PSO2 Official Facebook Page

If you’re not already aware, PSO2 has an official Facebook page right here:

http://www.facebook.com/sega.pso2?sk=wall

One interesting post was pointed out in the #psu IRC chatroom by member Vashyron. An English speaking fan told the PSO2 to announce a US release! They responded with “we will try!”.

https://www.facebook.com/jose.portela/posts/186318298099515

Hm. Not exactly brimming with confidence from this, but that they’re responding at all in English is somewhat comforting I guess.

Units = Appearance

Units are items that you can equip or slot into armor, it has some vague similarity to gemming in World of Warcraft. However, you don’t have multiple armor pieces. Instead you just have “Armor” and that armor can have a differing number of slots to equip units into. Slotting also doesnt consume units and you can slot, unslot and swap units about all you like.

In PSO and Phantasy Star Portable 2, there were no unit-type restrictions (except for on special ability units in PSP2). In PSU, unit types were introduced so units could only be slotted into armor which had matching slots. In all these, units were slotted into armor. Well now, in PSO2, things seem to be quite different.

A Human hunter, equipped with units

It seems now that you actually slot units into your outfit rather than your armor. There are different unit slots (arms, back, legs) but it’s not known if there will be restrictions on what unit you can slot where. Nor if some outfits might actually have no slots in certain places, which if there were also restrictions would be incredibly bad news for anyone who’s particular about their character’s appearance. For example; you are a techer, you need an arm unit that has a TP boost that only goes in an arm slot but your outfit (which is a damn snazzy lookin outfit for your character) doesnt have one.

A female CAST wearing units
From behind!

Another thing that’s new is that high-level units will now affect your appearance, too. Wether the actual visual effects will be per-costume or regardless of costume is not known, but again it could be bad news for people who care a lot about appearance. Say you’re that Force again, you need a TP unit but it has a graphic that utterly clashes with your outfit/color scheme. Again you’re sacrificing appearance for stats. If the appearance is unique to a given costume of course this won’t be an issue. The screenshots seem to suggest that this is the case, in particular as the units appear to all match their respective character’s color scheme, but then if you don’t want your character with bulkier parts attached to them then it seems like you’re out of luck.

Looking sharp!

So it would seem that gear changes your appearance, which is a first for a Phantasy Star online game (well if you don’t count weapons and mags in the field). The good side of this is now you can show off your gear in public, which is something you couldn’t really do before. In particular to show off the more difficult to aquire equipment. However, the down side is you may end up having to look like a clown (albeit a sharp pointy metal clown) just to have decent stats. Plus you have the issue that many mmos have where all gear determines appearance, where you have “best-in-slot” or optimal items which everyone will gravitate towards, meaning every character ultimately ends up wearing the same outfits. I somehow doubt that PSO2 will have this problem, but it could have appearance clashing issues if they’re not careful with how they handle this.

Rumourmill – Global Servers

Starting with an easy one. “Global Support” was a phrase that came up during the initial press release for PSO2 at the Tokyo Game Show. One of the initial teaser trailers for PSO2 also had English text in it. This has lead people to speculate that this not only means that an English release is going to happen but that also the servers will be global, as in all PSO2 players will be playing to the same schedule and can access the same servers, as people used to be able to with the Dreamcast version of PSO. 

Real or Rumour? 

As of yet, nothing has actually confirmed wether or not the servers will be regionally split. In fact a western release hasn’t even been announced, nor has there been much of a fuss on Sega of America’s side about PSO2 in general. That said, it’s too early to disregard the possibility of a western release, but I have a feeling that global servers in the way a lot of people interpreted the phrase from the trailer will not come to be.

What we Know

As far as servers go, from the media briefing we know that there will be “World Servers” and that these will operate much in the same way as entrances did for PSU JP. For those outside the Phantasy Star franchise, think seperate realm servers on games like World of Warcraft or Aion, but not like district servers in Guild Wars. The characters you create on a particular world server can only interact with other characters on the same world server, so much like most mmos you will need to decide with your friends which servers to create characters on or else you won’t be able to play with each other. Not without having to create characters from scratch. Sakai has stated that he’s thinking about allowing character transfers but I anticipate that, like World of Warcraft, it will come with a price on the user.

As it is, I somehow doubt that the servers will be truly global, but as it is there is no information to suggest for sure either way. For now, this remains a rumour. As for “Global support” or “Global development”, if that’s referring to a synchronized content schedule for multiple regions of the game then we’ve heard that one before.

New Race/Class Concept Art

Some new concept art has been revealed in an uploaded magazine scan.

From left to right we have male Newman Hunter (HUnewm), male Newman Force (FOnewm), female Newman Force (FOnewearl), female CAST Force (FOcaseal) and male CAST Force (FOcast). The classes that were present in PSO are very clearly based on their old selves.

Looks like Caseals, or female CASTS, will get the choice of fleshy faces at least. Male casts are completely mecha in all screens and videos featuring them, so far. Personally I really like the look of them. Not a fan of the male Newman Hunter there (cool suit, but he looks like a GIRL) but who cares about male Newmans anyway. If you do, you shouldn’t.

Their designs are a bit busy, perhaps, but I’m glad that they didn’t continue in the direction that the artwork the PSU franchise went in, which seemed to get increasingly moe as time went by.

Customizable!

Let’s just get this one out of the way, ladies and gentlemen.

Yes. They’re boobs. They’re those things that girls have. Yes, girls. You know, those things you stalk or stare at with binoculars or through windows. So desperately wishing you could understand them.
Just one bit of the impressive character creator unveiled in the PSO2 media briefing and something that subsequent PSO2 newsletters as well as fansites and forums have taken particular notice of.

What can you say about this, really? Sakai um, is a little creepy perhaps, but he really knows his audience.

Kudos go to whoever made this gif!

Intro to the PSO2Blog! What this is.

The PSO2 Media briefing is out. With it came new details of the game’s features both in progress and on the drawing board. PSO fans rejoice as their beloved Mags will be making a return to the series, while some PSU fans may well jeer at the idea of having to find your Photon Arts rather than grind them up through repetition. Perhaps unfortunately for all, still no news on wether or not the US will have it’s own separated servers like before with PSU and PSO:BB, or if they’ll be global instead.

I felt like a more opinionated blog is necessary among all the information gathering done by the more hard working members of the Phantasy Star community. Well ok not necessary perhaps, but useful to some people maybe! Here I will be sharing my own thoughts on the various things announced by SEGA, shared by news and then translated for the consumption of us filthy gaijins. This platform I hope will also serve as a place to comment on the community as I see it, sharing rumours and on release as a place to share guides for those who wish to play on the japanese servers. It will also serve as a place to share my own speculations as well as perhaps others.

I am a long time player of various online Phantasy Star games. I began playing PSO on the Gamecube before moving on to PSO:Blue Burst. I then moved on to Phantasy Star Universe and for some reason I am still playing it despite it’s abhorrent treatment in the western market. Of course I migrated to the Japanese servers some time ago.

Anyways! To summarise: This is less a news blog, more a thoughts blog. This will only cover PSO2 and things related to PSO2.