Throne & Liberty

Throne & Liberty Interview - Amazon Games on how NCSOFT's MMORPG can shift the power dynamic in the genre

We spoke with a couple of members of the Amazon Games team to learn more about NCSOFT's upcoming MMORPG and how it intends to claim a spot at the table alongside the immortal greats of the genre.

Audio transcription

"Hello everyone and welcome back to Gamereactor.
Today, as you can probably infer from the lovely background we have here, I'm in the Amazon area at Summer Game Fest."

"I'm here with both a couple of folk to talk about Throne and Liberty.
I'm here with Merv from Amazon and...
Daniel, sorry about that."

"And we're going to talk about the game.
I've had a chance to play it, actually.
I've just come from playing it.
About 45 minutes, going through a dungeon, checking out some new mechanics, some new things."

"Tell me a little bit about Throne and Liberty.
What's been changing over the years?
Because I think we were here last year checking out.
So what's new to experience in Throne and Liberty?
Yeah, well, first of all, Throne and Liberty is a free-to-play MMORPG, and you can play it on PC, PS5, and Xbox."

"And it is cross-platform, so you can play it with all of your friends.
And Throne and Liberty takes place in the world of Silesium, so it's this vast, open-world MMORPG.
A few highlights that I want to call out about it."

"First of all, we love how the massive scale it has.
So lots of massive-scale combat, lots of guild-versus-guild fighting.
The world itself is massive.
Lots of traversing and traveling in the world."

"And the second thing that I really want to call out about it is the social structure of it.
So deep guild systems.
Guilds are at the core of it."

"Multiplayer experience is at the core of it.
And so if you like playing with friends, it's going to be a great game for you.
Yeah, I feel Daniel hit the high points.
This world-scale visual fidelity is another thing that I really love about the game."

"I mean, just the immersive environments, the level of detail on the character, morphing, the animations, all of it really pulls together an immersive experience."

"Even when you travel through the world, there are no loading screens.
We have a highly seamless experience.
And these are some of the things that we really prize with TL."

"And, you know, Throne and Liberty is an MMO, and that means that it's a very big game with a lot of complex systems and elements to figure out.
How have you gone about making that feel intuitive to the player?
How have you gone about designing the many systems that you have so that players don't feel overwhelmed by what they're seeing?
Well, I think the key to that is basically player feedback."

"So we've taken Throne and Liberty in front of players for a variety of tests.
Of course, we start with our own intuition for how we think we can introduce players to it, but we have put an extremely high focal point on that first-time user experience, particularly for this game that may have some systems that players aren't used to."

"And what we've seen is throughout each one of our tests, we've gotten critical feedback about our first-time user experience.
We've actioned on that, and we've seen those sentiment scores rise, particularly in the onboarding of our system."

"So we feel like we're heading in the right place.
We think the open beta test that's coming up is going to be another jump in how players are feeling with the onboarding.
And if we need to, we'll keep iterating on that before launch."

"Yeah, Throne and Liberty has a solid range of depth and progression to it.
And so some of the strategy for onboarding those systems is incrementality.
It's basically allowing the player to start to feel comfortable with some of the systems before we go deeper and exposing them to more."

"And in our testing rounds, like Daniel mentioned, that's something we really focus is, how well are these features being adopted?
What questions do players have about them?
Are they uptaking them at the right speed?
And there's still room to grow for our guild systems, for our deep levels of combat at scale."

"We're still working through those and are still open to feedback about how we could do better there.
And it's quite unusual for an MMO to release not only on PC, but on consoles originally, right?
We see it quite a lot that an MMO comes to PC and then maybe it comes to console a few years later."

"So what are you doing to make sure that the console versions of Throne and Liberty feel as good as the game does on PC?
I think the first thing is Throne and Liberty was developed with console from the start."

"It was not a PC game that then was decided to become on console.
It's always been a console and a PC game from the start.
So from the ground up, it's been built in that manner.
And all of the testing that's done is consistently done on PC and console."

"There's never situations where we're saying, well, we only want to test the PC experience or only the console experience.
We really treat them at parity.
And that's why we also have cross-platform enabled."

"We feel confident that players are going to be able to have equal experiences on PC and on console, playing in things like castle sieges, guild versus guild battles, etc.
So for me, that's the core of it."

"It's really been built from the ground up as a game that's for both. It's not a port.
And so it's allowed for lots of stuff.
And then I would add we've been improving the console experience because it is a tab target game."

"There are challenges with how do you target in mass scale, for example.
And those are things that we've been able to adapt as we've gotten more of that feedback from players.
And so in our last test, for example, we got some feedback about targeting in that mass scale."

"And we've made improvements and changes to that now that we're going to present to our players at the open beta.
And we really hope it's going to improve things.
Not too much to add. I think you covered a lot."

"But I will say that it starts with our mentality.
And we want console to be very significant, and we believe in console.
And so whenever we're adding features to the game, whether it's targeting or a new UI, it's not just how does this system work?
It's how does it work on PC?
How does it work on both of the consoles that we support?
So we have the mental model that is supportive of making sure that the experience is good."

"And tell me a little bit about the social structures you've put in place because, you know, it's a big MMO.
There's lots of social elements to it.
People are coming together, working together as a team."

"How are those systems being incorporated to especially, again, work on a multi-platform format?
Yeah, well, I think the first thing is there is no barriers between platforms."

"So if you can be in a guild with somebody on PC, you can also be in a guild with them on Xbox or PS5.
So there are no barriers driven by platform play as it relates to social experiences."

"If you want to join parties or guilds, servers, everything is going to be cross-platform.
So you'll be able to experience whatever you want with your friends.
The deepest part of the social structure is definitely the guilds that we have in the game."

"And they're deep for two reasons.
One, there's a lot of great content that you can do with your guild that feels meaningful.
It feels rewarding to complete that with a group of your guild."

"But also because being in a guild helps you with things like progression or rewards.
There's shared structures there between people and it really incentivizes that group play."

"And it's built in from the start.
You're encouraged early on in the leveling journey to join a guild.
You're presented with challenges that ask you to party with other players as you tackle harder monsters."

"So we feel strongly that the social elements of TL will shine when the game launches.
And it's really about creating those lasting moments, not just by yourself, but with your friends."

"And we really pride ourselves on hearing players talk about the game and reminiscing about a moment they shared together.
And that drives lasting relationships.
And it's not always favorable."

"Sometimes it's a contentious relationship or an enemy situation.
But those are good too.
Because they create very memorable moments and that's what we're after."

"And obviously it's not just about going through the story.
There's lots of things to experience in Throne & Liberty.
So tell me about the end game stuff.
Things that I've just experienced in the dungeon that I got to experience a moment ago."

"Tell me about what you have in store for players beyond the original onboarding.
Sure. Yeah, there's a lot.
And I would say that the game has both PvP and PvE."

"And there's a lot of times where that is interwoven.
We have situations where you, for example, are fighting an open world field boss and there's also ten guilds battling each other to see who's going to kill the boss and claim the rewards."

"And then there's instances that are separated by each, like the instance dungeon that you did, which is purely PvE focused.
So we have things like open world dungeons that are these really, again, massive, sprawling dungeons."

"They're six levels deep.
As you go further down, the enemies get harder.
You need more and more of your players to accomplish those things.
Castle Sieges is going to be a hallmark of our stuff where thousands of players are battling over the castle."

"And, well, I won't name everything, but that's a lot.
And I think we're happy to give you more if you'd like.
No, Daniel, go.
Well, we know that there's the open beta coming up, right?
That's right. So what's the actual plan going forward after that?
Have you got a release date in mind?
Yeah, so the open beta is on July 18th."

"It'll last for five days.
And then after that, right now, we are planning to launch on September 17th.
And so we're really looking forward to these next few months as we prepare for launch and hope everybody comes and tries it, gives us their feedback during the open beta so we can make any further improvements before launch."

"And then there's a final question for the both of you.
It's coming up soon.
People are going to be able to check it out and then obviously get their full hands on the game in come September."

"So what's something that you're really excited for players to check out and experience for themselves when Throne of Liberty arrives?
Hmm, that's a good question if I have to pick one."

"I would say in the early stage, one of the things I'm pretty excited about actually is the morphing system.
So it's TL's take on a traditional mount system.
It's really unique for TL because it lets you, the player, transform into the animal instead of riding it."

"And there's so many great cosmetics that we have in store for the morphing system.
So I would say in the early stages is that.
And in the later stages, you know, I'm a PvP fan at heart, so it's definitely all the PvP combat that comes with it."

"Yeah, for me, it's really the dynamics that are established between guilds and the relationships they form with each other.
And I'm not going to say it's a form of entertainment for me, but it's awesome to see how enemies and allies are formed, and it's great to witness."

"Well, there you have it.
Throne of Liberty.
Check out the open beta soon.
Check out the full release even a little bit later, but still soon."

"And otherwise, stay tuned for your local GameRaptor region for more information about the game.
Take care, everyone."

Summer Events




Movie Trailers