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