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Marmalade

The future and the goals

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Hi, hello, and how are you? You’re looking nice today.

I want to make this post and talk to you about some weird things going on with Clementine right now, and I apologise in advance that it’s a lengthy one.
I hope you’ll take the time to read it.

First thing’s first. This test server? I hate it, it’s frustrating. It's a waste of time. That might be a bit harsh, but there are a lot of annoying and frustrating things that I don’t like about this test, or what it’s become. Clementine as it is now has strayed so far from the path and goal that I initially had, and trying to get it back on track is incredibly frustrating for many reasons. The server as it is, it wasn’t opened for the idea of playing or having “fun”. It was nice to be able to show off how far implementations had come, but it was opened so that I could iron out stability issues and all that naughty shit.

Then something happened, and I know exactly the point that it happened, and because of it, a lot of us unfortunately fell into the trap of trying to make it “fun” and blasting out random content just to keep people having “fun”. Incap? What the fuck. Balancing shit? Ah. Aaah. Get off me. Not to mention half of the patchy and hacky code just to do shit for systems that I just don’t have any packets for. There are a few poor changes that I absolutely want to undo and correct.

I just don’t like it. None of us do. It isn’t what we want it to be, and it isn’t in any way representing of what we want it to be. We have no intention of taking PSU and giving it back to you completely malformed and horrid, and there are some important things to bring to light. So that’s why we’re going to fix it over the next handful of months, and I’ll get to that shortly.

Don’t get me wrong, at first it was useful and I’ve learned a lot of important things from it, but I personally think that A) It was too soon, and B) It lasted way too long.


So what’s going to happen?
The first thing that’s got to happen is that this test server has to go to sleep for a little while. Why? Well, besides half of that shit up there, there are a few bonuses that I’d like to think benefit us all.

  • We can work way faster without having to worry about updating, and late late nights to fix bugs for the “play now” idea.
  • There are a lot of SQL design issues I need to resolve, and I can’t do that so easily when it’s in use. This is important for things like Shop Search, Item Integrity, Titles, and all that other junk you want that I can’t do right now.
  • Why am I still paying a massive bill every month when it could go toward the better future?
     

So, I won’t be paying the next server bill, and the server will turn off for a few months. That will be on the 17th of January.

 

But what about The Wipe™?
I still hope and intend for this to be the final wipe that you will have to endure with Clementine. 


Next? Here’s what is happening, and what we will be done over the next few months.

Synthesis:

  • Synthesis is, for the most part, done. You can insert boards, craft stuff, wait 5 years for your product, and then be disappointed. It was one of the last atrocious systems in player rooms that I had to deal with, and I’m glad. Enemies, Boxes, Area drops and the 2nd Floor Synth Shop, will all include things for synthesising.
     

Trading:

  • Player Trading is troubled, but we will do our best to work with it and get a functional implementation. It’s function isn’t game breaking, but it would be nice to have out of the gate, for sure.


Partner NPCs:

  • Partner NPCs is a mix of things. It would be nice to get going, but it’s going to be a pain. Due to how they work and proxy through the party, it’s going to require me to change a fairly big part of the code for attacks, movement, chatting, and all that junk just to get them working properly. With the lack of story missions and shop missions, we don't really have an official way to add them in to your card list either. It would be nice, but I don’t know if they’ll be in at first.
     

Drops:

  • Okay, listen. There are some important things here that I explained before, but I want to say it again.

    We had a plan for drops, a plan that was in motion since before this test even started, and for all intents and purposes it was on track and all good and sweet and MMM. Drops were added into the test for a few reasons, and it was shortly before things went confusing. They were added under the assumption that correct drops would quickly come in and replace them before people got too far ahead. However, the drops that were added, were not only hasty and wrong, but also highly, and I mean highly experimental. Of course there were problems and power creeps, and that was remedied… questionably, I’ll admit, and it spawned this horrendous spiral down.

    Unfortunately our plan got pushed further back and back, and we found ourselves buying time, and that’s never a good thing. Kyu and Jakoo both started to properly study boxes and area drops along with me, and the combination with these gimmicky event missions has unsurprisingly left drops in a weird position. But we learned a lot of important things from this mess, one of them being that offline drops, which is literally all I have to work with, has pretty much no resemblance to the online workings. I’m not talking about the loot and items, obviously that’s different, but online boxes used a completely different mechanic, and that became apparent when we tried to smash to two together more and more. Of course we used offline as a base to learn things, it’s all we have! and while it did teach us, albeit wrong, it did eventually highlight most if not all of the key differences.

    Drops are now going to be redone, completely, to make for a balanced experience. This includes Enemy, Enemy Special, Area, and Box drops. Drops are going to be done for release, and not for this testing phase. I know that there is a lot of worry over the rates, but we’re determined to see this one right. Yes some rates are and were painfully low, we’re fully aware, and we’ll go stupid to rectify that issue. No more pissing about now.
     

Moderation:

  • I know a lot of people have been annoyed about this one in particular for a while, too. For the most part, when I do know that there have been issues with moderation, I do talk to them and try to correct it. And fair do’s, they take it well, and they work to correct it for future encounters. Unfortunately, I think what happened is that with them constantly being told “Hey don’t do that, hey don’t do this”, they don’t really know what the line is now, and I apologise to both you and moderation for not being better about this.

    I’ve already spoken to moderation about how to better approach situations, and to try and address a few shoot first, ask later moments, as well as what is and isn’t okay. In the near future, I will also be revising the rules so that everyone knows what’s going on anymore, so I hope this will help everyone to feel more comfortable.

 


Now, here’s some things that I desperately need to address, personally.
Phantasy Star Universe, the game that you loved and want back in its entirety, is hurt, and damaged, and it’s missing pieces. That’s just the sad truth of it, and I can’t do anything for that right now. It’s important for me to bring light to this, because it’s been one of the most infuriating parts of this project for me, especially in recent months.

The bar is too high, and that’s just the way it is.

I spend so much time poking and picking and ripping apart the shit mechanics and poorly designed systems of this game, and I can see and tell you exactly why Sega put it down. The amount of shit in the protocol that’s purely for Vanilla compatibility, even after they dropped it, is an entire level of hell all in its own right, and there are just things that I do not have. When I started, I was using the US client (2.0009.2 to be exact), and that client I have packets for! enough to get it going, anyway. But it lacked so much content, and the client was so volatile, it was just so lame to work with.

Eventually I moved over to 14.30, and while it was and has been a major pain to get some protocol mismatches resolved, it did work for the most part, and it was lovely. It doesn’t crash when I give it malformed data, and it doesn’t spit in my face for trivial things. But I’m sure you can imagine the issue here. I don’t have many packets for 14.30, and I certainly don’t have any packets for the content that comes with it. Hell, we almost lost player shops entirely, were it not for ScriptKiddie strong-arming the client as well as he did. We wouldn’t have any of the few JP missions and lobbies that we do, were it not for Agrajag.

But GAS, and Limit Break, and a shit ton of counters with no data whatsoever… I don’t have anything for it. I can smash my brain against GAS all I want, and I can try to pick it apart over a long period of time, but it just isn’t in the realm of sane moves right now. Nothing else would get done. I don’t want to hack and patch code together to make the server mimic these systems, and poorly at that. I don’t want to. If things like GAS are going to be implemented, then I want to do it correctly, the way the client expects it to happen. If it can’t happen that way, then I don’t want to weasel my way around it for a quick and dirty solution.

Because of this, we’re aiming Clementine a little further into PSU’s past. A time that is obtainable, manageable, and workable, while keeping as much of the JP content available for you as possible. 

Our target is somewhere between US and JP Aoti. The game is going to be balanced around fun and what works, and a lot of the Vanilla and JP missions will be properly balanced in accordance to Aoti. There’s still a lot more that needs to be discussed before we share, but we feel like this is the best solution, given the circumstances.

This year has been both good and bad for us and Clementine, but ultimately we have come a long way and are determined to see the game come out right. We would like to wholeheartedly thank you for sticking with us through all of this, regardless of the incredible pain. It’s made the whole project and time spent completely worth it.
 

But in case you missed it, the server will be closing temporarily on Friday 17th of January, while we work to finish the server and correct a lot of issues.

I hope that 2020 will be good for us all, because 18 and 19 sure as shit weren't all that great.

Love you 🧡

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Thanks for doing what you think is best for the game, Marm. I'm looking forward to when you finish everything you have planned, and we can start over (for the last time) with the game fully ready to go. If you think I can help with anything dev work related, please let me know.

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not to sound stoopid, but when the server comes back on in those next few months, would the current account databse be wiped?

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Just now, Kanako said:

when the server comes back on in those next few months, would the current account databse be wiped?

Yes.

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Was kind of expecting this.  Ah well.

Anyway, since I have copious amounts of free time, if you need someone to do stupid, repetitive testing of things, I'm game, drop me an e-mail.

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Posted (edited)

I had fun on this server, and I was happy to see old friends and new players. Too bad, however, that it was more of a pain for you, but I can understand it.

Thank you for everything, and see you next opening.

So, more than ever : good luck 😉 !

Edited by Aelphasy

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1 hour ago, Marmalade said:

Why am I still paying a massive bill every month when it could go toward the better future?

Shoulda killed the server way back whenever the hell you realised this first hand.

Development is a priority for us and if it isn't then some people have other issues to contend with. Take it offline as planned, push funds into development and take back some of your mental stability. You and the team. There's a billion other games we can play as opposed to spamming Protectors K for hours. We'll be gucci. At the end of the day, if it's for the best in regards to the health of this project and not making the dev team burn out and quit, then go for it. Do your thing kiddo.

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I’m deeply saddened to see this after just joining this past weekend but I can’t wait to be on my favorite game for good. Thanks for putting together a mess that SEGA dropped a long time ago!

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I figured this is what would happen. I suggested a long time ago that they start with the basic systems and content and then introduce update patches down the road instead of making everything available all at once. It's what worked for sega and trying to do something like this, especially when all the game's data isn't even there, is just a waste of time. Hopefully you guys know what you're doing this time and you get things right. But anyway, thanks for all the work you've put in so far.

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他们明亮地发光,在我的眼睛里点燃了火,但是一旦天空被云雾遮挡并且我的火被扑灭,只有月光冲破云层,留下希望

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Neat stuff. I checked in at a good time. I wish you less frustrations in the future. this definitely seems like it  would be stressful as hell to work on.

 

You're awesome Marm. Keep up the great work. :D

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The work you've done since the project started is nothing short of amazing, and I'd love to be there when the new version launches as I have many fond memories of my time with this game. However this also kind of resolves a concern I had that people would be unwilling to even give PSO2 NA a chance with it launching in the coming months and would just remain on this server. Take the time you need to do this right. If you need to start something over months into this extended downtime, do it. Lets give Marm and the rest of the team the support and time they need, and use this time and energy to come together as a community to also show Sega we want more Phantasy Star to come over to the west.

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13 hours ago, princebrightstar said:

The work you've done since the project started is nothing short of amazing, and I'd love to be there when the new version launches as I have many fond memories of my time with this game. However this also kind of resolves a concern I had that people would be unwilling to even give PSO2 NA a chance with it launching in the coming months and would just remain on this server. Take the time you need to do this right. If you need to start something over months into this extended downtime, do it. Lets give Marm and the rest of the team the support and time they need, and use this time and energy to come together as a community to also show Sega we want more Phantasy Star to come over to the west.

PSO2 isn't that great anyway. I tried it a fair amount on the Japanese server and I just couldn't get into it. I would give it another go, but Sega are being assholes and won't release it in Europe. It all feels too late now anyway. I remember people being excited about moving on to PSO2 when the PSU servers closed way back in 2012. You can't wait this long to release a game to other countries and expect it to be a success. Honestly, I would be happy for PSO2 to fail if it means PSU Clementine's player count can grow.

Edited by TurtleHermit0

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Thank you for all that you've all done to bring back this beloved game! Marmalade and the rest of the dev team.

I've been keeping an eye on this for years and every time I check in I'm surprised to see the massive progress being made toward realizing this goal. I remember a time when it seemed unlikely to even release a Beta. I don't think I've played enough recently to be aware of all these issues you're wrestling with, but man... I really admire the fact that you've been pushing forward all this time, and with a seemingly positive attitude. I'm sure it takes a lot of drive to keep this going sometimes. That admiration extends to all involved in on the dev team, testers and the like.

So again, thank you for everything. This game brings back so many good feels and fond memories, and it's pretty amazing that we got to (and will continue to) relive those days again.

On 1/8/2020 at 3:39 PM, Brendson VII said:

Take it offline as planned, push funds into development and take back some of your mental stability. You and the team. There's a billion other games we can play as opposed to spamming Protectors K for hours. We'll be gucci. At the end of the day, if it's for the best in regards to the health of this project and not making the dev team burn out and quit, then go for it. Do your thing kiddo.

^I second all of that too^

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Looking forward to the official release, and hope to see some familiar faces again. Thanks for all the work you and the team have done, Marm. I don't post or voice much at all, but I'm sure there are plenty of people like myself who are grateful in silence with work and effort put into Clementine.

Thanks again <3

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On 1/11/2020 at 12:22 PM, TurtleHermit0 said:

PSO2 isn't that great anyway. I tried it a fair amount on the Japanese server and I just couldn't get into it. I would give it another go, but Sega are being assholes and won't release it in Europe. It all feels too late now anyway. I remember people being excited about moving on to PSO2 when the PSU servers closed way back in 2012. You can't wait this long to release a game to other countries and expect it to be a success. Honestly, I would be happy for PSO2 to fail if it means PSU Clementine's player count can grow.

PSO2 was hard to get into because of the extremely large amount of untranslated text, and the fact that we were pretty much unwelcome "hackers" in another country's game. It was a darn good try, but when I was presented with two options in Japanese and a cutscene made it painfully apparent that I'd accidentally flirted with a major character I was done. (This is before I started dabbling in the Japanese language, and I don't think I'm competent enough yet.) I don't care what people say, not enough is translated to get fully immersed in the game. Being able to go in fully understanding everything going on around will make it a far more enjoyable experience.

Though back to the main reason for the thread, I'll be cheering you guys on. 🙂 I honestly can't wait to see what the game looks like when it comes back online.

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Man I’ve been testing your server for nearly 4 years now major progression between those years too. I’m greatful you & the dev team are still working on updating this old game,even though there has been a few wipes I didn’t mind starting from scratch but I knew this wasn’t intended for fun until it reached its peak. We all had responsibilities to report any bugs however I want to report one bug I experienced back in mid may. im sorry that this is late but a friend of mine we were in my room server so basically thing was that I was going to sell my Ramegid at the time but my friend had disconnection issue on his end so when I tried unequipping the pa the very moment he disconnected it accidentally Replicated another lv50 pa although I did sell my main ramegid, I gave the replicated one to my friend yes I should’ve trashed + reported but we tried testing it out an ever since then it wasn’t working so we thought it was just a difficult bug to pull off so hence why we didn’t report it. One thing to point out when it replicated there was an item error above the screen like when you do those orange announcement texts. Anyway I hope this is useful for you to patch because who knows maybe some are hiding an exploit like this an I just wanted to get it out there, again sorry for the late report. Hopefully psuc won’t be heavily exploited upon its full release that ruins the experience especially the player market etc.  Well Marm you & the dev team have done a great job so take your time & don’t over work yourself there’s more stuff to do outside of psu to keep us occupied especially pso2 Xbox beta looking forward to that. Hopefully this will be the last wipe & despite of that I’d go from LV 1 anyday on this server. It was fun while it lasted so See you & everyone on the Reopening of Clem take it easy dudes.

-Kimiko / x FierceDeity x (YT)

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I had no idea... it didn't know it was that bad... and i'm one of those people who just used the recent server for fun... i'm sorry 😞 i probably thought that this was it... i do wish the same thing though, that PSU is brought back as a whole... cause i've been here since 2017 when i discovered you guys where bringing it back... i joined the bandwagon so to speak. But i understand that the recent server needs to go, so that you and the dev team can work on getting PSU working again and hopefully in its fullist... i have made backup screenshots of my Character so that i can start again with the wipe which i don't mind. Good luck to both you and the Dev team and i can't wait to see the result x

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