Closed Beta: My Personal Review

Hello everyone,

I hope you all enjoyed the Closed Beta, just like myself. I'm really excited for the Open Beta, whenever it'll be announced. That said, before I derail myself, I'd like to mention a few things about my experiences throughout the Closed Beta.

The Good Outtakes

  • The Closed Beta was probably one of the most stable betas I've personally experienced, minus the ~2 hour downtime at the start. However, the fact that we had that time compensated and more EQ's added is very generous, and I wholly appreciate the consideration.

  • Ship 1 had a LOT of players, as most of the blocks were near packed. As a player from the Japanese version of the game, I will admit it is very refreshing to find 12/12 Explorations. Seeing a lobby full of players makes me so happy that other players have an interest in this game.

  • As someone who normally prefers subtitled over dubbed anime, the voice acting in this game is very good, I'd rate it a 8/10. I'll explain why I didn't rate it higher than that in a bit. Quna's concert was AMAZING. Her English voice (when she's singing) is very fitting for her character, and the songs are just as catchy as they are in Japanese. Eternal Encore in English is very lovely. The story voice acting is also great, as Xion is probably my favorite voice that I've heard so far.

  • Translating the game and bringing it to North America is something I did not think would happen after so long, but I am glad that it did. However, I do have a few concerns, as well as a few statements I'd like to critique, as well as inform other players.

The Long List of Criticisms That's Not 100% Bad

  • I was kind of skeptical about Ship 1 and Ship 2 being the only ships in service during the Closed Beta. While I think it was a good decision overall, I hope that the PSO2 NA team will consider letting people transfer to and from ships for free for a specific time frame on Open Beta and/or Launch. I can't speak for Ship 2, but Ship 1 was nearly full for the majority of the blocks, so I am worried about PC players that will be coming over (as well as myself since I prefer to play on PC).

  • While it's obvious that localization will not be 1:1, it did bother me that the dialogue did not always sync up with the voice lines, this is especially apparent in the Story Mode. There were some times where voice dialogue would be cutoff halfway through, or the fact that the voice actor was saying things that are different from the english subtitles. Also, some of the text did get cutoff in the boxes, which was a bit hard to read.

  • This is more of a nitpick and might not be a belief shared by many, but I was not a fan of the level caps being at 75, considering that you will have those people rushing towards the level cap. The point of a Closed Beta is to test out content, while also reporting any kind of bugs. And before anyone says it, yes it may be an 8 year old game, but it is on a different console. 75 was honestly a weird decision to make a Closed Beta level cap at, and I'm concerned how later level content will be handled (Loser, Magatsu, Phantom Bosses, etc.).

Tips for New Players

This beta experience went very well, and I can't wait for the Open Beta. That being said, I do want to give a few pointers out to new players, since there are obviously a ton!

  • Do NOT randomly feed your mag junk! Your mags should be leveled with the SAME stat distribution (lv200 in TEC). You only get one Mag for free, so if you did randomly feed your mag, you will either shell out AC to buy another one OR farm EX-cubes to reset your Mag's levels.

  • Do NOT randomly put points into your skill trees! Skill Tree Reset Passes are normally handed out during class balance adjustments, so very rarely. I do not know how they plan to do this on NA, but either way, you will have to spend AC if you messed up multiple trees if you do not have a Skill Tree Reset Pass.

  • Take advantage of partying each other, especially during Urgent Quests! I cannot stress this enough, as you are missing out on a lot of RDR and EXP bonuses by going solo rather than being with 3 other people in a party. Take advantage of this!

  • Make sure to take a Medical drink at the Medical terminals in the Gateship or at the Medical Center in the lobby! These drinks give stats bonuses that will help you during your various quests! They cost a little bit of meseta (the better drinks cost slightly more meseta), but their buffs are worth it!

  • Do NOT start the teleporter in a MPA UNLESS you see that the majority of the members in the MPA are down. I've seen and experienced others being left out as the teleporter had JUST transported other ARKS to the area, while there is like 5 or 6 other ARKS at the start. It is considered bad etiquette to start early, so feel free to ask other ARKS around you if everyone is ready!

  • Do NOT rush to cap level, instead try other classes out! You're going to HAVE to level other classes regardless for their stat bonuses, up to lv75. You might end up liking another class! Don't burn yourself out, and have fun experiencing the game!

Overall...

I had a blast playing a part of the game I never experienced personally on the Japanese servers, as I started in Episode 4. It was fun learning and even re-living some of the leveling process with other ARKS, new and veterans alike! I hope that you new players will stick around, as I think you will LOVE the story and the content that is to come later down the road. Also if you're on Ship 1, I hope to see you around!

Cheers!

Couple of thoughts here in response as a player who's been on PSO2JP since June 2012:

  1. Agree with you about the english dub; it's as good as, and in some cases better, than the Japanese equivalent. It's the one time in at least the last 5 years where I've chosen to play a ported game in english rather than Japanese. It's good enough that i'd rate it up there with the early 00's and late 1990s english dubs of shows like Full Metal Alchemist, Full Metal Panic, Gundam SeeD, Trigun, and so on.

The only exception I've found thus far is Afin (with his atrocious faux british/aussie accent), and Risa whose english VA doesn't communicate her absolute insanity nearly as well as her Japanese CV does.

I hope that the PSO2 NA team will consider letting people transfer to and from ships for free for a specific time frame on Open Beta and/or Launch. I can't speak for Ship 2, but Ship 1 was nearly full for the majority of the blocks, so I am worried about PC players that will be coming over (as well as myself since I prefer to play on PC).

Opinion seconded. Particularly if we, as PSO2JP players, are allowed to hook our account data into the NA version of the game, like Blizzard and Steam did with Destiny 2.

Agree with your tip about mags; this has been important since the old PSO Eps. 1&2 days, but this:

Do NOT randomly put points into your skill trees! Skill Tree Reset Passes are normally handed out during class balance adjustments, so very rarely. I do not know how they plan to do this on NA, but either way, you will have to spend AC if you messed up multiple trees if you do not have a Skill Tree Reset Pass.

While this is important now, it'll become much less so as the level cap is increased in episode 4,5, and beyond. Also less important because the major class representatives often have sidequests which give 5 or more extra SP if you do them.

What becomes important later on is affixing builds and the skills you have mounted to your weapons, at least in my experience. With that said, most of the game doesn't require that sort of attention to builds unless you're trying to be a real unicorn and doing some of the solo challenges and ultra difficulty EQs.

I disagree 100% with both of you on the English voice acting. It's as bad as I expected when I swapped over out of curiosity. I don't know who keeps hiring these actors to do animes but they're the same ones ruining many good animes. Thank god for subs. They should've used the Japanese actors to do the English. Even with the heaviest of accents it'd sound better than the chick that plays the voice of Risa/Lisa.