Nexon is ready to unleash Fantasy War Tactics on the world in the near future, a game with roots firmly in the best strategy role-playing games of the past. We had the opportunity to interview Jungkeun Lee, Director, Nexon GT to find out more about Fantasy War Tactics and why you should be paying attention.
MMORPG: Let's begin with where the inspiration comes from for Fantasy War Tactics. We're immediately reminded of the 16-bit eras' big tactics RPGs Ogre Battle and Final Fantasy Tactics. Were these games an influence in FWT's creation? If so, how will you improve upon their lineage?
Jungkeun Lee: We love the classic strategy role-playing games (SRPGs) of the 1990s and 2000s, so yes, those and other great games are definitely ones that we look back on fondly. We’re not necessarily looking to exactly replicate any of these classic games, but we are looking to put our own spin on them by creating a turn-based, tactical game that lets players create a squad from a massive pool of playable Heroes, and put their teams to the test in head-to-head player-versus-player (PvP) battles.
MMORPG: Can you tell us a bit about the strategy side of battles? How does terrain factor in, for example?
Jungkeun Lee: Terrain is a factor in our battles, yes. There are seven different types of terrain: plains, grass, lava, thorn, swamp, water and ice. All Heroes’ characteristics determine which terrain types are favorable to them. For example, water is impassable to most Heroes, but one hero, Sraka, is strong on water tiles and can not only cross water terrain, but also gets additional power when attacking while standing on water. So incorporating these terrain bonuses into your strategy means making sure you position your Heroes on favorable terrain (while blocking enemies from their favorable terrain types).
Terrain isn’t the only consideration in battle, of course – different Heroes will have different movement and attack ranges that will also help shape your strategy.
MMORPG: What about abilities and spells, in general? Is there a form of rock-paper-scissors going on to help players form their strategies?
Jungkeun Lee: There will be lots of different abilities and spells, many of which will be unique to certain Heroes. The idea is that since players can pick five to put on a team at any given time (plus a sixth for multiplayer – more on this later), players will have lots of different choices on how to build out a squad for any given level or multiplayer match. There are definitely going to be different skills that will be stronger or weaker, or counter other strategies. The White Knight and the Paladin are both very tough melee Heroes, but aren’t going to do much damage if they can’t get in close against ranged enemies, for instance.
MMORPG: How many heroes will there be total in the game? What sort of options open up as you level each of them?
Jungkeun Lee: There will be 50 playable Heroes in the game at launch, and once you level them up and start unlocking their more-powerful abilities, you start really unlocking the metagame in Fantasy War Tactics. In addition, there is a synergy system that kicks in whenever your Heroes are in range of each other. Heroes with a higher intimacy rating get higher attack power when appropriate companions are in range. You can unlock intimacy by leveling up and upgrading your Heroes through the Reincarnate system. One very powerful strategy to smash various dungeons is setting up a party of characters that have high intimacy ratings.
MMORPG: How do players go about collecting them for use in battle?
Jungkeun Lee: We’re happy to say that all 50 Heroes will drop from playing through the single-player campaign, without players having to spend any money. Players can get all 50 Heroes just through regular play.
MMORPG: Can you share a bit about the PvP modes in the game?
Jungkeun Lee: We now have 2 types of PvP mode at the moment – one is a one-on-one battle called Honorary Duel, and the other is Dimension Breakthrough, in which users have to fight against 10 opponents in order. We are also considering additional PvP modes in which users can use more characters, as well as guild battle modes – stay tuned for more updates!
MMORPG: And finally, can you give us an overview of the game's story? Is it something the dev team plans to add onto as the game ages and grows?
Jungkeun Lee: In the story, you play as a wizard whose plan is to conquer the entire world...except you find out that someone else has beaten you to it. So, your revised quest becomes the taking over of the world...from the character who did it before you. It’s a bit early to discuss our plans for the future but we definitely would like to add to the story content and expand on the world and characters.
As it happens, we will be soft-launching the game later this month in Australia, Malaysia, Finland and the Netherlands – we hope to get lots of good feedback and get ready for our global launch later this year.