Monday, December 31, 2007

Xbox 360: Live Coming Back Up and Gifting MS Points

Live has been having some issues for the past couple of days, but it seems that MS is trying to make sure they have the problem taken care of. As of a few hours ago, it seems that many people that were having problems have had them fixed.

Apparently, they claim to have most of the staff working on the issues (holidays or no). According to various employees, they did not expect such a large influx of users for the holiday season. Both subscribers and simultaneous online users are way up.

Also, it would seem that this issue affected several of MS's integrated services (such as the Zune stuff, etc.).

Major Nelson's site is getting quite a bit of traffic, but if you can manage to get through he is updating progress via his twitter on the left side bar. It would seem that they are not only fixing issues, but making improvements as well.

As an aside, it is now possible to gift MS points to another account. I really should have mentioned this before the holidays...

Live Getting Crowded
Live Issues
Work Being Completed on Live Issues
Gift MS Points

Monday, December 24, 2007

Other: Happy Holidays



I hope everyone is enjoying the time off they are probably getting, however long that may be.

It is said that there will be a special edition of the PSU Community Podcast later tonight, so look out for that one.

A few days ago, PSOBB users found that the 906 error that has plagued the servers for a few weeks was lifted. Hopefully we won't see any more problems as bad as that one in these last few months that the servers are open. I've been catching up on some various games, but I'll be back on there soon. I've been wanted to play again for awhile now, but projects and that error pretty much prevented me. I hope that I'll see some familiar faces come back to the game.

I'm currently preparing something interesting for the end of the year. I may be asking for some help soon enough, as I think it would put much more variety into it. More details will come when I'm a bit more organized. Until then, stay tuned. And play some more Sega games...okay?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast XVIII



The eighteenth episode is live and features a NiGHTS musical theme. Between Christmas, the NiGHTS statue delivery, and the launch of the new game, it just makes sense. It can be downloaded at Switchpod and iTunes.

Speaking of NiGHTS and soundtracks, check out the upcoming one in a link below.

Podcast at Switchpod
Discussion Thread
NiGHTS Mega Soundtrack

Xbox 360: Various Updates

First off, the NiGHTS statues went out to those people that played on the DEMO weekend. Check the common box and it should be there. If it's not, then try making space, leave your room, and come back.

Second, the Photon Gacha machines should be deactivated to outside users now. They'll be turned on once MS releases the patch to fix their price display.

Third, according to JP, the Recently Visited Rooms bug has been fixed.

JP 360 Bug Page

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Japan: PS 20th Anniversary Fan Art Winners



The winners of this contest are going to have their artwork posted in the lobbies of PSU and PSOBB as well as receive certain in game rewards. You can find the notable pieces at the page linked below. The order is as follows:

Grand Prize (Pictured above)
1st, 2nd, 3rd Prizes
Special Award (I thought this one was pretty cool)
Honorable Mentions
Finalists

Update: You can find pictures of the winners' characters along with their art in the lobbies by clicking 'Winners Report'.

Awards Page
Other Entries
Winners Report

AotI: Shadow of the Arkguard Chapter 6

The final chapter of this web series is now available at the link below. JP version linked for reference.

SotA Chapter 6
PoA Chapter 6

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

General: Update for December 20th

We're getting an update this week and surprisingly it's not just progress on the Photon Gacha machine issue. By the way, just as a small reminder, this issue should be patched for PC/PS2 and it will be turned off for Xbox 360 users after this maintenance. To clarify, you can use your own for storage, but not be able to set the machine for other people to try their luck. For PC/PS2 this week (and for Xbox 360 at a future date), the machine will display pricing to other users.

Here's a short breakdown:

- New Year's lobby from January 1st to 11th
- A new party mission with the boss Mother Brain (the last non-secret 360 achievement) [AotI]
- New fragment PA skills at Moatoob's exchange mission [AotI]
- New weapons, armor, etc. [AotI]
- New room goods at the Variety Shop [AotI]
- New Casino room goods and music disks (some will disappear, but return later) [AotI]

I think that there may be portions of JP's November 8th and 22nd updates in here, but I can't really tell as some major things aren't listed. I guess we'll see what's up soon enough. It's so much easier when they're the same... Anyway, we should be around three updates behind at this point (about a month and a half).

EN Update Page
JP 360 Update Page
New Fragment PA Skill Information

Japan: PC/PS2 Update for December 20th

A few days ago, I almost lost a number of directories full of files that were fairly important. Performing various data recovery operations is why I haven't posted in awhile. This is exactly the type of thing that would happen as I'm trying to catch up. I can say that fortunately most of the files that were lost (even after recovering the majority of them) I have backups around the internet for. The other stuff...will require some time to rework. I'll do it...some other time...

Anyway, here's a short list of what's coming in Thursday's update to the JP server:

- The winners of the PS 20th Ann. Illustration Contest are going to have their work posted around the lobbies
- More items are added to the event item exchange mission
- New Year's lobby from January 1st until January 10th
- New clothes and parts (PSO costumes FOnewm, RAmarl, HUcast, and RAcaseal featured)
- More items added to the offertory box on Neudaiz
- Room goods and music disks put into and out of rotation at the Casino
- Level cap increased from 120 to 130

Update: FOmar and FOmarl outfits were also made available this week.

JP Update Page
MAG Rewards Page (new items in orange)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Other: NiGHTS Preorder Bonus

I'm going to take a minute here and mention something relatively relevant. As some of you well know, Sonic Team is finally (after 11 years) releasing a new NiGHTS game (Journey of Dreams) for the Wii on Tuesday (at least in the US). A few days ago, I got the linked email about a preorder bonus that isn't being offered online at EB Games and Gamestop.

I went in and picked it up today. Basically the DVD has a seven and a half minute video going over a bit of the history of NiGHTS as well as behind the scenes stuff about production on the new one. Not as cool as a tshirt or plush (or Christmas NiGHTS 2), but it was a nice surprise to see them put something out.

Anyway, I thought I would mention this since it didn't seem anyone else wanted to. Neither the NiGHTS site or Sega's site mentions it at all. Gamestop probably didn't put it on their page since it's only an instore offer.

I linked a picture of Japan's preorder gift. I would have put it above, but then it would probably just be confusing and disappointing. Yes, I'm a bit let down too.

Newsblast Email
Official Site
Japan's Freebie

Community: Phantasy Star: Dreams Forever

Jonathan_F has announced a rather hefty project to remix much of the music heard in the PS series over the past 20 years. The production time is estimated to last until sometime late next year, but I'm sure with enough support he can compile it sooner.

If you are interested in submitting tracks or just want to find out more, please visit the links below. Six discs is definately a task for a good sized team of dedicated fans.

Announcement Thread
FAQ
Song List

Xbox 360: Santa Shadow on December 22nd

Nite Shadow (board name Matrixman3780) and The Tainted Horde are ho-ho-hosting (sorry...) an interesting Christmas event. Here are a couple details:

Date: December 22nd, 2007
Time: 10 AM - 12 PM PST, 1-3 PM EST, 6-8 PM UTC
Place: TBD
Prizes: Gifts from Santa Shadow

For current details (as well as monitoring for information updates) please visit the link below.

Announcement Thread

PS2/PC: PS 20th Anniv. Winter Festival on December 16th



Nei Fourth (board member ShadowDragon28) will be hosting an event celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Phantasy Star. Here's a few details:

Date: December 16th, 2007
Time: 2 PM PST, 5 PM EST, 10 PM UTC
Place: Universe 15 Guardian's Colony 1st Floor
Requirements: Dress as a classic PS character and/or know your PS trivia

Prizes for costume contest:
1st Prize : S-Rank Weapon (Lightning)& 3 Ortapolymers
2nd Prize : Weapon(new to AotI)(Light) & Present
3rd Prize : Durandal Repca(Lightning) & Present
4th Prize : Twin Saber (light) & Present

Prizes for trivia contest:
Various high star mats, Weapon (light), Weapon(Fire),and special decorations etc...

For the full details, please visit the thread below.

Announcement Thread

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast XVII



It seems that PSU_Castor has been hit by the extreme weather that has been affecting people in the US midwest. Iceman has picked up doing episode 17 along with Kakeru and Deco Bryl. The music theme for this week is anime (a toss up from the normal Sega theme). You can find this episode along with all the others at Switchpod and iTunes.

Expect episode 16 to be posted as soon as PSU_Castor's area recovers. Also, due to these various issues, entries for the commercial competition can be turned in as late as Wednesday December 19th.

Discussion Thread
Contest Thread
Podcast at Switchpod

General: Emergency Maintenance and Rollback

Alright, I know I've been out of it for a week or two, but it's going to be another day or so until I'm caught up with updating the site. However, this is another priority posting (albeit still a bit late).

A certain mission created for debugging purposes was mistakenly put up onto the actual PSU servers (both PC/PS2 and Xbox 360). Because of this, Sonic Team is taking down each set of servers, removing the mission, and then rolling back all of the data until 11 PM PST last night (when maintenance started).

The Xbox 360 version has just completed its maintenance and rollback and is now once again available.

Edit: The PC/PS2 servers are now up as well. Sega has not announced if or when they will compensate for the rollback, but I would expect something to be soon enough. The extra week of 1UP Cup rewards is due to a much shorter rollback time in fact (the recent 360 one).

Please visit the links below for updates on the situation.

Site Posting
Announcement Thread
Discussion Thread
JP Posting
JP Posting 2

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

AotI: Shadow of the Arkguard Chapter 5

The fifth in the six part series has been released on the official EN site. JP version linked for reference.

SotA Chapter 5
PoA Chapter 5

General: Update for December 14th

Apologies for not updating for awhile. I had loads of work to do over the past week or two and I've barely slept even. Anyway, on with the show.

The English PSU site has received a bit of a redesign. Announcements, Quests, and Events are divided up in a similar fashion to the JP page.

Here are a few details about the update (visit the official page for the full info):

- Christmas lobbies and holiday rappies
- 1UP Cup rewards are continuing until the 21st (even for PC/PS2 players)
- Two new Neudaiz missions and a new midway lobby [AotI]
- New weapons and armor [AotI]
- New clothes and parts (the Mikumiko and CAS-miko sets now available in from the offertory box) [AotI]
- New room items added to the Variety Shop and Casino [AotI]
- Some items will be removed from the Casino, but will reappear later [AotI]
- Lots of TECHNIC adjustments (some low level 'nerfs' and high level 'buffs')

EN Update Page
JP 360 Update Page

Thursday, December 6, 2007

General: No Maintenance Tonight

Neither the PC/PS2 or Xbox 360 servers will be going down tonight. I meant to post about the JP page earlier, it was just a bit low priority at the time.

EN Announcement
JP 360 Announcement

Other: Reminder for PSOBB

Just a reminder that PlaySEGA is said to no longer offer PSOBB subscriptions after today. If you wish to play before January 9th and don't have a subscription currently active, you'll have to do it now. Those that have a subscription that ends between Dec. 9th and then will still be able to play until that date.

After January 9th, anyone that has had a subscription in the past will be able to play for free until the servers close on March 31st. It's unconfirmed if people that only had 'beta' accounts will be able to play during the free time, but current speculation is saying no. If you are one of these people, $9 US is not a bad price to make sure you can put in some time over the next 4 months. Once again, they are planning increased droprates and experience during the free period. I think it'll be a pretty good send off. By that time we should have a good deal of the remade maps and costumes from PSO in PSU, so it won't be all bad. Otherwise, the JP servers haven't yet been announced to be closing and still seem to be doing alright. The Xbox servers for PSO are estimated to be closing sometime in the near future too, which will put an end to every version outside of PSOBBJP.

Announcement
PlaySEGA

Xbox 360: NiGHTS DEMO Weekend



Another demo weekend has just been announced. If you play the PSU demo (requires a Gold account) during this weekend (8-9th) and then get or have a full account by the 14th, you will receive a NiGHTS room decoration in your common box at some date soon after.

They aren't cross promoting it, but it definately wasn't hard to predict that this statue would come out around the release of NiGHTS: Journey of Dreams (Dec. 18th in the US).

Official DEMO Page

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

AotI: Shadow of the Arkguard Chapter 4

The fourth chapter in the six chapter series has been posted on the official page. JP version for reference.

SotA Chapter 4
PoA Chapter 4

AotI: Photon Gacha Update

A GM has posted that they have been informed a fix for the Photon Gacha room item is coming on December 21st. A patch will be implemented on PC/PS2 while the Xbox 360 version will have to wait until it passes Microsoft's certification. However, from Dec. 21st until that patch is applied, Sega will be disabling the machine for outside use. It can still be used for storage though.

chillaura also mentions that they are currently compiling all the scammer reports and sending them along to be checked by the team. Full post is linked below.

chillaura's Thread

Xbox 360: Fall Dashboard Update

The fall dashboard update has just arrived and it's a huge one! In the link below, you'll find a pretty comprehensive list, but here's some big ones:

Lots of changes to the dashboard
Download original Xbox games (ie yet another way to buy Psychonauts)
Play Divx movies (5.0 and above) and .avi files
Other video playback enhancements
Some more iPod support
IPTV
Big performance enhancements and new transitions
User bios
See friends of friends (can still block users from seeing your friends)
Family timer
Power light syncs with opening animation (alright: not big, but still sorta cool)
Messaging with the chatpad works inside of games (unfortunately still no direct PSU support as a keyboard)
Added text for "in-game voice" complaint option (this is somewhat different than the prior ones)

The achievements for AotI have still not be added to xbox.com, but the expansion is one of only four game items as part of the new Spotlight section (also as a Featured Game in the new Games Library). It should get a lot of attention there.

Also of note:

New Live Arcade Platinum line (cheaper prices basically)
They added some more free themes and picture packs for original Xbox titles
Recent BC update adding 83 games (lots of sports and licensed, but also a couple gems)
Video Marketplace coming Dec. 11 for some European countries and Canada
Free content only available to silver users after the first week (like the new Bioshock abilities)

Anyway, just look around. There's loads of neat things they added. Inside Xbox seems like a pretty cool new feature as well.

Edit: I've noticed original xbox games are now viewable on a user's game list. It has a default icon and they don't do it on the site yet, so it might be work in progress. This is probably due to the new availability of downloadable versions.

Detailed Change Log
Video Playback FAQ
BC Update
Notice for Silver Members

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Xbox 360: xbox.com Update

Microsoft has made a small update to their PSU page. Links are available directly to the game forums as well as a page on the new AotI content. Doesn't seem like they lowered the listed retail price of the game though (which seems to be $30 right now). It also seems as if there may not be a complete downloadable manual. I suppose we'll have to see if one is posted in the future. There is still a chance it may appear on Sega's site too.

The major thing that hasn't been added is the achievements to the xbox.com list (the one that appears in your profile). This is probably a clue as to why they aren't added to the total gamerscore correctly. Once they appear here, I'm sure they'll be working correctly. It would probably be best to deliver these concerns to Microsoft and not Sega.

PSU on xbox.com

Xbox 360: Raging Rappies Revenge on December 2nd

A new player run event is going to be held tomorrow. The goal is hunting for the King Rappy by getting clues from players in Rappy suits. You can have up to five people in your group. Here's some details:

Date: December 2nd, 2007
Time: 4 PM PST, 7 PM EST, 12 AM UTC
Place: 1st Floor of the Guardian's Colony on Universe 23
Prizes: 1.8 million meseta for first, 1 million for second, 500k for third

Check the thread for full details.

VD0gamemaster's Announcement Thread

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast XV



The guys took a break during the week of the expansion's release (as well as the US Thanksgiving) and returned with a new episode.

Episode 15 is up and it weighs in the opinions of the hosts on the newly released expansion along with the usual content. The forum member Kakeru makes a guest appearance. There is also a new contest to make the best PSU related commercial to be heard on the podcast.

Podcast at Switchpod
Discussion Thread

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast XIV



I neglected to put up this episode in all of the excitement recently. It appears we might be skipping episode 13 after all. Also, I have put all of the podcasts under a new 'Community' section. I may or may not decide to just put them in a 'Podcast' section since the events will probably still be under their respective server category.

EspioKaos, DecoBryl, and Momonpso all return as guest hosts for this episode. This one covers a lot of material that has to do with AotI and was released the same night that the pre-expansion patch was for PC/PS2 (Nov. 15).

There was a mistake in this one. The 1UP rewards did not start after that maintenance, they started after this past one (Nov. 29th).

Podcast at Switchpod (also available at iTunes)
Discussion Thread

Friday, November 30, 2007

Japan: PC/PS2 Update for December 6th

Here's a breakdown of what's coming in the next JP update:

- Episode 3 Chapter 3
- A new midpoint lobby
- A new mission from the Dallgun Viewing Plaza
- New weapons, armor, etc.

JP Update Page

Thursday, November 29, 2007

AotI: Photon Gacha Warning

For those of you that are unfamiliar with one of the more appropriately named PSU items (and even if you are), the GM team has put up a special page about the issue with this item on the official site.

Exploiting the issue with this item is a bannable offense. Users are encouraged to submit an abuse form if they've been a victim. However, they are in fact planning on correcting the issue soon.

Gacha Warning
Discussion Topic
JP Notice

General: Guardian's Express Volume 2 Issue 8

Another email newsletter about PSU from Sega. This one mentions details about the expansion versions as well as a note about the homepage redesign.

GE Volume 2 Issue 8
GE Signup Page

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

AotI: Shadow of the Arkguard Chapter 3

The next chapter of SotA is now online. JP version linked for reference.

SotA Chapter 3
PoA Chapter 3

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

1UP Cup: Reward Distribution

Also on Friday the rewards for the 1UP Cup will be implemented. This includes the following:

3 star photon fortune
Half price clothes and parts
Free makeovers
15% bonus to weapon and armor synthesis rates
[B] Twin Fluorescent Bulbs (Received from common box, expires on January 31st)

In addition, the 360 servers will receive an extra week of rewards to account for the small rollback necessary on the morning of AotI's release. Since PC/PS2 did not have a similar issue, it is yet to be seen whether they'll be given an extra week anyway.

EN Update Page
JP 360 Update Page

General: Update for November 30th

It would seem that the next update is a bit sooner than expected. This is about the same as JP's PC/PS2 October 11th content update. Except the donation box will be added in this update (an update early it seems) and the photon fortune tables will be staying the same (as that was already updated for us).

A short summary (full details at the link below, all are AotI):

- Episode 3 Chapter 1
- Two new Neudaiz missions (and an outpost in between)
- A new Neudaiz lobby with an offertory and fortune teller NPC
- New clothes and parts
- New room items (some Casino items appear in rotation)
- New weapons and armor

EN Update Page
JP 360 Update Page

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Japan: PC/PS2 Updates for September 27th and October 11th

These are the first two AotI content updates. Three (October 25th), four (November 8th), and five (November 22nd) I've posted already. I'm filling these in so we have a good reference to go off of for ours (for example we should have a similar update to Oct. 11th for our next one and so on).

September 27th:

This is essentially what was open when AotI came out in JP and is what we pretty much got ourselves on release. However, JP players also got a bonus Soniti shadoog as a gift.

October 11th:

- Episode 3 Chapter 1
- Two new fields for Neudaiz
- New Neudaiz free mission
- New Neudaiz outpost
- New Neudaiz party mission
- New Neudaiz midway lobby with photon fortune lottery
- Questionnaire for JP players with a drawing for an in game item (11111 prizes to be had)
- New weapons
- New clothes, parts
- New room items
- New items for the Casino
- Photon fortune table adjustment
- The partner character Lumia appears as a basic blue model to PSUv1 players

JP Update for Sept. 27th
JP Update for Oct. 11th

Japan: Phantasy Star 20th Anniversary Event

Various events will appear on PSOBB and PSU to celebrate the occasion. There will be fan art contests as well as the awaited Maximum Attack G for PSU. This event will introduce some of the PSO levels into PSU as well as supposedly have special appearances by characters from that game.

PS 20th Anniversary

Japan: PC/PS2 Updates for November 22nd

It's time for me to get back into the flow of things. I'll start with this recent update from JP.

- For 2 weeks (Nov. 22nd through Dec. 6th) the JP servers will be receiving +10% synthesis rates as well as 3 star photon fortune to celebrate the servers combining.
- Autumn foliage appears on the Guardians Colony and Neudaiz (also applies to PSUv1)
- Night festival for Moatoob lobby (also applies to PSUv1)
- New AMF field
- New party mission with the new Mother Brain boss
- New item exchange mission from the Koltova Juice stand in Holtes City West (also applies to PSUv1)
- New weapons, armor, units
- New clothes, parts
- New room goods
- Casino item rotation (items will often be replaced, but come back at a later date)
- EX PM models (battle stat required)
* EX GH41x (10)
* EX GH42x (15)
* EX GH43x (20)
* EX GH44x (25)
* EX GH45x (30)
* EX GH470 (10) (boy type)
* EX GH480 (30) (butler type)
- Nanotransformer EX devices added that can extend your storage slots 50 a piece (maxes at 500)
- More 'Move Room' reform tickets added
- Donation box updated
- Slicer and slicer PA performance drop
- Wartecher S rank capability additions (Twin Claws and Knuckles)
- Better fortune easier to obtain at the lottery counter
- Meseta drop adjustments made to PSUv1

JP Update Page

Friday, November 23, 2007

AotI: The Rest of the Story

*This will continue to be updated. There are several random things to mention and probably more to discover.*

AotI is out and it would seem that there is a bit more (and a bit less) than we thought there would be. While things are in either category, they could possibly relate to both.

PC/PS2:

While the JP release saw voice acting during prior text only scenes, the EN release does not. There is however voice acting during the couple of CG cutscenes that were added as well as at least one other not quite CG, but not quite in game scene. The mouths will still move and there are still new expressions though during the non voice acted scenes.

There have been reports that PS2 users are hearing some new in game voices (for example during an SUV/Nanoblast activation). PC users are for some reason not hearing these.

360:

While we are not on the receiving end of the PC/PS2 exclusive cutscenes and voice acting (for which I can count either the length in minutes or number of on one hand), there are some interesting additions. The AotI opening will now precede playing an Episode 2 story mission and the mouths of the characters move as well as have new expressions. It would seem to still be an updated version, just missing the couple of CG segments (and assumedly that one other scene mentioned prior). What is odd about this is the fact that several CG scenes for the Episode 3 storyline still accompany the expansion download. Enough that it seems to me to clearly outsize and outnumber the ones added to Episode 2.

Offline, while we don't have new AotI content for it, still was patched. Things like Timed/Counter Attacks, the new grinding system, goggle delay, as well as a host of other new things are present.

The performance of the game has been improved, but a couple of things (including shadow maps) haven't yet been added. I have seen a couple new lens flares though. The sound effects seem to be louder than usual, but they have added some very interesting ones for various enemies. The NPCs also have some new clips.

You can now see alot more information about people. You used to be able to switch between character name, level, and game id. Now you can also switch to see type and its level, gamertag, and user status (looking for group, etc.).

If I am not mistaken, it is possible to load directly into your room and also go directly back to character select on PC/PS2. This isn't possible (at least yet) on 360. Note: If you 'Join Session In Progress' to a friend, it will start you in your room. Before, you would end up going to that person's room the first time you tried going to yours.

There are now 250 more achievement points possible for PSU (3 achievements viewable and 2 secret). As far as we know, only the De Ro Le one is possible now. However, it is broken. While it will display as received and is recorded in pretty much every menu, the points will not be added to your gamerscore or to PSU on your list. Oddly enough though, it will display the correct PSU score in the screen before you decide to boot up PSU.

Microsoft hasn't started hosting the AotI manual for 360 as far as I know. No real new info has been posted on xbox.com outside of it being out on the marketplace. Xbox.com still does not recognize the new achievements that were added to the game. This might actually be a clue as to why they aren't registering.

A lot of people are having trouble viewing the Recently Visited Rooms list without crashing. I would avoid this for now.

While browsing through the files present for the expansion, I've found the missing event music (that had only apparently been in the PC/PS2 versions before). So we should be alright in the future. If you're wondering, yes I did find some other things...but alot of them are possible spoilers.

It seems that they fixed the shop system to be able to search JP shops as well. At least it works on the conditional search.

Some older room decorations will not animate with the newer AotI rooms. A good example is the Cursed Pumpkin.

The Casino considers a day to be from 4 PM PST to 4 PM PST the next day. When you receive your 100 bronze coins for the day, you will have to wait until after this time to get more.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Xbox 360: Issues and Additional Maintenance

As can be expected, the AotI launch and pre-expansion patch have brought up a couple of issues. Many of these are related to PSUv1 players who had downloaded the patch, but not yet bought AotI.

After discovering these issues (an hour or two after the planned maintenance), they essentially went into emergency maintenance mode. While AotI users have been able to come back to play, PSUv1 users are still prevented from accessing the server. There was also a very short rollback (only to before maintenance started).

Many of these happened to be because of the title update not being applied or downloaded correctly. It is encouraged that you restart your 360 after receiving this update.

Because of these issues, there will be an additional maintenance around 9 PM PST tonight. Microsoft is apparently going to lend a helping hand as well. It's said that everything should be corrected after this one.

Edit: In other news, Major Nelson has finally posted about AotI. The link is below. It would seem that there is a seperate JP version, so I would not suggest trying to download it for use with a non-JP PSU disk.

Edit 2: The JP page is claiming that maintenance will last from 10 PM PST until 11 PM PST.

Maintenance Page
Marketplace Roundup
JP Additional Maintenance Notice

General: Ultimate GUARDIANS Giveaway



This contest is open to US residents that are 14 years of age or older. It runs from Nov. 20th to the 26th with winners announced on the 27th. For prize information and the full rules and details, check the link below.

Ultimate GUARDIANS Giveaway

AotI: Shadow of the Arkguard Chapter 2

The second chapter of SotA has been posted. JP version posted for reference.

SotA Chapter 2
PoA Chapter 2

Monday, November 19, 2007

PS2/PC: Server Maintenance Tonight

There is going to be a maintenance for 1 am to 5 am PST tonight. This should fix the content that got reverted after the last maintenance.

chillaura's Announcement

Other: PSOBB English Servers to Close

To quote playsega.com:

We regret to announce that you will no longer be able to purchase Hunters’ Licenses for Phantasy Star Blue Burst from the January 9th 2008. All subscription-based services will be terminating on Jan 9th, 2008. If you have an active subscription terminating between January 9th 2008 and February 9th 2008, your Hunters’ License will be valid until February 9th, at which point the game servers will be made available free of charge to all previous Hunters’ License holders. Phantasy Star Blue Burst game servers will be closed down on March 31st, 2008.

This is quite unfortunate. Truthfully, I haven't had much time to enjoy either PSOBB or PSU in the last couple of months, but I'll definately be jumping on there to wrap up anything I've been meaning to do. Remember though that any attention that they still gave PSOBB can be fueled right into PSU and I'm sure that we'll benefit from the change. Read ClumsyOrchid's post for more details.

I suppose all that will be left at that point officially will be PSOBB JP and PSOX.

Edit: There will be increased experience and drop rates during the last length of PSOBB. The announcement thread has also been opened to allow comments. It was also mentioned that at the moment they don't have plans yet for taking the forums down.

ClumsyOrchid's Announcement

Xbox 360: Maintenance Change and Expansion Release

The usual weekly maintenance will be switched to Tuesday this week to support the incoming pre-expansion patch as well as the posting of the expansion itself. It will specifically be the following:

Date: Tuesday, November 20th
Time: 1 AM to 6 AM PST, 4 AM to 9 AM EST, 9 AM to 2 PM UTC

The start of this maintenance coincides with the usual posting time of most new content on the Live servers. During maintenance, there should be plenty of time to download the expansion.

Going here will let you keep downloading even after turning your system off:
system blade -> Console Settings -> Shutdown -> Background Downloads -> Enable

You may want to do this as maintenance will most likely not be ending early. In fact, they took extra time with the PC/PS2 servers and I expect it to be no different here. So make sure to at least get a little bit of sleep and you'll be able to play even longer your first day!

As stated before, the expansion will be costing 1600 Microsoft Points. This equates to 20 US dollars. You can buy a card for this exact amount at many stores and then enter its code by hitting 'Redeem Code' on the marketplace blade. I've even seen some of these cards at my closest 7-11. However, it is of course possible (much more convenient and sometimes without tax as well) to buy the points off of Live. The only problem with this is that there is no option for exactly 1600 points (closest that is enough is 2000, but a lot of Arcade games are 400 so...just a suggestion). I've been told that you can buy the necessary amount off the Zune marketplace (using the same ID) by a friend, but I haven't tried it myself.

Anyway, if you want to buy the points over Live, you can do this by clicking on any piece of download content and hitting the X button. It will show the various packages they offer. Click on one and it will ask you to confirm your credit card information. Here you can either confirm the purchase or add/switch to another card.

The location of the expansion will probably be in some combination of the following marketplace categories:

Games -> All Games -> Phantasy Star Universe
Games -> Genre -> Role Playing -> Phantasy Star Universe
Games -> Played Games -> Phantasy Star Universe
Games -> New Arrivals -> Phantasy Star Universe (I'd check second)
Featured Downloads (I'd check first)

The way most download content works on the 360 is the following:

Any user can play it on the first console it is downloaded to (even offline, but in this case there is no offline mode).
The user that bought the item can redownload and play the piece of content on any other console as long as they are online.

That should be everything you need to know, but otherwise just ask!

JP Announcement

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Xbox 360: Last Chance for Halloween Reform Ticket This Year

It seems that during the last maintenance Sonic Team had forgotten to remove the Halloween room theme from the appropriate NPC. If you need another, go ahead and pick up any extras now. This could apply to PC/PS2 as well, but I haven't checked or heard anything.

Friday, November 16, 2007

General: Official Website Update

The English website for PSU has been updated today with a lot more content relating to PSU as well as the expansion. You can see more sections along the side as well as a more AotI like design. I'm not going to take the time to list everything that's new, but I would definately suggest taking a look through the site again if you haven't done so in awhile.

Official EN PSU Page

PS2/PC: Update Oddities

Ryna and other users on PSOW are reporting changes that happened after last night's patch that probably shouldn't be there.

The 4X3 and 4X4 series have been removed from the shop.
Light Decor is up for sale again.
Ragnus board name has been reverted.

Ryna has mentioned that this was the state of the game during the Light Festival.

PSOW Thread

Thursday, November 15, 2007

1UP Cup: Wrap Up

Well it's finally over. This will probably be one of my last posts about it (besides posting about incoming rewards).

List of prizes (all are two weeks long except number 8):

1: 3 star photon fortune
2: Weapon synthesis rates up 5%
3: Clothes and parts 25% off
4: Armor synthesis rates up 5%
5: Clothes and parts 50% off (replaces number 3)
6: Weapon and armor synthesis rates up 10% (replaces numbers 2 and 4)
7: Free makeovers
8: [B] Twin Fluorescent Bulbs (makes Twin Fluorescent Bulb)
9: Weapon and armor synthesis rates up 15% (replaces 6)
10 (not obtained): Weapon and armor synthesis rates up 20% (replaces 9)

Here's the numbers taken after each week during maintenance:

Week 1: 1,119,247
Week 2: 2,124,425
Week 3: 3,012,924
Week 4: 4,212,511

Here's the links I had on the side:

Platinum Cup Homepage
PSU Club Homepage
PSUPedia Guide
Koryu's General Guide
Invisible Road Guide
United Front Guide
Deadly Brilliance Guide
Elements of Unrest Guide

Good job everyone!

Japan: Update for November 15th

Today the two fragments of the JP PC/PS2 servers will finally be combined.

The way this will work is that basically you have two entrances to the same server. Each entrance provides you with four character slots as usual. These two entrances will act essentially as separate accounts, outside of a few minor details.

Instead of 40 Universes per fragment, there will now be 56 in total. Recommended Universes will now have 4 each instead of 3 and they've added some for GBR (Guardians Boost Road).

Details of World Integration
Universe Changes

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

1UP Cup: Ninth Milestone Hit



A few hours ago we hit our ninth (and by estimates last) milestone for this event. I think they gauged the numbers for this one pretty well compared to Firebreak.

EN 1UP Cup Page

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

General: English Change Log and Updates for November 16th and 20th

The English PSU page now has the official notes for the pre-expansion patch coming to PSU. It also happens to contain information on the content available to expansion buyers from the start. Some other recent patches that Japan has received have been rolled up into this one, so there is actually more in there than just the stuff from Japan's initial change log. Content-wise it is the same as JP's 9/27 Update.

The patch will be available on the 16th for PC/PS2 and the 20th for Xbox 360.

Also, as per the 1UP Cup coming to a close, all four of its missions as well as the item trading post will be removed during the maintenance on the 16th. The 1UP Cup advertisements will disappear and so will Hal. However, the Club will remain open and the stage can be accessed. The song heard on the PC/PS2 versions for the Club will also change to something more standard.

EN Update Page
JP Update for September 27th

Monday, November 12, 2007

Xbox 360: Live Maintenance

There will be maintenance for xbox.com and Live later tonight. Here's the schedule:

Midnight to 2 AM PST
3 AM to 5 AM EST
8 AM to 10 AM UTC

However, it would seem that Live will still be available for about the first hour.

Major Nelson's Announcement

1UP Cup: Eighth Milestone Hit



Yesterday afternoon we were able to hit the eighth (3.5 million) milestone. It shouldn't be too hard to hit 4 million by time the Cup ends, but 5 million might just be out of reach.

EN 1UP Cup Page

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast XII.5



Podcast XIII will be taking another day to get out. In the meantime, this one carries a majority of mystery tracks for the usual contest. There is also a bonus prize for guessing the tune that PSU_Castor speaks over. You can find it at Switchpod as well as iTunes.

Podcast at Switchpod
Discussion Thread

1UP Cup: Seventh Milestone Hit



We were just recently able to hit the seventh (3 million) milestone. We're three weeks in now, so I'd expect us to be able to hopefully hit at least the ninth (4 million) by the end of the event.

EN 1UP Cup Page

General: Update for November 8th

This upcoming week is the last for the 1UP Cup. All four missions will be available as well as a third EX mission for each. More information about the new EX missions can be found at PSUP. What I will say though is that it seems Jaggos will be there dropping 'Giga / Bullet PP Save's on all of them on A and B ranks.

EN Update Page
PSUP 1UP Cup Page

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

AotI: Shadow of the Arkguard Chapter 1

The first chapter in the Shadow of the Arkguard inbetweener series is now online. It can be found at the link below. I've included a link to the JP version (referred to as Phantom of Arkguard) for reference.

SotA Chapter 1
PoA Chapter 1

Monday, November 5, 2007

Japan: Update for November 8th

Kamica and EspioKaos (and almost myself until I checked PSOW to make sure someone hadn't already posted it before writing it) have put up translations of this week's update for the JP PC/PS2 server. Let me break it down:

- Episode 3 Chapter 2
- New clothes and parts
- New room items
- New casino items (and a mention that items will appear in rotation)
- Donation box updated
- Level cap upped to 120

JP Update Page
PSOW Thread

Sunday, November 4, 2007

1UP Cup: Sixth Milestone Hit



A few hours ago, we hit our sixth (2.5 million) milestone. This is also halfway to the last milestone. We can still make it!

EN 1UP Cup Page

Saturday, November 3, 2007

AotI: Shadow of the Arkguard Preview




GutsGO has given light to an official translation of the preview to the JP inbetweener series 'Phantom of Arkguard'. I would expect to see more in the near future.

Shadow of the Arkguard Preview
Original JP Version
Official Forum Discussion Thread
PSOW Discussion Thread

Friday, November 2, 2007

Japan: Update for November 1st

I know I'm late about this. I saw it, but alot has happened in terms of news over at JP's site and I've been fairly busy. There are more details about GBR that I may elaborate on later, but you can get the general gist of it. Anyway, alot of the stuff out of JP has been bugs being found and fixed. It happens far too often to be concerned with as many of these will most likely be fixed before the English release. I will continue to at least come up with the content updates and any interesting event announcements/information though. There are actually a few going on, but they aren't much more than the usual GM events. Perhaps I'll metion a few of them in the future. Regardless, this is the actual post as it should have appeared a few days ago:

Lyrise over at PSOW has posted a thread regarding the new Guardians' Boost Road mechanics. This is something that was mentioned in JP's extended content preview posting.

These monthly modifiers will feature things such as boosted drop rates, experience, and mission points. The rate at which the relevant boost is at can be raised by being in a larger party as well as running the mission more.

November's GBR is on Parum and affects the following missions: Mad Creatures, Plains Overlord, Mad Beasts, Endrum Base, and Denes Relics. The boost affects drop rates. These rates will last from November 1st to the 29th.

Update: Endrum Base should be called Endrum Remnants and Denes Relics should be called The Dual Sentinel.

Lyrise's Thread
JP GBR Page
JP Update Page

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast XII



This week's podcast is now available at Switchpod and iTunes. It features music from the Saturday morning Sonic the Hedgehog cartoon (known to many as SatAM) as well as some Sega titles.

Podcast at Switchpod
Discussion Thread

Thursday, November 1, 2007

General: Update for November 1st

The 1UP Cup Colony mission 'Elements of Unrest' will be posted for this coming week. The current Neudaiz mission 'Deadly Brilliance' will be taken down, but will appear with the rest of the missions in the final week of the 1UP Cup.

EN Update Page

AotI: English My Room Information Page

The official English PSU site has been updated with information on some of the new my room features and designs for AotI. The link is right below.

My Room Page

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

AotI: Extra Release Information

ClumsyOrchid has confirmed a few more details after being no less than bombarded by questions after the English AotI release information came out. Allow me to summarize:

- The Xbox 360 version will feature achievements for online mode. It isn't clear yet whether this means that the offline ones will be available for online reception of if Sega will take advantage of the extra 250 points games are allowed with download content, but I'll be sure to keep an eye out for a list of them.

- The Xbox 360 version won't be seeing any offline content other than what is already available. It was also mentioned that the voice acting and new CG cutscenes will not appear in the online mode either (as it does in the PC/PS2 versions). What also is yet to be seen is how much of the AotI patch (i.e. the one we'll receive right before the expansion comes out) will apply offline.

- The Xbox 360 version will have a digital manual hosted by Microsoft. It wasn't said where or when this will be available.

- Madoog/Shadoog are the final names that will appear in the English version.

- Your subscription will permanently be attached to AotI when you first play it. It won't be possible to just play normal PSU after you transfer it over.

Illuminus Information Announcement Thread
Game Manual Postings

1UP Cup: Fifth Milestone Hit



We're officially halfway through our milestones after just hitting 2 million. Keep it up! If we want to hit 5 million we might need to speed up a bit, but we're not too far off so give it your all!

EN 1UP Cup Page

General: Guardian's Express Volume 2 Issue 7

Sega has sent out another PSU email newsletter. This one mentions the 1UP Cup, AotI, and once again the Community Podcast. It also brings light to the Community Events forum.

They almost got it right this time. PSU_Castor has been upgraded from PSU-caster to PSU-Castor. Iceman (Lucente on the official forums) also brings in some fame.

GE Volume 2 Issue 7
GE Signup Page

Sunday, October 28, 2007

1UP Cup: Fourth Milestone Hit



Early this morning we hit our fourth (1.5 million) milestone. I think we're doing pretty good. Let's keep it up!

EN 1UP Cup Page

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Other: Holiday Themes

I'm going to be changing the colo[u]r scheme a bit for the various upcoming holidays as well as to just mix it up a bit. Halloween is a good time to settle into it with a simple change to orange on black from blue. I guess it also sorta relates to AotI. It was a hard choice not to do it right now, but November may see a similar scheme with a dark green background. If anything gets too crazy though, just tell me and I'll change it.

If I had a banner, I'd change that too. Unfortunately, I haven't quite gotten one yet.

PS2/PC: Halloween 1UP Cup Party Bash on October 28th

PrincessXena and Warriors Essence will be holding a community event tomorrow. Here's a few details:

Date: October 28th, 2007

Costume Contest
Time: 12 PM PST, 2 PM CST, 3 PM EST, 8 PM UTC
Place: Universe 16 Guardian's Colony HQ
Requirements: Wear your best disguise
Prizes: First Place Ank Bico, Second Place 2-Headed Ragnus board or Halarod board, Third Place 75k Meseta and a possible Fourth Place award

1UP Time Attack
Time: 1 PM PST, 3 PM CST, 4 PM EST, 9 PM UTC
Place: Universe 16 Club Commune
Requirements: Level 60+ with a team of up to three people
Prizes: First Place 1 million Meseta, Second Place 500k Meseta, Third Place 75k Meseta and a possible Fourth Place award

For the full details and preregistration, visit the thread below.

PrincessXena's Announcement Thread

Friday, October 26, 2007

AotI: SoA Press Release

It's a bit lengthy, so visit the link if you want to see it. There really isn't any new information in there, but I thought I would post it for anyone that wants to pick through the content and see what was made available for all the major news outlets.

SoA AotI Press Release

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast XI



This podcast features a soundtrack chosen primarily by song requests. You can find it as always at iTunes and Switchpod. There may be a new version of this soon, so keep an eye out.

Podcast at Switchpod
Discussion Thread

Thursday, October 25, 2007

AotI: English Version Release Date and Details

Sonic Team has finally posted all the information for our release of the PSU expansion. This information is available at the link below. Here are some bulletpoints:

- Xbox 360 version available worldwide on November 20th on Xbox Live Marketplace. It requires a copy of the original game, but will only cost 1600 Microsoft Points. This equates to 20 US dollars. 1.75 gigs of harddrive space is required.
- PC/PS2 version available in the US on November 20th.
- PC/PS2 version available in Europe on January 25th, 2008.
- The PC/PS2 versions will cost 40 dollars, but will be standalone.

It seems the 360 version won't be seeing Episode 2 offline, at least for now. It's listed as PC/PS2 exclusive.

AotI English Version Details

General: Update for October 25th



Sonic Team has posted our update for tonight.

- The 1UP Cup missions Invisible Road (Parum) and United Front (Moatoob) will be removed after this update. However, they will be back during the last week of the event (11/9/2007 – 11/16/2007).

- The 1UP Cup mission Deadly Brilliance (Neudaiz) will be available for 10/26/2007 – 11/2/2007. It will then also reappear the last week of the event. This mission features the floader vehicle previously only seen offline.

- Formal garments will be available at the club trading post.

The 1UP page has a bit more detail, so go there for some short descriptions and photos of the missions.

EN Update Page
1UP Cup Mission Page

1UP Cup: Current and Future Milestones

The EN page for the 1UP cup has been changed a bit. With this change also opens up the future milestone pictures to someone clever enough to change the number on the link of the photo. Before these links were locked, so it's hard to say why they opened them. Interestingly enough, some of them have been changed since Japan's Famitsu event. The reasons vary, but most are obvious. For example, our 100% room decoration synthesis percent reward was changed because this will be integrated anyway by the expansion (which comes out a bit after the cup ends). I was debating whether or not to post these, but then again someone would have figured it out soon enough. Just don't click if you don't want them spoiled.

All EN Milestones (10 not obtained):
http://phantasystaruniverse.jp/event/1upcup2007_en/secret/present_detail_01.jpg
http://phantasystaruniverse.jp/event/1upcup2007_en/secret/present_detail_02.jpg
http://phantasystaruniverse.jp/event/1upcup2007_en/secret/present_detail_03.jpg
http://phantasystaruniverse.jp/event/1upcup2007_en/secret/present_detail_04.jpg
http://phantasystaruniverse.jp/event/1upcup2007_en/secret/present_detail_05.jpg
http://phantasystaruniverse.jp/event/1upcup2007_en/secret/present_detail_06.jpg
http://phantasystaruniverse.jp/event/1upcup2007_en/secret/present_detail_07.jpg
http://phantasystaruniverse.jp/event/1upcup2007_en/secret/present_detail_08.jpg
http://phantasystaruniverse.jp/event/1upcup2007_en/secret/present_detail_09.jpg
After the 4th milestone was obtained, they took down the photos of future milestones. But they are all stored in the 1UP Cup section of PSUPedia.

Last JP PC/PS2 Milestone (not obtained):
http://phantasystaruniverse.jp/event/famitsucup2007/secret/present_detail_15.jpg

EN 1UP Cup Page
JP Famitsu Cup Page

1UP Cup: Third Milestone Hit



This morning we hit our third (1000000) milestone. From now on, the milestones are 500000 points apart (except 4-5 million), so we should be hitting that every couple of days.

EN 1UP Cup Page

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Japan: Looking Towards the Future

Today Sonic Team put up a news article describing what they hope to have in terms of updates for the PC/PS2 servers in Japan over the next couple months. They don't break it down specifically (in terms of week to week), but they do give estimates from month to month. EspioKaos gave a translation at PSOW, which I've copied here. Thanks to him for sending me his or I probably would have wasted more time trying to do it again.

November

- World 1 and World 2 will finally be merged. (Hopefully.) The current ETA of this is mid-November. More details as they come up.
- A new system called Guardians Boost Road (GBR for short) will be implemented. Basically, certain missions are selected by SonicTeam to receive various bonuses upon completion. It's mentioned that November will start things off by increasing the drop rates of items on all Parum missions. Other planned GBR bonuses to be implemented at a later time include boosted EXP and MP values for select missions.
- Chapter 2 of Episode 3 will be released.
- The level cap will be raised to 120.
- New clothes and parts will be released.
- New Casino Volyale trade items will be added.
- New fields and free missions will be added, and as per usual, more new drops.
- The autumn and ancestral festival lobbies will be added.
- There had been mention a while back about Sonic Team starting a tracking website that will show players what missions are currently popular. That site is planned to open during the month of November.
- New partner machines will be added.
- Part of the room move passes will be introduced, which will allow you to move your room to one of the planets.

December

- Chapter 3 of Episode 3 will be released.
- The level cap will be increased to 130.
- A special event, Maximum Attack G, will begin in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Phantasy Star series.
* This event will introduce the Ragol-themed fields.
* With the new fields will come new drops.
* A poster contest will be held similar to the Thanks Festa competition. Entrants are encouraged to submit drawings based not only on just PSU but also PSO and the original Phantasy Star series of games.
- During the month of December, the PSO-themed clothes and parts will be released.
- The Christmas lobby will be introduced.

January - March of 2008

- One new chapter of Episode 3 will be released each month.
- New party missions will be added.
- Three new battle types will be added. (Fighmaster, Gunmaster and Masterforce, I'm willing to bet. )
- Level cap will be increased to 140.
- New fields, free missions and drops will be added.
- New clothes, parts and Casino Volyale items will be added.
- The New Year, snow, Valentine and White Day lobbies will be seen across these months.
- Even more new partner machines will be added.
- Other move tickets to allow you to move your room to one of the planets will be added.
- The Dengeki Cup (name not final) will begin. Remember that post I made a while back where the staff of Dengeki PlayStation were taking ideas for a big event? Well, this will be just that. So far, no other details have been revealed.
After this Sonic Team reaffirms that the updates will still come in smaller increments and not monthly batches. They also mention that this schedule is subject to change.

JP Future Content Release Estimates
EspioKaos's Post at PSOW

Japan: Updates for October 25th

I know I haven't been reporting on some of Japan's PC/PS2 content updates (even though I usually visit their site daily) and there are several reasons for that. But from now on you shouldn't be surprised to see them. Because I just don't have the time right now (and EspioKaos beat me to the punch), here's his update translation:

Seasonal lobby
- The Halloween lobbies will be up from 10.25.07 until 11.15.07.

New field
- Habirao Forbidden District will be added.

New free missions
- Mushroom Hill
Due to the incredibly high concentrations of photon energy at Habirao, civilians are prohibited from entering the area due to the risk of photon poisoning. However, in order to investigate the photon energy in this area, it is up to you to clear a path through the enemies for a research team.
- Rare, Dancing Bird
Due to the high photon concentrations at Habirao coupled with SEED contamination, a large outbreak of a subspecies of the rare Rappy has occurred. It seems there is one large bird that commands the smaller ones. Take down the huge Rappy!

New mid-point lobby
- Going with Habirao's addition, a new lobby, Habriao Village, will be added.

Partner machine adjustments
- The following partner machines will see some efficiency tweaks and adjustments: GH-413, GH-423, GH-433, GH-443 and GH-453.

New photon arts
- Some new skills will be added to the PA Fragment exchange mission. Two of these include Chuei Jitotsu-shin (twin claws) and Ick Hic (knuckles).

Weapons
- New weapons and weapon boards will be introduced.

New clothes and CV parts
- New clothing will be added for humans, newmans and beasts, while more color variant CAST parts will be introduced.
- Furthermore, a section of the site mentions the addition of Mt. Ohtoku's "donation box" and then shows a grayed out shot of the Mikumiko clothing set for all female characters, including CASTs. Hmm...

New room goods
- Numerous new room decorations will be added.

New casino prizes
- Many new room goods and jukebox discs will be added to Casino Volyale's Vol Coin trade counter.

Sale of "Fireworks"
- The item "Fireworks" will no longer be sold at NPC shops with this update.

Enemy drop changes
- Certain enemies (including bosses) will see an adjustment in what items they drop.

Remember that Japan has had AotI for about a month now, so most of these updates will be relevant for that. Moving forward, many of the updates that apply to normal PSU will usually be in the form of holiday lobbies and modifications to existing content.

JP Update for October 25th
EspioKaos's Post at PSOW

Monday, October 22, 2007

1UP Cup: Second Milestone Hit



We just surpassed the 600000 mark and got ourselves another milestone prize. Next up is the 1 million mark. I still think we're going along pretty well, but let's do our best!

EN 1UP Cup Page

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast X (New)



PSU_Castor has reworked the last episode with changed and new content. Here is his change log:

- New, revamped intro
- Three new mystery tracks
- Added some new retro-Sega BGM songs
- Cut out a number of small pauses/dead air during the GM interview
- Updates to the news section, including freeze errors on 360 De Ragnus
This version is much improved and definately worth another listen. Get it at Switchpod and iTunes.

Podcast at Switchpod
Discussion Thread

Saturday, October 20, 2007

1UP Cup: First Milestone Hit



We surpassed 200000 Gurhal Check Points sometime this morning. If we keep this up, we should have a pretty good chance at getting to all the milestones. I think we might even have a chance at getting the next [600000] milestone by Monday.

Also, from now on the posts most relevant to the 1UP Cup will be posted under that label. I've also changed some of the older posts to reflect this.

EN 1UP Cup Page

Friday, October 19, 2007

General: Sega Knowledge Base

If you haven't noticed, Sega has a more proper solution to solving technical issues than most people will find in the forums. This covers all their games, but has alot of questions and answers pertaining to PSU (90 for the US and 18 for Europe at the time of posting).

The most interesting thing about this site is that it requires that you search for an issue before you can ask a question. Sounds like a good idea.

Finally, Sega's manual section is also updated. There are manuals for many of their recent titles including every version of PSU as PDFs. So for whatever reason you don't have one and need a copy you can find one here.

Sega Support Page
PSU Gateway (Auto links to relevent PSU articles for US/Europe)
Downloadable Manuals

Xbox 360: Other Patch Changes

Some users have found that the weapon Gudda Skela now displays a bubble effect that wasn't present in this version prior to last night's patch. I knew that there would be some other minor changes, but now we know for sure. If I hear about any other possible changes, I'll be sure to edit them into this post. Anyone else see anything different/improved?

Official Forums Topic
PSOW Topic
Gudda Skela at PSOW

1UP Cup: Official Webpage



As promised, the homepage for the 1up cup has officially launched. Similar to the firebreak page, you can check out the current totals, milestones, and more information there. It has a good deal of info, so go check it out now and often!

EN 1UP Cup Page

Other: Photon Fortune Table Change

I'm changing the pf table back to the old one. The luck has once again aligned with the Japanese as we have adapted their new chart in the update today. So unfortunately we will be losing the ability to forecast farther than several hours into the future. I guess it was fun while it lasted.

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast X



This week's podcast features an interview with the GM team as well as a retro Sega musical theme. Get it at iTunes or Switchpod.

Next week will be a podcast full of player requested songs. If you have one, message PSU_Castor over on the official forums.

Podcast at Switchpod
Discussion Thread

Other: 100th Post Special

It's been a little over two months since I started and I'm glad to say it's still been pretty busy around here.

First off, I want to make a little note about the RSS feed. Most pages link to Atom feeds at the bottom, but I know that RSS is more popular. Usually your browser will have a button that you can click to add a relevant feed (it's orange with like a broadcast signal as a logo) but otherwise all you have to do is add '?alt=rss' to the end of the atom link. For example:

Atom: http://psutimes.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
RSS: http://psutimes.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss

Also, for about a month, I've been using a couple stat trackers (blogpatrol and google analytics) to pull out some interesting data from site visitors. There's a couple of mine in here too, but here's some ones of interest (some quite obvious):

Posts: 100
Comments: 19 (plus if there are any added for this or prior posts)
Average posts per day: 1.54
Most used OS: Windows XP
Most used browser: Firefox
Most used internet connection: Cable
Most visited post: AotI: Change Log
Most activity from a country: US followed by the UK
Most used resolution: 1024x768 followed by 1280x1024
Top referrer: The official forums followed by wikipedia
Top areas for the US: Tennessee (Cordova/Memphis) followed by California (Los Angeles/San Francisco)
Top cities for the US (not counting Cordova): Memphis TN followed by Pittsburgh PA
Top areas for the UK: Basingstoke followed by London closely followed by Nottingham

I can probably provide more if there's any interest. These sites give out some pretty specific details.

Alright, something really wierded me out. Google Analytics is giving me a great deal of activity from Cordova, TN. I'm not sure if some guy that's really into the game is changing his IP alot or what. Memphis (which is next to Cordova) is the next in line, but with a more reasonable number. Pittsburgh is the next highest city. However, Penn State University (PSU) resides there so there may have been some mistaken activity there. Still, I know some people that play PSU that go to PSU so I doubt it's far off. Another neat fact is those guys in Basingstoke match up with New York City. Generally there is not alot of activity from any one area so much as random people from just everywhere. But I like how high the visitor loyalty is. I can see alot of people are visiting fairly often.

I actually have a couple more things to say about Pittsburgh. Before I moved out to college, I used to live fairly close to there. You guys have the best wings in the world. I didn't even have to leave to know that (Sharon specifically, ie Quaker Steak and Lube). Next time I'm there I'll have to take some pictures of all the pro-PSU license plates and memorabilia. Also, there's something there that's a little bit more Sonic Team related. A Sheraton hotel that resembles the one found in Sonic Adventure is located there. You might think it to be quite a coincidence, but then you realize it's in a shopping district next to a river. That district's name? Station Square. I've been there, there are other buildings that resemble ones in the opening/game as well. I actually have this mug with a picture of the hotel that basically says [Sheraton] Station Square Hotel. But I digress...

Here's to hoping we get to 1000. Let's continue on with the news. After this update tonight, there's going to be alot going on for us. 1up cup, AotI, another major event, etc. will be keeping us busy for awhile. Everyone pitch in and help Sega of America power the hype train!

1UP Cup: 1UP Cup Phantasy Star Universe Club's Club on 1up.com

You heard that right. If you have an account over at 1up you can join this club for all things relevant to the cup. Right now they have some screenshots from our version of the cup as well as some information about it.

Thanks goes to Clumsyorchid. I was wondering when 1up would have something on it.

1UP Cup Phantasy Star Universe Club's Club on 1up.com
Clumsyorchid's Announcement

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast IX.5



This is a special edition of the podcast where the hosts take a behind the scenes look at the production of the show. This is also a part of GU's week of events, so there is a prize opportunity here as well.

Next episode will feature an interview with the entire GM team. I know I'm looking forward to it.

Podcast at Switchpod
Discussion Thread
GU Week of Events

General: Update for October 19th

Sonic Team has announced the details for the first week of the 1UP Cup as well as some other things. Here's a few big ones:

- Event site will be up during maintenance
- The club will be open from the start of the event
- Two new missions will be added for the weeks of October 19th-26th and November 9th-16th
- Halloween lobbies are available with their respective rappies from October 19th-November 16th
- Xbox 360 patch
- Photon fortune table change

It looks like it's going to be a pretty busy month. Don't forget the expansion will be coming soon as well, so there's alot to look forward to.

1UP Cup Update Posting
JP Posting

Xbox 360: Patch Incoming

Along with the other updates for this week, it's announced that the long awaited 360 patch will finally be arriving in time for the 1up cup.

The following are at least what will be in there:

Changes to how deaths are treated in Missions. A significant change that affects how player death affects mission rankings has been made. During free missions and cooperative missions, player deaths will only affect mission ranks when opting to return to the lobby. Players can be revived mid-mission without affecting overall mission rank.

In high-ranking missions, enemies and bosses will now be a bit slower.

Cheat protection. The XBOX 360 servers have been modified to fix a group of exploits and security holes.

That should about do it until the big 'AotI' patch. This one contains the significant modifications that the PC/PS2 users got about three months ago.

Official Announcement

Saturday, October 13, 2007

AotI: PoA Final Chapter Fan Localization

The 6th and final chapter of Phantom of Arkguard has been converted into English. Thanks to all involved. You can find this one as well as the rest at the link below.

English PoA

Other: Podcast Embedding

I embedded the PSU Podcast into each relevant post. It's good since the Switchpod pages are rather messy. The only problem is that it seems for me it plays a little bit at the beginning before the 'no autoplay' part kicks in. This especially isn't great if you search for 'podcast'. It still isn't really ok with me if that happens each time someone visits the main page.

So if anyone knows what's up, I'd like to hear it. Or if you simply want to say whether this happens or not with your browser (and which one you have) that would be great too.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Podcast: Podcast IX Wrapup

I know I don't usually do this, but a couple great pieces of info were listed in this new podcast if you didn't listen in yet.

- GMs will become a bit more noticeable on PSU in the future
- GU has announced a week long string of events leading up to the 1up cup
- Very soon a GM will be available on the podcast to answer questions
- A thread to submit questions is available on both the official and the psow forums

Guardians United Week of Events
Official Forum Thread for GM Questions
PSOW Thread for GM Questions

AotI: New Screenshots

IGN has put up a few more screenshots of AotI. These are higher res than the others and many are quite clean. Thanks goes to Para from PSOW for this update.

Also, JRT is still uploading some new widescreen pictures and some very interesting items in a thread I mentioned prior. Check it out below.

AotI PC Screenshots on IGN
PSOW Thread on New Pictures
JRT's Screenshots

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast IX



This week's episode features an interview with Macadamia Nuts and a return to a more basic PSU theme for the music. Contents for this week include more 1up cup information among the usual. It's available at Switchpod and iTunes.

Podcast at Switchpod
Discussion Thread

Thursday, October 11, 2007

General: No Maintenance for October 11th

To quote Sonic Team:

There will be no maintenance on October 11th for the PC/PS2 and Xbox 360
servers. Please continue to play normally this Thursday and Friday. Maintenance
will return next week on October 18th in preparation for the 1UP Platinum Cup.
I think at this point it's safe to assume we're generally not going to get maintenance unless there is a patch or a content update.

Official Announcement

Xbox 360: Update on Chatpad Fixing

Clumsyorchid gave an update today about what's going on with integrating the chatpad with PSU. To quote:

I would hold off on buying a messenger kit anytime soon. I got word back
from the development team that adding support will require significant work to
the code to integrate it into the game. I had hoped that the addition would be a
quicker fix, but this is not the case.

We still feel that the messenger kit is a great peripheral and are working
on ways of adding support, however it will be several months out before this can
be addressed in full. I want to be clear and point out that this was a
peripheral that was added to the Xbox family by Microsoft and as far as I know,
we were not approached to support this device. Hopefully this has a happy ending
and we can all rejoice with some lobby chat sometime in the future.
It looks like we'll have to wait awhile longer. But at least we can be sure they are working on it. Until then we'll have to stick with USB keyboards. In other news, the Wii now has full USB keyboard support for things like the Opera browser. So if you have a Wii, buying one might not be all that bad.

Messenger Kit Thread

Other: Photon Fortune Changes

According to information posted at the link below, Sonic Team is changing the photon fortune tables. I'm assuming this is to mix up the values for the next year or so so we won't be able to predict what's coming. This in turn means that the chart to our right may become less than accurate. It could mean that for at least awhile we could have different values than the Japanese. Regardless, the extended predictions will probably end up incorrect.

I'm sure we'll be able to find out soon enough what to do, but until then keep an eye out for any mistakes. We have a couple options depending on what happens though.

1. If our pf values change at the same time as Japan, we should be able to continue to stream their values. However, we'll have to remove the extended predictions as we won't know what they are.

2. If we have to wait for a server update, then we can probably continue using the old values for our predictions instead of taking them from Japan. The extended predictions will still work, at least up until our update happens.

Whatever happens, we'll unfortunately have to say goodbye to the 3 star pf forecast at some point. Comments are very welcome, but I'll definately post again once this situation is figured out.

JP 10/11 Update

AotI: Final PoA Chapter and Episode 3 Page

Japan's AotI page has been updated a bit early this week to tie up some loose ends before Episode 3 starts. Chapter 1 of Episode 3 actually comes out today. There is also now a prologue page for Episode 3. This seems to be the last update as there are no more 'hidden' sections on the site. That hasn't stopped them from adding before though, so I'll still keep a look out. Expect an English version of this chapter soon.

If you haven't been watching for whatever reason (not finishing Episode 2 would be good enough) and for some odd reason want the credits, here they are:

Producer: Satoshi Sakai
Comic: Daigo Shinma
Painting/Authoring: Yasuhiko Izumi
Sound: Hideaki Kobayashi and Masaru Setsumaru
Special Thanks: Youichiro Kugimiya
Writer/Director: Naozumi Yamaguchi
Presented by SEGA

PoA Chapter 6
About Episode 3

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Xbox 360: Witching Hour Masquarade Ball on October 27th

Hitori X and Fates Hand will be holding a Halloween themed event. Here's some details:

Date: October 27th, 2007
Time: 10 AM PST, 1 PM EST, 6 PM UTC with another at some point after
Place: Pavilion of Air on Neudaiz on Universe 29
Requirements: Need to be able to access each main lobby and each first secondary lobby
Prizes: Pot starting at 2.4 million meseta, but may go up. Sega is also providing some real life items.

Please visit the link to keep track of any changes that may happen before the event and the full details.

Hitori X's Announcement Thread