How would you go about the Story Missions? (No spoilers please)

I guess that's a good topic name as any other since this will be more focus on how would you do story missions. I avoided the story on purpose during the Closed Beta, because it is the beta and I would like to go through it completely when the game comes out for real. However, I've heard that it will be nothing but cutscenes and boss fights with no levels/areas to explore in these missions. If this is true, I would handle the story mission in a particular way, especially since, if I remember correctly, some missions will have to be unlock by doing the Arks Mission first, which I guess it's the game's way of having levels/areas in the game but not during the story.

Anyway if the story mode is nothing but boss fights and no areas/levels, I would probably "clear a world" first by doing all the missions related to that world before moving on in the story. Once I do that I'll continue to do story missions and I'll rinse and repeat. Of course since I've avoided the story (besides watching the anime), I'll have no hint of the location of each story mission until my cursor is on it. But anyway, that's my style of how I'll play through the story mode and I want to know how everyone else will handle the story mode.

Oh, by the way; is it true that every story mission will have it's own difficulty level to choose from in either the Casual or Hardcore option? In which Hardcore will make the bosses and enemies' levels match yours while Casual doesn't?

Think I'll try that way as well, thanks for the info.

Yes, normal difficulty is scaled, but you can also choose "easy".

As you suspect, story missions don't have a certain order related to areas, so you'd better just unlock every area doing Cofy's orders and then play the story without restrictions.

@landman That's fine, if I have to unlock a planet, then I won't mind doing quests to do that. it may be best for everyone who wants to beat the story as fast possible. Even though I only unlocked the Forest and Volcano, and will unlock the Desert before I start doing thing. I feel better with a sense of progression like that.

Although I do kinda hope it was like Final Fantasy XIV where there are levels and stages you have to beat in the middle of story mode, but I'll have to see.

I just realized something, since you'll unlock new friends, you might have Client Orders to do in other areas as well.

NPC's will unlock their Orders based on your level, or on your progress with Cofy's Orders/unlocked areas. Others may have restricted 1 time only orders related to story, but I think this was in the older Mater Board story mode only.

@landman That sounds like it's pretty fun, I think I'm going to enjoy going through the story mode the way I plan. My brother told me about the Mater Board, which almost sounds like what I'm doing right but this time the only necessary requirement is unlocking a planet.

After my first story playthrough a long time ago. I decided to just do it all in one go after I get my mains maxed. If I just want a refresher on the story or want to rewatch cutscenes and the like I would just replay it.

I just realized something important that I need to ask about how Story Missions will go. As far as I know only the early episodes of 1-3 and maybe 4 and 5 will be nothing but cutscenes with no areas in them like I did in the tutorial mission with only boss and mob fights in between. But the latest episodes will be more like what I wanted out of the story that is just like the tutorial mission. Am I correct in assuming that this will happen, or is every episode just cutscenes with boss and mob fights?

I finished the story missions in the CBT. i got alot of EXP boosters from them. MOST OF THE MISSIONS ARE ONLY CUTSCENES(true).. Its a little heart breaking toward the end of episode 1 but incredible. It helped that i unlocked and completed all the expeditions first though. the story follows the expeditions in terms of setting. after that there are a few surprises toward the end plot wise. If i have to complete them again for OBT and full release i will each time because of the rewards. towards the end of the episode 1 you fight more frequently @Guilrel. however i am not sure about the other episodes. i would level up by completing expeditions back to back only stopping to join urgent quests because each expedition gives you a exp ticket to level up quickly. completing expeditions also unlocks more areas. after unlocking hard mode for most content i started the story and was not disappointed. only when i died and had to restart a 30 min story mission ALL OVER AGAIN.

@UntamedxElon Well, at least I have a couple of fights near the end of the first episode to look forward too. Though I wonder if I'll end up unlocking all the areas anyway, because of the Open Beta. Although, since I'm doing the story completely from level 1, I may have to stop and level up anyway, because I also remember I have the Class Client Orders to complete as well.

30 minute story mission? Was most of that playable or just the cutscenes before you had to fight?

@Guilrel to explain what happened... Episode 1-3 used a system known as Matter Board (which is still in the story as a plot device, NA version calls it the "Divergence Matrix"). The system was basically the game's Story Mode which took the form of a grid with the nodes which you had to complete. (ill do my best to explain it given I never got to experience it fully before it was removed)

AAifT1Y.jpg

The way it worked was that the player would start off at a "START" node and progress from there unlocking each node by either:

  • Meeting requirements such as retrieving certain drops from specific enemies.
  • Triggering events. In the Lobby this would be done by approaching the NPC related to the event. On the field, this would be done by playing any quest taking place in the specific field and interacting with the Event Panel that spawns in the field during your explorations.
  • Gold Nodes require you play a Story Quest which had been unlocked.

For one reason or another people ended up not liking this system (feel free to ask others why this was the case). Starting with Episode 4 the game would change to the more streamlined 'Story Board' which didn't require you go looking around the field and just had nodes on a timeline. Rather than explore to trigger each event, you would simply select and watch the event to unlock the next node which could be another event to watch or an actual Story Quest.

Story-Board-Ep4-Ch1.jpg

This system would be further changed with Episode 5 which replaced the timeline with a vertical menu to trigger nodes from. In addition, the Matter board system was removed entirely and all events were placed into the same format Episode 5 was using. Some revision had also been done to the Episode 1-3 story in the process as some events were removed entirely and the order of a few events had been changed entirely (For a small bit of reference, the Opening Cutscene after you make a character had been redone entirely).

Main-Quest-Episode-5.jpg

Since the NA version uses the Episode 6 game client, the way you advance the story is done in this manner (during Open Beta, can anyone check for me if the Event Chronicle feature in the room displays the original Ep 1-3 timeline like in JP?).

As a bit of sidenote and trivia, new players with keen eyes may notice is the inconsistency in the game's lobby... certain areas in the game such as the Lobby and Shop Area have had their model changed multiple times however the older models are still in the game's files for cutscenes that used them. So even though we are using the Episode 6 version of the game's lobby, whenever we trigger an Episode 1 cutscene taking place in the Lobby... the Lobby changes to Ep 1's lobby which looked like this:

Shop-area-3-elevator.jpg Arks-Lobby-Gate-Area-2.jpg

@landman said in How would you go about the Story Missions? (No spoilers please):

Yes, normal difficulty is scaled, but you can also choose "easy".

As you suspect, story missions don't have a certain order related to areas, so you'd better just unlock every area doing Cofy's orders and then play the story without restrictions.

Thanks for the heads up

I played in the matterboard days! It was hated for a couple of reasons. For every "meet this NPC in the field" node there was at least one "kill 200 of a certain mob type for a specific underwhelming equipment drop." node. And when you did unlock the story node, if your were in a group with your friends who wern't at that exact same place in the story they'd have to wait around doing nothing for five minutes while you were locked away in cutscene land.

That said, the version of the story available at the counter is a little too abridged and I'm hoping that in open beta and release we'll have access to the events from the alternate time loops.

@IndefinateArdem , I do think that triggering cutscenes in the Lobby shouldn't have gone away... and in fact its something that Episode 5 (and I think also 6) restored. All of the other field events could simply have been made into unique Story Quests where you trigger those scenes much like in PSU personally...

@Leonkh99 I would also like it if the story approach was like PSU or more specifically the original PSO where the "side quests" were actually mini stories and plot like that Cast and the Mag or the mysterious pen pal that disappeared in the hostile planet.

@IndefinateArdem said in How would you go about the Story Missions? (No spoilers please):

I played in the matterboard days! It was hated for a couple of reasons. For every "meet this NPC in the field" node there was at least one "kill 200 of a certain mob type for a specific underwhelming equipment drop." node. And when you did unlock the story node, if your were in a group with your friends who wern't at that exact same place in the story they'd have to wait around doing nothing for five minutes while you were locked away in cutscene land.

That said, the version of the story available at the counter is a little too abridged and I'm hoping that in open beta and release we'll have access to the events from the alternate time loops.

So basically the playstyle in my approach to the story will be more or less a streamlined version of the matterboard but only needing to unlock the areas instead of going through a whole bunch of tasks like... well the current ARKs missions but this time I have a choice of when to go through the story. Since there's no proper areas to go through before boss fights, I guess my approach is the only way I can get close to experiencing the area-before-boss-fight standard that I'm used to in most video games.