PSO2 33rd Broadcast Junk

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Hey, been a while I know. May talk about this towards the end rather than the beginning because I’m sure most people want to see the new stuff and not me talking about my thoughts regarding this blog.

So yeah, Sega did it’s 33rd live broadcast and as is the norm they showed a bunch of new trailers. This post is more gonna act as a means to collect the videos together into one place for more convenient watching and some information that I can share below them.

Kurona – TERRITORY OF BLACK

The first trailer’s main focus is the new Kurona area of planet Japan Harukotan.

Highlights include:

  • New compound Technique: Barantsion (need a better rendition of this name)
    • Carve your enemies up with blades of frozen light in a furious melee combo. Looks like a solid boss-killer from what they’ve shown so far.
  • New Photon Arts
    • Wired Lance PA: Adapt Spin
    • Assault Rifle PA: End Attract
    • Katana PA: Guren Tessen
    • Twin Dagger PA: Fall Nocturne
  • Blazblue costumes
    • Ragna (male female), Jin (male, female), Noel (female), Izayoi (female), Mu -No.12- (female). I wonder why we didn’t get male versions of the primarily female outfits…
    • Hairstyles and voices too!
  • Blazblue weapon camos
  • New accessories
  • And of course, Kurona
  • New 12* weapons and new 13* dark themed weapons (Pyroxene exchange weapons)

As far as I know it’s not actually explained where to get the pyroxenes for the dark-themed weapons, unless they’re adding a clear incentive for running Kurona free-field at all. If it was explained during the presentation, please let me know.

Kurona as an area looks great, if nothing else it seems far less annoying than Shironia was with its multi-story gimmick where jumping on roofs would make some enemies easier to hit. Hey it was a nice idea, but it didn’t really work out in my opinion. I also generally feel that this area just plain looks more interesting than a generic ye olde Japanese towne…

Challenge Mode Part Two!

  • Guilty Gear Xrd Collab
    • Costumes for Sol (male), Ky (male, female), Millia (female), Elphelt (female) and May (female).
    • Weapon camos, hairstyles and voices too!
  • Various new accessories, room decos, new room theme
  • Photon art customisation demo (brief one, alas)
  • Time Attack Rankings split into “Team”, “Solo” with “PC” and “Vita” platform sub-categories.
    • Probably about time for this change, naturally solo players could never compete with teams and the PC has some clear technical power advantages over the Vita. Doesn’t mean players like me are gonna have a better shot at the gold, though! They can’t fix my sucking…
  • Racaseal and Racast PSO costumes revealed.
  • Sato accessory
  • New Challenge Mode quest revealed
    • As was datamined, it starts in the Tundra and proceeds to Tunnels and Skyscape (not necessarily in that order).
    • Includes Darker enemies from Kurona
    • Ideal Units can now be obtained with challenge miles as well as “Photon Boosters” (20,000 miles each)
    • The new Photon Booster items can be used to unlock hidden weapon potentials on 12★ weapons.

Well one of the fears I was aware of among the playerbase for Challenge Mode was they’d include new weapons or something, which would make the current set of Ideal Weapons obsolete potentially. This turned out not to be the case so those people can relax for now! Ideal Units were not something I expected, however. At this point their stats are completely unknown, let alone any hidden stats or potential set bonuses.

According to Bumped, there are going to be some other changes to Challenge Mode quests too, such as relaxing the VR drain for 9+ player parties and granting bonus miles for picking up excessive VR capsules. While cool, I imagine this won’t change the current strategy of having a VR manager to pick up capsules only when needed for as much time in the quest as possible.

Meanwhile it appears that Advance Quests may be getting a permanent 100% exp boost applied to them, making them a viable way to level up outside of emergency quests. Cool enough, I’m quite happy with this idea if it turns out to be true. They’re also going to boost the drop rate of large Pyroxenes, which is another welcome change although the cynic in me anticipates that it won’t be that much of a boost to be noticeable.

Toy Falz: Dark Falz Double

No need for a highlight section, it’s just toy falz! So yeah, seems that Double will indeed be the next raid boss and the next Falz we will encounter in the story. Not particularly surprising perhaps, but there was a small chance that the plot could have diverted and we ended up fighting a different Falz instead. There was another Falz revealed in the data at least, by the name of Dark Falz Abyss. More on that possibly in a separate post.

The humanoid form of Double seems appropriately hectic, in line with the other humanoid Falz forms so far. Looking at the trailer it does seem like the boss has a few moves that could get somewhat cheesy, but without any damage numbers or player level shown it’s hard to say for sure how damaging some of its moves may be. It seems to borrow Hunar’s ground-pound attack, but then Loser has a similar attack in its full form as well.

As for the full form, I have to say it was nothing like I imagined Double would be. A dark, living castle. It’s cool looking! The moves it has look pretty dynamic. I can’t wait to see what the boss’s mechanics turn out to be. It seems to lack a Loser-style MPA-wipe move going by the trailer, but I’m sure they haven’t shown everything the boss can do.

Other Tidbits

Class Cap Bonuses

Seems you will be able to earn a stat bonus for capping a class on a character. For example, getting to Lv75 on Braver will give you +2pp, +20 all attack and +30 dex. This bonus will apply to all of your classes forever. This will also apply to all of your classes for each character on your account, so you won’t need to cap all classes on all characters. Well, in theory. They haven’t actually said that it doesn’t stack, but I doubt it will. Regardless, there is a chance that this could be a really nasty pay-to-win incentive if it does stack…

This, along with the class Excube system and SP-orders tied to them after hitting the lv75 cap does make me seriously speculate that we could be at the ultimate cap in PSO2 now. If so, this means the only progress our characters would make from here on out would be gear alone. I may be wrong on this, but if not I’m not really sure how to feel about it. I can say that I wouldn’t be eager for any level cap raises anyway.

Casino Changes

Along with increasing the payouts for all the casino games (aside Roulette), Lambda Grinders, Yurlungers (otherwise only obtainable from Ultimate Lilipa) and Lilipariums will also be added to the prize shop there. Rare Enemy Trigger E-Trials will also reward Arks Badges (Peach!) and a unit with the “Spirita Alpha” ability. Not a clue what effect this ability has at this time.

And something about a Neptunia collab in the fall but no one cares about that.

Thanks to Bumped for some names and Manta for uploading videos from the stream.

Oh right, before I forget PSO2 IS GETTING A GOD DAMN ANIME!? Like, what the fuck? I mean OK, it isn’t really that huge of a stretch because the game is already neck deep in anime as it is but still! God damn, man, god damn! It’s apparently an original story set on a near-future Earth which… if true I’m not really sure how that’s going to be related to PSO2 at all? I don’t know. For those of us with a morbid curiosity, we’ll find out in 2016 when it airs.


About the Blog

I’ve found myself getting a bit worried about the purpose of this thing. I mean it’s always been a semi-news blog/mostly my dumb opinions blog. A thing to exercise my writing skills with and above all it’s been fun to write. The trouble is, not being able to do news cause I can’t read the language and because its one of the less enjoyable things to write about in my opinion, it means when I don’t have an opinion on something I just end up not writing anything. And of course, I have my own professional skills to develop (I do not intend to ever do writing for a living) and these things can take a surprising amount of time to write.

Truthfully, I did also anticipate being able to cover the western version of the game whenever it would decide to rear its ugly face. So far this has yet to happen and honestly, judging by the data present in the South-East Asian version of the game I’m pretty sure the western version has been canned. This is just my thoughts and the thoughts of a few others I know, so we could be wrong. I’d happily eat humble pie on this if an announcement were to come out from either Sega or some company that buys the license. I know there are people out there who still don’t want to play on the Japanese servers and I really don’t blame them. Yeah I know signing up isn’t hard and there are some seriously awesome community efforts to make it all the more trivial but some people still don’t feel welcome on the Japanese servers and are also put off by the fact that playing there entitles them to zero support from the developers. The latter is a particularly understandable concern for some people.

All in all, I’ll keep this going when I can and as long as it’s fun to write. If I end up in a position where I can’t keep the blog going anymore, I’ll make a post saying so and put this thing to rest.

News Tidbits for June

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There’s been a few news snippets popping up here and there, figured I’d make a post to collect a few of them up.

32nd Live Broadcast

Sort of a self-explanatory subtitle but yes we’re getting another live broadcast. It’s been known about for a while but details about what exactly they’re going to do during the show were only just revealed.

Highlights will include:

  • A fight with Gal Gryphon
  • Latest update info
  • Latest details on the PSO 15th Anniversary project
  • New collab and retail goods (Yaay…)

You can catch the stream on NicoNico here (though if you’re not premium I wouldn’t bother). It’s likely fan re-streams will be up on the day.

Gwanahda Bit Fix

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From the 10th of June, Gwanahda Bits will no longer drop items. They say it’s because during testing they found that they could farm Bronze Weapons Badges from them, which could break the upcoming event (PSO2’s 3rd Anniversary and Max Attack).

For those unaware, you could use Gwanahda Bits to get Client Order items and I believe Advance Quest items as well. This was useful for the more annoying Client Orders but it was always a fairly obvious oversight on their part.

That said, I’m really not convinced that it would have broken the event in any major way. I mean surely it’d be better badges/hour to just straight run the quest?

In order to compensate for this change, they’re apparently raising the number of items that Gwanahda can drop. Which is nice I guess.

Ultimate Busting

From the 10th we’ll be able to transfer Ultimate Buster onto weapons. This comes with a couple of restrictions:

  • In order to transfer, at least 5 of the items will need Ultimate Buster on them
  • Ultimate Buster can’t be transferred onto 13* Weapons or above

For the unaware, Ultimate Buster is an affix which boosts a weapon’s damage by 10% if the target is an Ultimate enemy (known as an “Aberration”).

So you will be able to make weapons just for Ultimate it seems, though whether or not it’ll be worth doing depends I’d argue. First I’m not sure that any weapon with Ultimate Buster attached will be able to compete with 13* weapons anyway. That said, it may well close the gap for those who don’t have 13* weapons yet and it certainly opens up options for classes where 13* weapons are not a reasonable or optimal (mostly due to element requirements or specific latents).

Personally, I have at least two weapons I’d like to bolster with Ultimate Buster and I don’t expect it will cost that much. This is mostly due to the fact that Ultimate Buster is only useful in Ultimate combined with the fact that plenty of weapons with the ability are generated with every Extra Hard Emergency Quest. That said, certain rare combinations of affixes with Ultimate Buster might become expensive, such as in combination with a boss soul. Given that five of the six items involved in the affixing process must have Ultimate Buster on them you’re going to need to use at least 3 souls if you want one or the one without Ultimate Buster will need Soul Receptor on it. Alternatively, you could build Ultimate Buster fodder and go from there, but that could just drive soul prices even higher as you’ll need Ultimate Buster + Soul + however many junk just to make them in the first place.

Kuronia – Harukotan’s 2nd Field

kuronia_tower_or_something

Yeah this was announced at the last live broadcast but I didn’t get to post about it before so why not now?

Thanks to data-mining it’s been known for some time that Kuronia was coming. I mean if nothing else, it was a pretty safe bet given the story set out for Harukotan and the big looming dark temple on the map.

The video below is so far the only preview we’ve had of the area. Skip to 1:36 to see it, though be warned the image quality is abysmal.

The area itself however does look quite pretty; a giant temple decorated with golden statues of… what looks like Asura? Why would a temple on an alien planet have statues of human deities in it? Oh well, I\m sure it will be enjoyable for the first week or so while it’s fresh.

Beyond the enemies showcased here they’re still missing the “dollhouse” and “toypipe” darker enemies. I really want to know what the dollhouse type involves. But hey, PSO2 finally has a regular centaur type enemy (Blu Ringahda notwithstanding). It wouldn’t be an online Phantasy Star game without centaurs of some kind.

Thats all for this post. With the release of the pre-patch it’s likely some tidbits about the game’s future could be released shortly, though be aware the the more interesting stuff tends to be from the maintenance patches.

Thanks to EspioKaos for translations.

Maximum Attack: PSO2’s Third Anniversary

happyfish

The web-event site for PSO2’s 3rd Anniversary event (of which Maximum Attack is a part) is now up here. Reposting the trailer below:

The update page can be found here. 

The event is set to kick off on the 10th of June and ends on the 22nd of July.

Ah the Maximum Attack event, a long tradition of the Phantasy Star Online series. It started with Max Attack in the original PSO and would go on to appear a total of 4 times in PSO and 4 more times in PSU. It occurred an extra time on the US version of the game due to issues with the login/billing servers during the first event, preventing a large number of players from taking part at all (Error 56!). That said, the US never got Maximum Attack: Infinity so I guess that makes them even!

Anyway with that bit of nostalgia out of the way, let’s look at what’s coming up.

What We Know

Details are still being revealed. The main quest of the event will be a Limited Quest set in the Darkers Den. Like Limited Quests before it, it seems to be a run-around-in-circles style Multi-Party Quest which features enemies from various places in the game, including bosses such as Snow Banther, Blu Ringahda, Chrome Dragon, Gigur Gunnegam, Varder Soma and Big Varder. Big Varder in the Darker’s Den is something I have to witness. Imagine if that spawned with the infected gunship Emergency trial? Missiles everywhere! Alas, the trailer seems to indicate that it doesn’t but a man can dream… Also what is it with Sega and putting the Fang/Snow Banthers in all the cross-planet quests lately?

webpanel

While there is a web-panel and that points can be earned for it like in previous events, we don’t know what all the panel rewards are yet. I feel like it may be a safe bet that an affix and grinding boost period will be on the table, however. Certainly an EXP, Rare drop, Meseta and Rare enemy boost at least. The preview of the event appears to show bonus daily login stamps and a 1000 FUN points ticket, though that could change.

Points are earned by defeated targeted bosses for the event. Details are scarce, aside that the amount of points rewarded per kill may scale with difficulty (as in a boss killed on normal will be presumably worth less than one killed on Extra Hard). Interestingly, PSO2es players will be able to contribute towards the event as well which is a first in the game’s history.

Given there’s an exchange shop for them, it seems safe to assume that Weapons Badges can be obtained from the quest.  Exactly how is anyone’s guess at this point, they could be random drops, given at the end of the quest or given out as Client Order rewards.

More information is set to be revealed when the event begins, but I wouldn';t be surprised if we hear more in the meanwhile. It won’t be during the 32nd Broadcast however, as that’s scheduled 4 days after the event has begun!

Update: And just like that, new information surfaces a day later. According to Gheaven’s post here we’ll be getting the badges like so:

  • Bronze Badges will be area drops
    • All difficulties
  • Silver Badges will be boss drops
    • All difficulties
  • Gold Badges will be rewarded for clearing e-trials and the quest itself
    • Super Hard and Extra Hard only.

Unsurprisingly, you’ll need Gold Badges if you want the Yozakura weapons.

New Weapons (Kinda)

There are two series of weapons to be aware of for this update: additional Nox-series weapons (12★) and the “new” Yozakura-series of weapons (13★).

The Nox-series are going to be random drops. The Yozakura-series weapons can be obtained by exchanging Weapons badges for them at the Third Anniversary Exchange Shop.

youcallthataknife

The Yozakura series are essentially re-coloured Extreme Quest weapons much like the Live-series. Quite why the Extreme Quest re-colours have been repurposed like this I don’t know, going to go with “laziness”. Whatever the case I like the way they look, although I am slightly disappointed that their on-attack effect isn’t as pretty as their old sun-god counterparts.

As for their potential abilities, it was revealed during the 31st Live Broadcast that the striking weapons would have a 6% damage boost whereas teching and ranged weapons would have a 3% damage boost. Additionally, all weapons reduce PP consumption on using a Photon Art or Technique, though as far as I’m aware it isn’t known exactly how much this reduction is.

Stat-wise, Yozakura is the weakest 13★ series yet, so anyone who has an Ares weapon can pretty much ignore these entirely. Those with Ideal weapons might want to think about these as they will be better for mobbing, though some weapon types might have better options.

I can’t help but be a little cynical about the weapons, given previous exchanges have required a ludicrous amount of a material or grant a low element percentage (or both!), however I understand that these are quite powerful weapons in their own right. It’d be bad for the game to hand these weapons out too quickly, but I’m still dreading the potential effort.

Come on step it up!

ringringringringring

The 3rd Anniversary also coincides with the Sonic lobby. The lobby will be adorned with statues of various Sonic characters like last year, however this year you’ll also be able to run around and get rings. For what purpose? I have no idea but it’s kind of nifty I guess.

It also has.. this… thing

sonyack

Urgh

sonyack2

No please go away

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:(

I really did not want to know what the love-child of Sonic and Tails would look like. That’s for the shippers, those gross fuckers.

There’s also some collaboration stuff but no one cares about that.

Additionally, some details about the PSO anniversary set to take place in July have started to be revealed, but I may cover that in a separate post.

Titanic Tidbits

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While the online services continue to be down, some little tidbits regarding planet Harukotan were revealed during the event in Osaka. Harukotan is a new planet set to arrive with the release of Episode 3 in August.

Titans are bigger than you!

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While rather self-explanatory and not entirely unexpected, this image does at least give us a scale. With it it’s a little easier to appreciate just how large the monsters are on this planet. The Shiro-Nation Titan is on the left, the Kuro-Nation Titan is on the right. Lets call an individual from each nation a Shironian and a Kuronite.

Alternative names are White Nation and Black Nation. Why not use them? Well, for one thing the planet is very Japanese so using the Japanese names in Romaji seems thematically appropriate for once. The other reason is to avoid certain unfortunate racial implications the names would have otherwise…

The Shiro Nation

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The Shiro Nation, the first field that players will be visiting on planet Harukotan, is suffering an invasion by the Kuro Nation. Where the ARKS will fit into this is kind of a good question, but hints would appear to be that the Shiro Nation are the er, “good guys”. That said, watching through the video it does seem like Shironians will also attack you.

The field is populated by titans and Yokai-like enemies.

This slide also shows the field does indeed have an environmental mechanic, this time in the form of a purple Miasma which is said to strengthen the Kuronite invaders. Players will be able to purify these fields somehow. They sound mechanically similar to the corrupted relics in the Ruins field but clearly the scale is larger.

No information yet on what future fields may be, though I still feel the Kuro Nation is a pretty safe bet!

New Darker Type and Titan Boss

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So there we have it, I said before how the field appeared to be lacking a Darker type and speculated which type may inhabit the field. Turns out it will be a new Darker type entirely, the Plaything/Toy type. We know Dark Falz Double is in the area due to the previously released teaser trailer for Episode 3 content, but given the events towards the end of Episode 2 it seemed like Double was in control of the Bird-type Darkers. Well, this revelation rather shoots that idea in the face. Dark Falz Loser really was the king of the chickens, after all. The aesthetics on the new type certainly are different, so different that if I was shown an image of them without being told they were Darkers I doubt I’d say for definite that they were. The only hint I’d have is the patterned red+black parts of them. In fact the teaser does show one of the Darkers and I don’t think anyone figured it was a new Darker type.

This makes me rather curious as to what Toy Falz is going to look like in its various forms…

The field boss is a Kuronite Titan by the name of Gigiru Gun’negamu (Gigil Gunnegam?).  It uses ice-based attacks. That’s all there is to say about that for now.

 [Thanks to Mewn for names]

South-East Asia Players IP-Blocked From PSO2JP?

LOSER-LOSER-LA-LA-LAAA

A good amount of noise is spreading among various places. Noise made by concerned players from the SEA region who have found that they can’t log in to the Japanese servers today.

So has there been an IP block?

Well, it certainly would seem to be that way judging by the number of people reporting it. Among the complaints about GameGuard mucking up the early access for those who actually want to play on Asiasoft’s servers, there’s a good number of complaints about being unable to connect to JP on Asiasoft’s facebook page. 

There’s also this thread on PSO-World, this thread on Reddit and various comments over on Bumped. The word has spread, people in the region are unable to connect.

Update: Seems it’s official, according to this post by CM Dynareus. Quote below:

“Hello, unfortunately yes, as countries from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines will only be able to access our server.

Cheers ”

 

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Before recently, the only official word on anything regarding IP-blocks was that players outside the SEA region would be unable to connect to Asiasoft’s servers. There was, as far as I am aware, no official word stating that SEA players would no longer be able to play on the Japanese servers.

There is a slim chance that this isn’t an IP-block. This could be a coincidental connection issue, perhaps in light of cable maintenance or something. Although my gut feeling says this is incredibly unlikely, given that it’d be a remarkable coincidence that all 6 countries covered by Asiasoft happen to be blocked at the same time and on the day after their early access is underway.

I’m in South East Asia and fuck all things Asiasoft, how do I play on PSO2JP?

You’re in luck, potentially! Head on over to PSO-World here, where AIDA of Arks Layer has put together a guide to setting up a VPN.

Thoughts

If this is indeed an official IP block, then it’s a dick move. Yes, it is within Sega’s right to do so. don’t get me wrong there. In fact, all players from SEA and indeed players from anywhere in the world aside Japan aren’t officially allowed to connect to the servers in the first place. The terms of service state that you must physically be in Japan, after-all. Blocking entire regions with no word or forewarning is still a dick move, however. It’s a dick move because Sega or Asiasoft would have had the option to inform their players this was going to happen. Give the players who were maybe willing or considering playing on the SEA servers instead some time to prepare, to bid farewell to their old characters and other players on the JP servers they may be acquainted with.

Whose fault would it be? Given that Taiwan players can freely choose to play either their local version or the Japanese version, the finger of accusation points squarely at Asiasoft. Maybe it was a part of a deal they negotiated with Sega? Who knows.

If this was indeed Asiasoft’s decision as part of a tactic to increase their playerbase, I suspect it will only further the resolve of players who don’t wish to play on their servers and drive them towards VPNs instead.

DOES THIS MEAN WE WILL BE IP-BLOCKED WHEN PSO2 COMES OUT IN THE WEST?????

No. Remember, PSO2 Taiwan (hosted by Gamania) aren’t IP-blocked, indicating this wasn’t Sega\s decision.

All this incident would prove, should it be absolutely officially confirmed that it is an IP-block, is that Sega are willing to comply with requests to IP-block regions. So should whoever be hosting the western release of the game ask for it, Sega may comply.

 

Mining Base Defense: Drop Rebalance

BEEEEEES

Almost anyone who has played either of the Mining Base Defense quests will have experienced it; You’re about to defeat Dark Vibrace (however you want to spell it), your group is making good time and you might even get three runs in, when a massive lag spike suddenly brings the whole thing to a halt. Players worked out a long time ago that this lag occurred when the faster groups completed their runs and hit the big crystal at the end and that the server was choking while generating all those items.

Seems this has been officially acknowledged by Sega now and they’re set to implement a fix of sorts as detailed by this post here. 

You're killing the server, you assholes!

You’re killing the server, you assholes!

In true Sega fashion, they’re fixing the symptom rather than the cause by reducing the number of items that the crystal will generate from now on. In fairness this may be the only good fix available to them, the cynic in me is just convinced they’re taking the lazy way out. Remember when they removed the number of chairs in the lobby because they caused lag? CHAIRS.

Before you go turning all your 10*s into Photon Spheres instead of EXcubes, they’re not just reducing the number of drops but changing how the drop system works. Here’s a rundown:

11* drops will not be affected at all. This means that you’ll still have the same number of rolls for them, depending on your rank on the quest result screen (5 rolls at S-rank, 4 rolls at A-rank, 3 rolls at B-rank and 0 rolls at C-rank).

The total number of items dropped from the table built up during the quest will be reduced, but when picking items to drop it will be sorted by descending rarity. Before, this selection was completely random, now it sounds like any 10*s that were added to the table during the quest will be selected to drop before anything else. This means, potentially, you could get more 10*s from the quest than you did previously if I understand this right.

The total number of Meseta drops will be reduced. OH NO! But there will be no change to the average amount of Meseta you can obtain from the quest this way.

No other quests will be altered, it’s just both Mining Base Defense: Invasion and Intrusion.

PSO2 Live Broadcast 16 Gallery

GOOD_EVENINGI can’t understand a word of Japanese! As such, all I can really do for a live broadcast post for now is post a gallery of images. I hope they’ll be useful for those who can read japanese and just something pretty to look at for everyone else. Well as pretty as screen-shots from a livestream can be, anyway.

PSO2 ES
Question and Answers
Campaigns, Contests and Collaboration
Attack on Titan Teaser Image

stream-Attack-on_Titan


Videos

All of the following videos were uploaded by Manta Oyamada of PSO2UP.