December is almost upon us, which means it’s soon time for yet another region expansion for SEGA’s Phantasy Star Online 2: New Genesis! I recently had the opportunity to get a brief sneak peek at The Hellfire Vanguard expansion that is coming this December with the PSO2 Team. And while it was only for a short period, there’s a lot to take in from this volcanic region.
Let’s set the stage a little bit. The Stia Region is the fourth region expansion of PSO2 New Genesis, located to the southeast of Kvaris and the north of Retem. Biome-wise, this is a complete one-eighty of Kvaris. Instead of mountainous ridges that heighten in altitude, most of Stia tends to go underground rather than aboveground.
In fact, the Stia Camp, located at the base of the volcano, shares that design language, unlike other regions that previously had their camps in the center. It also features a very nice-looking volcanic rock in the middle, with your usual amenities such as the Salon and Quest Counter, surrounding it.
For this preview session, I explored two areas, the first being the Dreisen Plant Exploration Sector. It has tons of cylinder-like structures, making it look more like a factory or an energy-production plant, as the name possibly suggests. My theory, though it’s currently just a conjecture, is that the Dreisen Plant will be where most of the story will take place because it was prominently featured in the first-ever trailer we got about Stia that was seen in the NGS Headline.
Since this is an Exploration Sector, you can bet that this is where you’ll find the Gigantix monsters, and even though me and staff member Alyssa were both LV 70 and equipped with top-of-the-line equipment, it wasn’t really going down easily. But then again, Gigantix monsters were always notorious HP sponges, so I wasn’t shocked that two players are not even close to beating one, even if said people have the latest and greatest equipment.
Moving on, we have the Combat Sector Dext Base. This sector reminds me of the laboratory back in the Aelio region because of these structures are scattered around it. From time to time, rocks from the volcano will shoot out and fall into the field. Like the crystals scattered across Kvaris, you can also throw these at enemies and deal some extra damage.
If there’s anything I learned with the new enemies in this Combat sector, it’s that Ice will undeniably be your best friend, and for good reason. Not only are there many hazards that deal fire damage to yourself, but many of the enemies I found were weak to the element.
Even though I could only get what I felt was like a quick sneak peek at Stia, I still had lots of fun with the PSO2 Team. While my assumptions of what will happen in the story are all pure conjecture at this point, I’m super looking forward to knowing a lot more about the region’s lore and not to mention the “true secret of Aelio” when this update officially releases next month.
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