You heard that right. For the first time in the series we have full, real time online co-op LMBS, and it's here in Rays. We also have bits of other news, too, so check it out!
Short Note: If you've been following Abyssal Chronicles, it is with our sincere apologies that we admit we haven't been as up to date on Rays news, among other things. We're doing our best to remedy this.
Tales of The Rays has recently updated to Version 3.8! The biggest thing in this update is the addition of the Online Multiplayer tab, which not only acts as the new access point for Tales of Whisteria, it's also where you'll find the newly added online co-op mode! Players were able to hop into online play as soon as the update released, and have already formed a dedicated community for it.
That said, it's still in beta testing.
It's not a true, full online co-op mode. In actuality, it's a separate, small mode that uses its own rules and mechanics. We don't know how it'll change and expand in the future, but don't expect to be able to play the full game co-op any time soon like a regular Tales title. After all, not only is it a first for Rays to have online multiplayer- it's a first for the series! The most important thing to know is the testing period.
|Tales of The Rays Online Beta Test||Start Date And Time||End Date And Time|
|Beta Test 1||March 27th, 15:00 JST||March 30th, 13:59 JST|
So as you can see we have a roughly 3 day period to play online. We don't know when the exact start and end time for future beta tests will be, but we do know that they'll happen on weekends. Hopefully, it's a weekly basis!
So what does co-op entail? We're planning on putting out a more in-depth guide to the mode soon but here are the basics. For the beta testing period, there are character restrictions for each test. They'll all follow a "theme", and while we don't know all of them, the first beta test only allows characters original to Rays and characters from Tales of Link. In total, that means for now we can play as Ix, Mileena, Kocis, Karia, and Marcus from Rays; and joining them is Sara, Kana, Allen, Zephyr and Lippy from Link. That's only 10 of the game's 160+ characters, but it's a start.
Furthermore, character selection works differently in this mode: Instead of choosing your characters, you simply select which characters you want to be allowed to play as, and the game will give you a random selection of 2 when you enter a room. For characters you don't have, there are rental versions of them with pre-set artes available. The more you allow, the higher your score multiplier and the higher chance you have of getting a match... though it's easier with friends!
The game has two options for rooms. The first is obvious: Random room. As with all online games, random matchmaking can be inconsistent. There's no in-game chat options, communication is purely via the same pre-set stickers WHIS uses, so it doesn't hurt to give it a try! The second is private rooms. With this option, one player can host a session and is given a room ID that they can give other players, who can join by entering the room ID. To clarify, the room ID can't be sent in-game, but it does give you the option to copy it to your phone's clipboard.
Finally, the game itself. The challenge given to players is to defeat 100 enemies as fast as possible. You start off with a short time limit of about a minute or so and must gain time extensions by advancing quickly, for a total of 5 minutes. There are bosses every 25 enemies, and each wave spawns seamlessly with no pause or break in battle. Online play allows up to 3 players, with each player given 2 characters, for a total of 6 party members. 3 are active at any given point, but you can switch to your sub character on the fly-they'll come in doing an arte and will keep the chain going, just like the Switch Blast mechanic from Tales of Zestiria!
There's also a new "Badge" system. These are not randomized! Each player can set their own badges, which appear on the bottom right of the screen. There are two types: badges that you can use during Mirrage Artes and badges to use at any other time. They look like emotes to communicate with, but they actually supply buffs: MA badges giving a special effect during the MA animation and regular badges which create circular fields that grant buffs to allies that stand in them. The main reward of clearing this mode is being able to get more badges. Their effects can be pretty unique, such as allowing an instant master arte without chaining!
Finally, there's a new team Mirrage Arte system. Occasionally a crystal will spawn on the field- it's an extra target, and destroying it will activate a team Mirrage Arte. These are the same regardless of the team, but there's one of each element so far.
And that's all we'll go into before a more dedicated guide post. Expect that soon! In the mean time, here's a quick coverage of other updates. First up: the march carnival is ending! The last weekend for carnivals is below. This weekend is the first chance we'll have to get 6th enhancement orbs for Tales of The Abyss, and also a good opportunity for more dia as always.
|Carnival Weekend, March 28 - 29||Start Time||End Time|
|1st Period||March 28th, 11:00 JST||March 28th, 13:59 JST|
|2nd Period||March 28th, 21:00 JST||March 28th, 23:59 JST|
|3rd Period||March 29th, 11:00 JST||March 29th, 13:59 JST|
|4th Period||March 29th, 21:00 JST||March 29th, 23:59 JST|
Lastly, these may be old news by now, but since we haven't had the opportunity, we'll report it now. Ion from Tales of The Abyss has been added to the game, and is playable for the first time in the series! He's a story character too, rather than an event character, so one need only play through the story to recruit him. His banner ends on April 23rd, 13:59 JST so don't miss it if you want him! His playstyle is very creative. Don't expect him to be a simple mage... but don't go too wild either. He gets tired if his CC reaches 0, which reflects his frail disposition perfectly!
That's all for now. Expect more detailed posts on everything soon, and if there's anything you wish to know more about, leave a comment here or any of our other channels!