PSO2 – Engrish Edition

The recent update brought quite an interesting change; multi-lingual support in PSO2’s launcher. Just the launcher, it should be said, the client itself is still only available in Japanese.

While it’s not perfect English, it’s still a curious change. What precise reason could there be for this I wonder? I doubt it’s related to the localized version for the US/EU servers, because there’s no way that English would be considered acceptable.

New Lobby

Not much to say about it. The main attraction right now is a giant golden ARKS badge in the center of the shopping lobby. Mostly because the two new NPCs, who are meant to be giving out Client Orders, are currently bugged.

So if you’re wondering why Lottie and Rubert aren’t giving you Client Orders then you can rest assured that it’s nothing you’ve done wrong. If you are able to get Client Orders from them then consider yourself lucky.

The Client Orders themselves seem to be the usual affair, mostly killing things. Rubert’s orders are about dealing the finishing blow to the target’s weak points where as Lottie’s orders are concerned with boosted enemies.

Wonder when these NPCs will be fixed?

Matterboard 8

Did you do his orders? You going to need to have!

Finally you can square off against Falz Hunar. Well, after you’ve completed a fair number of nodes first. Something you may want to know in advance if you’ve yet to unlock this matterboard is that for the first gold node you will need to have completed all of Zeno’s Client Orders. The cutscene with Zig will not be triggered until you do this.

Unlike most story missions there are three routes in total in Chapter 8. The first gold node unlocks the first two routes, presumably the 2nd gold node unlocks the final one (naturally the one in which Falz resides). One good thing is it’s so far the only place to guarantee an encounter with Fang Banther. Unfortunately it won’t count towards your lv45 SP orders.

PSVita Version Update

So yeah, the PSVita version of PSO2 now has an official teaser site. With it comes a release date of the 28th of February 2013. Also announced to take place is a closed beta test which will happen some time in the middle of January.

The game will be sharing the same servers and data as the PC version of PSO2. This not only means that you could play the same character on the same account on two different platforms (though not at the same time), it also means that cross-platform play is possible. However as I recall, it was said this would only be possible on special blocks. Wonder if that will still be the case?

Like the PC version, it will be free to play and free to download and will have access to all the same Arks Cash services. However, you can opt to pay for it and by doing so earn yourself a special item pack, which includes codes for:

  • 8 Special Costumes – Update: I was mistaken. You may only choose 2 out of 8 of the costumes
  • 3 Special Weapons
  • Al Mag Device (possibly the angelic one pictured below? Don’t know)
  • Little Wing Sticker
  • 2 Music Disks
  • 30 Day Premium Set
  • 1000 FUN ticket

This package will cost about 5229 Yen.

Frankly, I don’t think the costumes have really scaled up to PSO2 all that well. Hell, a few of them looked pretty bad when they were ported to PSU.

You may notice something interesting if you’ve been keeping an eye on the data-mining. That dragon in the background of the main image, specifically.

It appears to be the dragon that was found in the client a little while ago, which currently goes by the name of “Hadred”. In the client it seems to reside in a side-story mission. Whether this will continue to be the case or not is yet to be seen of course, we’ve got the best part of three months to go before that might get any clearer.

The Vita version of the game is set to be released a little while after the end of the first season (or episode or version, whichever) of PSO2, I wonder how soon the second season will begin after that? Getting somewhat eager to see the contents of the next long-term schedule.

PSO2:ES Delayed

As the title says, it was announced that the Android version of PSO2 will be delayed until some time in early 2013. Not sure anyone really cares about this version of the game anyway.

Towards the Future

The beginning of the end, indeed! As you may have gathered from the previous section the end of the first story arc is approaching. Not sure if it’s going to end with the late-month update in December or some time in January however. Along with that we’ve got the new field “Darker Nest” as well as the couple of new enemies that come along with that. Also due to arrive in the winter is the addition of a “gigantic boss”, which may or may not turn out to be another form of Falz (internally named dpfishelder. Dpfisharm is presumably related to it).

This also means that we’ll be due an update page and trailer at some point, under the name of “Where Darkness Gathers”. It’ll also be time to roll out Christmas event stuff! Doom and gloom and Christmas trees!

This will be a major update, weighing in at a whopping 4GB. However the download should be being split up into pieces so you shouldn’t have to download all that at once. I wonder how much of that 4GB will be new content and them over-writing the same data that’s already present…. Update: The pre-download service is currently broken, though hopefully it’ll be working again before the next update hits.

Finally, there’s the number of promised system changes that may arrive in December. As a reminder of some of the things due:

  • Change to Matterboard item drop rates
  • Premium set enhancement, such as increasing the maximum number of Client Orders and Symbol Arts that can be registered at any time among other things
  • System to allow parties to disallow NPCs from joining
  • Cross-block party searching
  • Disable other players from auto-following you
  • Solo-able Time Attack quests

[Sources: PSO2 Player Site, Bumped]

Sakai Speaks! Also PSO2Vita Screenshots.

So with the announcement of Sega working on a version of PSO2 on the PSVita, rather blowing away the idea of it being a PC exclusive (which was never explicitly announced anyway), there were various reactions. Because this is the internet, most of those reactions consisted of pants-shitting and console warring, but regardless Sakai has taken some time to respond to people’s concerns. You can find a translation on Bumped here.

So, everything’s fine and dandy now, right? Well this wouldn’t be much of a blog entry if it was!

To summarise and interject with my own thoughts:

The PSVita can be patched, unlike the PS2. This means that the PSVita version can receive all the same content updates as the PC version.

This doesn’t entirely erase concerns that having two separate versions of the game will put a drag on development of new content, however. The question is, will it have a noticeable impact?

It will not be easier to cheat on the PS Vita version, as characters are stored server-side.

Much of people’s worry is centered around what happened to Phantasy Star Portable 2 on the PSP. That game had client-side saving of character data, which of course leaves it wide open to attack.

Incidentally, server-side saving doesn’t prevent cheating on its own. That all depends on exactly how much is trusted to the client, hopefully not anything as vital as the amount of money a character is carrying! They have done something like this before..

Not sure what’s up with people thinking that the Vita version will be easier to hack on, anyway. Sure, the Vita version won’t have GameGuard, but since when did GameGuard stop hackers? It’s possible that the two versions may have differing exploits, still, but the hacking difficulty is going to most likely be the same for either platform. Mind, when you consider the history, PC gamers pointing at console gamers and yelling “CHEATERS” is also incredibly ironic.

Cross-platform play will require further testing. The intention is to have the two platforms be able to play with each other, but if it doesn’t work out in testing they will be two separate versions.

Of course making them separate would possibly please a number of PC elitists, but it would be a shame to drop the idea of being able to grind your character on the go. You know, for that player who just can’t stop playing. Won’t know the outcome of this for many months yet, however.

PSO2 Vita Screenshots

To finish this post, going to share a few of the first screenshots of the PSVita version of PSO2, originally posted on 4Gamer.

The first shot of the PSO2 Vita interface.

The lack of shaders is a bit jarring, but this is also a game that Sakai has said is only 10% complete so far. Time will tell how good these graphics will end up being, but they’ve said that they’re aiming for the equivalent of the PC version at max quality.

I also find myself wondering how players are meant to chat with each other. I don’t know a lot about the Vita, but I know it has a touchscreen so hopefully some kind of onscreen keyboard, or else this could be another bout of “CANT TYPE FAST” style chatting.