Arknights: Mastery Priority Guide – Light Spark in Darkness Update | Arknights Wiki

Q: Should I Pull?

AND: Definitely yes if you don’t have Eyji, but still definitely yes, even if you do. Goldenglow is a rare operator that is a complete package that will take you to many different roles and do it in a very poor spot on the list. It does this largely regardless of what Eyja does, so Goldenglow will still have tons of value, even if you think your Caster core is strong. In my humble opinion, Goldenglow is the best operator ahead of us in terms of value (with Horn right next to us). While several others have the potential to be stronger in given niches, Goldenglow will bring that potential to a much wider area. It will help you in almost any game mode by completely removing some of them and not being weak in any of them.

Q: Why did you say Goldenglow is competing with Eija for the first place for Caster? Why was GG one of your top propositions as an alternative target for Ling?

AND: Skip to the last two paragraphs if you want a short answer as I’m going to move on to TacticalBreakfast’s patented tangent / rant / history lesson.

If you really like any of the Casters other than Eyja or Ifrit, be prepared or I’ll be malicious. To put it bluntly, apart from these two, Casters in this game have always been a sucker. Now it is true that many of them had very important niches, and most of them, at least, are usable. But honestly, even Ceobes and the Passengers in the game leave * a lot * to be desired. Hypergryph, as a design philosophy, has always overestimated Arts’ damage. This means that they tend to under-tune Art damage, believing that the mere fact that it is art gives it more value than physical damage.

It was probably more true at the time of release. After all, there were very few units back then with legally high attack stats that could defeat armor reliably. RES were also not that common, so the Arts damage dealt had real value. But it also meant that most Casters become “bio if you need them” rather than “default”. Add to that a multitude of powerful high-attacking units like Thorns and Bagpipes, as well as better melee arts like Surtr, and enemies with a higher RES value than before, and you’ll get a situation where caster rarely stand out.

Eyja and, to a lesser extent, Ifrit have always been an exception. Why exactly is a good question, but it probably has to do with errors on the release day balance sheet. Honestly, the release day record is everywhere. If the Third Year Hypergryph could restart without any consequences, we probably wouldn’t have Nightingale, Lappland, Mousse, Warfarin, or Specter in their current forms. It is rather in passing. The point is, every Caster from * has been woefully out of tune and has a strong niche at best and not much else. Every caster since then has had little damage or a small niche (or worse, both).

(* I’ll give an extra shout out for Click, who is an exception here, though her 4 statistics have always held her back in the context of this discussion.)

Goldenglow is therefore the first Caster in 2.5 years to have both a strong DPS and not classified in a relatively narrow niche. She has strong core injuries and a kit that allows her to flexibly apply them in a variety of situations and modes. The only other Caster that can be said is Eyja. Goldenglow fits almost all teams without being an obstacle, but even better (and the advantage she has over Eija) is that her kit fits very well with the “ASPD meta” that has now come in not one but two different game modes.

Basically, Goldenglow is a unit that can fit almost any team, while also being great for many more niche situations. There are very few units that can be said over the course of a game’s life.

Q: What is Goldenglow’s story and why has it been known for so long?

AND: A long time ago, during the first anniversary stream on CN, which is now over two years ago, we got a big preview. This image featured six banners with the E1 graphics of the six upcoming operators. It was supposed to be a preview of the upcoming content. Goldenglow was first seen here, but unfortunately for her, it took her another year and three-quarters to free her. She was the slowest of the announcements, which led to quite a bit of infamy considering how long it lasted (especially compared to the others). That’s why we’ve known about it for a long time!

Hypergryph never commented on why its release took so long, but common speculation is that it has to do with the Thorns’ backlash. Probably Hypergrph’s original intent was to introduce new operators along with the replays, but for you newer players it wasn’t well received at the time. It seems likely that some of the other operators in preview were originally meant to be launched much earlier along with other replays, but had to be postponed to other events due to backlash. This is made even more important by the fact that Archetto and Surtr were among the announcements but were released during similar mini-stories such as Goldenglow. However, the unannounced Carnelian was also released in a similar event prior to Goldenglow, so it’s probably not the whole story. So whatever the full story behind its long delay is, it remains a mystery open to speculation.

Q: Why is Goldenglow often referred to as the “pink dog”? Isn’t she a cat?

AND: For a long time, the only information we had about her was her relatively low-resolution image, which was tilted, cropped and shifted. Given that most of Feline’s characters in Arknights have pointed ears, basically everyone assumed she was a dog because of her soft ears that you could barely see. The idea that she was a Scottish Fold cat never came up (and to be honest I still don’t think the ears are as accurate as Scottish Fold).

The whole thing got publicity when Namie, her artist (and the delightful Twitter follower), he made a very funny tweet on this subject after its final full disclosure.

Q: Is it worth bringing up Quercus?

AND: Probably not if you must ask, but unlike many “optional raises” 5 has a very important niche. It is an interesting unit and its SP battery niche is potentially very powerful. But the way it fills that niche can be quite difficult to use. It is certainly not beginner-friendly, although it also doesn’t require extreme investment to be useful if you want to try it out.

Q: Is it worth leaving Quercus on level 1 of E1?

AND: It’s complicated. There are tons of nuances in the little differences that this would cause. To shorten a long post, these subtle differences mean that it’s basically impossible to give a definitive answer. It is just as easy to create a situation with an SP battery where the best is the total maximum and where the best is the total minimum. Plus, it can hypothetically give 3 more SPs in M3 than in SL7, plus give them away faster, so it’s not even a 1-to-1 comparison!

The thing with the Quercus is that it looks more like a Warfarin style SP battery than a Liskarm style SP battery. This means that it works best on spreading SP to help the team more widely, rather than trying to maximize one operator. It can be used for the latter, but it can be very difficult to do properly considering you need sufficient strength to have something to heal without killing the target.

Ultimately, my point is that it is a very niche unit, so it would probably work well at the low-end SL7 if you only wanted to use it occasionally. But if you use her regularly, you will definitely want to raise her more. You will benefit a lot more from her if she is truly a successful sub-healer. And if you don’t plan on using it regularly, investment advice has more to do with value than what is better.

Q: (CN spoiler alert) Any thoughts on Summer Ch’en just revealed, since you were such a huge opponent of Summer Ch’en?

AND: The units are too new to be included in the forecast below, but here’s my first impressions.

Overall, I think I’m pretty happy with the patch compared to last summer. The balance is a bit weird (or a lot, like in a moment), but I think the design choices are a lot nicer here. We must remember, however, that a large part of the problem with Ch’en was not that she was a meta, but rather that she was an unannounced, limited creature. A year later, the limited creep is still real, we just expected it. Make no mistake, Limited units are predatory and we shouldn’t forget that. However, accepting this fact, it’s hard to find too many problems with the Gaviala project and both 5s also look pretty cool and interesting.

However, the Poses showcases an interesting wrinkle. It is in fact the first entity of its kind to directly affect the individual and so already at the highest level, and it does so to a great extent. The previous powercreeps were slow and muted or intermediate (like Ceobe’s GG) or had some other factor that made it less important (Irene of Ch’en because of Ch’alter). I really don’t care if the Pose is meta (as long as it doesn’t start to affect design decisions), however I think it’s a bad precedent to see it completely wreck an already good entity like Schwarz. I am not lost and depressed about it, but I am concerned with the direction the game is going.

It’s not as controversial as Ch’en, and I don’t think it’s too big. I will probably not write more about it, but it will be something that I will keep an eye on …

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