Final Fantasy Brave Exvius

Welcome to War of the Neo Visions (a NV rant)

Greetings people, I hope you're all doing fine and having fun in whatever way you can. So while I don't post much I felt like making a thread to give some explanations to some things that have been happening in game, which have been piling up and clustering in really, not fun ways. And so….we're going to talk about War of the Neo Visions (I didn't typo that), and by the end of this topic it will all make sense. Now some people will likely be aware of what I'm gonna talk about, but I still feel like talking because I really really want to get this info out in physical form.

Anyway, follow me along and this should still be all means prove a fruitful read, or at least that's my intention.

So what are Neo Visions?

The newest 8* rarity ok yes, that's technically not wrong but that's not the actual correct answer either because it misses critical information. So the Neo Vision rarity, can and should be best defined as "The implementation of unit mechanics of War of the Visions in Final Fantasy Brave Exvius", that's the true answer, but that alone doesn't say much does it? So for starters let's outline how Neo Visions work, which you all should know about, but I'll do so anyway because it is helpful for the point I wanna elaborate upon.

Ok so Neo Visions are like any unit in the game, they start at level 1, they can get to level 120, learn skills, yada yada, but they do not quite awaken like other units, nah just a straight adventure from 1 to 120 without any awakening in the middle. BUT……they have a gimmick, the EX mechanic in which they can be upgraded for bigger stats and now to unlock certain skills, ergo they can grow more powerful.

Now let's talk about War of the Vision and look at a unit.

So we have Kitone there, that's my Kitone from WotV, and I think some of you should know her if you've played the WotV collabs here around. What we have in this picture is the character menu of Kitone with most of her details on display. Now if you look at the upper left, you'll see her level and her case it is 55/80. So what does this mean really? Well here is the thing, units in WotV work a little differently from FFBE. Every unit you get is capped at a maximum level of 30 when pulled, and to make them stronger you need to rise their level cap. This can be done so in two ways:

1) First notice the yellow stars there? That is called Awakening. Awakening has six steps (actually 5 because all units start at 1 and to a maximum of 6), which rise the max level of the unit with each yellow star you fill in there. To do that you need to use some rather generic materials which depend on the unit's rarity and element (every unit in the game is aligned with one of the 8 elements, Fire, Ice, Lightning, Water, Wind Earth, Light and Dark) which in Kitone's case is Earth.

2) The second method is called Limit Break, you'll notice the text there in a blue box with some crystal like thingies. Limit Break starts at 0 and ends at 5 so yes 5 steps as well. So how do you Limit Break a unit? well let's look at the second picture and the answer to that will come naturally.

If we click on Limit Break it gives us this, which says that Kitone needs….Kitone Unit Shards? Now where have I heard of that before?………….OH it is Unit Fragments!!! Yes, that's exactly it, in WotV you also need unit fragments to rise the level cap of the unit for them to not only level up further but ALSO to be able to learn new skills. So units require unit fragments to increase their overall level. Sound familiar? would it make sense to you if I said EX1, EX2 and EX3? Because that's the exact same thing!! Heck even pulling dupes (you only get to have one of each unit here) in WotV gets you Fragments and an Orb (or a Pearl equivalent). Btw I'm told this is mechanic is also used in The Alchemist Code if you ever played that one.

So there you have it, the reason why Neo Visions have the progression they have.

So what is Brave Shift?

Ok so what is Brave Shift? "Come on are you joking with this?" I'd love to joke, but sadly I must explain once again for things to make sense. Ok so Brave Shift is a little gimmick that comes tied with NV units, which allows to effectively change between forms, which each form having some skills and different stat distribution to downright changing entire roles in some cases.

So…….what does that have to do with WotV? A lot in fact, and for that we need to recheck the units again. So look at the Kitone character menu again. Notice where it says Job and Ninja on the right? In WotV every unit has a Job, some being unique to certain units and other being more common (like Knight, Black Mage, White Mage, etc.) Now notice that text that says "Main" there? That signals that Kitone's Main Job is Ninja. But if there is a "main" that means there are "non-main" right? Yes, yes indeed, now look at the Sword and Clock symbols next to the Shuriken one. Those are sub jobs, every unit has 2 sub jobs which can be whatever (except for unique jobs). Sub jobs affect stat growth and come with certain skills pertinent to that job that can be learned. In Kitone's casae she has the Soldier sub and the Time Mage sub.

Now let's look at one screenshot to get the bigger picture here.

So we're in a section of Kitone's skill menu. Notice where it says Main and where Sub Ability? these detail the skillsets that Kitone is gonna employ in battle. The skillsets? yes the skillsets, where it says Sub it currently says Ninja, but if I were to click that, it would show Soldier and Time Mage, let's look at it.

What this means is that I can "equip" Kitone with either Soldier skills or Time Mage skills.

Soldier skills focus on high ATK tactics at the expense of HP, while Time Mage does Time Magic (lol). "Wait a moment……change between two skill kits in a unit which can work differently?" Awfully familiar to a certain NV mechanic, isn't it? There are some differences, however, you can only change the Sub Job before doing battle, while you Brave Shift DURING battle (well you can now set which form you start with as well). The Main Job is always fixed and that means no matter which sub you choose some skills will remain no matter the form you choose. "Thinking about it, don't some skills remain between forms in very much every Neo Vision unit too?" That is correct. The Main job also has a sub tho, but it typically carries a few skills and that's it, the more relevant abilities tend to be in the Main.

Now there is a catch to this, however. Units don't immediately start with the ability to equip sub jobs, those need to be unlocked first and leveled up on their own. So how do you unlock the sub jobs? Purely though Awakening. The first is unlocked on 2 stars, the second at 4 starts. "Now that I think about it, a unit needs to be at EX1 to be able to Brave Shift……..Wait WHAT!?" I believe you're getting where this is going ain't it?

Let me add one more thing, check this picture here.

That's Sterne there, see that it says EX Job? Well that essentially the equivalent of 7* or to be more precise Neo Vision Awakening. There is no NV rarity here, but since the 1st anniversary, new units can EX Job when they are at level 99 and have all their Job Levels to 15 (oh btw you get the unit's TMR by raising the level cap to 99) with older units progressively getting EX Jobs over time.

Let's continue…

So what is the NV era?

"These questions are getting a bit silly, but something tells me there is more to it now". And you're right there is.

The NV era as we call the timeframe that started in our case ever since the 4th anniversary (it is one year old lads!!!) the Neo Vision era. It not only brought the NV rarity but with it A LOT of different gameplay gimmicks.

Let's start with perhaps the most notable one, Vision Cards. Vision Cards are "equipment" you can set on NV units which come with their stats and different effects. You get VC by pulling a NV unit, sometimes by buying a bundle and most famously by EX1 or EX3 a unit. In War of the Visions, Vision Cards are obtained via gacha, and is one of the two possible outcomes when pulling along with units.

Let us look at one Vision Card shall we?

Hello there Glacial!! Hehe anyway, if you look at this card you'll see a lot of details, that it has Level, that it has flat stat increases and that it has effects of its own. Also notice the "MR" there, that means Mega Rare which is the equivalent of base 4*. (Super Super Rare or SSR in Japan). As you can see Glacial is an Ice oriented Vision Card, which powers up Ice Attacks, pretty simple right? Vision Cards in WotV have much different and versatile mixes of effects as every card has effects that affect the equipped unit and some that affect all the party, and given the FFT-like gameplay here that composition makes sense, so VCs in WotV are a lot more fun than just Increase ATK.

Vision Cards also come in two variants, one are the lore VCs and then there are the Esper cards. Cards that feature Monsters, like Glacial unlock an Esper for you to level up and equip and skill board just like in FFBE. Lore cards have some really detailed artwork and typically depict situations and provide us with some additional background on the characters.

SPOILERS AHEAD (I'm putting the link on spoilers JUST in case, but it should be harmless)

For example we have Secrets of The Hearts which is a valentine card which reveals to us that Kitone has a crush on Mont which really expands the lore in some amusing and interesting ways depending on each card. Some are actually hilarious but you need to play the game to get what they are about.

Vision Cards aside, there are other things that came along NV era. Ok so let's backtrack a little bit on with Glacial's effect, remember that it said Ice Attack Up? Ergo it boosts the damage of Ice abilities. Now isn't there a little something that boosts elemental damage too? Would it make sense if I said Elemental Amp Buff? Ok, one thing to note, element amp predates Neo Vision and debuted with Poppy in Japan if memory serves me right, but the whole element amp was popularized during the NV era no doubt and expanded ever since.

Now wasn't there a similar thing to that effect that also boosted damage? Indeed and it is called weapon imperil. WotV has a similar system, with its own equivalent of Sword Imperil, Bow Imperil, Fist Imperil, Spear Imperil, Rod Imperil…… get it. What they lack is a BREAK gauge, which is mostly a little stunt FFBE pulled to work in with the "weapon weakness/resist" aspect since units in WotV are naturally resistant or weak to certain weapon types so to speak.

My aren't we seeing a lot of similarities so far? And we aren't done yet, please bear with me a little longer this will be worth it I promise.

So what is "Double Cost"?

Ok so we have reached an interesting part and the one I actually wanted to talk about, and it required me to detail NV and WotV to the absolute detail just so you understand the sheer absurdity of what is happening here.

Continuing on, let us define what "Cost" means. Backtrack to Kitone menu character pic a bit and you'll spot a value that says cost. I'll save you the trouble and report it here.

So what is "Cost"? Cost is a value, that by itself is meaningless, it only signifies how potent a unit is, in essence. Remember that TMRs and STMRs have yellow stars that show how powerful they are? Basically the same concept, Cost has mostly an impact in PvP settings that limit the total cost you can carry on in your party. Vision Cards and Espers also have their Costs. The Rarer the Unit or VC/Esper the higher the cost.

So what is "Double Cost"? It is jargon for units mostly UR (Ultra Rare or 5* base) that have a Cost of 100, which comes with its own perks. A Cost 100 unit has two characteristics that set them apart from the rest of the units:

1) They are Rarer to obtain in comparison to other units of the same rarity.

2) Their Fragments are costlier than other units of the same rarity (they have been QoLing this aspect, mind you, although the pull rates remain shit).

3) And I guess a 3rd one because yes it is fair to call it its own quirk. 100 Cost units are typically more powerful and almost always meta defining.

It is for these reasons that Double Costs also have another name to them……..PREMIUM UNITS. Now let's reread again, 1) they have shit rates 2) they are costlier 3) they are broken. Is there any unit at present that fulfills all 3 conditions?

Would Cetra Descendant Aerith ring a bell if I mentioned it? Yeah I'm not kidding with this. Let's check her point by point, to see if she fits the checklist.

1) Rarer to obtain: Ok technically speaking she is not rarer to obtain per se. Not in the sense of if an in banner NV has a 1% chance then she will have a 0.5% chance of appearing (which is the case of 100 Costs in WotV). But let's check at her Step Up, which does absolutely nothing in terms of boosting her drop rate chance and whose final step only increase the off banner chance to 4% vs Aerith which remains at 1%. So much bigger chance to get other NV in comparison to her despite being the same rarity? CHECK.

2) Their Fragments are costlier than other units of the same rarity: Just check at that delicious bundle that give 25 Fragments instead of 50 and the fact her Fragments will cost MUCH more in the VIP Shop (to say nothing of how you can't buy Fragments with pull Coins), and yeah seems like the criteria fits all in all. "But she has 150 free Fragments". True but wanna bet that Tifa or Sephy will have that treatment as well? I'm gonna suggest no, so by all means CHECK.

3) She's powerful and meta defining: Just check at her absurd LB, end of discussion. Add her Holy gimmick too as another finisher stunt if you will, but yeah her LB alone is why everyone wants her so CHECK.

Every, Freaking, Box, Checked, would you look at that?

So what is War of the Neo Visions? (The TL;DR part, tho still a bit lengthy)

Simply put, the implementation of all the worst parts of WotV that came along with the Neo Vision rarity in the most half-assed way possible by the Global Version.

Requires Fragments to upgrade? CHECK

Need to EX the unit or awaken them to get their full potential? CHECK

Implement dozens of features that have the game significantly more complex? CHECK

Has Premium Units that are stupid to acquire and upgrade? CHECK

CHECK, CHECK AND CHECK. At this point just CHECK.

And what's worse of it all, there is something worth mentioning here. In WotV there IS an actual daily fragment dungeon mechanic available ALL THE TIME. Each character has its own "fragment map", which you can visit a limited amount of times per day (depending on your whale status, you can pay a small amount of Lapis to increase the times you can go per day), regardless you're stuck with 10 stage clears or 10 fragments a day in total (unless you buy a 1 week pass that gives you twice as much).

You can also buy fragments on a fucking daily basis. Heck there is an elemental shop EVERY DAY which cycles between elements between each day, so if you wanna raise a certain unit, just wait for the day of the units element and you can buy some fragments.

There is even a QoL now that allows you to buy fragments freely using currency obtained from pulling which NEVER DISAPPEARS, it isn't like Summon Coins, or the VIP shop that goes kaput if you missed your chance.

WotV at the very least guarantes you a certain EX to an extent as does the Japanese version of FFBE. We on Global are getting thoroughly fucked here and people have already run the maths on that behalf, there is no more debate to be had about that.

Those who know me, know I'm very critical of Kei Hirono's decisions and I've been typically more favourable of Hiroki due to avoiding the controversies of the Japanese version (this includes WotV issues as well). BUT I'm SO not gonna defend him on FFBE anymore. For starters we get a rushed timeframe in which entire Story Events got skipped, SBB went LOL, the S3 girls delayed well into the NV era despite being the central characters of the current season, and on top of it all, all of that to rush us into an effective whalefest rarity era, WITH Premium Unit nonsense and on top of that still THINK THAT BEING STINGY WITH FRAGMENTS AND FLOOD US WITH EXPENSIVE AS SHIT BUNDLES AND BOMBARD US WITH PREMIUM UNITS IN SUCCESSION IS OK!?

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the War of the Neo Visions, now you know the extent of the grievances we've had with WotV when a lot of the QoLs we have now were lacking and that for some reason are STILL missing FFBE GL wise. Heck we're even getting bombarded with THREE potential (Sephy technically unconfirmed to be but likely is gonna be) Premium units back to back? Boy do I have a tale to tell about how that was received Japan-wise in WotV?

Typically I'm not one to ride on "boycotts" since they are often a meme, but yeah I'm not gonna question it on this particular topic because it is fucking flabbergastingly bad how things have gone that I'm not gonna object to any such boycott you plan to do.

With all that has been said and done there is only one thing I can tell to you now


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