It’s gone better for Sega with PSO2 tests in the past, with the exception of the early closed beta. Like the early closed beta, players are experiencing huge lag spikes during JP peak time (and curiously the odd spike during non-peak time). Despite them fixing the closed beta issue, which held firm even during the 45,000 strong simultaneous user peak during the pre-OBT.
It appears that the player-base of the OBT may be far larger than Sega had anticipated. Not entirely unusual for an MMO launch, really. This is evidenced by the fact that, sadly for the importer community, Sega locked down character creation on Ship 02, only an hour or so after the test began. In fact, Ships 01-06 were also locked down, as were 08 and 10. Yes, that leaves only 2 ships out of 10 that were not in a state of lock down before the maintenance. This certainly does appear paint the picture that the servers were just simply overwhelmed by the influx of players. You only really needed to look at the block list while online to get an impression of how many people were on. Ship 02: Blocks 20, 21 and 22 were consistently full and I don’t think I saw a single block below 75% full. I don’t know how many players a block can host so I can’t really estimate any raw numbers from it.
Update: The character creation restriction has been lifted for now.
For those who were a little late to the party and wished to roll on Ship 02, hope is not lost. The lockdown is only temporary. However I understand that many people have decided to roll on other ships and I can’t say I wouldn’t be tempted in this situation. If you don’t intend to stay there, know that there are no server transfer services announced yet. You can still just delete your character and start it again if you really want to be on Ship 02 later. It sucks that you’d have to lose that time, though. What also sucks about this is I imagine it’s fractured the importer community some what, which is a shame.
Unlocking Hard Mode
Not as horrible as I thought it would be. Given how the quest unlock orders that Kofi hands out tended to involve farming random drops or time attack (in missions which are random..) I fully expected unlocking an extra difficulty would be painful. As it turned out, it was just a straight forward kill quest. The quest is highlighted in the below image.
All you have to do is kill Rockbear, Caterderan and Gwanada 5 times each. The mini-bosses of Forest, Caves and Desert respectively. There is no time attack or ranking requirement and it counts if you encounter them in the wild or in their arenas. The best way to do this is in a full party if you can arrange it, as the minibosses will spawn in 3s (2 initially, 1 after one of them dies). That way you only need to do 2 runs of each mini-boss mission to unlock hard mode. NPCs do not count as a full party.
You’ll unlock this quest at lv17, but of course to complete it you’ll need to unlock Desert Free-Field. If you’re familiar with Kofi’s orders up to Free-Field Caves, you just need to kill Vol Dragon once. If not, I’ll try to have a more comprehensive guide later. This will unlock a Client Order from Kofi, which wants you to S-rank the Free-Field Caves in under 20 minutes. This will unlock the first desert mission.
Complete it and the next missions they unlock. The 2nd one ends with a triangular teleporter, you need to wander the area looking for crystals. Pick them up and deposit them in the teleporter. You should be familiar with the final one if you were in the pre-OBT, but if you weren’t just mash the E key or whichever button you use to interact with objects when the drills are glowing. Upon completing that, Kofi should give you another Client Order. You should know the format, complete the last 2 missions with S-rank within the time-limit and collect 2 things. When you complete that you’re now ready to work on unlocking hard mode.