Tag Archives: dragons

Dissecting the Ver.6.5 Update

When it comes to pazudora, I’ll admit I’m a little obsessed. Having had an extensive period of non-IAPing, interspersed by short bursts of somewhat uncontrolled but still moderate IAPing, then another few months of being a free player, I’d have trouble placing myself in a category as a player. Juxtaposing myself with the average japanese IAPer however, I’d be more inclined to label my sizable amounts of everyday thinking about this game as fantasizing and theorycrafting than actual planning that those with fat wallets can do. After all, one can only have so much proactivity with the limited stamina pool that each day provides, along with many, many distractions and deterrents along the way. Perhaps this is why I tend to have such a critical outlook on every piece of news (let alone a huge update) – rather than just swallow it whole and start acting on bringing those novelties to life like the other players.

Let’s have a look at the new update banner shall we? What do we see?

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Idunn and Idunna.

What?!

Provided you can stop swooning from their cuteness, the next emotion almost everyone will feel is bafflement. Why them? The expectations of the player base were certainly high prior to the long awaited Fan Festival that promised to unveil a lot of uvos and game elements that GungHo had previously hinted at. With that in mind, any surprises would not have been very surprising. But come on – with many important monster evolutions behind schedule (JP 2.0 gods, Genbu, Angels, Devils) one would expect to see one (or two, maybe three) of those cards’ artworks in the spotlight, not a side-branching version of a Norse god out of the blue (pun intended). Notwithstanding the welcome art update (Loki and Freya need them the most), much more fitting subtype and that sexy new leader skill, this entire pantheon is already fully realized and thus, hardly a priority for the game’s balance. They have their place in a variety of teams, decent stats (they will be getting a small boost nonetheless), skill-ups…wait…did you say skill-ups? Hmm, come to think of it, there was a biweekly dragon dungeon series with their skill-up monsters, and Groove Coaster collaboration is just behind the corner. Heh, well that explains it. Next thing you know they’ll “coincidentally” hold a Norse GodFes…

Regarding my opening paragraph, I cannot help but wonder what’s in it for GungHo when they do these updates. Sure, they want to maintain the balance, show that they care, keep improving the game and strengthen the players’ trust. They also have their sublime way of cashing in on just about anything they do to this game ever so imperceptibly and without ever truly enraging us. Heck, you even have a smile on your face as you’re getting punk’d. How can you not? The game is obviously becoming more complex and enjoyable, only at the price of umm…well, money. And I&I are oh so cute.

Moving on.

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Truth be told, one of the two remaining Chinese gods without a uvo will also be included in the update and that is Byakko (and she’s in a banner, although not the update banner). Her branching uvo is nothing short of spectacular – both Dragon and Devil subtype are very desirable and fit perfectly in their respective teams. Yet the big surprise here is the change in the pattern for the tricolor Chinese gods’ “better” uvo. Devil Byakko’s subcolor is dark like her main color, not blue, and she has now TWO dark row enhances accordingly. Personally, I think that the devil subtype alone would have been a substantial boost to the aging playstyle but I guess this is as much a shout-out to her numerous fans as it is an invitation to the ones who don’t have her to pull and then max skill her via that arduous chaser trial.

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The rest of the uvos are the utterly uninspiring ultimate Beelzebub and the only-for-the-pros ultimate Koryuus. The latter don’t have row enhances and our poor beetle seems to be just as pointless as he was before the uvo (hopefully, someone will prove me wrong here). Also, the requirement of orbs in his uvo (250+ stamina at a minimum) seems entirely unjustified.

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Last but not the least, we have the technical changes like the buffs for the crappiest awakenings ever (now not as crappy but still horrible)…

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…and the much anticipated Friend System Overhaul. It’ll actually be pretty nifty to be able to present more leads to your friends and select theirs. This could pretty much double our choice of friends without the need to add new ones and buy box slots; also, more pal points. Still, “overhaul” is a bit too strong of a word as the system remains just as rudimentary as it was before. No chat redesign, no fluid interface, just a welcome expansion.

ss2_d5qv4k

 

Oh there’s also the increase of the monster box’s maximum capacity (now 1100) and something about the special dungeons not appearing if one doesn’t have enough stamina that I don’t quite understand.

 

This concludes my analysis of this upcoming update. Despite the glaring omissions of the more important uvos for the older gods, and the update’s somewhat small scope, it’s still a big enough change to stir the pazudora community and make the players lucky enough to have these gods to contemplate new teams for about a month or so until the next update, or start +297ing some new monsters. YamaP did not exactly deliver this time as without the technical changes, this is still just a regular update, even a small one when compared to some major ones. But worry not, he’s already making big promises for the next month…a word to the wise – don’t hold your breath, it’s the “silent” updates that really count.

 

Sources:

http://mobile.gungho.jp/maintenance/pad/pua59k0000001nns.html

http://mobile.gungho.jp/news/pad/update.html

http://mobile.gungho.jp/news/pad/140525_sinka.html

The Numbers of Pazudora

This game is as much about stats and basic mathematical calculations in a dungeon as it is about art and orb matching. From the early days of our gaming careers we are faced with the simple but important decision of whom to invest in. Well, it’s either that or a lot of regret later on.

Growth Curves

Another perfect example of pazudora’s perfect, subtle mash of gameplay and business are the stat-exp/lv growth curves. While the monsters might vary from early (stats peaking around lv50) to late bloomers (stats peaking around lv99), one can observe a rule of thumb which is that lv66 (two thirds of the maximum level) can be reached rather easily by simply feeding the “trash mobs” from normal, special dungeons etc. For it is up to around 1M exp that one can feed those monsters of no value such as knights, devils, goblins and ogres – and not have the cost of the power-up fusion exceed the experience gain. This sum of exp more or less coincides with lv66, or around two thirds of the maximum stats. With the right monsters and utilities, a good player can make do in pretty much any dungeon without maxing out their team (just check out dacho’s “work” – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxJXwYLqwpT7ZOw8Qy4eqJw). However, it is the not-immediately-noticeable benefit of the added last third of the stats/levels (66-99) that really makes a difference. GungHo’s brilliance in crafting descends is soon made apparent with every team you might choose to take; the enemies’ skills, which are dependent on their HP, timers or just chosen carefully to inhibit certain popular strategies (e.g. delay, nukes) diversify the challenges that the game presents and encourages having multiple teams. At the same time, descends are almost always possible to clear with any decent/fashionable team but require meeting a precondition that can be summed down to either having some monster with a rare skill (pulling a gacha), or increasing your team’s levels (more feasible and easier to plan, but requiring time and effort). It is here that the last third of the stats and levels of a given monster card comes into play. Unsurprisingly, that part constitutes the large majority of the total exp (2 out of 3M, 3 out of 4M, 4 out of 5M exp), and is in fact the crux of a monster’s excellence, and excelling does make a difference in the merciless pit of randomness that is a descend dungeon.

 

+297

Similarly, plus eggs, the abundance of which is a trademark of pros and super IAPers, even further enhance a team’s capabilities and are also dependent on one’s investment in the game. Compared to maxing out a monster, +297-ing it takes a lot more focus and deliberation, and the cost and time required is tenfold. It opens a lot of possibilities, much more than can be gleaned from the added stats; even a single +297 monster paired with a helper of the same caliber makes for a significant change as that combination is practically like adding a seventh monster. In addition to that, through plus eggs one is able to show his love for a god or a hero to the world, attract friends and pal points. All that leads to every player’s roster being distinct, and the game subsequently feeling more real and important.

As in real life, only on a considerably smaller scale, learning a skill and being merely good at it is far less difficult to achieve than to excel at it. The nuances of the latter, and the saturation of the effort-to-reciprocated-reward ratio are ever so reminiscent to the growth curves and the “last thirds” and “+297s” in pazudora. There, the question of whether to settle for the comfort of mediocrity without failed dreams or strive for greatness at the risk of getting crushed under the weight of one’s own aspirations arises in the depths of each human soul.

Perhaps it’s nice that we’re able to peruse this great dilemma of life in a smaller, more contained medium and to attempt to solve it here, in pazudora. It might lead us to a greater knowing of our own selves, or a more transient, virtual happiness, in life where nothing is certain…