The ultimate patch!
Roughly two weeks ago, Bandai Namco released patch 1.03 for Super Robot Wars T. To the surprise of many, including myself, the patch was more than just the usual bug fixes. An increase to the level cap, stat limits, skills, and even a new Super Expert difficulty were also included. Eager to try out the new changes and mode, I started up a new run immediately.
Having now completed my second run and gotten my platinum trophy, I can safely say this patch was great for the game.
Holy shit, the new Super Robot Wars T patch is wild. pic.twitter.com/bbkycjgZLl
— HDKirin (@HDKirin) May 23, 2019
To make it clear, the following article is about the patch itself and the additions within. You aren’t going to find any thoughts or feelings on other aspects of the game. If you are looking for those, please check out the original review here. With that being said, I’m still going to clarify some mechanics in more depth than I did during the review, along with the nature of my own run, just so that there is a clear understanding of what changed and how I experienced the content.
First and foremost, I played through the new mode on New Game +, which is standard for the series. What this means is that all the upgrades done to my mechs were undone and refunded, and I lost all but five of the parts I could equip from my first playthrough. In addition, all pilots kept their skills, stat enhancements, and kill counts, however all their leveling was undone. It’s also important to note that by retaining kill counts, pilots retain any “Ace” status obtained obtained.
Which brings us to the new “Super Ace” status. If a pilot obtains 60 kills, they become an “Ace”, which granted +5 morale on sortie, a 1.1x multiplier on obtained funds, and a unique passive skill. At 80 kills they become a “Great Ace”, which causes them to start a mission with 75% of their SP pool for ability usage instead of 50%, and ExC +1, which is part of a meter that can guarantee critical hits for a turn. To obtain the new “Super Ace”, a pilot needs 300 kills, which will gain the, another +5 morale on sortie and have the fund multiplier increased to 1.3x.
You are not going to see this on your first run if you spread the kills among your pilots, and very rarely on a New Game Plus run. In my own second run, while numerous pilots reached between 250 to 300 kills, only Spike and Van managed to cross that threshold. The same goes for the stats limit being changed from 400 to 999, and the level cap being changed from 99 to 200. The former requires a large amount of TacP to achieve, making it a pipe dream to achieve on your first run without sacrificing everything else. The latter is likely impossible, due to how experience scales based on a pilot’s level. In my own file, many pilots reached around level 115 before the experience just started to become nothing. These three changes are honestly going to have little to no impact on your first time through.
What will matter during any playthrough is the new changes to the mech upgrade system and pilot skills. Before the patch, the upgrade system consisted of six bars, each consisting of ten notches. Of the six bars, five of them were for different stats while the sixth is for weapon damage. Upgrading all five stats to the fifth notch will unlock a unique bonus to that mech. Reach the tenth notch – effectively achieving 100% according to the game – will allow you to select a generic bonus from a set list. On a third playthrough, these notches can increase to 15, but there isn’t much reason to do that to be honest.
With the new patch, there are now permanently 20 notches for all five stats and the weapon damage. The bonuses still unlock at obtaining five and ten notches for all five skills respectively, but there is nothing further for going beyond that. That being said, it’s fairly cheap to go beyond ten notches – about 10000 funds per notch – so you can absolutely fiddle with this on your first run. You’ll break the game in most modes, but depending on your mindset that may just be part of the fun.
This was done before the patch happened and the limits were removed. Imagine what it would be like now.
The other addition is new ranks for pilot skills, and you can experience this within the first ten stages easily. You can buy multiples of certain skills, which in turn makes it more effective. The patch adds a new EX rank to certain skills. Let’s take Guard for instance, a skill that reduces damage when a pilot reaches 130 morale, and only costs 100 TacP per rank. At level one the reduction is 10%, at level two it’s 15%, at level three it’s 20%, and at the new EX rank it’s 30%. On a “no upgrade” run, or the new difficulty mode, the new EX ranks will be your best friend.
Now we come to the real meat of the patch, which is Super Expert mode. Let me tell you, it is definitely not a joke if played on an initial run. While Expert Mode starts enemies with some upgrades, Super Expert starts at full steam ahead. All enemies beginning with the first stage have six notches of upgrades across all stats, meaning they have their custom bonus from the get go, further enhancing their offensive and defensive capabilities in various ways. By the end of the game they will have nine notches of upgrades in all stats. In addition, all enemy pilots are aced, meaning they are further enhanced. Stat increases, debuffs if you’re within a certain range, auto-casting buffs on themselves and other effects are now constantly present.
No matter when you receive units, in any mode, they will always be at least five upgrade bars lower, making many early skirmishes in this mode a hair-raising affair. While players will almost certainly gain steam in the later half, as aces are created, pilot skills learned and mechs upgraded, there is a dangerous bite in the early game. One of the biggest complaints I had in my initial review – that there was no difficulty – has been addressed with this mode. While the optional objectives for SR points are still missing, with the same generic “Clear the Stage” objective as Expert mode, that is more than fine with me given what I received in exchange.
Overall, this is a fantastic patch. For those that are into these games for the purpose of seeing their favorite character destroy everything, the new skills, additional upgrades, and the removal of stat limitations work wonders towards obtaining that. For those that are looking for a challenge, Super Expert mode absolutely fills that role and should be a staple in the series going forward. By fixing a major weakness, and further enhancing its strengths, this patch has made Super Robot Wars T without a doubt the best entry of the officially translated games.