Phantasy Star Online continues in the tradition of the popular series and is the first worldwide, online role-playing game for a console. The story revolves around the Pioneer Project, a plan conceived in response to the imminent destruction of the home worlds. Seven years prior, Pioneer 1 was sent to establish a colony on Planet Ragol, which included construction of the Central Dome. As Pioneer 2 is about to arrive with the main wave of refugees, a gigantic explosion shakes the entire planet, cutting off all communication with the members of Pioneer 1. Players from around the world must now unite via SegaNet to unravel the mystery.In order to form parties, the game's People Finder option allows players to locate each other on giant servers. Once inside the Virtual Lobby, players can choose up to three other team members. Language barriers between players are broken down by a communication system featuring a universal icon system, preset phrases, and keyword translations. Players can create their own character by modifying their physical appearance and personality traits. Real-time combat features many of the original weapons and enemies from previous Phantasy Star games. Gamers can play completely online, completely offline, or a combination of the two.