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Phantasy Star Online 2 (Southeast Asian version)

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Phantasy Star Online 2
PhantasyStarOnline2.jpg
A not-so-great version of a great game, thanks to microtransaction abuse.
Genre(s): MMORPG
Platform(s): PC
Release: May 29, 2014
Discontinuation: May 26, 2017
Developer(s): Online R&D, Sega
Publisher(s): Asiasoft
Series: Phantasy Star
Predecessor: Phantasy Star Online

Phantasy Star Online 2 was a free-to-play MMORPG developed and published by Sega. The Southeast Asian servers, published by Asiasoft were released in 2014, but were closed in 2017. It also had a Thai language setting.

Bad Qualities

  1. Pay-to-win aspects. While it made sense that microtransactions would be a thing due to being a free-to-play game, the Southeast Asian version enforced this to a rather ludicrous degree.
    • For example, outfits in the original Japanese version did not give any stat-boosting bonuses, and made up most of player spendings. Here, they already had affixes built in, enforcing pay-to-win.
    • The scratch cards also goaded players to spend more money. While the original Japanese version did the same, they were all items that could generally be gained in-game as a thank-you and were available to everyone. The Southeast Asian version had a ranking system that gave more prizes to the top spending players.
    • Scratch cards mostly had cosmetics that could be traded through stores in the Japanese servers. Said cosmetics in the Southeast Asian servers also had said stat boosts, which were absent in the Japanese servers.
  2. There wasn't a convenient currency conversion, leading to many things being way more expensive.
  3. Bad translations. One such example was the Force class being renamed Wizard while the Braver class was renamed Samurai. This went against the original Phantasy Star terminology that had gone back to the early 2000s established by PSO1!
  4. Due to a different balancing team, the Southeast Asian version ended up being much harder, such as significantly beefier mooks, which only further blackmailed player to spend more to get better stats.
  5. It was stuck on episode 2 (equivalent to a season in other online games) and never concluded the first arc with 3, while the Japanese servers were already on episode 5 when it closed.

Good Qualities

  1. It was the closest thing to an official English version, as the US version was postponed until 2020.
  2. The core gameplay was still awesome. The original Japanese version is one of the best FTP MMOs.

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