Arks League

I got 50 SG and nearly beat first yesterday but it was all for fun to me 😊

@YagyuChan

Someday we’ll be number 1! It’s a fun event regardless but man it’s a matter of pride now.

I have to admit , It is confusing. Just before the event started, The site does say to speak to the NPC first , Then Move to a new block? Uh, that's where it was a Little vauge, I mean - What block exactly? Does that imply to move to a block that has the biggest residence? You have my vote for this to become a regular thing. I wonder what creative means they will use as rewards Next time? It's going to be fun to see what they will come up with.

@DDDDLife

No idea, I didn’t move to a block or speak to the NPC at all until it was time to collect rewards. I saw the event was happening, checked my rank from the Arks League window and went out to kill stuff.

Also I won 1st! I wasn’t even keeping track this time. Hurray!

@Milk said in Arks League:

@DDDDLife

No idea, I didn’t move to a block or speak to the NPC at all until it was time to collect rewards. I saw the event was happening, checked my rank from the Arks League window and went out to kill stuff.

Also I won 1st! I wasn’t even keeping track this time. Hurray!

I got 2nd again but closed the gap to 50 kills at one point but ended up 92 behind. Ah well 50 SG is still pretty good and 3rd gave up at 444 total in the end since me and 1st were so far ahead.

@YagyuChan

First place is usually double or more kills than my second place so I was extremely shocked I placed first. I didn’t even know the event was happening, I was just leveling, then I got an alert to check my league awards.

It was nice but disappointing since I wasn’t actively competing against someone. 😞

Won the first ARKS League handily and didn't get the SG for it. They'll probably compensate everyone 100 SG sometime since it looks like they basically gave everyone the first-place prize when this happened in open beta. This means the effort that went into winning was still meaningless because everyone who I beat will get the same reward anyway. But that's not the fault of ARKS League itself and it was fun to play, so I'm not fazed by that in and of itself.

I also won the second league, which was also falspawn. The 100 SG from that was nice, and so far, ARKS League is looking pretty good.

Since then we've had three leagues of supernaturals and hoooo boy are these utterly, disgustingly, wretched.

My group joined late for the first of these, was placed into the same league, and our matching kill count reached 3 behind 1st only with 2 minutes remaining. Then Enchanted Woods gave us 100% falspawn for about 2 minutes. The player who won that league was either in a similarly dire game (they weren't in ours) or had just finished a Buster Quest and stopped early. They literally won because we had terrible spawn RNG.

The second supernatural league, we hit Woods hard for 20 minutes and somehow only got 267 supernaturals spawning in that time. That's a horrid pace and way behind expectation for that map. The expedition must have been at least 65-70% falspawn. We didn't have a chance. Even people who did Buster Quests got hundreds more than us!

The third, just now, we went safe and did a Buster Quest (Main Match) instead out of fear of more bad Enchanted Woods spawns. We easily outpaced our garbage spawn rate from the previous league and would have won either of the prior supernatural leagues on that pace. Buuuut a group of four all in the same league and three other independent players must have all got supernatural-heavy PSE Bursts in Woods because the group exceeded 1,000 kills in about 25 minutes (with a consistently matching kill count throughout) and the rest weren't far behind. No Buster Quest can compete with that kind of luck.

Basically supernatural ARKS Leagues are completely RNG because there is not a single quest in this game that reliably spawns supernaturals. The pitiful two quests to contain supernaturals at all either have wild variation with interference or repeated wait times still with variation. If you go Woods and get garbage spawns and no PSE, you'll lose to everyone who went Buster Quest. And if you don't go Woods there's no way you can compete with anyone who does and gets a supernatural-heavy PSE Burst.


The next league in a few hours is falspawn. I'm looking forward to that. Sadly, it's the last one.

The remaining three leagues after that are supernaturals. I'm not looking forward to these total crapshoots. It's not a kill competition, it's just an RNG spawn competition where the competitors have no control. Whether you beat other players or not is entirely down the hand you are dealt. To be blunt, it's reminded me of Battle Arena with its winner determination by whose team the leavers and AFKers happen to be on.

@GM-Deynger said in Arks League:

Yes, the target enemies for this week alternate between Supernaturals and Falspawn.

Unless I've missed one there's 3 falspawn leagues and 6 supernatural ones. Two thirds (6/9) of the leagues are the horrid version. When you remember that the first one was busted, three quarters (6/8) of the rewarding leagues are the horrid version. Alternation would have been half each, and that'd have at least given us half of the fun type.


My overall thought about ARKS League is that it's still worth taking part in every window. I think only Time Attack rankings are faster for a quick activity to give 10 SG, and in the week we have it ARKS League gives multiple hits of that while also actually being winnable for more than the same handful of players earning a fortune from TA ranking week in week out while everyone else can only ever get crumbs.

The format is fine; the burst of rushing to score kills is a good change of focus, even. This week, PC players have got to take part in ARKS League for the first time ever. It took 5 months! Now I have a feel for them, I'm surprised they haven't happened more often. It would have been a better filler activity than Mining Base 3 spam in the final weeks of Episode 3, and may have alleviated the no-SG-sources controversy of that time.

So overall ARKS League itself is great! Just... supernaturals.


Feedback item

Competitions to kill things that only appear in quests that spawn heavily varying amounts of them are not competitions.

Falspawn league works because several different types of quests are 100% falspawn and players have definitely tried out different ones from Time Attacks to triggers during this week to work out which one gets their parties the fastest kills.

Supernaturals can only be fought in Story Quests (which likely do not count and are no better than the others even if they did), Bewitched Woods Exploration and Buster Quests (including Castrum Demonica: Hostility which is no better than Buster Quests). That's essentially a grand total of two quest types. There's no Advance Quest, and there aren't even any ARKS Quests!

Sure, any other non-falspawn enemy type has to contend with most of their sources containing falspawn. But it's not remotely as bad as supernaturals; several ARKS Quests are entirely falspawn-free, but I'm not sure many of those would compete with a VHAQ PSE Burst. Even ignoring those, there are enough options to make it fun to plan strategy. For instance, consider an oceanid league:

  • Coastal, Seabed and Floating Facility Region Ecological Survey are all falspawn-free but have fewer overall spawns and point limits.
  • Coast and Floating Facility Expedition are both ~35% falspawn
  • Advance Directive: Seabed is ~35% falspawn
  • Wopal Rescue Team is ~30% falspawn but potentially reduced spawns (ARKS Quest)
  • Advance Directive: Coast is ~30% falspawn
  • Environment Protection Mission: Coast is ~25% falspawn but potentially reduced spawns (ARKS Quest)
  • Advance Directive: Floating Facility is ~25-30% falspawn and may be everyone's go-to
  • But boasting an even better rate is Seabed Expedition, with just ~15% falspawn!

In short there's a bunch of options and while there may be gravitation towards VHAQs in particular Facility (though the other two would arguably compete), there's also another great option for people who do a little research and playtesting and can assemble a 12-player MPA.

Supernaturals? Enchanted Woods is ~35-40% falspawn which is worse than every option above and that's not including the regular spawns of Falz/Omega Hyunal/Angel/Appregina/Dranble (which don't show on the Enemy Log). Buster Quests are a little better only with several preparation wait times and no PSE bursts.

That's your lot. There's literally nothing else. Unlike more established enemy types, there is not one reliable option to kill supernaturals, making any competition over supernatural kills a bit of a farce.


Edit: By the way, I hate to point this out, but the two optimal ways to farm Buster Quests for kills require abandonment and obstruction.

Firstly, after the last (post-Buster) Defense phase of the game, there aren't many supernatural enemies. It is faster to abandon the quest and start a new one to get to the next Defense phase earlier. Anecdotally the first Defense phase seems to contain more supernaturals than falspawn too, so it may even be faster to leave and restart after either the first Defense phase or the Buster phase.

Secondly, for similar reasons of Defense phase maximisation, it is optimal to let your buster rams be destroyed! Buster Quests have a 20-minute window which allows for 2-3 extra Defense phases to be undertaken by repeatedly leaving the Arx Demonica intact on purpose. While any competent player/s will still win the quest eventually, it is still slowing down clears for any players that are there to complete buster quests (e.g. for medals or collection folders).

I wouldn't do either of these, and do not recommend or suggest anyone does. But the format of ARKS League and more importantly the dire availability of the supernatural enemy type does make it optimally better, thereby encouraging foul play, which I'd be naive to assume nobody is taking advantage of.

@Miraglyth

That’s a really thorough post! I will say every time I’ve placed 1st or 2nd I was simply leveling. I was doing a UQ or BQ. Now I’ll probably get utterly defeated by people with better methods but it was nice to get rewarded for it anyway. I don’t like the forest, unless I bring a loved one I’m completely on my own with players who filled up the map with NPCs so I just can’t kill fast enough.

For Supernaturals, I either go Free Match Buster Quests, since I can't remember ever seeing any Falspawn there and the zergless phases only last seconds, or Woods on the lowest difficulty, where I can kill everything in a few hits on my own.

The Urgent Quest was particularly disappointing. It only came out at like 140 Supernaturals, give or take, despite having three defense phases. When it pops and everyone does the Urgent for the rewards, you can probably win the League handily by simply doing something else in that time. A bit meh, since the intention behind scheduling Arks League along with a semi-matching Urgent Quest seems to be different.

Yaaay I won! Intentionally this time, I doubled my score. 😄

25 minutes, three completed Ruins VHAQs and not a single PSE Burst. We had six tiny maps, three Persona duels, two Falz Angel duels and so many concurrent Lv. 7 effects that you wouldn't believe we didn't get a single PSE Burst.

I'm devastated. That was the last fun ARKS League and it was completely ruined by godawful RNG on the PSE. The only ones left are garbage supernatural ones. Why did we have to have so many crappy ones. Just why.

I'm also a little annoyed at my group's late start, and if everyone was around to start earlier it would have made it less likely that we'd have been so unlucky on the PSEs.

But mostly... it's really starting to hurt that one of my two league wins was 100 SG I never received. It didn't so much at the time, but every time I pick up 10 SG from the reward actually working, it feels like I'm being mocked that the 100 didn't so now it's starting to hurt. And even distributing it to everyone wouldn't make that feel better because that'd just be something everyone got (including the people I beat!), and not something I earned for winning, you know? I'll probably feel better about it if I win one of the remaining leagues, but it being supernatural it's basically a roll of the dice.

On the bright side we learned that when someone takes a looong time to load into an area, kills made in that area don't count for them. So even though we were in the same league and did the same quests and killed within 1-2 map tiles, there was a notable kill count variance at the end.


@Zoe said in Arks League:

For Supernaturals, I either go Free Match Buster Quests, since I can't remember ever seeing any Falspawn there and the zergless phases only last seconds

Looked into this, and yeah there's none on the Enemy Log (unless Sorcerers don't count as supernatural). Also soloing one just now, it was all supernaturals, albeit at level 55 which might not count if what I've read about enemies needing to be level 60 is true.

But how does this work? The game's explanation of Free Match was that it was to help out lower-grade players in games that surely count as Main Match for them? Would you need to have 8 players who have all entered the game as Free Match to keep the falspawn away, or does the game only put players who selected Free Match in the first place in those games (and if so, how on earth would newer players rank up in the future when most Main Match players are grade 3?)

If this is consistent and counts (another problem with ARKS League weeks being so rare, any kind of experimentation wastes precious few chances to compete), it's almost surely the way to go to load 8 people into a Free Match. I say almost surely, because...

How did you get the wait times down to "seconds"? That non-league experimental solo I just did still involved the 30-second wait in the tent (even solo!), the further 39-second wait before the first Defense phase, and the 30-second waits before every Buster phase. Add in the little cutscenes like after the Attack phase and you're looking at 2 minutes of zero kills every Free Match. This is no different to Main Match. If you managed to skip them, how? That would be huge if we had that ability.

@Miraglyth

It’s bizarre the rewards counter didn’t pay you when you won, have you thought about posting about it as a bug? As for BQ, I just keep hopping from the ship until I find a room almost full so the wait isn’t very long, usually they’ve already hit commence button when I’m grabbing a buff drink. I’ve tried to wait in rooms with 2-3 people but they fall apart too often or they try to force a match with that number, no thanks. Luckily for me my fellow league competitors either don’t care or hate supernatural so it’s easy to at least place 2nd.

Now falspawn on the other hand, I’ve gotta book it for that one!

@Miraglyth said in Arks League:

How did you get the wait times down to "seconds"?

I was referring to the "Destroy the Abdominal Core" / "Destroy the Castrum" phases there, not the waiting times.

The core in free matches often gets destroyed before a second person even gets there and the same applies to the castrum itself, due to the gear sync making everyone overpowered.

As for whether it counts: I'm quite certain the 55 syncs do, because I can't imagine me solo killing 500 Supernaturals in 10 minutes of Forest exploration. Killing 500 "things", maybe, but there's Falspawn in there, too. Can't vouch for the 20 syncs. I will also say that if you have access to a group, chances are, you have access to more efficient means than I, as I only play solo or with random matching.

My advice would be to try taking the "Unknown Threat" Client Order, assemble the group and then do some practice in the different difficulties of Forest and Buster Quests to see which completes it fastest. This, at least, can be practiced 'round the clock.

@Milk said in Arks League:

It’s bizarre the rewards counter didn’t pay you when you won, have you thought about posting about it as a bug?

It's well-known; very few people received a reward from the first ARKS League this week. For most of us the reward screen was simply empty!

The GM team have acknowledged it as a real issue on Twitter responses and I think they have on this forum too. There's no need to spam them with an issue they already know about.


@Milk said in Arks League:

As for BQ, I just keep hopping from the ship until I find a room almost full so the wait isn’t very long, usually they’ve already hit commence button when I’m grabbing a buff drink.

And after they hit the commence button you still have to wait over a minute to start fighting. That I can see there is no way to skip that wait. Not even solo (same as how you always have to sit through it even on story quests!). That's my point. That wait is entirely unhelpful and completely unskippable.

Notably there isn't even any point casting buffs in the tent unless you're a Techter, because the cutscenes and mana collection mean they still expire before you can fight! Over a minute of waiting is ridiculous, not fun, and not compatible with ARKS Leagues. I doubt anyone could convince me they couldn't have combined those first two extensive waits into one.


@Zoe said in Arks League:

I was referring to the "Destroy the Abdominal Core" / "Destroy the Castrum" phases there, not the waiting times.

You mean after the final Defense phase when you get to charge into the side paths and finish the quest off, right? I guess parties clear that final phase marginally faster in Free Match, and also often clear all the enemies before the wave time in Defense phases expires too.

But I was hoping you meant there was a way to skip the 2+ minutes of grossly excessive waiting time in Buster Quests. Seems there isn't. Ah well! Thanks for explaining.

@Miraglyth

I had no idea, I’d be really mad if I didn’t get anything! I’m trying to get a fallen heroes ticket and every little bit helps.

Maybe you’re being placed in a league with more competitive players than I am? It’s all random but I seem to get a lot of competitors that aren’t trying. I sit through the wait and still place 1st or 2nd by simply farming medals and leveling. I have gotten that rare guy with a kill count of 1600 but most are like...250 at the end. It only felt like I’ve really won one time.