Part 12: Master of Arena - Chapter 4: This Game has a Second Disc
So we're back at the title screen for the game, but it's slightly different than normal as this is the menu you go to when booting up the game's second disc.
Yes, Master of Arena is a 2 disc game, filled with extra content that is optional from the main game but still adds a ton to the overall value. We're gonna give an overview of what those extra features and content are.
First on the list is the Ex Arena. Short for Extra, it's a separate set of Arena ladders from the Sub and Main Arena on Disc 1.
The first four categories in the Ex Arena are all dedicated to ACs with specific leg types.
And the rest, for the time being, are currently locked and become available after meeting certain conditions in other areas of the game. There are four categories that are unavailable as well as a "Custom" Arena ladder that is player designed. We'll get to that momentarily.
The leg type Arena ladders all follow a similar pattern and structure. There are nine opponents in each of them, ranked 9 through 1 and you fight them in ascending order. Since the ARC III is normal leg type build, that means it is eligible for competing in this category.
Meanwhile, if you go into a different leg category such as Quads, the ladder becomes Reference Only and we cannot challenge anyone till we change our leg type. For completing absolutely everything there is in the game, these first four Arena ladders are a nice way of showing players the strengths and weaknesses of each leg type and how to utilize them.
One thing to say right now, even though I've only shown a few matches in the Sub-Arena on disc 1, there are way more ACs to fight here that put up a bigger challenge than even some of the main Arena ranked ACs. Though it's not to say there are still some that fall into the usual traps with their AI, but a lot more work was put into showing how challenging fighting a computer controlled AC can be. And there's roughly double the amount on disc two than there are on Disc 1. This game is PACKED.
That said, I've not even 100% completed Disc 2 in all the times I've replayed this game, as the farthest I've gotten is completing the leg type Arena ladders. So at the very least I will be showing those more in detail over the course of the playthrough. As for the other ladders on this disc I can't guarantee I'll show you every fight (plus they're in the post game, where there won't be many more campaign missions to buffer out any Arena match dumps). You can still expect a more detailed explanation of each one later on as well as what rewards you get out of them.
The other feature exclusive to Disc 2 is Ranker Mk, short for Ranker Maker.
This is where you can create your very own Arena with different ACs with their own AI and behavior. Just by its description it is a mode that could extend the life and value of this game beyond the premade Arena matches, assuming you had the time and effort to put into making it worthy of the rest of the game's quality. You only have one Custom Arena at a time though, but you can still add whatever amount of opponents you like from AC save data. Since the only data we have is my own, we'll use that as the template.
Once loaded into the editor itself, you get access to most of the same options given to you in the garage. You can change the parts, color scheme, emblem, all that stuff. However, two new options are at the bottom. Ranker Logic is the most important feature in this case as it gives you control over its behavior and how it acts during gameplay.
And there are quite a number of sliders with which to modify these AI controlled ACs. There are seven settings with which to toggle in Ranker Logic, and below are the descriptions provided by the in game help menu.
Now, most of those are pretty self explanatory when you just look at the names, though I must post this because I have to bring up the bizarre first option that is REBEL POINT. While the rest of the sliders make sense and range from 0 to 100% in their category (except for Range Type, which goes between Short, Mid, and Long), Rebel goes up to 3 and even then the description does not describe exactly what the word means in this case. Though from what I can assume, Rebel might have been a mistranslation on FROM's part when they mean Level. Though that would make AC Rebel level into AC Level level, and that is just hilariously redundant. I've not gone deep into making my own custom Arena with AI opponents, and as far as I can tell neither has the rest of the internet, so I can't find any actual confirmation on what it may actually do.
AC Rebel level. 0 is normal, and the Rebel grade increases as this value increases.
Indicates the AC's firing frequency. The higher the number, the higher the firing frequency.
Indicates the frequency with which the AC uses its blade. As the value increases, the frequency of blade usage will also increase.
The frequency with which enemies are locked-on. The higher the value, the higher the frequency of enemy lock-ons.
The frequency with which enemiy fire is avoided.
The frequency with which the AC flies. The higher the value, the closer it is to an aerial fighter.
Far-and-near ratio. The closer to the left the slider is, the more the AC will be a short-range fighter. The closer to the right the gauge is, the more the AC will be a long-range fighter.
Now, the very last option on the previous menu is Ranker Test, which has you do a test battle against this AI opponent. Without touching any of the settings, with Rebel level at 0 and every other slider at 50%, I decided to do a test run of a fight against myself for you to see.
Surprise! My own creation killed me.
And the crazy part is that its playstyle was not that different from how I usually control mine. Aside from staying back somewhat farther than usual, it did a pretty good job with making hits, only to be left vulnerable when using its cannon (something I decided to imitate and pay dearly for).
Again, it's a feature I've actually not looked too deep in until doing this LP, as I figured it was worth showing off for the purpose of this LP. Though now, I feel like possibly doing something with this mode that could be fun...perhaps a custom Arena with AC designs from everyone in the thread. This would be saved for the end so I would have plenty of time to mess around with AC designs and AI parameters.