The following is a translated summary of the interview Famitsu and Blue Protocol Devs. This was straight copy/pasted from Sevens Blue Protocol Reddit. This is for internal use and safe record-keeping.
🔸 Shitaoka reinstates that he wants to push the model of “making a game a hit in Japan and expanding it overseas”. The game was ambitiously planned to go global from the beginning.
🔸 We were shocked at the concept of a new IP since it’s been a while and it is an MMORPG this time.
🔸 We aimed for a graphics style where people could easily recognize it was a Japanese game. We want people to see a screenshot of the game and think, “what’s this anime?”.
🔸 It’s difficult to balance the anime style with the motions found in RPG games; too much and it’s distracting from the art; too little and it’s awkwardly stiff for a 3D game.
🔸 For Shitaoka, it’s important to make players feel like they could get into anime after playing, and thus doesn’t want to design it strictly from a game sense nor strictly from an anime sense.
🔸 Although it wasn’t present in the alpha test, PvP(arty) is a main theme in the game’s combat, in other words we want to encourage teamwork through class roles.
🔸 Fukusaki explains that each class has some skills to manipulate enemy aggro, and for example, while using such a skill movement may be limited, but once the effect wears off they will attack certain players again. In addition, we will introduce debuffs to change the pace and dynamic of battles.
🔸 Random events (called Urgent Missions in alpha; the Wandering Imperial Wrath field boss) are designed to bring players together for a mutual purpose and we hope that can boost communication between players.
🔸 The scoring system for contribution to such events will be looked at, as damage is not the only thing that matters; mob clearing and healing are also important. And we want some of these things to be more general rather than gameplay based, and hope people can walk away thinking “I had fun!” or “I was in charge of overseeing the area” and such.
🔸 We are looking at introducing customizable features and showcasing interesting characters inside and outside of the game!
🔸 The most frequent age range of players was 25~29, which is considered “young” from what the devs said.
🔸 Rather than adding more classes, we’re thinking of ways to allow the same classes to have differing skill builds. We hope you can see the skill builds in a future test. This does not mean that we aren’t making new classes, we just haven’t decided when they’ll be added yet. For example, Aegis fighter can directly control aggro with skills, but by building into a damage skill build, you can also drive aggro through damage.
🔸 We are going to rework aegis fighter, as it has become too flexible of a class. As tank is not as popular as other classes, we tried to make it have an equal play rate with other classes, but overbuffed it a bit.
🔸 Examples of Twin Strikers’ skill builds: Some skills increase damage inflicted on enemies from behind, or on debuffed enemies, requiring teamwork. There are also skills that increase damage based on your combo count–getting hit will reset your combo so you have to be alert!
🔸 Blast Archer will have support skills, and we are working on a ranged sleep skill but it’s currently way too strong. For the damage build, it’s important to aim for an enemy’s weak points instead of solely relying on auto-targeting. Briefly, the gameplay should consist of doing basic attacks via auto targeting, and after certain attacks switching to manually aim at weak points. In the alpha it may have been difficult due to small enemies, but it was relatively easy against large dungeon bosses.
🔸 Spellcaster won’t be receiving major changes, but we may remove the heal skill. In return, we will add various other support skills. A major feature of the Spellcaster is using debuffs and status ailments against enemies. For example, ice skills would inflict DoT, and as you stack ice skills the DoT damage will increase, eventually freezing the enemies and stopping them from approaching. Fire skills will explode and do damage (AoE?) when stacked up. So I think players will choose which element they wish to build, and work on mastering their skill rotations from there.
🔸 Classes other than spellcaster will also have elements. In addition, you can attach them to weapons. Spellcaster will probably be the only class that can use multiple elements. So based on what your party is using, you can match their element, for example. We’re also considering ways to diversify element usage, cause it’s not that fun if everyone is using the same thing.
🔸 Enemies can also use magic. It’s possible we will add the aforementioned “OP sleep” to the enemies. And along with that, a feature for party members to wake slept party members, as there is no “healer” to remove abnormal status effects.
🔸 There will only be 4 buttons for tactical skills (not including basic attack I think). And we are preparing 3 types of skills for each key. Some people who prefer high action argued that it wasn’t enough, but a large majority of users said it was normal, so we will stick with 4.
🔸 Skills can be strengthened by abilities, so while each class has 12 skills, there are various combinations. In addition, we’re considering adding [arrow keys + skill button] variations.
🔸 We are still working on gathering, such as gathering speed and the number of materials given. We’ll also add a clear distinction so players know that different materials are given from different harvesting points.
🔸 We’re considering an RNG mechanic to add randomness to items crafted from these materials.
🔸 In regards to expanding exploration, we will add sub-quests within the city. However, these may not be the typical “talk to the NPC to get a quest” quests and instead start from something like interacting with objects and entities in the city and reading the text. This heightens the sense of exploration.
🔸 In the alpha test, you could explore the field freely. However, we’re thinking of implementing a system where the map expands as you explore, adding some more adventure elements as you experience the world.
🔸 In regards to communication, we will look into improving the stickers and add fixed phrases to quickly communicate without taking away from the action. There is no plan to implement voice chat as people may be obligated to use it and it does not align with our concept of an anime world. However, it is good for personal use and we are considering partnering with a VoIP service.
🔸 I won’t say that PvP(layer) will never be added. However, even during the official launch, it probably won’t be added even within the first couple of updates. We definitely want to keep the game interesting for players not interested in PvP. But we are discussing internally on what form it should take.
🔸 Housing is currently not a priority, and won’t be implemented unless it can be connected to something else. We want to balance lifestyle content by providing small incentives so people aren’t necessarily forced to participate in it, but can do so out of their own interest.
🔸 There will be no P2W and real-life currency will only be for cosmetics.
🔸 There were some points in the CaT Feedback Report that we thought might be a problem for other countries, but for now we are focusing on the inside (Japan) and will tackle those problems as they arise!
🔸 “In order to succeed overseas, we first want to produce a high-quality game in Japan.” “If we don’t do well in Japan, I don’t think we will do well overseas.”