Part 5: Day 2 - GameplayDay 2: Gameplay
As usual, we start by expanding the department we're working in. This raises our maximum Agent number from 3 to 4, and places the Abnormality inside this department.
Music: neutral 2
From there, we hit the Deployment Phase again. Whenever we clear a mission, we're first given a selection of one of three researches that Sephirah's department can use to make your life easier. These researches are permanently unlocked once picked, including if we restart from day 1. Malkuth gives us the following options:
Assembly Summons: Adds a button next to each department to instantly call everyone in that department back to the main room. This becomes more useful the bigger our facility gets, and the more Agents that there are inside it.
Joint Command: Lets us change pages to other department groups when selecting an Agent to work an Abnormality, so that we can select an Agent from another department to work that Abnormality. We can already do this by selecting an Agent and then right-clicking on an Abnormality, so this research's main benefit is being able to quickly page through every Agent in the facility to check their status all at once.
TT2 Protocol: Allows us to change the speed of the game to 1.5x or even 2x the game's original speed. Since most of our day is spent doing the same thing over and over again, this saves time when we don't need to focus. It can also be turned back to 1x speed when we need to make sure to pay attention to what's going on.
This is not a hard choice.
Using 2 of the 3 LOB we got last time, we hire two new Agents.
As for the last point, we select Talow and click on the Strengthen Employees button I circled above.
That brings up this interface, where we can spend LOB to raise the level of an agent's stats. Advancing a level in a stat costs as many LOB as the level it currently is, so to go from level 1 to 2 costs 1 LOB, but to go from level 3 to 4 would be 3 LOB. Justice costs 3x as much as any other stat to increase, so moving from Justice 3 to 4 would cost a whopping 9 LOB. The game does not want us to raise Justice easily.
We use our last point to boost Talow from Temperance 1 to 2, instantly doubling his total Temperance.
With nothing else to manage yet, it's time to start the day.
With the expansion we now have a bigger facility to deal with, and a whole new containment cell for the Abnormality we picked last time. Speaking of...
Meet T-06-27, a fuzzy effect on the containment cell with no physical form. Outside of a static effect on the cell itself, there's nothing in there. Moving our screen over it occasionally gives us the sound of gunfire and people screaming.
I should make sure to check on where all the cameras are located.
So that I can know-well, that's not important.
Does anyone care if we pinch some of the Abnormality's food?
The Abnormality might, so make sure to do it before you get in the cell.
Orders from the top, everyone! Newbies, Talow's going to show you how to work with One Sin. Mizu, you're working with the new Abnormality.
Sweet! Will I get to talk with this one, too?
Remember how I said the game doesn't want us to have an easy time gaining Justice? This static room's best work type is Repression, which trains Justice. It also has a unique bonus which multiplies an Agent's base success rate by 1.2 if the agent working it has a Fortitude level of 1. This makes it the best Abnormality in the early game for raising an Agent's Justice stat.
How am I supposed to use repression on something I can't even see?
Here we have our first real instance of fear damage! Nervous is an immediate loss of 10% of the agent's max SP, which isn't ideal since this Abnormality deals White damage. Still, the SP she got yesterday will allow Mizu to survive with a very comfortable cushion.
Ookay. Swinging a club around: more failures than successes. Think: How do you beat a room full of bad vibes?
Even with our overall low stats and below-average luck, we manage to get a Normal result.
I'm also going to be performing a trick: I'll be tracking Mizu's Justice stat gains through the day. Stat gains don't actually apply until we end the day, but if we were to somehow stop right now, she'd be at 19.
How was it?
Not the worst! Once I turned my walkie-talkie to the right frequency and started hitting it. it seemed to work much better! Also, I need a new walkie-talkie. How about Talow's class?
I missed the actual shot of the work ending, but we can always see the results of our last work. Talow got 9/10 successes on his first Insight work, and our first Good result for the day.
It went fine. Seems easy enough that you'd have to be an idiot to screw it up.
We send Mizu back to work on the static again, and give D.A.D. a try with One Sin. In the upper left, we can see that this will push us over the line on our Qliphoth Gauge. What happens when we do that?
Jeez that alarm's loud! What happened?!
We've suffered our first Qliphoth Meltdown!
Jen X posted:
These are pretty different things in actual Kabbalah and weird occultist kabbalah; in the actual thing, they're directly related to the concept of tzimtzum, which is roughly speaking God withdrawing His divine power and presence from an area such that things can exist there that aren't just God. In particular and this is the place where that concept is used the Universe. The Qliphoth (I have no idea why it's th at the end, it definitely is just a tav) are shells left behind in the process that...sorta limit the holiness we get, both keeping God's purity pure and us from being consumed in a flash of divinity, or something. They're also equated with things like idolatry, because, like, things that restrict holiness ain't good, they just have beneficial byproducts.
In the occultist version, they're basically the Sefirot but evil. They're responsible for a whole host of bad stuff, or so wikipedia tells me (because I know stuff about jewish kabbalah but I know jack and shit about, say, Aleister Crowley's insane nonsense).
This is actually surprisingly on-point for what meltdowns actually do in-universe. During off-hours, Abnormalities are kept inert through something known as Qliphoth Deterrence, and the loading screen before the preparation phase actually mentions weakening that deterrence so that the Abnormalities can be interacted with. The problem is, working with Abnormalities causes errors in the deterrence which can do a few things. These are the meltdowns.
We can tell what a meltdown will do by the entry next to the gauge. This one means that 1 of the containment cells, chosen randomly, will have a Qliphoth Meltdown.
Like so. Abnormalities having a meltdown will be given a timer over their cell, and will be highlighted. They need to be worked before the timer hits 0, or else we lose some of the energy collected towards our goal. In order to prevent us from being screwed over if we were working one just before a meltdown, the meltdown timer only starts ticking once the Abnormality is off cooldown and ready to be worked again.
I go ahead and max out One Sin now, fully unlocking its E.G.O weapon and its story. E.G.O gear can be purchased a specific number of times per Abnormality, and for One Sin its weapon and armor can both be bought five times, meaning we could outfit five Agents with it alone. As for its story, I will be linking the stories of Abnormalities we have finished at the end of the gameplay posts they're finished in.
In other news, Mizu got a second good. 22 Justice so far.
We spend a little bit of it unlocking the basic information. Say hello to 1.76 MHz! Unlocking the basic information of an Abnormality also unlocks the information on the containment cell.
This is important because the circled portion of the cell is what's called a 'Qliphoth Counter.' Qliphoth Counters can go up or down (generally down) as an Abnormality is worked with. When they hit 0, bad things happen. Qliphoth Counters (or QCs from now on) immediately hit 0 if a Meltdown timer hits 0. My plan today is to let a meltdown land on 1.76 MHz in order to show off what happens when it melts down.
Mizu goes for a third work and D.A.D. gets our third good, while Angela congratulates us for a job well done. We're not done yet, though. In the early game it's a good idea to get a little bit of extra training done, both to build employee stats and to rack up as much gear as possible.
Bishop gets to deal with the meltdown. Meltdown works don't advance the Qliphoth Gauge, so we'll never have to worry about accidentally pushing into a new Meltdown by fixing the ones we already have.
So we're just trading for the rest of the day?
Seems like it.
Mizu lands us our fourth Good for the day, completing the mission. Also, 25 Justice.
I feel like I'm starting to get the idea behind repression!
"Do as I say or Ill club you again!"
We unlock the managerial tips for 1.76 MHz next. To summarize: Good works make the QC go up, Bad or Normal works make the QC go down with varying odds, bad things happen when the QC hits 0, and there's a line in there about how 'Higher Fortitude workers have a worse success rate.'
This is true, but also misleading. I mentioned earlier that Fortitude 1 agents get a 1.2x multiplier to their success rates, but the way this Abnormality is coded makes it so that the multiplier for every other level of Fortitude is 1x. Fort 2 and Fort 5 succeed with the same regularity. There are a lot of little things like this that the game will tell us about, but not tell us all about. I'll be explaining every one of them that I'm aware of.
I AM JUSTICE ITSELF!!
That's 28 Justice. With any luck the next work will make it meltdown, and
That's okay. It's a 50-50 shot each time, so this isn't that unlikely. We'll keep going.
You get used to it. When you've been around as long as I have, this much is nothing.
Really? When did you start?
I decide to send Talow to work on 1.76 MHz as well, and predictably he does a good job. His higher Temperance means on average he'll succeed slightly more often than Mizu, so this is to be expected.
30 Justice. In the future, if I'm just sort of going back and forth farming an Abnormality I'll probably just handwave it unless something interesting happens.
Another meltdown, another miss.
That 'One Sin' thing rattled at me, and the next thing I knew I had this thorny thing on my head
Ah! D.A.D. has gained our first E.G.O Gift! Once we've gotten an Abnormality to a high enough observation level, it has a chance to give any Agent working it a gift which gives them some kind of buff to their stats. D.A.D.'s new crown gives +2 SP, and also +10% to the success rate of any work done with One Sin.
This work puts her at 33 Justice.
I also go ahead and unlock the rest of 1.76 MHz's information, and get access to its E.G.O Suit. The one weak point of this Abnormality is its abysmal gear, only giving us one copy of its suit, which also has a weakness to Red damage. In the early game, the major threats your Agents will be facing deal Red damage, making this terrible for the point in the game where we most need 1.76's training prowess. Still, we'll probably find a use for it at some point.
I send D.A.D. to work with 1.76 next, and the meltdown hits One Sin for the fourth time in a row. Since today is apparently cursed, let's just show off another feature:
Just have to keep calm, and
Alright, pack it in everyone! Time to call it a day.
Wait, what about-?
If it looks like an Agent is in trouble, we can end the day in the middle of their work in order to save them. This is a good way to test the waters and bail out when an Agent is in over their head, but it only works once a day so it's very situational. Also, the status roundup shows Mizu's Justice as going from 15>31, but her title is granting her 2 extra that aren't listed on this screen, so the stat should match when I show everyone to cap off the day's training.
Music: never frozen bottom flows
Oh, hi again -44!
F-02-44: However, the curse continues eternally, never broken.
T-01-54: "What's really pitiful is people like you dying to the likes of me."
F-01-02: I am coming to you. You, who will be reduced to ash like me.
This early into the game, good stat training is more important than almost anything else, and that's what this pick boils down to. Of the three, -44 is another Justice/Prudence trainer, which we already have covered by 1.76 MHz. Its gear is better, but it doesn't have the flexibility or ease of use of 1.76-and it's redundant anyways, so it's out. -02 is an Abnormality which has amazingly strong gear for the early game, and its spread could work for a Fortitude trainer, but the high damage it deals and its management rules make it risky to use for anything but Insight. That leaves -54, who has a combination of relatively decent gear, ideal stats for a Fortitude trainer, and can help us with a couple of later missions.
Surprising no one, I go for the safe bet.
Next time, on Lobotomy Corporation: We talk about our hopes and dreams with our totally trustworthy AI buddies.
I'm considering keeping track of this in the second post, since it's a good way to know at a glance how everyone is doing and where they are. (Future TQ note: I never do this )
Also: I got it right on.
One Sin and Hundreds of Good Deeds
Those who are willing to spill blood for the greater good will be readily given approval for its use.
Though this weapon is not as strong as other E.G.O weapons in our possession, it provides psychological comfort to the wielder.
However, it is useless to those who do not know justice.
The crown of thorns will sometimes protect the wielder's soul.
The thorns may momentarily hurt as they anchor your soul to reality.
This suit will be no better than rags to those who have no sense of guilt.
Requirements: Prudence II
One Sin pt1
One Sin pt2