Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Japan: PC/PS2 Update for February 28th

This one is pretty significant as it starts off Mission Carnival. Here's the short list:

- Valentine's / MC lobbies (Feb 28th to Mar 13th) [PSUv1]
- MC will be held from Feb 28th to Apr 3rd
* Puzzle mission C-S (Feb 28th to Apr 3rd) [One player can clear, but 3 or more recommended]
* Bonus mission (Feb 28th to March 13th and March 27th to Apr 3rd) [Survival/Endurance mission]
* Exchange mission (Feb 28th to Apr 3rd) [Standard reward redemption counter]
* Party formation mission (Feb 28th to Apr 3rd) [Usual area for making parties]
- New clothes and parts
- New room items
- Mt. Ohtoku box additions
- Implementation of the recently announced balance adjustments [PSUv1 mostly]

Update: Another page has gone up detailing some system changes.

Update: Now that the MC is running, the Dengeki page has been updated. CHILLAX!

They mention more of the event rewards, including the premiere of the Holy Ray from PSO.

Update: I don't believe I've done this much, but I've linked the recently posted defect notice. Sometimes ST will list problems that are added/still present after uploading content so that players can be aware of certain issues and look forward to fixes.

Update: The server update page has added a note about triggers on the PS2 and PC versions.

Update: A post has been added about an emergency maintenance. This is to fix the mentioned defects.

Update: The emergency maintenance is finished and the corrections have been made.

JP Update Page
JP Server Update Page
JP Defect Notification
JP Emergency Maintenance
JP Emergency Maintenance End
Dengeki Page
Balance Adjustments

General: Update for February 29th

Here's what we'll be getting for this Friday:

- Episode 3 Chapter 3 (Located at GC 5th Floor)
- The Black Nest C-S (Located at GC Dallgun Viewing Plaza)
- A new midpoint lobby (After the new mission)
- More items at The Collector (Located on Parum in West Holtes City)
- Items include PM food items as well as more relocation tickets (list is currently in blue at PSUP)

This seems to be the combination of JP's Dec 6th and Jan 24th updates and all seem to be AotI.

Update: It seems JP is getting the balance updates this week. It's possible they could still tag them on this week or perhaps next week for us. In the past, we've seen similar updates very quickly (same week on occasion). The only issue is whether or not a patch is required. Usually they'll apply some of these kinds of changes to the offline mode as well (in which case they'll need one).

EN Update Page
JP 360 Update Page
The Black Nest Info at PSUP
The Collector Info at PSUP

Saturday, February 23, 2008

PS2/PC: AVG GameGuard Conflict

Normally AVG is a pretty nice free security program without causing trouble for PSU (and PSOBB), however a certain update to the program is not allowing GG to start up and run correctly. This of course prevents users from playing the game.

What you want to do is turn off AVG's Resident Shield while you boot up PSU. This part scans active processes. You can apparently turn it back on once you are in PSU. For more details and instructions, please visit the links below.

Discussion Topic
Discussion Topic 2
JP Note
AVG Free

Friday, February 22, 2008

PS2/PC: Emergency Maintenance and Rollback

There was another maintenance and rollback (to last night's maintenance) today to account for misplaced data that entered the servers. Part of what would have been next week's update went out (most specifically "The Collector" items) and was corrupted. Apparently one of the items could wipe a player's inventory. You can find out more at the links below.

Official Announcement
Announcement Thread
Official Forum Topic
Official Forum Topic 2
Official Forum Topic 3
Official Forum Topic 4
PSOW Topic

Japan: Sales Campaigns and Dengeki Event

There are going to be a few offers open soon for new users of PSU and those upgrading to AotI. One of these will introduce a dark version of the Soniti Range-MAG (formerly/JP known as shadoogs). Other offers include free or extended play time.

Also, the official page has just been posted for the Mission Carnival coming in March. The event outline and GM event sections are currently open. More thorough descriptions of the prior mentioned quests are given along with some screenshots of a few of the event missions and rewards.

JP Sales Campaigns
Dengeki MC Page

Japan: Future Photon Art Tweaking

As promised, ST has worked out some balances to PAs for February. However, it is unknown exactly when they will be arriving. There is only next week if they are still coming this month. EN servers will most likely get them fairly soon as well. These types of updates normally come around the same time. Here's EspioKaos with the translation:

After receiving numerous suggestions from users, our development team has decided to various aspects of game play. We plan on implementing these at some point between the end of February and March.

Chikki Kyoren-jin adjustment
* The base ATP of the first attack will be changed from 202% to 161%.
* The base ATP of the second attack will be changed from 342% to 182%.
* PP cost will be reduced.

Adjustment to swords
* The number of targets a sword can hit (with normal and photon art attacks) will be increased.

Adjustment to rifles
* Elemental rifle bullets will see an increase in elemental percentage, ATP and ATA.
* Killer Shot at LV31+ will receive a PP cost reduction.
* All elemental rifle bullets at LV31+ will receive the knockdown effect. (Of course, this does not apply to enemies which cannot be knocked over.)
* Non-elemental bullets (Killer Shot, Mayalee Shot) will not receive the added knockdown effect. (2/22 Note)
* Likewise, non-elemental rifle bullets will not see an increase in ATP or ATA. (2/22 Note)

Adjustments to laser cannons
* The elemental percentage of laser cannon bullets at low levels will be increased.

Guntecher adjustments
* Guntechers will be able to equip S rank wands.
* Guntechers' attack TECHNIC cap will be increased from LV20 to LV30.
* Their base TP will be increased.

Photon art EXP adjustments
* EXP payout for photon arts will be increased.
* Bullets in particular will receive an even larger EXP increase.

I'm sure a lot of gunners are going to appreciate this update when it arrives.

Update: There have been a few more mentions of bullet changes as of Feb 22nd.

JP Announcement

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

General: No Update This Week

chillaura says that the content thought to be coming this week will actually be available next week. From what it sounds like to me, it's the same as or at least similar to JP's Dec 6th update.

Discussion Thread

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Xbox 360: Edit Your Personal Profile Online

In the last dashboard update, MS added the ability to post another name, location, and a short bio for yourself. Now it's possible to do it at xbox.com. A sort of minor thing, but I'm sure someone will find it convenient.

Edit Personal Profile
Major Nelson's Post

Friday, February 15, 2008

Xbox 360: Title Update Notes

EspioKaos has been kind enough to translate the patch notes for the title update we got this morning:

Game is Ver.2.0001.2 now (Click the left stick on the title screen to see it) (S-T-H's Note)

Maintenance notes

* The GUARDIANS Boost Road (Moatoob Drop Boost) has begun officially. (This event was mistakenly released on February 8th and any points acquired between then and February 15th's update will be reset.)
* Meseta drop calculations were adjusted so that only players in the field would have an effect on it.
* NPCs exclusive to Ambition of the Illuminus appeared as a default character to those who played only the original PSU. This has been changed so that the displayed character is the blue model shown when a character model is loading.
* You will be given an "unable to login" message when attempting to connect to the game servers if you have not received the title update.
* The initial value of the fee to play the Photon Gacha has been changed from 1 Meseta to 99,999,999 Meseta.
* The conditional shop search has been updated so that the default sort setting is "Price" as opposed to "None."

Forest of Illusion C-S has been added (Official note added 2/16 3:10 AM PST) (S-T-H's Note)

* The rare free mission "Forest of Illusion" was released for Moatoob.
* This mission is not selectable from one specific counter. It has a chance of appearing at any mission counter on Moatoob.
* This rare free mission has a chance of appearing after the completion of any mission with a trial (free mission, party mission, etc.). Repeatedly going in and out of a mission counter will not make it appear.
* Abandoning a rare free mission after completing it will not allow you to replay the mission.
* We deeply apologize for neglecting to mention the above information earlier.

Bug fixes

* Lock-ups caused by going in and out of certain mission counters have been fixed.
* The Photon Gacha message is now completely displayed. (S-T-H Note: This didn't affect JP players)
* With the above bug fix, Photon Gachas are once again functional.
* When using a memory unit to play on another console, there was a bug with the message "Do you want to play Ambition of the Illuminus?" that was displayed.
* A bug that only displayed part of the information on Illuminus-exclusive items in a player shop viewed by a non-Illuminus player was corrected.
* EXP values from defeating an enemy displayed improperly to players of the original PSU who had reached the level cap. This has been corrected. (Update)
* When PSU players viewed mission data for an Illuminus-exclusive mission at a mission counter, the image displayed in the upper-right of the screen has been changed to only display the GUARDIANS logo instead of the map graphic that is displayed for those playing the expansion. (Update)
* The bug causing certain AotI decorations' effects to not display properly has been corrected.
* A bug that allowed players other than the room owner to set the alarm of the Modern Clock has been resolved.
* A bug which caused Mother Brain to speak in Japanese to players who were not playing the Japanese version has been corrected.
* There was a bug which caused status effects to not display properly when inflicted with one while in first-person mode. This has been rectified.
* The bug causing Casino Voloyal's fanfare to be heard in the Granigs Mine lobby has been fixed.

In other news, it seems as if the machine gun exploit has been somewhat taken care of. At the very least PP will drain properly from the gun, making using the glitch pretty much useless. Also, players are reporting that the well known robot slowdown issue (which is assumed to be a memory leak) still exists. However, there are others that say that it doesn't. I'm going to look into this further. In addition, it doesn't seem that chatpad (messenger kit) functionality has been patched in yet.

Unfortunately, I can't check at the moment if there have been additional undocumented changes. I'll be sure to post about anything I find when the time comes.

As a bit of a bonus note, Forest of Illusion has in fact been added to the 360 side. This means that everyone happens to be caught up as of this morning. The update confusion is cleared up for now.

Update: Missing items added to the list.

JP Title Update Notes
EN Notes
Other EN Notes
FoI Announcement

Other: 1UP's 20 Years of Phantasy Star

1UP has done a bit of a feature on the history of Phantasy Star, what with it being 20 now. However, they don't mention PSO or PSU, just the older titles in the series. Anyone that participated in the 1UP Cup or saw that they rated De Rol Le the 8th best boss will find this somewhat strange.

1UP Feature Page
Podcast Page (Episode 36)
EGM's Top Ten Bosses

Japan: PC/PS2 Update for February 21st

The update for this coming week has already been posted. Here's the breakdown:

- Episode 3 Chapter 5 (Guardians Colony 5th Floor)
- S Rank Her Secret Mission (Neudaiz Guardians Branch)
- Party formation mission (Neudaiz Guardians Branch)
- New weapons

As with Bruce's Dungeon, the S version of HSM is AotI exclusive.

JP Update Page

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast XXIV

The latest episode is here featuring a PSO Episode 4 theme. This one is shorter than usual, but the next one should make up for it. It looks as if they are going to consider the next episode as the 'season finale', so make sure to tune in for what should be an epic one.

Podcast at Switchpod (Also on iTunes)
Discussion Thread

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Japan: PC/PS2 Update for December 13th

This is one of the two major posts that I meant to make, but for some reason hadn't gotten around to. This one in particular is about 2 months old now, but I of course need it for completion. I also modified some information in some other older posts. I expect that the official announcement for Maximum Attack G should be soon for EN players, so the timing isn't all that bad. Sorry for neglecting it. Here's the bulletpoints:

- Maximum Attack G C-S (Guardians Colony 5th Floor)
* Event runs from Dec 13th through Jan 10th and features a 2.5 times experience multiplier
* The aim was 100 million kills, however JP received prizes up to 400 million
* This event features excerpts of maps from the first version of PSO
- Event item exchange missions for trading in earned weapons badges (Guardians Colony 5th Floor)
* One is a lottery where you can exchange a gold badge for a chance at a number of items
* The other is a shop to simply exchange gold badges for items (similar to prior events)
- MAG/PS20th posters in the lobbies (Dec 13th through Dec 20th) [PSUv1]
- Christmas lobbies (Dec 13th through Dec 27th) [PSUv1]
- New weapons and armor
- New clothes and parts (HUmar, HUnewearl, RAcast, and HUcaseal PSO outfits are pictured)
- New My Room items
- Casino rotation
- Meseta drop calculations only include those inside the mission [PSUv1]
- Technique PAs have their casting times adjusted (specific info at EN update link) [PSUv1]
- RA techniques level 31 and over target 4 enemies instead of 3 [PSUv1]
- Performance of Rods adjusted (techniques boosted 20%) [PSUv1]
- Vol brothers drops adjusted/changed [PSUv1]

We should now have all of the system changes that are mentioned, most of them went out around when JP got them. Screenshots of MAG as well as more specific information about prizes and such can be found at the links below. My personal prediction is that we'll see MAG during March on the EN side.

I really wish I would have left a placeholder for this post. You might even see this one replace a nonessential post somewhere relevant in Dec. I may also shove it in with the Dec 6th or 20th update, so if it disappears that's where it'll be.

Update: RAmar and FOnewearl outfits were also available at the start of MAG.

Update: Pictures have been posted by the GMs. I've added a link directly to it, but it's on the MAG page.

JP Update Page
Official JP MAG Page
GM Event Report
EN Update Page for Dec 11th
4Gamer MAG Screenshots and Info
Kamica's MAG Thread at PSOW

General: Update for February 15th

I've already integrated many of the changes that have been confirmed into the update tracking post, but this is a simple recap. There isn't much that is 'new', mostly just catch up on both sides.


- Title Update (applies to original PSU as well)
- GBR points will reset and it will work as intended (applies partially to original PSU)
- Caves of Ice S2
- Awoken Serpent S2
- New My Room items (perhaps the entire item update wasn't added last time)
- New Mt. Ohtoku box items
- PM EX devices
- NanoTrancer EX item
- Forest of Illusion will be out on Feb 22nd (as originally intended)
- Maintenance is planned to be an hour longer than usual


- Casino outfits available for female characters
- New My Room items in the variety shop as well as another Casino rotation
- PM EX devices
- NanoTrancer EX item

GBR will last until March 13th. This bulletpoints for PC/PS2 haven't appeared on the official site yet, however it was mentioned that they would be caught up this week and those are the missing items. For more details on certain items, check the prior posts I've made for the Feb 1st and Feb 8th updates.

This should clean up the majority of JP's Nov 22nd and Jan 17th updates. At this point, I think we should be going back to start picking up their Dec updates.

Update: The one item is called Nanotranser X inside the game.

Update Tracking
360 Update News Item
JP 360 Update Page
JP 360 Maintenance Extension

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Xbox 360: Title Update Approved

We should be pretty much caught up this Friday. MS has approved the patch and it looks like they are putting in the rest of what was missing. I've already laid out the missing content in the 'Update Tracking' post I wrote recently and I've since updated it.

Official Announcement
Update Tracking

Japan: PC/PS2 Update for February 14th

The weekly updates continue once again. This week concerns the following:

- Valentine's lobbies and rappies (will run through the 28th) [PSUv1]
- New field
- New midpoint lobby
- New free mission C-S
- New EX PM models (battle stat required)
* EX GH461 (40)
* EX GH465 (50)
- Casino rotation
- New My Room items
- Mt. Ohtoku box updated

The rest are of course AotI exclusive. The new free mission looks particularly interesting. The 46X line of PM devices are all beach ready. Pictures of other, unreleased ones can be found at PSUP.

JP Update Page
GH 46X Series at PSUP

Monday, February 11, 2008

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast XXIII

After numberous issues during editing, the latest episode has arrived! This one features the guild 'The Brigade of the Hidden Shadow' as well as a guide for GBR and the usual.

Podcast at Switchpod (Also on iTunes)
Discussion Thread

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Comic: (#1) Newman Knights

(Comic taken down for the time being)

Alright, I'm not really launching anything here, this is just a test of a couple things. I was considering having some more pictures around relevant to the posts other than a straight up strip or anything. This is sort of a first attempt at seeing how well I could do the text boxes in MSPaint as well as how well I could preserve some content through format changes. This particular format is based off the character interactions on some of Sonic Team's pages about GM events and user friendly FAQs. The characters come from the most recent JP Fansite Kit (about a week old, I didn't post about it yet). You may recognize them from the recent JP RSS I just put on the side. I actually saw some really well done fan made SD characters recently, both of these are linked below.

So of course this is relevant to the Newman Knights event that happened about a week ago. The characters Karen (dressed as the divine maiden - refer to Episode 1) and Maya came around to various lobbies to hand out some gifts. GMs were also present and gave out some interesting information on what to expect in the near future. However, as with similar past events, the population happened to get quite excited and all but suffocated said characters.

Things I'm currently not promising to come out of this:

- consistency
- frequency
- lulz
- #2

JP Fansite Kit (It's the big orange button)
illintent's SD Characters
Official Newman Knights Discussion Thread
Human Maya

Saturday, February 9, 2008

General: Note About Appealing a Ban

The mega thread (that capped out at 41 pages) about the grinder exploit has finally been locked again. But not before chillaura could make this comment:

"We are trying to keep up with an ever changing update schedule, billing system issues, and can not ignore other cheating and harassment issues.

Getting more details on your individual cheat activities and grinder disposal methods will take some developer time, and we want them fixing bugs and staying on schedule. The two-months-delayed gacha victim compensation and one-month-delayed "my room" hacking compensation are also priorities and waiting for Sonic Team to resolve.

If you still want us to work on your appeals please give us some time to get everything else in order. We have already brought in more staff to get this accomplished."
I thought that perhaps the earlier post I made gave the impression that they weren't accepting any more appeals from users that thought their ban was unjust. The whole thing is that they just have a lot to handle at the moment, so you shouldn't expect them to get to it right away.

I still hope they can figure out a good way of tossing out the excess grinders.

Discussion Thread

Friday, February 8, 2008

Xbox 360: GBR Starts Officially on February 15th

The points earned for GBR so far will be reset during the next maintenance. Also, there may be a poll soon for possible rewards after the team manages to fix PSU's current issues. Read more at the link below.

Update: This now only applies to the 360 version. The PC/PS2 version has actually started already.

Official Announcement
Announcement Thread

Discussion Thread
JP Announcement

General: Update Tracking

This is going to be a post where I list the updates for Feb 1st and Feb 8th (maybe later if necessary) and which platforms have received which content and when. It's starting to get pretty weird, so I thought it might help. There may be some mistakes which I'll correct as soon I catch them.

February 1st:

- Episode 3 Chapter 2: PC/PS2 on Feb 1st, 360 on Feb 8th
- Parum item exchange mission: PC/PS2 on Feb 1st, 360 on Feb 8th
- New clothes and parts (color variations): PC/PS2 on Feb 1st, 360 on Feb 8th
- New Mt. Ohtoku box items: PC/PS2 on Feb 1st, 360 on Feb 15th
- Meseta update: PC/PS2 on Feb 1st, 360 on Feb 8th
- PSUv1 missions updated with same droprates as AotI ones: PC/PS2 on Feb 1st, 360 on Feb 8th
- Drop changes to some AotI enemies: PC/PS2 on Feb 1st, 360 on Feb 8th
- Rare materials from containers more common in missions with level 125+ enemies: PC/PS2 on Feb 1st, 360 on Feb 8th
- Xbox 360 title update: Feb 15th

February 8th:

- Moatoob Guardians Boost Road: PC/PS2 on Feb 8th, 360 on Feb 8th (points reset on Feb 15th)
- Valentine's Lobby and Rappies: PC/PS2 on Feb 8th, 360 on Feb 8th
- Caves of Ice S2: PC/PS2 on Feb 8th, 360 on Feb 15th
- Awoken Serpent S2: PC/PS2 on Feb 8th, 360 on Feb 15th
- Forest of Illusion C to S: PC/PS2 on Feb 8th, 360 on Feb 15th
- Casino outfits available for female characters: PC/PS2 on Feb 15th, 360 on Feb 8th
- New My Room items in the variety shop as well as another Casino rotation: PC/PS2 on Feb 15th, 360 on Feb 8th/15th
- PM EX devices: Feb 15th
- NanoTrancer EX item: Feb 15th (confirmed to only be 500)

Update: Forest of Illusion is confirmed for PC/PS2. GBR is also confirmed for PC/PS2 and 360. New Mt. Ohtoku items not yet found on 360. chillaura mentions that things should be resolved by next week.

GBR seems to not be working quite the way it should be (at least on 360). I'll update when I find out more.

Update: The post right above this one explains in part what they plan on doing with GBR.

Update: PC/PS2 GBR is official, 360 is out but the points will be reset next week.

Update: 360 patch and content uploads confirmed for Feb 15th. FoI won't be out until Feb 22nd.

Update: Mt. Ohtoku box additions for 360 confirmed for Feb 15th. GBR will last until March 13th.

Update: Assuming the last of the content missing from PC/PS2 has been added according to chillaura.

Update: FoI has been confirmed for 360 as of the Feb 15th maintenance. It seems that now everything is resolved.

Update: The one item is called Nanotranser X inside the game.

Forest of Illusion Not Delayed Thread
Forest of Illusion Appearance FAQ Thread
GBR Point Guide Thread
Official Announcement for 360 Feb 15th Update
JP 360 Update Page for Feb 15th

Thursday, February 7, 2008

PS2/PC: February 8th Update Delayed

This Friday's update will be delayed due to a bug that was unable to be fixed in time for maintenance.

Update: Users have already found certain new content to be available regardless:

- Valentine's Lobby (Holiday Rappies will be in effect with special drops)
- Caves of Ice S2 [AotI]
- Awoken Serpent S2 [AotI]

Anything not put up this week will probably appear by time the next one rolls around. This is all starting to get quite confusing. Hopefully we'll be on track in a week or two.

Official Announcement
Announcement Thread
Discussion Thread

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Xbox 360: More Information on Content and Title Update Delay

The title update has been resubmitted to MS and will hopefully be available during next week's maintenance. As far as I know, it takes at least 2 weeks to certify these types of patches. However, Sonic Team is going to have a content update of everything they can that doesn't require the patch. The following will be available on Friday:

- Valentine's Lobby (Holiday Rappies will be in effect with special drops, runs until March 7th)
- Episode 3 Chapter 2 [AotI]
- Parum item exchange mission (West district café)
- New clothes and parts (color variations) [AotI]
- The announcement thread mentions new variety shop items as well [AotI]
- Casino room items and music disks with the normal rotation [AotI]
- Game balance updates (read announcement thread)

This seems to cover most of the Feb 1st update, with a little bit of the Feb 8th one. The only part that wasn't listed from Feb 1st was the Mt. Ohtoku box update. We might also receive the Casino outfits from Feb 8th. There is a chance that they were skimmed over or implied, but I can't say for sure. Still, I assume they are doing what they can to be caught up by next week.

Official Announcement
Announcement Thread
Discussion Thread
JP 360 Update Page

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

General: Grinder Glitch Fix

chillaura (again):

"We got an update tonight from Sonic Team. The server side fix was effective, no more duplicated grinders detected since last maintenance."
I just hope that they can manage to do something about all the extra ones floating around.

Announcement Thread
Discussion Thread

General: More Support Staff

To quote chillaura:

"Over the last few months there have been a number of changes at SEGA. One of the changes that will affect this community is the growth of SEGA's customer support team.

I am happy to announce that Max and Edward from SEGA customer support will be joining us to help with Phantasy Star Universe technical support, accounts and billing, and other issues. While the Phantasy Star Universe Game Masters will still deal with investigating game play issues and abusive behavior reports -- for billing, networking, and other technical issues please contact Max or Edward by using the Sega Knowledge Base here: http://sega-us.custhelp.com/"
Sega seems to be putting a bit more focus into PSU. With everything going on recently, I'm sure it'll free up some pressure over there.

Announcement Thread
Discussion Thread

Japan: PC/PS2 Update for February 7th

Here's a breakdown:

- Due to a recent bug in the game (it's fixed now), players will have 3 star PF from the 7th until the 21st
- Party Mission C-S (Parum Guardians Branch)
- Party Formation Mission (Parum Guardians Branch)
- New weapons

These seem to all be AotI exclusive, however not much information is given about the missions. The content updates seem to be weekly now. In turn, the EN updates also seem to be starting to be weekly. Either they are pushing out more content or they are just dividing it up well. I sorta like the idea of having at least a couple things each week. Hopefully we'll see this continue for at least a while.

JP Update Page

Monday, February 4, 2008

General: Last Grinder Glitch Bannings Update

chillaura writes:

"Grinder Duplication Exploit Final Update:

We have decided to keep the 281 bans we announced last week permanent. To clear up any confusion about your account and billing status these will be reported to Microsoft, but SEGA is not asking them to do anything else with the information.

After more thought and deliberation we unfortunately had to base our final decision on the need to put our resources and time to help other users and solve other problems. While a permanent ban for one time offenders is harsh, we can not give you all equal and fair appeals based on what you did with the items you duplicated or previous problems.

Please be aware that there is little other then account banning that we can use to police this game, especially on the Xbox 360 where players can not be identified by or contacted by SEGA. We are painfully aware of our own limitations in this matter, but still feel that a mass banning of item duplicators will be better for the game at this point then doing nothing. We have not given up on this game and have a lot of work ahead of us to keep the improvements coming."
This is apparently the decision that was announced for Monday.

Announcement Thread
Discussion Thread

Sunday, February 3, 2008

General: Update for February 8th

A few days ago, Sega posted the details for the update planned for this coming Friday. I thought I would wait to post it until after the most current update. Unfortunately, the 360 servers have not received the most current update yet (for reasons mentioned earlier). However, they hope to have the 360 servers caught up with this update as they plan to release both sets of content. Here's a breakdown:

- Guardians Boost Road (System Defense, Desert Terror, Tunnel Recapture, Caves of Ice, Awoken Serpent)
- Valentine's Lobby (Holiday Rappies will be in effect with special drops)
- Caves of Ice S2 [AotI]
- Awoken Serpent S2 [AotI]
- Forest of Illusion C to S (Rare Moatoob mission resembling PSO's Forest) [AotI]
- Casino outfits available for female characters [AotI]
- New My Room items in the variety shop as well as another Casino rotation [AotI]
- PM EX devices (more evolution items) [AotI]
- NanoTrancer EX item (expand your PM's inventory by 50) [AotI]

It seems that we are skipping Parum's GBR (at least for now) and heading straight for Moatoob. JP is actually right in the middle of this same event. It was not said how long ours would last, but JP's lasts for a month and a half. More information can be found on the update page. A notice in JP mentioned the PSUv1 missions will give 2x the MP. The last two missions are AotI exclusive.

This release covers the rest of JP's Nov 22nd content update. Then it manages to pick up some significant content from their Jan 17th update. In fact, the only major part of this update we'd be missing is the type level cap increase from 15 to 20. Oddly enough, I don't see any additions from the three JP updates between these two.

Depending on if there is an update for JP this week, we'll be 5 or 6 updates behind. This isn't too bad however, as they've been getting weekly updates for the past month. Some of these are small though and may even end up being combined for us.

Update: Forest of Illusion has been delayed on both servers until the February 22nd content update.

Update: Maximum EX device usage confirmed to be 500 slots.

Update: The one item is called Nanotranser X inside the game.

EN Update Page
Forest of Illusion on PSUP
FoI Delay Discussion Thread
JP 360 Update Page

Friday, February 1, 2008

General: Support Situation in a Nutshell

Soon I should just make a chillaura section. Regardless, he's been very vocal recently about things.

"First of all I want to say again we only targeted players who duplicated more then a few grinders (no I won't say the threshold you are allowed to cheat by) but if you are absolutely sure we made a mistake in your case or if you know you are guilty and want to plead for mercy use the support contact form and we will follow up when we can.

Second there are still a number of victims of the photon gacha scam, and the razor/nobody hacking spree, that are waiting for Sonic Team to resolve their issues. This stunt really did screw over their chances to have their issues looked at this week. Don't expect us to put your issue ahead of theirs anymore. Other customer support requests may also deserve our attention more than yours.

Anyone making a new account for honest play, or who already had a second account on their Xbox, we will not go after you preemptively but if you are reported for any offense we can always link you back to your old account so be on your best behavior. This is not official but just a statement of fact that as long as you are not causing more trouble we have other things we would like to do to help the community then try to stop you from logging in to PSU.

For now please wait for a final response next week. While everyone at SEGA agrees this needs a strong response, we are still thinking over what else we can do to resolve this without wasting developer and support time that should go to the honest players."
There you have it. They have lots of things to take care of and they're trying to organize priorities. I hope that the recently activated SoA blog will result in more communication from his end like this. I also hope that this situation will blow over quickly so I can get back to focusing on the more positive sides of the game and community.

Discussion Thread

Xbox 360: Achievements for AotI

The achievements for the expansion have been reset and corrected. You will have to earn them again, however they will now display as intended. They are recognized on xbox.com and included in your gamerscore.

Update: You may have to recover your gamertag/profile before this will work.

General: Grinder Glitch Bannings Update

Quoting chillaura:

"Today we banned 250 more accounts for duplicating grinders. Some players are already trying to contact us to plead mercy, others are convinced we made a mistake in their case. Along with the 32 banned players previously mentioned, these bans are based on the game logs and not who was selling grinders or who was reported to be glitching in the shops.

For now you can contact us about your ban at:

Put your partner card id number and the word banned in the "Brief Summary of the problem:" field will help us respond as fast as we can.

Due to the incredibly high volume of reports over this incident and other problems it will be very tough to do any double checking right away."
In another thread:
"There should be no more players in a time released suspension at this point.

If it says your access is disabled then I am afraid you were on our list of confirmed glitchers. While I do feel bad for anyone who cheated to get a few stacks of grinders and stopped there, you should have known better."
Seems to be getting quite serious now. Next time maybe these people won't try to ruin a game's economy.

chillaura's Thread
Discussion Thread

Xbox 360: Title Update and Content Update Delayed

Due to a bug, the title update that was meant to go up this morning has been delayed. This update unfortunately was needed for the content update that was also supposed to go up.

As a result, the Winter Event as well as 3 star photon fortune will continue until this matter is resolved. However, they claim to be working as fast as possible to get everything handled with MS.

In reponse to the expected disappointment of some players, a few of the admins responded further.

Here's eggshen:

"The issue resides within the title update. This is not something we are even 100% in control of as it has to go through MS as well and any fixes must be seen through on their end before anything can go live. So just keeping the servers down and staring at code is not a solution to the issue at hand unfortunately.

All the content will be delivered as promised as soon as the title update can be resolved, tested, approved and released."
Here's chillaura:

"First of all both the North American and Japanese testers checked the Title Update thoroughly over the last month on partnernet. The issues appeared only when it was put on Xbox live. This is the way online content is tested for the Xbox 360. The problem is both technical and political and we do not have the power to force MS to change their bureaucracy.

We have been told by Sonic Team that they have pushed MS to get the delayed Title Update approved for next weeks maintenance. When I get an updated schedule I will let you know if you will also be getting the Valentines content, as we want to get caught up to our schedule as soon as possible."
The mentioned content already has details available which I will be posting soon. They were actually available before the most recent update went up, but I figured to wait until this one was out before posting it. It looks like ideally it will be combined with the current delayed update for next week.

Update: Clumsyorchid also weighs in on the situation in the thread, but this post is already getting a bit long as it is, so check it out in the link.

Official Announcement
eggshen's Thread
Admin Responses

General: Winter Event Wrap Up

The Winter Event (known in JP as the Thanks Festa) as well as the stream of 3 star photon fortune is now over (after three full weeks).

Here's the links I kept on the side:

Mims' Disk Guide
PSUP General Guide
PSUP The Protectors α Guide
PSUP The Protectors ß Guide

We didn't see anything more than the missions themselves this time around, so that's about it. Next up should be our version of Maximum Attack G!

Podcast: PSU Community Podcast XXII

This one features an interview with forum user BGO as well as a Sonic theme. You can expect the normal inclusions as well.

Podcast at Switchpod (Also on iTunes)
Discussion Thread