About This Blog: Thinking Out Loud.

I’ll start this off by saying this blog isn’t going anywhere yet. I’m still enthusiastic enough to write for it, though lately it’s had kind of stiff competition from other things I’ve been wanting to do. For this post, I’m really just gonna be thinking aloud to sorta open up potential discussion about what I could do for the site.

Related, this is my 300th published post! So wahey for that!

300post_celebration

Never thought this thing would go on this long. My first post is back in 2011 which just blows my mind, where did that time go? In light of reaching this milestone, I guess taking the time to have a little self-analysis might be kind of appropriate. I want to keep making posts, so let’s have a think about how I could make things better going forward.

 

How It’s Doing


I gotta say, when I began writing this I didn’t expect anyone to read it. Why would they with other sites about? Who’d want a wordy editorial blog when you can get a to-the-point complete picture of the news from other places?  Despite this, this place gets a fairly regular amount of traffic. Nothing big, but in the region of about 15-30 views an hour. In total, I’m sitting on 650,000 views. That is over 5 years, so yeah like I say my traffic is minor but to me that’s still pretty crazy. I’ve never made anything that’s gotten that kinda attention before. While writing the blog, I’ve always kinda had it as a personal goal to hit 1,000,000 views and I still kinda wanna hit it.

Point is, while my traffic is relatively small I do appreciate the readership I get and I do feel bad when I haven’t written anything in a while. Thank you very much to all those who’ve been reading.

In terms of my enthusiasm? I will admit, there have been times where I’ve burnt out a bit on the game. I’m sure most of you have, too. Episode 4 has been a particularly divisive one, with all sorts of disappointing features and approaches the development team have taken which has made some people quit the game entirely. Personally, Episode 4 hasn’t been a deal-breaker for me, even if there are things I feel pretty let down by (Stargems I’m looking at you in particular). That might be the subject of its own post down the line though so let’s keep this roughly on topic.

Writer’s block is also a thing that happens!

 

The Blog’s Purpose


The main purpose has been and still sorta is my opinions on stuff. As I say in my now ancient “About” page, I’m really not suited for picking up on news as it comes out. That said, often I either don’t have opinions on something or I just don’t feel my thoughts on specific subjects would be terribly interesting to read.

That said, I’ve been into Overwatch lately (a team-based hero shooter from Blizzard) and with that I’ve been watching a fair few Youtube channels on it. Things like Unit Lost, Force Gaming and others I forget the name of. They fairly frequently share thoughts on all sorts of aspects of the game, from news to thoughts on features among other things. Most of these things I could do here for PSO2! Seeing them has sorta rejuvenated me but I still feel I need to take a fairly objective look at how I do things to explore the following questions:

  • What can I change about how I write blogs that would make it easier for me to more regularly make posts?
  • What kind of topics could I write about that I don’t currently that I could write about?
  • What kind of topics would I like to write about but can’t due to certain barriers?

Something to make clear. I don’t see this as a competition. For one thing I am no competition to other sites, but really competing for popularity is never what I set out to do. I don’t care if this site gets little to no traffic or even if it got none at all. It’s fun to write and as long as its fun I’m gonna keep doing it. From a more professional point of view, it’s about sharing thoughts on a game I love and want to see do better in the future. In that light, other blogs on the game are more my peers in that we’re all supporting the game in our own ways.

 

What can I change about how I write blogs that would make it easier for me to more regularly make posts?


I really do want to make more regular posts, but the posts I make tend to be very long and take a very long time to make. Often I have to dedicate an entire day just to writing one post, which would be fine if there wasn’t other things I’d be wanting to do. So one thing I’m considering doing is splitting my posts into smaller chunks or just making a conscious effort to keep things as brief if I can. Brevity is the soul of wit, so it’s said.

So what kinda target could I make? Well I’m not satisfied with one post per month. I really feel like I could bring it up to 4 a month again if I wanted to, but I’m not going to force myself to make posts on things for the sake of posting. That’d make for potentially flimsy posts as I’d have less fun writing it.

So in terms of what I think I could do to help myself out:

  • Keep blog posts shorter.

Sometimes a long post is unavoidable and I’m sure the 45th Broadcast write-up will be long. The odd long post is probably fine, but I can’t keep the blog regularly updated if it takes 1 or 2 days just to make the post.Not with other things going on in my life too!

  • Techy stuff.

Unfortunately, this isn’t an option for me. Something that would make life easier would be to have access to CSS features so I didn’t have to copy and paste chunks of html code to make posts or be stuck with the limited contole over the sidebar I have for links to other sites. It’d also be nice to have my own domain so my URL isn’t as long, but that’s a more minor thing.

I might be able to do this in the future, but for now I have zero income so I can’t really. I also don’t really want to stick adverts in here to generate money for it cause I’m not really comfortable with money getting involved in something like this (I don’t really get the traffic to make that a viable option anyway). As long as it’s free, it’s my impartial opinions only subject to my personal biases and nothing else. I don’t feel pressured to write just to keep advertising income up.

Still feel like I could do something to tidy up that mess of links I have though, hmm…

 

What kind of topics could I write about that I don’t currently that I could write about?


Right now I write about my thoughts on major new features and the odd bit of speculation whenever a juicy bit of data-mining comes up. Occasionally I’ll post some thoughts on the odd bit of info that crops up elsewhere, which mostly comes from G-Heaven but occasionally from other blogs too.

drafts
A sample of some of the posts that never made it. I’ve got about 56 different draft posts laying around, some consisting of notes and others approaching 2000 words. 

Occasionally, I’ll think of things to write about but either don’t because I’m not convinced what I’m writing is interesting or I’ll give up because another blog wrote about it already or someone posted about it on a forum. That’s an attitude I need to lose, because my opinions are always gonna be slightly different to others; my insights are going to be different.

  • Perhaps be less fussy about specific things to write about.

While there are times when there’s a bit of a drought in content updates which makes for slim pickings in terms of things to write about, there are a few things even lately that I felt I could’ve written about but didn’t. Thinks like the Odin fight, the healing nerf during the Limited Quest, how they handled Beach Wars 2016, what I think about Arkuma slots among other things. To go further back, how the skill rings shook up some classes, the state of my main class (Hunter!)… In short, I think lately I’ve been too short-sighted on the things I could write about for the blog and I could easily fix this.

There’s also game design aspects and thinking about things from a game design point of view. I’m an aspiring video game developer; I’ve made some small incomplete games and most of my time right now is spent studying to sharpen skills to improve my game design. One of my worries has been that this blog may eat up time I could be using to develop my skills, but if anything analyzing a game ought to work to my benefit. I could discuss what I might do to improve it, make thoughts on what the aims of the developers might be for certain decisions and other things. Maybe even throw some game theory in there as I pick that up. As I learn more about that kind of stuff it might actually get more interesting to write about that stuff, so it’s something to seriously consider.

So I think going forward, I need to be less worried about if something’s already been covered or not. I could expand on the topics I cover; making sure that they are in fact topics I can comment enough on and  I could expand by approaching things from a game design point of view.

 

What kind of topics would I like to write about but can’t due to certain barriers?


There’s a few things I’d like to write about more but I simply can’t do them justice. Mostly it’s the language barrier; because as I can’t understand Japanese there’s a lot of blog posts and speculation from Japan that I never get to see or can’t be confident enough in machine translation to write about.

One major topic this language barrier prevents is story. I basically can’t comment much on story stuff; at least not to any great detail. I can get the general gist of a story and get some extra tidbits through machine translation and discussion with other people, but the finer details are very difficult for a foreigner to obtain. Those details could make certain speculations pointless, as it raises questions that may have been answered long ago (such as “where the heck is Matoi anyway?”).

Then there are things like opinions on classes. I don’t play every class equally. I don’t use all weapon types on the classes I do play equally. So often, I have to consider second-hand opinions when discussing things I’m not familiar with. This doesn’t make for terribly good writing, as I’m not confident in the things I’m sharing and the information may not be accurate. It doesn’t help that PSO2 is very restrictive in terms of what builds you can try out due to skill-tree resets being locked behind a pay-wall and affix load-outs being prohibitively expensive to try.

I also can’t comment too much on the meta. I’m not a top-end player, nor do I really communicate with people who are in the top end of things to get some reliable opinions on the intricacies of what’s strongest, weakest, niche or whatever.

Naturally this limits what I can do in terms of guides, though I can at least consider writing guides as a base to help people out instead of worrying about “how to be the best of the best”. “How to be competent at PSO2” not “How to win interrupt Rankings or get 5 runs of Mining Base: Incursion”.

Now some of these things I probably could write about anyway as long as I disclose that the information may be flawed. I can argue opinions on things as if they were true, as long as it’s clear that it’s definitely a “what if” and not a “what is“. It’s OK to be wrong as long as I admit I am and I remain open to the fact that I could be wrong. I feel like I do that anyway, but it’s something to keep in mind especially for the kinds of topics that fall into this category.

 

Things I Likely Won’t Write About


What I generally don’t post about is news if I don’t have any thoughts on it. I’m not good at it for one thing and I can’t speak or read most Japanese. It’s also not terribly interesting to me to write about anyway, which I quickly found back in the day when I did used to make news posts. It’s fine because other sites do this very well so I’m not letting anyone down.

I’m not interested in writing about PSO2es. It’s not that I hate the game; it’s OK for what it is, it’s just much of it is again a language barrier thing. I also don’t feel I really play it enough to have any real opinions on certain things. There are some really dedicated players of that game however and I’m surprised there’s not an english blog out there specifically for it.

I’m not going to post about PS:Nova… at least until I get to play it. I don’t have a PS:Vita so that’s a bit of a problem! It’s also all in Japanese, though there are rumours that a translation project may begin for that. If I get to play it, I might post about it because honestly it may be interesting to compare it to PSO2 much like it was to compare PSP/PSP2i to PSU back in the day.

I’m not likely to post about PSO2:SEA specifically. The main barrier is the IP block which prevents me from investigating things for myself. I don’t really know my way around VPNs well enough to address this.

If an American/European version ever happens, I would be interested in writing about it. This is assuming there aren’t any barriers introduced like what happened with PSO2:SEA.

I also won’t write about PSO3 or PSU2 or whatever ends up being the followup to this game; at least not on this blog. If that happens and I’m still interested in writing for it I’ll likely just start up a new blog!

THE END


Alright, so this turned into a long ramble which yes I know this is one of the very things I said I feel I need to work on. If you made it this far through the article, thanks for listening to my thoughts and I’d be interested in hearing what you might think I could do going forward too.

Ultimately, I write for the joy of writing. It feels good for the soul. I just felt taking a little time to analyse myself and how I do things here may help improve things for me and the blog.

Double-saber Speculation Post

Sakai said he’d update his blog twice this week and that’s what he did. Sadly neither post talked about content beyond the one due on the 29th of August. However, a particular screenshot was posted that did show some post-August content. This post will concern itself entirely with that.

Yes, that is indeed the Naura Cake Shop. Naura is giving you the eye. But this post won’t be talking about her or her decadent little shop. Take a closer look at the player character there….

That’s a male Newman, no one cares about those though. Check out the weapon he’s wielding! It is in fact the same weapon he was wielding in the promotional pic for the Premium Package that was posted a while back. The icon reveals that it is in fact a Double-saber, which folds up when sheathed as you can see.

Two things to really talk about here: the middle icon and the icon on the right.

The middle icon is the auxiliary action for a weapon, which changes depending on the weapon type. For Swords it’s a guard, for Gunslash it changes attack mode. Now before, I speculated that Double-sabers may well have a mode change as their auxiliary action, to switch between Twin-Saber mode and Double-Saber mode.

Certainly the way the weapon looks when sheathed suggests that the two blades can be separated, but that middle button doesn’t suggest a mode change at all. Datamining also doesn’t back my speculation up, as the auxiliary action is labeled “tornado” in the client. This suggests that you twirl the Double-saber like you do the Partizan, but the Partizan’s icon for it is a shield. This could indicate that you can’t use Double-sabers to guard, so their auxiliary action may serve a different purpose.

The Gears Gauge is the same as the Partizan’s, so it could serve a similar function. It’s not conclusive of course, as the Wired Lance’s Gears Gauge also has the same appearance, which is charged through attacks. All that seems certain is that pressing Shift or the Guard button on your controller won’t split the Double-Saber up. If they do split up for anything other than being put away, then I imagine it’s only during specific Photon Arts.

Speaking of Photon Arts,  IS THAT TORNADO DANCE? It’s an icon that strongly suggests it might be! If you’re unfamiliar with Tornado Dance, it was a Photon Art in Phantasy Star Universe that was essentially just used as a transportation skill. Kind of like how Rodeo Drive is now for Launchers.

Here’s a video demonstrating Tornado Dance as it was in Phantasy Star Universe, uploaded by YouTube user aerawnt:

It certainly does seem like that icon would be fitting for an attack like this, eh?

Finally, these are two un-announced class skills belonging to what might be the Fighter class. They could be enemy control skills, but exactly what they do is up in the air. Nice to finally see something that belongs to the new classes other than weapon types, however!

Nothing new on the remaining weapon types (Knuckles, Twin Daggers, Twin Machineguns and Wands), but I suspect we’re set to hear more about them soon as September is merely a week away now.

CBT Report and OBT Announcement

So after a delay, the report was finally posted up. You can find the full report here, as well as the latest official blog entry here.


Pre-Open Beta Test

Sakai announced that there will be a pre-Open Beta held some time in late-June. Details are somewhat thin on that at the moment, aside that registrations will be opening for it tomorrow and that registering will permit you access to the Open Beta as well. People who participated in any previous tests should automatically qualify, but I’m not certain regarding people who registered for previous tests but didn’t get in..

Participants of the pre-Open Beta will be rewarded, but it isn’t specified how.

I wonder if pre-Open Beta character data will carry across? Update: Confirmed, the data from the pre-Open Beta will not carry through to the Open Beta.

So When is Open Beta?

If the pre-Open Beta goes well it’ll happen soon after it finishes.

So I guess they’re calling it pre-OBT instead of CBT2 as there’s no stated upper limit on the number of people they’ll let in. In any case, with a late-June date for that and the Open Beta possibly happening soon after, where does that put the possible release date? Depends on what they mean by “soon”, as well as the gap between OBT and release. Perhaps around early August at the earliest if I were to guess.


User Stats

  • CBT client was downloaded 147,000 times.
  • Total number of people who logged in at least once: 131,000.
    • This is 70% of the accepted testers.
  • The highest number of simultaneous connections was 23,500 on April 21st
  • The average number of logins per day was 63,000

The highest number of simultaneous users in the 2nd Alpha was 23,097, which means CBT outperformed there despite servers being up 24 hours rather than 7 (spreading the user base more thinly). A healthy selection of numbers overall.

Have a chart.

Blue is the maximum number of simultaneous connections for that day, where as red is the total number of players who logged in throughout the day.

To finish off this section:

  • Players created 228,000 characters
  • 76,000 users got a character to at least level 10
  • 38,000 users got a character to lv20.

Game Stats

The races, in order of popularity:

  • 38.5% of characters were Humans
  • 31.6% of characters were Newmans
  • 29.5% of characters were Casts

The genders, in order of popularity:.

Brace yourself for a surprise.

  • 71.2% of characters were female
  • 28.8% of characters were male

The men of PSO2’s universe are somewhat spoilt for choice..

So how does that work out for each race/gender combination?

In order of popularity:

  • 26.9% of characrers were female Newmans
  • 25.1% of characters were female Humans
  • 19.1% of characters were female Casts
  • 13.8% of characters were male Humans
  • 10.3% of characters were male Casts
  • 4.8% of characters were male Newmans

Unless the species can interbreed, Newmans are pretty much doomed it seems.

Classes in order of popularity:

  • 40.8% played as Hunters
  • 31.2% played as Rangers
  • 28.0% played as Forces.

Here is a graph breaking down classes and the levels that characters got to.

If I were to hazard a guess as to the lv1-5 anomaly with Forces there it’d be people trying the class and then getting bored of it quickly.


Player Feedback

Players sent in thousands of opinions and requests, sending in more bug reports than were sent in during the 2nd Alpha (owing to the larger playerbase I’d expect). 37,000 people filled in the feedback questionnaire.

1-5 Scores

Ricardo at Bumped translated the usual 5-rating feedback graph that comes with these reports. You can find it here, which was posted originally on his blog here.
Players were most displeased with Tekking overall and I couldn’t agree with them more. Tekking, in the state it was in the CBT, was nothing more than a waste of time and meseta. Special weapons really should just be limited to rare weapons and even then not be quite so common. It’s possible of course that the rates were jacked up during the beta so players would get plenty of opportunities to try Tekking, but I know I left countless weapons un-Tekked in my storage. For those who don’t know what Tekking is, it’s a similar concept to unidentified weapons in other games.
Aside that, the results were about as positive as they were for the 2nd Alpha. People seem to be largely satisfied with how PSO2 is shaping up.

Will you play PSO2?

The above chart is the feed back to whether they want to go on to actually play PSO2 when it releases.

  • 61.7% responded Yes, but I don’t know if I’ll use the cash shop
  • 21.6% responded Yes and I’ll use the cash shop
  • 10.1% responded Yes but I will not use the cash shop
  • 5.5% responded I don’t know
  • 1.1% responded No.

So we have 70.1% of the response indicating little interest in the cash shop vs 21.6% who expressed definite interest in it. I think that’s pretty good, as free to play games tend to be funded by the minority in any case as far as I’m aware.

Things players want to see in PSO2

This I was eager to see. Broken down by popularity:

  • 20.3% want more weapon categories
  • 11.1% want more PAs, skills and other ways to fight
  • 8.8% want more options in the character creator
  • 8.1% want more ways to play with more people
  • 7.1% want more map variations
  • 6.9% want improved character actions
  • 6.8% want more weapons in each category
  • 6.2% want more things to do besides combat
  • 6.1% want a better story and improved game world
  • 5.9% want a better chat system
  • 3.5% want improved enemies
  • 3.0% want pets, or something besides player stats that can be raised
  • 2.5% want PVP
  • 2.0% want better graphics
  • 1.7% want improvements to My Room functions

Agreeing with the top entry, certainly. This game needs more than 8 weapon categories on release, even though I understand that as you add more categories you increase the occurance of redundancy.
As for PVP, the number of people who want it has grown slightly since the 2nd Alpha (where 2.1% wanted PVP). Given how much of the combat is client-sided as well as numerous other stat-based issues I have no idea how PVP is meant to work in PSO2. Despite this, some players are very vocal about their wish for it. I wouldn’t mind if they added it, personally, I just can’t see it not being absolutely terrible.

I’m a little surprised that no mention of balancing issues came up, given how much more damage Rangers can pump out compared to any other class at the moment. This is mostly thanks to a combination of the Weak-Bullet skill and the Launcher weapon type, allowing players to inflict well over 1000 damage an attack (I’ve seen a screenshot with over 3000 damage for 1 attack). Maybe there are other gameplay factors I’m not taking into account though, I don’t know. Somewhat difficult to comment too much on game balance until sub-classes are added anyway I guess, assuming they’re going to be added.


Platforms

When asked which platforms they might play PSO2 on:

  • 61.9% responded that they will play only on PC.
  • 14.6% responded that they will play on both PC and Vita.
  • 11.2% responded what they will play on PC and Smartphone
  • 7.8% responded that they will play on all three.
  • The remainder specified “other”.

That’s all for now, however this post’s contents may well change as other information surfaces.

[Sources: PSBlog, Official CBT Site, PSO-World, Bumped]

Open Beta Announcement… Announced

Sakai’s updated the official PSO2 blog today. The biggest news is he announced that we may hear something about the Open Beta at the end of May. Open Beta may not be all that far off after all if so. Maybe.

Also, due to the changes in Japanese law the complete-sheet gachas will be removed from PSO2. That’s the complete-sheet only, gachas (cash shop item lotteries) will still be in PSO2.


Character creation contest results – In case you care.

Also the winner of the character creation contest was announced. The only remotely interesting character design won, with the rest of them looking like something the random generator would spit out.

“mw”, the grand prize winner, taking over a third of the vote.

As the prize included an NPC of them appearing in-game, expect “mw” to turn up at some point. Though exactly what this homage to a famous Japanese transvestite will actually do in-game is anyone’s guess.

2nd Prize.

I’m somewhat amused by the 2nd place winner, given that the prize is a 3D print. A skinny loli with the FOnewearl hat, which itself has long thin bits on it? Yeah the 3D printer is gonna love that.

As for the rest, who cares. If you happen to, you can check the rest out here.


Concept Art

Been a while since we’ve had one of these. This time it’s of the outfit that Lisa wore. That Cast with the huge “I want to stab you while you sleep” eyes who’s in the banner of this post. Seen at least 2 gimmick twitter accounts of her floating about..

Wonder if they’ll add a female Cast set that doesn’t show skin on the upper thighs at some point…

[Sources: PSO-World, PSBlog]

Part 2 of the Closed Beta Test Features

Sakai updated the official blog today with further details on the closed beta.

This time he’s focusing largely on the story elements of the game, which were entirely absent in the alpha tests. Although I seem to recall Sakai saying before that in the alpha we would see a prologue movie before getting to create our characters. This of course never materialised during the actual tests, but it will apparently be present in this test however.

So where does adventure begin for the young Arkstards? Well the first planet you will visit will unsurprisingly be Naberius, in particular in the forest area.


Characters

The first person your newbie Arks will meet will be Alfin, who is clearly a female newman with a flat chest.

After meeting your training buddy you’ll be sent of to Naberius where you’ll start your adventures. You will be having to get rid of the Darkers, while also killing everything else that breathes.

You and Alfin are mere noobs in the ranks of the Arks. More senior members are introduced as well, namely Echo and Zeno. Voiced by Yōko Hikasa and Ryōhei Kimura, respectively.

All my friends are fake. :(

Assuming you meet the requirements, you will also be able to aquire a story NPC’s Arks Card and invite them to your party any time you wish.  This is of course, precisely the same as in PSU. I would advise for the sake of your reputation that you don’t attempt to strike up conversations with your NPCs..

And then there’s the mysterious Zion. She’s mysterious, you know. She mysteriously hands you the matter board which itself is mysterious. She also mysteriously sounds like a man.


So What is the Matter Board?

What is board? No matter. What is matter? Never board. HEHEHEHEHEHEHHEH

The matter board seems to be the mechanism to progress the story with. Each “node” on the matter board has a set of requirements that the player must satisfy in order to unlock. These conditions can vary from aquiring certain items to interacting with specific NPCs.

You can enjoy the entire story free of charge, however it won’t be all be out on release. The story will be released in parts, much like it was for PSU. Hopefully not too drip-fed, but not unexpected.


Tutorial

A tutorial mode will be included to help explain to new players what’s what. An NPC by the name of Hilde will walk your sorry newbie ass through the basics of the game. There’s really not a lot else to say about this, if you’ve played video games in the last 10 years you’ll know what a tutorial is.

Client Orders

Yes this is a thing that was introduced in Phantasy Star Portable 2. Essentially NPCs would give you a task of some kind, that largely resembles a generic quest in other MMOs. So NPCs might ask you to go kill 10 of a specific monster, or collect certain items for them. Something a bit extra to do while exterminating all life on each world.


That’s all!

Seems they’re going full steam ahead with the intent to drip feed content over time. I hope they’re careful about it, because it was something that definitely soured people’s opinions on Phantasy Star Universe. I’d say they should be fine as long as we have a decent amount of content to start off with on launch, however given the time frame before release (early summer) and how much of it seems complete at the moment I don’t there is going to be a whole lot. I rather hope I’m wrong, because it was a part of the reason the launch of PSU was such a disaster.

Seems there might not be any future posts about the closed beta features now. The rest we’re gonna have to wait til we get our own hands on them. If you haven’t registered for the Closed Beta Tests then you still have 12 days to do so.

Speaking of which, the character creation demo is scheduled for release tonight, somewhere in the region of 5 to 11 hours from me publishing this post. Or so they say.. Scratch that, Bonkohara tweeted to say that the creator will not be released tonight afterall. Tonight of course being Japan’s tonight, so for others in the world there is a chance that it will end up releasing some time during the night still. Later than expected!

2nd Alpha Test Report

The report for the 2nd Alpha Test has now been uploaded to the official website here. I’ll be posting translations of the statistics here.

Table of Contents



Participation

50,811 people participated in the test, which is 73% of those who got in. I wonder how much of this stat is warped by people who got in with multiple codes?

40,245 participants got their characters to at least level 10, qualifying them for automatic entry into the closed beta tests.

^Top



Characters

Race and Gender

  • 37.3% of characters were Human.
  • 31.6% were Casts
  • 31.1% were Newmans.

This is surprisingly evenly distributed, but humans are still dominating the player base overall, which hasn’t changed since the first alpha test.

What about gender?

  • 72.0% of characters were female
  • 28.0% of characters were male

Insert some kind of comment on the culture of MMO gamers here.

Heres how it breaks down with regard race and gender.

  • 26.5% played Newman females
  • 25.2% played Human females
  • 20.2% played Cast females
  • 12.1% played Human males
  • 11.5% played Cast males
  • 4.5% played Newman males

So unlike the first alpha, Newman females are now the most common, but only just. As for Newman males, I mean, do I really need to say it at this point?

Class Distribution

  • 41.8% of characters were Hunters
  • 29.5% were Rangers
  • 28.7% were Forces

Height Distributions

I have no idea why they felt the need to share these statistics! The bar charts summarise it well, however.

Males on the left, females on the right.

Completely unsurprisingly, males peak on the maximum height and females peak on the minimum height. Overall, females were shorter than males.

^Top


Player Feedback.

In my opinion much more interesting than a lot of the fluff stats presented by the report is how the players felt about the test.

First, a 5-point scoring survey of various features in the game. Translated by Mike of PSO-World, image edited by myself.

It’s overall an improvement over the previous test, whose feedback chart can be found here. It’s not exactly a huge improvement though in the higher scores, I must say. However the scores below 3 have reduced considerably, so it’s heading in the right direction. Once again the most hated thing about the game was the user interface, followed closely by communication.

Player Requests

Finally a list of things that the playerbase have requested that Sega either work on or think about including:

  • 16.3% want more weapon categories
  • 11.7% want more Photon-Arts and skills
  • 11.6% want more detailed character creation
  • 10.3% want better character actions
  • 6.9% want something to raise besides your character, like a pet
  • 6.6% want more and better ways to play with more people at once
  • 6.5% want more immersion and story (MY IMMERSION!!!)
  • 5.7% want more map variations (thanks Mewn!)
  • 5.5% want more weapons overall
  • 5.3% want something to do outside of combat
  • 5.2% want better communication options
  • 2.8% want better enemies
  • 2.2% want better graphics
  • 2.1% want PVP
  • 1.3% want more “My Room” functions.

Thus ends the report! You can find other statistics by going to PSO-World here
^Top.



The RAnewearl

Finally, concept art for the only remaining class, race and gender combo has been released. Reposting here.

The RAnewearl! Only a little less naked than her melee counterpart.

I’m a little disappointed with it. It’s cute, sure, but I was expecting something more in line with either a gun-slinger or a military type, not a swimsuit with armor bits tacked on.
^Top



Facebook Post

Finally a message from Bonkohara on the official Facebook page. The original post can be found here.

Hello, everyone:D
I am sorry for late post a comment.I was checking user`s ,questionnaire ,opinions ,requests and bulletin board after done α2test. Also Thanks you for gave us a lot of “support`message”. Producer Sakai also said in a blog,Thanks you so much to give us great opinions and report. We are cheking it all. I am glad to α2 test has been much better convenient than before that user said for us. Finally, We showed you the public the “α2test Report”.We posted a report such as status of implementation , results of questionnaire ,average height ratio and race. Please check it out !
http://pso2.jp/alpha2/

I was happy that “MYSTERY EGG” and “SEN-TAKU-KI” is the top 3 of my room.
actually I left a lot of “MYSTERY EGG” in the Producer Sakai`s room. hahaha!!(jajaja):D

I was playing game during α2test with some user. It was fun to playing together as a “party”. Member was really nice and nice to talk.
I could find some new idea and get real opinion that was really valuable.

Oh well, but stuff said please work your Job.
but playing game is also call “working” Do not you think ? hahaha!(jajaja):D

Now I back to really disk work today.

^Top

[Sources: PSBlog, PSO2 Official Site, PSO-World]

No One Cares About Male New– Wait whaaa

So each race and class combo had a default appearance in the 2nd alpha tests, with the exception of RAnewm and RAnewearl. I was wondering if they were going to get default outfits as well and today it looks like that question has been answered! Presenting, the RAnewm:

I gotta say, I like this outfit. It’s tempting to create a male human just so I could wear this (I am never creating a male newman. NEVER). Nothing on the RAnewearl for now, but she’s the final default outfit left now.