You ever wonder what Defense Drill would be like if it was a major event? No? Well, Mica has provided the answer to that question in the form of Theatre mode. Get your T-Dolls ready cause Defense Drill when you amp the difficulty can get a little rough.
Credits to Trap Shota for this picture
Okay, there's a lot to cover here but let's focus on some of the super basic stuff. Theatre is more or less defense drill with a ranking that you can do twice a day. Each run you do will net you point towards the ranking and other rewards that are given out at point thresholds. The difficulty scales on area and stage you select, higher difficulty stages and areas will give you more points. Pretty simple right? Yeah, well it's not exactly that simple most of the time. There's a whole bunch of caveats when playing, and there's even a second half to it after all three of the main area are cleared.
If you haven't done defense drill...Please do it, but I'll explain how this works before we get going. Defense drill is a set of battles with designated enemy echelons. You can pick up to four echelons to take with you to the sim. Once you're in the sim, you'll get information on what enemy you're fighting and if it's day or night. You fight the battle, if you win you move on. If you lose, you get sent back to the previous screen so you can pick another echelon to use. If you lose with all your echelons, you're done. That about sums up defense drill, but Theatre is a lot more complicated than that.
There's a lot to cover, so let's get this shit rolling.
Ok this is gonna be a long one. 99% of the actual content is gonna be covered here. So let's take this from the start. Going back to the beginning picture,
As mentioned before, this boils down to an upgraded defense drill. Each stage gives you points, with harder areas netting more, and boss stages(marked by a skull) also giving you point bonuses. You also have bonuses that may give certain areas higher scoring, so choose wisely. Typically you'll want to gun for boss stages and area point bonuses. But the optimal strategy for the day can depending on what stages are available per area. Another thing to keep in mind when trying to think about what stage/area to do is that stages we've progressed through and are checked off give less points. However, sometimes this may award more points than clearing stages we've yet to clear.
A lot of this goes out the window once we clear easy/normal/hard, however. When all three areas in the initial stages of Theatre is finished, we move onto the core area. Core is a compression of the last three areas, with core 1~3 being easy, 4~6 being normal, and 7~8 being hard. The overall difficulty is higher though, so expect this to be where the challenge really begins.
So, now that you've big brained and figured out what stage you want to run we can actually play the game right? Wrong. Now we get to set up our echelons. Picking a stage will bring up the recommended CE for the stage as well as the enemies you'll see there. However, you want to go to the next screen. This is where we'll get detailed data on the stage such as enemy compositions that can appear and info on the boss.
This is where you'll spend most of your time in Theatre. Your job here is to decide on echelons that can counter the enemies that you'll see as well as collect point bonuses. The echelon building is pretty standard stuff, with one caveat. You can NOT use dupes in this. Want to use two grapecanos? Sucks. You can only deploy one, period. This can get real interesting on harder stages, especially when you're chasing point bonuses. Yeah. You have point bonuses tied to what T-Dolls you deploy.
First, and most important, is that certain T-Dolls offer you % bonuses to your score for the area. These will be listed in the main info page for the stage.
Just having these dolls in any echelon you bring to the stage will give you a bonus to your score, up to a max of 24%! However, the % bonus they give is dependent on the level of the T-Doll. At Lv 100 they'll be giving you 8% per doll, while at Lv 1 they'll give 5.03%. Also, these bonus T-Dolls change depending on the area and stage, so be sure to check which to bring. Once placed into an echelon, they'll be marked with a double arrow.
The second major point bonus you can get is only from boss stages. Boss stages are unique in the way that you gain additional points from echelon CE. In addition, depending on the boss, there will be archetypes of T-Dolls that will give you more score for defeating the boss. For example, when you fight Judge, SG and MG T-Dolls will give you more score than other types of T-Dolls. This is also described to you in the main info page, so plan accordingly.
A lot to take in, and we haven't even gotten to the combat yet. Thankfully this part is a lot less big brained, so rest your weary head until the difficulty takes a spike.
On the left you'll have a listing of what echelons you've brought to the stage. On the right you get to see what enemy echelon you're up against next as well as relevant data on the enemy. You'll be informed of data such as if it's day or night is mentioned, as well as if an enemy has a 100% distortion barrier so you know if you need to take a HOC to the fight. You can pick any of the echelons you bring to fight that enemy. You can also choose to use a fairy's skill and/or a HOC in that battle. This is a limited resource. You have a limited amount of fairy commands and HOC uses per stage. Be smart with using fairies and HOCs because they can make or break your run. You have ten battles to get through with your limited resources. This includes T-Doll HP, by the way. You can't repair at all until you reach the end of those ten battles, just like defense drill. Something to note about these ten battles is that what battles you get given is random from the enemy echelons that can appear. This means you have a possibility of fighting the same fight multiple times in the same stage, so keep that in mind as you clear the stage.
Once you've gotten through the ten fights you will either finish the stage or proceed to the boss fight if it's a boss stage. Boss fights aren't interactive, and display a cutscene like fight where all your T-Dolls fight:
You don't need to do anything for this, so sit back and watch the fight. When done you'll go to the same screen as the normal stage where you'll see your results.
It'll show how many points you've gained for the ranking as well as the material points you get for the next mechanics I'll cover.
What about losing you say? If you so happen to lose all your echelons in battle you will be kicked out of the stage, but you'll take all the points you've accumulated from each fight prior to you losing. However, assuming EN gets the quality of life improvements to Theatre, you're offered one free retreat a day. Just simply backing out will not eat your entry and allows you to start from the beginning of the stage once more. Just keep in mind it's ONCE per day.
As a bonus, here's an example of me doing the combat section of Theatre:
Camps are the co-op part of Theatre and another reason why this is "BACKSTABBING - The Event - The Game". Here, you can contribute some of your hard earned material points from clearing stages towards upgrading camps. You have up to three different camps available to upgrade, with lower difficulty areas having less. So let's go over all of them in order:
First, we have the forward base. When we upgrade this, we're allowed to take additional echelons to each theatre stage. This allows for an easier time optimizing teams for certain enemy compositions, as well as higher scores on boss stages. Fully upgraded, you can take up to six echelons to a stage.
Second, we have the HOC camp. Each upgrade in this gives additional uses of the HOCs you take into the stage. At max, you have six uses per HOC.
Lastly, we have the fairy camp. Like the HOC camp, you gain additional usage of fairies by upgrading this. At max rank, you'll have 20 fairy commands at your disposal.
If you're wondering where the co-op part of this comes in...Well, the co-op part is that progress of these camps are shared between the entire server. So what camps get done is entirely up to the server to decide. Yes, people can even decide to not spend their points at all, thus stalling the completion of these camps. This was a thing in the old servers. It was, and still is, stupid. So spend your material points as you get them, but be sure to leave enough for the next mechanic we cover. Oh, and, you get the points used in ranking by investing. So really, be sure to spend your material points. Please. Don't repeat the mistakes from the old servers.
Ah yes. The true suffering of Theatre. This is where your hopes and dreams for small % gains goes to die. As you could probably infer, this is the "RNG" part of the event. I have RNG in quotes because this is entirely playerbase influenced.
To put it simply, the three areas you can pick on the screen above are where you want to send scout drones to. You have the option between areas A, B, and C. Each one of those areas gives a different amount of points per drone you send there. A giving 30, B giving 40, and C giving 50. You can spend a limited amount of material points you'd use for building up camps on those drones. The amount of drones you can use is dependent on how far along Theatre is, so early on you'll be limited pretty heavily on how much you can spend. After reset, you'll get your points and can start another round of betting. Do note that you can only pick one area to send to per day, so you best pick well. Why? Because you're trying to pick the area that the least amount of people sent drones to.
FOR YOU SEE, the amount of points you get back from betting is entirely determined by how many people send drones to the area you pick. This is shown after you check on it the next day on this screen:
The previous day's results are tallied on the right side of that screen, showing you the % of people that chose a specific area as well as your point returns. Added to the third run of Theatre is the addition of decimals to prevent ties, which I hopefully now don't need to explain, as well as better tracking of previous days betting results. So if they don't implement it in EN's first run of Theatre...which I don't see why they wouldn't, the screen may look different.
Anyways, as for the point rewards, the % of return is determined by the % of people who picked each area. The area with the lowest % of people gets a 100% boost in points, the area with the most people gets a 50% cut. The middle suffers no penalty or gets any benefit, they just get the base amount.
The amount of points that you get from winning or losing betting is a fair amount, so it can influence your placement in the ranks. But for the majority of people it shouldn't shift you too much, at most a few % gained or lost. If you're on the border between two brackets of rewards it can be an issue though. Still fuckin sucks if you're unlucky.
The rewards for the event are split between the ending rewards for ranking:
So, these rewards work exactly like any other ranking event. You get enough points to place into a certain % range, you get those rewards. The end. This is where most of the good stuff comes from. You get HOC pieces, data, HOC combat reports, and batteries from this. Like major story events, these get picked up after the event ends.
Rewards for the last stage's boss fight:
The last boss kill rewards takes the highest amount of points you've gotten from the boss of Core 8 and ranks you against other people's scores for that boss. This doesn't really give much, just resources and ID card medals. Like the ranking rewards, this comes after the event.
Point threshold rewards:
The point threshold rewards are available to be picked up mid event. Once you get the designated amount of points, you can grab them from the rewards tab. Stuff here usually includes: HOC pieces, HOC combat reports, data, batteries, calibration tickets, tokens, and quick training contracts. There's other things in it, but those are the major rewards.
And the last one, recently added as of when I write this, area clear rewards:
And lastly, the area clear rewards. As mentioned, this is new reward set that was added in the third run of Theatre. Here, you'll get a small bit of rewards after the stage 8 of an area is cleared. Like point threshold rewards, you can pick these up midway through the event. However, you need to actually participate in the area to be able to claim the reward.
The rewards are subject to change. Prior to this AT4 pieces were the big rewards, but they've introduced a new HOC that comes from Theatre for the picture used above.
Tags: Game Mechanics