As well as making adjustments to the rate at which Emergency Quests can occur (every 30 minutes instead of every hour as well as altering their odds of happening instead of interrupt rankings), two new emergency quests were added. This post will briefly talk about them.
Volcano Cavern Guerrilla Warfare – 火山洞窟遊撃戦
This one initially feels like the other emergency quests but there is a significant difference. For one thing, there is no boss block. In fact there isn’t even a block 2. There’s only 1 block, it’s multi-party and the map size is huge.
In the old Emergency Quests, people would just skip past the single-party blocks anyway, so it’s almost like the quest is engineered based on how players have played the game so far.
The mission will have you mostly encountering Darkers, lots of Darkers. Dragonkin are an extreme minority in this mission. Not Darkers usually associated with the Caves either, as the bulk I encountered were fish-type darkers, although there were a few insect type as well (including El Ahda, a darker not seen on Amduscia at all).
The mission is timed, but unlike other timed emergency quests the mission doesn’t automatically kick you to the campship once the time is up. In fact, I’m not actually sure if you can even fail this mission, or what the condition for success is.
Gigantic Mecha Awakening – 巨大機甲種・覚醒
This is the most unusual emergency quest yet. The first thing you see is a large boss teleporter, in what is the only area in the quest. It is still multi-party, however, which is again a first for this game. All boss areas before this quest was added were single-party areas. The boss warp itself should be deactivated until either everybody in the multi-party arrives, or it’s after a certain amount of time has passed.
Once everyone is in, the warp will activate and you’ll be up against a Big Verda. It appears that it has a higher chance of being boosted and having a name prefix, it isn’t guarenteed at least.
Sadly there’s nothing unusual about the fight, it’s the Big Verda you probably already know. Which means he falls apart quite fast and the bulk of the mission is the multi party smashing away at his core until it dies. The quest gives you 10 minutes to defeat the boss, but this is more than enough time so I wouldn’t worry about it.
Towards the Future
Seems Sega will be including a new miniboss in its TGS2012 demonstration this year.
Of course, if you’ve been keeping up with the data-mining you may have already spoiled the surprise for yourself. Presumably it will be an encounter in the next field to be added.
This post is just a summary of the various happenings in the world of PSO2 at the moment.
MMORPG.com – MMOFTW – PAX Prime 2012 Awards
PSO2 got some props in a video over at mmorpg.com, getting the “Rising Star” award. You can see the video here.
Unfortunately it doesn’t show anything beyond the opening movie, but it’s good to see PSO2 getting some exposure.
Tokyo Game Show 2012
This year’s TGS will be seeing 3 playable versions of PSO2 demonstrated. The PC version, PSVita version and the Android/iOS versions. You can find Sega’s TGS portal here.
At last year’s TGS Sega streamed a couple of presentations. Whether that will happen this year or not I have no idea.
As a reminder, the 2nd Media Briefing revealed that all three versions of PSO2 would be using the same server data as each other. However, the Android/iOS version will not support cross-platform play and is a single player experience. Wonder if this will still be the case or not?
Ship Transfer Feature Announced
Let’s just get the price out of the way: 700AC, one character at a time.
Not a bad price, honestly. However you should be aware that only your character and their current inventory is transferred, as well as all forms of quest completion. Items in storage, your room settings and contents, shop, social things (team, friendlist, mail, profile) and any other data that’s attached to ships will not be transferred over. They’re not deleted, but they just don’t transfer with the character.
There is a cool-down period of 120 hours before you can transfer a character again.
If you’re a Team Master (guild leader) you can’t transfer. You also can’t transfer to a ship that’s hit its character creation limit.
Towards The Future
Next Wednesday will see the addition of the first part of the Attain New Power update, which includes the 3 new classes (Fighter, Gunner, Techer) as well as new weapon types. Presumably, the drop charts will all be different too with all the new additions. The new Interrupt Events will also be arriving, including the Naura Cake Shop complete with extremely annoying voices..
As you can see on the update page there is more to come for Attain New Power, including Team features, Story Quests and some new things for the AC Scratch.
I’m eager to hear more about the Team features more than the others, especially details around earning “Team Points”, what you do with them and information on how Team rooms will work.
Well not really about you. No one cares about you, sorry. This lengthy entry will be recapping the entire year’s worth of PSO2 news and announcements.
We’ve come a long way this year, all starting with the initial announcement of PSO2 in September 2010 where all we got was a picture of the PSO2 logo and a trailer which told us, well, that it exists.
Yes! PSO2 exists! Sonic Team were indeed working on something beyond PSU,
somewhat confirming our suspicions that a lot of the features added towards the end of PSU’s lifetime were in fact experiments for features they planned to use in some kind of sequel.
Well while the video didn’t go into much detail, it did drop quite a few buzzwords out there, among the more interesting ones being:
Oh exciting! Remember when PSO had global support? You do? I don’t cause I didn’t join PSO until Blue Burst, but I can imagine the excitement PSO veterans had when seeing this. So what do they mean by “Global Support” this time? Well as of yet, we still don’t know.
To get this out of the way early on, there is still no word on exactly what they mean by global support but here’s some things to consider: First, there has still been no word from Sega of America about the game. Second, there has been no word on a release of the game outside of Japan (despite Sakai’s trip to Korea). Hope is not lost, but unless we hear otherwise this game could well be a Japan exclusive.
Thorough racial balances
Yeah I’ll believe this when I see it. I’m not going to spend too much time talking about the complete joke that is the racial balance in PSU, but trust me there’s good reason to be cynical about them delivering on this. Well, to be fair there’s decent reasons to be cynical about a lot of the things Sega says.
Wait, Arkz? That’s those chaps from PSO:Episode 3! That crappy card game that no one played! Yeah it was later confirmed that there is no canonical link between the groups, they just happen to have exactly the same name. To remind you, the Arks in PSO2 are like the Hunter’s Guild of PSO and the Guardians of PSU. They’re the faction your character belongs to.
Curiously, shortly after announcing the game, they also posted a job advert listing 3 available positions. This raised some eyebrows given that they had been allegedly working on the game for some time as they seemed to be relatively important positions to be empty.
After this initial announcement, there was nothing. Quite a whole lot of nothing, in fact. Sakai even stated that we shouldn’t expect much and he delivered! Sega are quite professional at delivering nothing.
So we come to the beginning of this year. Shougai PSO posted about the setting and development of the game. It was here we learned that PSO2 will not be taking place on Ragol although there may still be loose ties to previous planets. Also Sakai said to expect some kind of announcement in April, which brings us to…
Wait, that’s not April! How observant of you. This was the month where the first alpha tests were announced to be beginning in the summer. Entries would be determined by a lottery. How do you enter this prestigious lottery? You need to either have been a player on the Japanese PSO:BB servers or have bought a copy of Phantasy Star Portable 2: Infinity. Or just be subscribed to PSU on certain dates. Oh yeah and you also must be a Japanese resident.
Hey, this is April! Your observational skills astound me yet again. And Sakai made good on his promises, as on the 24th a new trailer and a bunch of screenshots had been unveiled.
This was the first time we’d seen anything. Concept art, in-game screenshots? You name it, we didn’t have it. Well ok we had the logo. It was also the first time we heard any of the in-game music. So we went from nothing, to suddenly being bombarded with imagery, not all of it particularly flattering, such as those nasty ground textures. But hey, we can jump!
July 2011 – August 2011
July was the month in which this blog was born! Hurray! It was in these months that we ___, as well as a selection of _______ featuring _____, but we wouldn’t really know what they meant until _____!
Yeah the PSO2 newsletters took on a unique style to try to tease the fans with information. They seem to have dropped this tactic recently.
This was also the time in which the PSO2 Media Briefing took place, which can be summarised by the image below. It was the first time we got to see the character creation in action and honestly I was impressed by it. This is coming from a guy who used to play Aion, the character creator in PSO2 is honestly an impressive piece of work and I’m sure its flexibility will be demonstrated when Sakai shows off the characters created at Akihabara. Until then, enjoy some character creation.
Character creation wasn’t the only thing revealed, in fact a whole lot of stuff was revealed. We had “Photon Sensitive Effect”, a bunch of race/class concept art, equipped units affecting your appearance, large party areas (think raids but not raids), random interrupt events during runs, “Jump Action”. Actually speaking of that last point, a new trailer was revealed during this time.
Still for Windows PC, you’ll note.
So we now knew the three races of PSO2: Human, Newman and CAST. No Beasts!
This time period also gave birth to the PSO2 Facebook page, on which Bonkohara even posted in English to show appreciation for their foreign fans.
Ah yes, it was about this time when dirty cheaters got their hands on the alpha client and laid waste to the community by looking at the data in the files. Much harm was done. A PSO2 developer even caught wind of it and shared their disapproval about it on their twitter, which Shougai noticed.
Nothing tremendously harmful was even found, really. Planet names, the existence of Dark Falz, Technic names, the same word censor list that was in PSU. Guild functionality was also unearthed in the game’s strings.
To celebrate the end of the alpha tests, or perhaps just another excuse for Sakai to get in front of the camera, a series of three videos were released which talked about various aspects of the Alpha test. The “Special Internet Program”, which can be found here, showed us a number of things we otherwise weren’t allowed to show due to the NDA. As such it was the first official time in which we saw the volcano planet Amduscia, the Vol Dragon being fought and various other things.
Tokyo Games Show 2011
We didn’t have to wait long for potentially new information to come out after those videos, for the Tokyo Game Show was around the corner. PSO2 was present and playable at the show and two presentations were given. Sadly, not a whole lot of new information was actually announced and it was more like a further demonstration of the things we’d already seen. One of the things that was new however was a trailer, which also showed off a new area set in a ruined city.
Alpha Test Results
Thanks to EspioKaos for the translations.
Yeah there were a bunch of graphs that were posted towards the end of September, showing off various statistics of the Alpha Test playerbase. The short version is everyone wants to be a girl.
The 2nd Alpha test was announced! And that was pretty much it for October. The only other thing that was mentioned, I really do mean just mentioned, were MAGs. A solitary picture and the briefest of information was given on sega’s newly created blog for most things PSO2.
About as thin as October in terms of news. We learned more about PSO2’s setting, however!
To recap, your character is a member of the Arks, who live on the Arks ship! You’ll be exploring various planets because why not and the universe seems to be infested with critters known as “Darkers” which you’re also gonna have to do something about.
Towards the end of this month, new character outfits were also revealed which filled in the remaining race/class types, with perhaps the exception of RAnewm and RAnewearl.
Contrary to the previous months, a fair amount was announced. To start off, CAST face morphing was revealed as well as CAST boob morphing. CAST morphing all around, in fact! So yes, as a CAST you won’t be denying yourself the creative flexibility that the meatier races are granted, which is nice to know. Much of this month was dedicated to discussing things which would maybe appear in the 2nd alpha tests. The “My Room” feature was revealed, which is a customisable abode for your character. MAGs were talked about in slightly more detail, revealing that you could feed them which would cause things to happen. Revealing. And finally the item lab which revealed you can still punish yourself by trying to grind weapons, although it’s not as punishing as it used to be in Phantasy Star Universe. Finishing off December, PSO2 was at the Akihabara Games Festa 2011. During which, I stayed up to ungodly hours on the 23rd to catch a pair of presentations. We did actually get to see some new things, however, including the PSO2 opening movie.
Aside that were some brief details about what would take place during the 2nd alpha, as well as showing off the item labs and newer features of the character creation (paying particular attention to the new CAST morphers).
So that’s the timeline of PSO2 happenings this year. A couple of noisy periods sandwiched by times where a whole lot of nothing happened.
Recap of the Major Features
To recap what the major features are (please feel free to message me if you think anything else needs to be included)
* PSO2 is Windows PC ONLY. There are no plans to release a console version.
The three races are: Human, Newman and CAST. There are no beasts
Clothing is NOT attached to class or race.
All races can use morphers to customise their appearance
Any race can be any class
The three classes are Hunter, Ranger and Force. There are no advanced classes.
Character levelling is done through class levels.
MAGs are in
Customisable rooms are in
Item grinding (more than weapons this time) and item fusion are in
Player shops are in (and are accessible outside of rooms this time)
Missions are accessed from a singular counter like in PSO, rather than multiple like in PSU
Missions can be interrupted by random events
Bosses can be fought both in and out of arenas
Alpha Test 2
The 2nd Alpha test is set to take place some time in early 2012, with the registration period ending on the 17th of January. The details can be found elsewhere, but I’d like to finish this post with information about what will and what will not be included in the tests.
What is in:
All features of the last alpha test
New character models and CAST morphers
What is NOT in:
The city area shown in trailers
Towards the Future And so ends the longest post I’ve written for this blog. I hope it’s helped put this year of PSO2 information into perspective. Who knows what information will be revealed in the coming months, with the 2nd alpha client on the horizon as well as the closed beta tests having been announced. Never mind that the game it scheduled to release in 2012, so somewhere in there, I assume, is an open beta. Will foreigners be allowed into it? Probably not, but I still think that even if the game is only released in Japan that they won’t mind foreign players on it.
Finally, happy new year!
Sources: PSUpedia, Bumped, Shougai, PSO2 Official Blog. PSUmods
Thank you all for your continued effort!
In the second presentation, not much interesting stuff happened at all really. Little new info, they showed off HUnewearl character creation (because we just haven’t seen enough HUnewearl), showed footage from previous demonstrations that we’d already seen and the same trailer from yesterday.
The only sliver of new information is that player rooms will be in the next tests. That’s really it, as far as I can tell. We also got to see an aspect of the Volcano Caves which appears to be something that resembles ruins. It appeared to be part of an interrupt event.
As an additional note, here’s a translated version of the alpha test feedback chart from the previous post:
The first PSO2 TGS stream has just ended. Sakai’s voice is sounding a little worn out, poor chap.
One bit of news to come from this presentation is that the developers have now decided against having defense stats on outfits! This is much more in keeping with tradition with the series and good news for anyone who was worried about being unable to wear what they wanted due to stats.
There were also a few new outfits on the character creation screen, of note were FOnewearl. I captured a couple of screens from the feed, one of which is some new maid-like armor thing and the other is the aforementioned FOnewearl:
Another thing that was shown was a brand new mission area, which appears to be an abandoned city stage:
This was screen-shotted during a brand new cgi trailer for PSO2. Here is an upload captured from the live stream by PSO-World user Vashyron.
For anyone who can read Japanese, I captured some graphs and slides from the presentation. Unfortunatly, given the quality you’d expect from print-screening text from a video stream, some of it isn’t legible. Regardless, here they are:
I believe this is something to do with the number of players connected at various points during the alpha tests
These are the results of a player poll, asking them to rate various features of the game. They seem to like the music!
And here are all the slides, I’m afraid I can’t read a word of them. If you can, I hope they’re informative!.