Blue Protocol: Everything you Need to Know About the Upcoming Anime MMORPG
We got a lot to talk about today. We’re going to cover Blue Protocol’s global release, their upcoming beta test, release date, and gameplay itself – world exploration, combat, classes and story.
This article is going to be an all-inclusive compilation of everything we currently know about the game, and will hopefully cover every question you have including what to expect going into the future.
WHAT IS BLUE PROTOCOL?
Alright, so by now you’ve probably seen the new trailer, you’ve went onto Youtube and checked various videos from a plethora of different players that got into the first Alpha test and you’re excited. Awesome – so am I and so is everyone else.
Blue Protocol is a beautiful, incredibly high quality AAA Japanese MMORPG being developed by Bandai Namco. The game is built on Unreal Engine 4 and has a fast, dynamic combat system similar to KurtzPel or Soul Worker. It utilizes a beautiful cel-shaded graphical style and is perhaps one of the best looking Anime MMOs I’ve ever seen.
Blue Protocol is still currently in development, however it does have an estimated release date of 2020. There was an Alpha test that took place back in the middle of 2019, and the game is going to be opening registration for Closed Beta testing on February 12th.
THE WORLD, CLASSES AND GAMEPLAY
A lot of players have been wondering specifically what kind of world Blue Protocol has. Is it a sandbox, open-world, or is it like Soul Worker or Vindictus, and instanced off?
I’m sure a lot of you have played Final Fantasy XIV, Guild Wars 2 or Elder Scrolls. I feel like most MMO players have. Much like the aforementioned MMOs, Blue Protocol has very large, highly detailed segregated zones. However these zones aren’t instanced at all.
You’re fully capable of seeing hundreds of players in every area you enter. The game actually employs a megaserver, allowing every single player to play together on the same server. You might be wondering how this is going to work, then. And that’s a simple answer.
Like Elder Scrolls Online, the game is going to have smaller-scale channels or shards that split the players up so they don’t overcrowd areas.
There are various things to do out in the world: You’ll take quests like traditional MMOs, there are unique dungeons that you can tackle with other players, there are various world bosses to fight and kill for some sick loot and there’s more planned in the future.
Now speaking of classes, Blue Protocol actually took this in an interesting direction.
There are 4 classes total right now, the sword and shield wielding Aegis Fighter, the dual axe wielding Twin Striker, the long-range bow wielding Blast Archer, and finally, the powerful elemental magic wielding Spell Caster.
Upon inspecting the list of classes, you might think that there’s a holy trinity of tank:healer:DPS but that isn’t actually the case. Blue Protocol doesn’t have a dedicated tank or a dedicated healer. While there are classes that can technically generate additional threat and classes that can actually decrease threat, no class is classified as a tank.
Likewise, every class actually has access to their own self-heals, meaning that combat is going to be less focused on tanks tanking monsters and healers healing teams, and more focused on individual players working to keep themselves alive on their own while attempting to maximize damage output.
Although I do believe the Blast Archer and Spell Caster both have AoE heals which would make them a much more beneficial class to have during large-scale encounters.
Bandai Namco revealed that they have no intention, at least presently, of releasing additional classes but instead will focus on providing new, alternate ways for players to progress their class. This includes, but is not limited to continuing to introduce additional skills to customize your character to be a little more.. unique.
Interestingly, every class is also playable on a single character. This functions much like Final Fantasy XIV – each class has their own level, and thus must be leveled separately. What this means is that you can level all 4 classes on your character, and swap to them any time you want to.
Granted, you’re required to visit an NPC to change class but it’s still a fairly fast, painless method. Most importantly, and I know you’re all waiting for this.. unlike pretty much every single South Korean MMO, Blue Protocol will not feature gender locking of any kind. None.
Additionally, since you’ll likely be playing every class on a single character.. it’s probably refreshing to know that the character creator is pretty damn good too, huh?
Combat is complete action combat. If you’ve played KurtzPel, Soul Worker or heck, even TERA then the combat will likely feel very familiar to you. Unlike Black Desert that is all about memorizing combos and keybinds, Blue Protocol has a variety of hotkeys for you to set skills to.
And there are a lot of skills planned – meaning it’s crucial to determine the kind of playstyle you want to invest time into. Attacks are bound to left mouse button and right mouse button, with your actual skills being placed on your hotbars. You can move while casting, fighting, and even fight while jumping. The combat is highly dynamic!
Both crafting and gathering are going to be present in-game. While I’m unsure of the specifics with regards to what is planned for crafting, during the Alpha test you could craft 4 different tiers of weapons within the city.
Crafting requires materials obtained via gathering, killing monsters and even dungeons. Gathering takes 3 different forms: Mining ore, harvesting herbs and other plants, and then “sellable materials.” Again, there were 4 tiers for gathering materials as well.
Speaking of crafting, there’s a little more involved in upgrading your character. In Blue Protocol there exist various types of “souls.”
As of this moment, there are Equipment Souls, which are used to upgrade your gear by providing beneficial stats to each piece, there are Combat Souls which function more or less the same way but aren’t adhered to your gear, and Mount Souls, which were actually just revealed. These will allow players to obtain various mounts in-game.
Currently, I believe only ground mounts are planned, how many specifically is unknown.
Another thing I know a lot of you are curious of is the PvP, how it’s going to be implemented in-game and what forms of PvP there’ll end up being. I know you guys hate open-world PvP. Well, a lot of you hate it, if my videos and the associated comment sections are to be believed.
So I guess you’ll be pleased to know that Blue Protocol will have PvP, but PvP will take the form of instanced-matches. Revealed in the latest info drop was the Battle Arena, a large-scale Arena for players to fight one another in.
We don’t know what forms of PvP will be available, but it’s likely there’ll be at least 1v1, perhaps 2v2, and probably 3v3 fights. It is unconfirmed, but unlikely to have open-world PvP from anything players experienced during the Alpha test.
The Alpha test took place back at the end of July 2019. Bandai Namco had an NDA in place that prevented players from sharing what they recorded or captured at the time. The Alpha had 10,000 players participate over the course of several days, and had over 5 million applicants at the time of Alpha registration.
Bandai Namco have announced that on February 12th, 2020, they will be opening registration for a brand new Closed Beta testing phase. The limit this time will be 50,000 players, 5 times the number of the Closed Alpha.
However, with how much publicity the game has gotten over the last 8 months, it’s safe to say more than 5 million players will be applying this time around. It has been confirmed that there will be no NDA in place for the Closed Beta, meaning players can share any content they wish. Screenshots, videos, information.
While the Beta registration begins on February 12th, the registration process itself won’t end until March 4th. The Beta will run for 4 days, and is expected sometime in late March.
The Closed Alpha had no IP restrictions in place, allowing players to play without a VPN. Bandai Namco have not mentioned anything pertaining to IP blocks for the Closed Beta, and have even went as far as hinting at knowing there are streamers outside of Japan looking to stream footage.
This is one of the most important topics for the majority of us. Whether or not Bandai Namco have any intention of releasing the game globally.
Early in February, Bandai Namco posted a job opening for a “Localization Director,” that will be in charge of localizing Blue Protocol. People speculated that this meant they were looking to release the game in English, since that is the language required to be spoken fluently.
Shortly after, they proceeded to register the “Blue Protocol” trademark in North America and Europe, further confirming their stance on releasing the game within these regions. While the game is still not 100% confirmed to be releasing everywhere in the world, this is about as good as we’re likely going to get until an official confirmation is given.
There is currently no release date planned for the game within Japan currently, but they did mention their intention of releasing before the year ends. Since neither Alpha nor Beta will restrict players based on region, it’s safe to speculate that the game itself will not impose IP restrictions when it launches in Japan.
Finally, Bandai Namco expressed interest in launching Blue Protocol as a free-to-play MMORPG with a functional cash shop selling cosmetic items. We’ll have a better look at how the cash shop functions during the Closed Beta in March, but there will be no fee to play the game.
I cannot express verbally how excited I am for Blue Protocol. It’s a fast, beautiful action MMO with tens of thousands of other players out playing – that you can actually see, party with and engage with.
And it isn’t South Korean, so there are no gender locks, it isn’t going to take a decade, and is going to have a decent story.
This year is looking to be a very, very solid year, and Blue Protocol is partly responsible for that.