Blue Protocol FAQ: Everything you Need to Know About the Upcoming Anime MMORPG
Okay, I feel as though it’s about time for this.
There’s been quite a sizable amount of info released pertaining to Blue Protocol since my large compilation, and I’d love to go ahead and compile it all together into one larger “FAQ” as it were.
Plus, in my last video dedicated to the recent livestream last week, I had a ton of people ask me “Hey Stix, is Blue Protocol free-to-play?” or “Hey Stix, when is Blue Protocol coming to the West?”
This is an all-encompassing, easy to digest look into Blue Protocol, so you’re probably going to want to sit back. This is likely to be a bit of a long video, but by the time you make it through, you should have every single question answered. So I urge you to sit through as much as you feel you can.
Blue Protocol is an upcoming Anime-themed action MMORPG. The game is being developed by Bandai Namco, who is responsible for countless AAA RPG titles over the years.
The game is being built as an Anime MMO as opposed to a fully 3D MMO because, well.. if you look at their list of games, it’s obvious this is the graphical style that they are best known for. And let me assure you: It works wonderfully. This game is beautiful.
There will be no need to purchase anything to play the game. It will be completely free-to-play, which is an interesting route to take considering the last popular MMO out of Japan, Final Fantasy XIV is pay-to-play.
While there is no fee required to play, they will be monetizing the game with an in-game cash shop. A cash shop that wasn’t really functional during the Closed Beta that I took part in.
They have promised that the cash shop will feature only cosmetic items and items that don’t provide any kind of advantage to other players, but I’m always highly pessimistic when free MMOs claim they’re have cash shops that are free from pay-to-win or pay-to-advance, as everyone should be.
The devs have been pretty quiet regarding any kind of release outside of Japan, but time and time again they’ve expressed their interest in a globally accessible game, often exclaiming that it’s something they’re “definitely in the process of working on over time.”
Do note that development of an MMO takes quite a few years, and while Bamco definitely have a lot of experience in the field, with how many Japanese players were upset with the current state of the game, it’s still an unfortunate ways from launching, even in Japan.
Yes, Japanese players were quite dissatisfied with the most recent Closed Beta for Blue Protocol.
There were quite a number of reasons listed in their recent “feedback report” that they posted on their website earlier this week.
Japanese players thought that the crafting process was incredibly slow and highly unrewarding, and when the entirety of Blue Protocol’s gearing system revolves around crafting.. you’re going to want to make 100% certain players are happy with the state it’s in.
Players thought that the character customization was lacking in customizeable parts, something they’ve already addressed stating there will be more options when customizing your character.
Players felt that the combat was difficult, there weren’t enough skills to really make your character unique, and there were too many special effects going simultaneously that made it difficult seeing what was going on.
They found stats difficult to understand, had issues with monsters aggroing from large distances, and aggroing even if you outleveled them by 20 levels.
Boss fights were simple zerg fests, with players just spamming skills into them while they provided little in the way of difficulty since there wasn’t much strategy involved.
Then there were some UI issues, town complaints, and questing concerns, but otherwise those were the major issues Japanese players had with the game.
So with the surplus of overhauls, additions and the amount of features they’re going to have to expand on to appease the Japanese playerbase.. while the game isn’t currently coming to the West this year, it isn’t coming to Japan this year either.
While they’re working on a Western, potentially global release of Blue Protocol, as they did state “We have said that it was intended to go global from the start,” they’re also working to finish the game for the Japanese audience first as that is their core playerbase.
Everyone that is keeping an eye on Blue Protocol should know of its 4 classes right now: The Aegis Fighter, Twin Striker, Blast Archer and Spell Caster. Initially, people were concerned there would only be 4 classes available in-game, yet the team wanted to ensure players otherwise.
“We’re currently working on new classes,” they mentioned, however, they wouldn’t elaborate on specifically what classes were being worked on.
They’ve noted that players asked specifically for classes like “spear-wielders,” so I guess if anything, that might be something they’re interested in introducing going into the future.
They did note that new classes will not be available until the game officially goes live, and that providing an acceptable level of “class identity” is what is most important to them right now.
Because while it’s all grand to have 10 different classes, if most of them play and function mostly the same, there really isn’t much reason behind playing them.
I felt much the same way in Moonlight Blade when every class did mostly the same thing with the exception being their weapon held in their hand.
I don’t really need to touch on skills all that much. There are skill trees, but for the most part you move through it unlocking skills and passives as they become available.
This is where Japanese players thought that there was little variety in customizing your class.
While they’ve stated they plan on making classes more unique by adding in new abilities and tuning current ones, what is most important to many a player is the fact that they’re doing the exact same thing with character creation.
They’ve confirmed that they’re going to be adding in the ability to customize additional sections of the body, and increasing the options currently available per body part.
They’re adding in an “Aesthetic Salon” for players to customize their character further, by providing even more options once you unlock them. I’m not sure how you go about unlocking the aesthetician, but I’m guessing it functions much in the same way as they do in Final Fantasy XIV and World of Warcraft.
There are currently outfits available to players to equip in-game, much like most MMOs, however they were honestly quite limiting within the Closed Beta.
I know I had people complain about their lack of selection while I was streaming, and I can completely and wholeheartedly concur, the selection of outfits was abysmal.
However, they’ve confirmed there will be many additional outfits for players to earn and purchase once the game goes live, including, most interestingly, the option to customize your underwear.
Yes, I’m not even joking here. As I talked about earlier this week, they’re allowing for players to channel their inner.. weird, by allowing you to de-robe yourself right down to and then customize your underwear. I’m sure a lotta you guys are going to be thrilled with this.
Combat is purely action. There is no tab-target, there are no cycling through enemies. You look ahead of you, and you hit what’s around you. There’s aim-assist for ranged classes, but I found it to be more of a hindrance than a benefit.
It would lock on to a single target ahead of me and prevent me from lining up targets so I could hit multiple at once – AoE cleaving them down. The hotbar for your abilities is also surprisingly low, which I found a little disconcerting. I mean I hate games that throw a hundred skills at you.
World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV give me PTSD with all the skills they have, but games like the Elder Scrolls Online providing you a couple abilities only, while sure it presents you the ability to more uniquely customize your character, ultimately ends up inhibiting you more than it does anything else.
Abilities look incredible though, my archer pulled off some pretty sick looking skills on the way to level 20, and I know the Spell Caster has some of the best looking abilities in the game.
Seriously, when I saw a meteor coming down from the sky I near crapped myself because I thought it was coming from the field-boss we were engaged with and I thought I was about to get murdered.
Combat doesn’t just involve your abilities though, since there’s a unique Imajinn system in place, providing players the option of Pokemon-ifying monsters, capturing them out in the wilderness and turning them into slaves you summon in battle to do your bidding.
They provide additional effects, and are equipped like you would gear and enhancements. It’s an interesting addition to the game and I hope they go much deeper than what I saw as it was definitely a little shallow.
There are dungeons currently available in-game, but again, Japanese players found them to be fairly generic, and commented that not only were they difficult to navigate without a map, but were also kind of uninspired and definitely too easy.
While I had some difficulty in one of the dungeons, I can see how they would be too easy to tackle with a full group of players.
Although according to the statistics Bamco released, almost half the entire playerbase did dungeons solo, so I’m guessing the ease of difficulty they have is with the solo experience mostly as opposed to the cooperative experience?
Raids right now were in the form of large-scale boss fights. I was never at my PC streaming when they took place but I saw some videos of the raids and holy- they actually looked incredible, I cannot wait to get to experience those, but at the same time, I truly hope they’re more than just boss fights.
To me they seemed a little reminiscent of KurtzPel’s boss fights, and while that’s a good thing, I do prefer having raids consist of more than just boss encounters.
As this is a Japanese MMO, you can bet there’s going to be a plethora of story to sit through. Take Phantasy Star Online 2 and Final Fantasy XIV as examples of how much story-text can be found within a Japanese MMO.
The game starts you off with a lengthy cutscene introducing you to several of the characters, then as you continue to level throughout the first several levels, you’re introduced to even more of the cast.
The story gets you very involved, especially considering your character responds and has a semblance of a personality – something that almost every MMO to date is missing. Your character isn’t just some emotionless, empty shell of a Human being.
Instead, they – you – seem to be a living, breathing character within the world you’re playing in and I feel this is a fantastic way of playing through the game. Both solo if you prefer, and with a group, and I’m glad that content promotes either form of playstyle.
I don’t feel like I need to really elaborate on crafting any more than I already have: You craft your weapons in-game, as crafting is the only method with which you can obtain new gear. Boss monsters won’t drop gear, you can’t find it via chests, or as quest rewards.
Crafting is the only way to obtain anything gear-related.
However, what I do want to talk about is the PvP. I know some of you out there are of the opinion that “PvP is the most important thing in an MMO,” and I’m sure to you it definitely is.
But after what, 4 streams now? 5 streams? Bamco have repeatedly overlooked the PvP aspect of the game because the Japanese playerbase are just not into it. This is evident in their most recent round of feedback: Nobody asked for PvP. Nobody claimed that the game was lacking PvP.
Nobody has even been discussing it, because for the most part, it’s a non-factor. Japan just isn’t into having PvP as a feature, at least pertaining to Player vs. Player. Sure, they have PvP in the form of Party vs. Party, but that’s something completely different.
PvP in Blue Protocol pits every group against one another in a competitive ladder to see who can clear waves of monsters the fastest.
There are tiered rewards depending on how quick you can clear, and as stated there’s a competitive ladder so you can keep track of which teams are the most efficient at the content, but that’s about as competitive as content will get for the foreseeable future.
There are a few other things worth noting: Guilds were not implemented within the most recent Closed Beta test, but Bamco have promised that they will be present in the final version of the game.
The mount system, with its ridiculous stamina consumption is going to be looked at, but each mount has its own stamina gauge and as such, they want to encourage changing between mounts regularly while out exploring the world.
Unfortunately, they haven’t dated a follow-up stream after the most recent one. I’m aware that with everything going on in the world right now, scheduling a live stream like this is probably very difficult, but it’d give everything something to look forward to.
Generally, they’ve been pretty good at remaining communicative with the community, and that’s something I give them kudos for. This is something a lot of developers could learn a thing or two from, as is their ability to listen to their community and make alterations to the game to make the community happy.
But at the end of the day, they need to remember that they had a vision for the game, and as players we’re never going to be happy with the end result. Catering to us by setting the game back repeatedly in the hope that we’ll like every facet of the game will result in us never receiving the game.
Blue Protocol looks incredible, and I cannot wait for the next live stream, I cannot wait for the next beta test, and I cannot wait to finally get to play this with Mrs Stix.
But that’s everything you need to know about the game right now. There isn’t anything more you need to know until the next time they release information regarding the game.
Hopefully this satiates your need for info, and I hope you’re all equally as excited as ever, if not even more so!