Now then, my impressions of the closed beta out of the way, allow me to go deeper into the currently available systems in Alchemy Stars. If you missed out on reading the impressions, you can check it out here.
The homescreen should be pretty self-explanatory, just with in-universe names in place of the currencies.
As you can see here, there’ll be various messages you can get from the cast. To progress with the conversation, you simply tap on Reply and select from the options given to you. You can raise affinity with the characters you chat with, though if they’re not in your party, you won’t see the affinity bonus, nor am I aware if it’s retrospective.
Here you can find some of your stats. The player icon can be changed but most of it will be locked out to you to start. Support units can all be 6-star rarity if you have them, one for each element/attribute. You can also check out which unit has been used the most. The beta allows you to change your player name for free once, with subsequent changes using 200 Lumamber.
Units are available in four classes:
- Detonator: often AOE DPS
- Support: healers, buffers, crowd controllers
- Converters: changes tile colours or teleports
- Snipers: leans closer to single target DPS or focused attacks
The element names are currently referred to as:
- Water (Blue)
- Fire (Red)
- Wood (Green)
- Thunder (Yellow)
The elemental wheel goes from Water > Fire > Wood > Thunder > Water.
Units will have their favourite gifts that give a bigger affinity bonus. The same works with the level upgrades as there will both be the universal EXP items – called Jaspers – and specific elemental ones. Using Jaspers of the same element gives a 50% EXP bonus. Equipment are obtained automatically on Ascension 1, which can currently be upgraded to a maximum of level 10. Ascensions reset characters to level 1. 3-star characters can only hit a maximum of Ascension 2.
The tooltip says “some” Aurorians at 5-star rarity and above can acquire a secondary attribute, e.g. Carleen will have Water as her Primary attribute, and in this case, her Secondary is also Water. The Secondary isn’t guaranteed to be the attribute the unit is stronger/weaker against, and certain units will double up attributes. The Secondary deals “20% of an Aurorian’s attack damage”. A different Secondary attribute is great to enable more auto attacks / chain combos without relying on the unit being the Captain, granted at reduced damage.
The Breakthroughs have already been mentioned in the beta impressions, where they require Heartstones to unlock stats or abilities. Higher rarity units require Solamber, or duplicates.
Here’s Soroz, your Colossus, and your dorm system. Unlike say, Arknights, the Aurorians do not use morale / energy as they man the stations. They come with Base Skills to improve a facility, which can be upgraded when an Aurorian “meets certain conditions”.
All Facilities have a current maximum level of 5.
- Bridge: Increases Atmosphere cap, increases affinity with units stationed here
- Lumina Grid: Increases Lumina cap for more facilities
- Prism Pillar: Passive regeneration of Prisms / Stamina over time
- Resource Carrying Room: Store more Carriers, the items that allow you to double your drops in supply stages
- Starlight Chamber: Produce Heartstones, required for Breakthrough
- Exploration: Passive regeneration of MS for Secret Territory
- Dispatch Office: Send out Dispatch, consisting of five units a team
- You can send out Dispatches a limited amount of times a day, which refreshes over time. You can send out two teams to start
- The more stars a quest has, the longer the quest duration
Atmosphere’s tooltip says it improves chances for Aurorians to give you gifts, or visits from friends. These gifts can range from Nightium to Lumamber. You can find pieces and slap them around the grid, and can be rotated 360 degrees (!).
You can move in any direction following a single colour to form chains. A “round” doesn’t end until you complete a path, so you can chain together skills without worry. The cooldown on skills can be seen on the bottom left corner of your unit’s portrait.
The top left of the screen has number of waves remaining, and bottom left the number of rounds you have left to complete the quest. To the top right you have the 2x speed option, auto battle option which unlocks when you clear a quest with 3-stars, number of times you can change your Captain left, and your party’s overall HP. Using a Support unit will get you only a 1-star clear.
When a Chain Combo’s requirements have been fulfilled, you can see the unit’s portrait show up like above as well as their Combo’s area of effect where relevant. It’s a little hard to see, even though they dim the field.
Skills will require you to hit the Initiate button before it goes through. The above shows the skill’s AOE highlighted in white.
Movement skills will show a ghostly image of your unit to show you where you will land. Since Carleen’s skill also converts tiles to blue and knocks back enemies in its path, you can see the enemy’s new position, as well as the tiles’ changed colour.
Any hazards that can damage your units will also damage enemies, so you can take advantage of such fixtures where you find them.
For the Lumamber hunter, completing a quest with 3-stars for the first time provides a total of 80 Lumamber.
The Extra chapters are basically one-off stories not of the main story, nothing too groundbreaking.
You can check out the Clear formations of people not who aren’t your friends in the Spires. The mono elemental teams are pretty much the biggest gimmick for this mode.
Secret Territories have seasons that reset, with currency to spend in the Secret Store. You can buy furniture, gifts to Aurorians and Recruitment Star Flares (gacha tickets). As mentioned in the beta experience, units have fixed stats in this mode and have individual HP instead of a shared pool in regular battles. When your initial formation goes down, you can bring in a new formation of five and start from the same spot your earlier team fell. As you clear the nodes, you’ll get to choose Relics to further improve your team. You will be limited by your MS in this mode, which goes down by one per turn. Certain stages may also have modifiers to make them tougher.
Without microtransasctions to gauge for now, the in-game stores are pretty much just for purchasing materials and such with occasional discounts. You can refresh the shops with 10 Lumamber up to 10 times.
Last but not least are the Resource maps, which have their own gimmicks, like:
- Burning Aesthetics: Guard a stationary machine until all enemies are defeated for Colossus material. The machine has 5 energy charges, which it can use to damage enemies, heal itself or guard itself from 3 attacks
- White Night, Black Underbelly: Defeat an enemy with separate break phases for Nightium. The enemy will become immune at specific health percentages and force you to end the round. It cannot be attacked through Aurora Time if it’s immune. You can then defeat waves of mobile bonus enemies for more Nightium
- I’m not sure if it’s a bug or a quirk of auto battle, but it ends without going into bonus time once the boss dies. Manual does not have this issue
- Forgotten Snow: Defeat a Dark Summoner for Jasper (EXP material). It can spawn Beacons that can heal themselves. The more Beacons on the field, the less damage the Summoner takes
- Tempering Illumina: Defeat a machine that can knockback units, reflect damage or heal itself for Equipment material. It will then break into separate machines on killing the main one
Regarding auto battle, you can change your formation before you begin the quest, and there’s a Challenge Again button even if there’s no auto repeat.
The “Plot” quests give out resources for main story quests.
Dailies are just that, daily quests that give out various resources. Get 100 points per day for a bunch of Lumamber (quantity to be confirmed).
Branch quests are one-off quests that also give resources and Lumamber, from 30 to 60 depending on the quest.
The time-limited Growth quest tab features the assortment of quests to obtain Dayna, a 5-star Detonator with Primary Thunder and Secondary Wood. As you clear out each row of quests, you can gain resources and Lumamber:
- 10 points: 200 Lumamber
- 25 points: Dayna
- 40 points: 300 Lumamber
- 60 points: 500 Lumamber
The quests also gradually unlock over the course of 8 days, for this iteration.
Achievements are basically the ones you unlock across the game, getting a varying quantity of Lumamber as you play. These achievements also add up Achievement Points up to 2,500 points in the beta. Total Lumamber from Achievement Points is 3,200.
While I mentioned the base rate is 2.5% for a 6-star, the print says it begins at 2%, with the 2.5% rate “including guarantee”, whatever that means. Once again, due to not having another banner to compare to, I cannot tell how they will do rate-up units.
Now this isn’t the game systems per se, but the size of the closed beta app is 2.2GB, which is pretty standard.
That’s pretty much most of what the game has to offer right now. We’ll have to see how events will work, along with any rate up banners in the future, but this should give a better understanding of how the game functions.
They should probably make it easier to see what Secondary a unit gets, but hey, that’s what the beta’s for!
Alchemy Stars will launch 17 June 2021.