@vio2k5 I can try to answer your points to the best of my ability:
- Class acronyms can be daunting at first but in a nutshell for the Braver you have a few options you can really consider.
In this case, "Ph" is the Phantom is personally to me one of your best options. This is because the Phantom provides access to techniques (magic), speedcasting, sprint casting, support for critical rate/critical damage boosts, faster gear generation, faster photon point recovery, and better photon point efficiency. Everything the Braver does is amplified by the Phantom but it comes at the cost of needing your gear to be prepared and needing you as a Braver to be more aware of your surroundings.
The "Et" is the Etoile which is a very tanky class that provides superarmor upon standing still for a second, high efficiency on photon arts (up until the third use of the same photon art in a row), automatic healing up to half of your health, and a very big boost in damage reduction. It is a very bulky class that lets you stand up and tank hits you normally wouldn't have taken but I recall that in the context of the Braver who doesn't always have attacks that count as just-attacks (or attacks that can "miss" as just-attacks) you end up not being able to be fully empowered. For the Bow, this is one of the more consistent and efficient options due to its lack of setup needed like you do on the Braver/Phantom combination.
These two classes are coming out in Episode 6 (later today or now if the servers are up) and largely are band-aid patches for older class combinations that help them prepare for Episode 6 in general. You can still run with other subclass options like the Hunter but these two in particular really push the envelope for what you can do as a player with a lot of quality-of-life.
Loot is instanced so you can see what others pick up (via the chat log) but the drops you see are exclusive to you. Similarly what you pick up can be seen by other players so you can tell if someone got a very rare drop and vice versa.
Essentially anything that isn't ten-stars or above is typically "trash." Depending on the items you do have, however, you can check at the top-right of the item name to see a box with numbers. This is the number of "slots" the item has for abilities/augments. If you decide to, you can collect and hoard these to see what the abilities are and check their prices on the Player Shop as these are always valuable for affixing. Otherwise if you are tight on space or are not interested in running the market on these you can skip these altogether. Ten-star weapons can be traded in the Swap Shop (second-to-last menu on pressing Escape/Start) and turned into Excubes which are a very important currency. Ten-star units can be turned into Photon Spheres as well which are also similarly important as currency.
I would go further with this to say that anything with seven stars or above (a red star at least) can be collected and desynthesized in your Personal Quarters. You can also hoard Level 11+ disks to do the same so you can craft and create photon arts/techniques (which I heavily suggest doing) to improve your combat capabilities. If you end up with "too many" of these resources you can go to the Swap Shop to turn these into rarer resources or sell them on the Player Shops though some of these definitely sell for more than others. Be careful of what you choose to desyntehsize as you can desynthesize your best equipment if you are not careful (I recommend locking the items you wish to keep).
- Unfortunately to "parry" better as a Braver is by practice. You will have to intentionally stand around and get hit to practice your timings especially on bosses who are ones you can fight often. I heavily recommend the Level 80/80 solo Ultimate Quest (Remnants of a Parallel World) as a "training dummy" to learn your parrying, your dodging, and your damage rotations. In Episodes 5 and 6 a lot of enemies will be very aggressive like this. There is no punishment for failing - and you can definitely be rewarded as you get better in this fight.
In terms of your gear, I heavily recommend building a DEX Mag if you have not yet already. If your Mag is not purely DEX, you can level them down once it reaches Level 100 by going to the Excube Exchange Shop and buying a Mag Level Reduction Device (5 Excubes each). The Braver utilizes DEX on its Mag (and only its Mag) to convert that into MEL/RNG damage. If you take the Phantom this gets doubled as the Phantom also uses a DEX Mag to convert DEX into MEL/RNG/TEC damage. Otherwise in terms of catch-up equipment to be decently geared up, I heavily recommend completing five Recommended Quests (a minimum of two days if you get the presents) and completing nine runs of the Limited Quest (on any difficulty) to get both a free Atlas EX Gunslash (which you can change to a weapon of your choice by talking to Zieg and going to the "Change Weapon Category" menu) and the Ofze set of units which will be upgradeable to a very powerful set of thirteen star units. Units and weapons tend to be straight-forward for most classes so you are likely looking for more fifteen star weapons and twelve-star units beyond that for more gearing options and opportunities.
*Pets are exclusive to Summoners.
If you are talking about the accessory, you can find them on this page which are under the "Accessories (Other)" tab under the name "Kitsune Tails." If you cannot find these on the Player Shop you can type in the full name (or copy/paste it) and manually search it via the bottom-right search button as you cannot "auto-complete" searches unless you have already seen the item in-game due to this game's method of caching items for the Player Shops.
Maintenance is typically about six hours long but you can expect delays or longer periods of time of having to wait. This is something that has consistently happened every other week between Tuesday/Wednesday (at about this time).