From what I've been told by other players, Sega got DDOSed, changed IP's and didn't tell other ISP's. Accident or not, PSO2 was Japan only until ISPs obtained corrected internet paths. Some players still need proxies. TOS forbids connecting from outside Japan, yet Ship02-Ur is FULL of English speaking players. Sega indeed seems to look the other way. There is a bit of uncertainty and paranoia going on regarding bans (especially the dreaded Error 816). The two things I most consistently hear to be dangerous: Pissing off a Japanese player, or using a proxy. One theory goes that Sega hates proxies for legal reasons - to stop SouthEast Asia players from abandoning AsiaSoft's version (terrible microtransaction pay to win nightmare, way behind on updates) for the original Sega version. Meanwhile, nProtect GameGuard likes to crash the game for random programs being open in the background, including Avast! AV, Google Chrome and the PSO2 Tweaker. As far as 'region lock' goes the game is playable but the barriers to entry and risks (starting with the CAPTCHA boss and ending with a potential ban at any time) are indeed pretty high. I wish instead of localizing they instead would make an official English (Steam?) client which sends players to Japanese Ship 02 by default, legitimizing our presence rather than turning a blind eye to it -- and hire on a community-driven translation project.