Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis First Impressions

I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my time in Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis this week. Sure, it has it’s issues, lag being the main one, but I’ve played Trove long enough that lag doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. I’ve been eagerly awaiting it’s release since I played the beta and I’ve logged on every day since it’s been out. Something I can’t say often about any game. What makes things even better is that the squad has started playing as well!

After the beta I was torn between a few main classes to play: Fighter, Techer, or Force. I ended up going with Techer as my main class as it has a mix of support, melee, and ranged techniques. I haven’t felt the need to re-roll which is a good sign that I’m enjoying the class. The main mechanic of the class revolves around matching elemental attacks to the enemies weaknesses and throwing out a damage boost/incoming damage reduction buff. I chose Force as my sub class which gave me access to some close range AoE spells and a skill tree to keep my PP (mana) up. So far, I’m really enjoying the playstyle.

I’ve seen a lot of criticism that there isn’t enough content right now which I personally find is a non issue. Jumping in to the original PSO2 last year was a nightmare of menus, systems within systems, and really weird controls. There was a ton of content but so much that I didn’t want to sift through it all. I bounced pretty hard after a week or so. In New Genesis, there’s a lot less going on all the time and I can actually sit down and learn the few systems that are in place. The skill tree isn’t huge and for the most part I understand what each one does and how it would impact my character. The weapon upgrade system has some quirks but is understandable overall. The map is on the small side but the zones are varied enough that I don’t feel like I’m seeing the same things as I go through it.

I’m about 10 hours in and feel like I have a good thing going with this game.

That’s not to say it doesn’t have it’s issues. The lag is the biggest one hands down. Those first few days I couldn’t even follow the people I was playing with around because they’d be rubberbanding all over the place. Menus would take a long time to load. Sometimes, enemies will just stand there and not take any damage until things catch up and they’re just dead. It’s gotten better over the last week but it’s still there.

The other issue I’ve run in to is materials not respawning when the daily quests reset. If you collect too many materials in a zone and tomorrows daily quest happens to be getting those materials in said zone, you’re out of luck. It seems like materials are on a 24 hour timer from when you collect them rather than with the daily reset. This has lead me to not collect resources out in the world until I get the daily quest to do so. I’m hoping this get’s resolved because it’s terrible system when you need those resources to upgrade things.

I’ve also seen reports that there’s a bug that takes large amounts of currency when you teleport with the quick travel system. I personally haven’t experienced it but there’s enough posts on the subreddit about it that I’m constantly checking my in game wallet. The game is a week old though so hopefully all the issues will be ironed out in time.

Overall, I really like this game and hope to be here for a while. Plus it looks gorgeous!

Beta Vibes

I spent some time this weekend in the Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis “Closed” Beta. Closed to those, it seems, who were willing to not only install the Xbox Insider App but risk downloading PSO2: NG from the Windows Store again.

It was just around this time last year that I was looking forward to playing PSO2. From the lack of follow up posts, I can tell you I didn’t stick with it very long. I wanted to like the game but I found every time I logged in I was bombarded with information and decisions that had to be made. After a few weeks, I never found my groove with it, uninstalled it, and never came back.

I didn’t have much interest in New Genesis for the longest time either. I thought it was just a re-release of PSO2 with updated graphics. It wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I went back and figured out it was a different game entirely. That intrigued me. And the fact that it was open world instead of lobby based. So I got my Xbox insider app, signed up for the beta, and marked my calendar.

After spending a few hours on Saturday with it I’ll say I’m impressed. New Genesis is the exact kind of Phantasy Start game I want to be playing. The game looks and runs great on my machine. The movement feels almost as good as Warframe. And the open world is giving me a bit of Guild Wars 2 vibes. Most importantly, I felt way less anxious starting this game up than I ever did with PSO2. The little guided quest line was enough to get a feel for the game, a feel for the class, and left me wanting to play more. I wasn’t constantly reading tutorials and having system upon system thrown at me and I appreciated that.

The first character I made was a C.A.S.T. Hunter. I played through the initial quest line with him until I got to the end and was tasked with talking to a bunch of NPC’s for some more side quests. At that point I was around level 10 and had been to enough zones to know that I wanted to continue playing the game but I also wanted to try out the rest of the classes while I could. I didn’t want to spend too much time with it and sate my interest prematurely.

You’re limited to 3 character slots per server but you can buy more. Thankfully, I had 20,000 of the premium currency on my account when I logged in which was plenty to unlock three more slots and create a character for every class. While I enjoyed the Hunter class a big sword seems a bit boring flavor wise for me. My top three classes are Techer, the melee and magic hybrid class, Force, the all magic class, and Fighter, a melee class with fist weapons. Ok, honestly, I just want to be a big robot that punches things with that last one….

Time will tell how much I’ll latch on to New Genesis. My friends are interested which is a huge plus. I’m excited now and I’m hoping that excitement carries into June for the release. Maybe by then I’ll figure out where it stashed my screenshots……