Good news everyone: Sega has solved PSO2’s trading problem in New Genesis

I’ve previously complained about how how I think locking trading behind the premium subscription is bad because it is a basic feature that should be available to all players. So now I’ve noticed that Sega has posted more information on New Genesis and here they announced the wonderful news that you can not trade with other players. I mean you can’t have any issues with trading if you can’t trade, right?

So now player shops (that still need a subscription to use to sell items) is the only way to transfer items between players. On top of that in New Genesis there is a 10% seller fee. Sounds like trash if you ask me.

This is off topic but Sega also announced the in game currency that will replace Meseta used in PSO2, since they had previously said that it would not be transferred or be used in New Genesis. Hold onto your hat because this one will blow you away: the new currency in New Genesis is “N-Meseta.” Yes that’s right “N-Meseta” and if you think that terrible and lacks any creativity you are not alone.

But hey at least we don’t have to worry about trading any more in New Genesis because we can’t.

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Revisiting Phantasy Star Portable

Yes the first one. So I decided to fire up the old PlayStation Portable to play some Portable 1 again. You know to experience that classic PSU game play. While the controls are bad compared to PSU and as time went on the PSP’s screen seems way smaller than I remember but I still found the game to be enjoyable.

The story is nothing amazing but still better than PSO2 by far. Some of the story missions are long. Like that one that took me through three areas of Moatoob (Chapter 5). It was kinda of long but not too bad. If anything the Moatoob missions don’t seem as bad as I remember them. The missions there are still not my favorite but I think maybe I was a little too hard on the planet and its missions in the past. Only a little though.

I even had the classic situation of where a group of those annoying robots that shoot missiles all shot missiles at me and all three hit me before I could even recover from the first hit. I was kinda annoyed but it also brought back some good memories of PSU. I still hate those robots after all these years.

The item drops and their drop rate is satisfying. Even messing around with lower rarity weapons was fun due to the variety of weapons each battle type / class have access to (unlike PSO2). I always liked that Sega ditched the synthesis system that PSU had in this game, since I never cared for it. Plus you have areas drops for clothes and such, no need for that rubbish arks cash here!

I’ve only been playing the game on and off again but honestly I kind of miss PSU, despite its flaws, and wouldn’t mind seeing an HD updated Portable 1 and 2 Infinity for PC, and PS4/5. It would totally be worth dropping some money on updated versions of these games. Do it Sega.

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I made a chart: A look at PSO2’s first month on Steam

So I’ve recorded PSO2’s Steam stats for its first month on the platform. The data was recorded in the evening of each day. Although I totally forgot to do it on August 11th but it doesn’t matter, probably. The chart features two stats the current players during the evening and the peak player count for the day. I also recorded the games placement on Steam’s top 100 most-played games list, but I’m missing the first two days since I didn’t think of doing so until then, my bad. Also I lied I made two charts. Anyway on to the charts; click them to see more detailed information or not idc.

 

As you can see from the chart PSO2 had a good start with around 18k players during the evening and reached its most players for the day on August 9th with a little over 20k. From there we can see a steady decline (with a few upticks on a few random days). It seems now the game current player count hovers around the 10k mark while the games peak player count is around 12k. And as expected PSO2’s rank in Steams top 100 games has dropped from its high of being in the low to mid 30’s to around the low to mid 50’s as the number of players has dropped.

Honestly I’m not surprised to see the number of people playing the game tank. The game has a ton of flaws that bring down the game’s overall enjoyment and then you also have the announcement of New Genesis. Sure you can argue that stuff from PSO2 carries over to New Genesis but the stuff that does carry over isn’t worth playing PSO2 if you don’t like the game. Also there is no guarantee that New Genesis will be any good, but at least it will have finger movement!

I’m going to guess the game’s player count will start to stabilize around these numbers give or take a few. As we saw with PSO2’s launch on Steam people gave the game a shot and then bailed on it. I really doubt that PSO2 will see much growth until New Genesis launches and that bump in popularity may also only be temporary if the game ends up being bad as well. But hey if Sega doesn’t give PSO2 the same type of bad service it gave to PSOBB and PSU Sega might get lucky and hold their current player base.

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Sega posted some FAQ for PSO2 New Genesis

So I’ve noticed that Sega has posted an FAQ about PSO2 New Genesis. It goes into some information about how the game will connect to PSO2, what transfers between games and such.

It seems there were some questions and information dedicated to that whole fingers being able to move stuff that Sega promoted on the New Genesis announcement. I don’t get it. Is it really that big of a deal? I didn’t even mention it on the blog since it’s some minor cosmetic thing that isn’t important… at all.

How silly of me; here I am interested to see if New Genesis will be any good when instead I should have been focused on the finger movement feature. So what if New Genesis ends up being a bad game at least we got some finger movement for our characters, right? It’s such an amazing display of new 3D graphics and technology. I just know that New Genesis will win all the game of the year awards for sure because of it. LOL

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The method of linking PSO2 accounts seems like something only Sega would do

So Sega has posted information on account linking with the Steam version available now. So the gist of it is that you need to use the original platform you played on to create a code that only last for 15 minutes and input it into the game on the new platform you want to play on. But if you started playing on the new platform then you can never link an account to it since you can’t revert the creation of the new account.

I don’t know it seems like a roundabout way to get this done. But it also raises a question. In the future if there are new platforms added to the game do we need the original version of the game to link the that new platform?  Can the Steam version create a link code if it is not the original version the account started on? Because if it can’t that going to suck having to keep around the Windows Store version of the game (or downloading it again) to link new platforms.

On the bright side the Steam version has none of Microsoft’s gaming services in it which is why Sega added PSO2’s native friends system back into the game.

Now on to game Steam stats:

As of this post PSO2’s current & peak players:

But then you look at something like Team Fortress 2, which has been around since 2007:

Will PSO2 increase its numbers? Will it maintain this level of players? Or will these numbers drop? It will be interesting to see how PSO2 performs on Steam over the next few weeks.

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The time has come to abandon the Windows Store train wreck: PSO2 launches on Steam August 5th

Sega has announced some details and rewards for the playing the Steam version of PSO2 that will launch next month. That’s pretty nice that the whole PSO2 on more PC platforms “soon” thing they mention in the 2020 roadmap is happened finally.

It will be interesting to see the Steam game stats for PSO2, although it will probably be impossible to tell if they are all new players since I doubt many people that currently play the PC version of the game will stay with the trash Windows Store version of the game. Who knows the Windows store may give some PC players a head start by deleting the game again for no reason. As a bonus to switching to the Steam version of PSO2 it will be nice to be able to disable the Windows Store as well.

Sega has also announced some more details on the Episode 4 which also be released on August 5th. It outlines crafting and other details such as a PSO2 friends list that is separate from xbox live friends list, which should have been there since launch. But hey better late then never, right?

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Oh look a new PSO2 expansion

Looks like Sega announced some big new expansion for PSO2 called “New Genesis” to be released next year. Highlights of the update are a new massive environment to explore and overhauling the game’s design, gameplay and graphics engine.

I guess we will find out more details closer to release but the game desperately needs its gameplay updated. In it’s current state the game doesn’t hold my interest anywhere near what the older titles did. Plus for the most part most of PSO2 feels unrewarding (area exploration, item drops, harvesting, etc). I would very much like to see major changes to the game since I was disappointed that PSO2 still had a number of gameplay elements that I didn’t like from the Japanese version and that was in 2013.

Hopefully this update brings meaningful changes to the game including changes in its aggressive monetization too.

Normally I would be excited for news such as this but with PSO2’s current state I’m not expecting much out of the expansion.

Update (7/24): Sega has released more information and it is a new game rather than an expansion. Sega announced what is compatible and what isn’t. Seems some items will carry over but work differently also characters can be used in both games but character growth (levels, skills, etc) are separate. Don’t worry Sega made sure that all your precious Arks Cash and Star Gems will carry over too.

Looks like the original PSO2 will get a graphic engine update, but if New Genesis ends up being better than PSO2 I’m not sure why anyone would bother with PSO2 anymore.

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Star Gems are stupid

I’m not sure why PSO2 has two premium currencies. Sure Sega occasionally gives out some of those “star gems” but apparently the number of ways to get free star gems in tn PSO2 NA is more restrictive than in the Japanese version. The Japanese version of PSO2 has more in-game methods to get free star gems plus two mobile applications that can acquire free gems.

It looks like at one point Sega was going to have free star gems in the casino, like the JP version does, but they have removed all references to it in the PSO2 manual according to this post on the PSO2 forums.

And it gets worse because it seems that Sega is way more aggressive with the number ways that star gems can be used on PSO2 NA:

1) To start we have that rubbish “Fresh Finds” shop for star gems, which doesn’t even exist on the Japanese version of the game. Also items purchased with gems can not be traded. With PSO2’s restrictions on trading it’s not a major issue, but I see no reason for this.

2) They have now introduced star gem scratch tickets like the in the PSO2 JP  but they last for only two months (vs. 6) and it combines items from two separate star gem scratches that lasted for 6 months each on the PSO2 JP. Oh and the best part is that it includes items that were free on PSO2 JP, nice.

3) Then you have extended and material storage to consider. With the current distribution on star gems on PSO2 NA it seems it won’t be enough to maintain additional storage without paying. While it may not be that important now it seems that once crafting is released with Episode 4 it will be important to have access to the material storage if you are to make the most of the crafting system. PSO2 inventory management is terrible as it is. How many junk items is Sega going to add to this game? The whole harvesting thing is bad enough…

4) Star gems also have some other miscellaneous uses (that I am too lazy to list) outside of buying cosmetic items and storage expansion as well. Also don’t forget: star gems expire in a year!

The game already was bad enough with all it’s micro-transactions and it certainly doesn’t need this. Doing things like this is just going to drive people away from the game, including long time fans of the series. It’s sad to see that Sega doubled down on milking the series fans. Lets see if it works out for them in the long run, although somehow I doubt it will.

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What’s the deal with PSO2’s story?

It may be just me but from what I have seen from PSO2’s story so far it isn’t very good. First off the execution is bad. I mean what’s up with all the scenes of just characters standing and talking? They just seem to yammer on about stuff that doesn’t seem very important or interesting for the most part. Then there have been even a few story scenes where nothing important happens at all; such as that scene where your character sees that masked Persona character with the only dialog being just one word before walking off and the scene ends. It’s not a good way to create any interest in the game’s story. I guess it also explains why Sega has promoted not one but two ‘clear story quests’ campaigns, since I can see a good number of players not even bothering with it.

Then it’s just how the story itself  is set up. Oh look its a rookie hunter / guardian / arks getting involved in some serious business again. Yawn, boring been there done that. PSU and Portable essentially started out the same way. Sure both of those games stories weren’t the greatest but the execution was much better than PSO2’s. Plus PSO2’s story has been somewhat too predictable. For example it wasn’t hard to figure out who was going to mess up things with Dark Falz or who the masked Persona guy was especially once the game started with the time traveling shenanigans.

I still think PSO did its story well for an online RPG. You had the whole mystery of the disappearance of Pioneer 1 in Episode 1, and side quest did a good job in filling in the blanks and world building. Episode 2 followed the same formula and it still worked well. So I find it pretty amazing how bad the storytelling for PSO2 when it Sega has shown us that they can do a decent job of it in the past.

So in light of the seeing the current quality of PSO2’s story I decided to spoil myself on Episode 4 and all I got to say is: YIKES. I won’t spoil it here in case anyone cares about it, but I do recommend giving the summary of it on Wikipedia a read for a few laughs and WTF moments. Just when you thought that the story’s quality couldn’t get any worse and yet here it is even worse than before. Not sure why Sega went with this but they should have made it a side story rather than Episode 4 so that it would be easier to ignore it or pretend it never happened in the main story line. Although the best thing would have been to scrap the idea for the entire scenario because even as a side story it would still be terrible.

Well at least I know to expect some really bad storytelling from PSO2 and that it won’t get any better.

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LOL Game Pass ruined PSO2’s economy

Ever wonder why older items that are no longer available are extremely expensive in player shops? Well wonder no more!

I stumbled upon this topic over at the PSO2 forums and explains what happened. And this one post explains it the best (and since I’m lazy I’m just going to quote it, all credit goes to Miraglyth on the PSO2 forums):

As far as I’m aware the exploit was for meseta and AC scratch tickets.

To be clear: The first month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate cost $1 and originally gave 12 AC scratch tickets (which cannot be passed between accounts) and a straight-up million meseta (which could, by selling monomates for a million). Some players registered multiple accounts to take repeated advantage of the $1 cost and bought a ton of meseta and probably a horde of AC tickets too.

After a week they disabled the first-month bonus set altogether, before relaunching to basically replace that wad of meseta with 500 AC that can only really be used between accounts by pulling 2 extra AC scratch items (on top of the 12 tickets still given) and passing the sales onto the main account.

Long story short a bunch of meseta was injected into all three ships, with which several Xbox players bought up all the tradable content that had expired (mostly concluded AC scratch sets) to get a monopoly on their supply and force newer PC players to cough up more than they were worth to even partially catch up. Which multiplied the money they had and allowed them to do it more.

This wouldn’t have been half the problem it was for PC players if we hadn’t got the game late after content had been taken away. To be clear, I’m sure the majority of the Xbox players did not abuse this. But the few that did likely had an impact and once again PC players suffered the most from that.

TLDR: Basically Xbox Game Pass Ultimate was the original RMT meseta seller.

That’s pretty amazing the lengths some people will go for some worthless game monies.

Anyway, it reminded me of PSU when the game was hacked that introduced a ton of meseta to the game. But at least back then everyone had a shop and could cash in on it (5k meseta ray-photons anyone?) and it balanced itself out after awhile.

PSO2 is already makes it a boring slog to get meseta as it is and I don’t see this balancing out anytime soon. This just hurts those that don’t spend much or any money on the game, and those that started playing it later the most.

But yeah. That game pass thing was a terrible idea.

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