Regarding the mainclass/subclass debacle and multi weapon arguments

Posting this in the NGS forums at the risk of it getting less traffic because it makes more sense to be here. There's been a constant back and forth in the community about these systems. Many players feel like there's not a lot of reasons to main a specific class because you can use their weapons to full effectiveness elsewhere and/or that some classes skills are not desirable enough to warrant maining them. When it comes to the multi weapon system many people don't think there's much of a reason to interact with it. Overall the feeling seems to be that these things combined makes things feel both underwhelming and restrictive especially with the introduction to the 10ish percent buff to main weapons on main classes and skills/passives being weaker as subclasses. Which seems to speak against the idea that Sega wants us to try and create unorthodox setups and expirement.

This thread really isn't to serve as a counter argument to these issues as after my own playtime and much thinking I don't entirely disagree with any complaint that falls under these things. It's also not a thread to really defend Sega's choices (be they based on feedback from the beta's or not,) as I don't entirely agree with the approach to the posed problem(s) either. Rather the thread is mainly to explore some of these feelings whilst giving my own opinion. And potential suggestions for the future.

Main classes and their identity crisis:

I think probably the best place to start is discussing main classes themselves as it directly branches into and influences both the subclass system and the multi weapon system. For better or worse be it from Sega's intent or not Main classes are looked at as the "identifying" factor to a person's playstyle. Main classes are identified by main class skills (and sometimes specific passives,) but arguably the other major identifier for a main class is the weapons they use. In Base (Base=regular PSO2) you could debate about wether certain skills were class defining or not but at the end of the day Hunter used sword. Braver used Katana. Etc.

In NGS however it seems like weapons are not to be as defining to a class. This is assumed because weapons can now be used to their full effectiveness related skills and all without that class being your main. You can even use normals and weapon actions that don't belong to your main or sub if it's multied onto something you can use from your main or sub. This has raised a few questions. Why use a main class? Why have weapons tied to classes at all? Why a class system? Etc. Sega has sort of "met" these concerns half way by giving main class weapons a roughly 10% damage increase when you use the matching class and weapon. They have also reduced the effectiveness of skills/passives when used off class.

While this certainly does give a reason I don't think it's really the reason people were looking for. The popular class used to poise this argument is Hunter. Hu is considered by many to be the worst class in the game. Not because it's weapons aren't good. But because the class as a main doesn't really offer anything of value. We can sort of see a different side of the same problem Via Gunner. Gunner is still very married to TMG's pretty much exclusively. This is entirely because Gunner still heavily relies on chain trigger. Chain trigger is still a main class ability and only benefits from TMGs. So you can't even use your secondary weapon of rifle to interact with this. Nor does the class really offer anything important to rifle.

This basically Mirrors how Gu was in Base. And like Base it seems Rifle really only exists as a use for the combo of Ra/Gu. But that will be touched more on with subclasses. Sega might have done a very good job with making Chain trigger more usable with the many QoL changes it made. However it failed to actually address the problems Gu had in Base. This can be seen with some other classes as well. So I would pose the problem here is less that there's lacking reasons for main classes and more that Main classes are not identified enough even when multi weapon wasn't a thing. Chain trigger is fine as a defining skill. But the way it's implemented isn't how things should be if we're trying to make classes distinct. I don't think that we should give everyone access to chain trigger or anything like that like some suggest. But it's entirely too restrictive. And because TMG's are so heavily married to it TMG's themselves cannot really be used to any sort of benefit for other classes as a sub weapon.

Subclasses: Subclasses are a cool system that's probably meant to help further define a specific playstyle. It seemed that in Base the devs also had specific pairings in mind for main/sub. Hu/Fi Ra/Gu Fo/Te and what have you. However due to how things worked in Base people used subclasses to make up for the main classes weaknesses. Sometimes even finding very busted pairs of interactions that hurt the game. (see early day chain trigger with a handful of things.) At the end of the day Subclasses became less about diversifying your gameplay or enhancing your style of play and more so just finding the most amount of damage you could stack together to burn through anything.

Subclasses in NGS seem to try and distance themselves from base. The main factor in my mind that shows this is the removal of stat heavy trees. Many things in NGS that do give damage are highly situational (i.e down states) or give very little returns when subbed if they can even be subbed. At a glance subclasses seem to get back to that original idea where they're meant to stylize your playstyle more. This is assumed because at the moment you are primarily picking your subclass for two reasons Either PP regen (Gu or Fo) or you're picking for a multi weapon combo.

However I feel Subclasses are failing in that regard for two reasons. The first being like I mentioned earlier it seems like the devs are still pushing natural pairings in some cases. The other problem being subclasses have to account for being a main class as well. In some cases this works out fine. Fo as a class is good as both a main and a sub. However Hunter is basically only good as a sub. And Te is only good as a main. In short Sega needs to re-define Main classes so they're unique and worth using always. But avoid trying to make natural pairings with subs. This would avoid some bloat and let subclasses still mainly fill the role of giving you access to your other weapon to complete your style. They already made it most of the way here by decoupling most weapons from their classes to a degree. They just need to go a bit further.

Multi weapons and the numbers conundrum:

Multi weapon as a system was thought by many to be intended as an extension of someone's playstyle. After all Base and NGS seem to really push combat as the main attraction compared to other MMO's. Being able to slam say knuckles into your rod means you could in theory do good damage from far away whilst being able to do high damage burst through the knuckles up close after forcing an elemental down state. In other words the system was meant to be more of a flexability system that players could interact with if they wanted to really distinguish themselves from others and not sort of an end game feature. However this isn't what we got entirely.

Part of this is because of issues with the main class/subclass issues. Like TMG's being out of the equasion unless you want to main Gu. But part of this problem also exists because Sega decided to do a rather hasty change of buffing main class weapons as a reason to use a main class whilst also nerfing the effectiveness of class stuff when subbed. Now let me be clear here. I have been arguing against this damage differential since it's been brought up. At the moment I still believe this damage difference isn't a big deal.

However it does set us on a slippery slope for the future. If our damage continues to climb as content comes out that 10% is going to become a bigger and bigger gap in damage. So even if it's not a problem now due to the way Content is it will be a problem in the future. I think Sega is asking us to make a choice between damage and utility and you know what? That's perfectly fine. In fact I like having to make that choice. However you have to weight that utility against the damage as well. Sure I "can" sub Fi and use knuckles as a damage option up close during a down state. But is that going to be better than just spamming techs? Is it really worth my resources to have a close range option when i'm mostly exclusively playing range?

Do I really want to lean hard into close range and end up potentially gimping my main classes's effectiveness since i'm spending all my resources to make that situational close range time better? At the moment no, it doesn't seem that way. Don't get me wrong, there are some instances where this does pan out. The most notable being Te/Hu for Wand/Parti. While I think this is a fine example of what we could be wanting out of the systems there are not many situations like this. There's also something to be said about multi-weaponing in house with your main weapons. Like shoving rifle and launcher together or Kunckles and double saber.

In a sense you can argue that Multi weapon does have some utility cases and also some cases for main classing. That to me means multi weapons as a system are not pointless. However I would still say that multi weapons feel too restrictive right now for reasons already mentioned. Multi weapons don't offer the utility that they should be and part of that problem is because NGS as a combat game doesn't really prioritize much besides damage. Even Te being a support class is not unique enough to be seperated from Fo nor is it a very good implimentation of support. As if any other Te exists in your team you invalidate each other's existence.

Conclusion and possible suggestions:

Overall I think NGS has some great ideas on how to make combat more interesting and varied. In my opinion the base changes made to combat is a big step above anything Base offers and that's a feat worth celebrating regardless. However I think there's a few big missteps with these systems that if not addressed will likely see us return to Base where we have mostly "solved" the combat experience while not really offering incentive outside of said cookie cutter setups.

Suggestion wise the biggest one would be to further define what classes are as a main class. I recognize that's easier said than done and I can't really offer many examples on how to do so for any class at this time. But I really don't think statistical differences is the way to approach this. If we really want to keep the main weapon bonus in some way I think it should be exclusively tied to multi weaponing. Meaning if I want to eek out that bit of extra damage for my main weapons on my main class I shove two of the weapons from the same class together. This solution isn't perfect atm because there's basically no reason to do that for things like TMG or wand and rod. So something would have to be done about that. But I'd rather it be tied into the system that's meant to specialize rather than just be how classes are by default.

It's entirely possible that as Sega adds more skills main classes could be more defined. But it is also possible that said new skills might end up being all class usable. So we shouldn't really bank on new skills to solve the main class identity problem. Additionally we could just have multi weapons do inherently more damage. or allow sub weapons to benefit from main class. None of these are great solutions. But imo I don't think keeping a main class damage bonus is a good thing to begin with. (as an aside I think having class skills be less effective on subclasses is fine. They just went a little too hard for some skills. it's a tough balance to strike. But they need to continue to work at it.)

If Sega manages to make main classes unique and worth running that should inherently make subclasses better. However I would stress that Sega really needs to take a pass on some weapons and/or skills to make the weapons better without needing to be tied to main class specific skills. And weapons like the Partizan need a total pass over to begin with since they unfortunately didn't hit the mark on making it less one dimensonal. Instead of relying on Volk you now rely on Ripper scythe.

Finally in regards to multi weapons as a system I don't think much needs to be changed. As i've mentioned already mechanically it's very sound. The diversity of said system just doesn't exist because main/subclass systems are messy. Additionally making multi weapons be the source of extra damage gives use to said system and "partially" addresses some of the issues. Personally speaking though I think that if anything should be done to the multi class system it should be to look at the restrictions of what can be multi classed. I am fine with rarity being a make or break on what can and can't be done. However I think that instead of limiting what can be multi classed they should instead encourage people staying in the series.

This can be done by buffing the effect that the series normally gives. Through a straight damage up. to maybe relaxing the conditions (like not needing to be at full health. Or the effect of that bonus persisting for a limited time after going under full health.) We can have weaker versions of said effects when you multi outside a series. But considering how expensive it is already to make high rarity multi weapons I don't think this extra restriction is needed. It's already plenty enough of a pain to find the series you want with an inhereted bonus at all let alone the one you want.

Anyway, I appreciate it to whom ever reads. And look forward to the discussions if any happen.

I am working on multi-weaponing because in base PSO2 I played Force/Phantom on a super specific customization build where by the end of PSO2 I was making weapons to use in different situations and absolutely loved it. I will explore multi-weaponing in PSO2 NGS after capping level 20 on all classes. I am working on my 5th class to level 20....and leveling my final subclass to 15 in the process.

You see. I don't want to test effectiveness of multi-weapons on two level 1 - 10 classes. I want to test on full level 20 classes with maxed skill tree. 🙂 Then I can see what is good and what isn't. Of course I will be testing with Fully Affixed and +40 weapons I grind up for the main weapon.

I personally don't see much use of Multi-weapon. Because the actual skill/tech is tied to a class ...or to a specific weapon. So even if you make a multi for different classes/weapons you can't use them as they are tied to that. Say, what's the point of a AR/TMG ? you can't use both pa/tech/skills because you need to switch class to use them effectively. And the list goes on. I find it a pure waste of money/resources. In Base you could get Resta on a class that didn't have it ( like you said to lessen some weakness one of those had) by simply having one that had it as sub. In NGS you are either one or the other. With the Exception of a couple classes that can actually give you one ..it's severely nerfed when used as a sub so it's kinda pointless again.

Make Launcher great again.

@ShinoKoba

And that's fair. Multi at the moment is poised as a QoL side grade rather than a system you eventually interact with to min max. Personally i've done something like shoving knucks into TMG's so I have a nice up close melee option when a boss decides to hug me or I want to kill some things faster. But there's nothing optimal about that choice.

Ideally Multi weapons would continue to exist as an option for those who want it. But also exist with less restrictions due to main/subclasses getting buffed. TMG's are my favorite weapon introduced at all and I wish they had more of a use outside being the chain trigger tool.

@FerrousAradicen

Launcher is already amazing in NGS.

@Knight-Raime said in Regarding the mainclass/subclass debacle and multi weapon arguments:

Why use a main class? Why have weapons tied to classes at all? Why a class system? Etc. Sega has sort of "met" these concerns half way by giving main class weapons a roughly 10% damage increase when you use the matching class and weapon. They have also reduced the effectiveness of skills/passives when used off class.

The thing these "concerns" are centered around are really just cosmetics for the character info. I find that the main thing that main / subclasses should impact are the focus of the builds which is a choice that should be up to the player based on his preferances. If e.g. I want to play with Rifle / Launcher without being forced into the role of a "Blight Rounds slave" then the "multi class system" should offer me some options here. If I get punished for it by what is effectively a 10% damage reduction then that's just something the rest of the MPA has to make up for.

Reasons to main class are access to 'Main Class only' skills and maximum effectiveness on 2 specific class skills that have reduced effect when used as a subclass. The 10% damage bonus to main class weapon potency wasn't necessary while they have those in place, and there is little identity crisis because of those first two restrictions.

Main classing a class can already function as that class better than subclassing that class. If you subclass fighter and even if the weapons did the same potency without a bonus to your main classes weapons, you will not have access to overload or its upgrade and the two downed enemy skills have half or 1/5th the effectiveness you would get if you used it as a mainclass. Subclassing Fighter already doesnt make you a fighter, it just adds another weapon option and some nerfed enhancements to specific situations.

Techer, man you have 9 (NINE) wasted skill points if youre using it as a sub if you took all its main class skills. Shifta/Deban is already a perfect reason to Mainclass techer rather than subclass it. And on top of that it too has two abilities that have reduced effectiveness when used as a sub, one of which wont even do anything unless youre playing as Force Main or use a wand. So without Force maining, you would have to use the un-buffed wand to produce a nerfed effect.

The one thing that makes me really sad about NGS is how locked down active abilities are. Multiweapons make me think that Sega wanted to give us more freedom, but they were also afraid of having things be OP, which is why you can't run GU and HU together and do something fun like mixing Volkraptor with Chain Trigger.

They need to ditch main class restrictions entirely, or move them to powerful passives deeper in the skill tree. Allow chain trigger to be used as a subclass skill with any weapon, but also offer passives that make it more powerful when used as a GU.

The other main problem with the skill trees in NGS is that there's no actual choice in what you take. You get enough skill points to take everything that's important. Some classes like RA even have skills that are just bad. Ain't no one taking Debuff resistance/duration reduction because they want to. Those kinds of passives are the worst. They're not fun and they don't change the way you play because they're inactive 98.7% of the time. Even something simple like an HP or defense boost would be way better than what RA has.

@Knight-Raime said in Regarding the mainclass/subclass debacle and multi weapon arguments:

Launcher is already amazing in NGS.

100% agree. Compared to base PSO2, Launcher in NGS is SO much more fun.

This ...just this from @Xaelon "Some classes like RA even have skills that are just bad. Ain't no one taking Debuff resistance/duration reduction because they want to. Those kinds of passives are the worst. They're not fun and they don't change the way you play because they're inactive 98.7% of the time. "
Maybe later on they will add some that will make those worth ...but now ? ...a waste of points since no boss/mob gives you any of those. If you got those ...will force you to use a reset skill ticket because when they add more skill ...you won't have enough points.

Standalone launcher is garbage, it's not the highest DPS and it has literally no other function, can't even use blight rounds.

It's a participating trophy class.

I personally still believe that Sega could have adopted and refined the Skill Board mechanic from Phantasy Star Nova. In a nutshell, it gave players a grid that they can map skills to and skills as a result were learned upon leveling up a class. At some point, each class would give skills like "Equip: <Weapon>" which included its photon arts so you can potentially play a character who can use "every" weapon if you really wanted to - but you had a limited space on what you can equip. However, this meant that classes had mechanics tied to them that could not be learned and that some skills were completely irrelevant (Equip: Swords being worthless for Hunters as it's innate). The Hunter, for example, had a damage bonus upon timing attacks to the Just Attack windows whereas classes like the Ranger had a bonus for maintaining combat momentum (similar to Chain Trigger and what the Luster eventually uses for Voltage).

I don't particularly like that the Skill Trees in New Genesis are effectively repeats of the skill trees in Phantasy Star Online 2 but with just a lot of the fluff and progression removed. I would have absolutely have preferred something like how Phantasy Star Nova would have unlocked every skill if you unlocked all classes - but that you got to choose which ones you equipped and used. Otherwise, I would prefer something like Dragon's Dogma Online's organization of skills (Core Skills which are learned that every class has as a baseline, Custom Skills which are effectively like Photon Arts/Techniques learned over time, and then Augments which finetune the player's playstyle and actual focus on gameplay). In the case of Dragon's Dogma Online, augments are what makes the difference if you choose to min-max yourself with a high-health build (requiring health to be high for multiple bonuses), a low-health build (requiring health to be critical for optimal performance), or being able to find something in-between and with quirks and tweaks from varying classes for a sort of quality-of-life at the cost of optimal number-crunching. In that game, the optimal performance comes from the player's comfort and ability to play rather than purely numbers - and I really do feel that New Genesis could have learned and utilized a lot of what other games had done instead of repeating itself.

In regards to the discussion with Main Class-only skills, my immediate knee-jerk reaction is that Chain Trigger should remain exclusive to the Gunner - but that is simply because of how Sega treated the Gunner and classes who were related (Braver and Summoner) due to their roles in breaking content with their interactions. I really do think that instead of "Chain Trigger" persisting as is they really could have made it behave like the Luster's Voltage where a charged photon art would decrease the Voltage-equivalent for a powered attack. Stopping attacks would drain that counter - emphasizing aggression on a Gunner who is already a very aggressive class. This is similar to Warframe's melee combat in which you can pull off heavy attacks whenever you want but their scaling and power increases when you deal more melee hits before using the heavy attacks. If this was the case, I can definitely imagine there could be a penalty for using this mechanic on other weapons (they build the chain half as quickly or expend double the power of the chain or risk losing safety nets like taking a hit can cancel the chain) or main classes if this was adopted as a Gunner subclass. The current implementation in New Genesis works like the original in a much smoother way - but I really don't see why players have to go out of their way to manually activate it and break the chain when other classes like the Fighter have things like Kamaitachi/Whirlwind being passive for their Double Saber and when Hunter's Photon Art Avenger works seamlessly in normal combat.

I feel that in terms of class identity, it still annoys me that the Gunner is designed as the "Twin Machineguns-only" class and yet they still have the Ranger's Rifle as a secondary weapon when you lose the biggest reason to use the RIfle (Weak Bullet/Blight Rounds). I would have absolutely preferred that the Rifle for the Gunner behaved significantly differently - as in if Rifle-Gunner was distinct from Rifle-Ranger and to justify that I feel that the Rifle-Phantom aesthetic and gameplay with their "dancing sniper" appeal could have applied to the Gunner very well who was already the Gunslinger. Instead of being focused on utility, I would have liked if the Rifle for the Gunner was distinctly a damage-focused option like their Twin Machineguns are.

In the same sense of the Rifle being shared between the Ranger and Gunner, I feel the same applies to the Talis regarding the Techer and the Force. It irks me that again this identically-functioning weapon is shared between the two when the Fighter and Hunter don't share weapons and loosely share mechanics yet the Ranged and Technique classes still share these same designs from the original game. I would have loved if the Force, who was ranged, had a utility-focused Talis like the Hero-Talis (or a non-elemental shuriken-boomerang) whereas the Techer could have kept the Talis as-is as a ranged option for their close-ranged melee Wand. I really don't like that techniques between the two are also identical and shared as I fear this will repeat in the other technique-capable classes much like how "technically" the Force, Techer, Bouncer, Summoner, Hero, and Phantom were all capable of the same techniques at varying degrees of efficiency and potency.