Blue Protocol Communication Deep Dive #5

Blue Protocol Communication Deep Dive #5 - Global News, Beta & More!

Greetings, Adventurers of Planet Regnus!

It’s been quite a long journey but we’ve finally made it! With the conclusion of the BLUE PROTOCOL Development Livestream #5, we are here to provide the community with a detailed and expansive English translated deep dive mega-article covering all of the information found on the original livestream from November 15th, 2022. This article’s information flow will be chronological to mirror what happened during the Livestream.  Let’s get started!

Part 1 - Introduction

Left, General Management Director Suzuki. Center, Executive Producer Shimooka. Right, Development Director Fukuzaki.

The team has taken Covid-19 prevention measures for safety when conducting the communication stream. 

First, the stream will begin by the introduction of the game.

  • What is Blue Protocol?

Blue Protocol is a game developed by Bandai Namco that is an MMORPG geared towards PC, developed using Unreal Engine 4.

Players were extremely worried that there were no Twitter updates for the game and it made players wonder if the game is still alive. The directors and producers are very grateful for the messages from players around the world asking about the development status, and wanted to humbly apologize for making players worried that the team was slow with their communication.

Going forward, the developers introduced a brand new trailer providing exclusive footage of new gameplay and beautiful cinematic display! Please enjoy the new trailer located below! 

Main Theme
Composed By: Hiroyuki Sawano

Voice Actors
Rina Hidaka, Kazuyuki Okitsu, Ai Kayano, Megumi Yamaguchi, Ayumu Murase, Sayaka Senbongi, Kaito Ishikawa, Asami Seto, Shunsuke Takeuchi, Masaaki Mizunaka, Azusa Tadokoro, Rikiya Koyama

Part 2 - Blue Protocol 2023 Spring Release in Japan

BLUE PROTOCOL will officially be open for service and released early Spring, 2023 in Japan. Of course, the developers wanted to stress that this is if everything goes smoothly depending on the results of the upcoming network test. Please support the team by participating in the network test and provide feedback as necessary.

Part 3 - Network Test Announcement & Details

The Network Test for BLUE PROTOCOL will be conducted on January 14th, 2023 at 14:00 JST until January 16th 14:00 JST. During the test, the server will always be open, but we plan to conduct scheduled maintenance to increase the server capacity.

Additionally, the Network Test will have a maximum participant capacity of 50,000 players. If the amount of applicants will exceed over 50,000 players, the accounts will be selected by lottery. Registrations will close on December 13th, 2022 at 11:00 JST. Please make sure to register before then.

This test is aimed at confirming functions related to servers and networks for the launch of the official service. We’ve gone ahead and updated our guide on how to create a Bandai Namco ID and how to apply for the Network Test.  Make sure to check them out!

PC Specifications - Left Column (Low) Middle Column (High) Right Column (Highest)

The recommended PC specifications have been updated. Please check your PC specifications to check whether you can play the game or not. As always, the requirements are tentative and subject to change before the official release.

There are technically 4 graphic presets which are available from Low, Medium, High, and Highest. But the image currently only displays 3 settings which are Low, High and Highest.

NOTE: The presets Low and Medium are unchanged from the Closed Beta Test, but High has changed both in requirements and in effects. With this update, they added a fourth new preset known as Highest graphics as well as an additional custom setting to go even beyond the preset graphic settings.

It’s now also possible to choose a new graphic setting which is better than the Highest graphic setting shown above in the image. The new setting is known as the custom graphics setting. The team wanted to note that using the custom settings requires a stronger PC specification, so if your hardware doesn’t meet the requirement, it may be difficult for you to play the game. Moreover, the team has confirmed that with the custom setting the game will now be 4K compatible. However, it will not support the HDR feature and it will not support Ultrawide to avoid advantages and disadvantages from the field of view.

The developers also wanted to take a moment to note that they were relieved to finally announce that the game is opening for service soon. Great work Project Sky Blue!

Part 4 - New Development Updates & Changes to Blue Protocol

After a short intermission, the developers wanted to apologize once again for the delay in communication with the players. They mentioned with having to constantly polish the game, conducting internal testing, and gathering feedback from the internal developers it became a lengthy process that sometimes had technical difficulties. But we’re finally here now!

Going forward, the developers were concerned about what the players thought about the gameplay of each class. Next, we will show you updated class videos demonstrating some of the changes to core mechanics and gameplay.

Aegis Fighter

Aegis Fighter Demonstration Clip

The first class we’re introducing is the Aegis Fighter. This is the class that uses a sword and shield which specializes in close ranged combat as a melee that focuses on defense. They utilize the skills they have at hand and halt any enemy’s advance, in order to create advantages for the party to advance.

The biggest thing about Aegis Fighter is that it’s the class that has the biggest aggro, however previously the game didn’t really have the aggro feature beforehand. Now, they changed the game to include Hate. The Aegis Fighter will focus on maintaining aggro like a traditional tank that we know and love in MMORPG’s.

Countering has been changed compared to how it used to be. Now, when you attack after guarding an enemy hit, it will trigger a guard counter. You can also charge into an enemy’s attack path when someone else is being targeted and counter the attack by force.

They have also added Enemy Step Jump.  If you jump and approach an enemy, then jump again, you’ll perform a double jump. From this you can launch a powered-up attack known as an Assault Attack.  All classes have a unique bonus applied to this Assault Attack. The Aegis Fighter’s Bonus inflicts Bind to the enemy.

ULT ability has been changed from the previous CBT. It used to be an attack, but now it is a self-buff. It increases your defense, gives you Super Armor, and HP regen. You will also see a bar on the right side which fills as you attack. If it’s full, you can activate the skill again and this time it buffs your allies as well. The goal with this change is make it more versatile, rather than simply used whenever it is off cooldown.

Also, all ULTs now have a cut-in animation.  During these animations, all classes are completely invincible.  There was concern that you can’t see your surroundings during these cut-ins, so the display of them can be toggled on or off in the settings.  Feel free to configure it the way you want to play.

Twin Striker

Twin Striker Demonstration Clip

The second class presented is the Twin Striker. This is a DPS class with high damage focus. The biggest thing about the class is that there is a combo gauge where the more damage dealt the further the gauge increases which increases the damage further. Some of the Twin Striker skills contain buffs that increases the combo gauge, and they have an ultimate attack that delivers massive damage.  Their right mouse button class skill now also gives them Super Armor and Drain as a buff.

As shown in the video, the quick amount of attacks unleashed will remind many players of the similarity of a Berserker. There are also several other factors to the class as well that add depth. You are able to cancel your attacks halfway and link with the next move, adding mobility to the class.

One of the greatest changes since the last CBT comes with how combo gauge is handled. No longer will it immediately drop to zero when you get hit!
The Twin Striker also gains a new tactical skill. This skill consumes part of the combo gauge to buff your attack power. They also gain access to assault attacks, and their bonus causes drain, allowing you to restore more lost health while attacking.

A new system has been added, called the Party Chain. Simply said, it’s the combined combo of the whole party. With a higher combo count, attacks get stronger, and when certain combos are reached the whole party gains buffs. If no one attacks for a certain timespan, the gained combo will break. As the Twin Striker has one of the highest hit counts among all classes, they are well suited to powering up the Party’s Combo Chain.

Blast Archer

Blast Archer Demonstration Clip

The third class displayed is the Blast Archer. It’s a medium to far ranged class with support styled abilities and healing skills.  You can also charge your shots for a much more devastating blow to your enemy that deals a lot damage.

The class is mainly aim and shoot, with the ability to lock onto an enemy.  They are equipped with a lot of buff and debuff abilities, as well as good area damage attacks.  There are also class actions available for you to utilize healing properties, healing yourself and your party members.

If you notice, there is a class gauge available displayed above the HP bar.  Originally their right mouse click Class Skill was Weakpoint Aim Help, however now it has been changed to healing to help improve their healer role. There are 3 different levels of the gauge available. If you use the gauge at Level 3 and press your Right Mouse Button it will consume the entire Level 3 gauge to heal a targeted area. Level 3 outputs the highest level of heals and Level 1 outputs the weakest level of heals.

It is also possible to be built to focus on DPS, but you will need to aim for weakpoints. If you watch, some of the damage numbers are displayed in blue. These are when the Blast Archer hits an enemy’s weakpoint. The weakpoints are different for every enemy, but usually include the head. Aiming at these points will cause much greater damage.

When you are knocked away by an enemy, now you can take a defensive roll to deflect some of the knockback. This can also be used to evade attacks entirely.

Please keep in mind since party play is not demonstrated, the ability of Blast Archer in the video is severely restricted.

Spell Caster

Spell Caster Demonstration Clip

We will now move on to the fourth class, known as the Spell Caster. A long range class that is geared for high difficulty party oriented content. Very high damage generally speaking.

Spell Caster uses the EP system. You need to know how to utilize your EP resources effectively, as the enemies will charge at you. Your gameplay will revolve mostly around creating distance between you and your enemy – the further the better.

There is also an Elemental Burst ability for you to enhance your damage multiplier by stacking elemental debuffs. At max stacks, your elemental properties will burst inflicting a special effect.  All classes have access to Elemental Bursts, however Spell Caster is exceptionally good at generating elemental stacks.

At first, Enemy Step Jump also lead to an attack for ranged classes. But after some thought, we felt a back step was more appropriate. This lets you disengage from melee range and move to a safer distance for casting spells.  Blast Archer also gains this ability.

We’ve heard many people saying Spell Caster is the hardest class to play. This may be somewhat true at low levels especially with few skills and when playing without a party. However once you have access to the skills you need to use together, and when playing with a group, you will feel unparalleled. When there’s someone in your party to protect you, you can rampage around!

Heavy Smasher

Heavy Smasher Demonstration Clip

Lastly, we will display the fifth class which was introduced last time, known as the Heavy Smasher.  It’s a close to mid-range class that focuses on using heavy grade hammer to smash their enemies to oblivion.  The hammer part can also be ejected backwards to launch yourself forward.

With this class, you’re more suitable for protecting your allies from crowds of enemies, and if you’re hitting smaller sized enemies, they’ll be sent flying!  Heavy Smasher will also require you to be more tactical and time your attacks and abilities. 

They have a cartridge system.  Most abilities will consumed your cartridges.  Run out of cartridges, and you won’t be able to use your tactical skills until you reload, however reloading at 0 charges gives you 2 bonus charges.  You will also have different buffs and effects while reloading, as part of your skills.

They naturally have high HP, and this can be bolstered further with one of the skills they have called Super Armor.  This allows the class to be buffed in defense and can take heavy hits from your enemies.
Their slow attacks make it hard to earn combo. As such, they are a good pairing for a Twin Striker; Striker earns the combo, Smasher tanking the damage.

Part 5 - Blue Protocol Global Release Confirmed

The Game Awards will have a segment introducing BLUE PROTOCOL for overseas fans who have been supporting the game for these past years. Bandai Namco will be announcing details regarding BLUE PROTOCOL’s global interest at The Game Awards on December 8th, 2022. Please keep your eyes peeled for more information regarding the time slot!

An additional hint was also provided by the developers about a possible Korean announcement which was coming soon as well. Perhaps we’ve heard echoes of this somewhere..

Part 6 - CBT Player Feedback & Adjustments

1. I want more character creation parts! I also want more voices. Preferably ones that reflect on the age.

Moving on to character creation game screen. It seems that they will be adding more hair styles and colors, including two-colored hair. More eye lashes and eye styles for your character.

Hair styles can be flipped horizontally, and you can choose hair that covers your left or right eye. Dark skin character skin options are available as well. Eye brow type and eye reflections and so on. These are the additions from the ones available beforehand. There are also options to add body paint, scars, and moles.

Not shown in the video, there are also more voices being added, along with presets to start your character creation from.

2. I want more costumes and accessories! I want to be able to test them before hand.

Here are some new costumes and accessories which are displayable.

There are 7 accessory slots in total: Head, eyes, cheeks, ears, hands, back, and hips. Rings are difficult to see in screenshots, but they're trying to find a solution for that. They are visibly implemented in fitting before buying.

3. I want underwear!

The developers note that they will oblige to this feedback. Do not worry!

4. It's difficult to increase my adventure rank.

Introducing a new feature - the Adventure Board! Each field on the board has its own tasks. If you clear these tasks, these lines activate to unlock the next field. It's a form of skill tree system where you get to choose which path to go. Unlocking each part of the path in the tree will reward you items, some extra EXP, as well as stamps.

The typical leveling progression is that you go for an adventure, complete the tasks that unlock the goal field, accept and clear the rank-up quest (like in CBT), then get the next adventure board unlocked.

Previously, In the CBT you crafted Inner Imagines and handed those in. It sometimes interfered with the story progress. Now we separated these concepts. What we've shown you here is the board for the Adventure Rank Up, but there are also some for weapons or Enhance Imagines (formally known as Inner Imagines).

Via the new boards for weapons and Enhance Imagines you can earn materials from unlocking further progression on the board. The developers are aware that if you're just going to grind materials to craft equipment that it'll tire you out so they are implementing sub-tasks where you can fulfill them over time. Gradually you'll gain enough to craft the item you want. It's also become easier to play with friends. When playing in a party, other members clearing enemies also counts towards the task.

5. The camera makes things difficult to see while locked onto enemies. It's easy to get disoriented.

Lots has been done to the camera system, and they will continue working on it.

There was an additional player comment during this section about people getting motion sickness from the way the camera was too close to the player. The developers stated that this issue has now been fixed and the camera is a bit further away now.

6. It's hard to know the difference between enemy levels.

The developers are going to make it easier to discern. When an enemy's level deviates from yours, the nameplate changes its color like this. You can see the icons and color change drastically depending on your level difference from the enemy.

They have also introduced level difference damage and EXP modifiers. In general, fighting appropriate level enemies will be most efficient.

7. The skill build freedom is really restricted. Some skills feel too unknown and disconnected from the class. It also feels like there is very little benefit in matching synergistic skills.

Currently these issues are being addressed by performing adjustments. For example, there will be things that are removed like the height difference bonus where you gain bonus damage by attacking from an elevated point. Not every area will have a high ground area to attack far from.

Additionally, they have revealed the new UI for Blue Protocol. For tactical skills, you are now able to change them freely through the menu.

There is also a new feature called CLASS SHARING where you can share skills with other classes.

8. Battles feel too linear. Everything feels the same.

They are looking into creating variety in battle content, where different battles may require you to do different things based on enemy patterns. But as they create them it's not a surefire thing that it will be receptive amongst the players so they are doing the best they can. In short, they are looking into increasing battle variety.

9. Dungeons feel like they only exist for speed runs. The mobs feel pointless. We want rare items to drop like weapons from dungeons even if there is a low drop rate.

Developers understand that speed running was a big issue. They talked about this topic last time. Now in order to advance, you have to defeat all the enemies within the dungeon. Dungeons will have several battle areas. If you ignore the monsters which chase you, they'll follow you to other areas and make the battle area more crowded which will increase the difficulty. If you want to group up enemies together using crowd controls skills and do a huge party chain, this is possible too.

Additionally, the image above shows a prompt saying "Mission clear reward has been added". This means that they are working to implement rare drop materials and items. Who knows - you might get rare items by clearing missions! However, if you do not clear everything in the dungeon, you will not be able to obtain the rare treasure box which has the rare items in it.

10. I want to be able to set battle effect display in detail. I want to be able to set the battle effects to come out only from myself. I want an option where I can disable other player effects but only show healing effects.

These options are now possible. You get to set the effect display individually. e.g. Player 1 attack effect disabled but healing enabled, Player 2 healing disabled but attack effect displayed.

11. Please let us adjust my directional key timings when dodging and moving.

In the settings, you are now able to pick from several options for input timing. There are settings you can choose from: pressing a button consecutively to dodge, using the standard timing setting, or use a longer timing setting to dodge. Basically, there is a lot of options you can choose from on how you want to dodge.

12. I want to be able to set equipment presets for each class. I want to be able to register my equipment preset. It's very inconvenient where I have to set my Imajinn all over again when changing classes.

The developers mention that all of these points will be addressed in the future and they are working on them. The inconvenience on having to set Imajinns will also be taken out.

13. I want to be able to check other class skills without changing classes. I want to be able to learn class skills of other classes without changing into that class.

You can now check other class skills without having to change into them! You will be able to do the same by choosing which skill to obtain for other classes with possible limitations without having to change classes. Instead of obtaining skills, It's more choosing which skills you want to slot in. Everything is about your choice and freedom.

14. I want a training mode and a striking dummy to attack.

This is now possible. We have added a dummy for you to attack.

15. We want to be able to sync Imajinn Equipment to your level so that when we switch to a different class it will not be changed.

These points will be addressed and some Imajinn's will be adjusted and changed.

16. I want to be able to continue using my mount without it depleting my energy. Please make it so that energy does not deplete when stopping.

Your mount will not drain energy when riding the mount. It will only start consuming energy when using the sprint feature with the mount. Also, your mount runs faster than a player running even when you are not sprinting on your mount.

17. I want to be able to change the minimap size and to have a minimap visible in dungeons.

The minimap in dungeons are now enabled and implemented. The scale enlarge however, won't be implemented for now because of certain considerations (more on game experience considerations, and nothing about technical). They need to think more before moving forward with this.

There will be a new feature call layer map, which shows the map of different floors in different layers. Layer map edits will also be available, which allows you to change the display location etc.

18. It's hard to tell when you have explored all of an area on the map. I want bonuses when the exploration is fully completed.

An area will clear up once it is explored. See the difference from left to right.

19. I want to be able to see any crafting recipe while I am out exploring in a zone outside the town.

You can now have a recipe list which you can see which has a checklist of the items you need. As you collect the items, it will let you know what else you need.

20. We want to be able to see more quests on the screen. I want to be able to view more quests. I want to see the progression I have made in the quests.

Information is now more visible and you can see your progression on the quests through checkmarks. They have also increased the amount of quests which are displayed. You can now have 3 quests at a time.

21. The UI buttons are difficult to see because they are too small. The cursor is too small as well.

Buttons are now bigger and additional adjustments have been made with the UI. You are even able to bind your keys to specific options as well. E.g. You set "C" on Costume option, press C and costume window will open. Basic keybind technology.

22. The position in which class gauges are displayed are in a bad spot.

You can now adjust your HUD options and move the gauges to a better spot. You are also able to move your UI and customize it more freely.

23. I want the shortcut palette to display keys. It's hard to tell what key is binded to what Item.

The shortcut palette now shows which key is set to which item. A customization window is available now as well. You get to customize which button on your keyboard is wired to which item and you can cycle through your hotbars with keys. It also allows you to put items and emotes too. To customize your shortcut link, go to your game option through the main menu.

24. It's hard to tell in the chat log when a player died.

The developers use a debug command to demonstrate players getting KO'd to 0 HP. When KO'd, the nameplate will flash in red. This will tell you that the player is KO'd, signaling that you can revive this party member.

25. I want an option where I can hide my weapon when I'm in the city.

A new option has been implemented.

Display when sheathing weapon

- "Always on"

- "Hide"

- "Hide when in city"

- "Hide when not in combat"

26. I want to be able to customize my profile screen and editing options.

You can now customize your profile to include screenshots you took in-game and even make it like Instagram or social media where you get to display several screenshots you took publicly (up to 3 slots) and the character card will be improved. This feature is similar to what adventure plates are known as in Final Fantasy XIV.

There is a Photo Mode where you can take screenshots and select effects. You can take screenshots of your character while performing actions. In Photo Mode, you get to choose your gestures, use skills camera focus, character focus, frame angle, blur settings, and zoom in. Once captured, you get to save the screenshot. This is similar to the Gpose feature in Final Fantasy XIV.

27. It's hard to tell when a player has has followed my profile card. It's hard to tell who is online or offline on my follow list.

Previously, we used the follow system because there was no friend-list system that really existed. But it was hard to be able to tell anything. This is now changed. The developers said that the follow system will be redesigned so the friend request system is now in place by sending a card request to another player. You can now see pending requests etc.

28. I want to be able to separate the chat log window when editing my HUD. I want to have the ability to separate or merge them, and make it easy to switch between window logs.

We have added chat log tabs and filters which you can go through.

29. I cannot see my chat log while crafting.

You can set up notifications to see when someone is trying to talk to you now so you don't miss it. It will show a chat message on top of your screen.

30. It's difficult for me to click on NPC's because there are too many players on my screen and they are in the way of the NPC. The teleportation gate is also crowded with other party members often and I cannot select anything.

The developers note that there will be a highlight glow for specific character before you click on them, it will mitigate the issue. Additionally, you can switch modes to prioritize character selection. A player list function for nearby players can be used as well.

31. Asterleeds (City) is heavily populated. I want to be able to display less characters on the screen if possible. Loading times are too long.

This will depend on your PC specifications as well, however they're contemplating on adding option to mitigate these issues.

32. Its inconvenient that I cannot change classes unless I am near the palace area.

You can now equip weapons for a different class and it will auto change your class similar to the Final Fantasy XIV system. You do not have to go to the NPC to do this. However, they will not let you change classes out in the field. But now you are able to freely change anywhere from town.

33. This question is in regarding to item stacks in our inventory. The bag is too full!

Inventory slots are increased and there are different types of bags for certain items. Items will be sent directly to the storage and are also able to be stacked to a very high amount. Accessing the storage menu is also possible without needing to be in town.

34. It's difficult to use the slider bar when ordering a set amount of items.

You can now select a set amount of items easily using the min/max (-/+) feature.

35. I want to be able to tell which item category I'll be seeing when gathering materials.

This is now changed. They now have specific icons for whether it is gathered from the ocean, rocks or through plants.

36. Please allow us to set the exact amount of EXP when leveling items.

Previously, we had crafted items that started at level 1 and you were able to level them up to increase the power of their stats. Now, they changed it so that your weapons are at a fixed level and you will no longer have to worry about leveling up your weapons again.

37. I want elements where I can brag about my achievements. I want content that gives me achievements.

The developers have added an achievement menu for various things.

38. I want some sort of guild features.

This is something in consideration. While they can't show a screenshot right now, they are working on some sort of a team feature where people can gather and communicate. The developers commented that this is something one can experience even during the upcoming Network Test.

39. I can't meet up with my party members when moving to another zone even when in party. I am in a party but somehow I am in another channel, but our party broke up because of this.

This system works in a sense that, when in a party, it works by a reservation system when moving from one zone to another. It will work by reserving the amount of members in a party and move them together to another zone for a certain duration.If it doesn't function well, then it doesn't work as an online game to begin with so they are working to address this issue and enhance the feature. Debugging this issue is in progress They do feel bad that this happened a lot during the Closed Beta Test. They will try to make sure this doesn't happen in the future and they want to make sure it is working by testing this in the upcoming Network Test.

40. There are some buttons that I cannot customize. Please allow us to automatically move the cursor when selecting options on a list.

When using the keyboard directional key, it will immediately move the mouse cursor from one option to another, instead of having to move it by mouse. Several demonstrations performed using a controller. You are now also able to adjust the speed of the cursor as well when using analog sticks.

Bonus: Season Pass System Introduced

Basic season pass system which grants rewards on certain days. The screenshot shows that we are able to obtain currency, potions and other resources. More information to be provided at a later time.

They are planning on keeping their stance firm by Blue Protocol being a F2P (Free-To-Play) game with a season pass element.

Conclusion

This concludes the information that was provided in the Blue Protocol Communication #5. There is still so much more information that the developers wanted to share with us, but could not fit the content into this stream. However, they mentioned that there will be an additional stream which will be hosted next month in December of 2022. The next Livestream scheduled is set to feature even more features coming to BLUE PROTOCOL.

We here at the Database are extremely excited and happy to finally bring you BLUE PROTOCOL content which you’ve all been waiting for – and there’s so much more to come!

Thank you for supporting us, BLUE PROTOCOL, and your fellow content creators that elevate this new MMORPG. Please consider subscribing to our new YouTube channel and following our socials for more information! 

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Blue Protocol Database is a fan based website for the online action RPG Blue Protocol developed by BANDAI NAMCO. The opinions provided by this website are not those of BANDAI NAMCO or of Respective Parties.