Sunday, September 30, 2007

General: Guardian's Express Backlog

Guardian's Express is the email newsletter that Sega sends out every once in awhile (averages to about once a month) to preview and review content updates. It doesn't go very indepth, but it makes a decent reminder if you really haven't been paying attention. Anyway, since they don't have a page with links to all of them, I thought I would make this post a reference until I find a better way of storing this stuff.

Awhile ago, Sega updated to include every news item and content update linked from the main page. So if you really need to see specifically what's been added, I would say go there.

GE Signup Page

Saturday, September 29, 2007

PS2/PC: Hive S2 Time Attack Event on October 13th

bagleyboy is planning a community event for October 13th. Here's a few details:

Date: October 13th, 2007
Time: 2 PM EST, 11 AM PST, 7 PM UTC
Place: 4th Floor of the Guardian's Colony on Universe 9
Requirements: Need to be level 85 (minimum requirement for each Hive S2 mission)
Prizes: 1.25 million meseta for first, 750k for second, 250k for third

Check out the thread to ask questions or find out about any changes.

bagleyboy's Event Thread

AotI: Random Episode 2 Information

Menochi finished offline episode 2. Here's some non spoiler information:

PSO stages aren't available offline and at this point not online either. (Some other AotI stages are though)
Chapter 10 is the last chapter of Episode 2, there are no extra offline ones.
Voices and cutscenes are both available for Episode 2 online if you have AotI.

I've also included a link to Menochi's repository of AotI pictures.

JRT is still posting information with his run through. I forgot to mention he's posting widescreen shots (which aren't very common). Apparently, you can get some new partner cards offline (Menochi lists them, but I don't want to ruin the surprise). Also there are a few nice shots of the new version of PSO's cave boss.

Episode 2 Offline Thread
Menochi's Screenshots
JRT's Thread

Friday, September 28, 2007

AotI: Impressions and Some More Info

First up is some stuff from JRT (old teammate of mine) who got his JP copy. Here's what I got from him:

* The game indeed has widescreen, but only 1280x720. This is 360's default. It has no other new resolutions.
* He gives screenshots of the offline weapon classes for the 3 basic types. You also start with three PAs.
* Sonic and Tails were in his inventory.

Next up is a bit from EspioKaos:

Shougai PSO posted a report today on a special DVD that comes with the PC version of Ambition of the Illuminus. Apparently this DVD has a short promo movie that, for one very brief moment, flashes "5 new types" across the screen. New types as in battle types. We already know about Acrofighter and Acrotecher, so it looks like there will be three more types to come.

The last bit I have is from Menochi from PSOW who writes about Episode 2's offline story mode. Visit the thread for more information on the new additions and for video clips of the new cutscenes and changes.

JRT's Copy of AotI
PSOW AotI FAQ Thread
Menochi's Episode 2 Thread

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast Episode VII

Available now on Switchpod and iTunes is the 7th episode of the PSU podcast. Special guest for this week is Ironfox and the musical theme is that of Skies of Arcadia.

I should also mention that Sega gave the podcast a shoutout in their 'GUARDIAN EXPRESS' email newsletter. Usually this goes out at random and only covers some recent content updates, but this time they did a community spotlight of their own. Well done.

Podcast on Switchpod
Discussion Thread

Thursday, September 27, 2007

1UP Cup: Starting October 19th

Our version of the Famitsu Cup (1UP Platinum Cup) has just been confirmed by the official English homepage. It has been announced to start on October 19th. Official details have been linked below with some screenshots. This event features alot of interesting additions to online mode such as the Club opening, vehicles, and very special items and missions. It should continue for at least a month.

Official Announcement

AotI: English Version Information Starts

Now that AotI is officially out in Japan, the English page has begun being updated. They give screenshots and information for several of the new mechanics and upgrades. Much of this information has already been discussed, but some of the terms are somewhat different than the initial translations. I found it worth reading anyway.

AotI Battle Systems

PS2/PC: Tails Statue Delivery on October 19th

Everyone who showed up on the first sidekick saturday (September 1st) will have their Tails statue delivered to their common box on October 19th. The official announcement is linked below.

Tails Sidekick Saturday

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

AotI: Change Log

A new change log has been posted for things in AotI on the official JP page. It also lists how some items will affect the original version as well. Feel free to comment if I've made any mistakes or if you don't quite get something. Prior reports on some of these features have been far more indepth, so ask if you want more information.

× = AotI only
○ = PSUv1 and AotI
△ = Some incompatibility with PSUv1
- = Website

System changes:

× Convert PAs back into disks
× Auto follow and auto run
× Simple mail can be sent directly from a partner card
× By default it will not quote when replying to a simple mail
× It will now display your current number of cards as well as the max
× Can now customize face and voice in character create (probably separate menus now)
× Login and character create screens have changed (probably to be recognized as AotI)
× Newly created characters start with an AotI version My Room
× PS2: Conversion dictionary adjusted (I believe it's a text input feature)
× Windows: Shadow map option (Instead of a circle, get a more realistic shadow)
× Windows: Widescreen (only 1280x720)
○ Can activate first person view while sitting


× New lobbies added as well as the casino
○ You can jump to a midway lobby for a small fee (if you've already been there)


× You can choose an indicator icon relevant to your status (looking for party, soloing, etc.)
× Hair types and accessories can be assigned separately
× Expressions will be rendered on characters performing lobby actions
× Windows: Can use mouse for character movement
○ Character max level is raised from 100 to 110
○ Class max level is raised to 15 from 10 [Basic classes don't see a stat change]
△ PA max level is raised from 30 to 40 [PSUv1 won't see new effects above level 31]
○ You can carry up to 20 of certain support items instead of 10
○ PSUv1 characters are marked with a white name, AotI's are marked with a yellow name
Certain information will appear as [???] if a PSUv1 player cannot see it
○ Character stat adjustments (mostly significant increases)
○ You can now mix and match more sets of clothes


× New classes (Acrofighter and Acrotecher)
× New enemies and bosses
× Attack range of enemies is changed (basically they fixed the collision)
× When you reach the current max character level, it will display [EXP Full] when killing an enemy
○ [I'm not sure on this one. What I see doesn't make much sense to me. Will be edited later.]
○ Monster behavior when being attacked is modified (many weapons and technics cause knockback now)
○ Character class balancing
○ Random is now the default item distribution setting
○ Protransers can discover traps automatically (you still need goggles to destroy them)
○ Equipable weapons (types and max rank) and max PA levels have been changed for character classes
△ Just attack introduced (PSUv1 graphic effect is minimal)
△ Just counter introduced (PSUv1 graphic effect is minimal)
○ PP can be recovered after certain types of attacks
○ Elemental attribute calculations are modified (lower percents are more effective)
○ Status effects are retained when activating SUVs and nanoblasts
○ A random elemental percentage is now added to dropped weapons and shields
○ More meseta will drop if more people are in the party
○ Meseta distribution modified (this depends on how you set your drops)
○ PAs are balanced (many increases, a few decreases in percent bonuses)
○ Larger enemies have lower STA
○ More experience is given for both enemies and bosses
○ Enemies will be more susceptable to status effects (even lower leveled ones)
○ Enemy speed of high level monsters was lowered (we already have this)
○ Partner Machinery can now have a battle stat of 200 max instead of just 100


× Lots of new missions and fields
× Can return to lobby at a checkpoint
× Drop items have been changed for PSUv1 enemies appearing in AotI missions
× Destroy container effect is changed
× Voices are added to the network version of Episode 2
○ Less meseta is given at the end of a mission, but more is given as drops
○ Death penalty change (PC/PS2 already has this, 360 is still waiting on it)
Additional note: AotI specific items will not drop in PSUv1 missions


× Slicers, Whips, Madoogs, and Shadoogs are added (PSUv1 users will view this stuff VERY oddly)
× New shields
× New units
× New high rank weapons
× New clothes and parts (PSUv1 users will see the clothes you had at character creation)
× New PAs
× New SUVs
× Weapon manufacturers will produce for any rank
× Many new weapons for current categories (PSUv1 users will see a substitute weapon and indication)
○ EX traps for Protransers
Additional note: PSUv1 characters can hold AotI items
Additional note: Something about trading items between versions using PSUv1 fields
Additional note: Something about indicating AotI items to PSUv1 players even when graphics aren't available

My room:

× Many items are added (you cannot use these with PSUv1 reform tickets)
× New reform tickets [adds bulletin board, free layout, customer response to PM, jukebox]
It looks like PSUv1 players can't visit these reformed rooms
× Can remove boards from the PM
× Other players can see more synthesis information (including elemental attribute percent)
△ New shop search implemented (PSUv1 players cannot search for new item categories)
Additional note: AotI items will be viewable in player shops to PSUv1 users, but cannot be bought

Synthesis (and grinding):

× Certain consumable items can now be synthesized (like traps)
○ S rank grinders can be synthesized
○ Much shorter synthesis times
○ High percent grinders will synthesize at a different (probably higher) frequency
○ Room items have 100% chance of synthesizing
○ Success rates and high elemental percent chances are increased
○ Higher end synthesis failure items
△ New grinding system implemented (failure results in lower max grind) (PSUv1 still warns breaking)


× Modification to item display
× Modification verification added at Lumilass
× You can modify your face and voice at Lumilass
× An indication of added items is displayed
○ Prices at Lumilass are heavily reduced
○ Sell back rates to NPCs have been improved (I've heard 75% more)


× New evolution forms for PMs (examples are the butler and male types)
× A certain item can be used to increase PM storage space (50 slots at a time, up to 500)
× You can move your My Room to a planet
- The official site keeps track of the current popular missions and other information
× Episode 3 starts
× Episode 3 features a branching story depending on your choices (characters can even die as a result)
× PSO clothes added (includes hair types and accessories as well as head and face parts)
× PSO fields added
○ World integration between the two sets of Japanese servers

Update: Addition relating to PM battle stat. Changed a point to state that new characters begin with an AotI design room (not the patch of actually starting inside your room on entrance to the servers).

AotI Elements

AotI: Out in Japan

AotI is now upon Japan. Expect lots of information incoming. They are experiencing problem after problem right now, but there is still a great amount of new stuff to read about. Sonic Team has also redesigned their JP PSU page.

At a link below you can see some of the stuff they've gotten in their first update with AotI. I've included a link to EspioKaos's translation of this.

Here's a bit more from him:

As it turns out, when you clear Chapter 10 in Illuminus' offline story
mode, all of the PSO costumes are unlocked.

More offline PSO stuff sounds really nice. But these will of course also be available online.

JP Content Update for 9/27
EspioKaos's Update Translation
AotI FAQ Thread on PSOW

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Other: New Photon Fortune Table

Sx wrote up a new version of the photon fortune table. This time it also tells how many days until and on what date your character will next get 3 stars. For anyone who is wondering, the log has shown that the same pf distribution has occurred on the same dates as last year. Using this, we can now know when and how much pf you will get.

If Sonic Team decides to mix it up a bit, I'll be sure to go back to the old one. But for now it seems like we're doing exactly the same as before.

General: Claims of Major Events Incoming

RubyEclipse and Luthor have posted pictures of the Beast Bonfire event where a GM apparently confirms both the 'famitsu' and 'festa' events to be coming quite soon. If this holds true, I believe we should see an announcement on the official homepage soon enough.

A member of PSOW has also posted a pictoral discussion with the same guy. There is other interesting stuff in here as well as the 'announcements'.

RubyEclipse's Discussion Thread
XtremeStarfox's Thread on PSOW

General: Content Update for September 28th

Sonic Team has announced everything coming this Friday on PSU. We'll be getting the Dulk Fakis Co-op mission and a load of new Ultimate PAs (16 of them). Check out the link for full details. I've also provided a link to PSUP for information on prices and abilities of the new PAs.

Official Update Page
PA Fragments on PSUP

Japan: September 26th Changes

The new shop search is being added. Options are item name, price, rarity, type, or a combination. There is a certain level of text parsing added, so you can practically type a short description into the box and get something relevant back (for example: "S rank ice element saber"). Another neat macro is the '-' operator. You can have a category '-' a certain type/item and get all the results back accordingly. Item name search will apparently only return the exact item that you have typed in (i.e. mate is not good enough for monomate). They have also added a 'board' operator. You can either search for boards or for the actual item, but not at the same time. The last mention is that this search isn't case specific.

Up to 20 support items of one type can be carried instead of the current 10.

Synthesis times are shortened by quite a bit. You can synthesize S rank grinders.

Level cap is being raised from 100 to 110. Type level cap is raised from 10 to 15. Basic jobs don't see a stat increase past 10. PA limit is raised to 40 from 30. AotI players have yellow names. I'm not sure how much of the stat increases also apply to the normal version of PSU, but no specification might mean it isn't exclusive at all.

Sonic Team has said that in the normal version of PSU, you won't see your type level rise above 10 on type level up, but the stats will still add. They claim they are fixing this in a patch.

Other things are some mentions of bugfixes. One is to correct the boards that were being used during the time of the update maintenance/patch, another is to correct the big chat bubbles not forming correctly in busy lobbies, and another synthesis problem where certain items would have a non attribute when the weapon/shield clearly needs a certain element to be made.

9/26 JP Update

Saturday, September 22, 2007

AotI: More from Famitsu Weekly

Once again quoting EspioKaos:

And some more news from this week's issue of Famitsu. Scans can be found here and here. (They're small and difficult to read, so I had to get this info from another source: Shougai PSO.)

New character: Karl Friedrich Howzer
Well, we already know about him from Episode 2: Chapter 10 as well as The Phantom of Arkguard, but now he's confirmed to appear in Episode 3.

New character: Ohbel
Not to be confused with President Ohbel Dallgun, this character is referred to by Howzer as "a completely helpless man." From what little I can see in the scan and going by his hair style, I think this might be Olson Waber.

Episode 3
* This is stated to be the final chapter of our story.
* It takes place many months after the end of Episode 2.
* We know we'll be able to make our own choices in the story, but as it turns out, whether certain characters live or die will depend on the choices you make throughout the story.
* As I reported a few posts up, Lumia joins the GUARDIANS. You will take the role of her mentor.

Episode 2
* The new fields available in the expansion will be made available offline through free missions, not story missions.
* Story mode will allow you to select your difficulty level, much like PSO with normal, hard, very hard and ultimate difficulties.

My room
* When you move to one of the planets, your room will be located as that particular planet's GUARDIANS branch.
* One new room decoration (Graline Answer Chair) is revealed. It resembles a "hot seat" that quiz show contestants might sit in.
Lots of great stuff. Looks like the PSO stuff might not be limited to online use.

PSOW AotI FAQ Thread

AotI: LOGiN Episode 3 Info

News straight from EspioKaos:

I've uncovered some more Episode 3 info, including the ID of our new planet. All of this info comes from the latest issue of LOGiN magazine.

* The first chapter of Episode 3 is entitled "Despair and Hope." The story starts off with Laia going missing. You and Lumia go after her, but Ethan is doing what he can to stand in your way.

* SonicTeam's plan is to release a new chapter of Episode 3 once per month.

* It seems that you don't have to complete Episode 2 to begin Episode 3.

* The name of our creepy new planet... "Dark Planet Ryucross." That's right, Ryucross. It is the SEED fortress.

* The magazine says that the interior of Ryucross is made up of "familiar scenery." I think this might be where all of the PSO stages take place.

For anyone not up on their Phantasy Star history, please visit the link below to find out why 'Ryucross' is significant.

Phantasy Star Wiki Page on Rykros

Friday, September 21, 2007

Japan: Additional Patch Table Changes

Sonic Team is apparently still updating the patch table they posted as a news item. Here's some more changes (some of which have already been reported on). They were posted on the 19th.

Partner Cards will specify if a character is from World 1 [E-1] or 2 [E-2]. This was changed from just 'JP'.
Chat is possible during cutscenes.
Change to goggle activation time. (This fixes an certain exploit.)
You can change into first person view while sitting.
Attack power while using photon arts with the Hanzo has been adjusted.
Attack power while using photon arts with shock element Kubara weapons has been adjusted.
The fees at Lumilass have been reduced. (Thanks to EspioKaos for the specific shop.)

Official Patch Table

AotI: Hal Report 7, New Episode 3 Info, New Lobby Features

The 7th and final Hal report is out. There's some video footage of a couple of the new lobbies and the casino. They also show some never before seen new room items as well as new outdoor backgrounds when you move to a planet. The video ends with a preview of Episode 3 and features AN ENTIRELY CRAZY shot of something that is TOTALLY UNEXPECTED.

Another new page shows character descriptions for those appearing in episode 3. Laia, Ethan, and Lumia. Two other new ones are shown. One has appeared in the current moving comic series and the other may or may not but in either case I don't want to spoil anything.

The final new page covers some of the new lobby features and the casino appearing. In a new Neudaiz lobby you can play a lottery that has the chance of increasing your photon fortune for the day. They also show the prior mentioned method of sending items back to your common box from an intermediate lobby shop NPC.

Certain stores in Japan are also giving out prizes to lucky buyers of AotI on launch. These are the products shown above.

It looks like we'll have to wait for the next chapter of PoA.

7th Hal Report
Episode 3 Character Descriptions
New Lobby Features
Launch Day Prizes

AotI: Tokyo Game Show

AotI has made it's way to TGS and I've seen it mentioned a few places. Since Sega put it on their list of things to show off I figured it would pop up around.

MS put up a few subtitled videos from their press conference they held before TGS onto Live. You can download these by going to the Marketplace blade and navigating to Games->New Arrivals->Bringing it Home. The 6th and last video has a montage of games at the end of it. AotI makes a short appearance close to the end. There is no new footage here, only a couple clips of the CG commercial in HD. This footage is also shown in the 'Xbox 360 Title Montage' which is a similar, but longer version of the montage. This is also on Live or at the link below.

Sega put out a trailer themselves. It seems like they edited together several of their prior trailers. I've linked it as well.

The other is a recent update to the JP AotI page. Apparently they are preselling a few phone cards with designs from AotI. For a second, I almost thought we only had one update this week. The real one should be up shortly.

IGN has posted a couple more screenshots of AotI for PC and PS2 as part of their TGS coverage. I should also mention that even though it was a part of the 360 game montage, Sega is only showing the PC and PS2 versions at TGS.

360 TGS Montage
TGS AotI Trailer
Phone Card Presale at TGS
PC Screenshots at IGN
PS2 Screenshots at IGN

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast Episode VI

The new podcast is up. This week's music theme is Dreamcast. I was featured this week as the special guest. I hope I wasn't too boring. Anyway, you can find this and every one at Switchpod and iTunes.

PSU Podcast on Switchpod
PSU Podcast Discussion Thread

Japan: More from the 9/18 Update

Cut in chat can now appear over cutscenes (like boss battle intros).
Nanoblasts can also just attack and counter.
Weapons sell back to the NPC for 75% more than now.
High end synthesis ingredients and even room decorations can be received from failed synths.
Non-invincible nanoblasts are now vulnerable to some SEs.
Remember though that buffs will now stay on during these and SUVs.

Thanks goes mostly to Menochi.

PSOW 9/18 Update Thread

Thursday, September 20, 2007

General: More Beast Bonfire Details

Chillaura (one of the admins) writes:

...for traveling to the Northern Ice Plains there is a CAST NPC who can transfer you there, provided you are invited to a party that has a player there. I can't promise that there will be someone waiting at the Flyer Base on Moatoob to shuttle everyone there all day, but we will make sure this process gets started and will greatly appreciate any help from players. And don't worry about which universe, I am sure you will figure it out if you are online for the event.

Before that, he explains that different GM run events happen on each server but:

SEGA intends to bring all game content to the US servers.

I don't understand why people still seem to think otherwise. I'm positive we'll see the major (Sonic Team) events and content that Japan has in one way or another. It's just a matter of when. After all, we haven't had the game quite as long as they have. Even then we've been catching up in terms of game content updates.

Beast Bonfire Discussion Thread

PS2/PC: Dualshock 3

I guess this doesn't exactly have to do with the PC or PS2, but it fits in well enough. Sony finally confirmed that they were able to put rumble into the sixaxis. It will be available for Japan this fall and for English speaking countries early next year. Most upcoming games will support it and there have been considerations to even patch some games already out.

Right now, if you want rumble on the PS3 with your PS2 games (i.e. PSU), you can always hook up a USB adapter. Alot of the ones I've tried work well enough.

Dualshock 3 Official Announcement

Xbox 360: Minor System Update

When you log into Live sometime today there will be a dashboard patch. This is only to support the scene it? controllers coming in the next few months with the game. It's the only added functionality. I thought I would post this just to make sure noone confused it as the big fall dashboard update or the PSU update we still have to receive.

As a bonus, I included some Live statistics MS recently put out.

System Update Announcement
scene it? 360 Homepage
Live Statistics

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

General: Beast Bonfire GM Event on September 25th

This is the first in a number of Race Appreciation Days. To make this more clear, the Beasts are AROUND the fire not IN it. I fear that the wording of that question may have more than one meaning, but assuredly they were making a reference to the nanoblasts and the activation of such.

The location of this event will be at the Ice Plains lobby. Directions to this lobby are linked from PSUP below. The universe doesn't matter. eggshen (a forum admin) has said to 'break out your beasts. go to the bonfire. see what happens'. Could be interesting. I'd suggest everyone take time out to go to it. The time slots for each server as well as the full backstory are given at the link below.

Official Beast Bonfire Page
Directions to the Ice Plains
Discussion Thread

Japan: More Specific Update Changes

There is a plethora of information coming in now that the JP players are finally playing around with the new update. Big numbers are getting bigger (character stats, enemy exp, pa bonuses, etc), more guns and technics are causing knockback, the laser glitch has been 'fixed', lasers are getting se2s, possible racial stat changes, and much more. Alot of this information is being tracked in the thread linked below. The JP wiki is having a ton of stuff dumped onto it and many of our English sites are being updated as info becomes available.

Currently things are moving way too fast for me to consider posting at every corner, so I'm going to wait it out for a bit while some of the information is properly organized and detailed. I'll probably come up with some more bits of interest soon, but if you want it fast and raw visit that link and other threads there. I also included one for a more indepth look at the 'just' additions.

PSOW 9/18 Update Thread
PSOW Just Analysis Thread

Japan: Alignment with AotI Changes Happens Today

As to be expected, there have been some changes in the update and several issues. However, since most of those issues apply to the server merge and otherwise they'll probably be worked out by time our patch comes, I'm not going to take the time to get into them in detail.

In other news, they made some additions to the patch change table.

Protransers can see trap locations (and other hidden things) but still need the goggles to destroy them.
Default drop method is set to random.
Something about the player adjusting the NPC sell price of an item. I'm not too sure on this one.

New Patch Update Table

Monday, September 17, 2007

AotI: Phantom of Arkguard 2 and 3 Fan Localizations

The second and third PoA chapters are now available in easier to read English. Thanks again to EspioKaos (translator), Immortal44 (Flash work), and Parn (host). We're already halfway through and it's turning out great so far. Some new techniques were used in the third and it looks considerably more like the original flash video.

PoA Fanmade English Versions
PoA Thread at PSOW

Sunday, September 16, 2007

AotI: Recent Dengeki Scans

Soukosa from PSOW has linked to a JP blog with scans from the recent Dengeki where EspioKaos has pulled alot of information from. Most of it has already been added to the ongoing AotI FAQ Thread over there and there isn't much more we haven't already seen in the pictures, but it's still interesting nonetheless.

The picture above isn't exactly relevant to these scans in particular. It's just a nice bonus. That would be Lumia in Episode 3 care of EspioKaos's photobucket.

Dengeki Scans
PSOW Dengeki Scans Thread
PSOW AotI FAQ Thread

Other: Upcoming Events Sidebar

I've added a new section to the sidebar to keep track of some important dates so that event announcements won't be buried before they happen. However, instead of linking to my own posts, I'm going to link to the source directly. This might change for certain things as I see fit.

This is of course manual and not on the RSS feed, so you'll have to come to the site to see it. Things may be added and changed around without notification. But I plan to always have it cover stuff coming up in the next week or two. I'm also going to drop things off the list as they happen (or are cancelled). There won't be a log of past dates, the blog covers that one well enough.

I think I've already said too much about it. I hope this is of use.

In other news, I've had this blog a month so far and I've only been gaining more interest as time goes on. As long as you guys keep coming up with new player events and Sonic Team keeps coming up with new stuff, I think we'll do great.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

AotI: New Colony

As part of the recent Dengeki that EspioKaos got some of the new AotI information from, this new colony appears. If you haven't completed Episode 2 Chapter 10 and don't want spoilers, don't let your eyes wander further.

There has been some discussion over where the current colony missions will be located (being that they were probably in the lower section of the colony). The two best theories I think are that this new colony will have strikingly similar missions or that the damaged part of the current colony will generally land in one piece on Parum and they'll be accessed there. Whatever happens, I doubt that they would remove these missions entirely.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Japan: Alignment with AotI Changes

Sonic Team has announced that on September 18th they will be taking down the JP servers for nine hours to update PSU with many of the mechanics changes created with the expansion in mind.

First off they mention that the number of servers will increase from 20 to 40. This is probably to accomodate their World 1 and 2 merge. They will also add names to some of the universes to recommend common player locations. Three universes will be given to the colony and each planet as a way to try and get players that commonly play on those to gather there.

If you have been to a distant lobby before, you can now pay a meseta fee to go there again.
The PA cap will be increased, but only for AotI users in their relevant categories.

Higher chance of success and higher elemental attributes.
Better items are retrieved when the synthesis fails.
The aforementioned new grinding system will now be implemented.

Just Attack added. The visual effect will be different in AotI. Knuckles can't use this in version 1.
Just Counter added. The visual effect will be different in AotI.
PP recovery during certain attacks as mentioned before. Different events trigger different amounts.
Elemental damage calculations are adjusted. 50% weapons won't change much, but overall ATP will go up.
The prior change will not destroy your own elemental defense. DFP I think will be better or at least the same.
SUV weapons and nanoblasts will no longer take away your buffs.
Dropped weapons and shields will now have a random elemental attribute. This is sort of like PSO.
More meseta will drop depending on party size.
Depending on the drop setting, meseta distribution will now be more fair. It will be divided up equally.
Photon arts balancing and adjustments
Larger enemies have had their STA lowered. (JP already has this change)
Enemies will give a far greater amount of experience. The trip to 100 should not be nearly as time consuming. (JP already has this change)
Monsters have AI or at least far better of such. Watch your back. (JP already has this change)

When selling a weapon back to an NPC, the sell price will be higher.

There was not a mention of adjustments to collision data. I believe this is probably something you'll have to buy the expansion for to benefit from. A few other topics were not touched on, but I think we can be fairly sure on the rest of the AotI exclusive stuff.

JP PC/PS2 Update Page for September 18th
AotI Compatibility Maintenance and Updates

AotI: PoA Chapter 3, Hal Report 6, More Product Info

There seems to have been alot of expansion information in the past day. Sonic Team continues the trend in their usual weekly update.

First up is the new Phantom of Arkguard chapter. I'll post the translated version whenever it's done. I must comment about the second for a bit here. It's out there, but not in the best state for me to post here. I'll see if we can't get a good thing going with the creation and posting of these to a solid website. Parn had a good thing going, so I'm wondering what happened.

Next up is the 6th Hal report. They start showing a couple of the new enemies appearing in the expansion. It goes on to show some of the new areas. The last part shows basic examples of the various returning PSO stuff in action together. There would seem to be only one Hal report left after this one.

Lastly, they updated the product information page to include a FAQ. But since I never really broke down this section of the site and I thought it would be useful I'll go ahead and do it. The first section is a breakdown of availability dates and prices. It also contains basic things like age rating and box art. The second is a graph with information we already know. It covers which episodes are available online and offline for the original game and the expansion. For anyone that doesn't know yet, the expansion can be used as a standalone game. The third is a basic system requirements page. AotI will for sure support Vista. Sonic Team was able to find a minor issue that they reported on to users awhile ago on how to make the original version work with it. But if you want to run under Vista, it would seem that you should have twice the memory as XP. The last (once again) is the FAQ. There is not really any more interesting information in here that wasn't reported on previously.

PoA Chapter 3
Hal Report 6
Product Page

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast Episode V

The fifth episode of the weekly PSU Podcast is up. The theme for this week is PSO Episode III. Deco Bryl will be guest hosting this time around. As usual, these will be going out during scheduled maintenance periods.

Interesting advancement in the mystery track contest this time around: The first player that wins this challenge five times will be invited as a guest onto the show.

Podcast Discussion Thread
PSU Podcast on Switchpod

AotI: Initial Missions

EspioKaos has given some information on the missions that are planned for day one of AotI.

Scarred Planet
(Holtes City Flyer Base to Old Rozenom City)
C: Player LV1, enemy LV5
B: Player LV10, enemy LV25
A: Player LV25, enemy LV50
S: Player LV60, enemy LV100

City of Thunderbeasts
(Old Rozenom City to Paracabana Beach)
C: Player LV1, enemy LV10
B: Player LV10, enemy LV30
A: Player LV25, enemy LV55
S: Player LV60, enemy LV105

AMF HQ Recovery
(AMF HQ to ???)
Probably lets out at Metro Linear. (Could've sworn this was "Metronilia,"
but it must've been a typo in the original articles; or this could be.) The
requirements and enemy levels currently are unknown. It's mentioned that
infected CASTs equipped with knuckles and grenades are the main enemies.

Metro Linear Breakthrough
(AMF Metro Linear Platform to ???)
Requirements and enemy levels are unknown.

Cherry Blossom Magic
(Kugo Hot Springs to ???)
Requirements and enemy levels are unknown.

Ice Cavern
(Vio Tonga to Granigs Mine)
C: Player LV1, enemy LV15
B: Player LV15, enemy LV35
A: Player LV35, enemy LV55
S: Player LV50, enemy LV90

Awakened Serpent
(Granigs Mine to Casino Volyale)
C: Player LV1, enemy LV20
B: Player LV15, enemy LV40
A: Player LV35, enemy LV60
S: Player LV50, enemy LV95

EspioKaos's AotI FAQ Thread on PSOW

AotI: Update on Class Attributes and More

EspioKaos has mentioned that Dengeki PlayStation (JP trade magazine) reports changes to the classes in AotI. There have been some modifications to prior announcements, so I would check this out. Some things have admittedly changed from his source since he's posted these, so read the replies in the threads carefully.

More information from him:

New enemy: Saugeeta
I haven't seen pictures yet, but I'm willing to bet it's a beefier version of the Ageeta. (Similar to the Go Badira to a Badira.) [Note: Picture above provided by Mewn from PSUP]

Drop item attribute changes
* Drop items will now have random attributes.
* Elemental percentages will be random, too. Right now it looks like they generally range between 7% and 21%.

Meseta drop adjustment
* Now it seems that no matter what enemy drops meseta, it will never be less than 250.

Mission rewards adjustments
* We will see a BIG decrease in the amount of Meseta paid out at the end of a mission. (About 1/2 less than what we get now.)
* MP rewards have not been adjusted yet, but it is under consideration.

Item synthesis
* Synthesis times will be reduced drastically.
* We will see certain trends as far as elemental percentages in weapon and line shield synthing. (Eh... They give the example of out of 10 sabers, you could see a range of 38% to 42%. Not too sure what they're getting at.)

Lumilass additions
* We already knew that voice changing would be an option at Lumilass, but it's mentioned that even the "hidden" voices would be selectable.

Item stacking
* Recovery items that could previously only be stacked to 10 will now have a cap of 20.

Thread Specific to Attribute Update
EspioKaos's AotI FAQ Thread on PSOW

Japan: First Anniversary Fan Art Contest Results

Four pieces of art were chosen from over 200 submissions to decorate the colony (first place) and the three planets. The first place entry is the one shown above. Engrish aside, I think it's a very nice piece.

From the link below you can view many of the submissions to the contest. The blue button will take you to the winners page (1 1st place, 3 2nd place, 5 3rd place, and other notable submissions). The red button will take you to a couple pages full of other entries.

First Anniversary Contest Results

Xbox 360: Chatpad Patch Possible

Clumsyorchid has given an update on the chatpad issue:

I got word that development has addressed the issue with Microsoft and is
waiting on the required spec to implement it. Still not a quick turnaround, but
its good to know the right people are talking about how to resolve it. So it's
in process, more details as they become available.
I'd say that's a pretty fast turn around. It's almost like only two posts ago I was just posting about them sending MS a message about it. The thing has only been out for a week now so it looks like progress is being made quickly. I do apologize if it ends up looking like I'm giving this topic too much time, but it will be interesting to see how fast MS and Sega are able to resolve this type of thing if and when they do.

Perhaps this will even help the other PSU patch go through for 360.

Messenger Kit Discussion Thread

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

General: Content Update for September 14th

Sonic Team has announced Friday's PSU update and it's quite large. Full details can be found at the link below (with pictures), but here's the basics:

Chapter 10 of Episode 2 (the final online story mission)
Level cap increased to 100
New clothes
Rafal, Grom, and Sturm Attacker SUV weapons
Series GH 4X3 and GH 4X4 PM evolution devices
TECHNICS Dizas and Rentis will only be castable by NPCs onto themselves

Official Update Page
PSUP's PM Information Page
PM Weapon Palettes and Classes

Xbox 360: Clumsyorchid on Chatpad Compatibility

Clumsyorchid has responded to concerns about the new chatpad device not working with PSU:

Everyone on our end had figured this would function like a USB keyboard,
and be compatible with PSU in full. This appears to not be the case, and is too
bad. I was looking forward to having more chat opportunity in game, without the
cumbersome keyboard/lap situation.

Since we were never approached by Microsoft for compatibility, we were as
much in the dark as everyone else about how it would function. We will look into
it through Microsoft and Development to see if anything can be done to implement
it and we will post any new developments to our Announcements board. I wouldn't
hold out for a quick fix, or immediate update, but we will be working to see if
it can be added to the game.
So hope is indeed still there. I'll post any updates to the situation. Let's all hope that they can work something out.

Messenger Kit Discussion Thread

Friday, September 7, 2007

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast Episode IV

Switchpod and iTunes once again have the current PSU podcast available. This time the theme is retro Phantasy Star. Included is an interview with EspioKaos (the aforementioned PSOW translator and AotI info provider). This one is a little late, but next week's is still on track for September 13th.

Thanks to the hosts for giving this blog a shoutout!

Podcast Discussion Thread
Episode IV on Switchpod

Japan: First Anniversary Wallpapers

In one of Sonic Team's many updates for today, they have posted a dozen wallpapers for PSU as a part of their first anniversary event. Some of them are pretty nice, I would encourage everyone to check them out.

Awhile ago, Sonic Team made a huge update to their first anniversary page. There are many neat features which I will address in a future post. I meant to do it then, but it had slipped my mind.

PSU Wallpaper

AotI: PoA Chapter 2, Hal Report 5, New My Room Photos

Today there is a large update over at the official JP AotI page.

Number 1 is the new PoA chapter. When this one inevitably gets fan localized, I will be sure to post the results.

Number 2 is a new Hal report. They go over some new additions to AotI. The slicer and whip, the madoog and shadoog (PSO types as well), new weapons for existing types (some PSO), new SUV weapons, and a mention of the new grinding system.

Number 3 is an update with new my room photos and information. Much of this was discussed previously in magazine articles. This one is large, so let me break it down:

1. You have a grid system for placing objects around the room. Something new to me is that you can also place things on tables.

2. They show use of a ticket that allows you to move to another planet. Parum and Neudaiz are shown. Moatoob was featured in a magazine article.

3. A breakdown of the new shop search features. You can actually set a variety of parameters.

4. You can change the music that plays in your room. It was mentioned before that special items will allow you to add songs to the list.

5. There is a new bulletin board feature. You can leave messages for the room's owner here as long as they have a newer room reform ticket.

6. Interactive room objects. They show an example of room decoration specific animations (prior shown cactus), what seem to be prize machines, and a device that measures height and mass.

7. New partner machinery types. Male and butler examples are given. There also seems to be some sort of a new in game guide to changing your pm into one of these forms.

PoA Chapter 2
Hal Report 5
My Room Page

Thursday, September 6, 2007

PS2/PC: Newbie Events on September 22nd

LoNLina has announced the Otakufest time attack and Newbie 100 events for players under level 20. Details as follows:

Date: September 22nd, 2007
Time: 8 PM EST, 5 PM PST, 1 AM UTC Sept. 23rd
Place: Universe 12 at the fountain on the Guardians colony
Requirements: Level 20 or less for both events
Prizes: 600k for first, 300k for second, 150k for third
For the full details, preregistration, and any updates: please visit the link below.

LoNLina's Event Thread

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Xbox 360: Chatpad Incompatible with PSU

The aforementioned messenger kit just launched today. Unfortunately, reports from users on PSOW are saying that this device is incompatible with PSU. It is unknown whether MS will patch this or not. Currently the device is primarily used for the dashboard and live messenger integration. The assumption that this device would work exactly like a USB keyboard are apparently false at this point. I will post any updates regarding this of course. Until then, get the word around. I'd hate for anyone to end up buying the thing before it even works with PSU.

Thread on PSOW

Sunday, September 2, 2007

AotI: Phantom of Arkguard 1 Fan Localization

This is a flash animation made by Immortal44 from PSOW. It was created to resemble as closely as possible the first chapter of the moving comic over at the official JP AotI page, just with EspioKaos's translation of the dialogue. Parn (also from PSOW) has been kind enough to host it for him.

Immortal44's Premiere at PSOW
Parn's Website Hosting the Localization

Other: Photon Fortune Table and Changes

Currently we've been rolling for a little over 2 weeks with an average of almost 2 posts a day. I've gotten some great feedback and have been working towards implementing many of these ideas into the page.

First off, a big thanks goes to an old friend and teammate Sx for writing a Javascript app for updating the current photon fortune based off a certain Japanese webside. I may eventually write one myself (mainly so I can modify the dimensions/colors), but for now that happens to be a perfectly fine one.

Next, as I'm sure you may have noticed, I have extended the dimensions to better fit a horizontal resolution of 1024. This may be upped to 1280 in the future, depending on a couple of factors. But currently I find this suitable for most people. Alot of blogs are quite thin and I know how annoying this can be with a large horizontal resolution.

I've added more links to the 'Useful PSU Sites' section, but I noticed I barely explained them. So here goes:

Official EN PSU Homepage - Find out about official updates/events and browse the official forums.
Official JP PSU Homepage - Our updates are posted here a bit early via the Xbox 360 section.
Official JP AotI Homepage - Official weekly updates concerning the upcoming expansion.
PSUpedia - English PSU wiki. A no nonsense guide with lots of information on the game.
PSO-World - Great item database and other information. The forum community here is rather large.
PSUniverse - Another great source of information
Amesani - A good way of browsing stat information and mission data (including drops).
PSUtopia - PSU based image uploader.
PSU-Wiki JP - A great wealth of information, but by no means English friendly.

One of the major things recently that I've been wanting to add is a calendar of events. I feel like writing reminder posts about events would become redundant, so it would be nice to have a calendar to see exactly when one is coming up. Because of how blogs are, if the event is more than a week away it'll probably drop off the bottom before happening. When I come up with the best solution for this, I'll be sure to make note of it. At the very least, I will make a list of all upcoming events and put it in a list somewhere on the side.

I also encourage comments (which are now open). This isn't a good replacement for the forums, but it's nice to know I'm not alone here. Let me know when you find certain posts useful or not useful or even let me know of what you want to see more and less of. Nothing here is quite set in stone.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

PS2/PC: Party Exchange Time Attack on September 12th

Drake_24 from the official forums has announced an event being hosted by Triforce and GU. Details:

Date: Wednesday 9/12 (subject to change)
Time: 4 PM EST, 1 PM PST, 9 PM UTC
Place: Universe 12 in front of The Pavilion Of Air (Neudaiz)
Prizes: Unannounced as of yet
Check the thread. This event is a bit more confusing than most, so read it carefully and ask questions if you need help understanding it better.

Drake_24's Announcement Thread