MU Legend: Bringing the MU Series to a New Era
MU Legend is a new game coming from Webzen that reintroduces players to the MU series. We had the opportunity to chat with MU Legend Game Director Manson Jeong and Head of MU Legend Studio Sungjin Hong about MU Legend to find out more.
MMORPG: Mu Online, the original is running on 13 years active and still has a strong worldwide following. What prompted the desire to bring the series into a new era with MU LEGEND?
Webzen: MU LEGEND is a game that has been developed under the name ‘MU 2’, it is prequel to the WEBZEN's major title MU Online. MU LEGEND shares the world of MU Online, and it is 1,000 years prior to the world of ‘MU Online’. There were many requests from gamers who wish to relive the enjoyment they experienced while playing MU Online, and we started the development to recreate the taste of MU Online and what the player experienced years ago.
MMORPG: Other than the obvious engine upgrade to Unreal 3, how will Legend evolve on the design of Mu?
Webzen: We try to update the gorgeous effects and the design concept that using the primary color into more recent trend design, and using Unreal engine for the development was based on those decisions. We brought the heroes from the MU Online who only appears in the scenario into the game world and allow them to lead the story of MU LEGEND. Of course, you will able to visit the world and face monsters from MU continent. We also continued the contents from MU Online so old users will able to recognize the game quickly. They have the Dark Lord class, mission maps such as Chaos Castle and Blood Castle, Jewel of Bless, wing and mount system, all these familiar systems are also in the new MU LEGEND.
MMORPG: The MMO market today is wildly larger, and vastly different (some would say diluted) than it was in 2003 when Mu Online launched. How will MU LEGEND adapt for a changing landscape, and offer an experience that MMO players haven't seen a hundred times already?
Webzen: When MU online was launched first, it was the time when the online gaming just started. At the time, online games had many technical limitations, and due to it, the game system and contents were very simple. Now there has been many developments in terms of both internet infrastructure and game developments, now we can create a more exciting battle system.
Hack & Slash games are well known for giving users ability to gather monsters and wiping them out, and MMORPGs need lots of players to make the game more enjoyable, so we made the game easy to enter and play. So even with small play time or lack of control skills, users will able to enjoy the MU LEGEND and its Hack & Slash MMORPG game features. The PC spec requirement supports Windows XP and Dual core computers will able to enjoy the battle without any problem.
But making them too easy will make the users not challenged enough, so we created various contents and system to strengthen up the character, with each dungeon having different difficulty, even hardcore gamers will able to enjoy the MU LEGEND. Our aim is to allow the gamers all over the world to relieve stress by playing MU LEGEND. We believe this is what an MMORPG should be aimed for.
MMORPG: The original Mu has a sort of 3/4 view. Will MU LEGEND maintain this vantage point, or move into a 3rd person mode?
Webzen: Yes. Just like its predecessor, MU LEGEND is quarter viewed Hack & Slash MMORPG. But the camera setting is bit different to MU Online, it will allow the users to view the new battle system better.
MMORPG: Mu Online's main gameplay has always been about monster hunting or "grinding" with a heavy dose of quests. How will MU LEGEND's main gameplay arc differentiate from the original games?
Webzen: As it is mentioned before, when the MU Online was launched, the online game had very shallow contents and systems. MU LEGEND is Hack & Slash MMORPG and it provides various contents based on Hack & Slash battle system. For example, there is a random map called ‘The rift’ that changes monster level and reward depending on the character level, various mission maps such as Chaos Castle, Blood Castle, Endless Tower and Altar of Elements (10 vs 10 PvP map) or epic dungeons that requires strategic play.
There are also special contents like ‘Knightage’ that is same as guild system for MU LEGEND, so we try to provide the users with contents to enjoy after reaching the max level, so that even if a user plays our game for a long time, the game can still feel refreshing and able to enjoy the contents.
MMORPG: What sorts of features will make MU LEGEND stand out from the crowd of Eastern MMORPGs making their way to the West in the next couple of years?
Webzen: As mentioned above, the key mindset while developing MU LEGEND was to create ‘A Hack & Slash game that anyone from the world can enjoy and play’. The system should not be brand new, although it looks something similar, it must show a very detailed level design to make it feel different. So when developing the MU LEGEND, the strong points from predecessor that fits with MMORPG and Hack & Slash system has been installed to be optimized with new game. We try to make this game easy to start but if you get better at control or spend lots of time, the game will still challenge you as the game balance has been carefully designed. So one feature point of this game will be everyone can enjoy it in their own way.
MMORPG: When can we expect to learn more about the game, and see it in action?
Webzen: Currently we are developing the game, at the same time we are preparing the service for the Korea, and for North America and Europe for global service. But we are still facing 1st CBT in Korea, and depending on the CBT result, we might need to change or improve the game because servicing the game. It is important and we need to make it enjoyable for the players. The change will be shared to player in official announcement. Until then please wait for any news from us and we will try to keep post news to every one about MU LEGEND.