Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Japan: More PSU Teased

(Information started on October 10th)

There has been much information out of the recent Tokyo Game Show about recent Phantasy Star titles, but one small bit sure stands out for PSU fans.

Director Satoshi Sakai tells fans to be on the lookout for an additional update.  Obviously there are already various updates and additions made to the game over time, so it's probable that they will soon be giving details on a new expansion of some sort.  If not, maybe it will at least be a major functionality patch (such as one seen around the release of AOTI).  It's been often speculated that there will be a followup to introduce some of the new items and such seen in Phantasy Star Portable.  It was mentioned in an interview once that they wanted to look into new ways of linking PSP with PSU, however that now seems unlikely based on recent announcements.  I'll have more on this in one of my next few posts.

General: Sega Server Trouble

(Information started on October 8th)

Attributed to hardware issues, there were some problems connecting to the PSU servers last Wednesday.  From then until Monday, the official homepage for PSU was down.

Both problems appear to be resolved for the most part now.  As far as their services go, it seems they've been having various issues crop up since they moved offices.  Hopefully they'll get past it soon.

General: Hal's Radio Broadcast

(Information started on October 7th)

A couple times in Japan, the GMs took messages from players to broadcast using the orange/black banner to the entire server. The idea finally gets a chance to fly here as a local edition of Hal's Radio Broadcast. The deadline for submissions has unfortunately already ended by the time of this post (it was October 12th), however they'll be displayed this coming Friday (October 17th).

The times are:

Morning Broadcast - 10:00 AM PDT
Afternoon Broadcast - 3:00 PM PDT
Evening Broadcast - 8:00 PM PDT

They should run for half an hour or less each time.

Official Announcement

General: Update for October 10th

(Information started on October 6th)

First of note is that Japan asked users to send in information regarding the recent lag that many players on our side have noticed since Sega moved offices.

As for the update:

- More items at The Collector (Located on Parum in West Holtes City)
* This includes everything listed at PSUP from PSU Disc 48 to Transfer: Neudaiz
* GH490 is also one of the big additions here
- Casino rotation
- New weapons

It appears there were a couple unmentioned updates. The recent update to White Beast seems to have made it in as well as some drops to be used in future exchange missions. I'll make an update when these are sorted out.

Here's an odd note: JP retroactively put this post up dated for the 4th even though it appeared after the English page was updated.

Update: Maintenance ended and no additional changes were listed.

JP 360 Latency Report
EN Update Page
JP 360 Update Page
The Collector at PSUP
PSOW News Article
PSOW Thread
PSUPf Thread
JP 360 Maintenance End

Japan: PS2/PC Update for October 9th

(Information started on October 3rd)

To quote EspioKaos:

Seasonal event
Halloween returns! From October 9 through November 6, decorations will be up and the Rappy Latans will be out! [PSUv1]

GBR: Moatoob Boost Road 2nd
Starting October 9 and running through November 20, the following missions will be part of the latest GBR.
* Desert Stronghold (new mission)
* Desert Terror
* Desert Goliath
* Rogues' Shortcut
* Stolen Weapon
Since the new mission is AOTI exclusive, PSUv1 players will not be able to increase their boost rate in the current GBR. (sth note)

New mission
Desert Stronghold C-S2 - W. Kugu Base Camp to Galenigare Mine area
A new RELICS site that not even the rogues knew about has been discovered in the far reaches of the West Kugu Desert. Destroy the Rygutasses who protect the RELICS and investigate the site.

New mission difficulties
The following missions will receive S3 difficulties.
* Desert Terror
* Desert Goliath
* Rogues' Shortcut
* Stolen Weapon
S3 is exclusive to AOTI players, so you must have the expansion to access this difficulty, even in PSU missions.

Mission adjustments
White Beast is being adjusted to further combat AFK leveling.

New items
Many new weapons, line shields, and room goods are being added.

Reform ticket (sth note)
The Halloween room decoration ticket will be available from October 9th to November 6th [PSUv1]

System updates
* Adjustments will be made to the Photon Fortune for all races and sexes. [PSUv1]
* Item drops for some enemies in AOTI missions will be changed.
So it would seem they are finally pushing out a new difficulty for various missions (S3). There are still actually a handful of 'normal' missions that don't have S2 ranks yet.  I'm guessing they'll show up in future GBRs.

It would seem the GBRs are getting longer.  This one happens to be six weeks.  I don't think that it's really necessary to give that much time for one myself (four might be long enough), but I suppose as long as content still arrives along the way it's fine.

Update: Maintenance ended and the client is still the same version.  Deljabans no longer use Megid when silenced.  This was a bug reported in an earlier posting.  Like a few others, I think the mention of this bug was not actually a mention that it was fixed.  From time to time, they will acknowledge that they are aware of certain issues and intend to fix them in the future.  They also mention that the copy of the terms of service that is viewed prior to entering the game has been updated.

Update: The change to the terms of service was mentioned in a posting.

JP Update Page
PSOW Thread
PSUPf Thread

Monday, October 13, 2008

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast Season 2 Episode III

(Information started on October 5th)

The interviewee this time around just happens to be Edward. This is the guy that handles much of the billing support for Sega. If you've sent in a support ticket for the PS2/PC version of PSU, you've probably already had some communication with him.

In other news, it seems that Iceman is moving again and they'll need a temporary co-host to step in for a bit. Send a message to PSU_Castor if you're interested.

Awhile ago I switched all the podcast related posts over to a new tag (Podcast instead of Community). The links haven't changed, so no need to update any if you have them. I meant to do this earlier on, but better late than never.

Season 2 Thread
Season 1 Archive Thread

Community: Fan Site Links on Official Homepage

(Information started on October 2nd)

chillaura has posted notice of a future community links page for the official PSU homepage.  A similar section had been started on Japan's PSU homepage awhile back and it's something that seems obvious enough to have.  For the full details (including where and what to submit), please check out the thread linked below.  Later in the thread it is mentioned that non-English sites will be accepted too.

I haven't submitted this site's details yet, but probably will sometime soon.  I never got around to getting together a site logo, so I may want to do something about that before making up a smaller version.

Update: The first version of the page is now out.  They'll be continuing to take submissions as time goes on, so make sure to submit your own if you have one.

General: No Maintenance for October 3rd

(Information started on October 1st)

There was no maintenance for either set of servers this week.

Japan: No Maintenance for October 2nd

(Information started on September 29th)

To start, there was a maintenance early in the week (September 29th) that took down the option to buy a GUARDIANS License using WebMoney for about an hour.

The normal maintenance period was skipped for October 2nd.

There was also a notice that a Phantasy Star Zero trailer was added into rotation on the PSU Live! homepage.

General: Downtime for October 11th and 12th

(Information started on September 30th)

SoA had planned maintenance of their electrical systems for this past weekend.  It was said to need about 15 hours and was scheduled to start at 9 PM Pacific on the 11th.  However, it has not begun as of yet.  I'll be sure to give an update when they manage to have the maintenance rescheduled.

This appears to mark my 100th General article (Japan is getting up there too).  I may look into how I can best split the posts up.

General: Mission Spotlight for September 30th through October 9th

(Information started on September 30th)

The most recent spotlight was featured at the Il Cabo Base lobby for the newest mission (Bladed Legacy).  Starting with this round, additional prizes (Casino Voloyal coins and rare items) were said to be available.  Universes 1 and 2 on Xbox 360 and Universe 2 on PS2/PC were focused on for the random giveaways.

Also mentioned was the intent of listing winners on the mission spotlight page.  In the future, community groups can also find themselves listed by getting involved with the event.  After a bit of organization with the GMs, they can chose to distribute prizes of their own.  More information can be found at the links below.  Contact RubyEclipse if you are interested in getting your group involved.

General: PSU Calendar Wallpaper for October

(Information started on October 2nd)

This month's English version of the calendar has been posted.  The normal changes (logo and credits addition) appear, however no changes were made to the highlighted holidays.  This means that while Columbus Day is marked, Halloween surprisingly isn't.

Japan: PSU Calendar Wallpaper for October

(Information started on September 26th)

October's calendar is now posted. Linked below you'll find it in various resolutions.  The marked holiday is in celebration of health and sports in Japan.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

General: Grinder Glitch Bannings Update

(Information started on September 27th)

The GMs have decided that under no circumstances will any more players be able to make a case against their banning during the grinder glitch incident from several months back.

As an additional note: If you are positive you know of someone that used the glitch to their advantage (and is not currently banned), you can send that information along and they'll look into it.

Japan: PSU Live!

(Information started on September 25th)

September 25th is the day that game keys were first able to be purchased online for Japan for PSUv1.  They could also of course download the client from Sega.  It seems that the team is getting behind it in full and doing some interesting events.  Possibly related is the start of a two week relaunch of last year's First Anniversary event missions.  Both of these were mentioned in prior postings.

Announced on this day were live Hal broadcasts from Gurhal.  Up until October 14th, they'll be streaming various in-game footage online.  The specific program is UtagoeLive100.  Many players (at least outside Japan) use a similar site (Ustream) to stream their own playtime that others can watch.  I wonder if we inspired them (even in the slightest).  There are commericals shown as well on the homepage (these appear in-between sessions).  These aren't only for Phantasy Star games, but also shown is a commercial for Internet Adventure (an online app).

Available by a link on the homepage is a PSU inspired flash minigame.  Use the Up arrow to jump, Right arrow to speed up, Left arrow to speed down, and Space bar to slash.  At the end of the game, there are a couple options.  The top one starts over, the middle one goes back to the title screen, and the bottom one opens the JP PSU homepage.

Also announced was a GM event starring the 'Welcome Girls'.  This ran from September 25th up through October 9th.  If you left a welcome message in your shop description, the GMs were supposed to come by and drop you a gift in an open room decoration spot.  A Sonic figure is pictured, although other gifts may have been given as well.  The GMs were even said to stay and chat a bit if you were available.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

General: Update for September 26th

(Information started on September 23rd)

Here's a summary of the updates for September 26th:

- Maximum Attack G extension reward delivery (more notes below)
* 10% Grinding Boost [PSUv1]
* Sange
* Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals
* Spread Needle/G
- Bladed Legacy C-S2 (Il Cabo Base towards Granigs Mine)
- Clothes 'n' Parts (in a room accessed in the back of GUARDIANS HQ, split into male and female)
- New weapons, armor, etc.
- New synthesis boards [PSUv1]
- New clothes and parts

The fireworks lobby has been taken down and the seasonal traps are no longer available.  Neudaiz GBR has ended as well.

Update: The JP page confirms that the grinding boost is available from September 26th to October 10th.  It also mentions that Rappy Tip and Treasure Chest would be distributed again to extension participants, however it was not mentioned why.  You can obtain them by logging in any time before October 31st.  A board was added to convert Vestaline to Vulcaline.  Also, all ore boards were updated to a production capacity of 20.  All of these are available at the synthesis shop at the GUARDIANS Colony.

Update: There was a Casino Voloyal rotation that was not mentioned on either update page.  The Modern set has been replaced by the Sweet/Berry set.  PSU Disc 37 has not returned yet.

Update: There was a maintenance extension notice (they estimated up to around 8 hours, but it ended at almost 9).  There was also an end notice.  Neither mentioned any additional changes.

Xbox 360: Live Downtime for September 29th

(Information started on September 23rd)

Starting just after midnight the morning of September 29th, there was a maintenance specifically for Xbox Live that took about 26 hours or so.  This was in preparation (but in no way a distribution) of the coming features for this fall.  None of Live was available and thus PSU wasn't either.

General: Server Outage

(Information started on September 23rd)

There were a few hours of downtime for the PSU servers as well as Sega's sites in general on September 23rd.  The cause was said to be hardware failure on the end of Sega's internet service provider.  It was said that there may have needed to be more downtime so that hardware could be replaced, although it was also said that that could occur during the maintenance later that week.

There was no maintenance later that day, however the normal maintenance later in the week was longer than usual.  It's probable that it happened then, however no further mention was made of it.

Japan: PS2/PC Update for September 25th

(Information started on September 19th)

Quoting EspioKaos:

New temporary missions
Holupe is at it again! Now he's fine-tuned his original training programs and re-released them for the GUARDIANS to test out. These missions will be available only from September 25 through October 9.

The Protectors α+ C-S2
I've made a few adjustments to the training simulator I'd developed for new Guardians. Show me what you've got!

The Protectors β+ C-S2
Just like with ver.α, I've made some adjustments to this version of the program, too. Help me collect some new data from the simulator!

Training Lecture
I've made some adjustments to my original Guardians training program. Come here for an explanation of what to expect.

As these are based on missions from the Winter Event, they will be available to players who only have PSU. The S2 difficulties, however, will be available only to AOTI players.

Mission update
New items will be added to The Arms Dealer.

New items
Numerous new weapons and line shields will be added to the game. Also, NPC shops will have some new items available for purchase.
Interesting to see modified versions of the First Anniversary/Winter Event missions return, especially only for a limited time.  Many of the current modified versions of old event missions are permanent.  These however have two bosses a piece, so that may have been a factor.  It appears some event boosts appear in the GUI on the screenshots they are using, but I haven't heard anything about multipliers being in this time around.

Update: There was another trial weekend following this update.  Link added.

Update: Maintenance is over and there was no client patch.  A mention was made of a correction that happened during the August 7th maintenance.  It appears to have been with the female clothing version of the Rappy Suit.

Community: Video Guides

(Information started on September 19th)

GM RubyEclipse is looking for people to help out in the creation of what appear to be video guides for PSU.  It seems he's looking for help on a variety of tasks needed for getting them together.  Visit the link below for more information and to get in contact with him.

RubyEclipse's Thread

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Japan: Takao Miyoshi at CEDEC 2008

(Information started on September 10th)

Takao Miyoshi: PSU Producer
CEDEC: CESA Developers Conference
CESA: Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association

Awhile back, I saw a very interesting article on PSO and PSU.  EspioKaos translated a good deal of it and posted it on a couple sites which are linked below.  The skipped information is mostly just side notes about PSO's critical successes and a few stories from fans.  I highly suggest a read.

The meat of the article lies in what the developers believed contributed to the falling numbers of PSO players and what changes they made to curb the same sort of drop in the number of PSU players.  The article is accompanied by some very interesting graphs.  One shows the userbase over two years of PSO versions 1 and 2 and another shows the PSU userbase split by server set since launch (also two years).

Much can be inferred from this last graph.  First, I should note that below the last graph it mentions that the developers found it surprising that the Xbox 360 version maintained its userbase so well.  I actually find there are a number of reasons why it would remain so stable, but regardless it has been pretty solid for something like 20 months.  The English PC/PS2 version had a fairly steady drop, but is also now somewhat stable.  The Japanese PC/PS2 version almost looks like a rollercoaster, but just as well has become stable in the past several months.  Regardless of the exact values (which weren't released), it isn't the doom and gloom that some players seem to assume.  If we continue along the path we're going, I think we'll be generally fine.  Obviously we'd want a few things here and there to try and spur some growth (or at least keep stability), but the situation isn't that horrible looking at all from what I see.

General: GM Live Support Time Changes

(Information started on September 11th)

The following is a current list of times for the GM Live Support sessions:

3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Pacific

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Pacific 
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM Pacific

I've been keeping these in a rather condensed form on the side bar.

General: No Maintenance for September 12th and 19th

(Information started on September 10th)

There was no maintenance for the remainder of Neudaiz GBR.

As an aside, it seems they did confirm the rare mission update was made available on June 6th.  More information can be found on PSUP at the link below.

Japan: No Maintenance for September 11th and 18th

(Information started on September 5th)

First, I thought I would throw in the article about a PSU Mobile maintenance that happened this same week.  For a couple of hours on the 8th, the Casino Voloyal poker game was affected.

The normal maintenance periods were skipped for the 11th and 18th.  The next maintenance would end the second anniversary event, so there wasn't anything else added as a part of it.

Xbox 360: Worldwide Price Drops

(Information started on September 5th)

Pretty much all regions (at least the major ones) have received price drops on all models of the Xbox 360.

America (September 5th):

Arcade: $280 -> $200
60 GB: $350 -> $300
Elite: $450 -> $400

The 120 GB harddrive also price dropped from $180 to $150.

Europe (September 19th):

Arcade: £159 / €199 -> £129 / €179
60 GB: £199 / €269 -> £169 / €239
Elite: £259 / €369 -> £229 / €299

Japan (September 11th):

Arcade: 27,800 yen -> 19,800 yen
60 GB: 29,800 yen (introduced)
Elite: 47,800 yen -> 39,800 yen

These pricing adjustments puts many of the models in many of the regions on par with each other.  I believe the Arcade model in many regions is now cheaper than the Wii by a fairly significant margin.

The sales increases seen in each have been very high.  This is true even for Japan (where Microsoft is known not to have very good following).  In that case, it seems to be a combination of the increased value along with the current wave of RPGs (which have also been selling well).

Friday, October 3, 2008

Other: Gates and Seinfeld

(Information started on September 5th)

For anyone that hasn't seen them yet, Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld are starring in a series of commercials produced for Microsoft.  There are two out so far and I think both are pretty hilarious.  I suppose it depends on the viewer though.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Xbox 360: New Xbox Experience at PAX

(Information started on August 31st)

I was lucky enough to attend the Penny Arcade Expo again this year (might comment more on this later).  Major Nelson/Larry Hryb was there showing off more of the NXE that had been shown at this year's E3.  It's still work in progress, but it's said to be coming in November.

This is a video that was taken (not by me) during one of the few showings that happened that weekend.  Can't necessarily say I was watching the same one, but the dialogue seems very close to it (even more so than your normal rehearsed/improv speech).  More videos have come out since, but they've mostly been to show off the new Avatar system and themes.

Interesting note: There were a couple 'No Filming' signs around the MS booth.  Major even held one up before presenting the NXE.  Then he said that there would probably be a video on youtube 10 minutes after anyway.  Well there you go.  While I'm normally very respective of NDAs and things like that, I can't expect that MS seriously believed it would be possible to keep everything they had on display on the showfloor under watch.  Nothing was 'behind closed doors' as it were.  They didn't seem to care at all though past the actual presence of those notices.  I'm sure they're well aware after attending these past years of who PAX is for and what goes on.  Anyway, I'm being much too serious here.  I'm sure they really wanted as much to get out there as possible (aside from the occasional software bug).

I also noticed Shane Kim in the audience (admittedly small, only a few rows of a couple chairs with some people standing near the wall MS's booth was next to).  It's too bad that Peter Moore isn't still around.  I don't believe he came for EA/in general, but I definately would be disappointed if I missed seeing him.

General: Maintenance for September 5th

(Information started on September 4th)

There was a maintenance for both sets of servers.  It seems that during the maintenance, the female parts were split up, but only at the Guardians Colony shop.  CV parts are on the left and normal parts are on the right.  PSO, swimwear, and yukata parts appear on both sides.  All other part shops are unaffected.  Jenkel Arms CV finally manages to return to the Xbox 360 shops.  This may have been a measure to take care of that.

PSU Disc 37 has not returned to Casino Voloyal as of yet.

MAG: More Leaderboard Disqualifications

(Information started on September 3rd)

As done in the original run of MAG and once before for the second run, cheaters have been taken down from the leaderboards in the time attack and killcount categories.  One of the biggest winners here had two characters pulled up into the top 500 (thus earning two Spread Needle/Gs in addition to one from the first run of the event).

General: Network Performance Feedback

(Information started on September 3rd)

After Sega moved the local PSU servers to their new offices, it seemed many players noticed a drop in the quality of their connections.  It's requested that players experiencing these issues send as detailed a report as they can to the Sega Support site.

General: PSU Calendar Wallpaper for September

(Information started on September 2nd)

This month's English version of the calendar has been posted. Labor Day is marked this time around.

Wallpaper Page

Japan: PSU Calendar Wallpaper for September

(Information started on August 29th)

September's calendar is now posted. Linked below you'll find it in various resolutions.

PSU Calendar

Japan: Second Anniversary Fan Art Contest Results

(Information started on August 29th)

As mentioned earlier, Sonic Team chose a variety of pieces of fan art to be displayed in the lobbies during the second part of the Second Anniversary event.  The top winner is shown above.  You can find the other lobby displayed entries (as well as many other entries) at the links below.  Quite a few were either high quality or entertaining (some even both), so I'd encourage a browse through them.

Japan: PC/PS2 Update for September 4th

(Information started on August 29th)

Japan's Second Anniversary event continues.  Update info care of EspioKaos:

Illustration contest winners exhibition
* Winning works from the 2nd Anniversary Thanks Festa illustration contest will be announced on this day and placed on display in various lobbies from September 4 through October 9.
* 1st place (one winner) work will be displayed in Clyez City.
* 2nd place (three winners) work will be displayed in the respective cities of each planet.
* 3rd place (three winners) work will be displayed in the field lobbies of each planet.
* Boys & Girls prize (one winner) work will be displayed in the field lobbies of the GUARDIANS Colony.
* Honorable mention (four winners) work will be displayed in the field lobbies of the three planets and Colony.

Event missions
* The second event mission, The Protectors δ, will be released and remain available until the close of the event on September 25.
* The prologue mission, Government Directive, will be updated to include information on the new event mission.

New items
* Many new weapons, line shields, etc. will drop from the new mission.
It appears this was it for the remainder of the event.  The fan art contest winners will be mentioned in a later post.

Update: There was a posting in the form of a letter from the team to the players in light of PSU's second anniversary.  They of course thank the users for their continued support and bring up the releases of AOTI and recently successful PSP as well as the franchise's 20th Anniversary.  They also mention the upcoming digital purchase of PSUv1.  The team will continue to work on future content for the game and they ask in the standard fashion for continued support as they expand the game.

Update: There is a post about a scheduled maintenance for billing on September 2nd for around a half hour.  Gameplay is still possible, but there may be issues purchasing a subscription with a credit card.

Japan: PSU Client on Digital Distribution

(Information started on August 28th)

A long time ago, the PSU client was posted online for players that had a valid game key (in Japan PSU uses download keys in a similar fashion to how PSO used to).  Now that download is being opened up to everyone.

After downloading (site features both direct and P2P), a player can buy a game key online for 1000 yen.  This enables them to play Episode 1 (Story Mode) and gets them a 10 day trial of Network Mode.  The offer starts on September 25th.  It seems to coincide with the close of the Second Anniversary event.  It appears they are also offering a bonus Amy statue to people that take advantage of the offer.

It isn't known whether the expansion will eventually be offered similarly or if either of the English versions will receive the same treatment.

Update: The release time was moved back two hours.

Update: The offer has opened (link to download site below).

JP PSUv1 Download Site (game manual also available)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Other: Fortunately 400th Post

Well, I'd say it's time for a bit of explanation.

First off, I should mention I finally signed into PSUP and started making some contributions.  A couple months ago, I began adding a few numbers here and there.  I got accustomed to making edits pretty fast and was soon looking into ways of cleaning up misplaced data here and there.  I'll save my whole bit on this for a separate post.  I was considering making a post about each site at some point anyway and I'd like to encourage more people to put in an edit here and there.  There's actually a good deal of simple tasks that can be done to help the site out.  Even though I've been linking to them, I don't believe I mentioned that PSUP got a new set of forums.  Coincidentally, it happened about when I decided to start making edits.  Anyway, I've linked them directly below.  I've been referring to them in links as 'PSUPf' (the abbreviation they use).

The other big thing is that I was contacted (also a few months ago) about contributing news articles to PSOW.  I decided to wait until they implemented their new news system.  The major addition was RSS (and a primary reason for me signing on).  You can read about more additions in a link below.  I've also linked my introductory post there.  There will be more features coming (hopefully soon) that should be pretty cool and helpful once implemented.  PSOW in general has been going through quite a few changes and I'm glad I can be a part of it.  A post about PSOW will probably be coming sometime too.

Other random tidbits:

- I'm going to give the podcasts their own section.  I've been meaning to do this awhile and it'll clear up some space in the Community category (which I've had some plans for).  To make sure it fits in, I'll probably finally convert all the 'PC/PS2' articles to 'PS2/PC'.  This is generally how it's referred to officially and I've wanted to just switch them all over (but never did obviously).

- Like I mentioned a few times, I'm going to extend just a bit community wise.  Perhaps I'll get around to those moderator backgrounds and fan site articles.  I might try to add some more commentary too.  The events following the one article I wrote were quite...eventful to say the least.

- I'm a month behind now.  I'll be caught up soon.  I don't really have much of an explanation, but it's rather unnatural for me to leave something hanging like this without at least a notice.  The important thing is that the articles are complete and generally fit in with the rest.

- Quite awhile ago, there started to be some heavy concerns about where we were in comparison to Japan.  I came up with a list breaking down the updates from Japan and which parts we hadn't received yet.  This actually helps a bit with the articles as I make sure to mention which parts of our updates came from which parts of Japan's (although I still have to update the last couple months with this info).  I always planned on cleaning it up and putting it as a permanent link on the side as a running list.  As of now, there is actually a similar list over at PSUP.  There is a difference though as it just contains a straight up list of content and the larger system updates.  It's probably more useful as it links to all the relevant articles on the site (so people can read all about future events and missions).

- Yes, I'm aware of both Phantasy Star Portable and now Phantasy Star 0/Zero.  I've made a number of posts about PSP over at PSOW as it did quite well in sales over in Japan.  I'll get around to talking more about these later.  I probably won't put a ton of focus into them here.  Who knows what the future will hold though.

- I meant this post as a tie-in to this site's first anniversary (August 15th, another milestone), but it obviously got delayed.  At the very least, I hit my not-exactly-official goal range as far as posting goes.  Aside from that, things are about where they should be (outside of being behind).  I can't say I'm displeased with how stuff turned out.

That's enough for now I guess.  I might mention more once I'm finished updating with the September posts.

Monday, September 29, 2008

General: Maintenance for August 29th

(Information started on August 28th)

There was a maintenance held to make a bugfix in line with the one made on JP's PC/PS2 server just a day earlier.  They started an hour earlier than usual.  Howzer was upped to level 160 in rank A of Episode 5 Chapter 3 so that he could drop Vijeri / Resist.

Japan: Maintenance for August 28th

(Information started on August 28th)

There was a maintenance to fix some bugs.  Howzer's level on A rank in Episode 3 Chapter 5 was upped again to 160.  He drops Vijeri / Resist once more. The Protectors γ also had a fix to chip collection.

JP Maintenance End

Monday, September 22, 2008

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast Season 2 Episode II

(Information started on August 22nd)

This episode has all the usual contents and goes over the most current updates (subtraction of MAG and addition of Neudaiz GBR).  Enjoy!

Season 2 Thread
Season 1 Archive Thread

MAG: Extension Run Closed

(Information started on August 22nd)

Maximum Attack G has finally come to a close (for good this time).

The final tally is 270,624,674 creatures eliminated.  Those users that played in this second run of the event can expect the final two milestone prizes to reach the servers soon.  There has even been talk of an additional run of 3 star photon fortune, but that is yet to be seen.

Thanks to everyone that participated in either or both runs of the event!

EN MAG 2 Homepage

General: Update for August 22nd

(Information started on August 21st)

Here is a breakdown of the update for August 22nd:

- Fireworks lobbies (August 22nd to September 26th) [PSUv1]
* De Ragan's Breath and Fireworks available from NPC shops [former is PSUv1]
- Episode 3 Chapter 5
- Flowery Pursuit C-S2 (Saguraki C.D. towards Ohtoku City)
- Phantom Fissure C-S (Rare mission accessed at random from various Neudaiz mission counters)
- New S2 difficulty for Sakura Blast, Sacred Stream, White Beast, Hill of Spores, and Dancing Birds
- Neudaiz GUARDIANS Boost Road (August 22nd to September 26th)
* Contains Hill of Spores, Dancing Birds, Flowery Pursuit, Sacred Stream, and White Beast
- Maximum Attack G second run ends
* Maximum Attack G' C-A (permanent version of MAG that has been reworked)
* Program DF' C-A (same as above)
* Gifts from Beyond is still available for Weapons Badge redemption
* Hit the Counter! is still available for players who didn't pick up their milestone rewards
- More weapons and boards made available to NPC shops
- PSU Disc 76 made available at Casino Voloyal
- Lots more items will become available from the new missions and mission difficulties

Definately a big update.  However, there are no other big content additions for the time that this GBR is going on.

Update: A notice was posted that maintenance would take longer than planned.

Update: Maintenance has ended with no system changes.

Japan: PC/PS2 Update for August 21st

(Information started on August 19th)

Here are the updates for this week:

- 2nd Anniversary Event lobbies (August 21st to September 4th) [PSUv1]
- Fireworks lobbies (August 21st to September 25th) [PSUv1]
- 2nd Anniversary Thanks Festa Event Start (Missions available from GUARDIANS HQ)
* The Protectors γ C-S2 (August 21st to September 25th)
* Government Directive (August 21st to September 25th)
- More items at "The Arms Dealer"
- New weapons, armor, etc.
- De Ragan's Breath and Fireworks added to NPC shops (August 21st to September 25th) [PSUv1]
- Level cap raised to 160
- Adjustments made to enemy drops in AOTI missions
- Rare mission update (notes below)
- Organization of parties at mission counters (notes below)
- My Room shop pricing adjustment (notes below)

This rare mission update changes a few things.  Any member that has been in the party for 80+ percent of the time has a chance at an allowance of a rare mission (as opposed to just the leader).  Larger parties will no longer have increased chances, however players with a chance at a rare mission will not lose it if the party's current leader uses their's.  You cannot collect chances, you only get one active at a time.  This update will be easy to spot as you can actually see if you obtained a go at a rare mission or not.

Joinable parties will now be placed at the front of the list.  They'll be sorted by creation time or the last time the size of the party decreased (that hadn't been by the kicking of a player).

If you wish to edit the price of an item in your shop, the counter will now start out at the current value (as opposed to 0).  When adding a duplicate item, the counter will default to the price of the highest priced item listed of the same type.

Update: Event page updates.  Various data added to event site based off server tracking from last year of gameplay. GM event details given.  Trial weekend information given.

Update: There was apparently an update to their ToS.  The changes weren't really specified.

Update: Due to an issue, they are extending the open weekend for another day.

Update: Maintenance is over and the client version is now 2.0009.1.  The in-client ToS has been updated.  A fix was made to Lumilass.  From what I can tell, the prices did not feature the color update that was implimented earlier this year.

Update: The report from the GM Boys has been put out for Ultimate Attack 6 (the prior event).

Japan: Prepaid Cards at 7-Eleven

(Information started on August 19th)

As of August 18th, Sega made prepaid cards for PSU available at Japan's 12,000+ 7-Eleven stores.  These are joined up with cards for other Sega online services (even PSOBB).  30 and 90 day cards are available.

It's interesting to note that Japan contains a third of the 7-Eleven stores in the world.  The United States actually only has around 6,000 or so.

Xbox 360: DRM Tool

(Information started on June 26th)

Meant to mention this awhile ago, but I'm sure it's gotten around by now.

Microsoft released a tool that will allow you to transfer licenses on your download content using the internet.  After using this, it will once again be possible to use your content offline (as well as allow others to use your content).  This is of course the solution for all those people that had to switch Xboxes for one reason or another.

PS2/PC: Official PS3 Wireless Keypad

(Information started on August 20th)

Sony announced a wireless keypad for Playstation 3 controllers.  This is somewhat in the range of the Messenger Kit/Chatpad for the 360, however the keyboard itself is actually above the face of the controller (instead of below it).

Let's hope that this one manages to be compatible with the PS2 version of PSU.  The 360's chatpad is still waiting on compatibility for the 360 version of the game.

Community: Guide to Using Japanese Voices in AOTI PC

(Information started on August 20th)

It is a rather well known issue that the English PC and Xbox 360 versions do not have the extra battle voices that were made available to expansion players (whereas the PS2 players do).

While it is unknown when or if this will be resolved officially, a group of players have worked out some functionality in this department by pulling some voices off the Japanese PC version of the expansion and getting them to work with the English PC version.  This much progress being made, it makes me wonder if it would be possible to get the English versions themselves by deriving them from the PS2 version.

This is probably worth a link on the side.

Community: Official Forum Updates

(Information started on April 21st)

Another round of updates that I've been meaning to get around to mentioning.  These pertain to the forums on the official site:

Event Calendar - RubyEclipse created this to help keep track of various fan run events as well as maintenance and live support times.  There was a recent time change for GM Live support that isn't reflected here (info post incoming soon), so it may be a bit out of date.

Suggestions and Ideas Forum - Requests for the forums, game, and otherwise should go here (although you can still use  I've been a fairly huge proponent of this one and it's something I keep a close eye on.  For my sake, please be respectful of the stickies as well as the somewhat closer modding.  It's all for the purpose of keeping the board tidy so that ideas can flow efficiently.

PSP and PS0/Z Forums - These were added for discussion of the newest portable Phantasy Star games.  They have not yet been dated for release outside of Japan, however there can be pretty much no doubt that they are coming.

More Avatars - By request, new avatars have been added to the forums.  These include additions to the Phantasy Star Universe category as well as the addition of the PSU: AOTI category.

Event Calendar

Community: More PSO-World Updates

(Information started on August 1st)

I mentioned there was an update to the forums awhile back, so I think it's worth it to have another notice of some changes.

First off, the front page was updated to reflect the style of the new forums. There is in fact a certain level of integration here. Various updates have been made to the news system including a better search for the archive and finally an RSS feed. I'll go more into specifics on this later as there are a few other interesting tidbits (including more arriving in the future).

As of recently, all other site pages have been updated to the new style. This of course includes the databases, guides, and everything else. More themes, avatars, and other stuff have been added alongside. Awhile ago, a new database just for pictures was also added to the site.

The site will continue to undergo changes and additions, but at least for this moment in time it once again seems quite solid. Credits go to Ryna for all the work put in to the upgrades.

Xbox 360: Illinois Requires Internet Cancellation for Games

(Information started on July 29th)

The following linked bill has been essentially passed into law in Illinois.  It is said that the base for the law goes back to an incident concerning Final Fantasy XI, however the law seems to apply to Xbox Live as well as PSU on 360 (as it also requires phone cancellation being integrated into Live).  I haven't heard much since it was passed, however surely Microsoft has some sort of comeback.  There is usually a grace period for violators of recently passed bills, so I'm sure we'll be seeing more out of this as that comes to a close.

Personally, I don't see much of a problem with phone cancellation as far as Microsoft goes.   At a certain point in time, I cancelled both Xbox Live and PSU in the same phone call.  It took all of four minutes from when I first dialed.  It would make perfect sense to have a cancel button integrated into Live, however I think most people blow the cancelling method out of proportion.

Community: Useful Sites List Update

(Information started on July 31st)

Putting back a few links as they came back and also adding a few:

Amesani PSU EN - A good way of browsing stat information and mission data (including drops).
PSYOU - Mission information and drop data.
PSUtopia - PSU based image uploader.
PSUTools - Character stats and damage calculator.

Xbox 360: Game Installation Video

(Information started on August 10th)

This is a video showing what game installation will look like with the upcoming 360 dashboard update.  As stated before, you will still need to put the disc in the tray (to confirm you have the game).

I saw some of this recently at PAX (a gaming convention).  I might put up some of my experiences there (and other stuff they premiered for the fall update) later.

Japan: Some Future Event Information

(Information started on July 27th)

Some tidbits given by EspioKaos from a developer interview:

* Another large event is planned to begin at some point before March 2009. A name has not been decided on it yet.
* The event is planned to have a similar structure to Maximum Attack G.
* The developers want to have events of similar proportions three or four times per year.
This is not from one of the "longterm schedules" that usually go out once every several months.  One should be upcoming soon though as the current one runs out at the end of September.

Community: RSS Feed for Official Site

[Apologies on the extended period of posting delay.  We'll be on track soon.]

(Information started January 27th)

Before I forget again, there is something else that I've been meaning to post of Toothball's creation.  He's managed to create an RSS feed that follows the updates made to the Official EN PSU Homepage.  This is something that Sega has unfortunately been lacking.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

MAG: Leaderboard and Statistics Tracking Pages

(Information started on August 12th)

Official forum user Toothball has come up with a few pages on his website to track some data based off the kill ranking leaderboards on the official MAG pages.

The 'Alternative Leaderboards' link contains a couple different setups. One is a full leaderboard with all 500 characters listed at once. Another is a list that combines the totals of users that have multiple characters on the leaderboard. The other is a short summary of the leaderboard to see where kill counts are at divisions of 100.

The 'Leaderboards Statistics' link has all sorts of interesting data. You can see accounts that have multiple characters on the current leaderboards as well as across the new and old leaderboards.

Update: A recently added page allows you to add your own position into the summary leaderboard (as long as you are in the top 500 of course).

Discussion Thread
Alternative Leaderboards
Leaderboards Statistics
Customizable Summary Leaderboard
MAG Extension Page
Original MAG Page

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast Season 2 Episode I

(Information started on July 31st)

PSU_Castor (now also known as GM RubyEclipse) and Iceman (also known as Lucente) have finally returned in the new season of their podcast.

The special guest this time is player 360NyTeMaRe. Another notable occurance is the premiere of the Sonic Unleashed theme song.

Season 2 Thread
Season 1 Archive Thread

Friday, August 15, 2008

General: Super Holy Light Reward Temporarily Broken

(Information started on August 7th)

It would seem that right after the time when maintenance would usually start on the 7th, the 3 star photon fortune given out as MAG reward disappeared. It appears that Sonic Team was able to quickly hold an emergency maintenance to fix the problem.

Official Forum Thread
Maintenance Thread
JP 360 Emergency Maintenance
JP 360 Maintenance End

Japan: No Maintenance for August 14th

(Information started on August 7th)

There was no maintenance for the servers this week. This might have to do with the break, but there was also a small content update last week.

JP No Maintenance

General: No Maintenance for August 8th and 15th

(Information started on August 7th)

The JP 360 page reported that there would be no maintenance for two weeks. The EN PC/PS2 servers also didn't go down for either maintenance.

JP 360 No Maintenance

Japan: 2nd Anniversary Thanks Festa Page Opens

(Information started on August 7th)

Sonic Team has posted the homepage for the 2nd anniversary event quite early.

I've linked a page at PSUP below that is being compiled on what is known about the event currently. It will be fairly similar to last year's though (except featuring expansion content). The 1st anniversary event was turned into EN's Winter Event.

They've already been collecting fan art submissions for another contest like last year's.

2nd Anniversary Thanks Festa
PSUP 2nd Thanks Festa Page

Japan: PC/PS2 Update for August 7th

(Information started on August 1st)

Japan's August 7th update has been posted. Here's some details:

- Ultimate Attack 6 reward delivery (more notes below)
* Super Holy Light [PSUv1]
* Item Synthesis Bonus +20% [PSUv1]
* Free Makeovers at Lumilass [PSUv1]
* Clothes and Parts sold at 50% discount [PSUv1]
* Grinding Bonus +15% [PSUv1]
* SONIC DISC (jukebox disc)
* G. Colony Collectible (room decoration)
- More items at "The Clothier"
- New Casino items
- New clothes (some of these are pictured and are found at "The Clothier")
- Enemy drop changes in missions released after AOTI (nonspecific)

Items will be distributed to your common box if you log in to PSU at some point after this maintenance (but possibly not later than the September 30th maintenance). Players should also make sure to pull out their synthesis items before the rewards period ends (as the calculations for succeeding are done at that point). Also don't forget that you can always clear space in your common box and relogin to obtain items that wouldn't fit the first time.

As mentioned before, "The Clothier" makes available clothing that had only been available during major events. I've linked the relevant PSUP article below.

The drop changes apparently amount to adding some of the items needed to trade in to obtain these articles of clothing.

Update: After maintenance, there was no change to PSU's version. There were a few small updates to "Innocent Girl" concerning the character download feature as well as a bugfix to Vivienne.

Update: Portions of JP's PSU support center will be closed for upwards of two weeks. They will of course respond to messages received during this time when they return.

Update: It was mentioned after a later maintenance that a correction was made during this maintenance to the female clothing version of the Rappy Suit.

JP Update Page
JP End Maintenance Notes
JP Support Center Break
PSOW Thread
PSUPf Thread
The Clothier at PSUP

MAG: Twelfth (and Last) Milestone Hit

(Information started on August 5th)

That wraps up the milestone rewards for this event, but remember to get all the badges you need before the 21st!

EN MAG 2 Page

MAG: Eleventh Milestone Hit

(Information started on August 2nd)

In just the second day in, we managed to hit the second to last milestone.

EN MAG 2 Page

Thursday, August 14, 2008

General: Update for August 1st

(Information started on July 24th)

Confirmation of the MAG extension came in the form of a bit of a notice from Sonic Team a week ahead of time. Many of the details for MAG's extension came from a GM Support Session that I happened to attend the day after. This included that the already obtained rewards would come with the extension with any others to follow. Also the statues from the Sonic's Birthday event would be given out. A mention was made that the normal Rappies would appear during the extension (unlike Rappy Paskas in the first run) and that Jaggo Actes would appear (also odd since this year they are linked up with the Holy Light Festa lobbies). The update page was actually put out on the 25th (much earlier than usual and far before Japan's).

Here's the breakdown:

- Holy Light Festa lobbies with Jaggo Actes (August 1st to 21st) [PSUv1]
- Maximum Attack G reward delivery (more notes below)
* Rappy Tip
* Treasure Chest
* Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals
* Spread Needle / G
* Super Holy Light [PSUv1]
* Item Synthesis Bonus +20% [PSUv1]
* Free Makeovers at Lumilass [PSUv1]
* Clothes and Parts sold at 50% discount [PSUv1]
- Knuckles and Amy statues delivery (more notes below) [PSUv1]
- Maximum Attack G C-S (August 1st to 21st)
- Gifts from Beyond
- Hit the Counter
- Holy Light Festa room decoration in Variety Shop (August 1st to 21st) [PSUv1]
- New items in the Casino and a rotation (more notes below)
- Level cap raised to 140 [PSUv1]
- Universe Transporters added to GUARDIANS HQ as well as the Branches [PSUv1]
- Photon Chargers and NPC Vendors added to each GUARDIANS Branch [PSUv1]

The non item rewards and extension were planned to last for two weeks, however Sonic Team is on holiday so they will both last three (from August 1st to the 21st). Items distributed to the common box can be picked up until at least September 30th. All you have to do is log in and you'll get them delivered. I think there was some confusion before about this. Some people thought that the prizes are automatically given to everyone that played in the event and then removed after a certain date. Instead, they are delivered when you log in and remain there (there is no worry that they'll be removed). Only people that played in the original MAG event will qualify for the current set of rewards. I'm pretty sure though that everyone that plays in the extension will qualify for the last two. Given, one of these should apply to everyone (even nonexpansion players as it isn't an item).

Update: While it was mentioned that there would be new Casino stuff (at least one) on both EN and JP sites, there are in fact no 'new' items (however there was a rotation). It's possible that the release is flawed. The Goth series is back and the Goth Night Stand has been renamed Goth Nightstand. PSU Disc 37 (Marriage) is missing on both servers for some reason. Modern Clock (which should have rotated out) is still there. I guess I should also note that Jenkel Arms CV is still missing from the shops on the 360 servers. The Treasure Chest is tradeable (even though it is a Casino purchase in Japan). I actually wonder if we'll see this appear in our Casino and when (it's actually a very high priced one).

Update: It's said that during this extension it will be possible for characters that weren't scratched off the first MAG list for cheating to obtain rewards (instead of them preventing any characters from accounts that got rewards prior to compete). I've linked the thread about it below.

Update: On the English MAG site, there is a notice that mentions you might have had to play in both MAG events to obtain the rewards from the extension. I don't believe it mentions it on the JP site. I'll probably look into it before the extension is over to try and confirm either way. What I assume it means is that players from MAG1 will have to play again in MAG2. I don't think that MAG2 players that didn't play in MAG1 will be excluded, but I can't say for sure.

Update Page
Official Announcement
Note from Sonic Team
Original MAG Site
MAG Extension Site
JP MAG Extension Site
JP 360 Update Page
JP 360 Maintenance End
MAG 2 Official Forum Thread
Kill Count Official Forum Thread
Leaderboard Double Dipping Thread
PSOW Thread
PSUPf Thread

General: PSU Calendar Wallpaper for August

(Information started on August 4th)

This month's English version of the calendar has been posted. Only changes this time include the normal addition of artist credit as well as the English AOTI logo.

Someone pointed out to me recently that the 'T' in 'The' is capitalized in the logo they use for our versions. I surprisingly hadn't noticed this before...

Wallpaper Page

Japan: PSU Calendar Wallpaper for August

(Information started on July 25th)

July's calendar is now posted. Linked below you'll find it in various resolutions.

PSU Calendar

General: Mission Spotlight for July 25th through July 31st

(Information started on July 25th)

This week's Mission Spotlight has Galenigare Lake as the featured lobby. This includes an outstanding four missions (Desert Goliath, Tunnel Recapture, Lonely Laboratory, and Rogues' Shortcut). Players also of course have a chance of running Forest of Illusion.

Update: It would seem that Mission Spotlights won't be run during events. This makes a good deal of sense though. I wouldn't expect another spotlight until after the MAG extension is over.

Mission Spotlight Page
Announcement Thread

Japan: Maintenance for July 29th, None for 31st

(Information started on July 24nd)

There was something like a 7 hour maintenance period scheduled for July 29th. Perhaps this was in preparation for PSP's launch.

The normal maintenance period for the week (the 31st) was cancelled. Considering this was the release of PSP (and there are integration features), they probably wanted as much uptime as possible.

Update: Maintenance has ended with no changes.

Update: Sonic Team announced that they shipped out the real life prizes for Ultimate Attack 6.

Update: An announcement was made concerning a user that was suspended on July 11th. Seemed to be a light month. Either that or the user did something quite bad.

JP Emergency Maintenance
JP No Maintenance
JP Maintenance End
UA6 Prizes Shipped
Misconduct Report

General: Maintenance for July 23rd, None for 25th

(Information started on July 22nd)

There was a three hour period at the very beginning of July 23rd (Pacific Time) where Sega's ISP did some maintenance work. According to a few users, the downtime was no more than 10-15 minutes.

The normal maintenance period for the week (the 25th) was cancelled for both sets of servers.

Update: There was a hefty Gameguard update for PC users on the 25th. Being that there was no maintenance, this just was downloaded the next time PSU was logged into.

JP 360 Notice
Chillaura's Post
JP 360 No Maintenance

Japan: PC/PS2 Update for July 24th

(Information started on July 22nd)

The update for the week of July 24th has been posted. Here's the breakdown:

- Phantasy Star Portable lobbies (July 24th to August 21st) [PSUv1]
- Innocent Girl C-A (EspioKaos's translation)
- notes below
- Event item exchange mission will remain available to allow players to finish redeeming prizes
- "Hit the Counter" mission will remain available for players that didn't collect their prize
- New weapons
- Event items will still be available (probably just as mentioned above)

The new mission is a sort of "side story" mission to tie in PSU with PSP. An interesting note to make is that (like in PSP) weapon badges drop. This basically helps continue the usefulness of MAG's Gifts from Beyond. Using the character transfer option for PSP (started on July 31st), it is possible to obtain Whitill Wings and Vivienne Fluge for your PSU characters.

Ultimate Attack 6 ended after this maintenance. The 200 million milestone was another update to the Magashi event mission. The 225 million milestone appears to be a 15% bonus to weapon grinding. The last listed milestone (250 million) was not unlocked.

Update: There was a patch and the game's version at this point was 2.0008.4. They mentioned that the event was closed. Universes 24-26 had their names changed (to take away their designation as recommending event play there). They don't really seem to mention why the patch was done, but perhaps it has to do with PSP's integration.

JP Update Page
PSOW Thread
PSUPf Thread
PSOW UA6 Thread
PSUP Shred the Darkness Page
UA6 Homepage
Innocent Girl on PSUP
Game Server Update

Other: On Being Behind

I know I've been quite behind on updating. I can't even really explain why, although it might have something to do with a few factors that a few people might already be aware of. Anyway, I didn't just disappear never to return and I have been intending for awhile to get back in action here. So here's what's going to happen:

I'm going to start posting all of the back information since my last post. Obviously, there is much information that is going to be late. However, this blog's main priority is as a timeline for PSU. Punctuality is also a priority (if only not to end up falling behind), though clearly I haven't met that the past few weeks as it seems I left things in the dust. I'm not going to be creative and write things as if they were just happening, but I might say when things were mentioned. Most everything should be in order and there will probably still be 'updates' (even though I'd know prior to posting if there were any).

So let's get back on track and I'll mention when I'm done catching up (and what's been going on).

Thursday, July 17, 2008

General: Mission Spotlight for July 17th to 24th

This week's mission spotlight will indeed be The Egg Thieves (located at the GUARDIANS Branch on Parum). Also, there has been a schedule change. The spotlights will run from Friday until the Thursday of the following week.

A poll has already gone up for the following week's mission/set of missions. The current numbers are leaning towards Galenigare Lake as the featured lobby. This would (if chosen) include an outstanding four missions (Desert Goliath, Tunnel Recapture, Lonely Laboratory, and Rogues' Shortcut). Given, that could all change in a short time.

Mission Spotlight Page
Announcement Thread
Poll Thread

General: No Maintenance for July 18th

Japan is saying that the 360 will have no maintenance period for this week. It's probable that there won't be PC/PS2 maintenance either. A large update is expected to arrive next week.

Update: Seems all of the servers are still up, so everyone gets more time this week.

JP 360 Page

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Japan: No Maintenance for July 17th

The current event continues and there won't be any updates for this week. However, I will mention that it appears JP has unlocked three more milestones. 140 million is a model of the Guardians Colony as a room decoration. 160 million is 300 t-shirts given out at random. 180 million is a 20% boost to weapon and line shield synthesizing.

Update: The FAQ has been updated with more information on SEGA Link IDs.

Update: It seems that there is an issue with synthesizing the Twin Bouquet. Link added.

Update: The photos page for Sonic's Birthday has gone up.

Update: There was billing maintenance for an estimated 15 hours on this date. Link added.

Billing Maintenance
JP No Maintenance
UA6 Homepage
Switch Billing FAQ
Twin Bouquet Bug
Sonic Birthday Event

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

General: More About the Server Move

Sega shut down the servers a bit earlier than planned (9 PM Pacific on Sunday).

Now, the PC/PS2 servers are back up as of 9:30 PM Pacific on Monday. It is expected that the Xbox 360 servers will be up after another day of wait.

Update: The Xbox 360 servers are now up as of 1:30 AM Pacific on Wednesday. However, Universes 13 and 14 are still down. It should be fixed soon. I've also linked the news item about it from JP.

Update: Added announcement thread about the successful move.

Server Move Thread
JP 360 Announcement
Announcement Thread

Monday, July 14, 2008

Xbox 360: Game Installs and More

Monday morning's Microsoft press conference at E3 definately had a number of great announcements. After which, a number of bulletpoints were thrown up on one of Microsoft's blogs. Some of these are very positive for PSU players. Here's a few of the more relevant ones:

- Game installs. You can basically dump your game disc onto your 360's harddrive. All you need is to have the disc in whenever you want to play. This is going to really help a number of things. One I suppose is load times, although from what I've seen they're already trading off here and there with the PC version. The disc won't be spinning, which should alleviate unnecessary noise from some of the louder DVD drives. It should also help extend the life of 360s that are still at risk of RROD (because certain issues relate to the DVD drive itself). The other thing is that the common issue of PSU discs becoming unplayable (whether by wearing out or by freezing at certain points in the game) should not be as much of a problem anymore. This has been more of an issue as time goes on with the worsening availability of the original PSU for 360.

- Dashboard built into new guide. [As long as you have the PSU disc in the tray] You can launch PSU instantly from doing anything else. You could be watching a video or playing an XBLA game and be able to just launch PSU without going back to the normal navigation screen.

- 16x10 resolutions. Over VGA or HDMI, 1440x900 and 1680x1050 will be possible.

A few other interesting points are listed in the post below.

Gamerscore Blog Post

Friday, July 11, 2008

General: No Maintenance for July 11th

Rather obvious at this point, but there will once again not be maintenance this week. Next week the server move will occur and after which there should hopefully be a fairly hefty update.

JP 360 Page

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Japan: PC/PS2 Update for July 10th

This week's update (translated by EspioKaos):

Shred the Darkness missions (sth note: July 10th to 24th)
The Fourth Seal C-S2
In order to activate the fourth confinement system, a photon generator must be installed on Rykros. A new SEED core species and a Dulk Fakis are all that stand in our way. Purify them and start the system!

Dark Crystal Seeker
New items will be added to this exchange mission.

Shred the Darkness prologue mission
This mission will be updated to give details on The Fourth Seal.

GUARDIANS Boost Road - Gurhal Drop Boost
Running from July 10 through July 24, this GBR will be for the following missions:
Roar of the Fiery Beast
Divine Offensive
The Fourth Seal

New items
Many new weapons, line shields and room decorations will be added.

Rare enemy change (sth note: July 10th to 24th)
Jaggo Actes are being released until the end of the event to coincide
with the Holy Light Festival on Neudaiz.
Having a GBR for an event is definately new. It's all still pretty much stuff for the current event though.

By the way, I've been meaning to post this since it went up, but I've been a bit busy. It shouldn't be too much longer before I'm back in the swing of things.

Update: Almost forgot to mention the current unlocks. Three more have been since the last update. 80 million is 50% off clothes and parts for 2 weeks. After this point a new group of boxes became viewable. 100 million was found to be an update to the Magashi event mission. 120 million is free Lumilass for 2 weeks.

Update: A post was put up about another billing maintenance period. Hopefully they can manage to work out all the issues they've been having over there.

Update: JP put up a page with short profiles of many of their GMs. I suppose it's mostly to familiarize players with the event BOYS and GIRLS.

Update: Link added for post update notes. There have been a few design changes and a bugfix. I might have more details on this later. I've also added a note about billing maintenance for next week. For around 3 hours on Wednesday (Tuesday US time) you will not be able to purchase a subscription. It shouldn't affect gameplay though.

On a separate note, they are opening artist submissions for this year's PSU anniversary event. The contest will work pretty much the same as last year's. July 11th through August 16th are the submission dates. They'll announce and display the results during the event in September.

JP Update Page
PSUPf Thread
PSOW UA6 Thread
Shred the Darkness on PSUP
UA6 Homepage
Billing Maintenance
Event Characters
End Maintenance
Illustration Contest

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

General: Mission Spotlight for This Week and More Details

This week the GMs will be appearing in some runs of Bruce's Dungeon. Moatoob's GUARDIANS Branch will of course be the place to be. The applicable universes are 2 for PC/PS2 and 1 through 4 for Xbox 360.

There is now a FAQ that answers some common questions relating to the events. Most notably, it seems that European players participating will have no problems receiving real life prizes.

Update: Added a thread polling users for the next Mission Spotlight selection.

Update: The mission spotlight page has been updated appropriately for Bruce's Dungeon week. It also appears that next week's mission may end up being The Egg Theives from the current poll numbers.

Mission Spotlight Page
FAQ Thread
Mission Spotlight for July 7th to 13th
Poll Thread

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

General: No Maintenance for July 4th

JP is reporting that there won't be maintenance this week for the 360 servers. There most likely won't be for PC/PS2 either, but this hasn't been confirmed yet.

Remember that this week will be the end of the current seasonal lobbies. Any last Jaggo Sonichi hunts or Parum Unity Souvenir purchases should be taken care of by then.

Update: EspioKaos made me realize something. Since the servers aren't going down they'd have to leave some stuff in tact, most notably the fact that the Parum Unity Souvenir will still be in the shops until July 18th. The lobbies/Jaggos should have no problem disappearing though.

Update: Seems there was not a maintenance for PC/PS2 either.

Update: Here's the link to JP's update page for June 20th again. They've updated it to mention that the Parum Unity Souvenir would still be sold until July 18th. I didn't make this clear earlier.

JP 360 No Maintenance
JP 360 Update Page for June 20th

Japan: PC/PS2 Update for July 3rd

Care of EspioKaos, here is this week's update:

Event missions
Shred the Darkness continues as the next event mission is released.

Divine Offensive C-S2 (sth note: Available July 3rd to July 24th)
Reports of a massive outbreak of SEED-Forms have come in from COG Armed Servants at the Neudaiz confinement system. Intercept the monsters as they approach and above all else, protect the photon generator terminal!

The tutorial mission, "Shred the Darkness," has also been updated to add new information on the above-listed mission. (sth note: Available June 26th to July 24th)

New items
Many new weapons and line shields will drop from this new mission.
Also, there have been some milestones hit in the past week. 20 million was 2 weeks of 3 star photon fortune. 40 million was 500 ballpoint pens that will be handed out at random. 60 million was the Sonic jukebox disc. It looks like JP doesn't have much father to go until they hit the last listed milestone (80 million).

A bit earlier this week Sonic Team posted about the continuing billing issues affecting their local playerbase. I've linked this below as well. It's received two updates since and it will probably get more.

Update: Maintenance is over and the notes are out. There are a few notes about fixed and still existing bugs (mostly with the event missions). I'll elaborate more soon.

Update: Thanks to EspioKaos again for the translation of the notes:
Divine Offensive
* In the first three blocks of this mission, if you drop multiple items from your inventory consecutively, the items will not space themselves out as they would in any other mission. Instead, they all pile up on one another, making it difficult to see which items have been dropped, and likewise making it hard to pick up a dropped item.
* The bug will be addressed, but players are being asked to be careful when dropping unwanted items from their inventory.

Gol Dolva drops
* Gol Dolvas in the first event mission, Roar of the Fiery Beast, were affected by a bug which caused them to never drop anything from their specific drop chart. This has been corrected.

Various other fixes
* A bug which caused rare missions to not appear at the Ohtoku City Flyer Base and COG: Pavilion of Air mission counters has been corrected.
* Due to this and the Gol Dolva bug, rare item drop rates (only for items that drop from boxes and breakable environmental objects) have been increased in both Roar of the Fiery Beast and Divine Offensive for the duration of the event.

New bugs
* Upon returning to the lobby after completing Fires of Illusion/Phantom Fissure/Gaping Volcanic Crevasse of Illusion/whatever name you prefer when accepted from either COG: Pavilion of Air or Ohtoku Flyer Base, you will be placed in front of the PPT Spaceport, not the correct mission counter that the mission was initiated from. (Minor inconvenience, but it should be fixed in an upcoming update.)
The event bases issues should be fixed by time we receive this one. Hopefully the rare mission issues will be corrected by time we receive it in Neudaiz GBR.

JP Update Page
PSOW Thread
PSUP Thread
UA6 Homepage
PSOW UA6 Thread
PSUP UA6 Section
Billing Issues
Game Server Update