GamePress sat down with Netmarble US Marketing Manager about Lineage 2 Revolution's upcoming North American release.
Netmarble: Lineage 2 Revolution first started out in Korea, and it pretty much was number one as soon as it came out. Ever since then we've been putting our game out, releasing all across the Asian territories and very quickly hitting all the number-one charts, just the highest-grossing game pretty much ever since.
It's pretty much been everywhere except here in America and Europe. November 15 is when we're looking to release the game here.
GP: What I've seen is a very polished game, so it’s no surprise that it’s doing as well as it is. What made you decide to bring it to America? What are the struggles that you guys experienced trying to localize it?
Netmarble: The struggles that we had is that it is a brand that used to be in America, but it's no longer in America. Because of that, we are trying to find a way to reintroduce Lineage back to the American audience. Bring all the faithful that still remember it back into this court.
We also have a lot of the people that don't understand that you know what are the full capabilities that we can capitalize on a mobile device. That’s what Lineage 2 does. It’s a full-on, fully fledged MMORPG. It’s basically like taking WoW and put it on your phone, leaving nothing out. Nothing. Raids, everything.
GP: Actually that's very true. When I first looked at it, it was hard to see that was actually a mobile game. It looked like something I’ll play on the PC.
GP: So what do you think is gonna be the main thing that draws players to Lineage 2?
Netmarble: It's going to be two folks: people that love MMORPGs, people that that are looking for something a little more than your typical mobile-type games; People that also love massive battles, massive scale multiplayer battles that happen, but they could do it anywhere - these types of games. People that love to build clans, love to build guilds, that want to play together with friends this game has that capability. I think a clan can be up to 50 players, and that's where you go into the massive scale battles like Fortress Siege.
GP: Yeah. So here at TwitchCon, we saw a presentation where it’s actually 30 vs 30. It's actually really huge. The whole team is trying to work together. What are the strategies that each team has to deal with? I'm imagining it's not just you running in and see who clicks the fastest.
Netmarble: Yes, yeah. No, no. There are certain capture points that add buffs and debuffs to your team and opponent's team. There's also an area that heals your characters that you have to strategically use in order to stay on the battlefield. There're also crystals that take a lot to kill by yourself, but if you coordinate with your team, you can take it down faster in order to get into the fortress to take out the main target there.
GP: So I'm imagining all the strategy going on. There's definitely going to be these clans that are rising that’s really focused on how can we work together as a team.
GP: What about the players that are more casual? What do you think they will enjoy the most?
Netmarble: They will - since this game that is very, very in-depth on the story. I think we tapped it at like over 100 hours of gameplay. Yeah, so the people that just enjoy the story of an MMO experience, this type of game is for them as well. You know on your own PVE status; you don't need to worry about PVP, even though you know that PvP does exist. It’s one of the focuses, but you don’t have to focus on it.
GP: Actually that's interesting because there's a lot of game that went too far in the direction. It's really cool to see you guys tracking between the two. Do you think this game will be too hard to run on some devices? What kind of devices do you expect to run it on?
Netmarble: We actually tested on an iPhone 5, so everything on iPhone 5 on, including Android devices are capable running this game. Of course, because of high fidelity graphics, depending on your device you may have to tone down the graphics in order to compensate for whatever your device can do. But if you have the iPhone 7 or the latest ones, you could turn the graphics all the way to the max and enjoy.
GP: That must look really great.
Netmarble: The game runs on Unreal Engine 4, so it definitely uses the graphics potential of the game.
GP: Looking at the gameplay, there's a bunch of different classes and races, right? Something different from the older Lineage was that certain classes are locked in certain races if I remembered correctly? What has changed in this recent one?
Netmarble: We have four races in this game, we do have human, the elf, the dark elf, and the dwarf. Those came from Lineage 2. On top of those we added subclasses, so if you're a warrior you can also be a blade dancer, those are the type of things we added to Lineage 2 Revolution.
GP: And as a mobile game and MMORPG I’m sure there’ll be updates rolling out to improve the game, improve the experiences of the players. What kind of updates can we expect?
Netmarble: There's one I can kind of talk about. In the next couple updates, we're gonna release single Castle Siege. What you witnessed here today at TwitchCon is Fortress Siege, which is 50vs50 or 30vs30, depending on the size of your clan. The Castle Siege allows you to do 100vs100 on a mobile device, and that's where we're currently working on right now.
GP: So what aspect of the game do you think you’ve enjoyed the most?
Netmarble: Well, as a PvP fan, I love it when we do clan wars. We do clan dungeon sieges, which basically is your dungeon raids. Go into the dungeon, get the loot, kill the big boss; and of course Fortress Siege. It takes a bit to build up to the ability to go to war like that. Anytime we get that opportunity, we obviously look forward to it.
GP: I think we can expect like streamers or other players to broadcast these types of things.
Netmarble: Oh yeah. We expect players to start building their own clans throughout the United States, try to claim number one, be the first one to say that they won the Fortress Siege, take first in the leaderboards and so on.
GP: There's going to be tournaments?
GP: I look forward to the action. What do you think are the things that the team is struggling the most to implement?
Netmarble: It is on a mobile device, yes and we have not a limitation but more than a challenge. We’ve already gotten this far, putting everything that we know, what’s a full-featured MMO into a mobile phone. Right now, all we're doing is, “What else are we missing? What else is in in a current modern MMORPG? How can we take those features implements and further into Lineage 2 Revolution?”
GP: Because you have the limitations of not having 100+ keyboard keys.
Netmarble: Yeah. Exactly, exactly. So we always have that those limitations, but we always find solutions that hit right, and this is where we are right now.
GP: I looked at the interface, and it seems to be that, you hold it like a controller. What do you think would be the hardest thing for players to use the interface with, and where is the fun part of that? Because in other games, you tap the interface for where you want to go.
Netmarble: Lineage 2 Revolution is kind of like, you control everything in real time, where you want to go, your attacks and your abilities. The only challenge I can see is that you can't play it while you're driving.
GP: You shouldn’t.
Netmarble: It is very good of course, if you're in the classroom environment or in some environment where somebody could see you, normally holding vertically you could kind of get away with saying, “I’m checking my email.” You couldn’t do that with Lineage 2 Revolution. You truly could tell that you're playing a game because you’re holding it horizontally. Other than that, there aren’t many challenges there. We're all gamers, so it feels very intuitive right off the bat. These are my controls, this is what I do.
GP: As you guys are making the game, I'm sure that you started with a vision, right? This is what we want to make. Somewhere along the way and someone had a great idea about what else we can put in the game. To make it better for the players or make it more fun or exciting. Do you mind sharing one of those?
Netmarble: I think what it is we first started was creating an MMORPG. We got to the point where we’re like; we have a lot of people - what else can we do to get these guys together? That’s Fortress Siege.
GP: Something else that’s catching up recently is co-op play. Where it's one thing to fight each other in arenas, but it’s another thing for players to work together. I'm sure there’s going to be a lot of community support, making sure these players enjoy this game together?
GP: I’m sure you can enjoy this game by yourself, but it seems like there is a lot of emphasis on multiplayer in this game.
Netmarble: We want people to play together, and we want to build a community out of this game. To build clans, to do the clan dungeons, to do all the epic quests altogether, to do Fortress Siege. Playing together has been the model lately for any game. We want you to play together. Solo play still very, very important, but playing together is just as important.
GP: There are going to be a lot of players picking up this game, either singleplayer or multiplayer. When I was looking at Lineage 2 Revolution initially, I got a little bit confused because it was Lineage 2...
GP: And now it’s Lineage 2 Revolution. What caused you guys to decide to take this on?
Netmarble: Other than us talking to NCSoft, and of course the brand is really huge. Because of that, we wanted to keep that brand, maintain it so when it comes out, the original fans would know what Lineage is. They’ll remember what Lineage 2 was, so we figured you know this is a kind of revolution. We're building a fully-fledged MMORPG into a mobile phone. That's kind of evolution and revolution together. The story itself lends to the fact too, I think 100 years before, but don't quote me on this: it's a 100 years before the Lineage 2 happened, so this is kind of like a prequel to it.
GP: Huh? That's really interesting, the players that had played Lineage 2 are going to be very loyal fans, they’ll immensely enjoy the game. What about newer players? Do you think they’ll also enjoy the game, jumping straight in? Because they won’t know the backstory, right? What steps have you guys taken to make sure they enjoy the game as well?
Netmarble: We made sure the story, from the get-go, can be told so any player can understand it. Of course, there’ll be little tidbits we left that fans of Lineage would get right off the bat. That way we stay true to the Lineage brand while bringing in new fans that never heard of Lineage before.
Media provided by: Netmarble / Lineage 2 Revolution.