Our 2nd coverage of the Media Day, Dev Q&A with all the answers you seek
※ Warning! This is a long post with many information, there is no summary this time, but we guarantee that you will find interesting answers below.
Q. There aren’t many competitors in the MMORPG genre. What do you think about this?
A. I agree that there aren’t many competitors, but as the game has very high expectations, we are trying our best to overcome the contents of the previous MMORPG games. People say that the MMORPG genre is dead now, but there always were players who wanted more MMORPG. I think that the important thing here is whether we can give them what they want or not.
Q. The business model is important for the MMORPG genre. As “Lost Ark” used a lot of money in developing, the business model must have worried the team. What can you say about this?
A. Since the 2014 G-STAR, the subscription model was what we heard the most from the users, but we are afraid to say that it will be difficult for us. We are planning to choose a micro-transaction model. Many users wanted the subscription model, but we saw the reason for that was that they were sick of the P2W model of some games. There are many employees in our team, who love the RPG game genre, so we are very aware of this problem. We are not going to choose this kind of micro-transactions. We will make a proper BM, so the players will be able to enjoy our game. We don’t want to disappoint them either. I just want the users to know that we are trying very hard.
Q. On a scale of 1 to 100, how much has been developed? How large is your development team and any plans for more employments?
A. It’s really hard to tell in exact scale, because there are contents like cinematic dungeons that comes at the very end of the game which was developed first, and we think that when we finish the content, it isn’t the end of the game’s development, we occasionally have to check if it is enjoyable and if it was satisfying for players, therefore it is very difficult to tell how much has been done in numbers.
Currently, 160 devs are working on the game and we are planning to employ more for the major updates and such.
Q. You have shown us many interesting contents for this CBT. It looks like it will take a long time to get feedback and fix all the problems.
A. The amount of changes that we will make depends on the tester’s feedback. You said it will take a long time, but we have put a lot of effort in to shorten that time, so don’t worry about it.
Q. How long does it take to make one piece of content?
A. About that, there are contents that take very long time to develop and there are also contents that can be easily developed. We are trying to balance these two types of contents, so that the development time won’t be indefinite.
Q. We want more information about the Siege content you have shown us
A. We thought Korean MMORPGs need Siege mode in the game, but we were so disappointed when we found out that there aren’t many people enjoying this type of content. Out of 100 users, only about 10 would say they enjoy it, so we thought what if this content was part of our storyline. Of course, some people would want more Siege mode. You’ll see a more expanded version of the Siege Mode in the future.
Q. Your game is made with Unreal Engine 3. Aren’t you worried that by the time the OBT starts, it will be compared to other games with Unreal Engine 4?
A. We know that Unreal Engine 4 has more upgraded functionalities, but the important thing is how much we can bring up an engine to its full potential. When we see the need for the engine upgrade, then we will do it, so that’s not part of our concern right now.
Q. How’s the progress of Chinese version?
A. We get help from them in some parts of it, but we are still in development, so we aren’t developing it separately yet. Right now, we are developing a game that the all of the gamers would want, not the game that only the gamer with certain nationality would like specifically.
Q. System requirements only mentioned Intel. What about AMD?
A. Intel was our standard requirement, but AMD will also run the game just fine.
Q. Currently, 8 classes are revealed. I wonder how it will be expanded. Will it expand vertically by class advance or horizontally simply by adding new classes?
A. Horizontally. More precisely, we will be releasing 6 base classes which will have 3 different advancements for each. Currently, over 10 classes has been developed, but they are yet to be tested.
Q. As this game has many contents, the developers must be divided into several departments. Please tell me more about the group management of the teams.
A. Our teams are actually quite situational and very flexible. When specific content needs some help, we send more people to that group.
Q. “Lost Ark” is the first game that is both developed and will be provided by Smilegate on their own. Do you have any set plans for game management and communications with the community?
A. To be honest, we know we are not in a good situation for that. Our previous games were severely criticized for bad management, so we are trying to come up with the best way to manage the game. We will be providing service for this game for sure, so there might be some trials and errors, but our management for the game will always be for the users’ good. Other than that, we will receive technical support from Smilegate Megaport.
Q. “Lost Ark” is a Hack & Slash game which means that the items are the most important aspect of the game. How will the trading system work?
A. We are still debating about how the trading system should work in the game. We take trading system quite seriously as it is the main economic element of a game. We are mainly discussing about the auction system and how much we will limit the 1 on 1 trade. Trading system is planned to be fully fleshed by the 2nd CBT. This might not be true for most of you, but some of the people think that the game that has active “real money trade system” is a successful game. We wanted to break that widely-known stereotype. MMORPG gets its fun from upbringing your character, but the “real money trade system” kind of feels like a cheat code to us.
Q. Cinematic trailers had voices in them. Are the other main stories fully voiced too?
A. Basically, yes. We are planning to add voice-acting for all of our main story quests. As this is an RPG game, we wanted to focus more on to the story of the game.
Q. Bard was mentioned as a hidden class. Are there any other hidden classes in plan?
A. It is our way of management only for the 1st CBT. We hid the Bard class because we wanted our users to enjoy our game in different ways, but it actually should not be considered “hidden” as it will be very easy for the users to find and play her. There won’t be such thing as a hidden class in the future.
Q. I heard that the devs and the staff of Smilegate have very high expectations for the game since “Crossfire” is the only game released by Smilegate that was successful. Do you get any pressure by this?
A. We really didn’t know how much our staff were expecting the game, but we know for sure that they are supporting the game as much as they can. Because of this we had the chance try so many things and in the end we came up with lots of great content. It would be a lie if I say that I don’t feel any pressure about that, but I can withstand it as I feel more than happy to work with them. Actually, the pressure from the Smilegate is very small compared to the pressure from the users, whether they will enjoy the game or not. It’s kind of like a sense of duty for me. We take that pressure as our responsibility for the development of the game.
Image by Inven
Left: Ji Won-Gil (Smilegate RPG representative), Right: Keum Kang-Sun (Head Director)