Category Archives: Bishoujo Gaming

Deresute: Week 33 – Next Steps

At this point, with the release of the last Tripri member’s SSR & the latest upgrades to social/opening up new game modes, I think we’re at a good place to recap the first 30 weeks of this game, and to look forward to the next phase of IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls: Starlight Stage. So let’s start here.

FredtulipSR1

Just looking at the amount of money this game makes, it’s every bit justified to have a SMAP guy in your commercial. It’s gross, and it’s insane. I’m glad. I mean that’s about the same rank as Ahnold Schwarzenegger, right?

One point of curiosity is going to Reddit and skimming the reaction of that group of early adopters who would play Japanese F2P rhythm games with idols in them. How will they adjust to a post-voiced-idol reality in CG? There are no “trash idols” in CG, right? That speaks more to Love Live SIF than Deresute, but it’s a curious decision both companies have made creatively in the direction of where they’re going with all this.

The strong outpouring of support on DereSute has to mean well for the franchise. Does this mean we’ll get more CG anime? I think it’s not unlikely. It’s more a matter of timing and scheduling. All of 2015, in some ways, can be said as paving the way for this ultimate trojan horse that is DereSute–between all the IM@S 10th and DereAni promotions, at the least–and this is how they collect money based on all that good will. In the big picture, it’s not just a story of a big franchise putting on its walking shoes, so to speak, but it can even be seen as struggling development company hitting gold as the JP tech press may have reported, a different kind of Cinderella story in this unforgiving games marketplace.

The game itself probably have really pivoted when Tulips event happened. It’s full of post-newgene, small fries characters that barely got any DereAni treatment. It’s like the current event–like who are even the fans of these characters? Unless you are a dedicated CG P, which largely are hard to find even today…

Which brings back to my initial feeling about an English language port of this game. Will it happen? I don’t see why it shouldn’t, but it does make me think just how successful it might be. And if I, a cheerleader for the franchise for all practical purposes, question this, how does Bamco feel?

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Going the Extra Mile on PSO2 Anime

I was looking up the voice cast on the PSO2 anime on ANN and came across this, just Zac’s part I’m talking about here:

Well, this show requires some context, doesn’t it?

And I won’t quote the rest because it’s quite long, you can read it in his first impression piece.

I think that’s fair and well and good, but it doesn’t go far enough. Well, besides that most late-night TV anime requires some context…???!!

Izumi

First of all, this is not the first outrageously SEGA-inducing anime trying to sell a product. I mean, why make a straight-face infomercial? That’s so…mainstream. To target the JP otaku crowd they have already deployed the latest Standard Operating Procedure: idols. That is the Seha Girls Project from 2014.

I think the PSO2 anime has to be linked with that context. We already (and this is an international thing to an extent, but much more so in Japan/Asia) make mascots out of Sega’s various IPs. Just…search for Sonic. I think in a world swimming with mascots like Japan, you have to go deeper, as they say. So why not make an anime that is a literal holeelevator that takes you to from no context to full metal jacket context? After all, PSO2’s stories are inside the game, if there’s going to be points made about the meta-game, the anime has to cover both sides.

In SeHa, the characters, who each represent Sega’s iconic consoles, revisit various old-time classics from the original Virtua Fighter to Phantasy Star even. My favorite might be the Golden Axe ep. The “entertainment value” of the show is its core gag-style comedy routines, also that you’re seeing cute girls revisiting our collective memory lane, probably. But if you take a 15-year-old who knows nothing about SEGA’s storied past since it quit the console-making space in 2001, how do you entertain them in a way that’s kind of unique to SEGA?

For the PSO2 anime, the watering-down aspect of this nerd soup is happening, and as we slurp its first offering it should not surprise anyone we find some naked commercialism floating inside the broth. The context of why the is commercialism so blatant here is because, well, the type of people who would be entertained by a late-night TV anime has already been accounted for. PSO2 is a known quality by all means. The form the PSO2 anime takes matches its target audience. It’s a compromise that takes the original game into account (can’t just be some guy stuck in PSO2) and the audience (thus the very archetypical lead-in ep1) into account. Unfortunately the side effect is that the commercialism is more naked than usual. It has always been there. Imagine if SAO’s various arcs used trademark names for their virtual worlds!

Well, that audience is certainly not quite Zac. I think the entertainment value of the anime has a lot to do with PSO2’s existing place in nerd lore, for both current players, past players, and people who are just familiar with it. In short, it’s just like most anime adaptations. When faced with something like a PSO2 (or perhaps this point could be made for gameplay-first, character-driven games in general) as the core concept I don’t know how many options you have. Not everyone is going to think Bahamut Genesis is the way they should go.

TL;DR – the context is a person who is familiar with PSO2, not this naked capitalism nonsense.

PS. There’s a Zac-ism here (his public persona is kind of a condescending ass when it comes to other nerd verticals outside of his own (films)):

Concerned that only losers play video games?

I understand what he’s getting at but it doesn’t even make sense. The better joke is “Concerned that only losers play video games? Guess what, you’re watching an anime of the video game–that automatically makes you a bigger loser already! What’s the worry?” And it kind of just further points out this American context switching (pardon the pun) that’s happening. The hierarchy in Japan is well-understood… or maybe better put, online games have more of that stigma than the traditional console fare. I suppose games like Monhon and the current SNS game flood have long put that away though.

Or alternatively, “Concerned about justifying your PSO2 habit to your friends and family?” would make a truer pitch.

PPS. Suwa Ayaka has a lead role for the first time, this could be interesting. I already liked what I heard in this episode. The anime itself is not my kind of thing, but it could be kind of thought provoking along the lines of this post…

PPPS. FFXIV anime wouldn’t have this problem. It would have the problem of existing in the first place, sure, but aside from that…

PPPPS. As I write this post the more I feel and think the commercialism is actually a form of irony that…I guess is too dull to cut through the cultural barrier. Maybe it should have been even more naked.


DereSute Week 12: The Passion Compression, Luck

We’re still being tested on.

The event cycles are shorter this second go-around. If we mark the start of the NB event to the start of the Ponkutsu event that marks a cycle. The start of the NB event to the eventual start of the Orasapp event will be the second one, beginning on 11/20.

All the events in this go-around are shorter. As a result I only scored 10 Azuki SRs, when I squeezed out 15 Honoka in the first caravan. That is a bummer but I can live with this.

I did okay in the medley event. I didn’t like it much, but I begrudgingly admit it helped my game by forcing me to play songs too hard or uncomfortable for grinding. I spent more stamina dying than ever. I also spent like 100 jewels on continues. Learning when to quit was important, but thankfully I didn’t have that many opportunities to do so. At the end I was at the cusp of the 50k rank border but I was only aiming for 100k anyway.

I hated it, in retrospect, because it required you to play songs back to back with no ways to adjust system settings. It was only good in that you can burn all your stamina without playing anything, then find a chunk of time to grind out 8 songs in a row a few hours later.

But, how long will the OraSapp event run? This is an inflection point.

===

Just today I had a discussion on the daily 60 jewels. It’s a no-brainer that the odds of getting a nice card from doing it is better per-jewel than the 2500 pull. But the human mind doesn’t work this way. To break it out:

  • You will always get 1 SR or SSR from a 2500 pull.
  • There’s a roughly 66% chance of getting 2 SR from a 2500 pull.
  • There’s a roughly 66% chance of getting 1 SR from 9x 60 jewel pull.

So the satisfaction is good on 2500 pulls. Yeah, there’s a third chance that you will not go home with more than 1 SR, but that’s less often than not.

FWIW, here’s some more to think about

  • Odds of getting 3 SR or better in a 2500 pull: ~11%
  • Odds of getting 4 SR or better in a 2500 pull: ~3.7%
  • Odds of getting 1 SSR in a 2500 pull: 4.9%
  • Odds of getting 2 SSR in a 2500 pull: ~0.2%

That 11.5% chance of pulling a SR or better everyday for 60 jewels sounds pretty good now doesn’t it. And I think this is why I do the 60 jewel pull–it’s kind of fun, cheap, and you can do it everyday.

I didn’t do it everyday. I didn’t keep track which days I missed or skipped, or the days I double-dipped due to new cards being released (you can pull 2 times on those days, once before and once after patch). Say I did it 80 times since the start. I have just 5 SR from all of it (my luck sucks). That still means I did better with 4800 jewels than if I rolled 2500 jewels twice for 20 pulls–a median case of 4 SRs, accounting for very average luck (close to half the time this is the result). And 5 out of 80 is pretty shoddy luck if my chances are 11.5% of getting something that good or better.

When she goes Mika dayo I just laugh because

Now that the TP hip thrust is for the public, how do you guys feel about it? I think the concensus is that Anzu no Uta is still the hardest song (and I have not yet cleared it on Master!) while TP and Legne are just below that (I cleared those pretty okay actually). Romantic Now is now my favorite song to play, and for 27 stars it’s really easy? I have less problems with it than Let’s Go Happy.

Man, Kirari and Mika voiceover for event announcement. That’s advancement in mobile gaming if anything.


DereSute Week 9: Blue Whales Nation

RopGraphs(tm)

With the lessons learned from Atapon, migrant mammals balloon final scores for the next event, Nation Blue.

This time I was inspired enough to do a quick and dirty spreadsheet on the max event score for someone playing the event leveraging all naturally-gained stamina only, with minimal waste. No stamina drinks or jewels are taken into account. The estimated max score is about 20000.

The main difference between NB and Atapon is first, the experience. Atapon was the first event and people were definitely apprehensive, but with NB the score jumped and exceeded the average Atapon score by the same time elapsed after the halfway point. People definitely waited for the 4x multiplier but in general did not really score a lot more. More, but not a lot more, means just better efficiency or more competition. Nana or Kaede? I don’t know.

The other difference between NB and atapon, is that Atapon ran about 2 whole days longer. Atapon ended just over 25000 which is within the natural gain range, but NB is well over 21000 (results out in another few hours, by midday 10/28 Japan time), which is definitely in jewel-spending range.

This particular whale wannabe only spent 600 jewels, which is less than what I spent to get a SSR Minami. It is also more than I wanted because 100 of it went to not sucking at Nation Blue. I actually didn’t fail Nation Blue until later on in the event. Once because I derped, twice because I derped on a 4x. I had a long streak of S-ranking from my first playthrough until that first derp, which made no sense to me. I guess NB is harder of a grind than Atapon, and as a chart I also didn’t like it as much, even if it might not have been that much harder.

I also have no more room in my inventory because I decided to just keep all the SR repeats I got, except I ended up experimenting on a few of the Vampire Syoko I had to see what happened when I lessoned them. Oh well.

My final score (with 1 Neirose left) is somewhere north of 23000 so I’m a lock for 100k by all indication. Thanks for making the event manageable, Bamco. Real Blue Whales, however, went bonkers for NB and you can see it in the chart at top comparing Atapon scores to NB scores on the same time elapsed scale.

Good luck everybody!

Personally I didn’t like this event much, because it is short and if you didn’t give up a good chunk of time to grind, you’re out of luck. The shorter the event period the more likely you’ll be busy through it the whole time. At the same time the rewards isn’t all that. I guess unless you are a KaedeP it doesn’t pay to play hard if it translates to paying for 10-roll for ranking into even the 20k tier. The whale aspect is worse than Atapon so the shorter time might have curbed some of that, but I can’t see it ease much.

On the other hand I am all ready for the eventual OraSapp event! I missed out on SSR Airi but I have most other passion cards… Plus it’s a hype song too.

PS. Thanks @southrop for the chart.


DereSute Week 7: Treats And a Few Tricks

Haruna

First of all, the wiki is still there but we’re like, why even bother when there’s this? Well we can always write :words: just like this blog post?

So this Caravan event is about random drops based on the following criteria:

  • Score rank (C/B/A/S), higher rank the better chance
  • Difficulty (Debut to M@ster), more difficult the better chance
  • Color of the day, where a higher chance of dropping rotates daily
  • Star Rank of your center idol in the team, every rank increases drop rate by some percentage.

Based on JP twitter, the SR drop rate at max of these (up to Star Rank 15) is about 15%. You can squeeze these four knobs however which way you can squeeze them, but there are some diminishing returns. For example I think 18 Stamina M@ster is about the same as 19 Stamina. A rank might be pretty close to S rank. You get what I’m saying.

What isn’t close is Star Level 5 (N) and Star Level 10 (R). Just on the fact that unless you have SSRs to carry your team, it’s just too hard to S rank with a N center consistently. And honestly an extra 5 Star Levels might not be worth the gap between B and S. That’s also to say, the gap between SL5 and SL10 is really big.

Numerically speaking based on a small sample size, Honoka drops much more often than Syoko. JP Twitter seems to say 2% for Syoko under optimal conditions and close to 13% for Honoka, but I doubt it. More off-the-cuff observational anecdotes: there is an inflection point in the numerical formula for drop rate that if you don’t get past it, your drop rate will be a straight, low, dire percentage. Once you do, it’s in the teens. Two people I know already have 10+ Honoka by the halfway point of the event. Pretty much everybody playing it with any kind of rigor has a Honoka already. I personally am at 7 Honoka and 5 Mushrooms.

The longer game here, for those of you more casual to the Deresute, is that getting these SRs can buff your support team, who are the 15 strongest idols beyond your team of 5, that are automatically selected, when you select a team to do a live. The other long game is that you want 3 high-star-ranked idols so you can farm events like these in the future. Or starting this one. The max rank for SR is 15, which is why you want 15 Honoka as soon as you can to start farming Syokos or whatever.

Anyway, that’s the strategy. The silly thing about it is that hardcore Ps already summoned armies of both idols on day one of the caravan due to the DereSute team screwing up the drop rate on low difficulty songs. And then today they screwed up the announcement for card drops with potentially what comes with the next event (heavily rumored to be Nation Blue).

Deresute has been full of treat, so the tricks can go as is. Also they extended the campaign for gems another 15 days so uh… Let those 10-draws fly guys?