Ask a veteran ARKS!

@eclipsezeromh The story really ends up being "all over the place" with Episode 5 helping to rebuild the groundwork and foundations for Episodes 1-3 (or at least how new players following Episode 5 including global players will see it). The previous system for the story was very open-ended and had a great deal of grinding and randomness to it alongside a number of variations due to Episode 2's "time travel" mechanic. I recall even during Episode 3 you would have seen new content added in as a substory scene that would have taken place during Episodes 1 or 2 which was justified via that time travel. Beyond that, in Episodes 4 and 5 that gets downplayed very heavily and Episode 5 "retcons" a lot of the Episodes 1-3 story by having a set path and fixed story for the most part so I would recommend Episode 5 for at least a clear path in how the story is handled.

Otherwise beyond that I would treat it like you would with the Bandai Namco anime-action games (God Eater, Code Vein, and more) where your character is a self-insert who has a very wide-ended story of what you want who happens to be paired with similarly powerful characters in a world where all player characters don't get their actual story role acknowledged (like Pokemon in that sense where every player effectively is a master for the feats they accomplish).

@VanillaLucia Huh. Interesting. I vaguely remember something about a matterboard from when I first played PSO2 JP years ago, back in 2013. Translation used to be pretty sparse back then. Good to know that even if I have forgotten a ton of ep 1's story it won't matter much going forward lol.

And yea, fair enough(about treating it as GEater), although I can't help but find some of the lore beats and science fantasy things PSO does really intriguing(lore/worldbuilding), could be a case of just not being exposed to such stories much, which is why I can be a bit anal about catching up with a story before continuing.

Danke for elaborating!

So, I know that since 75, the experience between level ups has gotten... a lot bigger to say the least so with the cap increasing again tomorrow, I wanted to ask which was better to put Tokyo Gold Keys to-- should I use them to try and get my main class (and sub-class unless I change it) to level 95?

Or should I use them to level up other classes? As I'm still trying to get them all to 75 for the stat boost (The Scion classes don't have a stat boost, right?)

Finally, with Phantom releasing, I heard some of the skills are helpful as a force-- is it a better option than Techer? Or is Techer still better due to the healing strength boosts and other things (I'll be honest, 99% of me playing this game is just winging it but I try my best).

@Princesse-Jen Near as I can tell Phantom seems to be the "new universal subclass." In the base game Hunter was the go-to option for the most versatile/universal stat boosts. Phantom replaces it as a stronger overall booster. Not sure about any specific skills that might make Techer more beneficial, to be honest. But then, I tend to "wing it" quite often as well.

As for Exp stuff, personally I've got a small stockpile of Exp tickets I plan on dividing among my characters and dumping into Phantom right away jut to boost it up as high as I can get it. If you have any or you're wondering how far any COs you might be holding will get you there's this site that charts out the cumulative Exp requirements per level:

https://pso2.swiki.jp/index.php?累積経験値

@Princesse-Jen The jump from Level 75-80 is identical to the amount of experience you need from Level 1-75. The jump from Level 80-90 and likely Level 95 when Episode 6 releases very soon is even larger. Once you cross Level 80 the Tokyo Bonus Keys will run at their full effect but you should be fine using your keys or saving them for the Successor classes. I heavily recommend taking up a subclass (even if it is not viable) to run in the Tokyo Bonus Quests so your subclass can get boosted to Level 70 (the current point at which your subclass no longer gains experience) as you level up your main class.

And regards to the Force, you have three options for subclasses that you can decide on:

  • Force/Techer is the most versatile Force combination that allows you to utilize all elements with the elemental masteries. This combo is still tried-and-true but in Episode 6 you start to veer away from it because this glass cannon is extremely fragile and if you don't know how to parry you are going to have a very bad time in Episode 6 content. I recall this is the "strongest" combination but also one of the hardest ones to play simply because of its glass cannon nature.

  • Force/Phantom gains the Phantom's speedcasting, photon point recovery, and photon point efficiency. You also gain "sprint casting" which allows you to move at normal running speeds while charging techniques. Because you lose the Techer's elemental mastery your Wind, Light, and Dark techniques aren't quite as powerful as they could be but the Phantom's universal multipliers actually push them right back up to where they would have been - but also amplify your use of Ice, Fire, and Lightning techniques. Imagine Zonde, Gizonde, and Ilzonde being "free" because they cost about half as much photon points as they normally would - and they charge twice as fast. Force/Phantom is one of the top choices for speedrunning content and despite their hit in power due to the speedcasting they are not joke if you are very familiar with the Force/Techer's glass cannon nature and you wanted speed, efficiency, and control.

  • Force/Etoile plays very much like the Force/Techer so the actual gameplay doesn't change. Like the Phantom, you lose access to the Techer's elemental masteries so your use of Wind, Light, and Dark techniques isn't as powerful as it could be. However, you gain access to an equivalent of the Hunter's Hunter Physique (stay in place without moving for a second to active superarmor where you cannot be flinched), the Fighter's Tech Arts Bonus (though I do not believe this works on techniques so this does not benefit the Force), and the Summoner's HP Restorate (you automatically heal up to 50% of your total health over time). The main feature for the Etoile is "Damage Balancer" which reduces all damage you take by 70% and destroys your ability to use Resta/Megiverse/Healing Potentials on yourself. This means that you only restore 1 HP per tick - but you can mitigate this easily by using the Mate Maniacs (L) ring (it makes you invulnerable as you use a -mate item with a much faster animation as well). The Force/Etoile's biggest strength is that you can soak some hits (though not all hits), you can charge techniques without being interrupted, and you turn Gizonde into a meme. The only real problem you have is that photon point management can get rough but you should look for a Genon Talis (which benefits all Talis-users) and load it up with the S2 and S3: Lucent Adversity. By popping Nabarta Type-0/Nabarta Zero you create a shield and the act of using any photon art/technique will force the weapon to sap your health. By tapping this three times, you lose a small chunk of your health but have full photon points again for your casting madness.

You really can't go wrong with the Phantom or Etoile as your choice of subclass for the Force but there is a reason why these two classes are gamechangers for most classes. In the case of the Force, the Etoile definitely is among the most popular choices for its durability while the Phantom definitely is a popular choice for speedrunning content and having the Phantom's sheer speed.

Alternatively you can take the Rod and use it on a main-class Phantom if you enjoy the idea of using melee attacks, having a much more easily accessible nuke (Phantom Mark), and you enjoy stealthcasting as well (you gain invulnerability frames from all directions upon starting your casting). The Rod is also used more like a scythe and has a series of photon arts you can use as utility or as melee attacks to supplement technique-based gameplay.

@VanillaLucia I went with hunter/force because the hunter class fits my smash mouth in your face attack style

@TURION-MOONSTAR On the bright side the Hunter/Phantom that is going to be available after maintenance will definitely let you play that combination of classes much better if you wanted a "spellsword" sort of class. The Hunter/Force is unfortunately one of the worst combinations of classes in the game simply because of how little synergy they have and how little the Force actually benefits the Hunter or how the Hunter benefits the Force.

@VanillaLucia I don't think hunter/force is such a bad combination, it's served me quite well so far and if you have a hunter and find a zax you should equip it and max it out for a kick ass weapon guaranteed to cause massive damage in the hands of a high level hunter and when taking quests on normal difficulty you can score one hit kills with it

@TURION-MOONSTAR It might not be such a bad combination but my experience with the Force as a subclass is simply that it's among the worst options you can consider compared to classes like the Summoner. The Techer at least provides more utility but is still not a class I would pick as a subclass and with the Phantom being available that is easily the best option you can pick if you wanted a "spellsword" of any sort due to the Phantom having what is effectively another "Fury Stance" but with multipliers for technique damage as well on top of greater support for the Hunter (faster gear gain, faster photon point recovery, critical rate/damage access, speedcasting, and sprint casting).

The Force as a subclass unfortunately offers very little of value unless your goal is to use Fire/Wind/Techniques as your primary source of damage or if you really wanted to have regenerating photon points while charging techniques but the unfortunate side of things is that most of the features you want out of them are already handed out by other classes or are eclipsed by the main-class Force in the first place.

As I mentioned, I would heavily recommend you try out the Phantom as a subclass for an immediate improvement in your damage if you still want techniques access for a Hunter.

Thank you both SO much for the help T~T I really appreciate it and you both gave me a lot more than I expected.

@VanillaLucia said in Ask a veteran ARKS!:

Going to just cut this as it's very long but XD

Essentially, I love healing. I generally play a Cleric in most games so I generally considered my playstyle Cleric but also I can murder things with magic. I prefer distance and I like being versatile. Based off your descriptions, it sounds like Phantom may be right for me if I understand correctly that the "universal multipliers" would push Light, Dark, and Wind techniques back up as if I was still a Techer, yes? (Please correct me if I misunderstood). I've always found Wind relatively weak, but Light and Ice are easily my most used followed by Lightning, Dark/Fire, and finally Wind.

I've definitely been more a fan of speed and some of the slowness/restrictiveness with charging (and also most of my deaths) are due to getting into a situation where I can't get a heal off or PP dies or something.... well, that or hitting the wrong button and using an attack over dodging but uh.

I don't really do well more tanky-- I like being more speedy and effective if anything. While also healing.

As a side note, back to the keys-- do they give more experience if I do the Tokyo Bonus Keys at 80+ with the class I want to level as a sub-class then? Or is it better to try and level up the class by putting it to main instead o as a sub-class.

But yes, Rod is the only weapon I really use, but I really just love being able to use magic and having the whole... rod shoots out a thing when swinging it as a Force main is probably one of my favorite things (and helps so much with PP Regaining).

@Princesse-Jen The Phantom would definitely be an option you may want to consider as it is a more "aggressive" Force where it lacks the elemental masteries the Force and Techer have and would instead make you much more versatile in using what you want (but Ilgrants and Rabarta are by far among your best friends).

The Force/Phantom loses the Wind/Light/Dark Mastery but the Phantom's damage multipliers will make these still feel the same as they were with the Techer as a subclass. The only real difference is that the Force's Fire, Ice, and Lightning are stronger than ever and that the Techer will still be stronger if you use a Compound Technique on an enemy weak to the two elements on a Compound Technique. Beyond that, the Force/Phantom is definitely more speed.

To note as well, when I mentioned that the healing on the Etoile is nerfed, this only applies to you (or other any other Etoile who utilizes Damage Balancer). Everyone else will still benefit from Resta/Megiverse so if you can pop those out you definitely want to - but it simply does not benefit you like it would have with any other class combination. With the Mate Maniacs (L) ring you can trivialize healing as the Etoile as you are invulnerable while using a -mate item and can heal yourself with even monomates and still be durable.

The Tokyo Bonus keys at Level 80 give you their "full" value of experience butyour subclasses currently stop gaining experience at Level 70 so you are forced to switch to them as a main class to proceed. If we get the Level 95 cap this likely gets pushed to Level 75 being the limit your subclass can go. I would personally start using the keys on a Level 70+ main class because your EXP scaling results in a lot of "potential" wasted experience if you did not reach that point yet. At some point you will have to swap to your subclass to level it up but in the context of a Tokyo Bonus Key this should not be too difficult as long as you are still geared up and have a playstyle you are willing to lean on (you can use unoptimal combinations to keep your playstyle if desired).

@Princesse-Jen After the maintenance, there will be new recommended quests literally named level up quests, these also are great ways to farm XPs. Look for a big group of people going to start these quests and jump in. Especially the one for Corrupted Regions or the one with Castle Demonica are good ones. The one which takes place in the former Mothership or Arks Ship urban region are not that good.

EDIT: I thought the new level up quest wouold start after the maintenance, but when I checked the EP6 notice after writing this post, the notice didn't clearly say when it would begin. If this turned out to be not available for now, just my apologies.

@VanillaLucia said in Ask a veteran ARKS!:

@Princesse-Jen The Phantom would definitely be an option you may want to consider as it is a more "aggressive" Force where it lacks the elemental masteries the Force and Techer have and would instead make you much more versatile in using what you want (but Ilgrants and Rabarta are by far among your best friends).

The Force/Phantom loses the Wind/Light/Dark Mastery but the Phantom's damage multipliers will make these still feel the same as they were with the Techer as a subclass. The only real difference is that the Force's Fire, Ice, and Lightning are stronger than ever and that the Techer will still be stronger if you use a Compound Technique on an enemy weak to the two elements on a Compound Technique. Beyond that, the Force/Phantom is definitely more speed.

To note as well, when I mentioned that the healing on the Etoile is nerfed, this only applies to you (or other any other Etoile who utilizes Damage Balancer). Everyone else will still benefit from Resta/Megiverse so if you can pop those out you definitely want to - but it simply does not benefit you like it would have with any other class combination. With the Mate Maniacs (L) ring you can trivialize healing as the Etoile as you are invulnerable while using a -mate item and can heal yourself with even monomates and still be durable.

The Tokyo Bonus keys at Level 80 give you their "full" value of experience butyour subclasses currently stop gaining experience at Level 70 so you are forced to switch to them as a main class to proceed. If we get the Level 95 cap this likely gets pushed to Level 75 being the limit your subclass can go. I would personally start using the keys on a Level 70+ main class because your EXP scaling results in a lot of "potential" wasted experience if you did not reach that point yet. At some point you will have to swap to your subclass to level it up but in the context of a Tokyo Bonus Key this should not be too difficult as long as you are still geared up and have a playstyle you are willing to lean on (you can use unoptimal combinations to keep your playstyle if desired).

So even though I won't necessarily have the mastery, the multipliers will still make the output pretty much the same?

Right now the rings I have is the Technique Defense combo and the Hunter one for reference. My main worry with Etoile is I don't really have anywhere on my subpalette for mates and have come accustomed to solely using Resta for both myself and others so I feel like that would just take a lot to get used to for me. Also I have like never used wands.

Okay, thank you 🙂 Right now my classes are Force and Techer at 90, Summoner at 82? something like that, Bouncer and Hunter each at 75, Braver at 50, and everything else somewhere between 30 and 50.

They did mention the level cap should hit 95 with the update so I'll keep that in mind. Mainly I just heard previously that you earn "so little" experience with the sub-class that you'd get less doing the quests with a level 80+ class and the class you want to level as the sub-class than you would just making the class you want to level the main class. I have no idea how accurate that is though but that's why I was asking which would help the class I want to level get more experience faster ^^;

In general, the main way I've been leveling up classes while still playing how I want is using Umbral's Rod as it can be used by every class and that means I can play in a style I'm most accustomed too (I genuinely can not do melee or slower weapons at all). Force being my sub-class means my tech skill is still decent at least too. Makes Hero a bit difficult but I do my best. (Though, since it apparently doesn't have a title stat bonus, I'm not in any rush to level it... unless that's inaccurate).

@Fiona-Respha said in Ask a veteran ARKS!:

@Princesse-Jen After the maintenance, there will be new recommended quests literally named level up quests, these also are great ways to farm XPs. Look for a big group of people going to start these quests and jump in. Especially the one for Corrupted Regions or the one with Castle Demonica are good ones. The one which takes place in the former Mothership or Arks Ship urban region are not that good.

Good to know!! I generally just play with my husband and occasionally a friend or two, but I'll try to keep an eye out. Thank you!

Fiona-Respha said in Ask a veteran ARKS!:

EDIT: I thought the new level up quest wouold start after the maintenance, but when I checked the EP6 notice after writing this post, the notice didn't clearly say when it would begin. If this turned out to be not available for now, just my apologies.

It's alright! It's still good to know ahead of time so I can keep an eye out regardless 🙂

@Princesse-Jen The Etoile's wand is very different from the Techer's wand. If you ended up playing the Etoile you have no access to Techniques at all (consider it a "magical" melee class with your attacks looking magical but not actually being techniques). As a Force/Etoile you cannot use the Etoile's wand and as a result you are essentially a beefier Force/Techer. Even without the Elemental Mastery your damage output will be about the same for the non-mastery elements (but higher for Fire/Ice/Lightning).

In terms of rings, you can install (L) rings to twelve-star units and above by talking to Dudu/Monica and going to the "Install Unit Skills" menu. This will let you stock up on and equip multiple rings between characters so you can get a decent quality-of-life change. In terms of (R) rings you would definitely want to pick up Critical Strike (R) (ideally the Compound Version if you can do it) for the Phantom due to their big push for critical rate/critical damage increases.

This means that when the update is complete, you can effectively jump in as a Force/Phantom right away (with a Level 1 Phantom) to run your Bonus Quests. You can also alternatively do Summoner/Phantom as the Summoner boosts experience gained for the subclass so you can power-level the Phantom that way as well. When the Phantom reaches the 70's you would have to switch to becoming a Phantom-main in order to continue leveling them up but this should not be hard if you still have keys or run the Fourth Featured Quest/Recommended Quest as it is also very great for leveling.

I am curious of your thoughts on the Wand-Etoile if you ever get around to trying it as it is very much the "opposite" of the Techer's Wand (very agile, floaty, showy, and geared towards aggressive combat). The Force/Etoile combination would still feel the same to you as the Force/Techer in practical gameplay other than that your photon point management may become more of a hassle as well as healing but you tend to soak up so much more hits that you would rarely go down unless it was in harder content (you're essentially god-like in anything before Ultra Hard).

@Princesse-Jen

When it comes to FoTe vs FoPh vs FoEt, FoPh and FoEt have much better DPS than FoTe, but don't offer very much in the way of support. They are also sort of "locked" into ice and lightning -- the Te elements are still very good on them in certain situations, but Zonde 0, Gizonde, Rabarta and Ilbarta will be the best picks in the majority of situations due to how much those techs get boosted.

You could also consider Phantom main if you're still wanting to play a primary DPS, as Phantom main completely outclasses FoTe as it has basically the same multipliers in terms of damage, except it casts everything at double speed, has a lot more invincibility and movement, plus access to extra tools such as Jellen, Markers, Counters, Katana and Rifle.

If support is more your thing, you should also consider Techter with either Phantom or Etoile sub. Contrary to popular belief, Techter is not a melee class, but more of a tech/melee hybrid, and the scion class subclasses actually make Techter do this properly. You will be casting techs most of the time on Techter for damage, not wand whacks, and have amazing support (strong heals, huge range, shifta and deband everyone loves, etc) at the same time.