To preface this before all the white knights and confirmation biased "It's only beta though" excusers come flocking to their defense, I've tried really hard to give the benefit of the doubt. I work in game development. I know how difficult bringing the game over to the west is. I understand how alphas, betas, MVPs, etc work. And I'm not telling people that they shouldn't support or play the game. Hell, I'm still going to play it - just going to financially support significantly less or not at all.
The reason being because it's undeniable that Sega and the devs in charge don't actually care about the NA version of PSO 2. There's too much evidence of laziness and lack of forethought to ignore.
- The utterly terrible communication.
From promoting bundles days before telling us what premium and mission tickets even were - which didn't happen until mere hours of the game launching (yes, this is a soft launch and you're in utter denial if you think otherwise) to until announcing 5 hour maintenance times the day-of. The communication has been atrocious.
Hell, one of the 5 posts that went up barely an hour of two before the game went live was clearly written to be posted days beforehand - notifying people of the 16th's predownload time when it was posted the afternoon of the 17th. There was no reason not to dribble those information posts out daily instead of waiting until the last minute. But no consideration to basic common sense was clearly given.
Then there's whole maintenance fiasco we just went through. I get that it's being handled by JP devs who operate on JP time and that maybethey wanted their maintance team to handle both versions at the same time. Okay, cool. This is literally called the NA version though. Again, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to go, "Hey guys, maybe we should let people know well in advance that they won't be able to play during the hours we tend to have THE MOST PLAYERS online at any given time." Again though, no attempt at forethought or the concern for the player base was given.
JP gets full live streams and clearly laid out plans and schedules in advance. NA can't even get a tweet 24 hours ahead of time.
- No thought/consideration was put into the content that's in the game.
I know most players won't realize this, but the two strongest weapon lines in the game right now - the ones that you're rewarded with if you really sink your teeth into the game and grind - can't be used to their fullest potential. To utilize their best potential abilities you need arena boosters, which aren't in the game at all! This means that you either have to upgrade a shittier version of the weapon to use it - that you can't go back and correct later - or that you can't enhance and use the weapon you've spent likely spent most of your time and resources grinding for.
It's a very simple thing to go, "Hey, let's put arena boosters in some of the other shops or just change the upgrade requirement." But yet again, 0 fucks, forethought or consideration has been given.
On another note, did you know that the UQs in the schedule have been running since day 1 of launch? They're not special. They weren't added at maintenance. The three listed in the schedule aren't even the best ones to run right now and you can get better XP and drops from running Advanced Quests if you know what you're doing. They're being made to look more important and event-like than they are to appease players and make it seems like more work is being put into this than is actually happening. Which, honestly, I wouldn't even bring up and I'd let slide if it weren't for everything else on top of it - as it stands, it's just another point of proof that they don't care about NA.
Then there's the economy blunders - like the Xbox Game Pass. I took one glance at that and told my Alliance exactly how it'd impact the market and how to take advantage of it. It doesn't take a genius to realize that you giving out 12 AC tickets and premium to the vast majority of players will tank the AC item economy. I will give kudos to the dev and management team for catching the mistake pretty quickly. But it's also mistake that shouldn't have been made if you care about your game's health more than just the money you can potentially generate. And the process of correcting the mistake has been laughably piss poor too.
There's more I could say and point out, but I won't keep harping on it. What I've pointed out already is evidence enough to prove the assertion, and I know this will mostly fall on deaf ears anyway. I'm not mad, I'm just saddened because I was hoping this version of the game would be taken at least somewhat seriously by SEGA and the dev team. The MMORPG market is in shambles for a variety of reasons and I was hoping this would at least be a shining light for NA during dark times.
Instead it's an afterthought of a product. Which really sucks to see cause it wouldn't take much more effort for it to be more than than. And NA deserves better than that. There are legit NA players and fans who deserve a product that isn't a back-burner side project.
Like I said, I'll still play. Hell, it's free and the core gameplay loop is still great. And anything is fun when it brings friends together you can shoot the shit with. But seeing what I'm seeing makes any further financial support or recommendations to others just feel bad. And I just wanted to put that out into the ether in case by some remote chance it made decision-makers in this situation actually think twice about what they're doing and how they're going about doing it.