Foibles for force

I've primarily played force since NGS launched, and have noticed a few things about how force plays in practice that I'd like to discuss. While I've certainly still got plenty of room to improve as a player, I feel I've got the basics down pretty well at this point so it seems like a nice time for a chat.

Really interested to hear what other force mains in the community think in particular but of also just opinions in general. Gotta have something to do during maintenance downtime am I right? Please feel free to post your own thoughts about the force class unrelated or related to below as you please.

A couple of prefaces purely for context for any not familiar with force, and also to frame my later points. Skip to section 2 for the TLDR.

Section 1: Mini force intro

*Weapon choice:

The forces main weapon is the rod. The main damage source for this weapon is the casting of techniques, and most of the forces skill tree is dedicated to improving PP management to allow for efficient tech casting. Each tech has both a charged and uncharged version.

  • Rod weapon action:

The rod weapon action is a parry ability. The force tree has some skills available improving this action. Ideally you would want to parry incoming attacks whenever possible in order to both protect yourself and put some extra punishment on your enemy, so generally you would expect these skills to be no-brainer choices for a main class force.

  • Technique casting/animation locking:

When you cast a technique you are committed until the animation has completed, often referred to as animation locking. I should note that if you use the 'charged' version of a technique, you can dodge or parry cancel out at any time until you actually begin the attack animation, but the same locking then applies. Rod normals seem to lock you in as well, but have a significantly shorter animation, so are much less risky in practice.

  • Boss mechanics/class role/MPA composition:

Damage aside the main benefit a force brings to a party fighting something like a UQ boss is the inducement of elemental status effects. These allow a boss to be stunned temporarily, increasing party DPS.

About some specific skills:

  • Charge PP recovery

This main class force skill allows for your PP to continue recovering naturally while charging techniques. A great skill on paper for spamming more techs over time.

  • Bartablot and Zondeclad

These two skills allow you to use several uncharged techs to build up a damage bonus, then extract that bonus using the charged version of a tech.

  • Elemental bullet

This skill adds a damage bonus to your next technique used after you parry an attack.

  • PP Convert

Decreases your max HP while increasing passive PP regeneration. Another useful skill for technique uptime on paper.

Section 2: Practical issues for discussion

  • Aggressive enemies and defensive options

Against many enemies, defensive tools are unnecessary. But when fighting aggressive enemies a few issues begin to surface.

Casting techs and defending against an incoming attack are mutually exclusive activities within certain windows of time. If you happen to pull aggro from many UQ bosses, you will often need to defend against multiple incoming attacks in short succession. If you try to actually cast a tech, you are unable to parry or dodge for the duration of the attack animation, and wind up eating turf when the pain arrives. On the other hand, if you just throw out normals and play defensively, your damage and status output chance tanks.

In addition the elemental bullet skill winds up being largely wasted whenever you have to defend against multiple attacks, because you don't have time to actually finish casting a tech before another attack comes in. Rods parry skill seems to work best when a single big attack is coming your way which you can easily anticipate well ahead of time, which doesn't pan out too well against certain bosses/attack patterns/phases. Nex Vera is probably one of the worst examples of this, because he can attack you in relatively short succession six times in a row, with spaces in between too short to safely cast a tech.

In short, I've found that even if you learn a bosses attack patterns quite well, you wind up having to choose between casting techs and risk taking a big hit, or throwing filler normals while your dps tanks so you can parry or dodge in time when the boss has you in their sights. I'm not sure if this is intentional design, or an unintended consequence, but it seems a sub-optimal situation for a class built around tech spamming.

  • Bartablot, Zondeclad, DPS and the charge recovery skill

I've seen some dps comparisons around suggesting that bartablot and zondeclad (and the uncharged techs that feed them) are generally worthwhile using compared to charged techs DPS wise. However, this does not appear to take into the PP charged PP recovery skill. Charged techs get a window of PP regeneration during the charged period due to this skill, whereas uncharged tech spamming ceases PP recovery completely for the entire period you are casting in. From my testing at least, bartablot and zondeclad (and uncharged techs in general other than zonde for groups and gizonde for a bit of extra pulse damage over time) are therefore not worth using, which is a bit unfortunate. This has become more obvious as I've invested further points into PP recovery skills on the force and gunner tree.

  • PP Convert skill

While I do have points in PP convert and use it from time to time, the effect of this skill is largely wasted since PP regeneration completely ceases during the attack portion of a technique or PA. A large portion of the potential PP this skill could generate winds up disappearing into the ether every time you use it.

Siderant: Other than this being a copy paste from PSO2, I'm not really sure why it was coded this way. The way the game works right now, it would probably be more logical if the skill simply refilled your whole PP pool instantly once in a while at a button press, since that's the way you wind up using it anyway. Since it has charges now, you could simply balance based on the charges/cooldown without much hassle. Maybe they want to keep the health reduction theme? Seems unnecessary since force already has the lowest base HP in NGS.

Extra section: Multiweapons

Finally, my thoughts on multiweapons for forces, just because it ties into the above.

I've messed around with the other weapons to see what fits, but so far I've only found two multiweapon setups that seem to make any sense for me.

1.I've found that some melee weapons have a slightly more responsive block/parry weapon action compared to rod, with comparable damage output normal attacks. I wouldn't say it's a great solution, but I've found it much easier to avoid damage while going ham with twin dagger normals against a number of enemies including some bosses then I have doing the same with a rod (if you are stuck normal attacking, might as well bring the best block for the job, right?). It's also kind of nice as a change of pace after throwing lightning bolts all day.

Note: Normals and weapon actions don't require a subclass at present, you can just pick the subweapon you like and then get used to weaving attacks/blocks from it into your gameplay which is nice. For example, I play fo/gu, with twin daggers as the multiweapon for my foursis rod.

2.Talis as your multiweapon. I'm aware of dislike for the talis in some parts of the community, but if you want to use it its a good way to do so without doubling your enhancement and augmenting resources. Not that multiweaponing itself is cheap, but cheaper overall to multiweapon than to grind a second one in terms of total resources afaik.

One thing I would say for anyone experimenting with multiweapons, do your homework and testing with throwaway 1 star weapons before you make any big decisions 😃

I feel like subclass weapons otherwise don't have a lot to offer in terms of utility to a main class force, would be great to hear your thoughts.

Technique dps is shit, around 20-30% lower than classes that use PAs.

Also photon flare fast charge lowers barta DPS by around 9%.

@icewyrm said in Foibles for force:

I've primarily played force since NGS launched, and have noticed a few things about how force plays in practice that I'd like to discuss. While I've certainly still got plenty of room to improve as a player, I feel I've got the basics down pretty well at this point so it seems like a nice time for a chat.

Really interested to hear what other force mains in the community think in particular but of also just opinions in general. Gotta have something to do during maintenance downtime am I right? Please feel free to post your own thoughts about the force class unrelated or related to below as you please.

A couple of prefaces purely for context for any not familiar with force, and also to frame my later points. Skip to section 2 for the TLDR.

Section 1: Mini force intro

*Weapon choice:

The forces main weapon is the rod. The main damage source for this weapon is the casting of techniques, and most of the forces skill tree is dedicated to improving PP management to allow for efficient tech casting. Each tech has both a charged and uncharged version.

  • Rod weapon action:

The rod weapon action is a parry ability. The force tree has some skills available improving this action. Ideally you would want to parry incoming attacks whenever possible in order to both protect yourself and put some extra punishment on your enemy, so generally you would expect these skills to be no-brainer choices for a main class force.

  • Technique casting/animation locking:

When you cast a technique you are committed until the animation has completed, often referred to as animation locking. I should note that if you use the 'charged' version of a technique, you can dodge or parry cancel out at any time until you actually begin the attack animation, but the same locking then applies. Rod normals seem to lock you in as well, but have a significantly shorter animation, so are much less risky in practice.

  • Boss mechanics/class role/MPA composition:

Damage aside the main benefit a force brings to a party fighting something like a UQ boss is the inducement of elemental status effects. These allow a boss to be stunned temporarily, increasing party DPS.

About some specific skills:

  • Charge PP recovery

This main class force skill allows for your PP to continue recovering naturally while charging techniques. A great skill on paper for spamming more techs over time.

  • Bartablot and Zondeclad

These two skills allow you to use several uncharged techs to build up a damage bonus, then extract that bonus using the charged version of a tech.

  • Elemental bullet

This skill adds a damage bonus to your next technique used after you parry an attack.

  • PP Convert

Decreases your max HP while increasing passive PP regeneration. Another useful skill for technique uptime on paper.

Section 2: Practical issues for discussion

  • Aggressive enemies and defensive options

Against many enemies, defensive tools are unnecessary. But when fighting aggressive enemies a few issues begin to surface.

Casting techs and defending against an incoming attack are mutually exclusive activities within certain windows of time. If you happen to pull aggro from many UQ bosses, you will often need to defend against multiple incoming attacks in short succession. If you try to actually cast a tech, you are unable to parry or dodge for the duration of the attack animation, and wind up eating turf when the pain arrives. On the other hand, if you just throw out normals and play defensively, your damage and status output chance tanks.

In addition the elemental bullet skill winds up being largely wasted whenever you have to defend against multiple attacks, because you don't have time to actually finish casting a tech before another attack comes in. Rods parry skill seems to work best when a single big attack is coming your way which you can easily anticipate well ahead of time, which doesn't pan out too well against certain bosses/attack patterns/phases. Nex Vera is probably one of the worst examples of this, because he can attack you in relatively short succession six times in a row, with spaces in between too short to safely cast a tech.

In short, I've found that even if you learn a bosses attack patterns quite well, you wind up having to choose between casting techs and risk taking a big hit, or throwing filler normals while your dps tanks so you can parry or dodge in time when the boss has you in their sights. I'm not sure if this is intentional design, or an unintended consequence, but it seems a sub-optimal situation for a class built around tech spamming.

  • Bartablot, Zondeclad, DPS and the charge recovery skill

I've seen some dps comparisons around suggesting that bartablot and zondeclad (and the uncharged techs that feed them) are generally worthwhile using compared to charged techs DPS wise. However, this does not appear to take into the PP charged PP recovery skill. Charged techs get a window of PP regeneration during the charged period due to this skill, whereas uncharged tech spamming ceases PP recovery completely for the entire period you are casting in. From my testing at least, bartablot and zondeclad (and uncharged techs in general other than zonde for groups and gizonde for a bit of extra pulse damage over time) are therefore not worth using, which is a bit unfortunate. This has become more obvious as I've invested further points into PP recovery skills on the force and gunner tree.

  • PP Convert skill

While I do have points in PP convert and use it from time to time, the effect of this skill is largely wasted since PP regeneration completely ceases during the attack portion of a technique or PA. A large portion of the potential PP this skill could generate winds up disappearing into the ether every time you use it.

Siderant: Other than this being a copy paste from PSO2, I'm not really sure why it was coded this way. The way the game works right now, it would probably be more logical if the skill simply refilled your whole PP pool instantly once in a while at a button press, since that's the way you wind up using it anyway. Since it has charges now, you could simply balance based on the charges/cooldown without much hassle. Maybe they want to keep the health reduction theme? Seems unnecessary since force already has the lowest base HP in NGS.

Extra section: Multiweapons

Finally, my thoughts on multiweapons for forces, just because it ties into the above.

I've messed around with the other weapons to see what fits, but so far I've only found two multiweapon setups that seem to make any sense for me.

1.I've found that some melee weapons have a slightly more responsive block/parry weapon action compared to rod, with comparable damage output normal attacks. I wouldn't say it's a great solution, but I've found it much easier to avoid damage while going ham with twin dagger normals against a number of enemies including some bosses then I have doing the same with a rod (if you are stuck normal attacking, might as well bring the best block for the job, right?). It's also kind of nice as a change of pace after throwing lightning bolts all day.

Note: Normals and weapon actions don't require a subclass at present, you can just pick the subweapon you like and then get used to weaving attacks/blocks from it into your gameplay which is nice. For example, I play fo/gu, with twin daggers as the multiweapon for my foursis rod.

2.Talis as your multiweapon. I'm aware of dislike for the talis in some parts of the community, but if you want to use it its a good way to do so without doubling your enhancement and augmenting resources. Not that multiweaponing itself is cheap, but cheaper overall to multiweapon than to grind a second one in terms of total resources afaik.

One thing I would say for anyone experimenting with multiweapons, do your homework and testing with throwaway 1 star weapons before you make any big decisions 😃

I feel like subclass weapons otherwise don't have a lot to offer in terms of utility to a main class force, would be great to hear your thoughts.

Force has two main weapons Rod and Talis, you really don’t want to overlook using Talis it has a far higher damage than rod in dps phases, especially in mobbing, though has a very high pp cost and far less defensive options. So it’s best used with pp conversion and photon flare. When I’m talking about dps phases I mean when a boss is stunned and can’t attack, and mobbing wise during stuff like pse bursts where their are so manny enemies that the damage from a counter doesn’t add much.

For knowing when to attack and when to defend that just takes practise, phantom has the same ‘issue’ in pso2, with practise you can weave in and out with ease. Rod has skills to help with this to, one that allows you to keep the charge of the tech and and recast it after the block with no addition pp cost. Theirs also another skill that grants you invincibility on your next tech after a block, your char will glow has you cast the tech which signals the invincibility, and then block the next incoming attack so you can block and cast with multiple incoming attacks, when you get the hang of it you can get a lot of extra dps from it.

You definitely want to be making use of your barta and zonde skills on rod, your counter shots help to build your markers which further enhances the dps of both your counter and those skills. Rod has a skill called rod pp maintain, what it does is if you delay casting your next cast slightly you get 15pp back and this applies to both charges and uncharged techs. It’s basically JA for rods, and will go a long way to maintain you pp, though you can get away with faster casting sometimes. Theirs another skill called eradication bonus that restores pp every time an enemy dies, that’s plus counters can be enough to maintain your pp and allow you to spam your techs faster, though if you find your pp dropping you’ll need to delay your next cast to get your pp back. With practise you should be able to maintain your pp on your rod indefinitely. I personally wouldn’t go gunner sub for force, cause the only time you should be running out of pp on force is when you’re spamming Talis during a dps phase, and at which point I would have pp conversion and photon flare going to rapidly restore pp anyway.

I use pp conversion a lot, how I typically use it Boss goes into dps phase, photon flare (also don’t take short charge, all it does is lower the dps on your talis), convergence shot pa + elemental tech spam till pp is nearly empty, pop pp conversion + normal to rapidly regen pp, rinse and repeat till end of dps phase. I find the hp loss a small trade off for the pp regen.

I found rod/tails to be an effective multi weapon, you can keep the Talis WA going while using the rod, which fires out normals and further helps to maintain pp, plus you can use the rod WA while using the talis which is very useful when coming out of dps phases has you can keep the talis spam going right to the final moment before using the rod WA to swap back to rod. The wired lance looks to be a good choice too, has its WA is a very effective gap closer.

@Kamil118 said in Foibles for force:

Technique dps is shit, around 20-30% lower than classes that use PAs.

you sure about that?

pso20210616_083007_000.jpg

and I didn't even got the second hit that was 763 damage

Also photon flare fast charge lowers barta DPS by around 9%.

Photon Flare fast charge reduces 10% of your damage and sure is not useful if you want to go over the blot and clad bonus but is pretty much the same of what Phantom did also is only there for those who want to use it.

@Kamil118 said in Foibles for force:

Technique dps is shit, around 20-30% lower than classes that use PAs.

Also photon flare fast charge lowers barta DPS by around 9%.

Yeah, I don’t know about that. I think it’s more a case most people haven’t worked out how to play force yet. I’ve cleared the Fleeting Flight cocoon in 1:07 has a force/techter, using mostly pso2 gear, and cause the run is so short not even long enough to make use of my increased PB charges.

9B3D078C-92C7-4C1F-ACE8-1C51E1C225B7.jpeg

I like playing as Force in NGS. I think it just takes some getting used to. I still need to get used to using the Talis. I've primarily been using the rod.

I'm not talking about people knowing how to play the game, i'm talking about pure framedata numbers. Techniques dps is just subpar compared to what other classes can pull off.

Also, 1:07 time is pretty bad, given that I seen people pull of 0:48 before on discord.

Most weapons have potency output of around 300%/s , these are the numbers for techniques

alt text

@Kamil118 said in Foibles for force:

I'm not talking about people knowing how to play the game, i'm talking about pure framedata numbers. Techniques dps is just subpar compared to what other classes can pull off.

Most weapons have potency output of around 300%/s , these are the numbers for techniques

alt text

Erm that’s only for rod, and doesn’t include counters, Has I said earlier tails has a far higher dps than rod. Plus I’m talking about actual practical run times, when you put together all your classes skills and abilities to use, not just raw damage multipliers.

@TEN-SQUARE-3 Other classes have counters too

alt text

These are weapon numbers, a bit better on talis than technique dps i guess, but why would you play talis force when you can play talis techter and have access to shifta and deband? If you main talis, then techter is just flat out always better choice, since 70% of force skill tree is excluve to rods, 20% works as subclass, and the remaining 10% of talis skills? Techter has all of them, and you can even just use sub force with them if you want to save on skill points in techter tree.

@Kamil118 said in Foibles for force:

@TEN-SQUARE-3 Other classes have counters too

alt text

These are weapon numbers, a bit better on talis than technique dps i guess, but why would you play talis force when you can play talis techter and have access to shifta and deband?

Because it’s not just tails, it’s the combination or rod and tails, tails by itself is very hard to use due to its pp cost and limited defence capabilities. Plus that would only apply to specifically solo content, in parties I would get acess to shifta and photon flare.

Also to reply to your edit from a previous post about the times. Like I said my gear isn’t even that great atm, and one of the main reasons I’m using techter sub is for the faster PB charges, cause talis PB is just epic, and this run is so short I can’t even get it charged. Force has never been the highest in single dps either and it’s the same in ngs, where it excels is mobbing. Talis + pp conversion amd photon flare just melts mobs in pse bursts. Plus force isn’t just bringing dps to bossing, it’s also the ability to inflict elemental downs that allows for more dps phases.

Edit for the edit on your last post: cause I use rod not wand, theirs no point using a rod has a techter main, also force main has higher pp regen than using it has sub, cause of the main class no is for those skills, which is very useful for the pp heavy talis. Plus in parties I’d get acces to all the main class benefits of force which includes 20% from photon flare, and the extra damage from the techter shifta buff has well.

Yeah, forces feel satisfying here, and if you actually KNOW what you're doing, their damage is pretty good. wonder why i tank so much over those "PA users" with techs.

You just have to get used to how it works now and unlike Base PSO2, at least for now, actually take advantage of weaknesses.

@icewyrm said in Foibles for force:

Casting techs and defending against an incoming attack are mutually exclusive activities within certain windows of time. If you happen to pull aggro from many UQ bosses, you will often need to defend against multiple incoming attacks in short succession. If you try to actually cast a tech, you are unable to parry or dodge for the duration of the attack animation, and wind up eating turf when the pain arrives. On the other hand, if you just throw out normals and play defensively, your damage and status output chance tanks.

In addition the elemental bullet skill winds up being largely wasted whenever you have to defend against multiple attacks, because you don't have time to actually finish casting a tech before another attack comes in. Rods parry skill seems to work best when a single big attack is coming your way which you can easily anticipate well ahead of time, which doesn't pan out too well against certain bosses/attack patterns/phases. Nex Vera is probably one of the worst examples of this, because he can attack you in relatively short succession six times in a row, with spaces in between too short to safely cast a tech.

In my experience, you're actually incredibly safe while casting. You can use rod's WA far earlier in cast animations than you'd might think. The best example is Nex Aelio's fireballs (the ones fired directly at you), because they're about the speed of what rod can do. Rod can counter every single one of them, while still using an uncharged tech to spend the counter inbetween. I don't know how this compares to Nex Vera's equivalent attack (although I'd imagine its similar if not the same), because the only time I tried fighting it the game crashed a minute into the fight.

You can definitely get punished for being too greedy with your casting, but the window where casting locks you out of using WA is surprisingly very small. As a further plus, you get iframes for the duration of your next casting animation (not charging) after guarding, which makes you even more safe. I've heard that just standing in the middle of lingering AoEs and using WA>Uncharged>Repeat is full iframes, even.

I've seen some dps comparisons around suggesting that bartablot and zondeclad (and the uncharged techs that feed them) are generally worthwhile using compared to charged techs DPS wise. However, this does not appear to take into the PP charged PP recovery skill. Charged techs get a window of PP regeneration during the charged period due to this skill, whereas uncharged tech spamming ceases PP recovery completely for the entire period you are casting in. From my testing at least, bartablot and zondeclad (and uncharged techs in general other than zonde for groups and gizonde for a bit of extra pulse damage over time) are therefore not worth using, which is a bit unfortunate. This has become more obvious as I've invested further points into PP recovery skills on the force and gunner tree.

Barta Blot and Zonde Clad are very small boosts to DPS over just using charged techniques instead on paper (unless I'm completely missing something about Zonde Clad, because only 2 enemies in the whole game are even weak to lightning right now). In practice, though, they seem to overpower charged tech spam for pretty much one reason - the elemental counter bullet from guarding contributes to charging them. (Specifically, I've been hearing people say that it adds 1-2 casts of uncharged barta worth of progress for Barta Blot. No info on Zonde Clad charge, but it'd be kinda weird if it didn't work for it, so I'm just assuming it does until I hear otherwise). Guarding also supplies the much-needed PP required to keep this strategy going.

While I do have points in PP convert and use it from time to time, the effect of this skill is largely wasted since PP regeneration completely ceases during the attack portion of a technique or PA. A large portion of the potential PP this skill could generate winds up disappearing into the ether every time you use it.

Force is almost overloaded with tools for PP management. PP convert only practically needs to be used when all others fail, and it can refill your entire bar in a few seconds at most. Combine it with the skill that lets you regen while charging, and suddenly PP convert is now infinite PP for it's duration. A lot of the PP it could generate does get voided, but it still generates so much more than every other PP skill in the game.

Extra section: Multiweapons

Personally, I'll probably only be putting talis on my rods. It's the only weapon that has any kind of particular synergy with rod, but that synergy is great. Talis PA altered techs can cover for areas that certain elements are lacking in, and their use charges Tricky Capacitor (which refills your PP). The only problem is that talis counters kinda suck so it's hard to justify including it's normal attack on the palette.

@Kamil118 said in Foibles for force:

Also photon flare fast charge lowers barta DPS by around 9%.

Yeah, short charge is a trap right now. It's actual dps increase - for what little it actually does increase - is tiny.

EDIT: Additional personal thoughts on Force and technique classes in general

Status is entirely replaced by elemental down from what I can tell. Which is a good thing, because elemental downs are horrifyingly OP. The ability for any technique user to randomly at any time stun the boss for a huge duration easily makes up for any lack of damage they may or may not have.

I don't really get all the complaints that there's only 6 techniques right now. As if most people ever used anything other than Gizonde or Ilgrants the whole time in PSO2. In pretty much every element there were only 2 offensive techs really worth using (ST/AoE), and even then the techs we have in NGS represent the mechanics of a few techs rolled into one.

Don't get me wrong, I love how the rod plays, but the damage capacity of it is simply subpar.

And it isn't just "get good", hunter just holding normal attack has better dps than force alt text

If somebody wonders about elemental photon bullet from guarding its dps is 250, so while it regens pp greatly and advances barta and zonde stacks, it doesn't actually help with dps more than "being dps during enemy attack" and keeping PP high

I judge the damage by cleartimes and since we have the bujin fight results as evidence, force damage isn't bad by any means but miles away from classes like hunter or fighter. I don't know how much their damage falls off when the pp buff runs out, because that buff has about 30-50% uptime in that fight, which is something to consider.

@Kamil118 said in Foibles for force:

Don't get me wrong, I love how the rod plays, but the damage capacity of it is simply subpar.

And it isn't just "get good", hunter just holding normal attack has better dps than force alt text

If somebody wonders about elemental photon bullet from guarding its dps is 250, so while it regens pp greatly and advances barta and zonde stacks, it doesn't actually help with dps more than "being dps during enemy attack" and keeping PP high

Yeah, you’re going to have show a hunter doing a run faster than what I just did using just normal attacks, cause without any evidence you’re are basically just making stuff up.

I get more than 250 damage from my counters, and yeah it only helps with dps during enemy attacks, because its a counter based skill, not sure what your point is here has your stating the obvious