Sega to fix, split Phantasy Star Universe

After a Japanese launch mired in difficulties, publisher says it is making "drastic improvements," adding second "world" of servers.

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Since Phantasy Star Universe launched in Japan for the PlayStation 2 and PC last month, the game's online experience has been plagued by unstable connections and problems related to character data. Phantasy Star Universe publisher Sega has addressed the issues on the game's Web site, saying that it is making "drastic improvements" to the game, which was the top-selling title in Japan last week despite its problems. The announcement further says that Sega is working to "bring the debugging period to a close."

The largest change announced was that new game servers are being added. Until now, PSU has been contained within the World 1 servers, but from September 14, a second set of servers, dubbed World 2, will be put online. Worlds 1 and 2 will be totally independent of each other, so players will be required to select a world when logging on. Character data cannot be moved between the worlds, but players will be allowed to keep up to four characters on each world using a single account.

Sega also listed a number of bug fixes that have already been made, such as fixing the overwriting, the rollback, and the locking-up of character data. However, issues with logging in and transporting to the My Room areas have not yet been resolved.

"The bugs that have occurred so far have been caused by the concentration of access traffic, which surpassed our estimates and resulted in overflows on the database server," the publisher explained. "This was causing character data to be overwritten and rolled back, and these issues spread to the My Room servers. We have been working around these problems on the program level, and by adding servers, but everyday access traffic exceeded our maintenance efforts."

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