Alrighty, considering that I myself am pretty new person here on the server, I could maybe at least provide my point of view for all of ya pros on how being nub on this server feels alike. I read most of the posts here, and skimmed through others, so I won't beat the same dead horse over again like all the peeps done here before me, but let me at least condense all the stuff in form of bullet points what were/are the biggest gripe I have with the server:
- Buffed enemies - while I understand it is made so to balance game because of the custom gear Ultima have (and buffs to dark weapons). Being blasted by Ultimate enemies everywhere just when you exit very hard is incredibly disheartening, and really builds up this frustration of "I cannot actually progress until I can join some veteran party, because this is ridiculous".
Hell, even right now after few months of playing I have problems to do content with other players that are not "geared properly", i.e. actually have some hit % on weapons which is practically mandatory for ultimate at this point for anyone other than Ranger (not ep2 Ultimate bullshit tier ofc). And also how exactly new players can obtain any new decent gear if they won't be able to finish content by themselves? At this point waiting for a big and stronk person to carry You is like the only option, and seing how lots of (advanced) players are from US, there is a handful of situation where I can play with them and actually still get carried somewhere because I can't do shit with anyone else, so personally for me it it was and still really is very annoying situation.
My perfect ideal solution would be to leave ultimate as it was, without buffed enemies (so at least newer players can actually try and build up their gear in decent enviroment) and create another instance of difficulty named whatever, like "Over Ultimate" or "Ultimate 2" where You keep mobs with current buffs AND provide bigger drop rate from mobs (than it actually is, maybe like 2x, while HH will retain its 3x multiplier) well because...
- DROP RATE SUCKS - I can be ditched and ignored about this because "I'm a new player and I'm supposed to struggle to get my gear, don't expect anything to just fall into your hands lol". Yeah, I'm gonna go with no, not only some of the gear have like literal 0.001% (or less) percentage of dropping, most (if not all when it comes to weapons) require a hit % for them to be actually useful (again, due to buffs) so that further increase the RNG layers for anyone to get actually meaningful. While I understand that just handing out weapons to players without efort is ill-advised, and surely will make them feel "bored" quickly, come the fuck on! There were tons and tons of instances where I had to sacrifice sleep, playing at 3AM (CEST) at night (because apparently that's the majority when HH happen, but that's a whole different topic) an get absolutely nothing another HH I played 5th time IN A ROW. How fast do you expect person to get burned out when he has absolutely nothing when it comes to gear, and still won't get anything with a DAMN x3 MULTIPLIER. I need a carrot on that stick, and with only stick left behind, I can as while shove it up my ass at this point and call it "fun".
Like, it's not even funny that 80% of my current gear and firepower is plainly sponsored or given away by other players, without those I would probably be crying in ditch somewhere.
And please don't defend PSO drop rate, because in-game tons of player commented that it is hot garbage, so don't try score internet points and just say the same sentence here where everyone else can see it.
- Happy Hours - I can't say anything bad about it tbh, because the damn vanilla drop rate conditioned me to want and have HH anytime I can. But the random factor of those instances is really frustrating, and makes it hard to actually take part in HH themselves. By checking the HH chart for the events (especially easter, valentines felt way more balanced) it really made it hard for anyone else than US to take part in of most of them, only the last week of event felt incredibly generous with the timing for EU players (CEST time myself) and lots of ACTUALLY NEW PLAYERS I was hanging out with, voiced their frustration how hard for them is to take part in HH which usually took place after midnight or even later. Why those cannot be scheduled automatically, or at least recieve prior information or chart for APPROXIMATE HH's during whole month of event?
While everybody knows HH brings more players to the server, and that is a fact, but it does also create a HH effect of a different sort :"Why bother playing with garbo vanilla drop rates if we can just wait for HH, *logs out* ". Well that's nothing new, and lot of you peeps know that, so moving on...
- Economy - I'm gonna sum it up all in one section, but basically let me ask you a question "How does actually a new player can buy/sell stuff on the server where there aren't many (or at all) new players".
Like imagine: most of You have all the stuff You need, what exactly a new player which have no luck nor gear to tackle ultimate difficulty with any form of drops that may be worth, can offer to sell to veterans like You? Also custom gear that Ultima has basically rendered all the vanilla gear that we could sell to any other player completely useless and meaningless (lest some single exceptions) so one less way to get any kind pd's.
There is a guide from @jdhenry124 about grinding for some of the mats and/or goodies that other people don't want to waste their time for, but If I'm gonna be honest with You - that really haven't got me real far, well, maybe except having my bank full of mats and grinders which actually don't seem to be needed by anyone. I had to try to improvise with my income (and still have to, because RNG is a total penis) and considering how much DT's are mandatory for any kind of decent gear transaction, I had to whip out my $ and donate for the server, because sadly, I wouldn't imagine getting anywhere without those.
- Gameplay (balance issues?) - not a main issue, but a annoying one and I won't elaborate any more than it was already done in different topics - Rangers reign supreme, while hunters and force need some love, k thx bye. Maybe I like space wizards, and hate the fact that level of investment required for them (and hunters) are way over the top compared to Rangers (inb4 "Forces are ez, just buff and stay in corner n00b" or "how is that real, hahaha, just glide divine and do your job support slut"). Event items for Forces are good, but I need to wait half a year to get those, or whip another dose of $ to buy them for DT's :"L
- DMC - nuff said, being reprimended time and time again to not deal (pitful) damage so I won't cancel out the big boi numbers. Thanks, that's what I need after I login into game - to NOT play it.
That's the stuff that's on top of my head, there are some other inconveniences, but it's the community that is great, and it's the only reason why I even actually play this even now. I only have big_sad.png is the fact that lots of You live in different timezones and it's hard for me to play with y'all consistently, but it's been a blast so far, and not because the game is fun, but because You guys are.