Friday, August 2, 2013

Searching for THE F2P MMO | Sega PSO2 Frustration.

Hey everyone, Friendly Neighborhood OroCrimson here.

So, to be honest, I have a weird soft spot for MMORPGs.

I... have no money. Definitely not the kind to slam down on a monthly subscription. But I've never really gotten far into any MMORPG I've played due to not making friends or being screwed over by microtransactions.

Lately, the MMO world has become much better concerning microtransactions, and big names in the MMO world like Rift, Aion, and Tera have taken upon themselves to go Free 2 Play.

This story kind of starts around the point of when I was getting into Dragon Nest, and Phantasy Star Online 2 came out in Japan, and announced for North America. I thought it looked really cool, but my yearning for it at the time wasn't major. My computer wasn't that great, and I just shrugged it off as I wouldn't be able to run it.

A lot of things have happened between then and now. I kind of faded out of Dragon Nest, for my computer broke down and once I got a new one and a new internet connection, my friends weren't playing it anymore either. I actually have it installed on this new computer, since I had it on Steam and all, but I don't ever play it.

I kinda didn't worry too much about MMOs after that. I played Rusty Hearts for a while... but soon after I began, I obtained a PS3. Yes, took me long enough, but wow did I love it. Specifically when I got Playstation Plus, followed by Saints Row the Third. I didn't have any time for my PC anymore.

About the time I beat SR3, KunatiNouha and I started seriously getting into a free PS3 game called Tekken Revolution, and then that lead me to buy Tekken Tag Tournament 2. The Tekken stories are to be held off for another day.

Oddly enough, it was the PS3 that brought back my interest in MMOs for another round. I was derping around the Playstation Store when I found something along the lines of "Download the Final Fantasy XIV A Realm Reborn trailer for a chance to access the closed beta!"

Now, I didn't really know much about A Realm Reborn at the time. I figured it was just an expansion to Final Fantasy XIV. I was unaware that they were rebooting it. I love Final Fantasy, but I never played XIV, and really never wanted to. I heard of the terrors of XIV and really just never looked into it. Add that it was Pay 2 Play, and I really couldn't. But when I saw this trailer thing, I was curious. I never actually had seen any videos o Final Fantasy XIV itself so I wanted to see one. And considering it was a trailer, I figured it was meant to be convincing. So I downloaded it basically as a "why the hell not?" not even really considering the Beta.

Saw the trailer... I honestly don't remember a thing from it. Oh well. But a while later, I got a message on PSN with a download and a registration key for the Closed Beta. Wow.

Now, signing up was actually a hell of a lot more frustrating than it really should have been, but that was my fault entirely, mistaking a VV in the registration key for W, and coming a letter short. I even looked all around the internet for solutions and was even worried I was scammed before finally looking closer and realizing my mistake.

... Tried getting in the game... no cigar. Turns out the actual test didn't start yet. It wouldn't start till 2 AM...
Um... f*ck that. I'll play tomorrow.

So the next day, I wait an eternity for patches to finish and then delve into the world of Final Fantasy XIV. Erm... A Realm Reborn. By this point, I knew it was a reboot of the original, not an expansion.

Wow. I honestly didn't expect to have as much fun as I did. Considering FFXII is my favorite single player Final Fantasy, the similarities to it in FFXIVARR were very welcome. I hadn't had that much fun in an MMORPG for as long as I could remember... and I didn't even make a single friend! (woops.)

Alas... the beta phase ended, and I'm currently waiting on the Open Beta. Woe is me.
But further woe is me when I discovered that FFXIVARR was subscription based. Welp, not getting that game fully.

So being back in my MMO phase, I started hunting around for Free 2 Play MMOs I'd love. At the time, since I absolutely loved my FFXIVARR experience on the PS3, I was looking for games that'd allow me to use my gamepad.

Quickly, Phantasy Star Online 2 caught my eye again, and now it hasn't let go. It seemed like the ideal game, and at the time I figured it had gamepad support (for some reason, I don't know. Then again, I don't know if it doesn't, either.)

But that still isn't out yet. *shrug* Let's find something else.
But you see... nothing else was really scratching that itch. I remembered Tera... and how it was now Tera Rising, and all free 2 play. I played Tera back when it was subscription based for its seven day free trial. Played an archer character, and I remembered liking the game except for the fact that my computer could hardly run it at all. About the point I left "noob island" and joined everyone else in the big city... my computer had enough of it.

But now I had a better computer. One that can run Tera in decent settings.So I tried again, deleted my Archer cause I wanted to start anew since it had been so long, and made a Slayer.

... it wasn't long before I uninstalled the game.
I really didn't like it. Playing on my TV, I couldn't really see any of the words. Combat was difficult due to being locked in place while attacking, and dodging wasn't that helpful. The game just felt so clunky that I couldn't get the hang of it. I started with the gamepad, and I HATED the gamepad controls. By the time I switched to the Keyboard and Mouse, I think I was just so frustrated with the game that I just quit.

So I looked on the internet for more F2P MMOs. Guild Wars 2 came around a lot, despite not being really F2P, and I wouldn't mind trying it honestly, but I don't have $50 - $70 for it. Yet. Phantasy Star Online 2 came around a lot too, and it got me looking more into news of its release.

That's when I discovered that it released in Japan last July, was announced for an early 2013 release in NA, then come early 2013 (March or so) it was delayed to an indefinite date. PSO2's Facebook page hasn't had updates since September 2, 2012, and the website ('s last update to their News section is an article dating late August 2012.

Being early August 2013, things aren't looking hopeful. I saw a review of the Vita version from a foreigner who lives in Japan (or at least, he definitely doesn't sound Japanese), and later some other videos he had of the PC version, and it got me really hyped up for the game. That... was a poor decision on my part

So I continue to browse the net lately and discover that there were reports, which Sega has confirmed as of yesterday, that there are versions of PSO2 being made for countries all over Asia for release in 2014, while here in NA we still don't have a general idea of a release time nor even the reason for delay. It's become very infuriating, and my hopes for a NA release of PSO2 have dwindled to near nothing.

There is an English patch for the Japanese version of PSO2 buzzing around the net, with instructions on how to play it here in North America. There's even a server most NA players play at, "Ship 2" so I hear. Lately, I've decided not to do this for several reasons.

1. It violates the End User License Agreement for the game.
2. There are tons of articles and reports of foreigners being banned from the game without having done anything wrong, except maybe download the patch.
3. I don't want to get really involved in the Japanese version of the game, and then have to start over on the North American version, losing friends I may have made, the characters I have built, and most likely all of the content that North America wouldn't be caught up on.

But now that it's seeming more and more unlikely SEGA will release the game here in North America at all, I wonder if I should regardless? Would it be worth it now?

I do have an MMO that I play now. I kept searching Top 10 after Top 10 MMORPG lists to find what I was seeking. I tried RIFT, and didn't like it AION as well, but the character models were glitching out on me and I didn't want to have to bother fixing it or redownloading it. Tera Rising kept reappearing, often at the top of these lists. I finally gave it another shot, this time as a Lancer, and this time straight from the Keyboard and Mouse. I tweaked around and resized the UI to something more tolerable. This worked. I'm loving Tera extremely much. All that's missing are some friends.

But I mainly downloaded this game to hold me over for PSO2. Looks like I could be waiting a very long time.