Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A primer on Phantasy Star Online 2 Equipment Ability Transfer

This will attempt to explain one of the most time-confusing and rather obfuscated systems in Phantasy Star Online 2 Beta, weapon ability transferring.
To start off with, each weapon can have anywhere from 0 to 4 abilities.
The amount of abilities a weapon has is referred to the amount of ability "slots."
To transfer abilities on to a weapon, you MUST have the desired ability on up to two weapons of an EQUAL number of slots (including non-transferable abilities), the exception is if the weapon you are transferring to has 0 abilities, then any weapon with abilities can transfer to a 0 slot weapon.

For example, let us say I have a 2 slot weapon with Burn 1 and Freeze 1, and I want Power 1 and Tech 1 on it.
I need to go find an existing two slot weapon that has Power 1 and Tech 1, or I can find two separate two slot weapons, one with Power 1 + random ability and the other one with Tech 1 + random ability.
Having a one slot weapon with only Power 1 and another one slot weapon with only Tech 1 will not help me, as neither weapon has two slots in total.
Having a weapon with Power 1 + Lucky Raise 1 will help me, even though Lucky Raise 1 is non-transferable, as it counts as a weapon with two slots.

A note on the abilities, all the basic level 1 abilities can combine to make level 2 versions of themselves, and two level 2 basic abilities can combine to make a level 3 version.
This includes Power, Shoot, Technique, Stamina, Spirit, Arm, Body, React, Mind, Burn, Freeze, Shock, Poison, and the resistances.
However the chance to combine successfully while transferring is lower than just transferring.
Whereas transferring a Power 1 over to a weapon might have 100% chance of success and transferring an existing Power 2 might have 60%, combining two Power 1s into a Power 2 might have 50% chance of success.
The exceptions are Lucky Raise 1, which is non-transferable in all cases (as of now), Mutation 1, which requires TWO Mutation 1s to be transferred over and remains at level 1, and monster souls, which also require TWO duplicate souls to transfer over.

Also, a word about extra slots.
When transferring abilities, if the amount of able to be transferred abilities exceeds the amount of slots the weapon currently has, you are offered an "extra slot," aka a chance to increase the number of abilities of the weapon you are transferring to.
However, the downside is that going for "extra slot" significantly lowers the chances of successful transfer of ALL the abilities you are trying to move over.
The easiest example for "extra slot" is a 0 slot weapon.
If I want to transfer a Power 1 to a 0 slot weapon, I need any weapon with a Power 1 ability, and then I get an "extra slot" chance to move it to the new weapon.
Because you are trying to increase the amount of abilities of the original weapon, keep in mind even transferring a measly Power 1 to an empty weapon will have worse chances than if the weapon had a preexisting single ability, such as Mind 1.

So that example was fairly easy, let's start getting into more complicated examples.
This next section is just going to be a bunch of test cases:

Say I have a one slot weapon with only Power 1, and I want a Vol Soul (+30Atk! +20HP!) on it.
I would need two one slot weapons with exactly Vol Soul on each, and no other abilities.
If I have a two or three or four slot weapon with Vol Soul on it, too bad, I can't use it to transfer the ability to my original one slot weapon.
Now let's say I want to take a risk and get two abilities on my Power 1 weapon.
I could then go for Vol Soul on it with the example above, except I can use my "extra slot" chance to add the original Power 1 back in as well.
Keep in mind attempting this drops the chance of transferring the Vol Soul from 50% to something like 30% or so.
In the event you succeed, you have now converted your one slot Power 1 weapon to a double slot Vol Soul + Power 1 weapon.

Let's say you want a Shot 3 Rocket Launcher, which currently has no abilities on it.
You have multiple ways to do this, but let's say you like seeing the risks at the beginning rather than at the end.
You can find two weapons with any amount of abilities that both have Shot 2, use the "extra slot" feature, and combine both Shot 2s to attempt to make a Shot 3 right from the start.
However, the penalty from using "extra slot," plus combining 2 level 2 techs, will make the percentage of success in this case something abysmal like 10% or below (I haven't actually tried)
Let's say instead you want to work your way up.
Your first job should be transferring a common level 1 skill to your Rocket Launcher just so it has at least one ability so you are not forced to use "extra slot" and get a huge penalty on the final upgrade.
Any weapon with like a random Mind 1 will do.
You'll still have an "extra slot" penalty for trying to transfer a single Mind 1 onto your Rocket Launcher, but the percentage won't be as terrible as attempting Shot 3 because Mind 1 is merely a level 1 ability and thus has a naturally higher success rate than Shot 3.
Anyway now you have a one slot Mind 1 rocket launcher.
To get Shot 3 now, you would need two one slot weapons with Shot 2 on them, as remember this is now a launcher with one ability and thus can only transfer from other one slot weapons.
However, you wouldn't have to risk further decreases in your chances of combining Shot 2s into a Shot 3 by using "extra slot."
Let's say you have no Shot 2s.
If you think a little it should be readily apparent what you have to do.
Just do the above except replace all mentions of Shot 3 with Shot 2, and Shot 2 with Shot 1.
So transfer or combine four one slot Shot 1 weapons to make two one slot Shot 2 weapons, then try to transfer the Shot 2s onto your Rocket Launcher.

Real life (my current HU weapon) example.
You have a two slot Alba Partisan with Lucky Raise 1 (nontransferable) and Mutation 1.
You want Vol Soul and Mutation 1.
You will need two separate two slot weapons, 3 out of 4 of the skills must be: Vol Soul, Vol Soul, Mutation 1.
The last ability can be anything.
If you wanted to risk it you could use the last ability in "extra slot" to make a three ability weapon, however I did not think the risk was worth it, as Mutation 1 and Vol Soul both start at 50% success rate and just go down from there.
Theoretically, if the Lucky Raise 1 was a Power 2 and the four skills of the two other weapons were Vol Soul, Vol Soul, Mutation 1, and Power 2, I could have tried for a Power 3, Vol Soul, Mutation 1 spear.
It would probably fail every single skill transfer though!

Anyway that's a not-so-short summation of how ability transfer works in this game.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Phantasy Star Online 2 Closed Beta starts

Mizuumi is on Ship 5.
If you want to join 4chan go to Ship 4 Channel 4.
If you want to join the PSOW people and most? of the EN userbase go to Ship 2.

Anyway, old/new impressions:
Areas have been redone again, everything is now MORE HUGE (and easier to get lost)
Story sequences/tutorial/blah blah blah didn't care let me hit shit.
Seems even less? stable than Alpha 2, disconnects everywhere regardless of Ship number or how congested a particular server is.
Tons of unique seiyuu voices! Spot the Hanazawa voice (it's unique voice 5)
Starting off as HUmarl this time because HU is the only class I didn't get to 20 in the Alpha cause I sucked and did it last.
I fucking love the new partisan weapon, so strange for a spear weapon.
Absurdly fast cancel windows and attack animations, like the just frames are really close together instead of spaced out extremely far apart (allowing monsters to hit your face for free in between them), all the attacks including the techs have near instant dash cancel windows, the weapon lets you remain mobile like crazy while mashing shit.
Definitely my favorite weapon so far, probably won't even look at wirelance this time around.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

What is wrong with me?

I'm the kind of person who cooks a batch of ground beef into spaghetti sauce for an hour at 2AM in the morning so he can eat dinner with said spaghetti sauce at 3AM in the morning.
Then go to work at 8AM.