An unusual cross-platform pairing
There are increasing numbers of games that allow for cross-platform play. Most of them allow cross-play between PC and the PlayStation and/or Xbox. Not many however, allow cross-play between PC and mobile devices. But with the visual and computing power of smartphones increasing at a phenomenal rate, games on such devices can now look and play like those of their PC brethren.
V4, an MMORPG, challenges players to save Syllunas, a once paradisal land that is now being threatened by demonic forces led by the villainous Guardion and the once-mighty Scoria Knights. And the game allows for both PC players and mobile gamers to do so, in one of just a few PC/mobile cross-platform titles.
Featuring six offence-focused classes including Enchantress, Slayer, Knight, Warlord, Gunslinger and BoomBlade, each class in V4 allows players the opportunity to deal maximum damage and destruction as they navigate through the adventure-packed environment. Forging powerful alliances, players will explore realms, and conquer the battlefield in action-filled real-time player versus player and player versus environment (PvPvE) experiences as they advance in the game.
Offering over 50 customisation options, personalise characters with lustrous weapons and armour to aid them in battle and unlock their true potential. With a player-driven marketplace, V4 invites players to experience an open world adventure that allows them to indulge in the immersive world of Syllunas at any time, at home or on the go, with players all across the world.
The team at Hooked Gamers were lucky enough to sit down and have a chat with developers Nat Games, to discuss V4 and it's cross-platform play.
Hooked Gamers: Cross-play between PC and mobile is rare – why was the decision made for that particular combination?
Nat Games: Mobile device performance quality has reached a point where you can play mobile games on larger displays, like PC monitors. Unreal Engine’s cross-platform development with PC was also a significant factor in our decision to support cross-play. Overall, however, we figured that having the option to play a mobile MMORPG on a larger screen would serve as a big advantage to our players.
Hooked Gamers: Is the increased computing power of smartphones making this cross-play a viable option for future titles?
Nat Games: As smartphones are becoming more powerful, consumer demand for cross-play is expected to grow. Even so, the implementation of cross-play would depend on the game itself. For example, if matchmaking between PC and mobile players has to be separated because of a difference in controls, we may decide not to implement cross-play. In that sense, we can say that current mobile MMORPGs have evolved where PC/mobile controls are similar enough that cross-play is possible.
Hooked Gamers: The game is reasonably complex for a casual mobile gamer – was this taken into account, or was the aim more to get PC players to play via mobile?
Nat Games: MMORPGs are complex by nature because they need to release content that keeps up with player growth. To support this, V4 has casual gamer-friendly features like auto-play, which allows players to breeze through quests. Our hope is that as players progress through quests, they take their time exploring and gradually get accustomed to the deeper aspects of the game at their own pace.
Hooked Gamers: V4 offers six different classes – each with quite varied skills. How difficult was it to make sure they are all equally balanced?
Nat Games: We wanted each of V4’s classes to be big on damage, so it was very difficult to balance melee and ranged classes, as well as slower and faster attackers. Each class had to have their own specialty, and they had to be viable in both PvE and PvP scenarios. V4’s game balance was reviewed early on and refined as we continued to play the game.
To ensure that no class is left behind, each class' farming efficiency, boss fight and PvP performance are taken into account and looked at from all angles. We continuously review feedback and perform play tests. There’s nothing flashy about the process, but it greatly contributes to helping us balance the classes in V4.
Hooked Gamers: The game at launch has six chapters in the main story. How long will this take players to play through, and will more chapters be added in future?
Nat Games: It depends on how much time a player spends playing each day, but all chapters can be cleared in about 2 to 4 weeks. Future updates will include new regions where the main storyline will take place.
Hooked Gamers: The game has timed phases (like many mobile games), but how do you feel this will suit PC players used to playing at their own leisure?
Nat Games: V4 can be played whenever a player wants, just like other mobile games. What makes MMORPGs unique, however, is the ability to interact with other players. Some contents are available for a certain period of time to give players a place and time to meet up. This allows hundreds of players to gather and play together whether on mobile or PC. There's also plenty of content that isn't time-based, such as Demon Conquests and guild dungeons. There's enough for any player to do, no matter what time or platform they choose.
Hooked Gamers: Controls for the PC version and the mobile version are reasonably different. How much work went into developing each?
Nat Games: They were developed to provide the same experience. We focused on developing the mobile controls first, then adjusted the controls for PC.
We optimized the mobile controls based on a trial and error process that dates back to the beginning of V4's development. Keyboard and mouse inputs were added in the final developmental phases by referring to the mobile controls.
Hooked Gamers: V4 is your third title (HiT and OverHit being the first two) – how much did you learn from those two titles, and what did you bring across to V4?
Nat Games: While we were servicing HIT and OVERHIT, we learned that overseas gamers have different interests and play styles. While V4 is a different type of game than our previous titles, the importance of being responsive to player feedback at a global level has not changed. Our Discord channel has been a great tool for us to understand what is actively happening in-game and has been a well of useful feedback.
Hooked Gamers: Thank you for your time today.
Nat Games: No problem. If you want more info on V4, you can visit https://www.nexon.com/v4/.
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