The Road to the Closed Beta – Player Feedback

Sakai updated the official PSO2 blog today with a long list of responses to player feedback and suggestions. You can find a complete list here on Bumped. I will be using this post to share my thoughts on their responses and what their implications may be.

Before that, however!

Closed Beta Information!

The closed beta still doesn’t have a date, but we should be getting one by the end of this month. Sakai is going to be doing something like the media briefing closer to then, which will be revealing more details about the tests themselves as well as a schedule.

The FOmarl, going all Gambit on us. The Talis is one of the new weapon types that will be present in the upcoming closed beta test.

The limit for the closed beta is going to be set to 100,000 players. 40,245 players from the 2nd alpha test automatically qualified by raising their characters to at least level 10. This of course obviously means that there will be some way for other players to sign up, but there are no details at this time. Not only that, but there will be plenty of slots so if you want to get in for the test your odds are pretty good!

New content set to be available during the tests are the new weapon types, mags and the city area, as well as the renovated Arks lobby.

Responses to Player Feedback

  • Lag

During updates in Alpha Test 2, we improved the lag to some extent but it’s completely difficult to have no lag whatsoever. We will continue to make adjustments so you can play comfortably.

Seems they’re genuinely struggling with this one. Somewhat worrisome given how the launch population is likely to dwarf the testing population and the servers were struggling enough under that load.

  • Multi Party Areas

Since it was hard to understand the way you set up a multiparty quest, people generally didn’t cross paths with other parties. We’ll review this area and make it easier for you to meet them

Yeah, good, because it took us absolutely ages to figure out how to actually make a multi-party party. Of course it doesn’t help that most of us didn’t understand Japanese, regardless it definitely wasn’t all that intuitive. You had to basically create your party, then start a mission, then join another party doing the same mission (joining as party) and then you might just meet up with the other players in the multi-party block when you get there. Incidentally, you’ have to fight your way through a single-party area first! Among the importers I was with, we didn’t figure this out until the last hour or two of the final test period, which sucked.

  • Photon Sensitive Effect Burst

We’ll adjust the rate and duration a PSE Burst occurs so that it does not ruin the balance of the game.

Having gotten to see PSEs in action, where they end up breaking seems to be with regard spawns. A PSE will cause new monsters to spawn during the duration of the burst, but often these monsters will spawn in the exact same place. To keep a PSE burst going, you need to kill a certain number of monsters before you run out of time. This is of course much easier to do when the enemies are spawning on the same spot!

The aftermath of a typical PSE Chain..

This is made even worse when you add in a multi party situation where you can have up to 12 players carving away at this spot, practically killing all monsters that spawn instantly. I think Sakai might want to take this issue particularly seriously, given that due to the fact that drop rates can be heightened during a PSE burst and everyone is getting their own drops, a multi party could pretty much wreck the economy. This is of course rather assuming that the drop rates weren’t already raised for the purposes of testing.

  • Boss Drops

Drops don’t come directly from the boss enemies, a container will appear and after breaking it you’ll get the boss drops.

So yet another feature from Phantasy Star Zero will be making it into PSO2! I’ll be honest I wouldn’t have minded if bosses didn’t have a number of drops, but it’s nice to have that extra bit of reward for killing them I guess. What I don’t want to see happening is a repeat of PSU, however, where the only worthwhile drops came from bosses.

  • Breaking up enemies

I want it to hold more significance when you destroy a certain part of the body on an enemy.

Only for boss enemies, if you destroy a part of the body, you’ll get additional drops.

For regular enemies I guess this is fair enough. Many players who will have fought the larger dragon-kin on planet Amduscia may not have even noticed that you can break off their horns. I figured it had a tactical use, but the monsters were too low-level, thus dying too quickly, for any tactics to matter.

Sure you could break of a Nordillan's horn, but who cares!

When you return to the camp ship area, the quest clear music should stop and change to the normal BGM.

Ahahahah, yes. Seriously, yes.

  • Rare Item Trolling

Grinders and Synthesizers and consumption items less than 6 stars will now be shown as regular drops.

Could this finally be the end of getting excited over a red box, only to find out it’s a Photon Drop? Probably not, just that fewer items will be getting players’ hopes up than before. It’s made worse by the fact that a jingle is played when rare items drop, really.

Of course, items having categorised drop icons rather helps to limit the potential of rare-trolling in PSO2. Can you guess what this item is?
  • Bind On Equip

I want to make sure I don’t sell very rare items in shops and such.

We’ll make it so that if you equipped it once you won’t be able to sell a rare item in shops or trades.

This genuinely is surprising. I would never have guessed that PSO2 would be getting bind-on-equip functionality added to it. Will this even work in a game like PSO2?

Technically speaking, PSU and PSO both had bind-on-pickup items, though PSU featured them more prominently. In a game where items are doled out randomly to players, this could be infuriating as a friend could end up assigned a weapon you really need and they can’t use. Too bad neither of you can do anything about it!

  • Fake Full Screen

The game doesn’t really play in full screen mode. I’d like you guys to add a REAL full screen mode.

Due to some circumstances we had to do a fake full screen mode in the alpha test 2. but now we’ll change it so you can actually play in full screen.

While this is fair enough, I really hope they don’t outright remove “fake full-screen”. It was just so incredibly convenient to be able to play in full screen and be able to alt-tab without the client exploding. This has been a problem that’s plagued all online Phantasy Stars so far.

  • Photon Art Discs

I want the icons of learned PA disks in the Item Pack and Storage greyed out

We’ll do so.

Man, what? I really liked having to use every single disc in my inventory just to find out if my character had learned it already or not. Yeah this is such a rudimentary feature it’s a little silly that it had to be suggested to them.

  • Character Creation

We’ll add a function where you can save character creation data to the PC.

With a character creation system as complicated as PSO2’s is, this will be a very handy feature to have. Especially for those players who get really into making sure every detail of their character is as good as it can be. I don’t really think I’m one of those..

  • IT’S OVER!

That’s all the comments I felt were worth sharing thoughts on. To finish this post, there are some things I’m a little disappointed didn’t get mentioned. Things like colour choice for non-casts in character creation, class balancing, the difficulty of certain interrupt events. I know a couple of those things got mentioned on the forums, at least, so I’m hoping some of these things are at least being thought about. Guess we’ll see. It is of course encouraging that Sega are continuing to take the time to address tester feedback!

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