Nexon has announced that AxE: Alliance vs Empire, an expansive massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG), will be launching to the App Store for iPhone and iPad and on Google Play for Android devices worldwide this winter. AxE ushers in the next generation of fully featured MMORPGs on mobile devices with a sprawling and ever changing open-world and an immersive fantasy story of a civil war between the Darkhaan Empire and the Galanos Alliance.
MMORPG: Alliance vs. Empire captures a new fantasy storyline for players, tell us about the lore behind the world you are building.
Daehwon Kim: AxE is the story of two opposing factions, each with a different philosophical idea of how the world should be and how its people should live. The Darkhaan Empire believes that true peace can only be achieved through firm order and control. In contrast, the forces of the Galanos Alliance believe that people should have the right to forge their own paths, and fight for freedom above all. The factions fight for control of ancient and powerful relics scattered throughout the open-world, which are key to unlocking certain divine powers. There’s a lot more to it, but this conflict is the foundation for all the gameplay in AxE, both single & multiplayer.
MMORPG: For a mobile title, the game has a lot of ambitious play which brings up to 150 people into a battle. How are you achieving such a big number online in the mobile space?
DK: We love the idea of bringing 150 live players into a 75 vs 75 synchronous competitive battle, and our players will too. On the technical side, it was definitely quite a feat for us. Without getting too much into the technical details, our studio has deep experience implementing large-scale real-time gameplay on other Nexon PC titles we leveraged along with Unity’s tools to optimize this feature for mobile.
MMORPG: How much of the game will be PvE, MMO players love their questing and adventuring around, what will they be able to do in the world?
DK: A large portion of the game will be PvE and players will have quite a few things to do in the world of AxE. To name a few:
- Players can play through story missions to discover the deep history of the war between the Darkhaan Empire and Galanos Alliance
- We offer expansive side missions, challenges, daily quests that allows players to meet a diverse cast of characters and earn a variety of rewards
- We also encourage players to explore the gorgeous world – from lush green forests to fiery wastelands, there are numerous environments for players to discover
- For more invested players, there are a variety of challenging dungeons with their own set of unique bosses and back story that reward amazing loot if they’re conquered. They can raid with friends, which is the most fun since they can plan their squad and strategy together.
MMORPG: What options do players have for their characters? Are they limited by the mobile platform?
DK: Being on mobile hasn’t had any major limitations on the options that players have with building their characters.
We allow each individual player to customize their characters to best fit his or her preferred playstyle. For example, you can build the Mage character in a number of ways. If you want to go aggressive offensively, you can optimize your skills and gear towards maximizing attack potentially at the cost of your defense. On the other hand, if you prefer a more defensive playstyle, you can lean towards skills that improve evasion or defense. Advanced players will likely create a number of preset loadouts that they’ll switch between depending on the situation.
MMORPG: How will progression work in the game? A lot of mobile titles just seem to be grinds, how does AxE separate itself?
DK: While it’s true many MMORPGs can sometimes be a grind, AxE separates itself by minimizing or simplifying parts of the game that some players may want to accelerate. For instance, players can use the auto-battle feature to easily fight through dense enemies, which is helpful for gaining experience and completing certain quests. It’s also useful when you’re playing AxE while doing other things. However, many players will choose to take full control for the best use of attacks and abilities, especially for higher-level modes like raids and competitive battles. With that said, we know that players will invest significant time and focus into our game, and what we will do is properly reward players so that they always feel that they’re making progress with their character, equipment, achievements and overall progression.
MMORPG: Can you give us some insight into your development roadmap? What are you plans in the next few months?
DK: We have a number of exciting updates that we can’t share just yet, but to give you a quick taste, we’re planning to add Guild Wars, which is a game mode that allow guilds to battle weekly and compete against each other for rewards and incredible loot very soon.