Issue 12 will be divided into two parts, due to the large amount of content planned to be released. The first patch is slated for release in mid-August, while the second should release a few weeks later.
There will be two dungeons released with Issue 12:
This dungeon lies beneath Orochi Tower, accessible via an elevator in the main lobby that already exists in the game. It will have its own story mission, given to you by Daimon Kiyota. Inside the dungeon will be several NPCs that the player has had contact with in the past, namely Samael Chandra.
There will be both an elite version and a nightmare version of the dungeon, released simultaneously with the first patch of Issue 12. Its difficulty is designed for players who have not yet reached the QL10.5 cap in the current game, and as such its monsters will drop QL10.5 blue items. Players who have finished the main story mission will be well-equipped for the fights in the dungeon. The quality of the blue items that drop will be comparable to QL10 or QL10.1 purple items, and while not being upgradeable, they will be a good way to get players started on their gear progression. The AEGIS requirement will be QL1.5 controllers. Hardcore players will be pleased to know that the nightmare version will be significantly harder, with the rewards scaled up accordingly.
The first boss of the dungeon is an Orochi Tank, which occupies the center of a room containing several AEGIS towers. Later on, there is a mini-boss fight next to a conveyor belt, where Orochi Drones emerge from crates and leap off to attack you. Another boss is an amalgamation of Orochi Spheres, in a room known as The Core, held together by beams of energy.
There will be special skins for the weapons that drop in this dungeon, but only in the elite version, as an incentive for higher level players to help people just starting out as they search for new weapon visuals. These skins all have blue lights on them that are animated, including the Orochi symbol.
A video fly-through of parts of the dungeon is shown in the livestream, starting at 24:57.
The name of this dungeon is still unknown, but a few details about it have been released. It is still centered around the Orochi Group, but deals more with their weird experiments than their technological manufacturing. One of the monsters found in this dungeon is an armored Orochi Werewolf. It will be released with the second patch of the Issue.
After the release of the Issue, there will be a total of three raids for players to complete:
- Manhattan Exclusion Zone - Already exists in the game.
- Eidolon of the Outer Dark - Currently exists as a 10-man Lair encounter. The key requirements will be removed, and the encounter will be available on a 3-day cooldown, as is the case with the Manhattan Exclusion Zone. As a result, the rewards will be upgraded and what exploits exist currently have been fixed.
- Bird of the Zero Point Pathogen - Also known in the community as "Flappy," this encounter was part of The Whispering Tide event. It will be re-implemented as a 10-man Raid, with the same cooldown as the other two above and its own new unique rewards.
The three raids listed above will be accessible in both elite and a new nightmare version, with the elites available to everyone for free with the first patch of the Issue, and the nightmares available only to owners of Issue 12 with the second patch.
Because the key requirements for the Eidolon of the Outer Dark are being removed, the keys will instead be used to summon zone-wide bosses similar to the Guardians of Gaia and The Patchwork Horror (Monster) during the Anniversary Event.
Those players who obtain the keys to summon the boss will receive a special reward bag for the act of summoning, while they and everyone else who participates in the fight itself will receive another reward bag for killing the boss. This way there is an additional incentive for obtaining the keys, while still being an incentive for players to fill up the zone and swarm the boss. This will become the fastest way of obtaining epic Signets.
All of the different kinds of currencies present in the game (Sequin of Solomon Island, Sequin of the Valley of the Sun God, Sequin of Transylvania, Sequin of Sunrise, Credit of Ca' d'Oro, White Mark of Venice, Black Mark of Venice, Aurei of Initiation) are being unified into Black Bullion. This will allow players to play the game however they want to, but still be rewarded with better gear to support their progression.
In order to keep progression going, there will a second currency known as Mark of the Pantheon, which will essentially be the new Black Bullion. They will obtainable from nightmare content, in both Dungeons and Raids.
A cap will be implemented on the total number of Black Bullion and Marks of the Pantheon players can have at any one time, as well as the number of Marks of the Pantheon able to be received each week. When this change hits live with the first patch of the Issue, all currencies above the total cap will be converted into Pax Romana. If there are items you are saving for, you will want to buy them before the Issue is released in order to get the full value from your currencies.
There will also no longer be lockouts on dungeons, making it much easier to find new players to continue a dungeon in the middle if a player leaves your group.
Progression Cap Increase
QL10.5 will no longer be the highest quality gear available in the game, with the cap being raised to QL10.7 in the first patch of the Issue and to QL11 with the release of the nightmare content in the second patch. Glyphs will remain capped at QL10.5 with the first patch.
This change will have a pretty large effect on PvP, so in order to compensate for this the Equal Footing effect will be improved to better balance combat. With the first patch, Equal Footing will increase everyone's overall quality level to QL11, significantly increasing health amounts (on the order of 16,000 for people using High Powered Weaponry) and power. With these changes, players should be able to last a bit longer in combat.
To account for the removal of the White and Black Marks of Venice, Fusang Projects will no longer have passive rewards, but will instead have dynamically rotating missions. Currently there are three missions that are always available but with cooldowns upon completion; with the release of Issue 12, there will be many other missions, with a different one available at the Anima wells every 5 minutes or so. Examples of new missions include:
- Destroy a Facility turret
- Capture multiple Facilities
- Capture multiple Anima wells
Completing these missions will be the source of Black Bullion in Fusang. This change is designed to eliminate the problem of players going AFK. The mission requiring players to kill 10 enemies has also been improved, with credit being awarded for each kill to players in a wider radius around the body.
With the shift to Black Bullion, all items obtained from PvP designated as "Venice" weapons or talismans will be replaced with their "Custom" analogues, which is the type currently associated with Black Bullion. This will merge the progression paths of PvP and PvE. Note that because Equal Footing is covering the increase in gear quality level, the ability to purchase better gear will be primarily useful for progressing in other aspects of the game.
Issue 13 will include much more changes to PvP.
Looking For More Window
The current LFM window is being overhauled in hopes that it will be useful for players. A comment bar is being added so players have the freedom to describe their entry, rather than shouting in Agartha. The window will also be able to used for anything, rather than just endgame content.
Entries will remain in the window for approximately 2 hours before being recycled, to make sure that the listing remains fairly up-to-date. There will also be filters allowing players to search for particular activities to make finding groups easier. The window will be introduced with the first patch of the Issue.
Challenges are designed to encourage players to do particular activities over others. There will be daily challenges (such as completing The Polaris, a Scenario, or PvP missions) as well as weekly challenges (such as completing a specific Raid). These challenges will award players with Marks of the Pantheon, with which they can purchase high quality weapons and equipment. They are designed to keep progression interesting, while still providing awards for completing a variety of content.
A Dungeon Finder is being introduced to the game as a way for players to easily find groups for Dungeons and Raids. In other games, there is typically an air of elitism that surrounds this kind of feature specifically, so a number of "countermeasures" are being added to fight this. The hope is that these groups will foster encouragement, and veteran players will help new players break into the group aspect of the game.
Because of the flexibility of the Ability wheel, the tool will have no way to check what role(s) everyone is selecting, so it is up to the players to choose roles they are capable of handling.
This feature will be released with the second patch of the Issue.
Note: The lighting in the screenshots below has not been finalized, so The Manufactory may look quite different when it is actually released.
Beta screenshot of an Orochi Drone boss in The Manufactory
Beta screenshot of the first boss in The Manufactory, an Orochi Tank
Beta screenshot of the Orochi sphere boss in The Manufactory
- The Streaming Ones Issue #12 Preview, http://www.twitch.tv/funcomofficial/b/677058661