So here's the point in time today that I went from happy and relaxed to legitimately miserable in about 30 seconds of disbelief and horror. It's 12 hours on and I'm still struggling to think. I went offline for most of the day and have just not wanted to do anything. I haven't even been able to finish watching Prologue 2. I've tried four times now and walked away every time.
You all know why. You all knew I'd complain. After all the damage and unhappiness the exclusionary closed and open betas and even six weeks post-launch with PSO2 itself last year it's all happening again and a word to accurately describe my thoughts right now does not exist.
Maybe everyone will be allowed to sign up this time? Even if that was the case, it's still unfair. As long as it's a genuine closed beta, some of us are going to sign up and not get an invite. And if the "rewards" for the arduous task of getting lucky are anything like they are on JP NGS right now, or (then) NA PSO2 last year, everyone who isn't invited (or even allowed to apply) is being screwed. Unnecessarily. Just like before.
So, what can we request to make this less unfair? This is just a quick list because I haven't spent the last 12 hours thinking about it:
Most obviously, just don't do "special" rewards like was done with previous betas and like JP is doing right now. There's no need to make them so unique! Just like the PSO2 (then) NA betas last year, people want to play them because they want to play, not because of special content. This beta is going to reach whatever its capacity is, without any need for incentives, and they can be incentivised to follow directed testing and fill in surveys with rewards that are valuable without being irreplaceable. Literally the only thing accomplished by giving unique items to participants is depriving people who weren't allowed to play of them.
@Ryoga in the first reply made the brilliant suggestion of giving any "special" rewards to everyone who applies for closed beta participation rather than those who get invited. This makes a ton of sense! If anyone at Sega actually believes they're needed to encourage people to apply, then this would still satisfy that without depriving people of goodies (on top of beta access itself!) just because they weren't lucky enough. Provided everyone has a reasonable chance to apply (so if applications last at least a day and aren't prematurely closed once a quota is hit, which risks people missing out while they're asleep), doing this one alone would eliminate the need to do any of the others!
If we absolutely must do special rewards, actually let other people get them after the beta. @Kuon in post #51 suggests using a subsequent OBT as a prime opportunity to do this. It's worth noting the Photon Halo set from (then) NA's CBT has still never been redistributed on Global 10 months on, and NA's platform-barring OBT still had exclusivity over several other campaign rewards (e.g. Cross Legs) which never came back. It'd be nice if New Genesis was a new start and took the opportunity to be free of this sort of thing.
Since the purpose of a beta test is feedback, guarantee an invite to anyone who has filed bug reports and feedback via the official support system on Global prior to the broadcast of Prologue 2. The purpose of a beta (closed or open) is to discover what needs changing and feedback is a core part of that. Players that will report bugs or fill in a survey are infinitely more valuable than those who will not and just want an early-access free demo without any intention to help improve the game. This doesn't prevent "special" content restriction; it's a feedback improvement suggestion.
Consider giving invite priority to ARKS whose first PSO2 character was created on or shortly after 27 May 2020. I detest unfairness of any kind and if I was in charge of running betas I wouldn't have discriminated by platform last year, or at the very least would have redistributed the (then) NA beta rewards on 27 May 2020 as an apology to everyone who was mistreated last year. But if we really must screw people over a second time around, the very least we could do is include a measure to protect people from being the ones who got screwed over both times, you know? Again this doesn't solve the underlying issue and one of the above would be preferable.
List subject to change and addition because I'm sure more ideas will come to mind both on their own and as a result of discussion.