From a computer engineer's POV, a PC beta test is unnecessary, but an Xbox one is.

While I am not a developer on PSO2, I am a software developer who's worked with multiple devices and porting. I'd like to share my opinions on why I feel a PC beta is unnecessary.

The basic gist of it is that PSO2's never been on Xbox, and the US launch is the very first Xbox One port, which means there's a lot that needs testing. While Xbox and PC run Windows, the versions they run are separate codebases. Also, the hardware factors in heavily. While PCs all follow a similar build method, meaning modularity can be accounted for despite varying configurations, game consoles are built in a different manner than PCs and use different methods of graphics rendering, security, and more. Porting isn't as simple as pushing a "Port To Xbox" button, a lot of work goes into recoding and remaking graphics, as well as bug testing, fixing, etc. I found this out in my attempts to port a Unity app from PC to Microsoft's HoloLens system. (Even the different HoloLens models run on different chip architecture!)

But then why have a PC beta at all, if the PC version is done? Simple: it's not the same code as the original on PC, either. This is a localization, not a simple retranslation. YouTuber Scott the Woz has a video on localization and what it entails, from removing questionable content to even complete mechanical changes, such as the Mission Pass. Even minor translations require a lot of work, as my good friends on the fan translation team Precise Museum found out when we had to not only translate text, but make sure no overflow errors happened (such as in Kirby's Ghost Trap/Avalanche), replace images (believe me, it was painful), and do bug testing for that.

Here's an example of overflow, using the Kirby's Avalanche example I mentioned (source: The Cutting Room Floor):

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The localization changes that PSO2 needed to go through were likely text translation, voice acting, addition of new US content such as the Game Pass Ultimate content, removal of JP content that was questionable or overused, and the addition of a brand-new battle pass system that likely required quite a bit of work to implement. There's also the fact that the US beta is in... well, the US. The game's data had to be hosted on a US server, which Microsoft graciously provided in the form of Azure, meaning the game's code had to be rewritten to link to the US servers instead of JP, which... ...well, it takes a lot of time for a lot of content.

This is pretty much how I imagine it. There could be more or less to it than I thought, but the fact is that Xbox absolutely needs a beta. PC could use one too, but right now, it's the Xbox version that needs to be checked for bugs in the porting process.

@Trigger215 said in From a computer engineer's POV, a PC beta test is unnecessary, but an Xbox one is.:

even complete mechanical changes, such as the Mission Pass.

And the lack of early level cap quests. (JP removed later level cap quests by comparison.)

In addition, the font on the NA version is different.

Some of the mission/quest descriptions still have their old Japanese "size" / "bounding boxes" however, which is why a bug report in CBT said that the text of such was cut off halfway on the second line of text, because the localization didn't change the bounding box of the description text, as the description in JP was one line only.

@Trigger215 said in From a computer engineer's POV, a PC beta test is unnecessary, but an Xbox one is.:

This is pretty much how I imagine it. There could be more or less to it than I thought, but the fact is that Xbox absolutely needs a beta. PC could use one too, but right now, it's the Xbox version that needs to be checked for bugs in the porting process.

It's possible that the Xbone version is actually using the PC version in disguise. Because Xbox One is just Windows 10. Which would further back up your claim to not have a PC beta test.

It would however, be beneficial for PSO2NA to be tested on steam, as it would be a completely different account linking system; which would tie into the fact you said that it would take a while to point to the PSO2 NA servers in the code.

@coldreactive said in From a computer engineer's POV, a PC beta test is unnecessary, but an Xbox one is.:

And the lack of early level cap quests. (JP removed later level cap quests by comparison.)

This I didn't know, I only played up to around Lv25 and then lost access to my Xbox due to returning to campus.

In addition, the font on the NA version is different.

This is part of graphical changes. I guess I forgot to mention that part.

Some of the mission/quest descriptions still have their old Japanese "size" / "bounding boxes" however, which is why a bug report in CBT said that the text of such was cut off halfway on the second line of text, because the localization didn't change the bounding box of the description text, as the description in JP was one line only.

That I think I noticed.

It's possible that the Xbone version is actually using the PC version in disguise. Because Xbox One is just Windows 10. Which would further back up your claim to not have a PC beta test.

I've mentioned this before, but Windows 10 runs differently on different hardware. The Xbox version is vastly different from the PC version, or the HoloLens version I've had to port software to. Not to mention the Xbox hardware is different too, as obviously, it's not going to be built like a PC. They may share similarities, but all in all, there's a reason certain Xbox games take longer to come out on PC, such as Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Also, I mentioned that PSO2 might need a PC beta at some point, but Xbox needs it more at this time.

@Trigger215 said in From a computer engineer's POV, a PC beta test is unnecessary, but an Xbox one is.:

such as Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

You mean Halo 2, 3, 4. Since Halo 5 technically runs on PC natively, since its level designer is already on PC. Or was, at least. (Halo already got a physical PC release, but hadn't gotten a digital re-release until MCC. Halo: Reach is on PC in the MCC. I played it all the way through.)

@coldreactive Reach wasn't actually added until winter, and was the first one added. However, it had been on Xbox since 2014. Microsoft held a few beta tests for it before PC launch, which means that yes, the varying codebases meant it had to be ported and tested.

@coldreactive , your argument is true for UWP apps which are designed to be able to run natively on both Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. However, not only is PSO2 on PC NOT a UWP app, but it also uses DirectX9 which IS NOT supported by UWP (which is DirectX11 and 12).

as @Trigger215 , brought up also... codebases can be different to an extent. Not all Windows-specific features might be supported by Xbox One. And in the end, some issues specific to the Xbox One version did appear. By your logic,were they truly the same... however the game ran on PC should be how it runs on Xbox One and majority of the effort would be focused on the localization instead.

Anyways, on another note... yes some of the text issue is the result of some of JP's formatting being left in. While the fix should ideally be easy, I get the feeling Sega of Japan are trying to keep the NA and JP versions be not too far apart in terms of codebase. Not only has NA content appeared in JP's files but features that are exclusive to NA have a Japanese equivalent even if the feature isn't planned to be available on JP. Given the game's dual text support, the complication is coming up with a way to have language specific formatting as opposed to a bruteforce method of having JP-text be displayed using NA formatting (something which, I can't say whether it would be a good or bad thing...).

"PC Beta unnecessary" There's a brand new console and Crossplay is involved. We also need to consider the changes made to the game such as new subscription/battle pass model and the removal of PSO2es which was replaced with different mechanics and various other tweeks. This is to say nothing more of the gross amount of localized resources and making sure everything is up to snuff nor of a stress test.

If you wouldn't have a test for this you are going to be deploying buggy code

Its not so much that they shouldn't test it @ThisTuesday , but rather the fact that not everything requires 'mass testing'. Given that Sega doesn't require testing for every single update the game receives in Japan, i'm pretty sure they do some internal testing. (in fact all the battle pass stuff has been discovered to be in the JP client already since code form other localized versions end up on the JP client to be unused)

Regarding crossplay, I do think thats one of the reason the PC version is even being held back given that the port on this new console needs to be working before its allowed to interact with the PC version. (In the Japanese version, new console ports were tested on servers isolated from the PC version)

I'd disagree just due to the new console alone even disregarding the system changes. Need to make sure everything plays nice @Leonkh99 which you cannot do with standard internal testing

And if PC version will have different business rule w.r.t. Xbox version, they also must test it too.

In b4 crossplay causes hell. Suuuuure, we dont need testing lol. Remind me to not buy anything op has developed.

About the replies involving crossplay, that would primarily be an issue if it was a peer-to-peer game. However, it isn't. It's a game that loads the textures, models, etc from a client, but the actions all have to be server-side. Crossplay checking is slightly redundant when all actions are done on the server. However, I guess there's also the issue of PC bugs affecting Xbox gameplay, which brings me to the second point of this post.

I never said it was ABSOLUTELY unnecessary for a PC beta. I said unnecessary AT THIS TIME. I'll admit some of my wording was wrong, having typed the original post at 3 AM, but the overall point is that an Xbox beta is far more important than a platform it's existed on for 8 years.