Monday, March 15, 2010

Rash Does Freeplay

In the past few days, I did several runs on freeplay on PSZ with my RAmarl. For those who haven't done it, when you choose to do freeplay online, you check the boxes of the difficulty and the seven areas in the game you want to do and you are matched up at random with other players with the difficulty and area of your choosing for only one run.

Well, actually, you don't get a choice with the areas to choose from. What I mean is the first couple times I did freeplay, I selected to do only the snowfields on hard (I wanted to hunt for an Ice Protect) and was dumped on the normal difficulty in the valley. This was annoying because I clearly indicated I didn't want to do normal difficulty nor the valley. I started selecting all the areas after that so I can be matched up to do an area on the hard difficulty, and it kept me from being dumped on normal after that.

On freeplay, RAmarl was able to play with numerous other anonymous players. A lot of players I've seen used the hunter classes. I've seen more HUmars, HUnewns, HUnewarls, and HUcasts more than any of the other classes on freeplay. It's not like when I play with people on my friends code roster and find myself often doing runs with teams of two to four forces in them. My RAmarl was able to fill a niche with her Zalure and Jellen techniques and doing the ranger thing of standing far away and shooting at the hostiles (or in case of the plant, struggle to do melee combat and not die so quickly from the missiles and laser blasts).

Actually, when John Wolf did a post on PSO-World about the Mine Sneak photon art last Saturday, I acquired a Black Phobos rifle with Mine Sneak from a Dark Shard sitting in my FOmar's trunk and went overboard with that PA. Here's John's post about Mine Sneak about it on PSO-World, by the way, that I recommend reading:

One thing I have quickly noticed with the non-cast hunters on freeplay is a lot of them will not bother to cast Shifta and Deband. When I did get the occasional hunter that will use the buffs on my RAmarl, I found myself saying "Thank you!" to them because I was actually thankful there's a player out there can use the techniques, which leads me to my next point. The chat options are more limited on freeplay than with playing with those on your friends code roster. You can only say "Hello!", "Leaving to town.", "Thank you!", "Hahaha!", "OK!", "Are you OK?", "Good work!", "Let's chain!", "Photon Blast!", "Great!", "Oh no!", "Congratulations!", and "Hooray!". It would've been nice if you can use the Pictochat on freeplay but I have a feeling I'm beating a dead horse with Nintendo's online policies. I find it odd though that "You're welcome!" is not included in there. It would've been nice if I can say that when my RAmarl was thanked for using Resta, Anti, and sometimes for her use of debuffs. I just used "OK!" instead.

Most of the runs on freeplay did go smoothly despite most of the hunters not buffing (I shouldn't be hard on them though because I don't criticize anyone's play style in the Blue Rogues). Sometimes the players I'm paired up will disconnect because a) we got defeated by a certain boss or from the annoying hostiles in the plant and didn't want to try again b) the player I was paired with was level 100 and didn't want to babysit a level 40-50 RAmarl and c) the player probably left because of real life responsibilities, received an error, or someone on their friends code roster came online. I was disconnected once from freeplay because of an error. It was probably a good thing too because there was a FOnewn on the team that didn't heal and my RAmarl was doing it with her weak Resta. It seemed odd to have a force that didn't heal because every other force I've played with on my friends code roster are quick on the Resta button.

I did have one exciting run on freeplay where another RAmarl and I took on the Shrine after the other two players dropped out about halfway through. We were able to defeat Mother Trinity and Dark Falz after a lengthy and difficult battle. I am surprised I haven't encountered any hackers on freeplay after reading about them on the forums at PSO-World. If there were any hackers though, then they kept it low key (like with the weapons they used or with their stats). Otherwise, I didn't encounter anyone using skins of the NPCs from story mode or running through walls or anything like that.

Overall, I had a pleasant experience with freeplay. Being the only ranger most of the time using the debuffs made me feel very useful in the sea of hunters. After doing freeplay for a few days, I think I'm ready to retire from it and just stick to playing with those on my friends code roster. It's a lot more fun than freeplay anyway because a) I can do several runs back to back without having to wait about five minutes or so to be paired up again and b) I can communicate more with the pictochat even if my handwriting is lousy. Well, until my next posting, be sure to check out Windancer's latest thread on the upcoming PSZ marathon where the Blue Rogues will face off with Forces of Nature club from PSO-World.