So... I guess we finally know what "NOT EPISODE 7" is... or at least a bit of what its going to be given there's still some details left unclear which sure has stirred up the community. Keeping a keen eye on things, I have some analysis on what little information we have as well as the gameplay footage i'd like to share.
The question whether its a standalone expansion sharing data with regular PSO2 (the same way PSO2 in Japan can link up with PSO2es) or a major update to Phantasy Star Online 2 the game is not currently known... but something I find curious is that the game already has a rating (Rated T in NA and CERO D in JP). Usually when a standalone game is in development, even if its using another game as a base, its rating is not established ("Rating Pending" with the ESRB) and this doesn't seem to be exclusive to the NA trailer as even the JP version has its own rating already.
To further push in the 'actual update to the existing client' direction... if you look at the JP site and look at the platforms listed you will find that the Switch version is still a Cloud-based version ("クラウド版（Nintendo Switch／PC）" as it reads.
The game appears to have a day and night cycle. Next to the minimap you can see either a Sun or Moon icon with a countdown clock to it.
- It appears they are localizing the game/update as its being developed. The trailer not only shows English being used in the chat but also things like Enemy names and Weaknesses appearing in English. It appears localization's already happening as its being developed.
- The UI had been updated once again (it had been updated once after the first alpha, and then another time following Episode 4's release). The weapon and item icons remain unchanged however except for some of the new PAs.
- This update / expansion may see us no longer being stuck on ships. In addition to the bases seen around the map, pre-rendered footage in the trailer give us a top down view which show more going on, including what appears to be various buildings within it.
- New looks have been given to the default characters it seems (from left to right: Gilliam, Sue, Ash, Rupika (spelled Rupika in the chat but 'Rupica' in the health box):
- There's a noticeable lack of ARKS branding... given that IDOLA (which takes place in PSO2's future) has ARKS disbanded long before the start of the plot...