Revolsios are still the go-to if you need to save Lambda Grinders (you really can't beat 1 lambda for 10 levels), but the Gunblade EXP Minis on the EXCube and Photon Booster shop are definitely way cheaper in terms of meseta (as they are low star rating).
I like NA more than JP. In JP, players (on an average basis) take the game too seriously, thus setting the bars too high, making casual players having a harder time catching up.
But I could be wrong, I quit JP towards the end of EP4.
You aren't. JP had a level of elitism to it that NA currently lacks. I don't know how Ultra Hard would be, but the multiplayer content even now that we're "caught up" is still so undertuned that it takes both being undergeared, poorly built AND really bad play on the part of multiple people to risk tanking a UQ. You can get away with a lot more without people starting up shit in NA, as such.
It can still happen, but in my experience the last time a UQ was so hard that the highest difficulty was risky was Mining Base Apprentice.
I distinctly remember that I had to solo the fight against the Black Dragon because my Hero was the only class at the time (my Gunner/Hunter at the time was Level 80/75) that would attempt the fight on Extra Hard and I almost always was either booted from the party at the very end just before the crystal broke with the "Good Job" (Kudos in Global) message being something along the lines of "No more Hero if you want rewards" or something worse or that I would simply be left alone because the party would see me as a Hero and then would leave to restart to find a session without a Hero. Admittedly I don't know if this was because I was a particularly bad Hero or not and when I typically ran these fights my party would fail within the first few minutes due to dying from the mobs rather than the dragon itself. The Black Dragon used to have an incapacitation limit of three (unlike Deus Esca's rematch of five) so there was an incredible amount of salt when players would take a hit in the fight and it worsened when players actually went down. To deal with that it was significantly easier to just solo the fight and I ended up getting my Dual Bird dropped from there as a result.
In the Global version the most "difficult" I saw things get was whenever you would take a quest on Super Hard earlier on such as the Dark Falz [Luther] or the Magatsu Emergency Quests. On top of there being some wonky scaling (Super Hard scaled higher than Extra Hard so enemies had more health than in Extra Hard for these specific fights) you had this extremely large gap of both skill and equipment variance larger than any other gap between other difficulties (to which the next gap is what I would consider to be Ultra Hard on the Japanese version). If you had a full party of Level 50 players who definitely knew what they were doing it was definitely going to be a smoother ride than a full party of Level 75 players who did not know what they were doing and were still geared up because these fights required actually following mechanics and "rules" of the fight. The amount of players trying to brute-force Luther without Wind elements (or even a Zanverse) baffled me enough to know that most of the times I played that on Super Hard to help friends out I would have to be the person dedicated to chasing players into position to cast Zanverse because players tended to run from it after seeing the field.
The next closest you can see of this sort of difficulty is likely in defense-esque Emergency Quests such as the Hostility Emergency Quest (or even the new one that is the equivalent to "Perpetual Madness"). Playing on Super Hard with both the massive gap between knowledge of the content, the skill to play the content, and the equipment to do decent damage/withstand enemy attacks in the content all contribute to Super Hard likely failing very often unless your party is being heavily carried by someone who knows what they're doing which is significantly harder on quests that rely on the group. I distinctly recall a run during a Mining Defense 3 Emergency Quest where I was helping a friend level up and was called a "n00b" by some members of the public group who insisted "This isn't hard content" before they started a Mining Defense 3 at a total player count of 5/12. Needless to say we managed to pull through and succeed but I was the player who consistently scored nearly a thousand points and when everyone else was barely reaching a hundred because a majority of these players were expecting a very ease ride through "Very Hard" because it wasn't Super Hard. In that sense, I cannot think but to feel the party got "lucky" things went as well as they did (three towers were destroyed and the fourth was on the very last legs of it because I was spending my time zipping around killing all the enemies I can, destroying the ships and towers I can, and also trying to route bosses because we lacked the man-power to sufficiently defend all towers). It was definitely a thrill but it was one that could have gone more smoothly had the person who started the quest decided to wait for more people than to just rush ahead because the content wasn't "hard."
In a way if content like Phaleg and Omega Masquerade are "too hard" for most players I am very curious to see how global players handle Ultra Hard when it opens at Level 85 for the most part. The final boss Emergency Quest (no name-dropping duet o spoilers) has a mechanic where there is no "Gateship" to return to after you are incapcitated so there is no opportunity to run back to the Gateship to stock up on Moon Atomizers. You dying without a scapedoll of some sort legitimately means you either need to be revived by someone else if not yourself or that you are forced to abort the quest because you can't pick up the rewards anyways. The Japanese version of the game (like I have seen others raving about how much more content it has and the likes) is significantly harder when you do get to the higher-level content because there typically is no way to trivialize it like we have on global. On the global version we were lucky for the most part getting the post-nerfed versions of bosses like Deus Esca and the Crismson/Black Fellwyrm and on top of that we were already over-geared or were handed those. When you at least had Nemesis/Raven's New-Type variants being so heavily sought-after and accessible it was no question that the global players in general were significantly stronger than Japanese players ever were (including the Episode 6 balances that existed as well) at the equivalent pacing when they had their content in circulation.
I think the devs are doing a pretty good job of trying to fit eight years worth of content into one so we’re caught up but the speed is honestly overwhelming. By the time I get the good gear I’m already behind. At this point I’m not really trying anymore but I’m still having so much fun! There’s a lot of content to do.
If you are interested in it and are able to participate in it, the rush for Atlas EX and Lightstream/Trailblazer are extremely relevant goals for equipment even going into Episode 6. Sega has been going through the effort to fast-forward players ever since Episode 5 started so if you knew what to look for you definitely could have already had Atlas and Lumiere weapons extremely quickly way back in October. Since last week we were given the ability to finally make these weapons (outside of Lightstream due to not having the relevant resources yet due to the actual fight not being present yet). All the players who invested so heavily into Nemesis/Raven were given the opportunity to farm for Ares and Invade weapons as well or the Ophistia weapons out-right and can now create the Ophistia weapons as well. Players who aim for it can also pick up Novel weapons which will definitely become more relevant in Episode 6 when they upgrade to Liberate weapons.
If you were still talking about Nemesis/Raven weapons I would have agreed with you because that was during a time where for some reason we had the "final" thirteen star weapons released and accessible before any other series of more accessible thirteen star weapons were available. Because of that the sheer power gap between Nemesis and Raven's New-Type variants definitely outclassed everything else during the time of Episode 3-related content and for most of Episode 4. You would definitely know things were rough in weapon variety due to the lack of Old-Type weapons for the most part outside of outliers like Sprue Col-C but this has simplified the progression for gear-collection and upgrading in global. Even now you can still do decently with Nemesis/Raven weapons but they are now essentially the "bare minimum" of what you should be geared with if you didn't want to invest too much time into grinding and farming gear with as you make you way towards the higher-end equipment. However, due to the nature of Episodes 5 and 6, a lot of the gear we are working for persists and is balanced much more nicely so you shouldn't worry about your units being outdated or outclassed because most of the equipment we are getting by this point still has a future-track in the future (Cleasis and Ofze units upgrading to thirteen star variants, Atlas EX and Lightstream having "Redux" potentials in Episode 6 to keep up with the newer weapons, and so on).