SAO Memory Defrag – Backed by the Cheer of My Daughter Ranking Event

Mini Rant on my awful RNG

continued-os-fail

The fact that this encounter has two parts to it is going to serve as a point of frustration for a lot of players like myself who don’t have a second higher end unit to fall back on. In my case I am one of those lucky people who pulled an OS Kirito, but the next best character at my disposal is either a 4-star Rain, ALO Sinon, or Yuna. With such a huge gap in performance potential it’s very unlikely that I’ll be able to crack the top 20, let alone the top 10.

As usual I’ll be doing the runs on Master instead of Master+ difficulty since I don’t have the means to clear the latter. So it turns out a little practice goes a long way, scroll to the very bottom to see my update!

The Encounter – Rhino

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With a cast of Rain, Sinon, and Yuna at my disposal I know from the get go that I am not going to go for a quick clear time, waifu or not they simply don’t have the throughput necessary. With the time bonus win condition eliminated we shift our focus instead towards mitigating damage taken. If we can put in a perfect run we can qualify for a solid 880K points, which when combined with the guaranteed 200K clear bonus puts us over 1 mil.

The approach I’ve had the greatest success with thus far has been to use ALO Sinon SS2 + auto attack to kill the enemies from range. Dash forward, auto once, SS2 and repeat until the first wave is down. Kite backwards and dash to the right to align yourself slightly lower than the lizard spawn and a single SS2 should clear them out. In an ideal scenario this is done within 9 seconds, but again, there is no rush since we aren’t going for the time bonus here.

I tried to do the trash mobs with Yuna and Rain and struggled to get them down in a meaningful time, especially the second lizard pack that has paralysis. It doesn’t help that their varied attack times means that even if I parry the first two hits, the third or fourth that take place after I start my SS3 add to damage taken. Sinon’s ability to hit from range eliminates any possibility of getting hit here and is exactly why I use her.

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The Rhino boss itself is actually a pretty straight forward encounter, he alternates between charging moves that can’t be parried and slow swings that can. The charges can be avoided simply by standing directly above or below him as he prepares himself. To speed things up a bit, try to stand against a corner and face him towards the wall. This can be done by simply standing slightly to the left or right of the center of his avatar when he’s taking aim.Screenshot_2017-03-07-15-48-09

The weapon swing animations from the Rhino are slower than someone like Gleam Eyes, so wait a split second before swiping up for the parry. After each successful parry you can force him to listen to Yuna sing, again and again, until he eventually gives up around the 2:40 mark.

Spam retry until you are happy with your current score, then accept your rewards and move on to the encounter with Gleam Eyes.

The Encounter – Gleam Eyes

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Similar to the rhino Gleam Eyes alternates between a simple pattern of moves that can and cannot be parried, only his swings are much quicker and tend to follow an ABAB pattern. Every fight starts out with the same sequence where you can dash forward and parry into SS3. Depending on your distance he will either do a downward slice that can be parried or the gigantic swing that cannot.

The second half of the fight has him power up and his single swing moves now have extra hits attached to them. With the extra combo window skill slot upgrade you shouldn’t feel pressured to go in for autos just to maintain your combo streak.

Similar to the rhino section of the encounter, you can simply retry the Gleam Eyes portion if you’re happy with the score from the former. This is a fantastic QoL implementation that I have to applaud Bandai for, as there are many games out there that would force you to do the entire run in one go.

OverallScreenshot_2017-03-07-15-34-19

I’ve been quite happy with my progress over the course of the week as I watched myself climb from that abysmal initial 1.1m max score up to the current 1.85m that seats me comfortably in 15th place in my bracket. I’ll keep doing runs until I hit the 20K needed to unlock all the score rewards but I think everything ended about as well as it could have. If I had a better cast at my disposal I’m sure I could have cracked 2 mil playing exactly the same, but that wouldn’t have influenced my placing too much. With how frequently these ranking events take place there’s really no pressure to grind my way higher up this time around. I’ve done more than a few rolls for characters and weapons alike with no results, and that’s okay.

Update –

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So just for fun I decided to do a Master+ run applying the same keep away principle that I was doing in Master, and low and behold I managed to crack the 2 mil barrier and sneak into the top 10. It feels really good considering most of the people around me are rocking at least 2 OS characters in their lineups.

Screenshot_2017-03-07-20-07-47

I have no idea who this person is, but I’m cheering for Sammy to break into the top 10 as well since they’re the only other person not sporting at least 2 OS characters in their lineup. Hopefully they’ll land in spot 10 and I’ll be able to sit in spot 9 with some buffer room as I’m not sure I can squeeze out much more out of my team.

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