These changes are set to arrive some time in January.
This is the major new addition and is completely free. Each character you have will have its own personal inventory storage. This will contain items only for that character and items in it cannot be transferred to other characters. Each character will be able to hold 300 items each, which can be expanded permanently with Arks Cash. The time of the mule is coming, given you could now roll an alt for an additional 350 storage slots.
If your character transfers ship, their personal storage will be transferred with them. Given how seemingly unstable transferring is at the moment (causing such severe issues that they had to change how the EQ system worked to a degree just to prevent them) I can’t help but worry that the addition of this character-bound storage may introduce even more hilarious serious issues whenever people decide to jump ships.
On a more minor note, Premium storage space will be expanded by 100 slots, bringing it up to 400. Basic and OTP storages are not being expanded.
Extra rental storage will also not be being expanded, but it will have additional restrictions place upon it. You will no longer be able to send items to or sell items from any of your Extra Storage boxes. You will have to go to a storage terminal in order to interact with it. The “display all storages” tab also won’t show any items in the Extra Storage boxes. These changes will not apply to your other storages.
Sega admits that this is a downgrade but has deemed it necessary to do in order to implement the other changes for whatever reason. Given how flimsily put together their database seems to be, I wouldn’t be surprised that their hands really are tied on this issue. Sega being Sega.
So ultimately this is what your new warehouse is going to look like:
Basic Storage 200 slots
Character Storage 300 slots (permanently expandable via AC)
Premium Storage 400 slots
Extra Storage 1 500 slots
Extra Storage 2 500 slots
Extra Storage 3 500 slots
Extra Storage 4 500 slots
Extra Storage 5 500 slots
OTP Storage 200 slots
Hey it’s additional storage space, I’ll take it! While the changes to Extra Storage seem bizarre and un-necessary, it honestly won’t affect the vast majority of the player-base anyway as most people never rent the additional storage. This is more of an issue for Sega themselves, as it makes the extra storages seem less worthwhile.
While this does go some way to alleviate storage issues caused by all the currencies that they keep insisting on adding, I still feel an actual currency storage would have been a preferred change. As it is, this doesn’t prevent them from adding ever more currencies to eventually screw us down the line again anyway.
Also my storage issues are partly caused by how annoying it can be to sort through which items are worth selling on the player shops and which can just be NPC’d. Some UI improvements could go a long way to helping deal with inventory management, as to an extent additional storage space just adds additional work on the player’s part.
These details may be subject to change. Please let me know if anything in this post is inaccurate.
Inventory management is something that seems to be part and parcel of the MMO genre. At some point, your inventory is going to fill up and you will need to decide what’s worth keeping, what’s worth selling and what can just be tossed. Failure to do so properly can slow your adventuring down considerably, as you will be unable to loot things.
It seems that, over time, PSO2 has managed to find more and more ways to pack your inventory full of things that you may be hesitant to get rid of. This blog entry will list all these items and run off reasons why you wouldn’t likely want to trash them.
Advance Quest Items
アドバンスカプセルａ / Advanced Capsule a
アドバンスカプセルｂ / Advanced Capsule b
アドバンスカプセルｃ / Advanced Capsule c
風輝石ヴァーユ / Vayu Wind Pyroxene
炎輝石アグニ / Agni Fire Pyroxene
地輝石プリティヴィー / Prithvi Earth Pyroxene
雷輝石インドラ / Indra Thunder Pyroxene
雪輝石ヒマーラヤ / Himalaya Snow Pyroxene
天輝石ブラフマー / Brahma Sky Pyroxene
元輝石イシャーナ / Ishana Source Pyroxene
滅輝石ニルティリー / Nirrti Ruin Pyroxene
霊輝石ヤーマ / Yama Soul Pyroxene
12 inventory slots gone! At least, for that matter, as while they can stack up to 999 it is quite easy to end up with multiple stacks of them. Not only that, but various 9*s can be exchanged with a number of these Pyroxene items for a 10* weapon. Even if you don’t need any of the weapons themselves, they can be exchanged for EXCubes or Photon Spheres. Both of these items are kind of useful, as they can exchanged for items that can be sold on the market and other functional things (EXP boosters, rare drop boosters, etc).
Extreme Quest Items
紅桜の欠片 / Scarlet Fragment
真紅の欠片 / Crimson Fragment
蒼碧の欠片 / Cerulean Fragment
紅桜の原石 / Scarlet Ore
真紅の原石 / Crimson Ore
蒼碧の原石 / Cerulean Ore
魔石ハートキー / Heart Key Spellstone
魔石ブラッディムーン / Bloody Moon Spellstone
魔石ファントムナイト / Phantom Night Spellstone
ハートキー触媒 / Heart Key Catalyst
ブラッディムーン触媒 / Bloody Moon Catalyst
ファントムナイト触媒 / Phantom Night Catalyst
Another 12 slots gone! And again, much like Advanced Quests you can end up with multiple stacks, though only of the fragments. However, you can compress them into ores and since the recent update that allows you to carry up to 999 of them in your inventory it’s much less of a hassle to do so.
Related to extreme quests, there is also the chance to obtain 11* armors, which you’re not likely to trash.
The following items are all used as currency in various exchanges and shops.
That’s 6 slots gone! Iritista can be exchanged for some pretty terrible 10* weapons that can then be converted into Excubes or Photon Spheres. Photon Drops and Photon Crystals can be compressed into Photon Spheres as well.
獲得経験値＋１０％ / Experience Gained +10%
獲得経験値＋２５％ / Experience Gained +25%
獲得経験値＋５０％ / Experience Gained +50%
獲得経験値＋７５％ / Experience Gained +75%
レアドロップ倍率＋１０％ / Rare Drop Rate Boost +10%
レアドロップ倍率＋５０％ / Rare Drop Rate Boost +50%
レアドロップ倍率＋７５％ / Rare Drop Rate Boost +75%
レアドロップ倍率＋２５０％ / Rare Drop Rate Boost +250%
獲得メセタ＋１０％ / Meseta Gained +10%
獲得メセタ＋５０％ / Meseta Gained +50%
トライブースト＋５０％ / Tri Boost +50%
トライブースト＋１００％ / Tri Boost +100%
ショートケーキ / Shortcake
チーズケーキ / Cheesecake
フルーツタルト / Fruit Tart
パンプキンパイ / Pumpkin Pie
クリスマスケーキ / Christmas Cake
バレンタインチョコ / Valentines Cake
トロピカルフラッペ / Tropical Frappe
グラインダー / Grinder
強化成功率＋５％ / Grind Success Rate +5%
強化成功率＋１０％ / Grind Success Rate +10%
強化成功率＋１００％ / Grind Success Rate +100%
強化リスク軽減（＋１） / Grind Risk Reduction (+1)
強化リスク軽減（＋２） / Grind Risk Reduction (+2)
強化リスク軽減（完全） / Grind Risk Reduction (Full)
シンセサイザー / Synthesizer
属性強化＋５％ / Attribute Enhance +5%
能力追加成功率＋５％ / Ability Success Rate +5%
能力追加成功率＋１０％ / Ability Success Rate +10%
エクストリームパス / Extreme Pass
A considerable 32 slots gone here. Note that this would be more if you use AC scratch, as there are a number of unique consumables you can obtain from it. The worth of the 10% EXP and Meseta boosts is somewhat insignificant, but I imagine most players are going to consume them rather than throw them away.
I’ve not really talked about this on the blog yet, so I’ll go ahead and take this opportunity to explain my opinion on it. Crafting is dumb. With that out of the way, back on the subject of inventory hogs because if you want to craft I sure hope you didn’t like having all those spare inventory slots!
アイロニア / Ironia
スティニア / Steenia
シルバニア / Silvania
アイロデスト / Irodest
スティデスト / Steedest
シルバデスト / Silvadest
アイログリモ / Irogrimo
スティグリモ / Steegrimo
シルバグリモ / Silvagrimo
アイロリアス / IroRears
スティリアス / SteeRears
シルバリアス / SilvaRears
アイロアムス / IroArms
スティアムス / SteeArms
シルバアムス / SilvaArms
アイロレグス / IroLegs
スティレグス / SteeLegs
シルバレグス / SilvaLegs
ルビアード / Rubiard
サファード / Saphard
ネオジット / Neojit
プロメチット / Promechit
PAフラグメント（打撃） / PA Fragment (Strike)
PAフラグメント（射撃） / PA Fragment (Ranged)
PAフラグメント（法撃） / PA Fragment (Tech)
リリパリウム（極小） / Liliparium (Min)
Not including the AC items again. That’s 26 slots gone for a complete set of crafting items. Anyone who has dismantled rare items will also know that you can very quickly accumulate the lowest tier of materials. So even though the likes of Ironia can stack up to 999, it doesn’t take long to end up with multiple stacks of them.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, yet I believe this post shows that around 87 inventory slots are eaten up by various things within the game. For a free-to-play player, that’s nearly half of their 200-slot item storage gone. This is before you consider the less predictable things, such as clothing items, armor sets and weapons that the player is either going to keep for use or for sale when they obtain access to their shop.
Let’s also not forget consumable tickets the player may not wish to use immediately, such as My Shop and My Room passes, or any compensation tickets such as Skill Tree Reset Passes and Premium Set (1 Day). Oh and I’ve not even mentioned Client Orders that require you to obtain items…
Towards The Future
As we learned recently from the 16th live broadcast the new tier of Advance Quests will be using new types of caps. Specifically Advanced Capsule d, e and f. So that’s 3 more slots gone before you then also consider the possibility of new types of Pyroxenes from the quest (another 3) and any new pre-requisite weapons.
Is Sega going to do anything to relieve the storage situation for freemium players? Not at all, but don’t worry they will be including 2 new rent-able storage sots in your warehouse soon!
There’s this game that recently had the plug pulled on it for good, named Phantasy Star Universe. You may have heard of it if you’re looking about a Phantasy Star fansite like this, you might have even played it. Did you spend any money buying Guardians Cash, the game’s cash-shop currency? Did you have any unspent Guardians Cash? If you did and you are playing PSO2 now you may want to read on.
A while ago Sega mentioned that there would be a way to convert Guardians Cash into Arks Cash or Webmoney, the system for it went up today along with a promotional offer.
This guide will only concern itself with the conversion into Arks Cash.
First, you will need to log in to your PSU account here. You will have to pass through a Japanese Capcha code, for which you can use this handy tool from Lexilogos if you don’t know any Japanese. Once past that you should see something like this:
The top field simply displays how much GC you have left as well as the email associated with your account.
You’ll notice that there is in fact a promotional offer for converting Guardians Cash into Arks Cash. Doing this will earn you an item code for a Mag Evolution Device to turn your Mag into Ethan’s Partner Machine “Pete”.
Some notes to be aware of:
The Guardians Cash to Arks Cash conversion itself will only take place after a maintenance period this December. It has not been stated exactly which week this will be.
You will only receive the item code after the conversion has been completed. The item code will be sent to the email associated with your Phantasy Star Universe account.
If you only had 5GC on your PSU account, it will be raised to 10AC when converted.
You only get 1 code. If you use another Mag Evolution Device, reset your Mag etc then you will not get another chance to change your Mag into Pete. Pick carefully.
The device can only be used on lv100+ Mags.
This device will not alter any of your Mag’s abilities, it is just a skin.
With that, onto a walkthrough of the rest of the process. Click the button under Pete that says “AC…..”. Clicking that will take you to this page:
This wants your Phantasy Star Online 2 username and password that you wish to send the Guardians Cash to. Upon entering them you will see this:
This is asking you to confirm your decision. Click the left button. This will take you to the next screen:
It’s simply telling you to check your email for a message with a confirmation link. Go to your email and open the message (it will be something like (株式会社ISAO) PSU IDサポートチーム – ACへの変換手続き完了のお知らせ). Click on the link in the message which will take you to this screen:
If you see this, then all went well! Remember that you won’t see your AC immediately, you’ll have to wait until some unspecified maintenance in December.
Just a small extra post as there were some cash shop prices spotted on the new PSO2 player site by Shougai.
Among this selection are Scape Dolls, a self-resurrection item, for 150AC each (or £1.23 GBP, $1.89 USD). You can also buy 3 for 400AC or 5 for 600 AC. Death could get expensive, but thankfully you won’t need scape dolls anyway. Be aware that boss fights in arenas are counted as a failure if you die, even if you have Scape Dolls (if you’re soloing, anyway).You will take a hit to your mission ranking if you don’t use one, but it really doesn’t matter that much.
At the top there is a Mag Reset Device, at the princely sum of 500AC. If you’re OCD about your mags you better be careful. You can also buy new mags for Arks Cash (price not announced, yet), but if I recall correctly you can obtain new Mags for free, somehow. You’ll have to forgive me as I forget the details. If I remember I’ll change this bit.
At the bottom are EXP boosters for 500AC for 3. On use, it provides a 100% boost to exp for 30 minutes of time in a mission (and only when you’re in the field). £4.10 GBP, or$6.31 USD for 1 and half hours of 100% exp. At that price, I would only use the item in the urban area when it pops up as an Emergency Quest.
You can also buy a Scape Doll on death, as seen in this screenshot. Any player with that amount of AC in their account probably needs to re-evaluate their life.
PSO2’s cash shop is shaping up to be expensive overall. You can find more prices in this post here. There are a number of prices that are as of yet, unknown, plus there is a small possibility that these prices could change in the future.
Next Friday for everybody. If the tests go well the OBT will be starting a week after.
So yes, it will only be for 2 days as I was hoping. It’s also very time limited, which is perfectly reasonable for a stress test.
Reminder that character data will be wiped, but I doubt you’re gonna achieve anything in that time limit anyway.
Another reminder that you do you do not need to uninstall the closed beta client if you still have it.
DO I WIN A PRIZE!?
Yes, you do! If you complete a desert mission with any character, specifically “【プレOBT限定】砂漠任務”, you will unlock the Bouquet Rifle. You won’t need to do anything special to access the quest, as it’s a special quest just for the pre-OBT that will be available from lv1. No need to level up this time, which is a relief given the brevity of the tests.
It sort of sucks that the prize is class specific, especially if you don’t want to play a Ranger. You can however change your class for free, much like you could in PSU, so every character can potentially use the weapon.Update: Turns out all classes may equip the rifle, but only Rangers will be able to use photon arts with it. Much more agreeable!.
Arks Cash Details
As well as unveiling a schedule for the pre-OBT the first details of the pricing for the Cash Shop have been released.
To summarise it, it’s the exact same as Guardians Cash. 1 AC = 1 Yen. That particular rumour turned out to be true.
200 AC will buy you one go at the Arks Scratch
500 AC will buy you one go at the Arks Scratch GOLD
1300 AC will buy you a month’s worth of Premium
500 AC will buy you an additional character, or a go at remodelling them
300 AC is the rough price for system type items
150 AC is the rough price for consumption items
How much is this in other currencies? I’ll list a few of them below. These conversions are accurate on 8th June 2012 and do not take into account any bank charges for foreign transactions.
£1.63 will buy you one go at the Arks Scratch
£4.10 will buy you one go at the Arks Scratch GOLD
£10.65 will buy you a month’s worth of Premium
£4.10 will buy you an additional character, or a go at remodelling them
£2.46 is the rough price for system type items
£1.23 is the rough price for consumption items
€2.02 will buy you one go at the Arks Scratch
€5.06 will buy you one go at the Arks Scratch GOLD
€13.17 will buy you a month’s worth of Premium
€5.06 will buy you an additional character, or a go at remodelling them
€3.04 is the rough price for system type items
€1.51 is the rough price for consumption items
$2.52 will buy you one go at the Arks Scratch
$6.31 will buy you one go at the Arks Scratch GOLD
$16.41 will buy you a month’s worth of Premium
$6.31 will buy you an additional character, or a go at remodelling them
$3.78 is the rough price for system type items
$1.89 is the rough price for consumption items
This isn’t necessarily all the prices, but it should give you an idea of how expensive things are. They are quite expensive, indeed.
Reminder that the regular Arks Scratch has a number of items including clothing, whereas Arks Scratch Gold only has clothing in it.
These payments are of course completely optional. You can download and play the game without ever having to spend a penny.
So what does the premium set include? Going by Bumped:
Exclusive Features Listed Below
Premium Storage Box
FUN Points Boost
30 Days = 1300 AC
60 Days = 2500AC
90 Days = 3600AC
You can buy premium time in bulk to save a little money. A 60-day ticket will cost 2500AC, saving you a whopping 100AC. A 90-day ticket will cost 3600AC, which saves you 300 AC. This puts the cheapest subscription rate at £9.78GBP, €12.07 and $15.10USD, at current exchange rates. This is still more expensive than a World of Warcraft subscription, even without taking into account bank charges…
Access to My Room and My Shop can also be obtained through the FUN Gacha. Extended storage is not the same as the premium storage and are themselves a separate fee of 700AC per month. Storage is hideously expensive in this game, really, however should you be desperate enough for item space to shell out for it you will be able to retrieve items from your extra storage even after the ticket expires. You can also buy access to My Room and My Shop separately, again for 700 AC per month each (so if you want both you may as well go for the premium set).
There’s a bit of a lack of information about the permanent upgrades to your account, if there even are any. Things like communication and access to trading, hopefully more information will come out as time goes on.
Personally speaking, access to being able to sell things on shops is probably the most vital thing in the premium set. Remember that you don’t need AC to buy things from player shops. As such, that’s really the only item on that list I’d consider getting and even that costs nearly £6 a month. Of all the things here, I think the thing that pisses me off the most is that item trading is a premium exclusive.
Sakai also posted some concept art of the uniform worn by Alfin. That is being modelled by a male newman, believe it or not. Not sure what’s up with the ear covers.
Ricardo at bumped amended this to a post on his blog, translating information originally posted on Shougai PSO here.
So you’ll be able to buy Arks Cash through ISAO. What does that mean to you? Well primarily what it means is that as a foreigner you’ll be able to buy Arks Cash at all, as ISAO accepts foreign credit cards. So if you were eager to burn a hole in your wallet by playing the gachas, or wished to just pick up the odd shortcut item from time to time, you may be able to. This is not complete confirmation, but I don’t think they’ll deviate from the system they had with Phantasy Star Universe somehow.
ISAO is able to accept Master Card, Visa, JCB and American Express cards. A list of other payment methods can be found here (Japanese), although not all will necessarily be available for PSO2.
Players of the Japanese Phantasy Star Universe servers from years back may know better, but before the switchover to ISAO players had to pay for their subs using NetCash cards that they’d have to buy from 3rd parties if I recall correctly.
The actual worth of Arks Cash still hasn’t been announced, nor has a list of prices for each item been revealed, but there was strong speculation among Japanese posts on Twitter that it would work out to 1 Yen per AC. This has neither been confirmed or denied, however the cash shop currency for the previous game in the series, namely Guardians Cash, worked out roughly to that.
What does this mean for PSO2? Well it just means that they’ll have to re-think how they’re going to distribute the Rappy Costume, pretty much. The rest of the lottery-style Arks Scratch will still be intact, as well as naturally the FUN Gacha (seeing as it’s free).
So no, this is not really a threat to PSO2’s business model. Of course, if laws like this go much further, that could change, although that’s rather dependant on how much they were depending on the Arks Scratch for funding I suppose. Personally I’m not much of a fan of real-money gambling in online games, anyway.
So the closed beta is long underway now, I think I’ve had enough time to formulate an opinions post. Like last time, will be talking about what I like and what I dislike about the state of the game in the current test.
Now, there are a number of things that remain the same from the 2nd alpha test, so I won’t be talking about them here as a result.
At the start of the tests attempting to play during Japanese peak time was an exercise in frustration. Players were greeted by an unplayable, laggy mess of a game. Lag was also a big issue during the 2nd Alpha, but it was many magnitudes worse in this test. Ok you have to consider that there is now a maximum potential of 100,000 simultaneous players, versus the 50,000 or so in the 2nd Alpha. Even still, the lag shouldn’t have been as bad as it was.
Then, 7 days into the test, Sega performed a server maintenance in which they upgraded and reconfigured some hardware. The latency experienced during the JP peak time has all but disappeared, so good job! Hopefully this fix will hold up towards the launch and beyond. ^Top
One of the biggest changes is how you actually progress through content. In the 2nd Alpha you used to have to run each mission once to unlock the next one along. This time you will need to do a variety of things, including Matter Board objectives and Client Orders. I’ll be talking about both of those things in a separate section.
You can still unlock missions the normal way, but the progression will halt at points and its at these points you need to do the other things needed. As a player from the Alpha this left me a bit confused, as when I arrested the Rappies successfully I was expecting to go toe-to-toe with Rockbears in the Free-Field, but no such luck!
So what do you have to do? Well you need to complete the 3rd Matter Board node, which wants you to talk to an NPC to receive a client order, which wants you to go kill some wolves, which then unlocks Client Ordersin general. Then, after clearing the 4th mission at least once and being beyond a certain level (lv5?) you need to get a client order from another NPC who wants you to do that mission again as well as another mission within a time limit as well as collecting some rare drops. THEN you get to do Free-Field!
You then need to do a client order to unlock the next planet and its first mission, after which you’re back to unlocking them by just running the mission. You’ll hit a similar Client Order requirement when you want to unlock the Caves Free-Field.
Overall, I would say this approach has a danger of overcomplicating progression or stretching the content frustratingly thin, particularly when progression objectives include collecting certain drops from enemies. I can see what they were perhaps attempting to do, maybe they wanted the player to get a bit more involved in the world and plot in order to advance missions. Maybe they were making sure that players could level up with the story? Nothing hugely wrong with that, I guess.
Honestly, the objectives so far haven’t been too bad and can largely be completed passively anyway, given that it’s not unusual that you’re going to be doing multiple runs of a mission. Players who are in a rush are going to feel the squeeze however and PSO2 is going to offer impatient players very little while they’re waiting for quest items to drop. ^Top
The story is presented in a relatively nonlinear fashion, what little of it exists so far. All cutscenes so far are fully voice acted, with the characters fairly well animated, too. The cutscenes in the lobbies and fields themselves (that you can encounter seemingly randomly) actually remind me a bit of how cutscenes used to look in Mass Effect. You know, if Mass Effect were also incredibly anime.
I doubt many interesting things are being said by the characters, but I do admit that I somewhat lament not being able to understand what they’re saying.
Given to you mysteriously by the mysterious Shion because she’s really freaking mysterious. .
So what actually is it, then? Well the board is a series of nodes with each node having some objective. Completing the objective will unlock access to the adjacent nodes around it, with golden nodes being relevant to the story in some manner. The objectives vary from seeing certain events in missions, collecting items from enemies, completing certain missions as well some other similar bits.
Ultimately its main purpose is supposed to be something to advance the story with, while I suppose making the world feel more involving. It somewhat comes across more as a means to artificially stretch out the content, however. ^Top
Client orders are given to you by the various NPCs wandering about the lobbies. They grant passive objectives just like the Matter Board, so you’ll be expected to collect items, do missions, etc. The difference is that Client Orders are mostly a means to earn experience points, with some quests giving out quite a generous amount (in particular one of Echo’s quests). Some Client Orders are also dailies.
You can take on many client orders at once and just complete them as you go, so there’s really no disadvantage to taking every order you see. It’s a passive boost to your levelling, really, plus they do make the lobbies feel a bit more interactive. It’s using old-fashioned MMO approaches, however, such as collecting x of a monster drop where not every monster will drop one (birds that don’t have feathers).
Attempting to rush these quests will probably be a frustrating experience, but given that one of them are really necessary I don’t think they really do the game ay harm. A flimsy justification for them existing, I know, but that’s really the best opinion I can make about them. They’re not really needed, but I don’t mind them being there either. ^Top
The Urban Area
As I guessed, the new urban area was only available during emergency quests. Makes sense, it would be rather alarming if monsters were attacking the colony constantly. When an emergency quest is announced, you have something like 15 minutes before the quest itself begins. The ship’s terminals will update to reflect this, as well as announcement will be scrolled at the top of the screen. The quest itself is time-limited in both availability and when you actually start the quest. The quest is available for 1 hour, and you have 25 minutes to clear any instance of it. Naturally this means that the most efficient thing to do is to just rush straight to the boss, whose entrance you can’t miss seeing as it’s a giant dome set against a sea of rectangular buildings.
The area itself is filled with various static hazards, including cars that will explode a short while after you hit them. These explosions can hurt friend and foe alike and it is possible to kill other players with them. Difficult, but I’ve managed to pull it off once, as well as getting myself killed trying to. Burning wreckage will also deal considerable damage to you if your gear isn’t up to scratch. It also has the chance of lightning storms, but these offer little in the way of danger to players.
The enemies are exclusively Darkers, with one new type of flying darker that will do swift and powerful attacks to unprepared players. However this barely matters as you’ll be rushing by them to fight the boss. Speaking of which: ^Top
The new boss of the test, as well as the boss that appears in the opening movie. Not only does it reside in a large stadium in the urban area, it also has a chance of spawning anywhere outside of it too, including on other planets.
The mechanics of the boss are rather straightforward when compared to the Vol Dragon. His main weak point is on an area between his head and main body at the back of its neck. Accessing it while it’s moving about is tricky, but you can bring it into the open by breaking its legs. Deal enough damage to one leg and it will begin to crackle. Hit it some more and eventually it will break, causing Ragne to faint for a short while. Breaking all 4 legs will cause him to faint for an extended period of time.
Its attacks vary from easy to avoid to somewhat tricky. It’ll regularly fire a series of red discs in from of it, which are easily avoided if you watch their patterns. You also avoid them entirely by being at its side. It will also do a short-range area-of-effect ability that will knock you back if you don’t block or get away from it. Ragne will also perform a leg sweep, which looks a lot easier to dodge than it actually is. Dark Ragne also has an absolute ton of HP, at least in the closed beta, so if you’re undergeared or underlevelled or both you’re going to have a rough time defeating it within the time limit.
Overall, another fairly easy boss. I found it a lot easier to get used to than I found Vol Dragon, certainly. Mind the lack of difficulty could well have something to do with how overgeared the player base is at 20 in this test. ^Top
Yeah I know I’ve lambasted Mags before, disliking the idea that I would forced to have it following my character whether I liked it or not. Having played with them now, I know I was basically making a mountain out of a molehill. Besides, after shoving a few weapons down its throat and watching it grow up and then learn to headbutt my enemies, I’ve kinda grown attached to the little scrapper.
Will say that feeding them is still the same kind of chore as it was in PSO, but if you didn’t mind it back then you’ll be right at home with the way they are in PSO2.
Holding down the Photon Blast button will allow other players and even NPCs to chain with yours. The result is a simultaneous and longer lasting Photon Blast. And yes that is a clone of my character.
Incidentally, the bar above their stats is actually their hunger meter. If it’s over 67% or so, you can’t feed it another item (each item raises the bar around 33%). When your mag performs actions, such as headbutting, shooting and healing, its hunger bar will deplete. It’s possible this could be abused to make Mags hungrier more quickly.. ^Top
Well the beta has let us know which things are definitely rental:
Access to selling items on the player shops
Access to trading
My Room Access
Already gone over this, however. We sadly already knew that PSO2 was a freemium game parading as a free-to-play. What’s new and frankly unsettling is the number of other things that you need Arks Cash for:
Getting new talent trees
Yes, resetting your skill trees will cost you money. You better damn well hope that either you don’t pick a build that sounds cool but is ultimately gimp, or ed up picking a tree that gets heavily nerfed down the line. I can not believe that they’re charging money for what amounts to newbie mistakes or even factors that are completely out of a player’s control. But there you have it. Make a mistake? Cough up, chump.
Clothes outside of the one you pick at character creation
There are a tiny number of outfits that you can buy with Meseta, only the default outfit + colour you see for each race/class combo on the race selection screen. However, clothing is tradeable on the player market, so you potentially wont ever need to spend cash to get any particular outfit. I expect some colour combinations to be hilariously expensive on some items, however.
The Gachas also drain your AC alarmingly fast, even though each spin costs 10AC and players got 1000AC or so. Players who gamble on them when the game is released may want to seriously keep an eye on the amount of money they’re spending, unless you want me to laugh at you when you turn up the news.
Personally speaking, there’s also something kind of teasing about arks cash items being stuck into various menus. I guess it’s there for the convenience, but for example if you’re defeated at any point the menu that pops up is literally asking you if you want to drop some cash to revive there and then. Related to that, incidentally, it won’t help you in boss arenas as it’s automatic failure if the party is defeated. ^Top
Symbol art is the evolution of a feature that was popular in PSO, which was then dropped from PSU for no good reason. I was wondering what kinds of pictures people could create with them and was eager to have a go myself. It allows people to create far more intricate pieces of artwork than I imagined possible. Here are some examples of what I made: And some other people made. I do not know who the creators are, otherwise I would give credit.
Symbol art is a tool that you can use to make potentially impressive pictures with, but it’s far from perfect. For one thing, the colours that you set in the creation window don’t seem to match up at all with the colours on the transmitted symbol. Another problem is arranging symbols into more intricate shapes is fiddly, approaching impossible when the UI can’t seem to decide which of the various anchors you’re trying to click on. This issue could be subsided considerably if they allowed us to zoom in 500% like they do when we’re creating team flags. Aside those faults, I’m really impressed with the toolset they’ve granted us with. ^Top
Bugs and Curiosities
Beta testers will have noticed all the 1* weapon drops, despite the weapons clearly having some sort of statistical progression. Don’t really know what’s up with that.
The Matter Board had some progression issues for some players, where they’d be left unable to progress any further. Sega is aware of the issue.
Some players were able to fall through the camp ship.
Beize and Gawonda, two enemies from the 2nd Alpha Test, were nowhere to be found in the beta. Update:Beize is in fact in as a random encounter in the Forest, albeit a very rare one. Proof:
A sound glitch during the Dark Ragne fight in his arena seems to randomly cause the background music to become a fair amount louder than usual.
A glitch in partner-character AI would cause Ranger characters with a specific photon art to crawl infinitely in one direction.
A glitch allows partner characters to be duped, allowing for insanely large parties of AI characters to be formed (who could also allegedly follow you into the lobbies).
There is a glitch that’s existed since the character creator was released that allows characters to be in their underwear.
I like PSO2. Just as well seeing as I’ve written a blog about it, but so far PSO2 is doing everything I want it to. Yes there are some definite creases in the overall design, some more major than others. The client does seem to have some definite areas where the game could be better optimized, like one particular area of the Caves caused considerable performance drag, as well as opening the options menu in the new urban area. But among the things I love are free-field areas, which have a wonderful chaos about them (particularly in the caves) which I hope continues into future free-fields.
Of course, this game continues to offer little for hardcore gamers. The game is very, very easy, with the only challenge being to learn the attacks of each boss (and you will learn these very quickly). Sure, there’s the chance that the game’s difficulty could increase later on and we’re only playing the introductory levels right now. There still doesn’t seem like there’s going to be anything for people who used to do time-attacks in PSU. The game is just simply far too random for them and there’s been no official hints at a time attack mode of any kind (of course.. in the datamining….).
It is also of course a little worrying how much of the game is permeated by the cash shop and how badly this will impact a player’s experience. Although this is a Beta and thus it’s not really scientifically sound, I played with the intention of not selling items through the player shop or using any premium features. Seemed to work out just fine for me, although I know I’m going to feel it when a friend acquires a rare item that I’m after and he cannot trade it to me. This problem could well become amplified in the higher levels..
The beta tests will come to an end on the 30th of April, which means there are less than 48 hours remaining as I finish off this post.
On May 3rd, there will another pair of fan briefings which set out to demonstrate where the game is going. It will include new features, new areas and other new things to come in the future. It’ll be broadcast on NicoNico again, but like last time I’m sure someone will upload it to YouTube if not Sega themselves.
The presentations will start at 13:00 JST and 15:30 JST. The 2nd of these presentations will feature a live demonstration of one of the new fields to come. I’m going to guess it’ll be the desert or mines field myself, but we’ll have to wait and see! ^Top
「画像は『PHANTASY STAR ONLINE 2』クローズドβテストにおいて撮影された実機画像です。 開発中のため、正式版とは異なる内容であり、今後改良される可能性があります。」
Unofficial Importer Ship:Ship 02
This is the currently settled upon ship in a poll on PSO-World, which contains the largest portion of the importer community. This may not reflect which ship most of the importers will be present on in the release version. There is no unofficial block picked at the moment. Your character is not bound to a block, however. They are bound to a ship, so that as much is important if you want to meet other players.
There is a non-disclosure agreement, You can find it at http://pso2.jp/cbt/rule/copyright/
It is essentially the same NDA that was present in the Alpha tests, which means that yes you can share screenshots and videos.
You will need to place a (C) SEGA somewhere on your screenshots
On the page you post them you will also need to include the following notice:
「画像は『PHANTASY STAR ONLINE 2』クローズドβテストにおいて撮影された実機画像です。
Aside the editing the NDA requires you to do, you are not allowed to do any editing.
Unlike the previous alpha test, there are no planned maintenance sessions. Ideally this means the test should be one continuous session, but realistically speaking I would expect random issues to occur, issues that may require a maintenance to sort out.
This is when the tests are due to start:
8:00AM, 19th April, GMT
3:00AM, 19th April, EST
2:00AM, 19th April, CST
1:00AM, 19th April, MST
12:00AM 19th April, PST
9:00PM 19th April, HAST
4:00PM 19th April, JST
Changes to Features Since They Were Announced
As the subtitle suggests, not all things have remained the same since they were announced.
Character class level cap is now lv20, instead of lv30
Despite the client displaying 10 ships, there will only be 5 available during the tests.
The prices of Arks Cash items has been adjusted, so players will be given 1,000 AC to spend as they like instead of the previously announced 10,000.
All Arks Cash items are currently set to 10AC.
To me, it sounds like they’re using the tests to see what items would be in most demand so they can set the release prices appropriately..
Feature Recap + New Features
Here’s a general list of things that will be in the Beta
Planet Naberius and Amduscia, with their Forest and Volcano Caves areas.
The new Urban area,which will be available during Emergency Quests
New Interrupt Events
Matter Board functionality (required to unlock some quests for some of the above categories)
New Photon-Sensitive-Effect variants have been added. PSEs have also been rebalanced.
Inviteable NPCs, both story NPCs and NPCs of your friend’s characters (Partner Friends).
Boost enemies can now spawn
Lower level enemies have been nerfed
Bosses will now spawn boxes on death
New ranking system, including Interrupt Rankings and Weekly Rankings
Interrupt Rankings will be announced randomly, setting some aim that players will be ranked with. This could be “Kill as many of X monster as you can” withi an hour.
Weekly rankings concern themselves with many other actions, such as the number of times players entered another room or the number of rare containers destroyed.
The top 3 players of either ranking types will be awarded with FUN points for their efforts.
Selectable races are Human, Newman and Cast. This is also the same selection that will be available on release. (Datamining suggests that there is at least one more race to come…)
Character data from the Character Creation Demo/Benchmark is compatible with the closed beta client. So make your final adjustments while you have time!
Like the demo, created characters can be saved and loaded.
Limited to one character only, unless you buy additional slots with Arks Cash.
Players who reach level 10 will receive a Weapon Hologram decoration in the Open Beta.
Mags are in.
Can be raised through feeding them items
Their stats are the same as the player’s
Their stats can influence player stats
At lv50 they can start using Photon Blasts
Photon Blasts can be chained.
New weapon types are available
Partisans for Hunters
Launchers for Rangers
Talis/Cards for Forces
New Photon Arts are available for all weapon types, old and new.
New Techs are available
Items are now bind on equip.
Players can now change their class in game
Skill trees have been completely revamped
Use of Scape Dolls is optional on death.
New character outfits
Outfits can be equipped through the equipment menu, like your Units.
New lobby animations
Character Data from these tests will be wiped
New Arks Lobby. The old one is gone!
New shops and facilities
Medical Counter – Where you can buy temporary buff items of various flavours
Title Counter – Collect and track your titles/achievements
Team Counter – Create and manage your guilds
Costume Shop – Buy new clothes and parts
Makeover Shop – Alter your character in various ways. Some features cost Arks Cash
Tekkers – Identify SPECIAL WEAPONS.
Various Gachas will be placed around the lobbies
New items to manipulate your equipment through the Item Lab have been added.
Arks Cash system
You can not purchase Arks Cash during the test, you can only use the free AC you’re given!
The ability to sell items in player shops is confirmed as being a rental feature.
AC shop and Gacha items are limited, the release versions won’t be the same
Purchaseable “Premium Pack”, which unlocks player rooms, trading, selling through player shops and expanded storage. It also grants access to a special lobby block just for premium users. The Premium Pack lasts 30 days.
FUN points system
The UI has been slightly reworked
Virtual Full Screen mode has been removed (LIES).
An option has been added to disable auto-words in chat logs
Increased the maximum number of displayed player characters to 160
Added many formats for screenshots
You can now whisper other players
Symbol Art is implemented
This list doesn’t cover all of the changes and features coming up in the tests, but does list what I think is significant or interesting. As anything else surfaces, I’ll add it here.
Shougai postedsomeinterviews from Dengeki which Ricardo translated the main points of here. The interview concerns itself with various cash shop functions as well as what to expect at the start of the game on release. Also yes, the FUN system was announced.
The fun point system is kind of a reward mechanism for interacting with other players. You’ll get points for example by giving other players a “Good Job!” appraisal, the receiver will also get points. You send it by clicking on another player and selecting the appropriate menu item.
So what’s stopping you from spamming “Good Job” appraisals to your heart’s content? Well there is actually an upper limit to the amount of Fun Points you can acquire per day.
You can also receive Fun Points by inviting a partner friend to your party. A partner friend is just your friend as an NPC. So, yes, you can receive points for NOT playing with other people too! Incidentally the person whose character you invited will also receive points.
Other actions that can net you points include:
Logging in a lot (on consecutive days)
Game Ranking Rewards
Buying Arks Cash (FUN!)
So what do you do with all these Fun Points once you’ve acquired them? Well you can spend them on a lottery, the “Fun Scratch”. Like the Arks Cash lotteries, you will get a randomly selected item. Among the prizes are things like room decorations and music disks (for your room’s jukebox). Seems rather cruel that two of the prizes belong to a function that players don’t actually have any access to without paying, doesn’t it? Well don’t worry, Sega has your back! You can also win a 3-day pass to your room, so for a short while you get to enjoy the other prizes you won. Aren’t they kind?
Other prizes include:
Tickets for accessories and hairstyles
Special devices for Mags
Tickets for extra lobby actions
Limited-time effect items (inferior to their Arks Cash counterparts)
Boost items (again inferior to their Arks Cash counterparts)
Grinders and Synthesizers
It really just seems like Fun Points are just there to act as an incentive to log in frequently and interact with other players. As well as it seems, rather sadly, as a mechanism to tease people with what they could be getting from the cash shop. Speaking of which..
So you recall from before that you’d have to pay for room access? Well it turns out it’s a rental fee afterall. You pay for 30 days of room access at a time. While not unexpected, the extent of the cash shop is starting to leave a bad taste for me.
Note: Information that this section concerns itself with is still surfacing. There’s still a lot that either isn’t known or is vague, so this section may change a lot.
Consider that you need to pay for:
the right to trade
the right to sell items in your shop
the right to communicate in certain ways
access to extra talent builds
access to clothing outside of the defaults (unless they’re tradeable)
and on a lesser note access to certain appearance editing options
Now I’m not really talking about the lotteries or the consumption items because none of them are pay to win so none of them really rub me the wrong way. None of these items are pay to win either, really. But I’m not sure that the system we seem to be being presented with is actually much more acceptable than a pay-to-win system.
Take for example the talent builds item. What if that’s the only way to re-do your talents? Suddenly a single mistake becomes potentially expensive. The combination of not being able to trade, use your room, sell items in your shop or even talk in certain channels without paying is also a pretty ugly combination, particularly as they’re all separate items. What if those are also rentals? How much is it going to work out to, per month? It could well be more expensive than a PSU subscription currently, which unlocks similar features in that game. They did of course mention earlier that there may be packs in which you can buy multiple system items for cheaper than the total of their individual prices.
Is PSO2 just going to turn out to be a freemium game with an obfuscated subscription plan in disguise as a free to play? Now naturally we don’t know all the details. Maybe only access to the room will turn out to be rental, maybe other services will be a one-time payment. Maybe there’ll be a function somewhere to reset your talents with Meseta. In general I still don’t like the direction the cash shop is going in. A free-to-play game without pay-to-win is no good if too many vital features of the game are locked behind the cash shop.
Update: So there’s a bundle package you can buy which includes all the rental features and a few extras. It’s called the Premium Pack. So, yes, this is a freemium game in disguise afterall. Again, the only truly confirmed feature that is rental is access to rooms. There’s been no official word on trading, selling, or communication features. There’s also no elaboration on what those “extras” even are.
Initial State of the Game
A part of the Dengeki interview concerned itself with the initial launch content for the game. To summarise:
The level cap will be 40
Missions will come with a hard difficulty that players can select (There will be higher difficulties later)
There will be 3 planets initially
So sounds like they’re gonna give PSO2 a similar kid of drip-drip content feed that we had for PSU. Ultimately it depends on what they’re actually releasing per update as to whether this is a bad thing or not. Naturally I imagine that’s going to vary, but players have demonstrated their lack of patience with this kind of thing before. I couldn’t blame them, but back then they were also paying a subscription fee. lv40 also seems like a worryingly low level cap, but if there’s enough to do at cap then it might not be so bad.
Another thing mentioned was the intention to include larger bosses for 12man multi-parties. Raid bosses! Or at the very least bosses with the scale setting changed. We’ll see when any information is released about that I suppose, I’m at least liking that they seem to be considering content just for larger parties to do.