Game Developer Note - 04/18/2013
Hello CABAL users from all around the world!
My name is Coopers, the head of Game Design Team for CABAL Online: Expansion. I believe this is my first official outing to global CABAL users.
2012 brought big changes to the game and updates were delayed compared to years before to make those changes, which may have disappointed CABAL enthusiasts around the world. But I can assure that those times did not go waste and I sincerely appreciate your patience and understanding.
Leaving 2012 behind us, I wanted to share the changes mentioned above that will bring new life to CABAL Online: Expansion.
What I am about to share is features that are ‘in development’ stage. I’ve categorized it by contents subsection such as Dungeons, Items, etc.
1. What are some of the ‘in development’ features and where is CABAL headed to?
Main contents in CABAL are named to start with the word “Mission”. Among them, the most important content in my mind is the Mission Dungeons. Almost all MMORPGs employ the concept of dungeon but in CABAL, it was a bit different. Dungeons in CABAL were not just a place for users to level, obtain items and kill boss mobs. Users were given “missions” to clear dungeons within time limit while doing everything else mentioned above. Soon after, single play only DX(Dungeon eXreme) system and Time attack type Maquinas Outpost dungeon were introduced. All of these concepts were unseen in MMORPGs at the time of their first appearance.
I guess that’s enough about the past. What I want to get across is that CABAL Game Design Team and developers ALWAYS try to put a spin on everyday MMORPG contents to make them more interesting for the users and dungeons are no exception. The effort is ongoing as we speak, so that users can feel CABAL is ‘differently better’!
One of the changes we are bringing is the ‘Awakened’ mode, which is already being played out in Korean server. The concept is to put more limits and restrictions such as shorter dungeon time and a whole new pattern of boss mob’s attack for better rewards in formal mission dungeons. Those of you who are tuned to the latest updates of Korean server, you would already know that the first dungeon that has Awakened version is Forgotten Temple B2F. Different from the original Forgotten Temple B2F, the Awakened version can only hold up to 4 players. Players also obtain time bonus when they kill each boss mob along with many rewards such as Archridium items and ‘Awakened Tyrant’s Ring’.
The difficulty of the dungeon is higher than its original one so I believe it will be a new challenge for the global users. We are currently working on the second Awakened dungeon which yet again, has a different feel than the normal dungeon. CABAL dungeons are designed to be played repeatedly to obtain certain goal or items. We thought this could make users – especially the devoted, hardcore players - bored out of their minds. Of course, we can twist a thing or two and make the dungeons somewhat ‘random’.
For example, clear conditions are randomized so that players are seemingly doing different things when they enter the dungeons. However, the players were not born yesterday. It is matter of time that users realize such feature is just another cover up. To conquer this problem our team had hours of discussion. As a result, we introduce you to the ‘Daily Reward’.
Reward for each day of the week will change when certain dungeon is cleared. Although we will not be able to disclose the detailed reward list at this moment, what I can tell you is that the way these rewards are given is by meeting preset conditions for the dungeon. It will be different from the usual kill and drop type reward. This ‘Daily Reward’ will start with a specific dungeon (maybe a new one?).
2. How will the Team Mission Battle play out? What happens to Mission War in the future?
I don’t have to tell you that newly introduced Mission Battle – as it made its first appearance in Jeju Island last year – will be the key feature of CABAL going forward as we expect it will address all concerns that users had regarding PvP content.
To talk about the global camp for a moment, we apologize that we could not bring the completed version of Mission Battle to the event. It was honor and privilege to meet and spend time together with users from all around the world and gave us a fresh spirit and motive to make CABAL a better game.
As mentioned numerous times before, Team Mission Battle will be introduced in the second half year of 2013. We believe that the new Content will amplify user’s PvP experience to even greater level. The battlefield has a code name ‘Forest of Maze (the name can be changed)’, which enables 3 vs. 3 or 5 vs. 5 Battle.
Recently developers try to blend MOBA(popularly known as AOS in Korea) and MMORPG in many different ways. We thought merely bringing features in MOBA and piling them on to CABAL was not going to satisfy anyone. Our goal is to come up with MOBA content that has CABAL written all over it and quite frankly, it is a massive project for us and the developers here at ESTsoft. We are going to embrace all the essential features of MOBA such as spawning minions, defense towers and destroying opponent’s base. Then we are going to season it with distinctive features only for CABAL MOBA and encourage users to come up with unique strategies.
It will support Cross Server Matching System and users will be able to make their own team or put in a random group. All stats and skills will be adjusted when characters are entered into the battlefield. In the battlefield, each character will grow during the game like a ‘champion’ or ‘hero’ in MOBA. Gamers out there will be aware of the fact that you cannot win MOBA game by yourself no matter how good you are. Cooperation between players will be a key in winning the game. Now, I’d like to show you some original artwork of what I just talked about and the picture we are painting for this system.
Concept Art Main Base
Conceptual Art Shrine at Main Base
Conceptual Art Minion Spawn Object
Conceptual Art “juggling” Monster A
Conceptual Art “juggling” Monster B
We are also working on the new Mission War content called Tamue’s Island. Tierra Gloriosa is 100 vs. 100 Warfield where the focus is on mass PvP. Tamue’s Island will be a bit smaller in scale in between Tierra Gloriosa and Forest of Maze. We have tentatively set the size at 25 Vs. 25.
Different from the current Warfield, Tamue’s Island will be an open concept map. Users will be battling each other in a place where they can see recognize things at a glance. Key feature that we are putting in is the ‘Transport Wagon’ content. They spawn at a specific location in the Warfield. When one nation takes over this location, Transport Wagon automatically moves towards the main base of the nation.
What does this Transport Wagon do? It contains valuable resources that can be used to win the war. Each nation’s users will have to defend or take back the other’s Transport Wagon. Apart from users, bandits NPCs will appear time to time at the base to steal resources from the users. Defending resources from these NPCs will be another key play in the war. Although we do not have a plan as to when this content will be ready, I’m assuming it will be after the Forest of Maze update.
3. Is there any plan to strengthen Guild system for community building?
‘Guild’ is a very important system in any MMORPG for community building. A while back, when we did our first renewal of CABAL guild system we introduced guild level and added guild warehouse feature. Then we had plans to add more exciting features but did not quite go as planned. Things I’m about to share are – even though global users will probably see later in 2014 – is what we are preparing for guild system renewal.
The highlight of this renewal will be Private Field Map. Any guild meeting required conditions such as guild level will be able to own their Private Field Map. Monsters, drop items and daily quests in this Private Field Map will change based on guild point (Please remember, this is just a PLAN at the moment. If development becomes chaotic, I will not be hesitant to abandon ship)
There will be 2 types of Private Field Map, each with unique feel to it. Along with this update, guild level cap will be released. Hopefully with this renewal users will have a better view of the guild system in CABAL and unity and guild master’s role will be more emphasized.
We also acknowledge that there have been many requests to strengthen GvG feature. All I can say right now is that we are definitely planning to do something about it. Nothing is confirmed yet, but it will be something along the lines of crossing over PvP and Mission War.
Conceptual design for Private Field Map for guild
4. New battle style was announced in Jeju last year. Since this will be the first official post following the event, could you share it in more detail?
Designing additional battle style has been bothering me for many years. Because CABAL has a special feature called Battle Mode, there was a lot of stuff to consider. My main project for 2013 will be this New Battle Style. Information disclosed at Global Camp did not contain much detail. But through this note, I want to let you guys in on what’s in our plan as some of the stuff is yet to be discussed with my developers yet. (I’m pretty sure they can develop once I request to. I believe in them.)
You are probably wondering the name for the new battle style. It is… well, not determined yet. I swear. First off, I will show you the concept art for the actual character.
Conceptual Art for the new Battle Style Character
I know what you are thinking. Weapon is different from the image disclosed at Global Camp! Relax, the weapon shown at Global Camp is they this new character will use in Battle Mode. The new battle style will use the current Armor class equipment. It will be a different Armor class from what Warriors and Force Shielders use. Weapon is two chakrams.
The new character is all around fighter with both melee and range attack. In a melee fight it will be close to martial art style, punches and kicks. For range attacks two chakrams will be used. How the new battle style fights will depend on the ‘stance’ and requires high level control.
Other than just attacking skills, this character will pull monsters close with his skill, or put them in the air for combo attack. (Now I have to go and tell my developers about this and beg them to make this possible.) This content will come alive in Korea at the end of this year or next year, after a thorough testing in UTS server. All of us here at ESTsoft are excited about this project so I guarantee you a quality update with this new battle style.
5. Is there any other updates?
We are preparing mini updates other than the big ones I mentioned above. One of them is a new Buddy System. In this system users will receive bonus effect when more ‘buddies’ are online in CABAL. Bonus effect will not be good enough to make this system mandatory for users.
Next on the agenda is new Mission Dungeon in Arcane Trace field. Because of the higher difficulty in the field itself, the new dungeon will not be easy to clear. Also, Tower of Undead B3F update bumped this new dungeon down in our priority list.
Honor rank cap will be adjusted to Lv. 25. Difficulty to reach Lv. 20 will also be adjusted so that it will be somewhat easier target to teach even for lite users. Additional, from Lv. 21 to 25 will use different mechanism other than just obtaining points and leveling.
Lastly, we are designing to continue CABAL’s story line with ‘and there after’ content. We will not be able to do the entire update at once and planning to do it chapter by chapter. The main story will consist the conflict among Capella, Procyon and the new influential group (spoiler alert!). Main characters such as Arionell or Yuan will sit back this time and new heroes will shine their names through this new storyline.
The frame of this new story is already completed and I think you guys will like how it will unfold.
6. Any last words?
It’s been 7 years since October 2005, first OBT in Korea. If it wasn’t for the support and love you guys shown us, it would not have been possible to come this far. When I first joined the project, I was 26 and now I’m in my 30s. Even after all these years, there are tons of things I want to do with CABAL and I give you guys my word that I will make them come true one by one.
Finally, I want to conclude by saying that I absolutely enjoyed this “interview” and hope to do this with global users more often