Released alongside Update 20 in early 2017, Octavia is one of only several frames with their own acquisition quest, Octavia’s Anthem. This is a really enjoyable quest (although frustrating at times), that has a very original story thread running through it – I do recommend you play through it if you get the chance.
If you haven’t gleaned it already from the name, Octavia is the music frame, the diva, with highly original Abilities that utilise rhythm and melody in a very unexpected, but extremely effective way. Useful for a number of different mission types, and welcome for her support Abilities, Octavia is pretty much a “must have” frame, although it is true that there are other frames that are just as effective.
Note: while you acquire her main blueprint from the Octavia’s Anthem questline, the rest of her components can be a struggle to farm. Her Chassis Blueprint is a guaranteed drop (yay!) from the Lua Music Puzzle (boo!) – so you first need to be lucky enough to find the room, then clever enough to figure out the puzzle (it’s not that hard, and we do have a guide in the works). Her Neuroptic blueprint, though, is a reward from Rotation C of Orokin Derelict Survival, and her Systems blueprint is found in Rotation A Caches of Lua Crossfire Exterminate (a good choice when hunting the Music Puzzle as well, I might add). Clearly, the Neuroptics is what will drive you mad.
Octavia’s passive, Harmonic Symphony, is… well, it’s both complex and simple. Let’s start with the simple part first.
Inspiration: casting any Ability will “inspire” allies within 15m, giving them 1 Energy per second Energy Regen for 30 seconds. Recasting any Ability will refresh the Duration.
The second component of this passive is her Mandachord, a special piece of equipment that is crafted as part of the Octavia’s Anthem quest. This is the source of her musical Abilities, but also allows players to… make their own (never annoying) songs!
Mandachord: while not an Ability itself, it can be accessed via Octavia’s Appearance tab in the Arsenal – you will notice a Mandachord button in the bottom right. Clicking this will take you into the Mandachord screen, which will allow players to create their own songs. Note there are three components that represent her Abilities – Percussion (1st Ability), Bass (2nd Ability), and Melody (3rd Ability). And yhes, this means that these components of the song will only play when this Ability is employed in game. Players are given one set of instruments for free, but can also choose to buy other instruments using Platinum, which opens up the capability to create a whole of different sounds…
On casting, Octavia throws a magical sphere in the direction of her aim – where she magicks this up from is anybody’s guess. This device sits in one place, rhythmically playing percussion, beating into the ground in pulses for 20 seconds at max base. This attracts enemy aggro, storing Damage dealt within the Mallet, and dealing it back out at 2.5x within a 10 m Radius (max at base).
Note that when this Ability is cast with her second Ability (Resonator), it will become mobile instead of sitting in the place it is cast. Further, when Mallet is within the Radius of her fourth Ability (Amp), both its Damage and Range are doubled.
Mallet is affected by Ability Duration, Strength, and Range mods.
Magically conjuring yet another rollerball from… somewhere, Octvia throws this little fella out into the battlefield, where it rolls about playing bass for up to 20 seconds. Think of the Resonator like the Pied Piper – it’s soothing bass sounds calm enemies, and entice them to follow the sweet little rollerball. The Radius of this charming effect is initially up to 6m, but this expands with each enemy following, up to a max of 15m. While in the Charm Radius, these silly enemies will receive up to 125 Blast Damage (base) per beat. As an awesome bonus, the Resonator will actively seek uncharmed enemies, and when the Duration runs out, will leave charmed enemies staggered for a short period.
However, you might recall that the Resonator will pick up the Mallet and carry it around when both are cast together – this increases the Damage output and causes enemies to attack the Mallet (which is, of course, one of the effects of the Mallet).
Resonator is also impacted by Ability Duration, Strength, and Range mods.
OK, it’s BUFF time. Time to get BUFFED. On casting, Octavia starts up her melodies and pumps up the volume, creating an aura around her that buffs specific actions performed by herself and her allies. Many are aware of the invisibility buff, but there are actually FOUR buffs, depending on the action performed, and yes, these can be active all at the same time. What’s more? These buffs can also be augmented by Ability mods!
Vivace: jumping in sync to the music will provide a movement speed increase of up to 30% for up to 15 seconds
Nocturne: the one (almost) everybody knows – crouching in sync to the music will grant 100% invisibility for up to 15 seconds
Opera: firing weapons in sync to the music will apply up to 30% Multishot for up to 15 seconds
Forte: performing melee attacks in sync to the music will provide up to 35% melee Damage increase for up to 15 seconds
Per Octavia’s other Abilities, Metronome is impacted by Ability Duration, Strength, and Range mods, with Duration and Strength mods in particular affecting the buffs themselves.
Like any good Amp, this Ability turns everything up to 11. On casting, Octavia throws out her amplification device, turning the battlefield into a nightclub. Whilst in the radius of the Amp field, Octavia and her allies will receive a multiplier to the base Damage of weapons, ranging from 0.25x to 2x for up to 30 seconds, also doubling the Range and Damage of any Mallet within the field. If recast, this will place a new Amp field – Octavia can only have one active at a time.
And again, Amp is influenced by Ability Duration, Strength, and Range mods.
Overall, Octavia is a solid frame, with survivability stats best built towards Armor and Health. She has a pretty good base Energy pool, but given you want to cast all her Abilities together, it’s likely you’ll want to either increase this number, or improve on her Efficiency.
With the Ability to virtually cover the battlefield in Damage dealing and Crowd Control effects, in addition to providing both survivability and Damage buffs, Octavia is clearly a good frame in virtually any case (perhaps not so much for Spy missions). However, give she can effectively hold down a specific area, she is most effective for mission types that require players to hold down an area, such as Interception or Defence.
Get her – she’s well worth the effort and nobody wil complain that an Octaqvia has joined the team (unless your music is annoying).
BONUS TIP: individuals can turn off the sound for Mandachords in their Settings. While this does impact your Ability to effectively sync with the music, it does save a lot of heartache with regards to annoying songs…