After months of waiting, Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis finally gets its first significant update. This long-awaited update added a vast array of content, some quality of life improvements for all the in-game classes, and of course, the brand new region of Retem. I had the opportunity to explore the region with SEGA’s Community Team, so now let’s answer the following question: Was Retem worth the wait?
First of all, what is Retem, even? The Retem Region is a desert located to the east of Aelio’s Central City, where the main game hub is located. As you might expect of a desert, dry and rocky landscapes as fart as the eye can see and a beautiful meteor shower happens every time the in-game clock turns to nighttime are expected. According to the community team, the developers hid many easter eggs across the Retem Region, encouraging players to find as many as possible. These Easter Eggs take form in cute references from past Phantasy Star games, which is a nice touch to look out for when exploring the region because, in terms of size, it’s about as big as Aelio, if not, equal-sized.
As customary for a new region update, we also got the second chapter of the main story unlocked after reaching LV 20 with any class and reaching the required amount of Battle Power. Upon arriving in the region, we meet the city leader Nadereh, who comments that the city is under constant attack of a massive enemy known as the Renus Retem and has been in conflict with it for hundreds of years, without any clear way to defeat it insight. And of course, being the good guys we are, we decide to help. I mean, we defeated a giant dragon-like monster.
New Urgent Quests were added, but their requirements are consistently very steep. You need about 1650 Battle Power, and considering the maximum, the story quests will ever ask of you is 1460. It takes a bit of tedious grinding to get to the required threshold. There are also many new Cocoon and Trainia challenges that are quite the level spike.
But the developers have significantly improved the grinding somewhat, as the side quests, you’ll get inside Retem give huge amounts of EXP, a substantial upgrade compared to the pity amounts of EXP you got on Aelio. Some sidequests even give you pre-strengthened weapons that can quickly increase your Battle Power, and none of them have absurd requirements. As a result, I managed to do most of them rather quickly, without needing to call for help from my Alliance or DMing my close friends for help.
The Retem Region was a welcome addition to the game. According to the community team, the developers have listened closely to player feedback and implemented multiple features to improve the experience. And it shows. I had no significant complaints when exploring Retem and had a great time exploring the region and its new challenges both by myself and with the community team. Of course, some bugs are present, such as the boss suddenly disappearing in Urgent Quests, but as the team stated multiple times, the developers are always listening to the feedback, which is reassuring. I cannot wait for what New Genesis has in store for the next major update.
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