Phantasy Star Online 2: Episode 3 will be available for Japanese players late in August. There is quite a lot of content to be toyed with in this new iteration: a new character class, new weapons, a new addition to the ARKS Lobby, and the new planet pictured above.
The new character class is called the Bouncer. The Bouncer has an affinity for strike weapons and the new equipment being introduced in Episode 3, the Jet Boots and the Dual Blades, are made for Bouncers. Jet Boots allow you to double jump and perform special Techniques, and will enable support effects under certain conditions in battle. I wonder if double jumping will allow access to a special subset of abilities? Anyway, the Dual Blades are strike weapons, and those with Photon Blades attached can absorb PP. Apparently the Dual Blade fighting style is loosely inspired degree by the Kendo art of Nito-ryu, which is fitting considering the new planet Harukotan has aesthetic references to traditional Japanese culture and folklore. Titans abound in this new planet, inhabitated by two warring nations, one “White” and one “Black.”
There are a variety of other additions promised with Episode 3. The ARKS Lobby will see a huge renovation that introduces a Casino, where players can game for Coins, a currency usable only within the Casino. It’s a social experience and players will be able to congregate with their friends and other players. There will also be all sorts of other adjustments, including but not limited to balance adjustments (Classes, Photon Tree), interface retooling, and even a fourth accessory slot.
Check out some trailers below! The first one is a general trailer encompassing everything Episode 3 is about. The second trailer is an in-depth look at the stylistic shenanigans of the Bouncer.
Concerning the western release of the game, Sega recently responded to fan requests on Twitter with the following answer:
The game is still delayed. SEGA is currently working on bringing PSO2 to the West and will update as soon as we know more.
Unfortunately this isn’t anything new, but at least it appears they still intend to localize the game.