.

For example, fighting strike/range resist + shield buff enemies is utterly miserable unless you can use TECHNICs (or the number of such enemies is so low you can handle them with SUVs and DoT status, but that tends not to be the case). I haven't used incap a lot myself, but maybe it's also an outlier that needs to be taken down a notch.

If @Lupophobiais struggling that much, maybe we need to examine his playstyle/type/used photon arts and buff some of it to be more up to par. Likewise if someone is breezing through the game, maybe we need to examine their playstyle and what options they're using to see if some of it needs adjustment.

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As a player whose been playing for awhile and has a decent understanding of how to play PSU well, perhaps the damage spikes and high evasion from some of Clem's spawns is what's throwing you off. Answer would be to play a different way. Use PA's that offer lots of movement or weapons that have high ATA to ATP. Maybe a simple change of your playstyle would help with your survivability to this challenge spike. Personally, I have yet to solo a mission to where I die more than once per mission, so apologies if I don't quite understand why you're having such difficulties.

Different missions will be easier or harder to every class. Some will be a breeze for those whom have incap abilities, while they my have to slug through other missions where incap is barely useful. The most popular missions currently are heavily effected by megid/killer shot, which makes them seem unfair, but again, that's just these missions, not all of them. @Selphea's idea of megid only proccing after a certain hp percentage is a good idea, and would make incap more a strategic use instead of pure RNG. 

If you're being hindered by limited controls, perhaps you should change those so you can react quicker in the moment. 
Might I suggest Midori's Controls to let you switch armor and weapons instantly as well as quick menu selection: 

If I may ask, what missions are you having such trouble with? I only have a human capped as a AF/AT, so I can't test on exactly your race+class, but I'd like to see what you've been going through so I can come to a better understanding of these issues you're having. Thanks~

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25 minutes ago, Zeta said:

Never played retail. If I had to slap a single label onto Clementine's current difficulty, I'd call it "Normal." But really, it varies widely depending:

- Some missions are quite easy - such as Mad Creatures. Some are quite difficult, like Castle of Monsters. Most are somewhere in between. Some missions vary in difficulty depending on what types of damage you can bring, too (try doing Sacred Stream S2 as a striking character and then as a TECHNIC user.)

- If you solo, the game is more challenging than if you play in a large party. My experience with 3+ member parties is that they generally just roll over enemies and clear missions much more quickly than solo. Duo is in between.

- And then it depends on how tanky your character is. If you play a Wartecher you'll be quite durable, and the game will be significantly easier than if you play the ridiculously fragile Masterforce. As I've mentioned before I actually switched from MF to WT because I was dying too much as MF. Being highly mobile (ex: able to fire while moving) can also make the game easier than if you have to commit to being stationary to attack.

- If your character has access to support techs, the game is a fair bit easier than if your character doesn't. Being able to Megistar/Giresta/Resta + debuffs makes a huge difference. (characters with support techs are also a lot more meseta efficient than characters without them, which is something I'm really not fond of).

- Progression. Your level, type level, gear, how well you know the mission and your skill at the game in general. Adooma's post addressed this quite nicely. A lot of the fun in PSU (at least to me) is progressing and mastering missions that I used to struggle on, going from 'I died twice' to 'I can do it without dying' to 'sweet I got my clear time down to 13:27 new record'. 

I remember the first time I rolled into Military Subway as an Acrofighter waaay back in the day, with no clue what I was even getting into. It took me 70 minutes to complete the mission, and I didn't have a single consumable left in my inventory when I somehow managed to claw my way to victory. In contrast, I can complete Unsafe Passage in sub 10 minutes with no danger of dying whatsoever. And like I'd mentioned in a prior thread - I used to use neutral armor prior to S2, and that made the game harder for me than it would have been for someone who a full set of elemental armor.

I don't think making the game easier overall is the solution, especially if we're going to achieve that by ripping mechanics out of the game or slashing enemy HP. I personally wouldn't mind some reduction in the damage that enemies deal on S2, but that's more based on how much of a difficulty jump S2 is than 'it's too hard/easy'. If anything I think we should be addressing outliers.

For example, fighting strike/range resist + shield buff enemies is utterly miserable unless you can use TECHNICs (or the number of such enemies is so low you can handle them with SUVs and DoT status, but that tends not to be the case). I haven't used incap a lot myself, but maybe it's also an outlier that needs to be taken down a notch.

If @Lupophobiais struggling that much, maybe we need to examine his playstyle/type/used photon arts and buff some of it to be more up to par. Likewise if someone is breezing through the game, maybe we need to examine their playstyle and what options they're using to see if some of it needs adjustment.

Specifically for any type of mob, Assault crush gets the job done, especially dealing with groups of enemies
Enemies that have high evasions and resistances to melee like mages are annoying at times, So switching to  Demonic Muramasa to incapacitate them asap, but most of the time i find that to just never work as intended.
When it comes to jarbas, or flying targets, I switch to twin pistols, Specifically I avoid using the single dagger from the beekeeper set because I don't enjoy how powerful it seems to be, And I feel my damage overall is in a good spot.
A lot of mobs on S2 aren't really an issue besides the damage enemies can do currently.

Currently i play AF using Vijeri / Power with beekeeper, If needed I can demonstrate my playstyle overall.
The missions I struggle with the most are
Mad Beasts S2,
Sunken Shrine S2 (Specifically the ending.)
And sometimes robotanical gardens, usually due to how high the damage scales and enemies constantly moving away from you. (with increased movement due to difficulty)
Ironically, I can do castle of monsters just fine.
Even white beast is a breeze to solo.

I usually only jump between FM and AF, as playing anything slower doesn't really appeal to me, in the case of FM the main annoyances are megid as I don't have vijeri/resist and can't afford any time soon with the loop of me doing a missions re-purchasing my items and not making anything out of it, and enemies that have inflated HP/Evasion like bugs with no way to one shot them, but there's an item inside that mission that FM's would really want, Ashviens. It's not even a SR drop, but I have yet to see one drop, meanwhile a friend get's it back to back, usually at low %s. I'll probably do some unlisted run on youtube, and will update on this soon. Perhaps a run of every mission stated on both classes, So 5 runs per class, 10 total. could take anywhere from 2Hrs from now~ longer for an upload.

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Oh, I forgot to mention this in my previous post but I think 'enemy EVP' is one of the things that could use looking at. It does feel like there are a lot of zeroes in general, even when using fairly accurate options (I'm still using my old Gratia unit on my Acrofighter tbh). From what I hear Clem has higher enemy levels and higher base EVP than retail did?

And Lupophobia, do you use buff items? Just Agatarides? Megistarides? If you're not that'd definitely be making things harder on you. (And trust me I understand if you feel like you can't afford to chug megistarides. Double Time GAS can't come quickly enough).

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I think people just mix up hard with tedious. PSU was never hard in a difficultly sense (and shouldn't be really) but was tedious. Running the same mission 300 times and getting nothing is not hard that's just obnoxious tedium. When you have very high damaging enemies mixed with low drop rates or what feels like overly tedious drop rates you have what Clem is currently. Ofc there are always going to be people that find shit right away or constantly get lucky and say things are fine, but that's not the majority. Idk about others but I sure as hell don't like giving up my 2 or so hours of free time every day, logging in, doing 15 maybe 20 runs and getting nothing for it and then repeating for weeks on end. Then having to NPC/sell every single thing I find to make any sort of meseta, and that's not even mentioning the ridiculously inflated stats on 140+ enemies and all that.

 

This problem was not nearly as big on retail because you had many more options of income. On Clem it's you either sell everything you find or get a single big ticket item in the first few weeks before they lower in price. 

Edited by KanameChidori
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1 hour ago, Zeta said:

Oh, I forgot to mention this in my previous post but I think 'enemy EVP' is one of the things that could use looking at. It does feel like there are a lot of zeroes in general, even when using fairly accurate options (I'm still using my old Gratia unit on my Acrofighter tbh). From what I hear Clem has higher enemy levels and higher base EVP than retail did?

And Lupophobia, do you use buff items? Just Agatarides? Megistarides? If you're not that'd definitely be making things harder on you. (And trust me I understand if you feel like you can't afford to chug megistarides. Double Time GAS can't come quickly enough).

I do actually, its not like i'm some brand-new player to the game. The issue i believe is the fact at how over tuned enemies are, hitting  consistent zeros as a beast really sucks, Again the issue isn't really my damage, It's enemy damage, and their tankiness at times.

Sunken shrine, the mission i did where i ended up dying was due  getting stunlocked between two svaltus and a bird that likes to fly into you while spitting projectiles that do 700~800 damage a hit(and it hits twice) while also dealing with  two svaltus that shoot waves at you that may or may not stun you if you dont have stun resist.(which I do.) infact in the recording i'm currently doing, i finished 15:00 without much issue this run.
Then immediately go into Mad Beasts, getting bug patterns and having to kill like 20 of them i think? There could be more than 20 total,  but each has 50k... And the thing I was complaining about. Incapacitate on a saber, not procing enough... Decided to proc very early on for some. And then in both missions back to back I did end up getting something aswell.(which is rare as hell.) nothing i would use, but it was funny to note how odd rng can be at times. then go into white beast, forget to restock and wasted like 2~3mins just to run back and go back in, I made the most there today too. Somehow i went from 20k=>140k in about 3 runs, Then restocked went to robotanical gardens,  Nearly ran out of healing items, cause foie hurts. and so does barta, but there also enemies that like to use lightning and ground  and bow hoes love to shoot you for 1k dmg if your not using light armor, and then they're paired with the buffed mages that do 800 foie damage to you even though you have fire armor on and a mind unit to help with the damage, along with rainbow. and i went from 140k => 80k from just that run despite something also dropping in that mission. but that mission i proc'd alot of incap on enemies early with demonic muramasa.

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13 minutes ago, Lupophobia said:

I do actually, its not like i'm some brand-new player to the game. The issue i believe is the fact at how over tuned enemies are, hitting  consistent zeros as a beast really sucks, Again the issue isn't really my damage, It's enemy damage, and their tankiness at times.

Ah okay. I thought I saw you post a screenshot in another thread where you had no buffs on so I wasn't sure. And using Agatarides to save meseta on easier missions is a legit enough strategy.

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6 hours ago, Lupophobia said:

A lot of the rogue missions, and a lot of the AMF missions, alot of parum missions, trains, ect. have these enemies. So right now it feels real easy to just go around and one shot a huge chunk of enemies throughout the entire run without any restraint. The increase on SE for megid should've just been mitigated, It worked fine on official because it was more like a lottery if you were to one shot anything at all, Fun to use, but not optimal.

Pretty much, I ran through Military Subway with Killer Shot and I was like "haaaa this thing is broken 😂"! Would have taken a lot longer without.

5 hours ago, Zeta said:

I haven't used incap a lot myself, but maybe it's also an outlier that needs to be taken down a notch.

Try it! 😆

2 hours ago, Zeta said:

And using Agatarides to save meseta on easier missions is a legit enough strategy.

This might be a "was" rather than "is" a legit strategy. Retail Deband Lv2 reduced the damage you took by around 5% depending on a few factors. Clem Deband Lv2 reduces the damage you take by a multiplicative 15% based on the new damage formula (it's DEFENSE BUFF MOD there). I have a feeling things are balanced around the new multiplicative formula hence you need to stack more things than retail.

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47 minutes ago, Selphea said:

I have a feeling things are balanced around the new multiplicative formula hence you need to stack more things than retail.

Nope. If you compare new to old, you will notice the difference. Official divided by 5 without the end fractions due to DFP/MST and buffs. Clem currently divides by 3.7, and includes both fractions. If you take into account a Megistaride, you get dividing by 4.36, still less (meaning taking more damage) than official. If you include now 300 total DFP, you're dividing by 5.03. Still very close to official. If you include 700 total DFP, you're now dividing by 5.9. A noticeable difference, let's see how much it changes damage taken though.

Let's say you took 500 damage from something on official. Working backwards, that becomes about 425 damage on clem... with 700 DFP. Something no one has yet. So they took 15% reduced damage. But the squishier characters (less DFP) are still taking very much the same damage as before. 

Let go back to the 300DFP person. They would have taken 580 damage compared to the 700DFP person on official, but let's now buff enemy attack by 20% on clem(using rough estimate). If you have 700DFP, you now take 533 damage on clem, or more than official by 6%. However, the 300DFP person now takes 812 damage or a 62% increase in damage taken.

This is why enemies feel so miserable to fight, and that's just a 20% increase. Right now we have more than a 60% increase in ATTACK, not even damage taken. We are literally taking 2-3x more damage than the equivalent enemies on S2 would deal on official. Many enemies we're fighting deal more damage than their counterparts on official servers did on S4, endgame PSU. This is why enemy attack should be at most buffed by 10%, no more (and 5% tops for TP since techs have much higher scaling on average). The tankier people like fighters don't feel a small increase much, but the squishier classes will just get run over by EVERYTHING.

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38 minutes ago, milranduil said:

Nope. If you compare new to old, you will notice the difference. Official divided by 5 without the end fractions due to DFP/MST and buffs. Clem currently divides by 3.7, and includes both fractions. If you take into account a Megistaride, you get dividing by 4.36, still less (meaning taking more damage) than official. If you include now 300 total DFP, you're dividing by 5.03. Still very close to official. If you include 700 total DFP, you're now dividing by 5.9. A noticeable difference, let's see how much it changes damage taken though.

Let's say you took 500 damage from something on official. Working backwards, that becomes about 425 damage on clem... with 700 DFP. Something no one has yet. So they took 15% reduced damage. But the squishier characters (less DFP) are still taking very much the same damage as before. 

Let go back to the 300DFP person. They would have taken 580 damage compared to the 700DFP person on official, but let's now buff enemy attack by 20% on clem(using rough estimate). If you have 700DFP, you now take 533 damage on clem, or more than official by 6%. However, the 300DFP person now takes 812 damage or a 62% increase in damage taken.

This is why enemies feel so miserable to fight, and that's just a 20% increase. Right now we have more than a 60% increase in ATTACK, not even damage taken. We are literally taking 2-3x more damage than the equivalent enemies on S2 would deal on official. Many enemies we're fighting deal more damage than their counterparts on official servers did on S4, endgame PSU. This is why enemy attack should be at most buffed by 10%, no more (and 5% tops for TP since techs have much higher scaling on average). The tankier people like fighters don't feel a small increase much, but the squishier classes will just get run over by EVERYTHING.

If I get this right, you're saying stacking more DFP has more impact than retail, so tankier classes don't feel a damage increase as much but squishy classes feel it a lot. That's what I've been trying to say since the start of this thread.

If things are balanced such that the gap between the top and the bottom is wider, and content is designed for the top (e.g. solo WT or party with AT buffs), then the bottom (e.g solo Masterforce with no Lv5 buffs, low DFP) is screwed.

Edited by Selphea
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Yes and no. I'm saying that tankier classes feel it marginally less, but that enemy attack is so obscenely high that they can't tell the difference to begin with. The comparison is also inherently flawed because stacking DFP was so meaningless to begin with that ANY change to make it better is a step up from official. No one on clem right now has 700DFP to begin with. They might after we get a batch of levels, but that would only be with AT buffs. Notice also my comparison was +20% ATP, not +64%.

 

If the goal is to make DFP meaningful, enemy ATP can only be buffed such that the tankiest classes take less damage than official, and squishy classes take slightly more than official. Meaning like 10%.

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56 minutes ago, milranduil said:

Yes and no. I'm saying that tankier classes feel it marginally less, but that enemy attack is so obscenely high that they can't tell the difference to begin with. The comparison is also inherently flawed because stacking DFP was so meaningless to begin with that ANY change to make it better is a step up from official. No one on clem right now has 700DFP to begin with. They might after we get a batch of levels, but that would only be with AT buffs. Notice also my comparison was +20% ATP, not +64%.

 

If the goal is to make DFP meaningful, enemy ATP can only be buffed such that the tankiest classes take less damage than official, and squishy classes take slightly more than official. Meaning like 10%.

From the looks of it, a Cast with Shijin set (+75 DFP set on the highest DFP line in the game) can indeed get >700 DFP.

Based on Clem wiki it looks like buffs are on a separate multiplicative layer, so they work like Deband Cut on PSO2. For instance AT buffs it's not even 27% less damage, it's (1 / (1 - 0.27)) = 37% less damage.

So taking your example, against a Lv165 Bead Groode with 8260 ATP and assuming 62% Ele Line Shield between Rainbow unit and Line Shield element:

A Cast FM with Shijin set for 727 DFP, partied with an AT takes:

  • x0.84 damage from the Total Enemy ATP - DFP part of the formula
  • x0.73 damage from the (2000 / 2000 + DFP) part of the formula which is unique to Clem
  • x0.73 from Deband Lv5 which again is unique to Clem
  • So x0.44 total

A solo Newman MF with Feril Line for 402 DFP and using Megistaride takes

  • x0.91 damage from the Total Enemy ATP - DFP part of the formula
  • x0.83 damage from the (2000 / 2000 + DFP) part of the formula which is unique to Clem
  • x0.85 from Deband Lv2 which again is unique to Clem
  • So x0.64 total

So a solo Newman MF takes about 45% more damage on top of having almost half the HP.

If it was the DFP change alone from the 2000 / 2000 + DFP part, maybe it's not so bad. If it was the only the change of Deband from subtracting DFP to a multiplicative reduction, again maybe it's not so bad. But if they're compounded, and on top of existing race differences, class differences, it's huge.

56 minutes ago, milranduil said:

If the goal is to make DFP meaningful, enemy ATP can only be buffed such that the tankiest classes take less damage than official, and squishy classes take slightly more than official. Meaning like 10%.

I don't think the tanky classes need to take less damage than they did on official. Frankly if I have an easy time before and I still have an easy time after, why should I care? 😆 But all the little extras here and there do add up for the squishy classes.

Edited by Selphea
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Where are you getting that buffs are being divided???? The end of the formula is (1 - buff mod), the last parenthesis closes the floor function.

My entire point is not that tanky classes need to take less than official. It's that it's the only reasonable compromise without fucking over squishier types.

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