Hey Arisha forum section! I wanted to try to add to this section since its... well there are only 3 threads. This is more for new players that are curious why everyone says Arisha is a hard character to play. If you're on the fence about trying Arisha, don't be scurd! You'll get the hang of her in time. If you want to know why she is difficult to play, read on.
- For most the characters, left click is normal attacks and right click is smash attack. Pretty simple. For Arisha, left click is normal attacks with 2 smash attacks at the end of the combo (+1 if you dive kick but its pretty weak) while right click throws out and retrieves her Mana Crystal. The Mana Crystal is a huge part of Arisha's kit. It is pretty awkward at first. Smashes are were everyone's big damage comes from and Arisha has to first hit 3 times with her left click combo to get to those smashes. She has to attack 5 times to charge her crystal to lv 5 (blue->red). Her quickest smash attack using her crystal is to throw it out and use Crystal Burst which puts Burst on a cooldown. I was kinda disappointed there wasn't a skill awakening to reduce that cooldown. I think it's 10 seconds. An eternity in game time, and it does do huge damage so the cd makes sense.
-The main reason she is considered difficult (imo) is the lack of control and reliability of her abilities. This is offset with big damage. High risk high reward describes Arisha perfectly. If you want to make something frustrating for players, reduce the amount of control they have. Lets start with her Mana Crystal. You throw it out and if it hits an enemy, when you retrieve the crystal, it will home in on that enemy, but, if you miss, it's pretty much wasted. By the way, Arisha is totally vulnerable during the times she throws the crystal and retrieves it. Takes about a second and you can be hit during this time. To add to that, I've also noticed that the crystal is programmed to intentionally miss your target and go off to one side instead of hitting it no matter how lined up you are with the enemy. Fortunately it happens rarely but it still happens. I guess they didn't want to hold Arisha's hand 100% of the time.
-Retrieving the crystal doesn't have a fixed time before it returns to Arisha. There will be times were you go to retrieve your crystal and it gets hung up on breakable objects or dead enemies and you need it NOW. It also has a built in timer were it will auto-retrieve after so many seconds. However, I think this is bugged because perhaps 1/3rd of the time, your crystal will randomly just vanish from existence if you don't retrieve it. You can also go to retrieve it and Arisha will throw out a new one because the other just ceased to be for whatever reason. In short, this creates situations where you just can't rely on your Mana Crystal abilities and that's were a large portion of her damage comes from. If you want to see what I mean, try running the Ainle Gauntlet. By the time Blood Lord spawns, the arena will be full of drops her crystal easily gets hung up on. It becomes a real struggle utilizing it against Blood Lord.
-If an enemy staggers you or knocks you down while you retrieve your crystal (which makes you vulnerable to attacks and locks you in animation), Arisha can't use her Burst of Ether Zone abilities. So your charged up lv 5 crystal goes completely to waste and you start all over. This one really irks me the most lol. I would loooove it if they removed the retrieve animation and let Arisha crystal burst/zone even during stagger animation. The other characters can use smash attacks with 100% reliance but Arisha is lacking that reliance. I would suggest they disable the crystal's interaction with inanimate objects (breakable terrain, cores, dead enemies) and just let her instantly detonate the crystal with her mind even if she is staggered. This would go a long ways to making her crystal more reliable.
While these points are certainly frustrating to deal with, Arisha's Mana Crystal can do some serious damage. I mean BIG damage. If you can use Burst while your crystal is inside an enemy and it crits, not only can it rarely trigger break-offs, but it hits more than 1 time. You can get 3-4 crits with 1 burst. This is something you can try ingame. If you use Crystal Burst on Controlled Blackhammer it will hit twice (2 damage numbers) while he is standing up. But... if you wait till his head is down, it will hit 3 times. I think this happens because it registers his break off zones (belt and mask) in addition to his main body but I'd have to test more. Maybe it's just random. Oh, and the Crystal can hit 3 times while it's returning to Arisha. So if you time it right, it hits 3 times returning, then you use burst for even more damage. A large part of Arisha's difficulty comes from controlling the crystal and you simply don't have total control. Most the time you have enough control.
-Ruin Blade is Arisha's 2nd hardest hitting ability in addition to being another i-frame. Well... when it works. When I first started playing Arisha, I thought this was the coolest skill ever. A big whopping slash attack for huge damage. Well... I hate Ruin Blade now. I dread seeing it light up on my bar. Will it work this time? Sure hope so... It's requirement makes it so that it either works or it totally whiffs and wastes all your SP and leaves you open to attacks usually leading to your death. This is another high risk high reward part of Arisha's kit. So what am I talking about? How can it be so good and so bad at the same time? Well... to get the full use out of the ability, you have to enter a code in in a short window of time in an online game that might just decided to ignore one of your inputs. It's finicky, unreliable, and a massive source of frustration watching all your SP go poof! and only doing 3000 damage (normal smash attack crit) and then probably dying. Ruin Blade is the perfect name for this ability because it will ruin your time playing Arisha. I also think the devs finally realize this fact and this is why in a future update Arisha will be able to convert SP into Mana. Mana Blade mode is reliable damage. Ruin Blade is a coin toss. Having to enter the Konami Code every time you want to use one of Arisha's big dps abilities gets old fast and just feels flawed.
Even after 2 months playing Arisha and using Ruin Blade several times a day and desperately trying to make that coin toss land in my favor, it still maybe works 50% of the time. The only tip I can give to new Arishas is to hit each part of the code one by one. Don't have 2 keys pressed at the same time. Then hope the game decided to register those inputs and cross your fingers. I've even considered creating a macro just for this single ability and I've never felt the need to do so in any mmo ever. It is that frustrating.
This is Arisha's big flashy hardest hitting ability. It's like having your very own orbital cannon in space. To bad you'll rarely get to use it. It fits Arisha's "high risk high reward' theme perfectly. If you pull it off the damage is insane. If you don't you waste 3 bars of SP and nothing happens. I actually like this ability. It's fun finding ways to use it and it looks fantastic. Most involve warping to the opposite end of the arena. Resonance has a long cast time before it goes off. Very few enemies will sit around for 8 seconds. Considering the amount of damage it does (I've seen 50,000 overkills), it is understandable that it be hard to use.
Don't let these points deter you from trying Arisha. This is just how she is designed. She is a very rewarding and exciting character to play and very fun. That said, she is quite possibly the most frustrating to play at the same time and if you're a player that really hates being frustrated, I would suggest investing your time in one of the other characters. HF~