So this has happened on a fairly regular basis now, and I am not sure if it's a bug, an issue with my PS3, an issue with PS3 in general, or what. Here's how it goes.
If I play for a day (I am fortunate enough to work 7 on 7 off, so this can happen regularly), sometimes after being on for a few hours, or after crossing through a heavily populated area, I will start to lose sound effects. Normally it starts with some of the players around me, then mine start to drop out. Eventually, if I don't restart, I lose the background music. Now. I thought this was as far as it went, and normally by that point I've rebooted as having a totally silent game drives me mad.
However, recently I played on, just trying to get through a few more quests with my fiancee. We were out near Little Al Migho and headed down the stairs towards the level 46 area for a quest just before there (the Tea quest, if anyone knows it). I ran down and started looking for NPCs, but the area was clear of them, it was just me and my fiancee onscreen. At least, for me it was clear. My fiancee was telling me she saw a FATE she could start (the Flames scout escort FATE). Again, I saw nothing. I told her to start it. She asked if I saw anything. Eventually the NPC popped but frozen in a run stance, moving like one of those electric football players, gliding in frozen stance.
As the FATE progressed, a few other players appeared, then I saw a couple enemies here and there. But never did everyone appear. I exited the game and logged back in, and everything went back to normal. I felt the PS3, and it wasn't hot or blowing excessive hot air, so I don't think it's heat. It seems to be associated with any time I cross an area with a large number of sounds or characters, there is a chance that the sounds start dying. It normally doesn't happen in a short period of play, it takes a couple of big FATEs or an extended playtime to really get it to happen.
Am I alone on this, or is this an issue others have had happen?