Kingdom Under Fire 2 Starts OBT in Russia This Fall and Then Comes to NA & EU
Russian open beta schedule and NA/EU plan
Lee said the game has cost about $78 million USD to develop and it's the most expensive Korean MMO ever created. KUF2 will start a non-wiped beta test in China in March and then will enter open beta.
"China will be the first country Kingdom Under Fire 2's open beta will be launched in, and then in one to two months we'll start beta test in Taiwan," he said. "The Russian version will start closed beta in summer 2017 and open beta in the fall. After that we'll focus on NA, EU, KR, JP and other regions. We plan to launch the PC version and PS4 version simultaneously in NA and EU."
The upcoming Blueside 3.0 engine will support 60,000 units display on the same screen
Kingdom Under Fire 2 was originally developed with Blueside 2.0 engine which supported 10,000 units in one screen. "The current engine doesn't require high-end PC hardware, and a GeForce 8800GT is enough for smooth gameplay. We have been studying the technology of large-scale scene since 2002."
"The Blueside 3.0 engine we are now developing supports up to 60,000 units on the same screen. It's difficult for other companies to achieve this. For instance, Unreal Engine has to be redesigned completely if it wants to reach that level."
"The most difficult part is how to ease the network pressure when you have huge number of units on the same screen. For example, display 10,000 units on the same screen can generate about 100k/s data flow on the server side, and that's not a problem for the internet condition in South Korea. But for most regions including China, it's a problem so we are asked to reduce the data flow to 30k/s. After 3 years' development we have managed to reduce it to 11k/s."
Lee confirmed to us that Kingdom Under Fire 2 PS4 version will be powered by Blueside 3.0 engine at launch, and the PC version will be upgraded to the new engine soon after the PS4 version releases.
More endgame content and new classes are in development
The team is creating more end-game contents, and one of them is an epic raid that includes multiple phases and a storyline. Lee Sang-youn said it would take players about 3 months to complete this raid. On the other hand, new player experience has been improved with new UI. In the future, the game will introduce new classes including Elementalist, Sorceress (Black Mage), and Paladin. The plan is to introduce a new class every 4-5 months, according to Lee.
New epic raid
Elementalist can summon different creatures to fight alongside her
In terms of units, Blueside plans to allow players to use about 120 different units in the Chinese version in the closed beta in March. However, the developer team has prepared around 350 units and they hope to add a new unit every 1-2 months. "We don't want to put forward a lot of new units to players, especially new players, in a short time. It will be difficult for them to learn how to play a unit," Lee said.
New class: Vampire
There will be town building and city development system, which is part of the guild content. "After occupies a territory, a guild can set up guild banners and some constructs like guild statue. With guild points, a guild can unlock more facilities and buildings that can produce useful items. Unlike other MMOs' guild house, KUF2's guild territory is a large and upgradeable town." What's more, a guild can trade with other guilds with the guild town feature.
New class: Paladin
Kingdom Under Fire VR is in internal experiment
Blueside 3.0 will greatly boost VR gaming, and it's a "big breakthrough in VR" and it "surpasses Unreal Engine 4 in visuals", according to Lee Sang-youn.
Speaking of Kingdom Under Fire VR, Lee told us that players can play the current PC version with VR headset, and they are still exploring the possibility of making a game for VR from the ground up. "We are testing if we are able to bring the Kingdom Under Fire experience to VR, and if we can't, we will make other VR games using KUF IP."
Blueside is confident of addressing motion sickness in VR gaming, with the new Blueside 3.0 engine. The solution is "let the game runs at very high fps", Lee said. "Players will become nauseating fast if VR games run at 30fps. We believe 60fps is the minimum requirement and 120fps is recommended. The market is pushing VR games to increase the fps and Blueside 3.0 is already a very suitable engine."
Lee Sang-youn hoped to release a VR demo in May or June later this year.