Bless Unleashed Q&A – Devs on PvE Dungeons, PvP, Player Housing and Lots More
The MMORPG Bless Unleashed, announced just ahead of PAX West 2018, is headed to Microsoft's Xbox One console (with other platforms possibly following at a later date, as you'll read below) next year with a beta coming in the next few months (the registration is still open on the official website).
As you could easily guess by the game's title, it is based on the same IP of Bless Online, though there are some key differences. Bless Unleashed has been developed specifically for consoles for Unreal Engine 4, whereas Bless Online was designed for PC with Unreal Engine 3. The combat will be entirely action based instead of using the tab-targeting system of Bless Online; the developers and publishers are also different, as Round 8 Studio is a separate team inside NEOWIZ and Bandai Namco will publish Bless Unleashed.
Seeking more information ahead of the upcoming launch, we were able to interview Jason Park, Head of Development at Round 8 Studio, who kindly provided details about PvE, PvP, player housing and a lot more features. Enjoy!
How many developers are working on Bless Unleashed and when did development start?
Currently, there are over 80 people working on Bless Unleashed at Round 8 Studio. Development started around early 2016.
How big is the game world compared to Bless Online? How long would it take to travel it from one end to the other? Is there dynamic weather (rain, snow, fog etc.)?
The game world is comparable to Bless Online. However, there aren’t limitations to where you can travel in Bless Unleashed. Users will be able to traverse the entire map. For comparison, Bless Online’s world was divided into two regions, so users were limited to locations based on faction. Also, users would have to repeatedly visit early-to-middle level regions in order to level up and participate in Divine quests.
Dynamic weather will not be implemented at launch but will be added in future updates.
You are going to launch with the Mage, Berserker, Defender, Priest and Ranger classes. However, there are some missing archetypes such as Assassin/Rogue, for instance. Do you have any plans to introduce additional classes after Bless Unleashed has launched? If so, would this happen in a free update or paid DLC/expansion?
We definitely plan to add in additional classes post-launch in content updates and plan for classes to be part of the free content during each update. We will announce what those are as we move into post-launch service and begin revealing our future updates.
How many PvE dungeons are going to be available upon the game's release? Are you also going to have PvE raids for larger groups?
At launch, there will be at least 12 PvE dungeons. There will also be Named Monsters, which will spawn in the open world for larger group raids.
With regards to Guilds features, what can players expect at launch?
At launch, players can expect basic guild functions. Additional guild leveling and guild member benefits will be added post-launch.
One of the main features in Bless Online is the 100v100 RvR battles. Are you planning to introduce massive PvP battles to Bless Unleashed at some point?
The RvR battles at launch will be 15v15 for Bless Unleashed. Due to the new, different skill-based combat style of Bless Unleashed, we want to ensure that the RvR experience is smooth and players are able to execute their skills to the best of their abilities and not encounter any lag due to a high amount of characters on-screen. After launch, we will be looking into improving and building additions to RvR maximum limits.
It was confirmed there will be a Karma based system to penalize 'PK' outlaws. Is there going to be a Bounty system as well, where players can actively hunt the outlaws for a reward?
We are planning a somewhat similar but ultimately different system that we are calling Selective RvR. Players will be able to join one of three Unions, which will be like a faction based on play style. Each player’s play style will contribute to a reputation that will determine which Union they will be able to join. Post-launch, we will be adding missions that will supplement this system, including a “Bounty Mission” that will involve hunting the PK outlaws.
Player housing is usually one of the most requested features in MMORPGs. Is that something you would like to do for Bless Unleashed?
Yes! There will be player housing at launch. All players can have their own house, upgrade it, and will have the ability to accelerate resource creations.
Will the beta be available in Q1 2019?
I can’t confirm anything yet as we want to make sure the player experience in the beta is the best possible, and we’re not quite there yet. We’re hopeful though; please keep watching our channels for our announcement!
You have recently said that the game will run at 4K resolution with dynamic scaling technology on Xbox One X. Could you specify the average rendering resolution you are targeting, though?
We are currently in the midst of optimization, so it is difficult to give an exact number. We’re testing and hope to have a better answer soon.
Will there be a performance option to play Bless Unleashed at a higher frame rate (e.g. 60fps) and 1080p resolution on Xbox One X?
Like other console games, we are planning to add a basic option of ‘Frame preferred/Quality preferred’. Like the above answer, the specific results of these options can only be determined after we’re further in development and have completed optimizations and testing, so we don’t want to prematurely commit to the specifics just yet.
Once the game has landed on Xbox One, will you consider launching on additional platforms like PC, PlayStation 4 or Nintendo Switch? If that happens, would you be interested in enabling cross-platform play?
Currently, we are focusing on the Xbox One to ensure the best experience possible. We are
considering other platforms like PlayStation 4 for future releases. Currently, we don’t anticipate
being able to support cross-platform play.
Thank you for your time.