"What is Phantasy Star Online 2?", "Why haven't I heard of it before?", "Wasn't that even on Dreamcast?" Many of you are probably asking yourself these questions. Phantasy Star is one of the oldest RPGs and made its debut in Japan in 1987 on the Sega Master System. In 1988 it came to the West. Subsequently there were offshoots of the series from time to time, but not all of them made it to our country. For many fans, Phantasy Star Online 2 was a game that unfortunately did not make this leap. But … that has changed recently.
A release like everyone else … or worse?
You could also call the Anime Action MMORPG released in 2012 an MMO dungeon crawler, because that's what you'll mainly be doing in the game. But how did it suddenly come to us? To be exact, it is not yet with us. Microsoft has licensed the game and licensed it for North America. That means we can only reach the game through the NA server. Regardless of whether we want to play the game on Xbox or PC, we first have to access the American Microsoft Store to download it. For this we have to set our console or the PC in the regional settings to USA. Since the game is not tied to a region, this is also legitimate.
There were some problems with the release of the game, which meant that certain folder access rights had to be adjusted. As a layman without an installation guide, you could almost uninstall it right away. But there were also significant problems there, because the game was not properly uninstalled. The regular deinstallation only gave the admin account the rights to delete the files manually. So if you didn't know where they were hidden, you couldn't even remove the around 70GB of data. Up to this point, the release was a disaster. For some fans, the game ran immediately without problems, while others tried to get it going for hours and hours.
A few days later came an update of an app made by fans, which could update, fix and later even completely uninstall the game. This app is very well known in the PSO2 community because it has also been used for the Japanese release. As many do not know: The Japanese version already had all these problems.
What is the best way to install the game?
Unfortunately, I cannot say what it currently looks like. I was only lucky to get the game running when it was released, and since I don't want to recommend a fan app for which I can't vouch for it, I won't mention the name of the app for safety's sake. If you want to search for them, you are guaranteed to find them via Google if you try a little. So my recommendation would be to try the Microsoft Store first and then look further.
As soon as you have downloaded the game from the Microsoft Store, you still have to log in to the PSO2 website with your Microsoft account so that the launcher of the game can define your account when connecting to the server. This is a common procedure in the Japanese area.
What do I do when I'm in the game?
First of all, you can choose between three ships, the ships stand for the servers. You can create a maximum of three characters per account, regardless of whether on the same or on different servers. However, you can expand the number of possible characters with microtransactions.
When creating the character, you can choose between four races and two genders. The races and genders have certain differences in the status values. For the min-maxing of a character, these would certainly count, but for someone who is not interested in minimal damage differences, this is not relevant. You also have the choice between six classes.
The breed selection consists of the four breeds Human, Newman, CAST and Deuman. The Newman and Deuman have something elf-like about them and the CAST are 'Meches like those seen in Gundam. There is something to consider when choosing a class. You can freely change the class in the game, so after a few minutes you can choose what you want to play. You only have to buy the respective starting weapons for other classes or collect them while playing. Likewise, as soon as you are in the game, there are not six, but even nine classes. When creating characters, you have the choice between Hunter, Braver, Ranger, Bouncer, Force and Summoner. The classes here are not as typical as in other games. The Hunter, for example, carries a broad sword, a lance or chain blades. What you would normally understand by a Hunter would be the Braver, but he not only has a bow, but also a Katana. A ranger has an assault rifle and a rocket launcher. So it is quite a bit different than you would normally imagine. However, there are weapons that are not class-specific and can be equipped by any class. The three classes that you also select in the game are Fighter, Gunner and Techer.
Is there a role allocation in PSO2?
No, there is no dedicated tank, healer or DD in PSO2. Each class is a DD. The difference between the classes is only marginal. These are 100 to 400 life points, the type of attack (Meele, Ranged, Tech) and the agility of the class. There are classes that move in the air during an air combo, and others that only fall after an attack in the air. This can be avoided with an alternative role, you can find out more in the video at the end of the article. If you deal with your own class long enough, each class is very flexible and fast. Of course, certain hero types like the bouncer still stand out here.
Now I have chosen a class, what now?
When you have created your character and selected a class, you will be thrown directly into the tutorial. Here you can find out, among other things, how the control works. As soon as the tutorial is finished, you will be taken to the "city" of PSO2 and there the chaos will begin. From this moment on, the game tries to indirectly give you a common thread so that you can find your way around, but it doesn't quite work out. You will be showered with quests that rarely tell you where to go, and often you will find your way around after about 15 minutes.
However, there is a simple solution to this, which almost completely eliminates the problem. If you go in the menu on quests, there on client orders and there then "Everyones Client Orders" you get an overview of your quests. At the top is "1. Display All". If you click on it, you can sort the quests according to the areas in which you have to complete them. Then all you have to do is go to the quest, look at what the job demands, and complete it. This can be an expedition on a certain level of difficulty, or a so-called ARKs Quest. You also have to collect monster materials or just kill a certain group of monsters above a certain level. It's not very creative. But there are also enough other MMOs that solve this in a similarly uninspired way.
What do I have to consider when I start playing?
You should definitely talk to Afin. It is right in front of the gateway, which you use to get to your missions, and has a blue quest symbol above it at the beginning. He explains a lot about the game and leads you around the "city". But never let yourself be confused by an orange, pulsating circle. This does not symbolize your quest goal, but your ARK missions. These are side tasks that also reward you for certain things. Like doing an Advanced Quest for the first time or upgrading a weapon to +10 and breaking your limit. There are also daily and weekly missions. So there is no shortage of orders.
In addition to the Daily Ark Missions, there are also daily client orders. You can accept this at the left switch next to the gateway. There is a nice tip here. If you speak to the quest counter you can choose Main Quests and then Recommended Quests. The first quest there is guaranteed to contain your important dailies, the other two also contain some. The important thing here is: Via the "Recommended Quests" menu you will receive three orders, which will earn you a daily reward and for which you can accept client orders directly on site. So you don't have to pay attention to the area or run to the NPC. As soon as you have selected the level of difficulty and configured your lobby, you will see a window with all quests that you can accept for exactly this area.
But beware! At this point JUST filtered by area. Means that you may see a quest that can only be accomplished in an expedition, on a certain level of difficulty, or with a particular NPC. This brings us directly to another point. There are quests where an NPC wants to visit an area with you alone. In this case, you can put together a team of NPCs in the gateway on the left to accompany you. But pay close attention to whether the NPC says in the client order that it wants to be alone with you or not. Client orders from Cofy at the counter on the right side of the gateway are just as important. She has client orders for you, which unlock your MAG and, for example, a second job. More on that later.
As soon as you have made a few client orders and had one or the other level up, you can then go to Bhea. It is in the same room as the gateway and the switches, but on the opposite side. With him you can change classes and learn class skills. However, these are purely passive skills. You can either distribute the points yourself or let the game decide for you. Here I would recommend you to look for a guide for the class you play and to follow the guidelines. To learn active skills, you have to use discs. You can buy them in other players' personal shops or get them by killing monsters. The discs drop at different levels. So you don't need any skill points, just level your active skills by finding a higher level disc of the same skill.
The mag and the second job
The Mag is a pet that automatically attacks with you and can even be summoned once it reaches level 20. You get your first mag with the level 5 client order "Mag License Trial" and the second job with the level 20 client order "Sub Class Permit Trial". You will receive both client orders from Cofy. The second job can be chosen freely and its status values are partially transferred to the main job, as is almost all of its passive skills that you have learned. In addition, the class defined as a second job receives 25 percent of the total EXP you collect. For example, if you use a ranger with high dex skills, you might be able to equip a high dex assault rifle with level 1 or level 5. This would blow everything off the field very quickly with the new class.
Is PSO2 Pay2Win?
Here you can clearly say no. The game is not Pay2Win, but of course it offers advantages via the cash shop. So you can expand the inventory or only sell items to other players if you have a premium subscription. The same applies to the receipt of further MAGs. You can also get the buyable EXP boosters in-game through client orders, dailies and when you unlock titles. There are many players who have not used the premium subscription or the cash shop and have been actively playing the game for years. If you are interested in costumes, cash shop hair styles or tattoos, you can also buy them from other players without a premium subscription. However, you should be aware that these are very expensive. However, if you use the three free character slots and play at least one character to the maximum level, you will get enough Meseta, the in-game currency, over the long term.
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