The 9.3.1 came with a whole host of exciting updates, evolutions, quality of life improvements, and the Badge/Quest system. However, I will only be covering the Badge System in this article as I wish to clarify and explain how it works and how it will have an impact on your game play.
This post will always contain the most up to date information as I cannot edit a video XD
Badge System 101
With the advent of coop holding countless advantages such as an augmented health pool, more actives, and half stamina, solo play has begun to feel a little lackluster. Thus, GungHo has introduced a system to help even the scales and reward those who choose to puzzle solo. The Badge system consists of a series of quests to unlock varying rewards:
- Team Cost +100 – Increases Max Team Cost by 100
- Move time +1 second – Extends Orb move time by 1 second
- Mass Attack – Attacks become Mass Attacks
- Team RCV +25% – Increases Team RCV by 25%
- Team HP +5% – Increases Team HP by 5%
- Team ATK +5% – Increases Team ATK by 5%
- Skillboost – Team’s skills charged by 1 turn
- Leaders Bind immune – Team Leaders become Bind immune
- Skill Bind resists +50% – Increases Skill Bind Resist by 50%
In solo mode, you can choose to use any one of those badges; however, with the exception of +100 team cost, none can be used in multiplayer.
In addition to the badge for your teams, you will also unlock rewards periodically when you complete quests:
These rewards will be sent to your mailbox and will be held there for 365 days. However, it appears you can let them sit in the quest menu indefinitely.
To access your quest log, simply go to Others -> Quest -> Degree of Difficulty:
How this will impact solo mode
As mentioned above, solo mode has been lacking any distinct advantages over coop mode outside of convenience. Thankfully, these new badges will grant a significant improvement to your solo play experience as you can further customize a team to your liking. They will also enable you to gain benefits that coop cannot such as 1 additional second to move orbs or creating bind immune leaders.
One nice feature about the Badge system is the ease in which you can change on a dungeon per dungeon basis. Unlike skill inheritance, badges have no associated cost whether it be coins or Tan materials.
Taking a look at each badge, I want to examine the benefits to help you decide which one is best for you and your team:
Team Cost +100
Team cost has always been an issue for lower ranking players and gaining an additional 100 is equivalent to 100 ranks (once you overcome the friend list expansion). This will allow you to immediately use your new and exciting REM pulls without fear of compromising your team roster. I wish I had this when I first started playing PAD.
Move time +1 second
The additional time to move orbs badge can be seen as a blessing for many players or redundant for others. The value of time extend latents has long been debated as it is sometimes viewed as a band-aid for a lack of skill. However, some teams NEED the extra time to thrive and not everyone has perfect teams at their disposal who naturally have time extends. As such, if using the time extend badge will enable you to improve your gameplay, it is worthwhile to use. Most notably, teams that are heavily rainbow based, row based, or heart cross reliant can benefit the most as they require lots of orb acrobatics to form their desired patterns.
I do not foresee this to be particularily helpful outside of farming some of the weekday dungeons. As such, I do not feel this badge will see too much use as many teams already form mass attacks (eg. rows, 5o1e).
Team RCV +25%
This is perhaps the best badge in terms of stats gained for your team. +25% is a significant increase and equates to one additional combo being made every turn when healing (as each combo adds +25% healing). In other words, a team with 4,000 base recovery will now be boosted to 5,000 and will heal 10,000 with a 5 combo match. RCV is the most important stat once you can overcome the health thresholds.
Team HP +5%
Gaining an additional 5% health may be useful when trying to reach a certain health threshold to survive a particular attack. This is largely trivialized in coop mode, but is something worth considering. For example, a team with 20,000 health will be augmented to 21,000 HP. It may also allow heart cross teams to survive significantly larger attacks as they effectively have 4x the HP if they have a 75% damage reduction shield.
Team ATK +5%
This badge will probably only be used when none of the others will have an impact as the +5% damage is not that meaningful unless you are for some reason struggling to hit a certain damage cap. However, this badge will probably be used extensively for the Ranking Dungeons as this could directly save you time/combos formed or help you hit the 40M damage cap for +10,000 points.
Gaining one additional skill boost may not seem very dramatic (especially when coop grants significantly more); however, it could be crucial to have actives ready by a certain time or to ensure you can begin abusing a haste system. Like the +5% ATK, the Skillboost badge will probably see a lot of value in Ranking Dungeons as it will help alleviate team building constraints.
Leaders Bind immune
This badge will make your (and only your leader, not friend) leader bind immune and is incredibly powerful for many teams. One thing that helps determine a top tier leader is whether they are vulnerable to binds. Thus, by creating a new bind immune leader, you can side-skirt numerous boss mechanics as well as alleviating sub constraints as you may not need to bring a dedicated bind clearer. Simply Fantastic and a few top tier leaders who can greatly benefit from this include, but are not limited to: Kaede , Sherias Roots , and Xiang Mei . Furthermore, you can also use leaders with the bind recover awakenings such as Lakshmi to gain significantly more power/utility.
Not as overpowered as I first thought due to only your leader being bind immune, not your friend.
Skill Bind resists +50%
This badge equates to 2.5 Skill Bind Resist awakenings (why 2.5 I have no idea) and like the Leaders Bind Immune Badge, helps propel powerful leaders by providing protection against your skills being locked. This can largely be trivialized in coop; however, as a solo play option, this could make the difference between victory or defeat. For example, the newly released Sarasvati can be greatly improved as she lacks an SBR of her own.
Unlocking the badges
This can largely be done by organically playing through PAD as you normally would. Many of the quests revolve around clearing old content or dungeons you have already done. Outside of the Ranking Tournament ones, most should be relatively easy to complete and you can begin enjoying the benefits right away. In addition, you can also enjoy the Fantastic rewards such as gaining access to a limited time or weekday dungeon at your convenience. Just be aware they will disappear after their duration expires and once you active it:
The badge system adds amazing value to new players and those who clear more solo content. Each badge comes with its own unique advantages and allows for even more customization when team building as you can counter more mechanics without compromising your team roster. For more veteran players, you will simply be enjoying the additional rewards and occasional badge usage. However, for newer accounts, the badges and periodic rewards will enhance your game play as well as giving you something to work towards.
How do you feel about the new badge system and what do you plan to use for your various teams?