|PSO2...seemingly continues with NGS "New Genesis"
This new game has a world wide release (much better), and comes to you in two parts. You can choose PSO2 to play, or New Genesis with the same character. But now, you don't need things like The Tweaker (the amazing fan translation unit) to play PSO2 for yourself. This automatically makes it much easier to get into either plot/story/game-play itself. The game play of NGS is similar to, but with enough differences from PSO2 to keep it very interesting and fresh feeling. The graphics and locations in NGS are absolutely amazing, and seem to be extremely well thought out. But of course...this is a plot cataloging and information site so....on with the premise!
When is it?
NGS is 1000 years after the final event of PSO2, which was the boss battle with Sodom/Gomorath that was supposed to put Profound Darkness away for good. So how to get your SAME character into this new scenario without it being super-duper old? Have it become a pod person, known in the game as "Meteorn". They're called that because they fall onto the the people's planet in meteor-like techno-pods that break open and let out a single person without many memories. This makes sense in the short term and works well to open a plot.
Where is it?
Coming from the space-faring ultra-tech ARKS, being isolated to 1 planet at first seems a little strange. However, the planet has many different climates/areas so it is never at a loss for variety. (Unlike, say, Lilipa) The people on the planet are clearly whatever species the ARKS are (human looking, newman looking), and they've been there for about 1000 years. However, they don't seem to know that much about how they got there. The planet has high tech stuff like transparent screens, teleportation, photon-control and all that type of goodies from PSO2, but it's mixed with stuff like camping tents, tiki huts and people augmenting their plastic clothes with handmade silks and dyes. The people seem to have a tropical (bright colors) eye for arcitecture and what to wear.
Who is bad?
The DOLLS. The Dolls (why are they called that) are technological based baddies. They have gel-like flexible parts that are normally aqua or blue/green. The gels turn to red/pink/white when they are agitated. They also have shiny black metal for their hard-parts (such as feet, hooves, clubs, swords, heads, plate-armor etc) These come in a myriad of shapes and sizes. Some are humanoid bipeds that are clearly wielding doll-copies of common weapons (an axe, a gun, a sword), while others are like a triangle with tentacles on it that tries to shoot you. Some have the ability to levitate in the air (no obvious engine), and others resemble vehicles.
The Dolls have been up to no good for at least 500 of the planet's 1000 year history. They can appear out of no-where (an energy glob), and generally just kind of troop around the landscape until they are disturbed. They can also apparently purposely-appear right near people so they auto-disturb and attack. They don't seem to menace the local wild life (which is abundant) but they hate all humanoid looking things. It seems most of them don't hear very well (or are deaf) but they do see fairly well (and some have a good eye for distance) When killed, they collapse into a bright energy glob.
Lores: A hostile animal that was on Naberius will be called "Name LORE" so Aginis Lore, Oodan Lore
Alters: Strange (possibly native) animals that are also hostile such as Lizard-Fray, Banehog & Evil Angelo
What's the Mystery?
Obviously "What's the deal with Dolls"? But, aside from that, the planet itself is a mystery. You're clearly supposed to assume it's Naberius / Naverius of pso2. There are animal/native enemies like Aginis, Banther, Oodan, Gulf/Fangulf and Garongo all around. No one would import hostile monkies onto another planet along with the exact specific other creatures of Naberius. But then....
You'll notice that the rocks of the landscape are sometimes broken (as in rock-faces/cliffs) which exposes black metal that's smooth and sometimes has glowing bars of light in it. Cliff-faces are sometimes joined, or attempted to be joined by series of thick girder-like metal that is often broken. There are large cylindrical units in some areas that appear to be producing fresh water onto waterfalls or large, smooth, obviously metallic or plastic half-city-block size areas. Someone's clearly been terraforming the place before whoever these 1000-ers got here. But why?
What happened to ARKS?
The other half of the mystery is, of course, what happened to the ARKS and what happened to 'your guy' to get it into the position of being a Meteorn and not having any memories of 'what happened before' just like all the other Meteorn who come down onto Halpha. Other questions like did anybody else from pso2 get to live (like Matoi, or did she just get old and die normally) will all have to be answered as the plot goes along. The game doesn't feel 'sequel' in it's plot at the start because all it does is sprinkle some old foes about so it is the plot itself that has to progress to tie things together (and keep things interesting)
Some of the animals are neutral now, those are called TAMES. These animals don't care that you exist. You can murder them, (though generally shouldn't) and some can be induced to panic and trample you. They're essentially a neutral wild animal. Some are skittish (Otarica the seal-otter) and others aren't (Diane, the huge deer thing & several types of bird) The Alters & the Dolls don't seem to care that these exist.
Trainia Cocoons / Tower Training-
Strange edifices were built by whoever put the place together. They're much larger on the inside than on the outside. They resemble either a small cube like shed or a tall spire of metal. You enter these to face various obstacles like jumping challenges, enemy challenges or point challenges. The computer system that runs them then grades you and dispenses some sort of prize. SO. These had to be made & put up AFTER Dolls started appearing, because they have fake Dolls in them for you to fight.
Here, mags take a smaller role. They gather and store/display info but they don't blast, change, grow or be a person. Everybody has the same rounded 2-bubble shaped mag. A mag can sense Ryuker towers and various other landscape features and point them out. When you display your inventory/the N-key map it's the mag doing that.
Is it a mag? There are several quite-large (about 1 person tall) spheres that rest in a base. This is the Region Mag. It has a chipper-looking 'eye' digitally on the front of it and can hover, but not leave its base. You can insert various things into it, and it will then broadcast some type of bonus over the area it 'controls' the bonuses for. Note: Genuinely adorable. Neither mag type has any explanation at the start, nor does why you have a mag at all, but not your mag from PSO2.
YES the actual rappy-rappy (not that Nab-Rappy) where it is the fuzzy soft baby child good-bird are indeed on this planet too. And they're smarter! If you wave at them, they can wave back. They coordinate to sings songs and bless the character with rainbow music-note light. A summary page wouldn't be complete without mentioning them. Note: Genuinely adorable
Character & Environment?
Leveling works about the same, kill stuff and complete quests to get exp.
But you are JUDGED differently here, your judgement comes as a thing called "Battle Power". It is a combination of all your stats AND equipment. So, sheilds, weapons, character level, and any augmentations upon those things like what your sub-class is, class skills, and grind on weps/sheilds all count and add up the Battle Power Number. This number defines where you can and can't go, and what you can participate in.
It is more interesting because not everything being 'raw level single number' makes for a more complex build. So, you can be a lower level but have really great items and still do well/boost yourself up that way. There's more than 1 way to rise.
VERY different from pso2's. You can just yeet yourself off to explore the whole continet, it has no real boundaries. There are enemy-intense places like Vanford Lab Ruins and Mt. Magnus, and then normal type areas (everywhere else) that generally only have a few baddies in them. There are no "Quest Counter" quests where a gang goes into an instanced area with a set path. This is both good and bad. Open world is nice but it makes keeping people together difficult to organize and hard to hold onto. Hopefully quests of some sort get added later.
There are "Emergencies" which happen randomly where some big boss will turn up at some pointed-out-on the map area and whoever wants to can just run over there (if they meet the reqs) and try to bust it with however many people show up. So it's similar, but not the same as PSO2 EQs, but again...no instance and no guarentee enough people will care to go after whatever it is.