On November 14th, the official website of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was updated in Japan, adding a new section: Production Notes. It’s a blog-like section, where members of the development team will come discuss various aspects of the game.
- Production Notes #1: Drivers and Blades
- Production Notes #2: Script
- Production Notes #3: Character Design (Part 1)
- Production Notes #4: Music
- Production Notes #5: Introduction to Xenoblade Chronicles 2
- Production Notes #6 (Ver. 1.1.1 update)
- Production Notes #7 (Pyra figure)
- Production Notes #8 (Issue with “disappearing Blades” in Ver. 1.2.0)
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – Production Notes #9 (Ver. 1.3.0 and New Game+)
The latest Production Notes blog post for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is from Tetsuya Takahashi (General Director), who’s here to talk about the next Software update for the game: Ver. 1.3.0, that will be released next week.
First, we have something New Game+. It features various elements for players looking to play the game a second time.
Here’s the list of New Game+ elements:
- You can resonate with the following Blades from Torna: Obrona, Sever, Perdido, Cressidus
- You can resonate with the following characters as Blades: Akhos, Patroka, Mikhail
Tetsuya Takahashi specifies that you will be able to get those Blades from pretty much any type of Core Crystal (even common ones), even from the very beginning of the game. For some of them, you will meet them via quests instead.
Being able to get those Blades early is definitely going to cause issues when it comes to the story, but the developers chose to prioritise fun over story coherence. Since it’s New Game+ anyway, it really should not be much of a problem.
- You can assign pretty much all Blades to Merc groups. Also, you can disengage Blades you could not disengage until now, such as Pyra or Mythra
- The Affinity Chart has been expanded
- You can lower the level of the Drivers at the inn, and gain bonus experience according to their decreased level.
Apparently, you can use bonus EXP to purchase special items. Tetsuya Takahashi mentions items that can increase the number of accessory slots a Driver can have: the Accessory Expander Kit.
- You can use the Level 4 Special of “that” Blade
Here’s all the elements that you will be able to carry over in New Game+:
- Drivers levels
- Equipment and Affinity Charts of Drivers and Blades
- Blades you’ve resonated with
- Items and Gold
- Develoment level of towns, as well as the Merc Group level
- Cutscenes in the Event Theater, as well as your Unique Monsters kills (their “tombstone” will still appear in the world, allowing you to battle them again at any time)
However, the following will NOT be carried over:
- Heart to Hearts
- Skip Travel Points
- Merc missions you’ve completed
In order to be able to use New Game+, you will first have to beat the game once, and save your progress right after the ending. To know if you have access to New Game+, you simply have to check the title screen: you should see Rex and the others looking the way they did after the ending.
Important note: after clearing the game, do NOT start a regular playthrough after selecting the save data file with your completed playthrough, and do NOT save on that save data file, because if you do, you will have to beat the game once more to be able to start a New Game+. You can only start it from a “fresh” save data file, created by saving right after clearing the game.
By the way, if you’ve already cleared the game, you’ve probably noticed there’s a special mark next to your save data file. It looks like the developers will have a little present for players with such a mark, but it’s going to be a little while until it’s ready!
Don’t worry if you’re not too interested in New Game+ (or if you’re nowhere near the end of the game yet): the Ver. 1.3.0 update for Xenolade Chronicles 2 isn’t exclusively about that. It also brings other changes, that apply to the first playthrough:
- adds a system that locks synchronised Blades in the Blade list. That way, not only will you not be be able to disengage a Blade by accident. It also increases visibility: you can see at a glance which Blade your Drivers are currently using, for example, or 4 Stars Common Blades;
- adds an option to skip the Blade Resonance “cutscene”;
- on the skip travel screen, each icon can now be displayed when zooming on the mini-map;
- adds an Easy Mode. The game as it is right now corresponds to Normal. You can change the difficulty level at any time from the Settings screen;
- adds new sorting options to the following lists: Accessories, Aux Cores, Blades.
Of course, Ver. 1.3.0 will come with the 4th set of extra items for owners of the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Season Pass, but we will have to wait a little bit longer before finding out what’s included this time around.
Tetsuya Takahashi explains that they originally planned to release Ver. 1.3.0 earlier, but it was delayed due to various reasons (including debugging, that seemingly took longer than expected).
From March onwards, additional updates will be released, adding the various elements from the Expansion Pass: the additional quests, the new Blade, and more (check out this post for all the extras planned for the game, if you haven’t already!). As always, more details will be shared regularly, closer to release of each bit of additional content.