The mobile MMORPG Arthdal Chronicles, developed by Netmarble, finally showed up in all its glory at G-Star 2022. The company set up a demo booth for the project this year, and also held a Q&A session to provide users with more information about the upcoming novelty.
Arthdal Chronicles is a mobile MMORPG based on the popular South Korean TV series Arthdal Chronicles. The authors implemented the original plot, the system of day and night, weather, seasons, battles involving many players and three sides of the conflict.
Below you can find a translation of the interview with the developers and some videos presented at the event.
When it comes to Arthdal Chronicles [сериал], there are unique languages created exclusively for it. Is there any chance this will be implemented in the game?
Among the representative languages that appeared in the drama, similar languages also appear in the game. At the beginning of the planning, we went in the direction of using a large number of languages of various tribes and unique terms that appear in Arthdal, but given the number of elements that are difficult to understand in new languages, it was decided to go in the direction of minimizing them.
The scene where you failed the QTE event was funny. Why did you add QTE?
Instead of telling the story in a one-sided way, it was decided to add interest through elements that allow users to interact in scenes.
Turning a drama into a game is an unusual and unique case. What prompted or inspired you to start this project?
Before deciding to create an IP game called Arthdal Chronicles, I was interested in the series and film production, so I studied directing and scripting for a long time. Then I wanted to create a game based on that and I started working hard. As a result, a satisfactory result came out, and the scriptwriters were also satisfied.
The drama has been turned into a game. Is there any difference from the gamification of webtoons, web novels and anime? What was the most difficult part of making the game?
For the adaptation of the series, there is a need for more realistic design than for web novels, comics and anime. Of course, The Chronicles of Arthdal is a fantasy drama, so the writers readily accepted the game setting …
Does this game have a unique feature or element that might appeal to users who don’t know the original series?
It seems that the above has been answered to some extent, but to clarify a bit, the game will offer a unique story of lawless forces in the north. To briefly explain this lawless power, all stories begin with the Outlaw King, the founder of the Black Sex, a group of mercenaries secretly expanding their power during the war between Ago and Arthdal… In the process, you can experience a new pleasure of exploring various characters and regions, that we saw in the drama.
Do other dramatic characters appear in the game besides Tagon?
Many of the main characters of the drama will appear. Not only Tagon, Eunseom, Taealha, Tanya and Saya, but also familiar characters such as Yeolson, Muntae, Chaeyeon, Yangcha and Mubaek will appear as often as possible. However, at the G-Star stands, you can only go through the initial locations and meet only Tagon.
What is the duration of the game in relation to the series’ seasons?
The game tells the story after the first season of the drama. However, since the content of season 2 has not yet been revealed, I think I can tell you this part later.
Endgame content is expected to be sieges or large scale wars focusing on conflicts between sides, but since this is a very familiar situation in domestic mobile MMORPGs, I’m wondering what the differences will be. And most of these competitive MMORPGs end up being P2W, do you have plans to do the same?
There have been MMORPGs with two or three forces, but I think the collaboration of two forces and mercenaries is probably the first.
Ago and Asdal live life by contributing to the forces by completing various missions, and the lawless force of the mercenaries is the role played by users. They only like war and can act on either side as a counterweight. Depending on the balance of forces calculated at regular intervals, mercenary compensation changes. In this way, the sides are balanced – this will be the hallmark of the game.
This is not to say that P2W influence is absent, but I think the characteristics of the game change depending on how significant it is, and the direction is to enable non-paying users to fully enjoy the game. To this end, a system has been prepared that will request the help of weaker federations [вероятно, речь о гильдиях п.п.] through the relationship between the weak federation and the main federation.
Is it possible to create a group with users of different factions? Conversely, I’m wondering if other factions can play without affiliation.
You can create a group with users of other factions and walk through the dungeons. Just because the faction is different, communication between users is not interrupted and groups do not need to be separated. In particular, the gameplay relies on the traditional MMORPG with roles in the group, so in PVE the user pool has been expanded to the maximum and allows for free cooperation.
In the case of PK, it all depends on the territory. Among the zones where PK is possible, there are areas with and without penalties. Killing other players is not possible in areas with group gameplay such as dungeons or villages.
The pioneer war looks like end content, right? What are the benefits of winning? Like in other competitive MMORPGs, do you occupy a castle or a certain territory and receive taxes? Do you plan to include the siege concept in other MMORPGs?
War of the Pioneers is a server-integrated content that takes place seasonally when strong alliances appear on the server. The G-Star Battle was designed in an event format using some of the rules of the Pioneer War that will apply in the future. Guild-level end content is planned in the form of sieges, in which the winning alliance gains benefits, but the details are yet to be determined. We are also planning military content involving units from other factions.
Earlier it was said that you can build bridges with other users to travel to new areas or restore destroyed landmarks or buildings. I wonder if everything can be destroyed again and what are the benefits of restoration?
Some buildings are constantly maintained and some are not. Restoring a destroyed bridge or port will unlock a new area and you will be able to complete quests that can only be done in that area. In addition, you will be able to create new production equipment based on specialties that can only be obtained in this region. Users are expected to be able to update region and content directly.
You emphasized the battles and the story, but isn’t it an adventure just to roam the vast area? I think there should be rewards for finding hidden areas or adventures.
Not only do you enjoy exploration and rewards by completing different adventure elements for each region, but there is also fun in which users gather their forces to build buildings and infiltrate the next region. Research, of course, will be accompanied by a reasonable reward.
I’m interested in the influence of the environment in the game. Particular attention was paid to the change of day and night and the change of weather, but how does this affect combat and life-content?
There are items and monsters that appear depending on the change of day, night and weather. In addition, at certain points, collection or loot objects will appear, through which you can get essential items for production equipment, which will have an important impact on the game.
Is the character affected by any changes in day and night, weather, etc.?
This is not a simple analogy, but day and night, weather and climate have a very direct and important influence on character development and farm items. For example, in cold regions, abilities are reduced due to cold and chills.
The user wears warm clothing to resist the cold and collects ingredients that can only be harvested in certain regions to cook hot meals. The key is to make people feel the pleasure of living in this world through this process.
When it comes to group content in mobile MMORPGs, it’s monotonous. Will there be a standard division into roles in the game or will something new appear?
In MMORPGs, the classic division into roles is gradually disappearing. Perhaps because I fell in love with the classics so much, I decided to still implement the standard division in group content here into a tank, healer and dd. It is generally believed that the reason for the disappearance of the “tank and heal” roles is the difficulty of playing for them, which everyone avoids.
Therefore, we are preparing features and patterns for party dungeons that allow you to enter the instance by role and introduced multiclasses so that people do not despair. Also, multiclassing in Arthdal Chronicles is not just a feature, but general skills defined according to the subclass and allowing the main class to have different fighting styles.
You said that you can create your own style by freely switching classes during combat and combining main and sub-class skills, then how many main classes and sub-classes are there? And how can they be changed?
There will be four classes at launch: Warrior, Fighter, Archer, and Priest, and we plan to add more in the future. After playing for a while, you can choose a subclass and one general skill is added that changes the fighting style and direction of further growth.
You said QTE, destruction elements, etc. were included during raids in the dungeons. How do they work?
QTE, detail destruction, boss suppression, etc., are not just responsible for one or another element, but become key elements of the strategy that neutralize dangerous boss attacks or a special pattern. You can even create combinations with them. For example, while I block a certain boss template with a QTE, other members can stun the enemy and neutralize.
There are many competing MMORPGs out there. What gameplay elements do you think Arthdal Chronicles will feature?
Summarizing the previous answers, the various environment elements, the Arthdal universe, battles using classic and modern class combinations, as well as social functions and the ability to be mercenaries are the main features.
How do grind and quests usually work?
The main quest has the most important impact on character development and story experience. As you progress through the main quests, of course, there is a situation where your character needs to grow without quests. Currently, through the Book of Adventures, you can explore additional stories and gain experience while living through them. You can grow naturally, deepen your understanding and immerse yourself in the story using the Adventure Book.
In addition, since there are various missions and achievements, they are also expected to satisfy users who are tired of simply grinding and completing the main missions.
Are there elements similar to Lineage like transform or avatar?
The content is still in development, so nothing has been confirmed.
Are there automatic features?
The G-Star version does not support auto movement, quests, or combat. However, in the finished version, we plan to enable automatic battles, but in such a way that it does not interfere with the main gameplay.
How much does gathering and production affect things like gaining experience or earning money?
I think gathering and crafting are part of the game, so they should also give experience points. Thanks to this, it is planned to give the opportunity to develop in different ways.
The game was developed on Unreal Engine 4, but in the case of the demo version, the optimization was not the best.
A full-scale release is far away and optimization improvements are planned. At launch, many of these problems will be solved.
What is the difference between the mobile version and the PC version, for example in the user interface and key settings? Does it support gamepad operation? Any plans for a console version?
Although the PC version is displayed on G-Star, all content and interface is mobile-first. There is also support for the gamepad, but there are no plans for a console version yet.