Today Bandai Namco hosted a new livestream to provide news and gameplay of its upcoming MMORPG Blue Protocol.
The developers talked about the newly-announced PS5 and Xbox Series X|S versions, mentioning that they would like to implement cross-play and cross-progression, but they cannot guarantee it’ll happen for now. There may also be regional changes made to the game driven by the local publishers (Amazon Games for the west), but the developers believe that retaining the Japanese style is important.
We get to take a look at fishing and swimming. Players can simply jump into the water and out of the water seamlessly.
In Japan, there will be only one server, but there will be instances generated dynamically on demand. Cities will host up to 200 players. Fields will host up to 30 players per zone. Dungeon missions will host up to 6 players. Raid missions will host up to 30 players, while time attack and score attack modes will be single-player.
More gameplay showcases camping, which you can use to recover HP in the field and to roleplay with your friends.
We also take another look at character customization, including makeup and face paints. A lot of options have been added since the last time we’ve seen this feature. There is a vendor in town that lets you change your looks, but you’ll need to use tickets to do so. That being said, you won’t spend the tickets until you want to save your customization, so you can play around at any time. In the gameplay showcased today, customizing within the same body type costs 1 ticket, but changing it (including gender) costs 8 tickets. This is, of course, subject to change.
More customization gameplay showcases how you can change the colors of your outfit at a dedicated vendor. Dyes can be obtained both via gameplay and with real money.
Another look at the photo mode shows features and options that weren’t showcased before. The suite of options you have is quite rich and you can take pictures of multiple characters.
There are several ways to form a party. You can do so directly simply by interacting with someone else, use the automatic Party Matching feature, and there is a “Party Wanted” option that lets you create a party in advance and let other players join from a list. Lastly, the “Party Now” feature lets you party with nearby players who have the same option turned on.
We get to see the Tower of Beginning mission, which is a six-player encounter prompting you to clear floors one after the other, with difficulty progressively becoming more challenging.
Lastly, the developers discussed the free-to-play model and monetization, albeit we should keep in mind that this is what we can expect in Japan. Amazon Games may change things for the west.
The basic gameplay is free but there will be season passes and four stores within the “Regnus Store.” A Gacha system will be used to acquire certain outfits and mounts, the Rose Orb store, the BP Points Store, and the Season Pass Store.
Gacha and the Rose Orb Store will be accessed via Rose Orbs, whichì basically are your currency that can be acquired both by paying with real money and for free by playing the game. They’re also used to purchase the paid Season Pass.
Season Passes will cycle approximately every 50 or 60 days and can be free or paid. The free one will have 60 levels while the paid ones will have 100. There are two different paid plans, “Advanced” and “Royal” and you can purchase only one. You can also use Rose Orbs to purchase levels and progress faster if you so wish.
The stores and season passes will offer many kinds of items including gear and weapon skins and accessories, stamps, flavor items like firecrackers, mounts (speed won’t change whether you use your free ones acquired through gameplay or those you get by paying), character slots, name change (which will have a cooldown), and time-saving effects like increased rewards, immediate completion of fetch quests, consumables (increased experience, increased money drop, healing potions, etc.), and increases to crafting success rate.
Below you can see an infographic showcasing what can be acquired.
This doesn’t mean you won’t get rewards through purely gameplay-related means like completing missions and quests. Those may include costumes, accessories, mounts, stamps, customization tickets, gacha tickets, and more.
Below you can check out the full video, alongside the previous trailer introducing the game in English.
Blue Protocol will release in Japan in early 2023, while western gamers will have to wait for the second half of the year. It’s coming for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S.