Though the Harmonizer may not sound like an intimidating weapon, the primary destruction device of the Waker is sure to make its mark.
Answering the question “Are there mounts in NGS?” is about to become more difficult with the introduction of one of the Waker’s abilities – Fredran Riding.
Blocking attacks makes Marmelo the familiar angry, and at a certain point its wrath can be explosive.
This is not the first time a new class has been introduced to Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis(PSO2:NGS) since its launch in June of 2021. The sci-fi-themed action RPG saw the addition of Braver, a bow and katana-wielding powerhouse in August of the same year, followed by Bouncer blasting in on Jet Boots with Soaring Blades in October. The introduction of Waker this week will be quite different, however, in that it is not a class that was present in Phantasy Star Online 2 (PSO2).
While it bears a faint resemblance to the popular class of Summoner from PSO2 in choice of weapon (the Harmonizer), this class does not coddle, feed, or otherwise cavort with pets. No, there’s definitely no candy box to manage here. Waker unleashes photonic, animalistic manifestations of death and destruction in an artful dance in keeping with the fluid combat-style of the game. This class is not afraid to get up-close and personal with enemies, though it can also deal damage from afar. With both single-target and area of effect (AOE) damage abilities, Waker is as versatile as it is complex, and I’ll describe what I mean by that in the paragraphs below.
As mentioned above, the Waker uses the Harmonizer, and by taking the skill Harmonizer Focus from their Skill Tree, the Waker contributes to the Focus Gauge of the Familiar associated with the Photon Art (PA) they use to damage an enemy. In short, if you do some ground-pounding with a Wulfren-related PA, you’ll build the Focus Gauge of Wulfren. Ride Fredran into battle and mow down your enemies (yes, you can and it’s a PA called Fredran Riding) and you’ll increase the Focus Gauge of Fredran. Additionally, there’s a rather large payoff to building up their Focus Gauges in tandem, as you can then expend some of each by using the Class Skill Familiar Harmony, which unleashes them simultaneously for some harmonious havoc.
The above may sound fairly simple, but the game changes when you consider that each one of the abilities available to Waker changes when “charged,” or the button is held down for a certain period of time before release. For instance, the aforementioned ability Fredran Riding, when used normally simply directs the Fredran to fire a ranged blast at enemies. The real magic comes when you charge the ability and subsequently find yourself charging enemies on your winged familiar. When the PA is finally released, Fredran goes out in a blaze of glory and takes the enemies ahead of you with it.
Wulfen Demolition is also complicated, with actions performed by the hulking familiar different depending on not only whether you charge the ability or not, but also for how long you charge the ability. Uncharged, Wulfen performs a shockwave attack. Charged for a short amount of time, Wulfen will perform his ground-pound and cause some aftershocks to occur in the surrounding area for a bit. Charged for a longer amount of time, you’ll consume additional PP and Wulfen will perform a much stronger attack than his normal ground-pound. These are only two of the abilities that Waker can use in battle, and the others are no less intricate.
In addition, there’s another familiar that comes at the call of the Waker – Marmelo. Upon successfully deflecting an enemy attack by using your Weapon Action, Marmelo will grow (up to twice its size). Holding the Weapon Action before release will then throw Marmelo at enemies, causing an explosion upon direct hit. Finally, the Waker can also take the ability Treble Clef Marking from their Skill Tree – which causes Normal Attacks, after several are directed at the same enemy, to apply a “mark” that increases damage taken as well as Down Factor applied (increases the chance of a stun, basically.) Pressing and holding Normal Attack while targeting a Treble Clef-marked enemy will cause the mark to detonate.
There are other things in the Skill Tree of the Waker that make gameplay even more interesting, but just based on the above you could easily find yourself charging into battle aboard a winged familiar, causing an earthquake, summoning both familiars at the same time for tandem mayhem, hurling a different familiar like a bomb, all while detonating marked enemies in between. This is not leisurely gameplay but is an absolute “blast” once you get the hang of it. If you’ve become quite fond of your current class but are intrigued by Waker, you should know that you are able to select it as a sub-class, however the benefits of doing so come mainly in the form of ensuring your survival, since many abilities rely on use of the Harmonizer.
If you’re not playing PSO2:NGS yet, then now is a great time to familiarize yourself (pun intended). All you have to do is visit the Xbox or Windows Store on console or PC and download the game for free to experience the wonder of planet Halpha for yourself.