Updated 3rd July 2013 - New features explained.
Well, it happens, when you make a system that you assume doesn't need an instruction manual, but well, I can't assume that everyone knows every in and out - So here we are.
This will be split into two sections, one for those who want to make a request, and those who wish to fill it.
To make a request:
Once you pop in the URL, and you end up at the page, you'll be greeted by Kotori, who will give you basic instructons. We're hoping to give her more later, once we add more information for Piyo-chan to tweet about.
You'll notice that there's 3 major tabs.
The idolm@ster 2 PS3
The idolm@ster 2 X360
The idolm@ster 2 G4U PS3
Select the one you want. The G4U is the Guest for You, where Miku, Jupiter, Ai, Eri and Ryo reside. This is an exclusive mode to them, and you cannot mix the modes together.
Do NOT assume you can just switch a code from platform to platform and expect the same result. Unless you really know what you're doing (basically you understand how the compendium actually works), it won't, and you might end up woefully disappointed. This is due to how the game was designed - and how someone filling a request will read it.
If you know what you're looking for, you'll know what version of the game you need. If you want to browse, just use the tabs to sniff around.
Song is pretty much what it says on the tab - you can pick a song for the idols to perform.
All songs selected will only permit certain setups - you can't perform a quintet with a lot of the songs on the list.
Once you pick that, we recommend you look at the idol tab.
This is where you set the idol group in question, in terms of composition, as well as how many people perform.
You'll see the group size - it will only let you set group sizes that the song itself supports.
You'll also set the idols themselves. Selecting any two idols will switch them around in position. You can switch them all around if you like, it's only the top 5 positions (in their own seperate box) that we care about right now.
If above the box in the top 5, you see the word 'Standby', then the character will be performing on stage in the setup in question.
The leader of a group in a Solo, Trio or Quintet setup is always the middle one (namely, 3 from the right or the left).
The leader in a Duo is always the second one from the left.
In some songs, this is a minor point, and only affects positioning. Other ones it will influence a heck of a lot more.
If you want to understand specifics about character order, see the FAQ below.
This tab has four subtabs - Floral, Luxury, Starry, and Extend.
Your idol is required to wear a costume (so don't try to be funny), and you can only wear one costume.
Select the catergory, and if you're unsure, let Takane show you what to expect, by selecting the costume from the grid.
When you're happy with a design, go to the accessories tab.
You will notice there is an idol preview on the side. Select that and if the idol is available, you will see them wear that costume.
There's once again, 4 sub catergories. Head, Body, Arm, and Leg.
(Yes, we know in the game it says hand, but we figured Ar made a better code than Hd, which just happens to be the same code for head.)
In this case, you can put up to 1 accessory per category. No putting on 2 hats, or grabbing a guitar and a cat tail. You don't even have to wear a particular category either - if you leave it at nothing (or select nothing) it will remove any item that was on in that category.
You will notice there is an idol preview on the side. Select that and if the idol is available, you will see them wear that accessory. There are often differences which may not be revealed in the icon select, so if you can, check first.
This one's fairly straightforward. You'll need to pick a stage. Selecting a stage will show a small preview of what to expect.
The stage select will automatically make sure you can only select a stage that can support the size of your group.
Once you're here, you can always select a tab and adjust things further. You can hop back to the Song, change the song, or maybe turn it to a solo performance, or get rid of the hat, or put on some cat ears instead.
When you're done, find a request string (either shorthand or long), copy it, and when you ask someone to fill the request, paste it. You may want to ask nicely first, or provide them incentive to do something for you first though.
- Why did you design it like this?
Mostly because the game is designed this way. It closely emulates what a player will actually do to set up a request, and since they may use it to determine what your request is, we thought it would help them to copy the interface as much as possible.
Song tab related:
Why are some songs listed on the PS3 and some on the Xbox 360 version, but not both?
Why isn't X song available for a version of the game?
Namco Bandai released two distinct versions of the game. Each one has only a certain set allocated to it. If you really want to know the differences, there is a sticky of the breakdown of the exclusives.
Idol tab related:
- What's this about there being TWO ways of making the same request?
- Why is there an (im@s1) or (im@s2) next to the characters, before it says what platform its on (or after if using longhand)?
- Which one do I pick? Do I just take both?
This is due to the fact that the community (and the game itself!) recognizes two different arrangements for idol listings. This only applies to Trio and Quintet listings.
The im@s1 method ALWAYS lists 3rd position as first, namely, the middle slot is listed. It then takes the character immediately to the left, puts it next, then the character immediately to the right, and repeats it for the outer layer (if a quintet)
If you put a number from left to right going 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
im@s1 order will always be 3, 2, 4, (and 1, 5 for quintets.)
This means anyone looking at a request can immediately determine who the leader is by just reading the first one. It is used in idolm@ster 1, and consequently is referred to as the im@s1 notation. It can however be confusing to people who haven't played the game, particularly for quintets (since apart from leader, there's no real indication where everyone else sits unless you, well know).
The im@s2 method was (mostly - there's some oddities) introduced in idolm@ster 2, which simply lists it from left to right, disregarding who is designated leader. It is mostly used, except during coordination setup and replay saving, but if you haven't played the game, it isn't an issue (and only really is when viewing the im@s 2 internet service.)
If you put a number from left to right going 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
im@s2 order will always be (1 if you have a quintet listed) 2, 3, 4, (and, 5 again if a quintet is listed.)
This makes numerical sense, however, it makes it difficult to determine who the leader is at a glance (since you have to read the entire thing, then jump one or two spaces to determine who the actual leader is). However, reading from left to right is easier to enact on screen, if you remember to leave a gap character first if you're setting up a trio.
So which one do you use? Some people prefer one setup over the other - This is mostly dependent on preferences (Some people understand one format easier than the other), prior experiences (those who worked with idolm@ster 1 or idolm@ster Live for You will instinctively understand the im@s1 format because it's what they used) and if they have any archiving requirements. (Keeping a format helps if you want to run a search.)
Generally they can convert from one format to another, but it's important to make sure you get them in the right spot first.
- Why can't I set a quintet for a particular song?
- Why are quintets special?
Some songs support quintet, not all of them. You can't set a quintet for a song that the game doesn't allow. Talk to Namco Bandai if you want to get that changed.
This will have an effect on stage selection, if you set the group to be a quintet (and you can).
Costume and Accessory tab related:
- Why can't I swap codes between the 360 and the PS3 versions of the game?
This one's fairly simple (although this affects the stage setup as well) and that is this - The game has different costumes, accessories and even stages depending on if you are playing the PS3 or 360 version.
Even when the costumes are present, unless it was in the core of the game (and sometimes not even then!) they may be rearranged on the whim of Namco Bandai.
This is made even more complicated (particularly for accessories) when you realize that 8 catalogs were released before the PS3 debut, then they then merged the catalogs to release (mostly) the same material, creating the odd situation where the PS3 has most of catalogs 1, 2 and 3 as on disc, but they list catalogs 9 to 12 then 4-8 and then some more on top.
I really don't know what they were thinking either, but that's how it ended up. I could go on for a long time about how confusing it is (Not quite everything from the X360 catalog 1, 2 and 3 showed up on the PS3 either, complicating matters yet again), but just take my word for it, okay?
- Why is there a nothing selection for every accessory type?
- How come I can't see my accessory in the performance?
- Why does my selection not quite look like how it is worn in the preview?
As the Accessory list is very long, not all idols have their previews done yet. If you'd like to help out with the cropping, please let me know.
We also cannot show you what happens when you put it all together - there is a chance certain accessories will be buried under certain costumes, or certain costumes will be buried under certain accessories, or in some cases, some accessories being buried under other accessories, or the character just naturally hides certain accessories altogether because of how they're uniquely placed.
It's complicated, and if you want a certain idol's previews to be available, please let me know.
Stage tab related:
- Why can't I just use the PS3 or X360 code for the stage?
Due to how the games were designed (for better or worse) the stages themselves have been reshuffled in order. Due to this, the stages use different codes, even though the first 34 stages are in both games. It helps the request filler if they know which one you actually want, and being on the wrong stage can be disappointing.
Also, the PS3 supports DLC stages, so you better be sure that the stage you want can actually be done.
- Why did the stages change when I set a quintet?
- Why when I'm in quintet mode that all stages are set with Q - aren't they in the regular stage list too?
- Why when switching around from a quintet to a regular stage, did it change the stage back to the first one?
If you set a quintet and all 5 character slots become active, only certain stages actually support quintets. This is due to the fact that the stage itself only has so much room. Your favorite stage may not be on the list and once again, that's the game. You'll just confuse the person filling your request or worse, tick them off because they KNOW they can't do it.
Quintet stages in fact can be used for regular stages, but when a quintet is selected, it will prevent you picking anything but a quintet stage. Consequently, it is easier for the requester to know a second numerical list, than try to remember if stage 11 is in fact quintet stage 1 or 2.
If you switch to and from a quintet, it also resets the stage selection. This is a limitation of the engine, just to remind you to make sure you pick your stage even when playing around.
The request text at the bottom:
- What do I exactly do with it?
Pick one, (or a long and a short) and copy then paste it to someone who you make a request to.
We strongly advise you use the SHORTHAND version unless they specifically request not to.
Why is this? There is an import tab where you can past in a shorthand request and it'll load into the system your request. They can then browse through the tabs to determine what you selected.
If they know the format well, they may not need to even do anything other than fire up the game, start counting boxes, and then start recording for your benefit.