Force Guide (WIP)

Discussion in 'Guides' started by StevieWonderDownUnder, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Hello.

    I have been wanting to make a resource for FO play for a while. Now that I have the time, I decided to start working on it. I was inspired by Zen's excellent WIP HU guide. So, I will try and model it in a similar fashion.

    This guide is specifically meant as a resource for higher level FO play in multi-mode. (I may update in the future to include a section on solo play.) This guide will mainly focus on weapons, their uses, game mechanics, and how to complement HU and RA in more optimized play. I will not cover class differences, especially since I am not an experienced FOmar(l) player. Please let me know of any typos, mistakes, or general misunderstandings that I potentially have. I think a guide for these purposes can be very helpful, as many facets of FO play can be counterintuitive without a deeper understanding of the game mechanics. Thanks!

    Essential Knowledge:
    Spawn knowledge: This is truly the first step to being able to play the game at a somewhat high level. In my opinion, this is even more apparent on RA and most apparent on HU. The fact that you won't necessarily be playing at <12.5% HP means that our inevitable mess-ups won't be a death sentence on FO. That being said, there is no way to truly prepare and complement your team if you don't have an idea of what they will do next; knowing the spawns will be your best method of predicting your teammates' moves. Spawn knowledge will also be essential for any quest where Gifoie usage is important as you will need to know where to stand (or run ahead for future spawns i.e. MA4 Ep 4, etc.).

    Damage Cancel: As awesome and fun as PSO is, it isn't without design flaws. One of the biggest flaws is Damage Cancel or "DMC". When an enemy is interacted with via damage, debuffing, traps, etc. the client sends an "HP remaining" packet to the server. When two or more players are interacting with an enemy, these packets can compete and sometimes a lower HP remaining packet can be cancelled by a higher one. This is very obvious if you are using HP-reading add-ons, you will literally see HP drop and then shoot back up due to DMC. This is the precise reason why it is best to handle spawns on your own and not to spam techniques on enemies that are being handled. This is counterintuitive and an understandable mistake for new players, yet it can be a massive detriment in more skilled groups.

    Making use of the Menu systems:
    Quick Menu: This is a vital tool for all classes and all playstyles. This menu is opened by holding your Alternate Palette and Chat Menu button. It contains three menus: weapons, items, and techniques. These can be cycled between by pressing "right." The weapon menu is the absolute best way to swap weapons mid-combat, it is central to gameplay. The technique menu is ideal for almost all situations because it allows you to queue up techniques to activate on the first available frame, this makes it superior to binding them to hotkeys in almost every way. It is also customizable! In my opinion, it almost makes the hotkeys irrelevant. The item menu is useful for the same reason, it consumes your items the earliest possible time, which can be the difference between living and dying.

    Equipment Menu:
    This menu is opened by pressing F2. If you play with a controller, I highly recommend binding this to an easily accessible button. It allows you to access frame, unit, barrier, and mag swaps with ease. It certainly takes practice, but you will see massive increases in your gameplay with some practice. It is important to note that like items and techniques, equipment swaps can also be queued up during animations and swapped on the first available frame.

    Technique Menu:
    This menu is opened by pressing F3. If you play with a controller, I highly recommend binding this to an easily accessible button. It is laid out differently than the technique "quick menu," but functions much the same. This menu can also be reached by leaving your main menu cursor in the third position "Technique".

    [For all menuing, it will be become a big muscle memory game. So, it is very important to find weapon, technique, and item sortings that you are comfortable with and try to stick to them. You will struggle to swap weapons, use items, or make quick actions if your sortings are constantly changing.]

    HP Management: In the PSOBB meta game, the use of MAG triggers and Dark Flow is prevalent. As a result, it is very important that each player has control of their own HP. Outside of a few specific situations like the "poison room" in Fiasco Ep 1 or NMU3 heat rooms, usage of Resta is generally not helpful since it will dictate other players HP management. However, you should fear not; FO also has access to 10 Monomates, Dimates, Trimates, and the ability to "self-Resta". ("Self-Resta" is a technique where the user can make use of the fact that Resta requires a frame to acquire targets for their teammates. This means that you can use the Quick Menu to queue up a Resta cast while in certain animations (falling down, physical attacks, and emotes are good examples) to heal only yourself. If you are finding yourself using all 30 of your mates in a given quest, it is important to analyze your own play and see how you can improve from taking so much damage. [This seems to be a contentious issue in the community. Nobody is wrong! All of these problems can be solved with discussion. If you join a game and anticipate that people will be using Dark Flow, or exploiting MAG triggers, talk to them: There is nothing wrong with finding a different game, with players sharing more similar interests. The point of PSO is to have fun; don't lose sight of this. Neither a Force that enjoys healing others, nor a DF user should compromise their enjoyment for the sake of playing a single game.]

    Barehand Casting:
    Male characters have a slightly shortened casting animation when a weapon is not equipped. This is very important for all male non-cast classes. It allows for faster Zalure which can cut down the chance of DMC, when time frames are tight. It also can allow you to cast an extra Gifoie or two when you have long time-frames. Just generally useful!

    SN Glitch and Attack Cancelling:
    SN Glitch: This is another one of the flaws of PSO, however this one is awesome because we can use it to our advantage. The "SN Glitch" is a technique where you can obtain higher accuracy on a Special attack. Basically, Special attacks are inherently less accurate than Normal attacks. However, when using a ranged attack, the client only stores the accuracy modifier for N,H,S one at a time. Thus, a player can use S1, and then follow it with N2 before the Special attack interacts with the target. The result is that the first projectile inherits the accuracy from the second attack, thus bypassing the reduced accuracy from S1. This is central to every class, but due to FOs huge ATA deficit it is necessary to get good results. It is incredibly easy to perform with slicers and handguns. Using this exploit with Mechguns requires more precise timing and positioning.

    Attack Cancelling: Another very useful technique is the fact that opening a menu can negate the existence of projectile attack. When an attack is performed, there is a small window early in the animation where a menu can be opened; this will cause the animation finish without a projectile appearing. This is very useful because one less projectile is one less opportunity to DMC your team. You can still SN glitch an attack with the menu cancelling the N2, so you can take advantage of the accuracy gain without incurring another chance at DMC. Another good combo is to S1, then cancel the N2, following it by closing the menu and finishing with a non-cancelled S3. You will be able to get two chances for your special to activate without the the interference of the N2.

    Technique Usage:
    Gifoie: The holy grail of FO technique DPS. Gifoie is an incredible tech, and is capable of spawn killing many enemies. The true power of Gifoie is that it "stacks" forming a ring that causes damage when enemies interact with it. This means that enemies that spawn in without invincibility can be decimated by several Gifoies stacked. I will not go into detail on the enemies: Matt and I both have Gifoie resources for multi and solo modes, respectively. Some quests will allow you to stand staionary and just cast Gifoie (Fiasco Episode 1 Caves and Mines). Or, in a quest like MA4 Episode 4, there a plenty of spawns where the FO can run ahead and preemptively stack Gifoie before Rappies or Lizards will be spawning once the rest of the team clears preceding waves. It is important to know that Gifoie damage is calculated when it interacts with the target, not when it is cast. This means that you can take advantage of the increased barehand casting speed, and then equip Magical Piece before the enemies spawn. It will yield the same damage as if you had it equipped the entire time, however it will allow you to get another Gifoie in before the spawn!

    Rabarta: A useful crowd control tech with the potential to freeze. There is a technique often referred to as "Frame 1 Rabarta" where it is believed to inflict a guaranteed freeze if used at a specific instant. I won't comment on this too much, as I'm not a pioneer or expert on this. In general, when playing at high-level, you will barely need to use Rabarta. Your teammates will be capable of handling most spawns with Freeze Traps and Rabarta spam will serve no purpose but to mess up spawns. Even with the guaranteed freeze, you will be better off letting your team use their FT. That being said, there arestill plenty of opportunities. (One that comes to mind, MA4 1B(C), the last spawn in the second room is three Nano Dragon and a group of 3 Govulmer. If your HUs or RAs are singling out the Nano Dragons, feel free to drop a Rabarta on the Golvulmers to freeze them for your friends!)

    Jellen/Zalure: Zalure is a very important tech; as it will allow your team to kill faster than without, generally speaking. In earlier areas (i.e. Forest, Caves, Mines) with max ATP teammates and potentially sphered gear, you will not need to Zalure enemies. (One example I can think of is Gibbles, Gibbles will take two Dark Flow swings to kill with or without ZalureDo not forget that Zalure will trigger an HP remaining packet, and even worse the packet tells the server that the HP is unchanged. So, JZ DMC is the worst, it can completely cancel damage taken by an enemy! (One example I can think of is Gibbles, Gibbles will take two Dark Flow swings on HUcast with or without Zalure. This means that if you try to Zalure you may DMC a swing and cause it to take three swings.) Jellen is really only useful in situations where players will be knocked down if hit, otherwise it is simply a source of DMC.

    Always have up! If you notice that a teammate doesn't have it, prioritize it. SD 30 last 5.5 minutes, which means you may need to refresh a few times in a run. Try and make use of downtime to cast SD, for example: when waiting for Epsilon to open in Tower. Keep in mind, due to desync it is very possible for your client to tell you that a teammate has SD, while they may have been JZ'd by a Gi Gue or etc. If they ask for SD, cast it even if it appears that they do on your end.

    Covered in "HP Management" section.

    Mainly used for stunning Ob Lilly, Del Lilly, Mericarol, and its cousins. You can interrupt their most dangerous attacks with a single Razonde.

    A more niche, but very useful high range tech. It casts somewhat quickly, but takes a considerable amount of time to damage. It will mainly be used for out of range / unhandled Zu and Dorphon, or when you know you can finish it with a single Grants. Not meant to be spammed.

    Gizonde: This is the fastest tech in the game! Great for opening boxes, locking Vol Opt, among other things!

    Other techniques:
    In multimode, technique spam is generally unfavorable. If you see an enemy that will die with one, or maybe two casts, feel free to cast a tech. If your Gifoie stack doesn't finish the job, feel free to drop a Rafoie, or two. Just remember that most techniques will never be your best DPS.

    FO's Role:
    Multimode PSOBB is a team endeavor, and FO exemplifies this best. Playing FO means supporting your team the best you can, whether this involves killing something or not. This is a very important concept: SOMETIMES THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS NOTHING! Never force yourself to attack for the sake of attacking, it will only make you an obstacle. You can often be doing something more constructive, like positioning yourself for the next spawn or waiting for the locked door to open. The quicker you can cast Zalure, for example, the less chance you will DMC your team. So, prepare for the future if there is nothing to be done in the present. This is true for any class. But, it is important for FOs to understand this aspect, it can't be stressed enough. If you find yourself bored playing FO this way, there is nothing wrong with wanting to play another class. It is best to view DPS as a team aspect, not a solo aspect. A HUcast is only as effective as DMC will allow it to be.

    Essential Weapons:
    [Note: As with all weapons in this game, everything is situational. It seems that in the community there is a tendency for players to speak in definites about weapons that serve different purposes. For example, "SoF is better than Bringer's, and the best Demons option." This is simply untrue, they serve different purposes and should not be compared.]

    Technique Boosting Weapons:
    Magical Piece: A key weapon for FO, it supplies a 30% boost to all Gi-techs. The importance of Gifoie in multimode makes this an essential.

    Psycho Wand: I would argue this isn't a true essential for most multimode situations, however it is the best RA-tech boost for FO play. So, I must include it. A 30% boost to RA techs is very powerful. However, the true power of this weapon becomes apparent in solo mode. [I find that new players obsess over hunting this piece of gear which will give only marginal gains for them outside solo.]

    Mercurius Rod: Provides a 30% boost to Grants, and it is the FOs best defense against charging enemies. The low level Gifoie special gives a the perfect range for stopping and grouping charging enemies for freezing. These include: Dorphons, Bringers, and Delbiters. Remember that Gifoie will only stop the charge on the first time, so don't mess it up with a level 30 Gifoie!

    Simple Techs Boosts: Laconium, Zumurian, Adaman give 40% boost to Foie, Zonde, and Barta respectively. Limited use in multimode, but must be mentioned.

    Striker of Chao: Doubles the range of Shifta and Deband, not much else to say. Always have this on hand. If playing a female, you can use a Parasol.

    Glide Divine: Doubles the range of Jellen and Zalure. In my opinion, always carry, barely use. It is certainly the most overused weapon on Ephinea. There are actually very few spawns that can't be covered by natural JZ 30 range. There is no reason to leave it equipped 24/7.

    Ranged Weapons:
    Slicer of Fanatic: An incredibly powerful 3 target unreduced Demons option. Great for multiple enemy spawns, and some single enemies. For something like Girtablulu or Del Lilly, which have multiple hitboxes, you can get two Demons activation, dropping the HP to 1/16 in one attack!

    Bringer's Rifle: Incredible single target Demons option with good ATA, rifle range, and SN glitchable. Can have a maximum hit of 50.

    ES Mechgun (Demons): Very important FO weapon due to their lower ATP. One of the best options for high HP, high DFP enemies like Epsilon, Gibbles, etc. SN glitchable with some practice. Only FOnewm and FOnewearl possess high enough ATA for use.

    ES Cards (Demons): Good Demons option, more niche than the above. Somewhat easily glitch able, and the third attack has 3 projectiles. This eans you can prepeare S3 for something like Epsilon opening and have multiple chances at Demons activation.

    ES J-Cutter (Hell): Incredibly powerful multi-target Hell option for all FO besides FOnewearl. As a slicer, it is easily glitchable.

    ES Mechgun (Hell): A fairly niche Hell option, but powerful nonetheless. Great for lining up low EDK enemies. I also enjoy prefiring up to S2 or S3 for things like spawning Morfos. Only FOnewm and FOnewearl possess high enough ATA for use.

    Hell Raygun: In my opinion, one of the most important Hell options for any class. A must have in Episode 2, the importance of a good single-target Hell option can't be understated. SN is quite easy with it. And it gives weaker FO something to do in Episode 2 when others are handling large spawns. a Ilone Gee, or something of the like? Pull out the Hell Raygun, and handle it!

    ES Cards (Hell): Fairly niche Hell option. Similar to what is described for Demons Cards. It can be primed for S3, good for Recoboxes, and can be used on De Lilly. (Somebody tell me if this is dumb. lol)

    Diska of Braveman: High ATP Slicer than can be coupled with Thirteen for maximal damage. As staple for FOmar(l), but not constrained to them.

    Sacrificial Mechguns: Charge, Berserk, Spirit Mechguns. They really need no explanation. Due to low ATP, they won't be as effective on FOs as other classes.

    ES J-Cutter (Arrest):
    Multitarget Arrest, easily glitchable. Mainly for enemies that can't be frozen.

    Holy Ray / Arrest Raygun:
    Single target Arrest, mainly for enemies that can be frozen. Holy Ray has rifle range.

    Rambling May:
    A FOmarl staple. Powerful single target shot, makes use of FOmarl's great shot animation.

    Melee Weapons:
    Excalibur: Super high ATP saber, with three targets. Even FOs can have killing power with this, most apparent on FOmar(l). Also, a top choice for Vol Opt locking.

    [Note: I left out a few weapons. In particular: Gal Wind, Guardianna, Girasole, ES Twin. This is mainly because I am not experienced with these. I will update once I become more experienced with them, or if some other players with insight on them share some information with me. Please reach out!]

    Replacement Weapons:
    [Under construction: Weapons for when you don't have the essentials yet.]

    Frames, Barriers, Units:
    [Under construction: Will fill in details.]

    Frames: (Please don't use Lieutenant Mantle in multimode with casts! :rolleyes:)
    Ignition Cloak: A frame that gives a 10% boost to all Foie techniques. This may seem small, but it can be the difference between spawn killing with Gifoie, or not.

    Congeal Cloak:
    A frame that gives a 10% boost to all Barta techniques. Much more niche than Ignition Cloak, ideal for variations of Ep4 bosses.

    Tempest Cloak:
    A frame that gives a 10% boost to all Zonde techniques. Much more niche than Ignition Cloak, ideal for variations of Ep4 bosses.

    An essential offensive frame that synergizes with Diska of Braveman. It supplies a 50% boost to weapon ATP and +30 ATA. This is huge for all classes, and helps overcome these deficits for FO. If you will be using DoB, it is always worthwhile to swap to this, or have it equipped.

    Dress Plate:
    Male only frame that supplies 70 EDK. This boost will trivialize almost all sources of Megid from enemies.

    Female only frame that supplies 15, 20, 25% ATP boosts for close proximity within 1, 2, and 3 male characters respectively. One example that comes to mind is locking Vol Opt. You can have any male characters stand on top of you while you cast Gizonde, this will give you a significant boost in damage.

    Gifoie Merge: A barrier that gives a massive 30% boost to Gifoie. This will be your most important technique merge in Ep1 and Ep4. A true must have piece of equipment.

    Rafoie Merge:
    A barrier that gives a 30% boost to Rafoie. Well worth equipping when it will make a difference for clean-up after Gifoie.

    Gizonde Merge:
    A barrier that gives a 30% boost to Gizonde. More niche, than the Gifoie and Rafoie, but well worth equipping if you will be casting Gizonde on enemies.

    Razonde Merge:
    A barrier that gives a 30% boost to Gizonde. More niche, than the Gifoie and Rafoie, but well worth equipping if you will be casting enemiesR on.

    Rabarta Merge:
    A barrier that gives a 30% boost to Gizonde. More niche, than the Gifoie and Rafoie, but well worth equipping if you will be casting Rabarta on enemies.

    Red Ring:
    An endgame barrier for all classes. Gives +20 to all stats, and most importantly ATA. It will have a huge influence on your ability to pass ATA checks on FO.

    V101: A key unit for all classes. It gives +15 to all stats, and +1.5 to ATA. Most importantly, it gives a 40% attack speed boost. It is essential for effective play, and will make SN glitch much more easy.

    A unit that provides a marginally quicker casting speed. This boost is significant enough to always have equipped on your FO. In a few cases, like FOnewearl or FOnewm that aren't at high level, you may want to prioritize V502 over this for Ep2.

    A unit that gives a 50% boost to status effect activations, and a 100% boost to Hell activation. An indispensable tool in Ep2.

    A unit that eliminates the ranged accuracy penalty for non-RA. The fact that FO ATA is low and the majority of their arsenal are ranged weapons, this is so important to have equipped.

    Technique Unit:
    Due to the immense rarity of level 30 offensive techs, it is well worth equipping for level 30 Gifoie in particular. I wouldn't prioritize it over the above units. But in Ep1 / Ep4, you likely won't have the need for V502. This is a perfect time to equip these units.


    Examples of Solo FO Menuing:

    Examples of 4P FO Play:

    Gifoie Enemies and Cast Count Comparisons:

    General Guide for PSOBB Meta:

    Special Thanks:
    I'd like to thank Arsuru, Ender, Zen, and Travendus for input on content after my first draft. I'd like to give special thanks to Arsuru for proofreading and helping with flow / general readability! And finally, everybody that has created resources I used and and taught me anything in-game. I am not the creator of this knowledge. I have simply concatenated it into a single thread. Thanks!!!

    To Do List:
    Fill-in empty entries.

    Link some sources I used.

    Proofread / improve.

    Hope some other players comment or PM me with some good info.

    Maybe record some videos!

    Thanks for reading! I hope this helps someone. I am not an authority on FO play, and am not the best on the server. But, these are some key things I've learned over the course of a few thousand hours of PSOBB. It may seem like a lot to take in, but not many things that are easy are worth doing. Just remember to have fun, and enjoy the game! If you ever want to push yourself, someone is always willing to help.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2019
    Rayzen, Ceri0n, Jason and 18 others like this.
  2. BubblegumCrisis

    BubblegumCrisis Member

  3. CastorofTroy

    CastorofTroy Member

    Midwest USA
    Thanks for posting this!
  4. Jbangalanga

    Jbangalanga Member

    Looks good! If you are looking to elaborate, a boss section could be nice with bosses like kondy and vol opt. Nice work!
  5. anime

    anime Bonsai Trees Staff Member

    Guildcard 2:
    kanae likes this.
  6. jajaswipo

    jajaswipo God Troll Revived

    SF Bay Area
    I think some video tutorials would be helpful for the essential knowledge section. Like how to cast grants and zalure.
    Scotty likes this.
  7. Jason

    Jason Member

    Red Saber with Crimson Coat is better than Excalibur for Vol Opt, except for FOmarls utilizing Sweetheart. It's good to know for FOnewearls who can't use Excalibur.
  8. @Jason

    This was meant to be covered in the "Replacement Weapons" section that I have been too lazy to complete.

    However, I still would argue that Excalibur is a better option for a few reasons (barring FOney). A decent hit Excalibur (30 hit or more), is an incredibly useful tool across many classes as a single or multitarget saber. Therefore, it is much much more worthy of using Photon Spheres on, as opposed to a Red Saber. Unless you find a very high Machine Red Saber, I would never drop hundreds of PDs into it for the super niche usage of locking Vol Opt form 1. Red Saber also relies on a specific Frame to be used for it to compete with Excalibur, meaning you will have to Frame swap during the quest. (Unless you want to roll around with a Crimson Coat for the entirety, which is also not ideal.) I think these things still make Excalibur a better option, and which is why it isn't listed in "Essential Weapons".

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