First Alpha Tests Over

The first alpha tests are complete. Initially there were 1600 participants but at its peak activity the servers had 2200 players connected simultaneously. In the alpha tests, much was learned about the game and in this post I will be discussing some of it.

Rollin’

The three classes (Hunter, Ranger and Force) have their own dodging abilities. Hunters use “step”, rangers use “roll” and forces use “Mirage Escape”. During the test, some force players reported that using Mirage Escape caused a bug which granted them permanent invincibility. Oh dear.

Starting Missions

Seen here is the "ARKS Counter". Also notice the targeted player's info in the bottom right displaying level and HP.

At least in the alpha test, after logging in to the main lobby you then select quest area, then are taken to the “Camp Ship” and then you go to the mission. Seems like there are no more “Field Lobbies” as seen in PSU. Kind of a shame, but then again field lobbies did a good job at spreading out the player base to lethal effect, making the game look more of a ghost town than it really was. Honestly I don’t think people would have minded Field Lobbies if there were also global counters anyway, but the way PSU was made would never support something like that unfortunately.  No detail as to how the ARKS counter allows you to join parties, other than you can join in even if the mission has been started.

Drops

A "Wired Lance" has dropped!

Each weapon type has its own icon, so it turns out I was somewhat correct in the speculation on this. There’s nothing wrong with this, as you can immediately decide if the drop is useful to you or not from the icon alone, plus it’s some extra variation in the visuals.

Musical Transitions

Music can go from  a peaceful mix for exploration to a different mix for combat situations, much like they did for PSO and Phantasy Star Zero. This was something that was confirmed ages ago but good to see they kept their word about.

Photon Art Drops

Not that it’s a huge surprise but it turns out that disc seen in a previous screenshot is  indeed a Photon Art Disc.

Block Transitions are Different

To quote PSUBlog:

Transitioning to different blocks actually look like heading off to a new area instead of just warping.

Without seeing a video of this in action I can’t really comment on it, but I thought in PSU your character would auto-run at the end of a block to simulate heading off to a new area? It may not mean that, I guess.

PSO2: Lawn Mowing

You can chop down trees and grass. How very Zelda.

Charged!

Rangers get a charged shot which operates in a similar fashion to the way charged shots were in PSP2. I unfortunately missed the video, but Bumped reports a charged shot named “Grenade Shell”, which sounds fairly self explanatory.
Forces also get charged versions of their techs, I saw a video in which a force used charged Resta, which resulted in what looked like a persistent healing circle being left behind.

Storage

You can send items to your storage from your inventory, while you’re in a mission. If this is anything like the PSP2 system you should be able to send items to storage from anywhere essentially, which is something that PSU could really use..

Kill Me With Fire

In the bottom right is the targetted enemy. Notice it has a little red icon on it which looks like a flame.

Enemies will tell you their weakness rather than what element they are (which they did in PSU). I wonder what this means for armor. For weapons, however…

Killing You With Fire

Weapons have elements. PSO fans may not be happy to hear this (since when where those guys happy with anything though). Hopefully there’s some way to influence the elemental %s on a weapon that go beyond RNG however. Hunting for a specific item only to have it drop at a low % was annoying in all online Phantasy Stars, but at least PSO gave you a means to boost them. Well ok PSU did but that was a cash shop deal.

Getting Killed By Fire

Low HP warning and what appears to be a ship dropping a crate.

When your HP is low, your screen will have a red border like in PSP2. Good to have when your eyes are going to be looking at many places that aren’t your HP bar.

YOU ARE DEAD

You see this every time you die. Well, not really. You just get the choice to return to the start point or camp ship, apparently. Far more boring, I know.

Something that may proove particularly interesting…

Language Setting

Picture of some in-game options. The language bar seen here is set to Japanese. Image found here.

Language setting has been spotted in the options of the PSO2 client. So far the only option is Japanese. I’d just take that as meaning that they are considering multi-language support for now, but by no means does this guarantee that this will make to it release. Still an encouraging sign.

“Body Paint”

For female Newmans and Humans you can select thigh-high leggings, garter belt, and some other types of underwear. I can’t say I don’t approve.  They will appear under your clothing where they can.

Torpedo boobs! This has nothing to do with anything, I just felt like posting it.

To finish this post off, I’ll repost some posts from the PSO2 official Facebook page. Both of which Bonkohara posted in English.

First some details about the alpha test:

Hello friends! I am Bonko :)
Now at 6PM ! α Test Day 2, just start now!
Well, actually I was playing game last night with everyone :D hidding from the eyes of the producer sakai haha! I am so busy tonight, but if i have a chance, i would like to play game.
Even if you can not receive α test request, still you have a chance to receive additional announcements if the α test goes well.
I will update report of αtest by twitter. please follow us

The fact she’s talking about the alpha test at all in English may be a sign that foreigners have the potential to participate in them. Perhaps not the initial alphas though, after all for now I imagine its better to test things out with players who won’t have inherently high ping.

The next thing Bonkohara posted was a short Q+A.

Q: Is it available PSO2 release in the every country ?

A: We want to release in the all over the world but schedule becomes undecided.

Q: Do not make Enlish’s Facebook pages?

A: There is not the plan making English’s Facebook pages now.

Q: Why PSO2`s offical facebook page can not report or update by English so often ?

A: We want to do it but Staff is not good enough to fully understand English sometimes, but We will try our best to update of Status by English.

So there you go. It will be released outside of Japan, they just haven’t decided when. Hopefully it won’t be delayed too much. Still no details on how the server structure will be though, with regards regional splitting or perhaps lack of.

That’s most of it covered. Today there is more testing going on but I’ll discuss any new details that come out of that in a new post.

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