SAO Memory Defrag – OS Samurai Progression

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There’s been a bit of drama with the OS banner units. The first few days of the banner it was advertised that there would be “more than one 4-star guaranteed” on the in-game graphic. Aside from this obviously not being true, there have also been reports of bugs preventing players from pulling any 4-star units at all. Bandai has acknowledged the problem and issued a public apology and have announced their solution:

  • All players who rolled during the start of the banner until Feb 20 will receive 5 memory fragments
  • Players who have already rolled will skip straight to the new ‘fixed’ banners that cost a single memory fragment each.
  • Players who did not roll during will not get the extra fragments, but will still have access to both the original buggy and current fixed banners. Presumably you would still have to roll the buggy banner first, then get to the fixed banner.

While it may have been disheartening at the time this seems like a very reasonable solution. The net gain for players who rolled on the buggy banner is 3 memory fragments along with an extra 22 chances at rolls. Those who never rolled have nothing to be compensated for, but will still have access to the same rolls should they choose to spend. With the guaranteed 4-star characters and weapons I really don’t see any reason not to roll.

I personally pulled the OS banner twice (once guaranteed, once on the normal) and manage to snag a single OS Kirito. I also jumped in and did three weapon pulls but got nothing of merit from them. It seems like people are spending well over 1,000 fragments on each banner they pursue and that’s well above what I’m comfortable dumping into the game. Streamers can write that type of money off but average people like me definitely need to be more picky with when we pull.

rain-os-kirito-compare

To say that the OS characters are simply stronger is a huge understatement, the OS cast have superior attack while also having a much more loaded SS3 kit. The inability to evolve characters basically means that the only way to really keep up with power creep is to keep drawing over time as newer versions are released. Those who haven’t sunk a lot of time into the game yet may actually want to consider re-rolling for the OS cast as they are all still incredibly viable even in the Japanese version of the game which is half a year ahead in content. The only thing missing is the same thing I’ve been chasing all along – an appropriate maxed out 4-star 1-hand sword.

Samurai Showdownscreenshot_2017-02-19-16-36-35

I feel like this is an event Bandai threw at the crowd as a way to remind them the importance of reading the tutorials and taking their hints to heart. This encounter is entirely about dodging fire and parrying each attack successfully. The parries are especially important as maintaining a high combo enhances your damage multiplier, which in turn allows you to get a higher time bonus at the conclusion of the fight.

I started out grinding a bunch of EX thinking I’d get the mechanics down before jumping into the deep end, but I quickly realized that I’d be better off just practicing on the higher difficulty instead. At 600 points a run you’re also going to unlock the event point rewards more quickly.

After having thrown myself at the encounter for several hours in noticing a few things:

  • Parrying is key as it grants guaranteed crit on the next attack
  • Do not take damage. Damage breaks your combo and takes away from your damage score
  • Positioning. Even if you pull off a sick parry, if you’re too high or too far below the samurai you’re going to whiff your SS3 for nothing
  • Zoom out so you can see the samurai’s stance, letting you know what move to prepare for
  • Practice. You should basically be able to perfectly execute the first 20 seconds of the fight, repeating until some variance is dropped in as the boss dips below 50% hp

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Some people like to bring other characters to jump back and forth between, but I don’t really have the cast or gear to go that route. I use Kirito the entire time and leave the other two slots to soak experience. Over the runs I’ve done I managed to max out healer Asuna, and add a good 30 levels or so onto Yuna, the freebie character from this event.

There are basically two ways to break into the 1 mil club:

  • Play Master and do a perfect run under a minute
  • Play Master+ and forgo the time bonus, focusing all your efforts into not taking damage.

The way the Master+ approach works is to minimize the number of points deducted from your end score. You get 814K worth of damage points and 200K completion points every single clear, but any damage you take is multiplied by 10 before being deducted from your total. In theory the Master+ challenge really shouldn’t be that hard as you aren’t rushing to deal the most damage possible with each window of attack, but I’m just bad like that.

For whatever reason I always get caught by that downward slice in the purple zone because I can’t strafe downwards in time. I always end up blocking to eat chip damage and given that the same sequence takes place several times in the fight I always end up having 100K+ points worth of deduction at the end.

Thankfully there are still a few days for me to get my shit together. I think that the bare minimum to make it into the top 10 is going to be 1.02 mil by the time the event comes to a close later this week. Hopefully I’ll have a happier update post between now and then, but as things look right now, they certainly aren’t looking good.

 

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