As a new player to PSO2 with the steam release I was excited to do some arena combat but it's like the actual definition of bad game design.
Here's some of the negative things I have encountered so far game wise.
Latency - It's overwhelmingly apparent that I have been killed by people who are at least two second ahead of me. It's like I'm fighting a telekinetic ultra-instinct Goku when I get hit behind a wall across the field by a sword photon art. I'm not even sure how it could even make sense from a technical standpoint even if it was explained to me because lag is a double-edged sword. It goes both ways, not just one. But for some reason I don't recall me ever getting to part the sea with my sword swings to annihilate the entire enemy team. I have only even been on the receiving end of this. It's also even more frustrating when the enemy has a ranged weapon.
Map Design - The design of the maps is both subjectively and objectively bad. Lanes and alternate routes don't provide any actual advantage to gaining map control over the rainbow stars in the center. And while controlling the center should be rewarding I don't think it should the be the sole determining factor ever single match to have won the match. You can completely ignore all other stars on the fields and still win by a landslide.
Weapons - Without a doubt indisputably unbalanced. A first example would be the poison shot with the assault rifle. The PP cost needs to be increased or it needs to be removed/replaced. It does not matter if a melee user is blocking because it hits through block, and it staggers allowing a follow up shot immediately afterwards if the attacker is close enough to account for bullet time. and because it's a rifle it has longer range than other ranged weaponry.
Due to the lag/latency issue causing tracking issues with locking on to targets Jet boots are the weakest option. They simply don't do enough damage to compete with other melee weapons in the area. Another melee user will simply just use whatever photon art they have and one-shot you before you can kill them with your art. These need a speed buff or something for hit-run tactics if the power gap is going to remain so big.
Of the three staff elements the dark element is the worst option. even though it can track a enemy it simply moved to slow towards the target to actually do anything to reward the risk of getting into range with it. The flame element can be used to control large lines and has one -potential while the lightning element is very powerful versus single targets and can easily be spammed with uncharged attacks for 2-3 second kills.
While I see a lot of people only using the photon art for the bow, the charged primary attack is extremely better. I'm the only one I have seen take advantage of this but any enemy unlucky enough to come remotely close you will get folded beyond perfection.
- "Ranked" - Why is it only solo-queue, and why is my rank gain/loss based on if the team won or lost only. If I'm doing really good, but my team is flat butt-checks why should my rating go down because of them? The match end results seem to already award b-coins based on merits accomplished in the match. I could list a lot of games with thriving competitive communities that allow teams to queue up. the only redeeming factor about rank gain system as is, is that I only have to win 50% of my matches to advance because I only lose 5 points if I lose, but gain 20 if I win. Objectively speaking that does not even make sense because literally everyone wins 50% of their matches. Everyone will rank up and earn rewards because it's not a matter of if, but when.
Going back to weapons I also believe that being granted random weaponry serves no strategic experience to the game for it to be competitive. Just allow for players to select a loadout during the 30 second period prior to the matching starting just like you're able to pick your power up bonus.
When you die and respawn the first weapons spawns should heal you to maximum health instantly when you get a weapon that changes your total hitpoints. The ones down in the field should remain as is in function.
- Cosmetics - I don't think suits should be allowed into the game mode such as a rappy suit. This does adjust the height of where you lock on to a player and can be somewhat abused. If a player is standing on a platform above another the shorter player on the highground is a lot harder to hit with ranged weaponry. Players with overly large accessories can cover their bodies to make it very difficult to tell what weapons that have, and to try and read animations to even attempt to block/dodge an attack. There was a player using the photon art with the sword to surf and you couldn't even tell.
There's a lot of things I could go on and on about, but I'm just going off the top of my head and don't really have a structure to this so it would just seem like a wild tangent more so than it already is. I don't want to just bash the game and call it trash without trying to provide some constructive criticism at least because that wouldn't be very productive if it ever was read by the right pair of eyes that is.