Mog’s Phantastic PSO2 Adventures – Open Beta Impressions
- June 29th, 2012
- By MogKnight
With Phantasy Star Online 2 finally hitting open beta in Japan, I’ve decided to start up a series of blog posts that talks about all the fancy stuff I’ve ran into, offer some tips and guidance over certain aspects in PSO2, and even some frustrations with trying to understand a language I can’t even read!
I’m going to start off talking about open beta and my experiences with it in comparison to the closed beta that ran awhile back.
First thing’s first, there’s a lot of people playing from all over the world. There’s no region lock or IP blocks of any sort. If you can understand how to run through registration (all in Japanese), you’re able to take part in the open beta. If you’re interested in playing, you can check out this guide. Just note that you may need to find some way to transcribe the captcha, which uses katakana. A good character guide along with a romanji (english characters) to katakana (japanese characters) will solve that issue.
If you’re looking for English speaking players, you can either hop on ship 2 or 10. Most of the players that I know are on ship 10. Just note that you only roll one character at this time. If you wanted to play on both ships, you will need to make two separate accounts since an additional character slot costs real money and the system is not yet implemented.
Now would also be a good time to join in on PSO2 since everything in open beta will transfer to final game. It’s free-to-play as well and it’s worth checking out.
Changes from Closed Beta
With all that said, what really has changed from closed beta? In terms of the basic foundation, nothing. That’s a good thing considering that I really enjoyed closed beta and all it really comes down to now are refinements. They added more Client Orders (side quests) and a new area to explore (Desert). You can even unlock Hard Mode when you’re of the appropriate level.
There were some changes made to the skill trees for the three classes. Perhaps the biggest change would be the Force tree which is now laid out in such a way where there is now an incentive to put points in other branches. The other two classes did have some skills moved around, but stayed relatively the same.
Some NPCs were moved around, specifically the Tekker NPCs. They’re still in the shop area but are now close to the other NPCs on the ground floor. Speaking of Tekkers, rare item drop rates were adjusted. I have yet to run into a rare in open beta, though noted that rares are not always going to reveal themselves as “special items” or unique weapons.
Enemies seem to be more aggressive from what I’ve seen. I remember being able to go through many missions in PSO2 without any fear of dying. Right now there is a good chance that you may chug some dimates down to keep yourself alive. This is not to say it hurts the flow of combat, but it does make it so that trash monsters are not something to mess with if you’re of equal level.
Finally, the automated messages that you or the NPCs can speak during a mission were reduced down in frequency. The NPCs will no longer have their face pop ups showing when they say something, which is good in multi-party quests because that quickly got annoying.
So far the only issue is, due to the fact that it’s an open beta, it does get really crowded and a bit laggy at times. Sega recently took PSO2 down for a 27 hour maintenance to replace the server hardware. Once the servers popped back up, most of the lag has been eliminated.
Sega does want to bring the game over to as many players as possible. I know there are plenty of players out there that are waiting for either an English patch or for Sega to localize the game. But with that comes a little fear. Let me explain.
As it is right now, PSO2 is not filled with a lot of English-speaking players, at least in the large-scale of things. For those who were involved in many online communities, there’s a good number of gamers who are… well, immature. Playing PSO2 with the current English community was a bit of a shock for me. A good number of them are not spewing random gibberish filled with things that no one wants to hear, and as such there are plenty of players who are very kind and respectful when they hop into your party. If they have to leave prematurely, they will say something to let you know. This was kind of how things were back then.
Of course, now with online games being so easy to access and communities being so huge, it’s very easy to just shit talk online and end up with no repercussions for your actions. By that extent, people just close themselves up and play the game solo if possible. PSO2 does support solo play well, in fact you can summon an NPC version of your Friends if they happen to not be online at the time.
Don’t get me wrong, I would love to see PSO2 in English and to have more players on board. I’m just worried that because this game is free-to-play, it will attract a lot of players who just have no real incentive to stick around, be respectful, and go against the grain with a community. I’ve also heard reports of players using basic memory editing tools to cheat in game. While not exclusive to a region or a community, people are quickly blaming the English-speaking community for such acts.
Regardless, I’m enjoying the open beta. If you’re interested in tagging along with me (and if anything, you get a free AI partner to go with you), you can find me on Ship 10, Block 20 under the name Angry Bot. If you can read through the Japanese, you can also search by Game ID, mine being MogKnight. I can also be found streaming some of my PSO2 adventures on my personal Twitch.TV account.