Over the last few days the director of lost ark gave interviews to different websites explaining how the game was a handeled after the second beta and further explaining the new content
While this written by me, TheplayingViking, it was DeePrixel who did the most translation work. I’d like to thank her for her on going translation help.
But let’s jump right into it:
Interview with the game director
Q..: First, please introduce yourself to the adventurers
A.: Hi, my name is “Gang-Sun Geum”, the lead director of Lost Ark. I was in the development team from the very beginning, and some adventurers might remember me in-game as “GoldRiver”. It’s an honour to do this interview.
Q..: What kind of contents did the adventurers enjoy the most in 2nd CBT?
A.: Adventurers showed great focus mainly on levelling up due to the limited time. When they were done with that, they split up into different contents of the game. Out of all the contents, Tower of Shadow and Cube from Sylian’s Quests had an outstanding popularity.
When people geared up enough from the Sylian’s Quests, most of them headed straight into the Guardian Raids. We were surprised to see that more people enjoyed Sailing than we expected. Of course, there were some islands with low number of visits, but overall many islands were visited quite frequently.
Also, some adventurers focused on collection contents, such as Island’s Heart and Medal Quest. The adventurers were able to collect these items more than we have expected.
Overall, the distribution of interest in different contents was balanced, except for the islands where some islands were visited by only a few people. We were happy to see them enjoying various contents like we intended them to.
Q..: A lot of feedback was about level of dependency for Bards being too high. Anything to add to this?
A.: Currently, Bard is the only support class that can heal her allies’ HP. It’s also one of the class that we wanted to test as soon as possible, so she was added for 1st CBT. I played Bard myself and felt that she was very related to some game’s mechanics.
The reason being that some end contents have restricted potion usage. Especially, in the Guardian Raids where people have limited lives, survival was one of the most important aspects. Since Bards’ healing ability greatly increases their survival chance, many people were started to become more dependent on Bard when playing the game.
So, we had to change her healing mechanism a little bit. While doing that we tried to seamlessly connect her Tripod System to her healing mechanism. In the 2nd CBT, we tried to make her a better healer by adding in tripods that can fill her Serenade gauge, but the problem was that she was too versatile in terms of roles.
Therefore, in the Final CBT, she will be able to set her Tripod, so she can heal more reliably, but in return of lower DPS overall, so she may not be able to complete some contents by herself if her Tripod System is focused too much on healing.
In relation to this change, we thought her healing skill was too easy. A press of button could heal her allies’ back to full health. We had to question ourselves if the players being healed so easily was okay or not.
I will briefly explain how we changed her healing mechanism. She will now require more co-ordination and decision-making to effectively heal her allies. For example, her healing pad will have a small initial delay before starting to heal her allies, so they have to be more focused on their position while doing so.
That means the Bard users are now required to place the healing circle in the right place and the party members will have to enter the circle at the right time.
We also added a limit to the amount of healing that it can do, so a party member with huge HP pool should think twice before entering her healing circle. We tried many different approaches for her and will keep changing to reduce her level of dependency.
Q.: We saw that ranged class had better incapacitating skills than the melee classes. Is there any change to this?
A.: Like Bard’s skill, “Stigma”, ranged class’s ability to Incapacitate the enemy with low risk was unfair against some melee classes.
Melee class has to go in close combat to stack up the Incapacitation level while the ranged class could do the same with lower risk, so we decided to remove the Incapacitation trait for some ranged, low-risk skills.
Also, the statistics showed us that the Destroyers have consumed the most potions out of all classes. This is because his skill is relatively slower than the other classes. With this change, we will also increase the Incapacitation level for more slow and high-risk skills, so Destroyer will be much stronger than in the 2nd CBT.
Q.: If there are too many classes, balance adjustments will be difficult.
A.: It surely will be hard to adjust the balance between classes. For example: It is true that the blaster was choosen the least in CBT2 but that doesn’t mean that it will be randomly buffed. A player who choose a class that fights from distance and has a slow fire rate must consider that such a class is not useful in every aspect of the game. But we still need the class to have more fire power than other classes otherwise it whole existence is useless. That goes for every single one of the known 12 classes right now. Some are the strongest in PVP, some shine in the raid content. While we will not change their strengths they have in our content but we will nevertheless need to improve balance based on player feedback
Q.: What kinds of classes do you plan to add in the future?
A.: Since the planning stage, we are developing a total of 18 classes, three for each of the six main classes. I can‘t reveal the two main classes to come, but I hope you will enjoy them too as it is more challenging than anything else we’ve done so far.
Q..: Many users complained about the inventory. Will there be a change?
A.: We have increased the inventory space and realized that the inventory space itself isn’t the problem, but rather how frequently we had to manage our inventory. Even if we increase the space to 200 slots, it won’t fix the core problem if we must constantly manage it every time.
First, we did think that inventory space needed to be increased, so we increased it by 20 slots. The cards were frustrating in the 2nd CBT since they couldn’t be salvaged or removed, so we have moved these to their own page as well.
We also allowed salvaging of items straight from the inventory instead of having to walk all the way to salvaging NPC every time. We’ve listened to every feedback and tweaked it accordingly, so we think it has become more convenient in terms of inventory managing.
Q..: Cube and gambling gave the players high level items which made other contents obsolete. I wonder if these are CBT-only rewards.
A.: The rewards of Cube and gambling is for the CBT only. Getting legendary items from gambling may be fun, but we do not want to make other part of the game obsolete just for this one content.
We think that any content in the game should eventually lead to the same result in terms of progression of your character or items. For example, if we say that the “Guardian Raid” is the final content, then everyone must focus on Guardian Raid only, and we really don’t want that to happen.
The reason why we made so many diverse contents is because we think every adventurer has their own way of enjoying the game and they will enjoy it even more if we adjust to their taste. That is why we think that contents are only truly diverse when they eventually all lead up to the same goal.
Therefore, we are aware of the fact that getting high-level items from Cube and gambling will be unhealthy for the game in the long run and will be changed when the game is released. It was a special measure to allow adventurers to experience as many contents as possible in limited time.
Q..: I wonder why the slave-freeing system was developed.
A.: To free the slaves, you have to pay the gold. Freed slaves will later send you a letter, sometimes with a good item and sometimes with just words of gratitude.
Freeing slaves itself is a good deed. Even if it’s a small gacha system, we wanted to send a small message to the players that good deeds bring happiness.
In the OBT, there will be a limit in the number of slaves you can free, and they won’t appear as frequently as before. We did this to let you get a Thunderstorm Lv.4 Sailor quickly. Slave-freeing content was used a lot by many people to get that sailor, like we have expected.
Our intention behind developing such content was to let players daily visit the island and free the slaves and receive letters of gratitude from those freed slaves. We want to adapt more real-life issues into fantasy and add it as contents of Lost Ark, so the players can relate to it.
In addition to that, there’s a story about environmental pollution in the Final CBT. Remember ‘Arthetine’, the most technically-developed area of the world? The pollution in the world of Lost Ark is causing the glaciers in Shushire to melt and the animals living in those areas are dying out, just like in our world. Players will see a scenario where a bard NPC will play a song to the adventurers to make them aware of this issue.
“Tears on the Glacier Island” is that song. Only piano can be heard in this video, but in the game this music will be played with cello and violin as well. We will continue to adapt real life issues into the game to spread positive messages.
Q..: How far could the adventurers succeed in Guardian Raid for the 2nd CBT?
A.: There were some adventurers who could beat the “Berutooth of Despair”. I’ll be honest, we did not see that coming. Not even we could successfully beat it, leaving him at about 20% of its HP at the end. Adventurers never fails to amaze us.
Thanks to some very skilled adventurers, our raid battle development team is working very hard on tuning the guardians. Berutooth is one of the strongest guardians in the world of Lost Ark, so expect to see a much stronger version of it in the upcoming CBT.
Q..: Will there be an UI-off feature next time?
A.: Yes, it will be added. I was personally very happy to hear how much people liked the beautiful sceneries in the game. They can now use this feature to take better screenshots in the final CBT.
Q..: The blueprint from the Letter of Risha said the Final CBT was planned after the 3rd CBT. What was the reason behind the change of plan?
A.: I’d like to start answering this by explaining what we think the CBT should be. Normally, a CBT only has feature-complete contents of the game and new features are added step by step, but we thought that wasn’t a good method of improving the game. We wanted as much criticism as possible in short time to improve the game faster.
Most games have added end contents such as PvP and Raid in the last CBT, just before OBT. Using this method, it is very difficult to improve the quality of the game according to user feedbacks. Sometimes, some parts will have to stay the same.
We always do internal simulations, but there is always content that needs to be tested out by users, so we released it into CBT right away. For example, Warlord and Bard were in the game since the 1st CBT and have been a controversial topic between the users only recently.
We predicted Soul Master to be really popular among the players and we could’ve added her in 1st CBT, but we thought the correct way to improve the game would be to add the classes that are difficult to improve first and get feedback on those prior to releasing a character that will be liked by most people.
In addition to this, the 2nd CBT testers will notice a difference in progression for Final CBT. Bern used to be the next destination after completing Arthetine, but we wanted to test if it’ll be fine to add Shushire in between the this progression.
With this testing, everyone was able to agree with confidence on moving Shushire towards the end of the progression rather than in between. We didn’t want to impress the people through CBT. Our main goal was to get criticized as much as possible, so that we can properly impress the players in the OBT.
Long story short, we wanted our game to get criticized as much possible during the CBT, improve the game based on feedbacks, and do the next CBT when everything was improved and ready. Now, answering your question, we’ve got tons of feedbacks from the users and we have read literally every single one of them, word by word. Some changes may be visible, some may not be, but I could assure you that 80% of the feedbacks has been reflected into the game.
When everything was ready, we thought now it was time for Lost Ark to step into the world.
Q..: Most think that communication with the users is an important part of game management. I wonder how Lost Ark will do that.
A.: We know that communication is very important, of course. We think that the core of communicating with the users is to listen to their feedbacks and apply it into the game in the right way.
Of course, as a game developer we have our own philosophy when it comes to game direction, but I am a gamer as well and reached level 50 for most classes in Lost Ark. Combining my own experience and the adventurers’ opinions and reaching a compromise will be the correct way to communicate with the users.
Talking a lot in front of the adventurers is also one way of communicating, but not improving the game and just talking isn’t really “communicating”.
We hope the adventurers realize how much feedback has been applied to many aspects of the game and that we are open to more feedbacks on how we can improve.
Q..: I want to know what the main interest of Final CBT is.
A.: I have a very clear answer for this. If the 2nd CBT was about sending a message to the adventurers, Final CBT is about their reaction to the game. In other words, we polished the contents and fixed many part of the game for convenience.
Convenience can be a rather controversial topic. Personally, while developing Lost Ark, I wasn’t too keen on making it a very easy game. The reason being the current mobile RPG games have auto-moving and auto-attack which are really convenient and easy. I don’t think these are a bad game design.
If I developed a mobile game, I would’ve also added auto-attack and made it fun as much as possible around that mechanism, since mobile is a portable device and convenient, but these types of convenience will only lower the fun on PC.
So, we had to set the boundary for the acceptable level of convenience, which is surprisingly difficult to do nowadays, so we had to ask you in the 1st and 2nf CBT about it. We gathered the data and decided the acceptable level of convenience, so we think now is the time we can safely apply these convenience into the game.
I’d like to draw an analogy between the level of convenience that Lost Ark want to achieve and a tourist travelling in the foreign country. 15 years ago, when I was overseas, I had to read the maps, got lost very often, and had to ask the local people for the direction. After some time, these experiences are remembered as a fun memory. In contrast to that, we have Google Maps nowadays, so we can reach the destination without asking any locals for direction.
Considering the two methods of travelling, if I question myself whether the old memory was enjoyable or not, I think using Google Maps was not bad. There were less things to reminisce about, but reaching the destination faster compensated for it. The key here is that the destination has to provide an enjoyable experience.
Therefore, about the method of travelling, we decided to go with the ‘modern ways’ of doing it. We promise the destination will not disappoint you, to compensate for the missed experience while reaching it.
Q.: The story was received very well by the players. How will the story progress in the future?
A.: The current main story was all about travelling with Aman and helping Sylian reclaim his throne. The story could’ve been cringy for some people and it’s hard to have good story-telling in quarter-view genre, but we tried to make our character stand out in the story by not making the story too complicated. This may have made the story rather cliché, but in that way, we were able to tell the lore of Lost Ark’s world through the perspective of our adventurers themselves. However, be ready for the future, as the upcoming stories won’t go as you expect it to. Oh, and someone asked me if the game would end when all the Arks has been collected, as the story would become “One Piece where the characters has One Piece already”. We have that planned as well, so you guys can look forward to it like ‘One Piece of One Piece’. I hope you have a lot of expectations because you have prepared some plans.
Q.: What is special about Bern?
A.: The magic race Cylin is parted in progressive and conservative partys, those who stay in Händel and live the traditional way of life are conservatives. The inhabitants of Bern are the starters of the progressive movement that developed their culture by interacting with other people and eachs race own magic. Bern developed into a multi-ethnic nation which is reflected in the variety of buildings build in Bern.Originally, this was planned as the base city for enjoying contents after reaching the highest level, but at the time of the second CBT, it has not been made public, so you had to suffer in the complicated stranger. I am sorry in many ways. In the final game, it will take you to get to level 50 until you reach Berne Castle, and from here you will see new adventures beginning. The Queen of Berne, along with the Shilian, will be a great help in defeating the evil forces.
Q.: The Characters all felt pretty dead in the cut scenes, any changes done to battle that?
A.: So the facial motion (expression change) enters. Now when the characters talk they show face movement. Since the cutscenes were not developed with facial movements in mind it was difficult to change it now, but the development team is working hard on it because the players liked the ‘Lost Arc’ story more than expected.
Q..: Will the levelling up time be shortened in the Final CBT? Like a mount…
A.: Yes, the level cap will be the same level 50, but the progression has been tweaked slightly and the levelling up has been made a little faster in the process. Mounts will be added as well. We were ready to release it long time ago, but we couldn’t decide if it was really necessary for the game. Feedback for the 2nd CBT helped us to make up our mind.
In a quarter-view game, you cannot get the sense of approaching towards a landmark and having to move while constantly looking down on the ground was a stressful experience. However, simply increasing the movement speed couldn’t fix the core problem.
Especially, movement speed is a sensitive matter that has a close connection to the combat, so increasing it was not an option for the game. In the Final CBT, mounts will be available, and you’ll be able to get it in level 15 after you have completed the “Burning Leonhart”.
However, in Tortoyk region, remember the character becomes small? We thought it was awkward having to feed your mount the potion as well, so you’ll get a ladybug as a Tortoyk-only mount.
We are sure this addition will shorten the levelling up time as well. I personally think this is a welcome change as I think MMORPG is about enjoying various contents of the game and increasing the time to reaching the max. level is not an efficient game design.
Therefore, we tried our best to decrease the time to reaching max. level as much as we could.
Q..: Can you explain the card battle content any further?
A.: Simply put, it is a minigame that can be played against NPC or other players, but only PvE will be in the Final CBT. This content wasn’t initially planned to be made. The reason why we made these cards came from the various different settings of Lost Ark.
Normally in an MMORPG, there are many cases where a monster is slightly changed and reused as an asset. Of course, we do that as well to a certain degree, but we thought it was disgraceful reusing the models within a world like Lost Ark with so many possibilities.
So, we had to design new mobs for every new area, and after making a lot of different mobs, we really wanted to make a book with a list of all of these mobs, but a list isn’t very appealing to read, so we made it into cards that you can collect throughout the world.
Then one of our devs had an idea of making a card battle out of it. We didn’t like that idea in the beginning, as there were already so many TCG games out there with far better gameplay.
But, we made it eventually. We focused more on the collecting aspect and the fact that you can play games with it. Better cards will have better win rates.
There will be different property types and special skills, so it is still possible to win with low grade cards.
In case of PvE, NPC will have a specific deck of cards and you may need a specific card to beat that NPC. Winning an NPC shows that you have made a lot of progress into the game, so we’ll make sure it’s rewarding.
Think of it as a light-hearted minigame. We are not forcing you to play it. Not playing this will not put you in a disadvantage to other players.
Q..: Costumes are really important in RPGs nowadays. Will there be a system to freely change the character’s apparel?
A.: That’s currently in development. A character’s costume falls into the cosmetics category, so one should be able to choose what they want to wear, but keep in mind that a costume with stat boost will force some players to wear what they don’t like to wear and that will make these not for cosmetics anymore. We are developing a way to allow one to freely wear what they would like to wear.
Q.: I’d like an explanation about the new two classes
A.: First of all, a lot people told me that Soul Master reminds them of an animation called Dragonball, and that is true. Dragonball was our motive for her concept, so you’ll be able to see her using similar skills in the game.
She is a hybrid class that uses ranged attacks as basic attack, but also has melee skills. She can also play as a support class depending on the Tripod settings.
Soul Master uses Soul instead of Mana. She will start by doing ranged attacks and when the Soul gauge fills up to certain level, she’ll be able to do devastating damage in close combat.
“Geumgang-Sungong” is her Identity skill. It is a skill that utilizes the life force collected from the air into her body. She can burst the accumulated life force in her body to increase her attack speed and movement speed, kind of like ‘Super Saijan mode’. (chuckles)
This Identity skill can be burst up to 3 levels, and when it does she’ll have access to unlimited amount of Soul for a brief time, together with a huge increase in attack speed and movement speed, but keep in mind that this is a high-risk skill, so use it wisely.
Her Awakening skill is the ‘Spirit Bomb’. It has a long casting time but has the power to devastate the enemies. Her Awakening skill has one of the highest damage output out of all the other Awakening skills. Her long casting time renders her vulnerable while casting it, so a teamwork will be required to use this skill.
Next new class is Hawkeye who uses mechanical bow and has strong utility skills. He has a lot of crowd control skills and can also do melee attacks even though he’s a ranged class. Hitting an enemy with melee attack will stack them with his ‘mark’. The more marks an enemy has, the more damage Hawkeye can do to it. This requires him to stay as a ranged class, but also go in close combat to increase his DPS.
Hawkeye’s Identity skill will summon ‘Silver Hawk’. When the gauge has filled up to certain amount, it will attack automatically, and it will also help you by leaving marks on the enemies. You can also send it into the enemies and make it self-destruct to deal massive damage (the hawk is a machine, so don’t worry).
A lot of people were interested in his ‘Cloaking’ skill. Unfortunately, it is not a skill itself, but a Tripod effect of a specific skill. Attacking while cloaking will either fill your Identity gauge or increase you damage. To be clear, he is NOT an invisible assassin.
Hawkeye’s Awakening skill requires a precise aim but can do huge damage. It is a simple firepower skill. He isn’t really a difficult class to play well, so you’ll be able to manage him quite easily.
Q..: Will the game support DirectX11 in the future?
A.: We are still in the testing phase. We’ve already used the most out of DirectX9 for the high-quality graphic in the current game.
We are focusing on allowing wide range of PC specs to play the game, and that required us to optimize the game to the engine-level. Especially, the “Wall of Glory” dungeon for the 1st CBT had a huge frame drop and needed to be fixed.
Our efforts resulted in positive feedback about the optimizations and we are still looking for more ways to optimize the game. We will continuously develop the game with high-quality graphic.
Q..: Risha’s Letter didn’t mention anything about Sailing content. Was anything changed?
A.: The Sailing content in 2nd CBT showed only the basic stuffs and its fundamentals, so it may have been boring for many players. The short answer is yes, we have made some changes to the Sailing system. We wanted it to be more immersive, so now you can see more closely when you recover treasures or go underwater.
For example, different sailors may have different maximum depth of diving into the water. The deeper the water is, the better the item you recover. Making dangerous areas deeper made it more rewarding to go into dangerous parts of the sea and we are trying to find a balance in difficulty.
Better balance in these aspects will make Sailing a truly fun experience. We only added fundamental features for the 2nd CBT so many players may have lost interest very quickly.
Secondly, “the sea” should’ve been full of imaginations and many adventures, but such was hindered by “static generation spots”. Objects regenerated only in their designated spot, so that really ruined the fun of Sailing.
So, we changed the object generation spot to be random. Also, you’ll be able to travel to the West Sea in the Final CBT if you have the permission.
The West Sea is very dangerous, and your ship has high chance of being shipwrecked, but it will be very rewarding to go. We also made Milestone system to help you decide your goal and make plans for it.
Q..: How many islands are being added? Also, how are islands developed?
A.: 30 new islands will be added for the Final CBT. I personally think this will be a great addition to relieve the stress. There are so many islands in Lost Ark, waiting to be visited by someone.
We make each island like we are making an indie game for each. Metus Archipelago was visited by only 17 players in the 2nd CBT and we made it as a small horror game for you to get a new feeling about the game.
These islands are not once-only content. We have made it so that some players who really like certain island can do the daily quest to level up your character to have equal progression as other contents. When we play indie games and have a fun idea for Lost Ark, we put it in the island for others to enjoy.
Q..: Will there be any guild content?
A.: Currently, the guild system only provides communication between the guild members. Guild war is actually part of our blueprint, so we have it all planned for it. We will release it when we are ready.
We thought that releasing too much content at once can be overwhelming for some players, so when a lot of players are experienced in Colosseum PvP, we will release everything together with the war content.
Q..: Risha’s Letter told us nothing about PvP balance. There were many feedback saying Warlord is overpowered. Were there any changes to the balance?
A.: “Warlord… is strong…” I played PvP as Bard and fighting against Warlords was really stressful, so I whole-heartedly agree with the feedback. Warlord is in the top of the list for balancing priority, but first I’d like to talk about my philosophy behind balancing the characters, because this is how Lost Ark will be directed in the future.
Warlord is strong, but simply decreasing his attack and defence won’t really fix the problem.
Warlord is still getting a ‘nerfed’, but let’s think if the core problem of PvP lies on Warlord only.
Warlord is really strong in 1v1 which was significantly visible in 3v3 elimination match. Also, Warlord’s Identity gauge filled up slowly over time. This means that if he managed to live until his Identity skill was available, he was near-impossible to kill.
In addition to that, the “Guardian’s Cape”, which ignores one cc after certain time, and the “Resuscitation” Victory Crest, which heals you by 45% of total HP over 5 seconds when HP is low had a synergy effect with such problems.
We rebalanced some overpowered Victory Crest effects and we changed Warlord’s Identity to fill up when he deals damage rather than passively. That way, Warlord has too engage in battle to fill his Shield gauge, giving some giving the opponent a change to attack him.
Also, his Shield originally gave him immunity to both crowd control and status effects, but we thought that was too good, so we removed the status effect immunity part of the Shield.
Nerfing Warlord only will not fix the problem. We did our best to allow other classes to adapt to the change with rebalanced Victory Crest effects and other aspects of PvP.
Q.: A lot of feedback pointed out that there were too many stuns and long down time, making PvP a bad experience.
A.: ‘Lost Ark’ is both an action RPG, with stuns and combos, and a classic RPG, which depends on the skills and level of equipments. We need to find a balance for these two factors. Short stuns may be annoying to play against, but removing it completely won’t be a good choice in ARPG genre. On the other hand, putting in too much stun skills will be just as bad too. So, we had to set the power of each skill depending on its level of risk. If the skill was difficult to hit or had a long casting time, the opponent who was hit and stunned by it will have to admit that it was a fair result, but if that skill was very easy to hit, then no-one would be happy to play against that class. Same goes for the down skills. We are working on removing these crowd control effects for the easy-to-hit and low-risk skills, so all players may enjoy the game.
Q.: STERN Arena is a new arena for PvP
A.: Yea, it can be found in the city of Kenan. The spatial extent is not much different from the Lutheran Coliseum, but it adds an interesting element which is the concept of an underground arena and people throwing stuff in the arena. For example, eating food from the stands is a way to recover physical strength. You see, if you compare it to the real life, when I go see a boxing game, I pay a lot of money and for the money I want to see a proper fight. If this does not take place, the audience is also getting angry and sometimes throw stuff in the ring
Q..: A lot of people really like the BGM and OST. Is there any plan on making them available for purchase?
A.: We have our own internal BGM team. This way, the BGM composers can understand about the game better to produce better music.
Not only are they talented composers, they also understand the game as much as the contents director. I also think that OST is a really important aspect in a game. I still remember the song that I heard from a game 20 years ago.
Our CEO told us that he wanted to make a memorable game, and OST will be an important part of that. For the OST, we are getting motives from NA games’ grand feeling and also Japanese games’ delicate melodies.
Sound tracks are planned to be available for purchase.
Q..: I wonder if the DJ music from Risha’s Letter will be added in the game.
A.: Yes, it will be added into the game, of course. There’s an island with a DJ in it. Its theme is a club, and you’ll get a dancing quest on there. The music you mentioned will play there.
Just like the “Starlight Lighthouse Island”, the BGM will start to play once you finish the quest called “Legendary DJ”. We hope you like it.
Q.: Who are the new raid bosses and what are their characteristics?
A.: The new Raid Boss, the Guardians, are Akates, Kalelrigos, and Yuho of the Blackest Night. Those have, similar to’Monster Hunter’ subspecies, two different appearances so actually there are six species in total. These guys will be able to attack with differently because we approached their attack patterns from a completely new point of view, compared to the older guardians
More guardians are being developed right now and these will be even stronger than Berutooth. We are planning to use those guardians for the ‘large-scale raid content’ that we talked about earlier. Some players won’t be even able to finish these raids. They aren’t just made strong for no reason. That is their actual level of power within the world of Lost Ark.
Q.: Will there be any large-scale Guardian Raid in the future?
A.: We are already testing large-scale raids internally. A lot of people requested for it, and I also wanted to make it, so we are planning to add ever more difficult monsters and balancing the number of maximum party members.
What we learnt here is that adding more people doesn’t make it more fun to play. 4 people is what we have right now, but when it gets to 8 people, it starts to become unclear of what you’re doing. 16 people playing together was totally chaotic, like one of those Chaos Gate events.
As we can already see from the Field Boss Raid, a lot of players on one screen doesn’t improve the gameplay for contents like Guardian Raid. However, 8 player party was a really well-balanced number of players, so we are starting the development in this direction.
It’s not confirmed as to how many people will be able to play at once, but it will be more than 4 people. We’d like you to understand that we don’t want to make a content with just more people in it, but a fun and balanced one.
Q..: It is true that when too many players are on one screen, you cannot see yourself. How will you improve on this?
A.: It is the limit of quarter-view games itself that Lost Ark will have to solve in the future. The fixed camera is one of those problems. We added many camera works and perspective change to overcome those limits.
Using a lot of different camera perspectives lead us to making the cinematic scenes of Lost Ark. Overcoming quarter-view genre’s limit was very important there, but the low visibility when there are too many people is very difficult to fix.
In other words, completely fixing this issue won’t be possible but we are trying our best to think of a work around to fix this problem.
Q.: Will you do reverse console porting? Or will you add at least pad support?
A.: I like console gaming myself, but we have no desire to do that. Though pad will soon be supported
Q..: In the 2nd CBT, Esther’s Weapons were dropped from the Cube. Is this for CBT only?
A.: Esther’s Weapon that evolves using specific materials was added in the CBT for testing purposes. They won’t even be added into the OBT but will be added in the future as a contents update. You’ll have to complete special quests in a specific Continent to get one for yourself.
Q..: People are interested to know how Lost Ark will be managed. Brief explanation of your game management philosophy?
A.: I’d like to share some of our thoughts one this matter. We really do not want any content with pay-walls in our game. A content that you have to play over and over and grind every day that forces you to pay is the same.
If paying cash puts you in an advantage from those who didn’t, that basically puts a pay-wall for playing that content. We think that it only makes sense for the *characters’ of Lost Ark to be able to reach the final goal purely with their efforts and dedication.
Our company respects our decision and supports us. Our development team has this philosophy in mind and are aiming to become a successive competition, not only in the Korean market, but in the global market.
Q..: Any idea on when the OBT or official release will be?
A.: One thing for sure is that we are planning to release the game in this year. That is why we combined 3rd CBT with the Final CBT. We are currently discussing about the most strategic date for the release date.
We’ve got tons of feedbacks from the 2nd CBT and we felt that a lot of people had high expectations for our games. We will do our best to improve the game to meet your expectations.
Q.: What is your Philosophy when developing Lost Ark?
A.: Any developer will have his own philosophy, greed and authenticity. I hope that the games developed in Korea will be recognized globally soon. In foreign countries, games such as ‘Horizon Zero Dawn’, ‘God of War’ and ‘Edith Finch’ are coming out, and the Japanese industry is completely revived with various masterpieces such as ‘Monster Hunter’ and “The Legend of Zelda”. While playing such games, I often thought that we are still lacking.
Of course, “Lost Arc” is a challenging challenger from overseas who are not easy compete with, but I hope that this game will plant a seed that can cause atleast a small change in our industry. It is not important how much money you earn, but when you look abroad we feel almost forced ti challenge since Korean game are followed so much. And as a maniac who does not have an RPG that I have not tried, it would be fantastic to make people who left the genre say “Yes, RPGs were so much fun”.
Q..: Please end the interview with a word of goodbye for the adventurers.
A.: I enjoyed playing games since I was young, and I’d like to give the same experience for our players. People enjoying our game is our true goal, but making a well-made game is very difficult. When I see a game that has been praised by thousands of people, I think to myself “Will I ever be able to make a game like that?”.
Lost Ark has not achieved any goals yet and it’s imperfect. We cannot argue with the fact that it has a long way to go to be a successive competition in the global market, so we will always do our best until the day we achieve such goals.
We hope this game becomes a game that is meaningful for everybody. The people who are looking for new RPG to play, people who cannot play RPG, or the people who are new to the RPG genre.
The last step to making a game is done by the players. We promise to keep communicating with our adventurers. Please support our games like you always have. I apologize that you guys had to wait for such a long time. I hope you all enjoy the Final CBT. Thank you.
End of the translation
Impressions of the Game and the director giving his interview
Information for german users: Translation will be up sometime tomorrow. Even though I did not translate much I still didnt get to do the german translation yet.