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49 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you wanna consider Ultima?

    • As a grind-friendly experience balanced between original PSOBB concepts and new ones.
    • As a highly modded experience fitting the modern RPGs standards with a fast progression.
    • As an old school challenging experience revamped with useful features to keep a classic PSOBB alive.


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Ahoy everyone,

I'd like to start by saying that this topic is meant to show with facts how Serene Swan (SS) from Summer Event 2019 is doing in the actual metagame (like I did on my previous topic with the 10th Anniversary additions) and stay open as a resourceful long term history. I'm not waiting for any sort of definitive statment from the staff about SS to close the discussion. Since this weapon is almost a four weeks old item by now, some tests, weapon comparisons, video-showcases and other content from players who dropped SS already are very welcome and encouraged.

 

With a bit of trivia, on 11th of june 2019, Larva posted a message in favor of balanced items by putting OP weapons on stand by for near future items;

On 6/11/2019 at 8:12 PM, Larva said:

https://www.phantasystaronline.net/forum/index.php?/topic/6048-ideas-to-improve-the-server-feel-free-to-post/&do=findComment&comment=212104

About new items, tbh we been talking (staff members) about new items and we have get in the same point, OP weapons are out of the table for some time. We try to get some mid items and collectibles because we do believe we realized too many OP ones in the past, that's the reason we haven't make more of this.

That being said, a couple of weeks later the following item appeared as;

Serene Swan

175 ATP (grinders included)
Grinder: +80
37 ATA
170 ATA required
Special: Devil
Animation: Handgun
12 shots (3x4)
Range: Rifle
All classes
Gran Sorcerer EPII 1/1489 ⏤ All section IDS

 

While going in depth on SS, let's compare this handgun to those said OP weapons that Larva is referring to or should we say Top-tier Ultima exclusive weapons on a clarity purpose in examples. Then outside Dark Weapons, I will list a couple of endgame gear as their optimal character configuration and single target usage down below. So HUcast will be the main user of SS during this topic.

HUcast highest ATP of the game
Close-Range: Ten Years Blades (TYB) is the highest ATP based twin sword (5 hits).
Mid-Range: Psycho Raven (PR) is the highest ATP based mechgun (9 hits).

HUnewearl best rifle of the game
Long-Range: Lindcray the highest ATP based rifle (3 hits).

Latest addition to the game
Long-Range: Serene Swan (SS) is the first 12 hits weapon of the server ever made.

 

▷ 12 HITS

To compare this unique 12 hits weapon, here is an in-depth post from @Fyrewolf5 explaining how a high multy-shot weapon like an unlocked L&K38 (that would be 15 hits vs 12 for SS) combine with the Shifta damage multiplier, can hardly be implemented within the metagame without ruining the diversity: https://www.phantasystaronline.net/forum/index.php?/topic/6048-ideas-to-improve-the-server-feel-free-to-post/&do=findComment&comment=209412


SERENE SWAN VS PSYCHO RAVEN

After theory, what does it really mean ingame? Let's see how Serene Swan does versus the Top-tier weapon Psycho Raven in a simple showcase on a mini boss like Mericus (Ultimate difficulty) that bypass the Weapons %Attributs Damage Boost.

RESULTS

Serene Swan Shifta 30
Average damage per bullet on Hard Attack = 505~ x12
Full combo H/H/H = 6000~ Damages

Psycho Raven Shifta 30
Average damage per bullet on Hard Attack = 666~ x9
Full combo H/H/H = 6000~ Damages

Serene Swan deals the same amount of damage as Psycho Raven with a buff level 30 from Force, while PR can't reach his target without triggering the mob, SS can. Which brings us to the next point;
 

▷ RIFLE RANGE

As shown previously in video, the Rifle-Range gives noticeable advantages in comparison to shorter ranged weapons. Such as the running distance separating you from your target to reach the mid and close-range is considered as Damage per Second loss, while you could start firing across the room without triggering the mob and being safe at the same time. That's why some close-range items like TYB & FotB were compensated with high ATP and Charge Special to value more that gameplay in specific situations but overall, the rifle range has nothing to prove anymore.

The first time that a rifle was offered to every single class on Ultima was Water Gun, who was released with 70 based ATA, 15 grind and the special of your choice (with dt)... The ATA was adjusted to 50 to keep Hand of Justice useful, the grind was removed to keep the ATP really low considering that HUcast can equip it. It's a summer toy after all but it still has a purpose as the best Blizzard long range gun available for HUnters.

So now an all class weapon that fires 12 shots on rifle range definitely sounds good to any PSO players. This is an unarguably appealing announcement that could satisfy a lot of people.
So why bother considering modify Serene Swan then?

It would be sad to classify it as Over Power or fine as it is without analysis (since it's a new addition) but it definitely compete with Psycho Raven which is a well known Top-tier weapon. So this is not about cutting short the fun but about a matter of balancing the metagame and keeping other custom items worth to hunt (like was made with WG to HoJ).

At this point @Soly expressed a desire to balance this mix by soften one aspect of SS, the Rifle-Range could have been it; https://www.phantasystaronline.net/forum/index.php?/topic/33629-summer-event-player-made-drop-table-2019/&do=findComment&comment=213598

 

▷ ALL CLASSES

In PSO original descriptions, RAngers were meant to have access to the longest range weapons with medium ATP abilities, while HUnters compensate their shorter range with high ATP. Which makes them harder to master since they had to reach the close range to start attacking.

From this vanilla concept to the Ultima adaptation, this difference was balanced with powerful HUnters slicers like Slicer of Vengeance to manage crowd control, stronger "Charge Vulcan like" equivalent with Psycho Raven (HUmar/cast) or the best rifle ever made as Lindcray (HUnewearl). All of those weapons adds more flexibility to HUnters through differents ranges and generous ATP.
RAngers are no exception and are altered as well, especially with a solid mechanic known as Demon Special that cuts 75% HP of the target per shot on RAmar/marl. Which makes them extremly efficient at long range distance with Yasminkov 9000M and crowd control with TypeSH/SHOT. This feature bypass the medium ATP downside from the original concept.

A way of reducing these vanilla downsides is by merging some classes exclusives gameplay to other classes, which tends to homogenize the experience.

Now Serene Swan is far from a Varista or Water Gun low-tier class available for every single class. Maybe this general buff still sounds fair to some of you but in fact it's makes the strongest classes even more superior due to their higher based ATP and the reasons to play the lower ATP classes more thin than they already are...
Because in the end, equality is not always fair nor in favor of a varied experience;

HUcast SS > HUmar SS
HUcast SS > HUnewearl SS
HUcast SS > HUcaseal SS
HUcast SS > RAcast SS > RAmar/marl SS & RAcaseal SS

While equity could be used to the benefit to the weaker and promote diversity by buffing them with exclusive items;

HUcast 1739 ATP = Psycho Raven
HUcaseal = Dual Bird (extended range)
HUmar = Psycho Raven, Serene Swan
HUnewearl = Lindcray
RAmar/marl = Demon Yas9
RAcast/caseal = Charge Yas9
FOrce = Lindcray, Samba Fiesta

Serene Swan as it is could be the HUmar "OP weapon", like Lindcray is for HUnewearl, Demon Yas9 for RAmar/marl or Psycho Raven with the highest ATP from HUcast.

 

FINAL WORDS?
 

HUmar only, HUcast restricted, Female only? Keeping it all classes?
Handgun range, Mechgun range, from 4 to 3 shots? Keeping it 12 hits & rifle range?
Lower the ATP, remove the grind, combo lock? Leave the ATP as it is?

Quote

https://www.phantasystaronline.net/forum/index.php?/topic/33656-thoughts-on-serene-swan-and-impending-nerf/&do=findComment&comment=213738

At this moment the weapon wont be alter or change in any way. But in the future if we consider that is for the best to make a change we will do so.

A lot of twists are possible however Serene Swan has it all at the moment and it's the only way to play it, so feel free to launch PSOBB and experience this unique weapon by yourself. Don't get me wrong, SS as it is is super fun to use but any feedback supported with ingame facts (texts, pictures, videos) will be appreciated and so during time & multiple point of views this topic should stand out a clear idea of what Serene Swan is made of.

Finally, feel free to complete the poll to express your state of mind regarding How do you want to consider Ultima.

Thanks for reading!
 

Spoiler

● SS vs Lindcray HUnewearl
● SS vs Charge TYB
● SS Devil special with Humans
● Max SS on HUcast w/ 4 PB
● SS vs Egg Blaster MKII
● SS vs Charge Yas9
● SS vs Heaven Striker
● SS vs HoJ
...

 

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IMO, since HUmar already has access to Pyscho Ravens and having the 2nd highest ATP in the game, SS being exclusive to them isn't the greatest of ideas.  SS already kind of balances itself out since you need SD to have it even compete with PRs, which makes it not as great of a choice when playing solo or without a force. If a nerf were to be considered, I don't think handgun range would be a bad idea. Having a combo-unlocked MR-type weapon for males still makes it worth having around. It's definitely one of the more broken items, but when you have things like PRs, STA, Combo-unlocked DM, yas 9k with special, and other things, it kind of just blends in with the rest of the OP items on Ultima.

That being said, it REALLY doesn't need buffed in any way like I've seen some request. No special/atp/ata changes please.

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Seeing as I've been talking to Saith a lot in the past about an unlocked L&K, the fact that 12 > 9 was seriously impressed on me, and that's why I've been pushing for an SS nerf from the beginning. I already have an issue with how the game is heavily biased towards certain classed (HU- and RAcast). I specifically tailored the idea towards two classes that could do with a helping hand (HU- and RAcaseal) and nothing happened in regards to that suggestion. The fact that this gun came out as it did, for every class and with the range it has, is ridiculous. Why play a HUcassy when a HUcast is better in every sense? Nobody'll bother.

In the same vein, most hunters shouldn't have easy access to super strong range damage. If I want to play a ranger, I'll level a ranger.

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!@#$ this is a good topic Lipelis nice job!

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54 minutes ago, Harvest said:

Seeing as I've been talking to Saith a lot in the past about an unlocked L&K, the fact that 12 > 9 was seriously impressed on me, and that's why I've been pushing for an SS nerf from the beginning. I already have an issue with how the game is heavily biased towards certain classed (HU- and RAcast). I specifically tailored the idea towards two classes that could do with a helping hand (HU- and RAcaseal) and nothing happened in regards to that suggestion. The fact that this gun came out as it did, for every class and with the range it has, is ridiculous. Why play a HUcassy when a HUcast is better in every sense? Nobody'll bother.

In the same vein, most hunters shouldn't have easy access to super strong range damage. If I want to play a ranger, I'll level a ranger.

If the endgame weren’t so poorly decked out with enemies that ohko, I might have agreed with you there, but meri-spit makes me love my Rifle-ranged SS more than life itself. At the end of the day,  Caseals have traps and bewbs. That’s more than enough a reason to play one.

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All androids have traps, and at the end of the day, if males have like, 300+atp, or stronger weapons like Psycho Ravens, why would anyone bother playing the female?My idea was to give the females range, whereas males would have less range but more power - this would give an incentive to play both depending on what playstyle you prefer.

What doesn't make sense is to give the strongest class in the game an even bigger advantage by allowing it to attack from rifle range.

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Because the game is already so unbalanced that an optimized party would be a FOnewm and three RAcasts with Dutch Meteor?

Honestly, it just sucks that gender is anything other than a cosmetic difference.

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1 hour ago, Harvest said:

Seeing as I've been talking to Saith a lot in the past about an unlocked L&K, the fact that 12 > 9 was seriously impressed on me, and that's why I've been pushing for an SS nerf from the beginning. I already have an issue with how the game is heavily biased towards certain classed (HU- and RAcast). I specifically tailored the idea towards two classes that could do with a helping hand (HU- and RAcaseal) and nothing happened in regards to that suggestion. The fact that this gun came out as it did, for every class and with the range it has, is ridiculous. Why play a HUcassy when a HUcast is better in every sense? Nobody'll bother.

In the same vein, most hunters shouldn't have easy access to super strong range damage. If I want to play a ranger, I'll level a ranger.

I’d like to point out that a large majority of the time regardless of giving lk to non huct RAct classes doesn’t change that they’d still be inferior.  

 

@RedDingo that’s just not true 😕

Edited by Saber +7

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ffs stop looking at the weapons and complaining.. The real issue at hand that nobody is addressing is that all the **** **** in this ***** want all hunters to have the same stats, all rangers to have the same stats and all forces to have the same stats. forget races forget genders.

my opinion > ************* lmao

 

Edited by R-78
Your language, please.....
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14 minutes ago, Saber +7 said:

that’s just not true 😕

Which part? Not gonna lie, I originally was going to say four RAcasts with DM, but I remembered that Buffs and Debuffs make one hell a difference, which is a point in this game’s favor designwise.

My overall point is that the game has some fundamental flaws that no amount of nerfing or buffing is going to even out. So discussion should probably  focus more on what makes it fun, rather than what makes it balanced. 

But chances are that I’m just talking out my ass because I don’t want to lose a weapon that seriously allows my HUmar main keep up in the tower.

Edited by RedDingo

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I say don’t nerf it but boost it. But on the real the weapon is fine. It’s highly dependent on SD and PB so it’s def not a game breaker. The idea is great, the HU community has been asking for an unlocked MR type weapon for years, and now that they get it, it’s too “game breaking”. I love opinions as much as the next guy but most opinions I’ve seen come off as “complaints”. This server favors rangers, lets be real. Forces have gotten some weapons here and there but not as game breaking as rangers have. My humble LGBTQ 🏳️‍🌈 opinion. I have more to say but I don’t want to be crucified by the group that hates me. 

Thank you Lipelis for the effort you put making the post, even if it will become a Trollfest I appreciate the time you took to make it as informative as possible.

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57 minutes ago, RedDingo said:

Which part? Not gonna lie, I originally was going to say four RAcasts with DM, but I remembered that Buffs and Debuffs make one hell a difference, which is a point in this game’s favor designwise.

My overall point is that the game has some fundamental flaws that no amount of nerfing or buffing is going to even out. So discussion should probably  focus more on what makes it fun, rather than what makes it balanced. 

But chances are that I’m just talking out my ass because I don’t want to lose a weapon that seriously allows my HUmar main keep up in the tower.

HUs are the superior class. DM is pretty slow in the grand scheme of things. 

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2 minutes ago, Saber +7 said:

HUs are the superior class. DM is pretty slow in the grand scheme of things. 

Please... FO is best class. HU is a distant second.

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12 minutes ago, Starlord said:

The idea is great, the HU community has been asking for an unlocked MR type weapon for years, and now that they get it, it’s too “game breaking”.

My main gripe is one specific HU class getting it. I'm happy for the rest to have it - I was pushing for HUcassy to get a longer range option anyway. I still am pushing for that.

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This is a really long post. Don't even bother reading my post if you are not willing to hear constructive arguments.
 

Ultima Server was never about balancing the game, and it will never be.

  • We give every class even more status boost (+100 ATP, +100 DFP, +100 MST, +10 ATA and +30 EVP). Material usage was never increased to balance this (you are able to max less attributes than you could on a vanilla server). That means, what was unbalanced, become even more unbalanced;
  • Enemies were buffed on Ultimate difficult. They have more EVP, which means that commons weapons needs more ATA to land their attacks than on other servers. There are no ways to increase hit on weapons other than using Donation Tickets or waiting one or two years for a Hit Event to happen;
    Monsters on Ultimate got:
    more ATP -  monsters lands more powerful attacks
    more DFP - our attacks deals less damage
    more ATA - monsters lands more accurate attacks
    more EVP - monsters evades much more, means attacks have more chances to miss
    more LCK - monsters lands more critical attacks
  • Almost everyone starts playing as Ranger because they have a much better growth performance than any other class type. You can kill literally every monster before they have a chance to land an attack on you. This server is dominated by Rangers, and for that reason, we don't have many skilled Hunters or Forces playing here. It is much easier to spam DM and Hell Shots than actually learning how to position yourself correctly or use optimal weapon choices for spawns;
  • Hunters and Forces, on the other side, have a really bad growth performance, unless you are decently geared already. Because the material usage was never increased, they need to use Status Units to reach max stats, or switch mags depending on your playstyle (melee or support). That means useful units like Proof of Sword Saint, Cure Units, PB/Increase and a few other useful units have a very limited usage here, unless you sacrifice the use of something else;
  • Because the Ultimate mode was buffed to the point casting techniques barely does damage and are more "harmful" than beneficial (due to the Damage Cancel), Forces here become literally Hunters and/or Rangers. Forces have more weapon choices than Hunters or Rangers together, whereas they don't shine on what they were supposed to: cast strong techniques and give optimal support for other classes;

 

I think that conversation with the desire to balance classes and gameplay because Serene Swan is "too broken" is kinda hypocritical. There are much more important things to care about, instead of fighting for a single target weapon nerf. 

People say Serene Swan should be exclusive to HUmar... but no one plays HUmar. Will people bother to play HUmar if it becomes a weapon exclusive to this class? Honestly, I don't think so.

It is a class that could really benefit from having SD15 at least or SD20 optimally, but HUmars only have access to Macho Blades, which casts SD level 7 only. They could benefit from Lindcray usage... but that weapon was strictly taken from HUmar for unknown reasons.
The fact is, HUnewearl is just much better than HUmar on every instance. Lets stop being hypocritical. "No one cares about HUmar because HUcast exists and have traps". That's just not true.
Interesting enough, Serene Swan is already useable by HUmars... what are people waiting for to make their first HUmar then? 🤔

Now about Serene Swan...

I don't remember a single time the Devil special on Serene Swan landed successfully on a Episode II mob using HUcast, and considering casts already have a penalty using HP cutting special + the low ATA of the weapon + its special, a reduced version of Demon's, I don't think the special on the weapon is harmful. It is almost close to an useless special on casts.

My idea was to give it a Spirit special for some kind of "balance" in terms of a damage output of a HUcast vs other classes. When I suggested status, it was a handgun range weapon, just like the Last Swan we already know, but instead, have more ATP than it currently have (my idea was 200~250 ATP). But the staff decided to give it rifle range and Devil special. It wasn't possible to give Serene Swan a rifle range without also increasing the number of bullets.

We should admit, HUcast will be the strongest class regardless of which weapons you give to other classes, that's how they were designed to be. Unless a status/material usage balance is done on Ultima, that won't change.

That video was shown during the weapon moderation, on first days of event release, and there was a staff agreement to not change the weapon status and keep it as it is. Larva himself said he didn't found Serene Swan that "game breaking" as some have stated.

Want me to be honest? I don't think the outcome of the weapon is that bad as people say either.

For anyone who is willing to make a serious comparison, here are some weapon stats I collected from Vanilla PSOBB, 2014 SCHTHack and Ultima:

Spoiler


Master Raven
Vanilla/Ultima PSOBB: +380 ATP, +52 ATA (150 ATA req), +5 MST, can be grinded to +9, combo locked.
2014 SCHTHack: +118 ATP, +42 ATA (150 ATA req), +5 MST, can be grinded to +9, combo unlocked.
Lord's special
Only males can use Master Raven.
Fires 9 bullets per combo.

L&K38 Combat
Vanilla/Ultima PSOBB: +250 ATP, +40 ATA (145 ATA req), -30 EVP, can be grinded to +25, combo locked.
2014 SCHTHack: +80 ATP,  0 ATA (145 ATA req), -30 EVP, no grind, combo unlocked.
Burning special
All classes can use L&K38 Combat.
Fires 15 bullets per combo.

Last Swan
+90 ATP, +32 ATA (150 ATA req), +5 MST, can be grinded to +9. 
Lord's special
Only females can use Last Swan.
Fires 9 bullets per combo.

Serene Swan
175 ATP, 37 ATA (170 ATA req), can be grinded to +80. 
Devil's special
All classes can use Serene Swan.
Fires 12 bullets per combo.

*ATP already counts the grinders

 


What SCHThack did to compensate/balance the specified weapons to make them useable but at the same time, counter the possible game breaking problems?
They combo unlocked said weapons and nerfed their ATP and ATA.

But differently from Ultima, they never touched monster status, which was the case here. So basically, saying the Serene Swan should be nerfed to the ground as SCHT did to their counterparts would be inaccurate solely because of Ultimate mode boost; Ultima is a completely different server.

Now, if we stop to think, isn't it kinda disrespectful at this point to do anything on Serene Swan regarding nerfs, for those who invested their money, Photon Spheres on it and also, that would probably ruin the purpose of hunting the said weapon? What is it going to be now? Just a bettered Serene Swan? Another Serene Swan useable by females?
Should take careful choices before doing anything in my opinion.

Ultima ruined Blood Sword (because Hundred Souls exist) ,Water Gun (because it was nerfed to the point it isn't as useful as it was before) a few otehr good weapons became obsolete, so I don't want to see the same thing happening to Serene Swan. The latest 10th Anniversary Items were a total failure, people were complaining because of how bad was their outcome. I'm surprised people are now complaining because Serene Swan is "too good", come on, just let it alone...

Anyways I'm sure many would be disappointed to a potential high-end replacement for Charge/Berserk Rayguns for Hunters being buried.

So yeah, stop to think Ultima must have the same assets as SCHT, Ephinea, or Destiny. That is the fun part of playing here, having a few "overpowered" weapons and add other styles of playability to every class.

tl;dr I'm against any nerf.

Edited by Noob Saibot
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