A note about this post. This post concerns features of a game that is still heavily under development, so anything I write here does not necessarily reflect upon the final product. This is discussing specifically the alpha version of the game and my thoughts and concerns with it as it is now. All images used in this post are (c) SEGA Phantasy Star Online 2 a2 Test Version. That should be the NDA terms and conditions satisfied, so on to the post.
Something that players of Phantasy Star Portable 2 may remember is an effect that would display if you hit an enemy with the correct element (example, hitting enemies that are weak to ice with an ice element attack). Well it seems to be present in PSO2 as well, giving you some visual feedback to go along with the bigger numbers!
To remind you, drops are per player in PSO2. As in only you can see your own drops. This of course makes loot ninja-ing pretty much impossible. Now as for what drops you get, there are a few things have been observed.
First, the regular items that monsters drop appear to be based on the individual player’s class, party leader or not. This doesnt appear to be the case for rare drops from monsters, however. I was in a party where Yasminkov 3Ks were dropping, where the party leader was a ranger. Both the leader and another member, who was a Force, were seeing that particular rare as well,so it appears that rare drops from monsters may be determined by the party leader’s class. Update 04/02/2012: The hypothesis regarding regular drops beingbased on character class is confirmed. However, the hypothesis on rare drops based on the party leader’s class has been debunked upon further play sessions.
What about boxes? Boxes seem to drop whatever they like, regardless of you or your leader’s class. However the colour of the box may indicate what type of item it will drop.
What about bosses? Well bosses are too low level to drop anything decent yet, I’m sure. For now the only thing I’ve see Vol Dragon drop is Trimate. As a result it’s not really possible to tell if their drops are based on anything special.
Don’t get me wrong by this section, this has so far been a really enjoyable game for me. However there are some genuine concerns that I hope the developers address before release (I’ve found ways to make sure they see this feedback in some form on their test forums).
Talent Tree Respeccing
At the moment, you can’t re-invest your skill points after you’ve spent them. There’s been no official word on wether or not they will implement some kind of re-speccing mechanism later on the game’s development but I sincerely hope they do. There is no room for trial and error with the system in its current state, potentially locking new players into gimped builds which they mistakenly thought would be useful. Or, you invest in useful skills only to be later gimped by the inevitable rebalancing patch, with no means to un gimp yourself.
Quest Clear Music
Oh god, make it stop.Whoever thought of putting this incredibly annoying 15 second tune on repeat needs a slap.
Colour Selection for Non-Casts
My one issue with character creation is the limited colour selection that non-casts get. Casts can choose multiple colours from the entire spectrum for their outfits (and even their skin!). Non-Casts get to choose 1 colour from a selection of about 10, which only affects one part of their outfit. I don’t get why they don’t just give all races the ability to choose their outfit colours from the entire spectrum, myself.
Wednesday Test Session
Due to a technical fault, the servers had an emergency maintenance for 1 and a half hours. To compensate, the test period will be extended by a further 2 hours.
[Thanks to Mewn for the drop observations]