BLUE PROTOCOL Episode 2: Action Combat, Imajinn Summons, Dungeons and Story
For those of you watching this without having watched the first Episode in our Blue Protocol series, I highly recommend watching the first episode before going any further as I cover the classes available, skills, skill trees and character creation present in game.
For everyone else, welcome to Episode 2. Today, we’re going to go over the action combat, the unique Imajinn system, the games story, and dungeons.
BLUE PROTOCOL COMBAT SYSTEM
Let’s jump right into the combat system, since a lot of you are no doubt interested in not only seeing it in action, but also learning more about it.
If you couldn’t already tell, the combat is pure action. You’re not required to have a target to use skills, and there’s no cycling through targets using the tab-key.
Archers are required to aim their attacks – we have to predict where the enemy is going to be ahead of time so our arrows line up with and hit the enemy as they’re moving.
Admittedly, some of our skills do have an auto lock-on where they fly off and hit any enemy within the immediate vicinity. I’m sure this is going to be a little problematic within dungeons or large groups of monsters, but it just means we have to pay attention to our surroundings a little more.
Spell Casters also require aim for their abilities, with different skills having different distances they travel. This means that you need to be aware your close-range magics require you to be within melee proximity to enemies.
I didn’t play either the Striker or Fighter, but from what I saw of other players out in the field, they were definitely mashing their buttons together.
One thing worth noting is that for ranged classes, there’s an aim-assist function. I tried this out for a minute and it locked me onto a target. I can see this being useful for people with poor aim, but it limits your ability to freely hit more than a single target, or swap targets quickly and accurately.
So while it’s a nice function for some players, it’ll be more of a hindrance to those of us looking to play with a higher skill-level.
One feature I did find interesting was the stamina function. It allows for you to actively dodge out of enemy attacks, but with the stamina I had at my level, it only ever provided me the option to dodge a maximum of 3 times.
I believe you can increase your stamina with passive skills, but it’s interesting to think how different players will have different levels of stamina, HP and even damage based on what passives they chose when leveling.
BLUE PROTOCOL DUNGEONS
I had the opportunity to test out several of the dungeons found within the introductory levels of the game. I think there were 2 or 3 scattered around the first 10 or so hours, maybe more.
These dungeons, much like Final Fantasy XIV were unlocked as part of the story, and interestingly enough allow for entry with varying party sizes.
They’re built for solo play, allowing you to enter by yourself and complete the dungeon without too much difficulty, but at the same time, they’re built for full-sized parties as well, with difficulty scaling per player that participates.
This means that there should always be a level of challenge when running dungeons, regardless of whether you enter by yourself or with a full group.
Dungeons themselves weren’t too long from what I could tell, at least initially, and each dungeon had a single boss-monster that you had to fight with their own unique mechanics.
Doing this as an Archer was difficult, I can only imagine the difficulty Spell Casters would have had.
BLUE PROTOCOL STORY
The story is a very prevalent part of Blue Protocol. The entire game moves along like a JRPG – with a very strong focus on storytelling. You have different characters you meet each with their own unique personalities that play varying roles in your game’s story.
You take quests from them, you change classes from them, and you might even find yourself growing attached to them. I know a lot of people in the chat loved several of the characters we met along our journey and they even requested I not skip cutscenes purely so they could watch their favorite characters react to the world.
Admittedly, none of us could really understand what was going on – this is a Japanese Closed Beta after all and as such, everything was in Japanese. However, even with the language barrier I found it easy enough to follow what was going on.
BLUE PROTOCOL IMAJINN SUMMON SYSTEM
The Imajinn system is an interesting feature, and is probably the reason why we’ll never get a summoner-type class in-game.
See, Imajinn’s are temporary summons, or, summon-esque like monsters. You can equip two different Imajinn that you can then utilize in combat by summoning them – these monsters come out, use an ability, then instantly go on cooldown.
In essence, they function just like an extra skill but provide varying utility depending on which Imajinn you have equipped.
You can obtain Imajinn via quests, or you can go ahead and actually make your way back to the town and craft them. Items required to craft them can be obtained from monsters you eliminate out in the field.
Not only can you craft Imajinn, but the creatures can also be upgraded, providing additional stats and improving their effectiveness. This allows for further customization of your character as different Imajinn provide different stats boosts.
Additionally, they function as a mount. Everyone had access to the same Imajinn mount at the beginning of the game, granted, but it’s an interesting feature allowing for you to essentially capture and ride the same monsters you see out in the field and summon.
Unfortunately, the stamina consumption for the mount was rather rapid and didn’t allow for much use of it – this is something I truly hope they change as it almost defeated the purpose of the mount to me.
Finally, there are equipment Imajinn. These are used primarily to augment your gear, increasing their overall stats and once again, providing additional customization.
While there are no doubt going to be cookie-cutter Imajinn and skills for players looking to maximize their damage output, it’s going to be a lot of fun crafting your own unique character and build.
Blue Protocol is an ambitious MMO. It’s beautiful, its combat is fast and fluid and seeing areas as populated as I did was refreshing.
But that’s the end of our second episode on Blue Protocol. Make sure you tune into the next one where I plan on touching on crafting gear, upgrading, the world, exploration PvP and PvE!