No Longer Early Days of the Open Beta

It’s now been a week since PSO2’s Open Beta has begun. Today there is a 27 hour long maintenance which should end in roughly 10 hours from making this post. To remind you anyway:

  • 29th: 6:00am UK time (BST)
  • 29th: 0:00am CDT
  • 28th 8:00pm HADT.

If you feel like you’re struggling to work the game out, don’t worry because most people are. Information on certain parts of the game and how things work is still fuzzy. Feels weird playing a game like this when there’s no wiki to refer to as well, but one is on its way…

Level Cap

I’ve been having a great time with the game so far, playing almost non-stop this week. I hit level 30 within 4 days, thanks to my experience from previous tests and thanks to this obscene amount of free time I have at the moment. Many hit 30 before I did and the first wave of level 30s is still growing. Hindsight tells me I did not pick the most EXP efficient route to 30,  but I’ll go into detail about that later.

Related to that, I hear people’s concerns about how it’s too quick to level. Yeah, you remember how long it took to go from 1-30 in PSO? Or how about 1-30 in PSU (about a day)? Ok it’s not the most fair of comparisons, as after all they weren’t the release caps of either game, but I can’t help but find myself wondering why people want this game to be a longer grind. Do you really want to be stuck in lowbie content for too long? Personally I felt it dragged a bit in places, particularly the lv20-25 range, but otherwise given that the final level cap could be as high as 200 I think it’s a reasonable rate so far.

It’s nice at 30 at the moment. There are 3 free-field quests that are available to level 30s on hard-mode that all contain monsters that are higher level. I don’t think this trend will continue, sadly, as I imagine the level range of future free fields will be staggered a bit. However, remember this isn’t like most MMOs where being a handful of levels above or below content means it’s not worth running. It’s going to feel that way now when the level cap is so low but later on the differences should become increasingly marginal if it works like PSO and PSU did. Monsters a fair few levels below you could still drop relevant gear for you. It should be noted however that fighting monsters that are too many levels above you will incur an EXP penalty.

Hard Mode

It’s not really all that hard, is it? Well it depends. First, if your units aren’t up to scratch then you will die very fast in missions where the enemies are above lv27 or so. Even with very good units you will find hard-mode Vol Dragon a tough fight for now if you’re soloing. Overall, it isn’t hard but neither was hard mode in PSO (or B-rank in PSU).

Honestly, given the history of Phantasy Star online games, I think you’re in the wrong place if you want something to be challenging. These games have historically only had 2 difficulty settings: easy and bullshit hard. There’s never really been an in-between. Not outside of an actual challenge-mode anyway, which may or may not be happening to PSO2.

PSO2 on the Internet

There’s been a link to this site on my blog for ages, but it’s only actually recently opened up to the public. PSO2 Project is an image uploader site which you can, funnily enough, upload your screenshots to. You do not need to register to do this. The site also supports tagging and can even generate images from character creator files sent to it. The website author, “kp”, is currently looking for feedback about the site.

Giant Bomb has also recorded an hour-long playthrough of PSO2 with commentary here.

Meanwhile @phantasystar, Sega of America’s official Phantasy Star twitter account, has continued to post images of games with the latest being of the Nintendo DS game Phantasy Star Zero. As they’ve posted a game a day and only PSP2 is left of the Phantasy Stars that got released stateside, there’s speculation that an announcement concerning PSO2 may happen this Friday. Which is er, tomorrow. Coincidentally the same day that the extended maintenance ends, but that really is just that: a coincidence.

See? I have the knack.

I hit 30 by grinding in the 3rd Desert mission, the one which ends in a Code: Collect where you have to activate drills. It’s great EXP due to the enemy levels and how tightly packed they are in their spawns. While it was great for levelling, there is a better mission for it. The first Desert mission is currently considered the best. Like the previously mentioned mission, it has good spawn density but it also has 3 guaranteed Code:Attack events as part of the mission itself that reward a sizey chunk of EXP each. It’s also a short and very easily repeatable mission. It’s also good for any machine enemy or Darker related dailies you may have.

Towards The Future

So looks like the preview text for the next issue of Famitsu states that PSO2’s official service start will be some time in July. I imagine it will be early July, as I can’t imagine them not being eager to open up the cash shop somehow.

Apparently, the issue itself also reveals that the Subterranean Tunnel, the 2nd area of the planet Lilipa, will also be released some time in July. I don’t know if that’s release content or not, however. The Subterranean Tunnel will include new robot enemies, a new miniboss named Tranmizer and a new boss named “Big Barda” (there is pretty much no information about this boss at the moment).

As far as areas are concerned that leaves us with:

  • Naberius – Forest, Tundra
  • Amduscia – Caves
  • Lilipa – Desert, Subterranean Tunnels.
  • Arks Ship – Urban

The next area that’s likely to be released would be set on the floating islands of Amduscia (internally known as DRAGONLAND), which would bring the planets to 2 areas each. There is no information yet on any future planets.

It also seems that Sakai will be appearing on TV for an interview about PSO2, on what I think is a Japanese TV show by the name of “Game Maniacs”. The interview will be broadcast on July 7th, 23:00 to 23:30 JST.

[Sources: Shougai]

8 thoughts on “No Longer Early Days of the Open Beta”

  1. when this is released hopefully there will be a japanese paypal site that sega will allow to pay for arks cash, that way maybe we can somehow convert our currency to pay for premium. i know as soon as i can i am going to go premium. do you know if there will be any premium only ships/blocks? as i play many free mmos some ive played in the past have been aimed at younger crowds… and aside from that ive seen less stupidity in common areas of kids/teen mmos then i see in the lobbies here along with trade and general chats in other major mmos. im hoping a premium area will be in the make because id like a place where i dont have to blacklist trolls every day because they simply make a new account…. i really cant wait also i wonder if the mags sold in the arks shop are going to start with certain stats ie maybe buy a level 50 mag that has 30r rangs and 20 ability or if they will be special mags and be level 100 already. i guess we dont have much more time to wait. i bettr get to leveling or i wont be level 30 by the time its released lol

    1. Yeah there will be premium-only blocks on each ship. The mags you buy are blank slates, I’m planning on buying one as my build desperately needs a pure S-atk Mag.. I went pure Ability on my first without realising a pure Fury Stance Hunter is not gonna have the S-atk to equip level appropriate gear :(

      1. im planning on raising my ranged and ability at the same rate (finishes 50 ranged/ 49 ability) is that a good build for rangers? it seems like the ability is actually doing alot more for me than other classes as i see myself gettin g more crits on top of them hitting harder (im level 18ish and ever since like level 12 ive been getting crits for highest was 857 and i personally at the moment am not using a weapon with elements on it or even upgrade slots. id love upgrade slots but atm til i get more meseta and grinders i dont see the point in spending money on multiple weapons od different elements when i can do a little bit less damage burt it be the same to all enemies.

    1. if you havent done it already talk to koffee (the girl next to the party/mission counter) do your mag quest and other various quests then when you eventually unlock all of the forest quests she will give you a quest where you have 3 objectives 1st objective is quest drops(they look like golden monomates) the other 2 objectives is to complete the 2 highest level forest missions within a certain time. once you do this you will unlock free roam forest. beat it then you will have access to caves. same thing with caves you will eventually get a quest from koffee to get 2 quest items and 2 time trials after you do that again for the caves area you will unlock free caves then after you defeat the dragon boss in the free caves run you will have access to said desert quest :D hope that helps

  2. How did you even level up that fast? D:
    I’ve been playing for days now (80-ish hours), and I’m still at 18-ish or so. Okay, I’m a little lazy (a big part of the 80-ish hours was actually spent AFKing, chatting, or making symbol arts) and I play solo, but it still shouldn’t impact that much, does it?

    1. Depending on your luck it could. More people = more chance at PSE bursts, which give out some impressive EXP. lv30-40 is going to be endgame for a good while for now it seems, so no real pressure to cap

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