atomic resolution

July Re-balance Patch

(thanks to reddit user lalaca for translation)

Agielba

  • CA added effect: increased DEF for 1 turn.
  • Fortitude added effect: Counter on damage (3 times)
  • Kagutsuchi: CD reduced.

Zeta (Fire)

  • CA added effect: increased Critical rate (self)
  • Spear of Arvess reworked: Fire damage to one enemy; inflicts Arvess Felmare(sp?) debuff (works like Jamil’s Hitmark).
  • Rhapsody reworked: ATK boost changed from enemy in Break to enemy with Arvess Felmare debuff. Additional boost if enemy is in Break.
  • Thousand Flame added effect: inflicts Break Boosted (Time).

Clarisse (Fire)

  • CA added effect: inflicts Debuff Resist DOWN.
  • Nano Analyze added effect: Fire Resist DOWN.
  • Atomic Resolution: CD reduced.

Charlotta (Water)

  • CA (5*): removed Break condition for bonus damage. Base damage and damage cap increased.
  • Blue Moon: Debuff success improved.
  • Sword of Lumiel @Level 100 reworked: 550% damage, reduce enemy Mode Gauge, 1-turn invulnerability (self).
  • Captain of Holy Knights added effect: status boost (ATK and multiattack rate) every turn (max 5 turns). Ends if hit.

Chat Noir

  • CA (with Forewarning): reduced turn count until damage.
  • CA (with Riddle): Debuff success improved. Paralysis from Phantom Thief is now considered a separate source for tolerance.
  • Spectacular Heist: CD reduced, charge bar cost removed.
  • Don’t Trust Your Eyes: more Dodges with Riddle status.

Societte (Water)

  • CA added effect: next use of Kagura Dance is cast on all allies.
  • Kagura Dance added effect: Water echo.

Cagliostro (Earth)

  • Phantasmagoria reworked: remove 1 debuff from self, Critical rate UP, special effect (multiattack rate UP, ATK/DEF UP). CD reduced. (affects all allies at Level 100 with no penalty)
  • Reinforce added effect: Refresh.

Eustace

  • CA added effect: increase all allies Critical rate if 5 stacks of Loaded are consumed.
  • Anti-Social added effect: increases ATK based on Loaded stacks.

Feena (SSR)

  • CA added effect: damage cap increased based on Crushed stacks.

Melissabelle

  • Right Hairsaber: increased damage.
  • Left Hairsaber: increased damage.
  • A.F.D.S reworked: increases Counter rate based on how low HP is; Ability damage cap UP.
  • Golden Luster added effect: increased ability damage each time ability is used (max 10 stacks).

La Fille (Light)

  • CA added effect: Mirror Image (1) on allies.
  • Jewel Mirror reworked: Counter on Dodge (3), Light echo until damaged.

Io (Grand)

  • CA reworked: Buffs allies based on Mystic Vortex stacks (Refresh, Stamina, damage cap UP).
  • Flowery Seven: base damage increased; damage cap increased based on Vortex stacks.
  • Mystic Vortex reworked: max 3 stacks, based on charge bar level (consumes existing bar instead of flat 25%?). Resets stacks on Charge Attack use, not ability use.
  • Enchanted Light reworked: allies’ Light damage increased based on Vortex stacks.

Cerberus

  • CA: improved triple attack rate.
  • Triad Deception: Debuff success improved.
  • Infernal Heaven: improved triple attack rate. Inflicts Debuff resist DOWN (stackable) on triple attack.

Vaseraga

  • 5* CA: Aubade Grynoth’s effect increased.
  • Forgotten Tales @Level 100: improved ATK boost.
  • Feel No Pain added effect: increases DEF based on how low HP is.

Beatrix (original)

  • CA added effect: gain Jammed.
  • Embrasque Sword added effect: increased evasion based on how low HP is.
Uplift

I’m employed by a large industrial and technology conglomerate. The largest, actually. Following the dissolution of the United Nations and the ascension of the Hegemon, our company has been tasked with finding technological solutions to social and economic issues around the world. We’ve worked so closely with the office of the Hegemon over the last few years that, in my opinion, we’re now just an arm of the government. I’m fine with that. We provided major military and technological assets during his rise to power and it makes sense that we’d be integrated into his government. We do good work and I support the goals of our political system.

When I’m not cheerleading the beneficent ruler of our world, I’m the lead engineer and project manager of a department called “Applied Material Sciences.” The name gives away nothing because the work I oversee is extraordinarily secretive. Before our company was folded into the hegemony, we had already become the market leader in additive manufacturing, nanotechnology, semiconductors, and logistics. The Hegemon’s infusion of capital into our research and development only increased that lead. I’d estimate we’re dealing with technology 25-30 years ahead of our closest competitor. Even though I work with this stuff every day, I still have a hard time believing some of it isn’t magic.

My most recent meeting with our CTO was brief and pleasant as always. He is the person to whom I report the progress of my department. He reports it to Corporate and they report it to the Hegemon. Since the CTO was always praised by his superiors for the work my department does, he’d developed a relatively laissez-faire management style of me. What I’m doing works for him, and, in turn, works for his bosses.

One major point of our meeting was his confirmation of the successful prototyping of our latest 3D printer design. I was immediately excited. The additive manufacturing technology we’d been working on had massive implications for our other technology divisions, particularly biotech and nanotech.

This new printer operates with atomic precision. It uses hundreds of thousands of infinitesimally-small manipulator arms to arrange carbon atoms into allotropic molecules best suited for the item it is constructing. With this new atomic resolution, we can, for example, create molecule-sized drug delivery robots that carry medicine directly to specific parts of the body. Or, most relevant to my department, it can print what we’re calling “smart matter.”

On its most basic level, smart matter is a specific type of molecule-sized robot called an assembler. It’s essentially a 3D printer the size of a very large molecule. It serves two purposes: 1, to build other molecules as the basis for object construction, and 2, to make more assemblers. Prior to this new prototype, fine-grained atom manipulation had been out of our reach; it had been like trying to put together the hundreds of tiny pieces of an expensive Swiss watch using a bulldozer. With this updated technology, everything was starting to fall into place.

***

I want to backtrack a little bit. Right now, the overarching directive of the Hegemon is to maintain a world-governing body that will “facilitate the maximization of aggregate happiness by advancing the human condition.” Ten years ago, during the Hegemon’s campaign, everyone watched as his forces worked to eliminate standing power structures throughout the world in order to unify all nations and place them under his umbrella of protection. It became clear that while it was relatively simple to nullify competing sovereignties through vastly superior firepower (courtesy of our company), the humanitarian crises that followed put a dent in his popular support. Still, the Hegemon had more than enough military and political clout to complete his rise to power. What remains now is, to his chagrin, a world that looks very similar to how it did before his rule. The same areas are rife with misery: sub-Saharan Africa, much of rural India and China, etc. Logistically, it is nearly impossible for the hegemony to help those people. Even martial law, an experiment that lasted a couple years, saw the aggregate rate of worldwide deaths rise as resources were diverted to those troubled areas and away from what were thought to be stable ones. As that stability broke down and the issues only got worse, the Hegemon started pouring money into technological research and development with the hope that scientific breakthroughs will allow for the implementation of his directive. A few hundreds of billions of dollars and some years later, that’s how I ended up with our new 3D printers.

***

It was Christmas Eve and I’d sent my team home to be with their families. With my family on the other side of the country, I was content to work alone in the lab throughout the night and the next day to test out a few of the schemata I’d devised over the months I’d waited for the printer. When I had been programming the schemata, I’d been thinking of the Hegemon’s directive. One part in particular, “advancing the human condition,” resonated deeply with me. That’s what I was here to do. I was impelled to use every skill I had and every tool at my disposal to make the world a better place. The directive mandated that I use our technology to maximize happiness throughout the world, and I was going to do my part.

The first molecule I made was an assembler. My monitors shone with the images fed by the electron microscope set within the vacuum chamber of the printer deposition tray. The graphite feedstock from the substrate vat was gently teased apart into its constituent atoms by the printer’s manipulator tips. Once a suitable number of atoms were freed, tiny electrical currents pushed them together into the skeleton of my assembler diagram. Time passed and the molecule grew in size and sophistication. I marvelled at the ease with which the matter was ordered by the printer, perfectly following the programmed construction patterns. I found myself daydreaming about how incredible it would be see this level of order on a human scale. Everything would be so much easier.

My reverie ended with the soft piezoelectric chirp signifying the completion of the printing. I studied the finished product with the microscope. It was a massive molecule of pure carbon; exotic allotropes, each designed to carry out a specific mechanical purpose, all harmoniously fastened together into a single molecular machine. My assembler.

I carefully equalized the pressure within the deposition chamber and allowed the vacuum to dissipate. The assembler held strong; unaffected by normal atmospheric pressure. With my breath held, I applied an electrical current to the deposition plate equal to the average static charge it would encounter in a regular environment. Immediately, the machine came to life. Gears of atomically-perfect diamond spun within their graphene-lined gearbox. An array of pincers only 40 atoms long grasped at empty space as they attempted to find usable substrate nearby. With its search unsuccessful, it rose up on cilia of tubular fullerenes and walked forward precisely one length of its body and resumed the search.

I killed the static charge and watched the assembler stop moving. Using the printer’s manipulators, I inserted a bit of raw graphite feedstock into the deposition chamber roughly equivalent to ten thousand times the mass of the assembler. When I switched the static power back on, the assembler moved like it did before. When it encountered the graphite, it began pulling it apart. The pincers gripped the individual atoms and shuttled them down the geared spine of the machine, where another set of pincers in the rear extended and began placing the reclaimed atoms in a pattern. As I’d hoped, the assembler was building a copy of itself.

Knowing I’d have to wait a while, I left the lab and went to the company cafeteria. Other than the cooks and janitorial staff, no one was there. I sat alone and thought about how I might be able to use these machines to help fulfill the directive. The sticking point wasn’t the part about advancing the human condition, since deep down I knew that would always happen regardless of any extra work we put in, but the part before it was the problem: facilitating the maximization of aggregate happiness. As long as abject misery existed for such immense numbers that even the greatest logisticians on the planet, our company, were hopelessly unable to provide adequate resources to them and increase their aggregate happiness, the directive would always fail. I knew, much like the Hegemon, that technological solutions to this problem would eventually come, but not until an unquantifiably colossal amount of aggregate suffering had taken place. How many subjective hours would be spent in pain? Years? Centuries? I wasn’t going to let that happen.

I returned to the lab and looked at the monitor. Inside the deposition chamber were countless assemblers walking around and looking for more substrate. I was elated. They assembled far faster than I could have hoped. Far faster, even, than the printer, once enough of them could work in tandem. I turned off the power and watched them shut down. Then I left the lab and headed home.

***

Over the following months, I worked my team harder than I ever had. I felt a bit like a tyrant, but they never complained. They were equally fascinated by the abilities of the assemblers and helped make crucial updates to their design to allow for greater speed and flexibility with their operation. Not once did I tell them what my vision was for these devices, but they were used to the veil of secrecy under which they so frequently operated.

By the next year, we’d designed multiple types of assemblers that were specialized for specific tasks. First were the scanners. Their job was to break down molecules and store the atomic structure within a local storage matrix. That pattern is then transmitted (don’t ask me how - that’s why we pay Rakesh so much) to other new types of assemblers specialized in replicating certain parts of the molecule, all while back-checking against the original design with the last, and probably most advanced, of these machines. We called it a library. The library was in a separate room of our lab where every single stored pattern was kept. It was made entirely of computational diamond and had grown to a macroscopic size of nearly a cubic inch. It sat in a large container of graphite feedstock. Assemblers constantly swarmed over it, etching the encoded patterns they received into its surface. As the number of designs grew, so did the library, as the assemblers added to its surface.

***

I was working alone again. This time, it was Thanksgiving. Our company was closed for the long weekend, so the place was pretty much a ghost town. For me, that was fine. It was today that I’d finally be able to test out what I’d been looking forward to since that first night with the assemblers.

I loaded about half a pound of assorted, inert assemblers into a tray. On top of them, I added a live, sedated lab rat. My fingers trembled as I sent commands from my transmission terminal to the assemblers. They came to life and covered the animal. Steam began to rise from the tray as quadrillions of assemblers began to break down the rat, scanning the structure and placement of every atom in its body, and transmitted it to the library. The process took about ten minutes, and once the machines had finished their programmed routine, they shut down.

It took a good hour for the search algorithm to find the specific pattern of the rat in the library. When it was finally located, I uploaded it to our computing grid and requested a 3D schematic of the rodent with the highest available resolution. The schematic came to life on my screen. I zoomed in on the rat’s brain. Everything was there. The model was perfect down to the atom. Thanks to the pattern backchecking following the deconstruction of each molecule, the fidelity of the scan was flawless. I had no doubt in my mind that, given the proper computational resources at some point in the future, the mechanistic processes that made up the mind of this rat could be run in real time within a virtual environment. With a sufficiently-sophisticated simulation of the real world, the rat may never even suspect anything was out of place. What’s more, it could be loaded into a virtual world that was vastly better than its real life of cold laboratories and confinement. That’s where our technology was heading. I was sure of it. We just weren’t there yet.

The remainder of my time alone was spent programming. It wasn’t terribly sophisticated stuff; my team had done the majority of the groundwork. Codified representations of “facilitate the maximization of aggregate happiness by advancing the human condition” flowed from my fingers as I deftly tweaked the parameters of the assemblers. I removed their replication constraints. They would be free to make as many copies of themselves as they needed to fulfill the directive. Next, I added location points using the dataset provided by the office of the Hegemon that detailed the geographic locations of groups most in need of help. I augmented that list with an encyclopedia of medical conditions known to inflict horrific pain and misery upon the afflicted, along with the molecular biological markers of those diseases. Finally, I codified the neurochemical signatures of depression. I ran a consistency check on the code and it came up clean. It was no more complex than any of the other instructions we continually transmit to the assemblers when we want them to carry out tasks. It was just on a larger scale.

With the coding out of the way, I opened the feedstock vat up to the assemblers. With motility provided by background static electricity, they began to devour the carbon and spit out more assemblers of every flavor. They were done in minutes. I activated the transmitter, giving them their new, appended instruction set. I wheeled the vat of assemblers out of the lab, into the freight elevator, and onto the roof. I unlatched the vat and tipped it over. A black cloud of impossibly small machines was instantly taken by the wind. I left the slowly-dissipating pile next to the vat and walked over to the edge of the roof. On the street below, I saw a homeless man furiously scratching his arms, neck, and face. I turned around and went back toward the elevator. Before the door closed, I heard him screaming. I felt a pang of guilt, but I knew it was for the best - not only for him, but for all of us.

Back in the lab, I browsed news sites on my computer and was only slightly surprised by how quickly the assemblers had replicated and traveled. Within an hour, the internet was filled with videos of seemingly-random people getting enveloped in black clouds and then dissolved as if they’d been doused in acid. A few hours later, reports were coming in that entire areas of the world were decimated. Countless people, nearly all of whom were located in areas stricken by poverty, violence, and starvation, were gone. Then the word came that the plague had ended just as quickly as it had begun. I glanced at the status readout of the assembler control terminal. The assemblers had run the code successfully and, as I’d expected, shut themselves down.

I turned off the news and sat back. In one afternoon, I’d single handedly taken the biggest step yet in fulfilling the directive the Hegemon had put forth. I knew I’d caused many people to feel pain. In the long run, though, things would be better for everyone. Those who lost loved ones would move on. Resources that had been stretched and strained to the breaking point could now be allocated and shared evenly, without the societally-deleterious effects brought on by scarcity.

I stood up and walked over to the room housing the library. The diamond was now the size of a beachball. I inspected its surface. The etchings were certainly too small to see, but I knew they were there. I went back across the hall to the lab and had the search algorithm pull up a random design schematic from today. Again, I instructed the grid to render the model at the highest possible resolution. The screen displayed an external model of a middle-aged man in the state he was in immediately before the assemblers began to take him apart. His obsidian complexion was in stark contrast to the pure yellow of his ocular sclera. Spindly legs no thicker than a soda can somehow held him upright. Thin flesh was stretched over his chest like shrink-wrap, obscenely displaying every rib. Long before the assemblers had gotten to him, it was obvious he had suffered for far too much time. I pulled up more random models of the disassembled people. All had been in some state of obvious misery. But they didn’t have to suffer anymore. While they had the misfortune of being born into such a wretched state, I was fortunate enough have the opportunity to uplift them and help usher in the next era of the human condition. I hope, someday, we’ll all have the privilege of joining them.