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Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization |OT| - Just living in the Database Wow Wow

Parakeetman

No one wants a throne you've been sitting on!
Feb 22, 2012
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Oh boy.... last attack bonuses are back according to the trophies. I really hated having to keep replaying 20+ mins boss fights purely because the AI decided to slightly tap the boss while I'm in a long skill cooldown.

Going by the hidden trophies as well it seems that
----Sachi----
isn't in the game, which is a shame.

Gotta get dat MMO feeling of disappointment lol

Yeah that never was amusing with how it was regardless of how accurate it is to the setting
 

Hasemo

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Jun 3, 2011
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Oh boy.... last attack bonuses are back according to the trophies. I really hated having to keep replaying 20+ mins boss fights purely because the AI decided to slightly tap the boss while I'm in a long skill cooldown.

Going by the hidden trophies as well it seems that
----Sachi----
isn't in the game, which is a shame.
Yeah, mentioned last attack bonuses before. Luckily attack skills don't have cooldowns, so if you save some SP for the end of the fight, you should be fine. I didn't have much problem - your attacks are also stronger than those of your fellow NPCs, or at least it feels so at this point.
Never finished HF (on Vita) because the combat system was, well, a bit boring, but the combat here looks more active and interesting. Might grab it down the road, PS4 backlog needs some work before getting a new time sink~

Hopefully grinding weapon mastery isn't a chore as in HF. I mean, it's grind, but relying on autoattack to grind wasn't fun :p
I find the battle system in HR much more enjoyable, mostly because of the lack of auto attacks. Recharging your SP, comboing into sword skills etc. That said I dislike auto attacks in MMOs as well.

Question - does anyone know if having materials in your storage allows you to use them for crafting? I'm around 80-90/100 items in my backpack most of the time because of the stupidly high number of items in the "others" category, but I'm not sure if I can just drop that into my storage. If I have to take them out for a quest or every visit to a blacksmith, I think I'll keep them on me. Also, I wonder if having a full 100/100 bag makes it so that items you get from enemies or on the field get transported to the storage automatically, like quest rewards.
 

Parakeetman

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Feb 22, 2012
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Yeah, mentioned last attack bonuses before. Luckily attack skills don't have cooldowns, so if you save some SP for the end of the fight, you should be fine. I didn't have much problem - your attacks are also stronger than those of your fellow NPCs, or at least it feels so at this point.

I find the battle system in HR much more enjoyable, mostly because of the lack of auto attacks. Recharging your SP, comboing into sword skills etc. That said I dislike auto attacks in MMOs as well.

Question - does anyone know if having materials in your storage allows you to use them for crafting? I'm around 80-90/100 items in my backpack most of the time because of the stupidly high number of items in the "others" category, but I'm not sure if I can just drop that into my storage. If I have to take them out for a quest or every visit to a blacksmith, I think I'll keep them on me. Also, I wonder if having a full 100/100 bag makes it so that items you get from enemies or on the field get transported to the storage automatically, like quest rewards.

Just try it out as its not like accessing the storage is that hard. Id imagine that they designed the game so you just wont get drops from enemies if your inventory is full.

I just keep the shit on my character since there is literally no reason why your inventory should be full.
 

Hasemo

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Just try it out as its not like accessing the storage is that hard. Id imagine that they designed the game so you just wont get drops from enemies if your inventory is full.

I just keep the shit on my character since there is literally no reason why your inventory should be full.
Not that easy when you're on the field doing something else though. ;)
Anyway, tried it out and it items in the storage work for both the blacksmith and drop quests, phew. Now I have 60 items less on me.

Also, no reason for the inventory to be full? Come on, I hit 90 with 60 items in the others category which I didn't want to sell because quests/upgrades, multiple consumables and only a few pieces of equipment more than I have equipped. I imagine that if I didn't drop those items into the storage, I'd be full 10 minutes into the new area after midnight.
 

Parakeetman

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Feb 22, 2012
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Just threw resources in the bank. Ore in particular. Still was able to do upgrades as they showed up in the upgrade windows for the required amounts regardless of being in the bank.

Didnt have a quest active for turning in junk so was unable to test that.

---

For those curious about how this games combat stacks up vs Hollow Fragment. Is that while it is less of a MMO in the sense with how combat plays out due to no auto attack which means you have larger focus on skills used. You still can play in a similar fashion by having all of your skills set up to the analog stick actions and make use of the large skill palette.

Though the one thing you will have to be careful is when the large skill palette (DS4 touchpad on the PS4) is open you are unable to use the Circle button which by default is parry. The reason being is with the large skill palette open, Circle functions as "Activate / Use" for anything on the large skill palette. So if you are in the middle of a fight that requires you to use parry its not suggested to leave the large skill palette open.

By using the large skill palette once you have a bunch of skills unlocked allows for you to once again though take control of the overall battle by coordinating the buffs, heals, recovery etc.

On thing though is that this game is a lot more TP focused so indeed getting skills that can help with regen and such will go a long way. Same goes with using the praise system as you get 50 SP for each successful praise done. Though at the same time does not mean just doing it mindlessly is a good thing too unless you do not really care about how your AIs effectiveness in combat. As the various traits for the AI determines the type of actions they perform similar to the Hollow Fragment system. Just that there seems to be a larger selection now. Along with the frequency that they appear.
 

Hasemo

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Just threw resources in the bank. Ore in particular. Still was able to do upgrades as they showed up in the upgrade windows for the required amounts regardless of being in the bank.

Didnt have a quest active for turning in junk so was unable to test that.

---

For those curious about how this games combat stacks up vs Hollow Fragment. Is that while it is less of a MMO in the sense with how combat plays out due to no auto attack which means you have larger focus on skills used. You still can play in a similar fashion by having all of your skills set up to the analog stick actions and make use of the large skill palette.
As I mentioned in the previous post, you can turn in quests even if your items are in the storage, so all that junk can go there. Which is great news.

Edit:
Damn, two handed sword is a beast. Not only it has good range, strong skills etc., but the mastery raises a few times faster than with one handed weapons for whatever reason. I was trying to master the dagger and it feels like it took an hour, while maybe 10-15 for the same amount for the 2h sword.

Since I hit lv 20, I was running around the last area trying to defeat all NMs. After beating a group which popped after clearing a fragment, they left a chest... A white (silver?) one. Inside was the armor of the same rarity as I'm wearing on the screenshot below. Guess Element Executions are really worth it.

While I like Asuna, I feel like maybe putting Sinon in my part as a buffer would be a better composition than having 2 attackers. I most definitely don't want to become a heal/buff/tank bot for the party, since I can deal much more damage than my NPCs, so I will probably stick to an offensive Extra Skill.

Excited that the main game starts at version 1.02. Hopefully they ironed out many of the bugs/weird things like NPC dialogue wait time in the patches.

Anyway, I'm ready for midnight:
Edit 2:
Oh, I just noticed they released planned changes for patch 1.03, which is planned for November 16th:
- Improved NPC AI
- Improved the tempo of the conversations with NPCS (probably those weird breaks which I mentioned)
- Other balance changes, fixes
- New dungeon (timestamped link to the stream where they showed it)
 

Parakeetman

No one wants a throne you've been sitting on!
Feb 22, 2012
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This game once again most def it seems like that it is worth doing a defense build. Even more so if you will be having to constantly rez your AI members or casting stuff in the middle of combat. Though need to find out if there is an actual skill which helps prevent getting interrupted. As that currently the worst thing that can happen at the moment, out side of status effects like stun or knockdown.

And here we go!

 

Parakeetman

No one wants a throne you've been sitting on!
Feb 22, 2012
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Its nice how seamless the transfer from the early preorder access version to the full version of the game was.

Shit I forgot to load up the save data from like Hollow Fragment and Lost Song since there apparently is a menu option which checks for those save datas. Totally forgot to look what you actually get out of those if the data is present. Will have to update the OT later.

Hopefully that feature will make its way into the localized version also.

Everything is now up and running with the full version so back to gathering garbage for upgrades and opening up warp points on the map.

In combat related news really do not like this stupid "fighting game" type of input system with the commands. Esp the circle motion as it can cause the character to perform the sword skill in a totally wrong direction even with lock on active. So might have to just settle for activating the sword skills from the large palette when I want to use multiple together and such.

At the moment maining the scimitar. Although for some reason it does not seem to generate enough hate for me regardless of the decent DPS output I do on the monsters. Would have to go back to my 1HS if I want to tank a bit more with the current unlocked skills.
 

Parakeetman

No one wants a throne you've been sitting on!
Feb 22, 2012
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Just messed around a bit with the whole walking around town with another character. Didnt really do that much with the early access version.

Its nice that they improved the system slightly, so when your partner character is interested in something to trigger the "dialog" event a heart mark appears.

In the talking event you pretty much respond by either nodding your head or shaking your head as a yes / no type of response thing by using the buttons. You are also to approach slightly closer which allows for you to smile or gaze at them or other actions it looks like from other screenshots with different characters. Which also can effect the characters mood depending on when its done.

All of this is done from the first person so its a bit more immersive than how Hollow Fragment handled it. Plus the dialog that is displayed on the screen is actual flavor text now rather than just random bits and pieces.

Pretty neat and wonder how much faster will it be to raise your levels with the characters now seeing how much easier it is to have the conversation events when you walk around the town together.


While you are not really having an actual conversation in the sense of the answers you give back as its just going yes / no with the nod / shake, its nice to see that they put in a bit more effort into the system than how it was originally in infinity moment / hollow fragment.

One thing that I wonder if they will improve on is the fact that pretty much all the npcs wandering around in town have the same voice for the most part. The female characters in particular. Was hoping that in the early access version it was just limiting the voices due to wanting to cut down on data size, but it seems like even the full game they just gave them all a standard voice. Its not a real issue just weird lol.

Am going out of my mind trying to find the NPCs that mail me asking to meet in town only to not be in town after accepting it. D: Its even better when their location is ???? which is Im guessing means that they are not online at the moment. As usually the 2nd page of their profile will display their general location area in the game world via text.
 

Hasemo

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Did some exploring, killed NMs 5 and 7 (I think) above me in about 2 minutes, thanks to super high damage from my upgraded sword and skill chains. All's good.

If anyone's interested in watching a video from the post-early access part of the game, the archive of my stream is here. I got lost at the very beginning after clearing the first zone of the new area, because there was no quest marker and I missed the fact that (spoiler on where to go)
the "curious building with steps going down" was right behind me upon warping in the new zone
. Oh well!

I had 2 failed attempts to talk with Asuna and 2 successful ones. While I agree that the system is better than in the previous game, it still feels a bit weird and tacked on? I guess that's what the fans of the franchise want, so at least they polished this part.

Edit:
After reaching affection level 4 and meeting Asuna in the town I could choose to give her a present from the Square menu. What's weird is that I could only give her the rapier I had. To test this I bought the cheapest shield from the store which showed that it can be equipped by Asuna, but it didn't appear in the present menu.
Was gifting equipment other than weapons something that got unlocked at higher affection levels in HF?

Anyway, her rapier had only 1 atk less than my purple rapier from a chest+1, which was also a bit surprising - I was expecting her equipment to be much worse. I guess since they changed it so that the NPC are basically on your level even if you don't invite them to the party, they also get appropriate equipment.

To people worried about boss battles because of the last hit bonus - you can repeat them however many times you want, but later attempts are just with your party. The result screen popped up again and I believe I got both the bonus and the regular material/equipment drop the second time too.
 

Parakeetman

No one wants a throne you've been sitting on!
Feb 22, 2012
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Bunch of stuff below is issues folks will be running into so keep these in mind ahead of time and you should be able to enjoy the game more.

Progressed a bit further, but as usual the AI partners are as useless as ever for the most part when it comes to fighting things higher level. Anything close to the same level is ok due to them not taking much damage, but go like +5 levels over that then they start dropping like flies due to being too stupid to avoid the attacks properly.

The AI vs. AOE area do not seem to be programmed to interact with each other in the sense that AI will move out of any sort of AOE area either by their own free will or told to move. (They will move on their own accord on occasion but listen to what the issue is.)

For circular type of AOEs they have a chance of avoiding it due to jumping out of said circle. Though for AOEs that go in a straight line the stupid AI will literally jump backwards into the line itself. As they still seem to be treating it like a circular object rather than a line where they would be required to jump to the left or right in order to avoid it.

There is one other issue with the game balance right now, which is the fact that enemy attacks have way too much priority over the player. Since pretty much any sort of attack can interrupt the players action / sword skills etc. This would not be so much of an issue if we were also able to interrupt the enemy in the same manner, but that is not how the game works. So a lot of the time when there are large numbers of enemies it makes it quite difficult to get skills to go off. Since even if a sword skill activates it still can be interrupted mid animation. So you really need to make sure you have an actual safe opening to use your skills otherwise even getting pecked by a standard attack will waste TP. Maybe in the skill tree there is a perk that can help with this, but regardless of that the game balance should have been made a bit better.

Back to the issue of the idiot AI vs strong enemies. For the most part its a waste of time to constantly rez them as they will most likely die again shortly after. One huge issue when you rez characters is the devs put in some fucking stupid animation where the character shakes their head as if they are trying to wake up from being dazed. Granted all of that is part of the invincible frames, the issue is the players actions are also negated during this time. So basically you are unable to heal them right away after rezzing them. Which causes issues as once the invincible frames go down they can take damage also which usually gets them killed. Even more so if the enemy just so happens to activate another AOE type attack right after you rez your party member. Due to that extra unnecessary animation taking up time / causing commands to be ignored they usually will get hit by the AOE in such incidents.

If you leave everyone dead and just focus on the enemies yourself killing higher level enemies is all very possible once you have your character fitted out a bit more with equipment and skills. Though for the most part you will be doing constant hit and away.

They really did go way too overboard with how often enemies use AOEs honestly. As in Hollow Fragment while AOEs existed in the movesets of enemies they were not spammed as with how they are in this game. It is pretty excessive and honestly makes trying to actually tank an enemy worthless due to regardless if they are facing you or not the AOEs that are constantly used will hit the other characters anyways.

The AI is also way way too eager to join back up with the player which is another cause for problems when tanking. Even more so if you are trying to reposition directional AOEs away from your party members and they come running back to where you are getting hit in the process.

Basically in short the friendly AI is stupid and enemy attacks have too much priority and excessive use of AOE type of attacks.

Then there are other things about the AI like how they just stand around doing nothing or do not respond correctly to commands. The command thing is more how poorly the buffering of their own command patterns is designed I recokon.

---

Now with all of that aside the game still is quite enjoyable and the world itself is quite large. Though what would have been appreciated is an actual sprint button that uses up the TP bar when activated. Granted you can just keep dodging all over the place that moves you slightly faster than running and also drains the TP but its not the same. There are potions that increase movement speed though, but you find them from chests and are not able to purchase them at the start of the game.

Combat against bosses, when your AI buddies are dead and its just you vs the boss are possible as long as you dont get hit. So enjoyment can be had with that.

Though one other small problem with boss fights is that for example if another NPC party shows up and starts attacking the boss too. If they manage to gain enough hate so the boss targets them, in the event if they retreat the boss will follow after them. This causes the bosses HP bar to reset once their tether limit is reached. Have had this happen a few times now which can be highly frustrating with the amount of time spent chipping down a high lv boss only to have the HP reset due to poor design. So just be wary when friendly NPC parties are around when you are fighting a boss.

This game also seems to do the standard MMO type of first hit = kill credit. Basically what that means is you are only wasting your time by helping npcs kill their target as you will get nothing from it. As exp / loot is only earned from enemies that you have the first hit on. If NPCs attack something first you wont get rewarded for helping with the kill.

Though I think this does not apply to NMs. As that might be damage related? But for normal enemies most def you do not seem to be rewarded when helping friendly AI parties. Cant remember if in hollow fragment you would be rewarded exp or not. Though Im leaning towards you did?

---

With loot have been killing a lot of NMs constantly to go after their loot and such to try and get better grade equipment. As it saves you a lot of headache with not having to deal with the useless blacksmith who usually fucks up more than actually succeeds causing you to waste resources. That for the most part starting out are rare. You generally obtain them through quests and whatnots. Later one some enemies will drop them also. Fun stuff though trying to get better equipment and just hoarding things for different builds.

While some armor pieces may appear worthless at first, upon upgrading them extra stats can be added. Which is why its good to look at what kind of skills the blacksmith has. Since these extra stats when upgrading can even help negate detrimental stats on a piece of equipment.

---

Story is pretty much what one would expect from SAO. Though the story surrounding Premiere seems to be interesting so do look forward to seeing where things will go and with the world in general.

---

Its too bad that the AI characters are so stupid as in the events where things work out correctly, they can be useful with how much damage can be dealt. Really do hope that Aquiria will spend more time now tweaking that. As its obviously a huge complaint right now from those playing. Seeing how they adjusted a lot of things in Hollow Fragment with the large content update am hoping that this game will get a similar treatment. The game seriously does need some major tweaking thats why on various areas.

---

As an action RPG folks should have a good time for the most part with all of the issues mentioned above aside. Even more so if one is a fan of SAO. They did at least manage to capture some of the feel that hollow fragment had with the large use of skills and such. So people who enjoyed Hollow Fragment, while this is mechanically different due to being more action oriented, it still can be played in a semi similar fashion by using the large skill palette. But just do not expect a 100% same experience.

If someone asked if this game was worth buying Id say yes. Though at the same time let them know about what to expect problem wise lol

Do imagine this title will be a good time for those who play online with friends.
 

Hasemo

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NPC AI is really bad, but around level 15+ I noticed that even despite them dying quite often, it's much more effective to kill NMs above your level (+5/+7 etc.) using the whole team. The "secret" to that, which works in most cases is to get the whole aggro on you (because you can actually parry/dodge attacks), call for skill chains and pray so that the enemy doesn't use front/behind or a circle shaped AoEs, ha ha.
Worked pretty well so far. Killing NMs alone is definitely possible, but since regular attacks don't do that much damage, I feel it's rather tedious.

Also speaking of AoEs, the reaper NM in the castle, which summons 3 (4?) flames and they all AoE you at once with only a few seconds of delay between attacks. Resurrecting your party is quite hard in those circumstances and the boss summons those so often, that trying to get him down alone was extremely annoying (can't damage the boss until you kill the adds or at least deal any significant damage).

As for monster's attack priorities - while annoying, I think it's mostly there so the Tank role was actually worth having, which is very much mmo-like. If you could just power your way through as an attacker while being hit all over the place, I feel like fights would be way too easy.

I think they went a bit overboard with sidequests. I always take all of those available and try to get as many done when running through a field, but I think I currently have over 110 active... At least there's no limit.
 

theonerayman

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Does this game just throw you in the deep end right away? I tried one of the games for Vita and upon starting I had a dozen skills and it didn't explain much it was beyond overwhelming and turned me off instantly.
 

Parakeetman

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Feb 22, 2012
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Does this game just throw you in the deep end right away? I tried one of the games for Vita and upon starting I had a dozen skills and it didn't explain much it was beyond overwhelming and turned me off instantly.

Not really as this one starts you off at lv1 but at the same time its not as if there is some long tutorial teaching you how to play either.

Basically since a lot of the core features are not explained it seems as if the devs are going off the assumption that folks had played hollow fragment and understand a lot of the mechanics from that game with this one.
 

Hasemo

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Not really as this one starts you off at lv1 but at the same time its not as if there is some long tutorial teaching you how to play either.
To add to this, when the early access version came out, I've seen multiple people on 2ch complaining that the tutorial isn't comprehensive enough. Might be a good idea to read a short guide about what can be done in combat, how to link sword skills, something about extra skills etc. and start with that knowledge.

That said, I didn't feel remotely as lost as I did in Hollow Fragment, mostly because, like Parakeetman mentioned, this one starts you from level 1. The most scary thing is that you can choose any weapons and have to start planning how to use your skill points from the beginning - the skill tree might look overwhelming.
 

Parakeetman

No one wants a throne you've been sitting on!
Feb 22, 2012
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NPC AI is really bad, but around level 15+ I noticed that even despite them dying quite often, it's much more effective to kill NMs above your level (+5/+7 etc.) using the whole team. The "secret" to that, which works in most cases is to get the whole aggro on you (because you can actually parry/dodge attacks), call for skill chains and pray so that the enemy doesn't use front/behind or a circle shaped AoEs, ha ha.
Worked pretty well so far. Killing NMs alone is definitely possible, but since regular attacks don't do that much damage, I feel it's rather tedious.

Also speaking of AoEs, the reaper NM in the castle, which summons 3 (4?) flames and they all AoE you at once with only a few seconds of delay between attacks. Resurrecting your party is quite hard in those circumstances and the boss summons those so often, that trying to get him down alone was extremely annoying (can't damage the boss until you kill the adds or at least deal any significant damage).

As for monster's attack priorities - while annoying, I think it's mostly there so the Tank role was actually worth having, which is very much mmo-like. If you could just power your way through as an attacker while being hit all over the place, I feel like fights would be way too easy.

I think they went a bit overboard with sidequests. I always take all of those available and try to get as many done when running through a field, but I think I currently have over 110 active... At least there's no limit.

That so called "secret" is MMORPG 101... Its obviously easier if you use a whole team as long as they are alive due to the largest amounts of damage that can be dealt in this game come from the skill chains. Though with how stupid the AI is along with the other issues mentioned about some animations and other issues it makes it a bit harder to do with keeping them alive. Since they for the most part still have just standard stats and buffs and whatnots also have their limits at the start of the game. Later on when you spend a good amount of time unlocking a ton of skills things should get better, but still actually relying on the AI to do anything correctly is a bad idea...

Thing is too even if you constantly rez the AI you will eventually need to go back to down as the rez penalty timer does not clear until you return to town. Like what was discussed in the past the more times they die and get resurrected the longer the time required to resurrect said member will be. Eventually it gets to the point where its far too dangerous to even attempt resurrecting them. Going back and forth to town is a waste of time also since you need to go running back and forth depending on which zone you are in / what NMs you are trying to target. Since when I run the areas I do long marathons of basically clearing out all "killable" NMs

Ive played MMOs for a long time pretty much from the start of the craze. On most occasions running as either a tank or rogue. So am fairly familiar with how combat should work design wise. The problem is even if you tank an enemy in this game due to the AI being idiots and wanting to stay too close to the player they often get hit by attacks when you try to change the monsters facing in another direction. Which is not how the AI should be programmed, as there is literally no reason for the AI to stay near the player unless requested or responding to the player using a AOE type of healing spell, which they do attempt to enter some of the time. As mentioned in my post the enemy attack pattern is far too "thoughtless" with its design as there are more AOE type of attacks performed over normal attacks. Which should be the other way around. Not sure why they screwed that up considering they had a good balance in Hollow Fragment. I watched my old videos to confirm this.

Killing NMs alone is not "definitely possible" Ive done it multiple times now including things like +10 levels over myself. Just like any MMO type of designed game it just takes time due to damage output. If one is just using regular attacks and not sword skills also then yeah obviously its going to be tedious. It depends on how you have your character setup and what type of NM it is. As if the design is similar to HF then enemies will have resistances / weaknesses to certain weapon types. For example its a bad idea to use a rapier on a golem. Seeing how this game still has the attack type slash, pierce etc do reckon the same system is in the game. My character am using the scimitar type of weapons along with a very high dev / vit type of build. Though my damage out put is fairly high too if I can get certain skills off. Though one thing about this game vs. HF is that the bad status procs for the player vs. enemy are rather low. Where as in HF the proc rate for player attacks on an enemy were much higher. This included in HF when fighting stronger enemies, the game did not seem to take into account proc rate vs player enemy level difference. I need to go into the 2 handed weapon tree though to get the damage up type of skills as if the trees are generally the same from HF thats where they should be. As my current def build, to max out what I can with def I lose some attack power in the process and if I get hit with any sort of attack debuff it makes that even worse. But at the same time the enemy cant kill me either. Which is hilariously stupid since both myself and the enemy are doing pretty much 0 damage to each other outside of crits... My other build is actually set up for tanking due to the hate inducing skills, though its rather pointless when the AI keep walking into everything or do not properly respond to commands causing them to take massive amounts of damage or die as talked above.

One other thing that is slightly irritating is how long certain effects last on your characters. Poison, bleeding and such thats not so much of an issue. But things like getting knocked down or frozen jesus christ at the time it takes to recover. Frozen in particular. With that being said really make one appreciate equipment that helps resistances a lot more than with the previous game. Enemies that do knock down in particular are the worst due to how long the animation is to get back up and during that you still can take damage apparently. So on occasion by the time you get off your ass another AOE or knock down attack is on its way, which is a bit broken in the sense that while enemies have a "stun guard" that helps protect them from getting stunned again for a certain amount of time no such feature exists on the player. No idea why they added that stun guard honestly as it breaks game balance. The whole purpose of stun skills is to interrupt enemy skills. That was how HF was designed and made smart use of such skills rewarding. Where as this game without that allows for the enemy to have a period where they basically just go super armor and you cant really do anything to interrupt them during that anti-stun timer countdown.

At least for some things anyways Aquiria is good at looking at the feedback on the net and improving things, so do hope rebalancing goes on with this title also for the major content update.

Oh yeah about getting skills cancelled all the time, if one is hit from another skill sure, but normal attacks should not be cancelling out skills. Hell even at the least still let the skill go through once its activated and not be interrupted in the middle. That would be the best middle ground for them to go honestly. Since the way it is right now makes skills that last longer due to the animations used useless. As enemies outside of certain skills and if said stun effect procs for the most part are not interrupted by the player allowing their attack to cancel out the players sword skill. Which is poor game balance. Game balance is either designed so that rules apply both to the player and AI. When things get stacked against the player such as with this game with how interrupts work in favor of the AI makes for a far more irritating experience than anything. No idea why they went and did this considering in Hollow Fragment this would not occur as they pretty much let skills play out once they were activated. Though you could get interrupted during the activation process but once the skill actually went off all of the damage and effect goes through. That does not happen in this game.

On the same notion of skills vs. enemy one other small stupid problem they went and created is the fact that parry when done correctly, damage still can go through to others around you if they are close enough. That should not happen as the absolute should be that parry negates the attack action itself. No idea why they went the pain in the ass route to go and actually include the game deciding that others are able to take damage also regardless of a successful parry being landed. The parry animation with the white barrier needs to be shortened also if they insist on making the actual parry window so small. As with their previous design for the most part as long as that barrier was up meant that parry was active. This game they made it a lot more severe the timing, but yet left the effect to linger far too long that will confuse players new to the game. Seeing how they designed things in order to try to cater to lesser hardcore players, no idea why they went and made the parry system the way it is now..

----

Now to those hearing all of this and becoming worried about the game. Even with the AI asshattery aside, this title still is pretty solid. And thankfully since MP exists from the start (as in not added later through a content patch) folks can go adventuring together with a party that doesnt drop dead at the sight of a NM lol.

The main reason for getting all of these issues discussed right out of the start is to give people a clear idea of what exactly is wrong with the title so they know what to expect and not be taken by surprise when playing which honestly creates more frustration than knowing ahead of time so you can plan for it.

The AI issue too only really occurs when you go NM hunting. As things that are near your own level you can pretty much steamroll them for the most part and AI wont be taking too much damage due the basic design principal of similar level entities fighting.

As mentioned in a previous post this most def is a great SAO type of experience and fans of the series or people who like action RPGs or MMO style combat should have a good time. As it manages to combine all those things together for a rather complete package. Dumbshit AI aside. Though as we have previously discussed the lack of tutorial means that you will need to "old school" it and actually read skill descriptions and trial & error things for yourself to see how stuff works. But thats honestly what gaming should be about. As far too much shit these days holds your hand as is. Then again thats just me and I never was one for hand holding or idiot prompts. No better education to be had than at the school of hard knocks lol

One small issue that I know most other folks would appreciate more as they have become accustomed to it from modern gaming is the fact that treasure chests and event markers are displayed on the minimap. Really takes away from the whole sense of exploration and discovery with that. When you design a game like that it turns the experience into a much more bland experience as you are running directly to said points rather than taking time to explore the world and find enjoyment when you find a treasure chest or an event starts unexpected in a new area. Really unfortunate they went that route. Especially considering how even in the narrative in SAO they show a lot of that "exploration and surprise" with new things in the world the characters find. From a design / business perspective I can see why they did it but honestly it takes away from the overall experience which is what keeps a player in a game. Losing the joy of exploration and discovery really takes a way a lot from the long term experience and becomes routine instead.
 

Parakeetman

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Thats a lot of stuff right there!

Man, it's sounding fun, I hope people pick it uo.

It is a pretty fun game and still keeps the depth a fair amount that folks might have enjoyed with Hollow Fragment.

The whole Action RPG approach allows for more people to play the game rather than those who were MMORPG gamers for HF. As pretty much with HF if anyone who didnt play an MMO played that game, they would be totally lost on the various concepts with combat and how to build your character.

The addition of MP right out of the gate too is nice for folks who want to play with friends and this game system does most def cater to that. Will make for some exciting fights too Id imagine if said group went out of their way to tackle high lv monsters for better loot.

Game does look nice also as so far the enviros Ive been through do each have their own feel to it so far. While the mapping design may not be perfect and kinda involves too much back tracking with routes that does not jive well with how there is no default faster form of traversing puts a small damper to that though. But at least monster respawn times are sort of fast enough so that you have things to kill along the way and it is not a "Destiny" situation of stretches of nothing. Plus rezoning will repop NM and events I do believe?

Overall Id say with the problems discussed aside people will have a good time.

Really am looking forward to seeing what the future brings with updates and such.
 

Yu Narukami

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The videos I watched only showed people running through fields and killing mobs. Is that basically what you do in this game?
 

Mendrox

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Is it better than Hollow Fragment? I played through it except for all the super bosses.
 

Parakeetman

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Is it better than Hollow Fragment? I played through it except for all the super bosses.

It plays different from Hollow Fragment as the way the skill palettes work and standard attacks are no longer automated. Also the loss of the L1 / R1 + Face button skill palette is also rather painful. As the analog stick input replacement is a bit shite.

In my own personal opinion I preferred Hollow Fragment as it felt far better designed with how sword skills and active skills worked. They basically did a fantastic job of doing a pseudo mmo feel with it. Plus the combat mechanics really worked well for allowing skilled players to kill higher level enemies, also how your AI partner was not an idiot for the most part.

This game there are a lot of issues described in my larger posts due to them trying out new things. But for an Action RPG it can stand on its own and depth does exist with the combat, as you cant just spam skills and expect to win. So the whole thinking while fighting does exist when going up against Named Monsters. Higher level enemies that are not NMs you can usually still steam roll them due to those enemies not having the same sort of stats boost that NMs do.

So if you enjoyed Hollow Fragment, you should enjoy this game also once you get used to the various changes with the system. And understand that this title does have problems of its own.

The videos I watched only showed people running through fields and killing mobs. Is that basically what you do in this game?

Just like any MMO so basically yes.

Kill mobs for exp / resources / quests.

Kill NMs for the loot from treasure chests they are guarding.

Do story specific events.

Trigger events in the game world that have various scenarios.

But for the most part run around and kill shit while advancing the story is the very very simple explanation of this game lol

Then the "raids" in the story look like this. But getting up to that point in the game is just the standard you + 3 AI partners getting up to the point for that fight. Basically the "raids" are giving the player a "Raid Boss" experience watching multiple parties plus your own fight against a giant boss.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qeMYwUh0P8
 

Parakeetman

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Can you at least group with people and do dungeons, in a party of 4 people for instance?

Yeah for the online stuff you can group to make a 4 player party and each player can take 1 AI companion making for 8 characters total in a full group.

And from there you get to go wandering around killing everything in your way like most MMOs lol.

So seeing how you are familiar with boss fights in MMOs and whatnots, am sure you would get enjoyment out of playing with friends and fighting the various NMs or bosses around in the world. As they can put up a challenge and having actual human players backing you up would really change the experience vs the not too great meat shields the AI is lol.

While this person is using AI partners this vid should give you an example of what I mean by how NMs can be a challenge with fighting and will remind you of MMO boss fight type of combat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQU1HXOZchk
 

Yu Narukami

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Yeah for the online stuff you can group to make a 4 player party and each player can take 1 AI companion making for 8 characters total in a full group.

And from there you get to go wandering around killing everything in your way like most MMOs lol.

So seeing how you are familiar with boss fights in MMOs and whatnots, am sure you would get enjoyment out of playing with friends and fighting the various NMs or bosses around in the world. As they can put up a challenge and having actual human players backing you up would really change the experience vs the not too great meat shields the AI is lol.

Sounds good thanks. What about grouping with randoms? Since it's a pseudo MMO is there still a PUG system?
 

Parakeetman

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Sounds good thanks. What about grouping with randoms? Since it's a pseudo MMO is there still a PUG system?

That Im actually not sure how it works. Since I have yet to use the online system. The lobby for it is the Inn in the town. So am unsure if they have something like actual game lobbies you can join for PUG sessions or if it works just by invites.

For the most part doubt Ill be using the online system lol.
 

Hasemo

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About that huge wall of text. I feel like you treated what I wrote as an attack or dismissing your "skill" or "mmo knowledge" which you seem to take a lot of pride of. Not really, I just meant that for me taking the hits and making NPCs use skills chains so they stand around the enemy, not in front of it is the way to go with the current AI.

And yes, we got it, the AI is bad - this has been acknowledged multiple times before, even by the developers - improving the AI is one of the things to be fixed in the next patch.
 

Parakeetman

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Best possible title...

Great OT! I'll be jumping in with the NA launch, see you all then!

Yep not too far away but man talk about releases being non stop most def the gaming budget has gone bankrupt lol
 

Hasemo

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I was planning to play World of Final Fantasy, but ended back in SAO HR, which I guess is saying something.

Hit level 22, but was kind of put off that a good 40 minutes (almost non stop) of my playtime today consisted of reading/listening to visual novel segments. While I don't hate them, it still kind of weird to see all the fights which happen during them be presented as shaking screen and characters screaming. Budget, I guess. On the other hand I'd rather watch talking heads than zoomed in character models in this case.

Anyway, the story involving Premiere got a bit more interesting and now (no idea if it's a spoiler, since I haven't been following promotional materials)
she can join my party. That said, if she dies it's game over, since she's an NPC. I don't think I feel like babysitting a stupid AI character before patch 1.03.

By the way, since I was wondering what happens to items over capacity grabbed on the field - I picked up a potion from a chest which would go over the amount of that specific potions I could carry. It got automatically sent to my storage, just like quest rewards do.
 

Doombear

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The addition of MP right out of the gate too is nice for folks who want to play with friends and this game system does most def cater to that. Will make for some exciting fights too Id imagine if said group went out of their way to tackle high lv monsters for better loot.

This is what I am the most curious about right now. MP. I have just about convinced a friend of mine to pick this up and join me in MP. I loved HF. I loved FFXI and that had a lot to do with it, as well as being a fan of SAO. My friend and I actually played FFXI for years together and to a lesser extent FFXIV.

MP in this title is something I can't find much info on. What are your goals, options, etc. Is it like White Knight Chronicles where the MP is a bit of a different beast than SP? Are you getting quest credit or is it independent? How is loot handled, etc.

I appreciate all of the first hand impressions here from you two, Hasemo and Parakeet. I am definitely already sold on the game, literally as it is preordered. I do appreciate knowing what downsides to expect though.
 

Parakeetman

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This is what I am the most curious about right now. MP. I have just about convinced a friend of mine to pick this up and join me in MP. I loved HF. I loved FFXI and that had a lot to do with it, as well as being a fan of SAO. My friend and I actually played FFXI for years together and to a lesser extent FFXIV.

MP in this title is something I can't find much info on. What are your goals, options, etc. Is it like White Knight Chronicles where the MP is a bit of a different beast than SP? Are you getting quest credit or is it independent? How is loot handled, etc.

I appreciate all of the first hand impressions here from you two, Hasemo and Parakeet. I am definitely already sold on the game, literally as it is preordered. I do appreciate knowing what downsides to expect though.

Yeah I had tried to find videos in regards to what the MP portion is all about but not much info out yet it seems. Besides that one vid in the OP.
 

Kitoro

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I'll buy this if I can play through a co-op campaign, but if co-op is just relegated to a handful silly raid bosses, I'll pass.
 

Parakeetman

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As usual the skills that have the super armor ability on them pretty much ignore any damage coming in to fully finish the actual sword skill. While thats great for the "super moves" its still unfortunate that the other moves get interrupted by pretty much anything. While confirmed several times now when humanoid enemies do sword skill type of attacks theirs do not get interrupted at all by attacks.

Once I get the scimitar to 500 should be done with what i want from the tree there for the most part and will go move onto a different weapon type. Really should be spending time unlocking more skills instead... As I have enough various equipment to do so.

Which reminds me I need to go clean out the vault and sell off all the duplicate armor pieces I dont need as the bunch of single star stuff is taking up space when am already finding better gear.

Need to check if there are skills which will increase the amount of "backstab" damage sword skills do when used from behind on enemies. You have a tiny bonus by default but its not much lol.

----

Other small but stupid things you need to be careful of in this game is when in the dungeon and you have your weapon sheathed you can talk to your characters in your party. This may cause some irritation due to the small amount of time the pseudo dialog has due to the idiotic pause they added to it. So just be sure the cursor (little carrot icon) is not above someones head when you are trying to heal your party after combat if you put your weapons away. Reason for putting your weapon away is that you move faster.

The praise system, do not be a dumbass like me and use the praise command before doing something like checking a harvest point or opening a chest. As the praise action does not follow through without the NPC replying and the harvesting / opening a chest animation cancels that, but the game still registers the action as being done so you will have to wait for the cooldown period. Its not a big deal though since you dont waste SP and the action to be praised on your party NPCs pretty much just stays there till it is either praised or overwritten by another action. I dont think Ive seen it vanish on its own yet.
 

Parakeetman

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Added some footage I had forgotten to upload. Nothing major just me running around in the abandoned castle area and fighting named monsters. As usual you can totally wreck enemies with the final weapon skill in a weapons tree.

Complete 15 minute footage of me running around the zone

The two vids below are from the same video, just have the link "hopefully" lead to the correct part of the video with the NM fights. The first NM vid the bastard totally screwed up the flow of the combat when it flew up into the air and didnt come down for a little bit. If they had stayed stationary the next attack would have ripped off the rest of its first lifebar. I really should unlock that double jump.

First NM Battle (Higher Lv)

Second NM Battle (Lower Lv)

*And why did I do this double post. I knew I should not have left multiple windows open... Was supposed to have been editing the previous post and adding this in.
 

Hasemo

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Currently in what I assume is the second half of the 3rd area of the game, my level is 31, and the balance seems a bit weird. I kill regular enemies in 1-3 hits, NMs level 40-50 without much problems unless they have some really whack mechanics, but those level 100+ enemies still feel out if reach with OHKO huge aie attacks. The weird part is that those super enemies often have adds on level 100+, regular monsters - those I can defeat without any trouble, quite quickly.

As for helping other people on the field, enemies which they are fighting still count for quests, so I usually help them anyway.

I wanted to try some quick multiplayer, but to my surprise I found only a handful of rooms and the half of them with green ping have been locked. Maybe I'll try making my own room later.
 

Abdiel

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Found this on GameFAQS for Dual Blades - since that's the style I'm going to want to use, I looked around.

Yeah, so I managed to unlock Celestial Blades just now. Here's how it's done: you just buy every sword skill in the one handed sword skill tree, then buy the passive that increases your OSS cap by two and your SS damage by 10%. Which means that you have to have your one handed sword skill leveled up to at least five hundred. I'm assuming that this method can be used to unlock all the other weapon-related extra skills as well, but I can't confirm that.

As for how using it works... I'm a little bit disappointed, but it's not too terrible. It seems that the hidden extra skills function as normal extra skills - meaning that you can only have one equipped at a time. Therefore, you can't have Dual Blades AND the Attacker/Scout/Buffer/Healer/Tank role active at the same time.
 

Hasemo

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Found this on GameFAQS for Dual Blades - since that's the style I'm going to want to use, I looked around.
I can confirm this - unlocked two extra skills for the two handed sword by getting the skill at the end of the tree. Sticking with attacker though. All this time I thought I'' going to go straight for dual wielding, but the two handed swords are way too strong to let them go.

Edit:
Fgsfds, I just spent 20 min soloing that lv 96 hnm in the first area, just to die because of a stupid dash into an attack during the last half of its last health bar...

Edit:
Well, it took me over an hour of trying, mostly because being focused on one simple pattern for more than 5 minutes is hard when you're tired, but I defeated that lv 96 tree HNM in the first area after a 15 minute long fight.
I recommend everyone try your "skills", because it's a really easy fight - that thing has basically 2 attacks. Also, I didn't use stat etc. boosting potions until now, but the Speed potion is a godsend, it's really OP. Not only you run super fast, but the attacks are also much faster. Of course my 3 AI partners died from the first AOE, but this time I didn't even bother resurrecting them.

Anyway, here's the weapon I got from the chest:
Eh, I'll stick with my 2H sword. This fight also got me to 1000 mastery of the said sword and the Attacker Extra Skill. I know that I should switch to another weapon/EX skill, but I don't want to. :(
 

Parakeetman

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One thing for sure is this game is a lot easier than Hollow Fragment. Part of that is due to it being more of an action game.

Also upping the weapon skills are much faster too. Which am sure most folks will think is a good thing.

Am seriously looking forward to / hoping for a mass amount of changes when they do the next big patch or the free content update. Since there is so many little things that they seriously need to adjust. One stupid thing that they overlooked with skills is not stating which have actual knockback. As this can cause some issues if you knock an enemy back into an area the game doesnt like causing them to despawn / respawn which can reset life. While it can be "useful" in the sense of smaller enemies to get them away from the player when they do an AOE, for the most part all skills with knockback do is mess up skill chains. This was a problem in Hollow Fragment too when partying with Lisbeth for example. Since the mace had skills that could knock enemies back causing skills to miss. As just like the previous game you really need to make sure you are lined up correctly with the enemy or skills have a chance to miss by going past the target. As some skills will also move your character before going into the attack animation.
 

Hasemo

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I really wish they optimized zones past the first time more or didn't try to put so many different effects etc. there. While the first area runs great and smooth, the 2nd and 3rd definitely have moments where the framerate drops significantly, which is sad, since the game is far from being a looker anyway. Looking at the Vita footage with huge drops during the big fights, I would assume that the game was made with Vita limitations in mind, but downported from the PS4, rather than the other way.
Fingers crossed for the 1.03 patch or better performance on the PS4 Pro, I guess. I wonder if 1.03 will include any pro support, given that it's going to come out a day after the console.

Question to people who played Hollow Fragment - do character side quests which are 100% visual novel have any effect on the gameplay? I think I finished 3 or so of those, but I think it's just something for the fans of the series and a place to show all those "sexy" pictures of characters in various weird situations.

Speaking of those quests, I guess having a huge IP (or at least I assume SAO is still pretty big) and a big publisher behind a game doesn't really mean a big budget. Or maybe it's a design choice. Either way, it feels so weird to experience those sidequest, which have all those exciting fights with monsters in a light novel form with the screen shaking from time to time and that being pretty much it for battles. I guess the core fanbase just doesn't care or even prefers it this way.

Speaking of the fanbase, either people took a break from SAO to play other stuff like WoFF or no one cares about updating their profiles, but the rarity of trophies for clearing area 2 and 3 is really low - ~13% and almost 6%. I guess the main reason why I'm surprised is because during the Early Access, about 30%+ of people cleared the first area or at least got the trophy for it.

Edit:
Some random information:
- You can give weapons to other characters at affection level 4.
- You can give armor to other characters at affection level 5.
- To get special armor for other characters, you need to get one of their support effects (offense, defense etc.) to 250 and talk to them. Source
- Maximum level is 70, which confused me a bit, because there's a trophy for reaching level 50. I guess it's for the post game stuff/multiplayer.
 

Parakeetman

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Saw that last weeks dengeki had Soma from God Eater, his outfit for male characters as the packed in DLC code.

Forgot all about that saw it at the bookstore today.
 

Parakeetman

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The western version is getting that and a few others as a pre-order bonus, which is nice.

Thats pretty cool it will be packed together. Since over here its always a costly pain in the ass to track down all the extra stuff. (ノ-_-)ノ~┻━┻


can you play as other characters?

Unlike Lost Song which was done by a totally different studio, in this game you will jyst be using your created avatar. With the story event scenes you will be refered to as Kirito the MC from SAO.

This game does not allow for you to switch to a different character to control.
 

CielTynave

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The western version is getting that and a few others as a pre-order bonus, which is nice.

If your avatar is a female character will it let you use the maid outfit and such, or are those exclusive to the heroines like it Hollow Fragment?
 

Tohsaka

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If your avatar is a female character will it let you use the maid outfit and such, or are those exclusive to the heroines like it Hollow Fragment?

Not sure, unless someone with the Japanese version can check we'll have to wait and see.
 

Parakeetman

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Not sure, unless someone with the Japanese version can check we'll have to wait and see.

Yeah no idea there unfortunately...

----

Hilarious way to skill up the axe faster is just keep doing the jump attack. Since each hit has a chance of earning skill % the multiple hits you do on larger targets is faster than doing the normal attacks which are a bit slow. That and the chance to stun as a side effect of the jump attack is useful too with the low chance that it procs.

Will try the same thing with the 2HS later after I get the axe to 500.