PSO2 New Genesis - Success and Drama
PSO2 New Genesis has been experiencing a lot of success – averaging 40,000-50,000 concurrent players through Steam alone over the last week, peaking at 60,000 on its first day of release.
If we take other platforms into consideration, we’re looking at well into the hundreds of thousands of active players per day. That’s an enormous success regardless of how you look at it.
But you’ll notice that while concurrent players are very high, the ratings for the game have been a little less… positive. 77% positive, as a matter of fact.
Now what is the reason behind the recent negativity? Well, there are several, actually. And while I can say that I had fun during my first day streaming New Genesis, I would like to elaborate on some of the issues by starting off with the most common complaint I came across while playing: Lag. Their server stability is a joke.
Input delay lasting several seconds at a time, players teleporting all over the screen, getting stuck in a loading loop while fighting boss monsters resulting in immediate death, respawn, then death once more as you get locked up again as soon as you click resurrect.
Now I understand having server issues, so while it was definitely annoying to experience, I don’t expect game launches to go over flawlessly. I’m aware a lot of people were complaining about the server stability, I’m also aware there were plenty of people turned off enough that they stopped playing until they’re fixed.
But I’m sure, as they’ve confirmed they’re working to stabilize servers, that it won’t be long before you’re capable of jumping back in and enjoying yourself.
There were a few minor complaints I read in the mass of negative reviews on Steam, and some of those very same issues I heard mirrored in-game. “The UI isn’t friendly,” “it’s difficult adding friends,” “changing blocks is annoying,” “the story is boring,” “the tutorial is too long.”
I feel like for the most part, all of those are purely subjective. Some people enjoyed the UI. Some people had no issue adding friends.
Changing blocks was a feature present in PSO2 as well, the story is your typical JRPG Anime story and tutorials have taken much longer than the 20 or 30 minutes this one took.
Again, purely subjective. I found the story to be perfectly fine – I enjoyed the cutscenes, I enjoyed the voice acting and learning about everything that was going on around me.
Now the two following issues are what REALLY hold the game back from being an epic MMO right now – a lack of content, and the battle power gating. Sega have outlined a roadmap in terms of content for the game, with content coming out periodically over the next several months.
Defense quests in 2, Trigger quests, mission passes and titles in 4, and then an entirely new region in 6.
But yes, there’s a severe lack of content – especially pertaining to content diversity at this very moment. And to maintain an active playerbase, you’re going to need content for players to consume at a steady rate, content that will urge them to log in and continue playing.
Then came the battle power gating. This is probably the only real issue I had with the game.
Let me give you a breakdown of what I mean. After continuing with the story for approximately 30 minutes, you’re hit with a message saying “to continue you need to upgrade your battle power to 830.” Does this sound familiar at all? No? It doesn’t sound eerily reminiscent of the combat power mechanic found in mobile MMOs?
After either purchasing gear from the store, grinding gear out in the field, or upgrading enough you’ll hit your goal of 830 battle power.
You’ll then receive additional quests, lasting a short while before you’re hit with additional gating requiring you grind out to 950 battle power, 1,100 battle power, with a few quests in-between.
Meaning you’re spending the vast majority of your time grinding out items, gear and whatever else you can to achieve a high enough battle power to continue with the story and unlock the rank 2 areas and urgent quests.
Again, gating content like this behind battle power is very, very similar to how mobile games handle their progression, requiring you have a certain combat power to access new areas, to combat the boss at the end of whatever area you’re stuck in.
Thankfully the game is not only beautiful, but the combat itself makes playing the game and achieving the required combat much less tedious. But not even that can save the game from feeling like a chore to grind through.
Which is fine, as there are plenty of players that both love gating content, and have no issue with grinding. I’m not saying any of this makes the game inherently bad, I’m just stating that there’s a lot of grinding, and a lack of content present right now to necessarily justify the grind.
Since there isn’t much in the form of endgame, I look forward to seeing some in the near future.
I had a lot of fun in PSO2 New Genesis, and will continue to have fun as we push through the game while streaming on Twitch – which quick FYI, we have an Alliance for if you’re looking to join!
I just hope the game can hold onto its players long enough to push out the content the game needs to survive.