New Genesis: Phantasy Star Online 2 Analysis

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.

PSO2_Night.png

  • 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.

PSO2_NewENemy.png

  • 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.

PSO2_NewUI.png

  • 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.

PSO2_New_Base.png

  • 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):

PSO2_Defaults.jpg

  • 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...

well I'm pretty sure is a new game because is a new engine and is pretty difficult to change the engine of a game while is much easier to just make a new game instead, the rate in the past game companies just did put their games to be rated without informing anything about those games, also the fact that it was rated clearly shows that the game has fully functional build version.

however the transition to the old engine to the new engine will be like FFXIV did.

@Jamesmor Maybe... though isn't BDO being ported from Unreal Engine 3 to 4? Even though they are from the same series of engines, both are quite different...

I just completed an analysis as well in the video forum but one of the highlights seems to be we might be dealing with 4th generation ARKS that can change their class seamlessly. 2nd gen can't change their class and 3rd can at the class counter. No idea what planet we're on. Palma, Parum, Vandool and a brand new planet could all be valid until we know more.

@Leonkh99 they are complete different, even one being the successor of the other they coding core are different so passing something from Unreal 3 to 4 is not easy to do but is possible, the question is how much resources and time they have to do that

@Jamesmor Well... I remember about a year or two ago SEGA of Japan having a major job listing for an unnamed Phantasy Star project...

@Leonkh99 said in New Genesis: Phantasy Star Online 2 Analysis:

@Jamesmor Maybe... though isn't BDO being ported from Unreal Engine 3 to 4? Even though they are from the same series of engines, both are quite different...

BDO doesn't use the unreal engine, it's Pearl Abyss's own in-house engine. idk where people are getting that BDO runs on unreal. lol Blade and Soul however, is being ported from UE3-4 (And from what I hear/see it sucks)

@Kofi9867 said in New Genesis: Phantasy Star Online 2 Analysis:

@Leonkh99 said in New Genesis: Phantasy Star Online 2 Analysis:

@Jamesmor Maybe... though isn't BDO being ported from Unreal Engine 3 to 4? Even though they are from the same series of engines, both are quite different...

BDO doesn't use the unreal engine, it's Pearl Abyss's own in-house engine. idk where people are getting that BDO runs on unreal. lol Blade and Soul however, is being ported from UE3-4 (And from what I hear/see it sucks)

Whoops thats.... a mistake on my end, I was referring to Blade n Soul but I got mixed up.

@Jamesmor said in New Genesis: Phantasy Star Online 2 Analysis:

well I'm pretty sure is a new game because is a new engine

This is the major consideration. It's very clearly a new engine of some sort. PSO2 runs on a modified version of the Hedgehog engine, which was originally used for the likes of Sonic Unleashed and Generations. You can't put that much spit and polish onto an 10+ year old engine and make it look like that at that smooth an fps at such a larger scale render.

If it's a new engine, it's a new game from the ground up in a lot regards. Changing engines on a game is a huge undertaking, and requires redoing a lot of stuff even to make something even a 1:1 approximate. It doesn't look like they're doing that, so they'll have to redo anything in the new format they intend to allow us to "carry over". With the sheer amount of cosmetics this game has, that is a lot of stuff to port over and make renderable on the new engine in a way that doesn't look awful.

@Dr-Roflopogus they are probably pulling the same that Square-Enix did with Final Fantasy XIV when the first version flopped and considering the recent news from that game that is expanding the free trial to the entire base game and first expansion Sega don't want to mess up and lose their public to Square-Enix or to Bamco that is also entering in the race now

@Dr-Roflopogus Where do people get that it runs on the Hedgehog Engine? PSO2's ending was based on the same engine that PSU and the Portable series uses...

BDO is getting an upgrade, not a new game. Blade and Soul is getting an upgrade (Crimson Blade is another story and not the same project.) WARFRAME, a game that has taken a lot from PSOs format, has had open world expansions and MORE and has never called itself a sequel. Don't get me started on EVE online either. Then you had FF14AAR .. I was there for the Cataclysm and then the Reboot. There is a chance that this could be an ACTUAL upgrade ... seriously. Wait until more news is released. If it IS a new game how did they keep everything a secret this long? Let alone how do they expect to release something so huge in 2021 without some sort of infrastructure? There is A LOT OF UNEXPLAINED stuff atm, some folks need to CALM DOWN...

I can certainly see this being an update as they said it was, and as Leon here outlines with the details he has found. Not entirely confirmed but still anyones guess.

@Leonkh99 said in New Genesis: Phantasy Star Online 2 Analysis:

@Dr-Roflopogus Where do people get that it runs on the Hedgehog Engine? PSO2's ending was based on the same engine that PSU and the Portable series uses...

I said modified Hedgehog since the PSU engine has no name, but probably shares a lot of the same core elements as the Hedgehog engine since it's likely Sega reused a lot of engine libraries and components in house between teams, it fits the time frame of development, and it's the commonly held belief anyway. I suppose I should have clarified that.

Either way, that'd make this engine even older and less likely to do anything seen in that trailer.

@Dr-Roflopogus That I won't deny. Nearly everyone I have spoken to who have looked at PSO2's code or a portion of it always bring up the same thing... how big of a badly programmed convoluted mess the game's engine is. Plus it still uses DirectX9... a graphics API that was outdated by the time Phantasy Star Universe came out in 2006 (DirectX10 released by then).

This is either them going back and redoing huge portions of their engine or an entirely new engine altogether.