Launched globally this evening, Blade & Soul Revolution is Netmarble’s mobile reimagining of the cult-classic Blade & Soul. It stays true to the art style and in-depth open-world of the original PC title but has had crucial elements reimagined and redesigned for mobile. We interviewed Netmarble F&C's Development Lead Hyun Jin Jang about the challenges, advantages, and features of the mobile iteration.
What are the greatest challenges of bringing a beloved MMO title to mobile?
The greatest challenge for us was optimization. The team spent a lot of time contemplating and testing what elements of Blade & Soul we need to streamline, and what parts were essential that offered players a fantastic game experience and high-quality visuals within the mobile platform. As a result, we were able to selectively identify key elements of Blade & Soul to retain in Blade & Soul Revolution and contain many regions and cut scenes, including scenarios and lines, that new and old players will recognize and appreciate.
In what ways does the mobile platform add value to the game?
We found that the original PC game Blade & Soul’s open world and its Windwalk actions were well-suited for mobile gameplay, especially when mobile platforms are extremely accessible for many gamers and consumers alike. This feature along with many others will provide optimal synergy.
For gamers who are yet to try an auto-play mobile MMO, why should players give the genre a try?
We had given a lot of thought on auto mode’s implementation. We accounted for players’ use of auto function on sections of the game which do not command a player’s full attention while considering the unique characteristics of mobile platforms. We also allowed players to experience the core fun of the game, i.e. dungeons, battles and Arena, as these must be played manually for maximum efficiency. Thus, we believe players who have limited experience of auto-play mobile MMOs, can still enjoy Blade & Soul Revolution since auto-play accounts for only a small portion of the game.
Which aspects of Blade & Soul Revolution are you most excited about introducing to a global audience?
Blade & Soul Revolution allows players to feel the story and action of the original PC game through mobile platforms – by providing the thrill of active gameplay with dungeons, raids, and other activities. We are excited to see how players will react to the game, especially the competition between players and in-game factions.
When we developed Blade & Soul Revolution, our focus was to offer MMORPG fans a compelling gaming experience that transcends the limits of mobile gameplay. Because we know some players prefer console games, we aimed to create a high quality experience that is different from other mobile open world RPGs. We streamlined the controls, action, and story so players can have a smooth co-op or competitive gaming experience.
Blade & Soul Revolution introduces auto-combat into a franchise famed for its intensive combat, how do you expect to win old fans over?
We restricted auto-combat to a limited amount of content where a player’s full attention is not required. This gives us confidence that old fans will also love the mobile version as well, as we tried to keep things as true to the original title as possible.
Compared to other mobile MMORPGs, Blade and Soul Revolution has a more developed, complex skill combo combat system. Could you share with us the features and factors that set it apart from other mobile MMORPGs?
The first feature is Blade & Soul’s solid story. The story of the original PC game was very well loved by many players. In the mobile version as well, we made great efforts to fully convey this, and we included over 300 cinematic videos in the game.
The game also provides a fun gaming experience that no other game does. When we developed Blade & Soul Revolution, our focus was to offer MMORPG fans a compelling gaming experience that transcends the limits of mobile gameplay. In addition to streamlined controls, actions, and Blade & Soul Revolution’s emphasis on delivering a great story, we also have factional gameplay. So both beginner and expert players can join in the fight to be the dominant faction. All of this has led to the game being a strong success in Korea.
Avoiding pay-to-win accusations for a mobile title isn’t easy, how do you intend to balance paid functions with fairness?
Blade & Soul Revolution will feature Black Crystals, which players can purchase with real money or collect as they play. Black Crystals can be used to purchase equipment, pets, redeemable tickets, and other items that will be available for a limited time, or as part of special bundles. However, purchases made for premium items and bundles are entirely optional, with equipment items being strictly cosmetic, while other items are used to speed up progression in the game.
What treats do players have to look forward to in end-game play and dungeons? What unique elements are you bringing to raiding?
Blade & Soul Revolution features an immersive story, charming characters, free-moving light air exploration, and fantastic action-packed battles. Players can also combine various skills to form linkers suitable for specific situations and use variants to adjust detailed skill attributes, allowing for in-depth strategy for fights.
Each dungeon also has unique mechanics that players can have fun figuring out. Players can also communicate and interact with clan members to clear difficult party dungeons. There are also other social activities with players gathered around the campfire, using incense burners, and communicating with each other on in-game content.
Where do you expect the game to be in three-years-time? Do you have plans to expand the roster of classes and races?
We have our whole update plan ready for this year. And yes – we do have plans to expand classes and races. We hope that global players will all love the game, we will monitor closely on the reactions of players and update according to their feedback.
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