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RF Online Next Interview shares insights on evolution of the original IP, progression system, and more

Some interesting talks!

One among the three Netmarble that was showcased at the recently concluded G-STAR 2023 event was RF Online Next, which breathes new life into the popular IP RF Online. Aiming for a 2024 release, there is a lot of interest and hype building around the game with the official trailer gives us a lot of promise with amazing visuals that were a treat. Curious to know about the upcoming title, we at GamingonPhone got an interview with Hong Kwang Min, the Project Director of RF Online Next thanks to which we got insights on the evolution of the original IP, the progression system within the game, and more.

What are the key features that make RF Online Next a futuristic MMORPG, and how does it set itself apart from other games in the genre?

‘RF Online Next’ is a game based on ‘RF Online,’ which was released in 2004 and has been in service for the past 20 years. While inheriting the experience and narrative of the original, we are developing ‘RF Online Next’ to maximize its own strengths, which we see as the following features.

Diversity of combat experiences: In ‘RF Online Next,’ players can experience battles by summoning and riding giant robots, unlike the experience in other games. While there are games with sci-fi concepts and games with giant summoners, we believe that the ability to ride a real robot and directly control it and use its attack skills is a clear point of differentiation between the original game and ‘RF Online Next’.

RF ONLINE NEXT Free flight
Image via Netmarble

Solid worldbuilding of the original IP: In terms of playing an MMORPG, one of the important factors that contribute to immersion is whether I feel like I’m actually playing in the world, and in that regard, I think the solid worldview of ‘RF Online Next’ is a great strength. Players can experience the original worldview based on the confrontation between the three factions represented by Bellato, Cora, and Accretia, and the narrative that continues from the original in ‘RF Online Next.’ In addition, we are also conducting various activities such as web novel revealing to establish the worldview of the ‘RF Online’ IP, and we are showing good initial results.

RvR content in three distinctive countries: We believe that RvR content with colorful stories based on the clear characteristics of each nation in the world, such as ‘Cora’, which deals with divine powers and summons, ‘Bellato’, which is known for armored combat, and ‘Accretia’, which has a mechanized human body, can provide different fun from other games. The battle between factions with different personalities can provide different fun from the battle between humans with different evolutions.

How has the RF Online IP evolved over the two decades, and what elements from the original game can players expect in RF Online Next?

‘RF Online Next’ is being developed with the goal of retaining as much of the previous RF’s compelling world as possible. Artistically, we’re aiming for the highest graphical quality and will be reimagining elements from the previous RF Online. The main characters of the original story, the landscapes of Cora, Bellato, and Accretia, and the combat elements players experienced will be recreated with the highest quality graphics utilizing Unreal Engine 5.

Image via Netmarble

It will be fun to see how the launcher of “Accretia,” the armor of “Bellato,” and the animus of “Cora” are represented in “RF Online Next.” One of the biggest systemic changes players will notice is the three factions. In the previous game, players were able to experience the RVR element by choosing the Bellato, Cora, or Accretia factions. However, this element can be a bit stressful for users, so in RF Online Next, we are making this a home country choice, so that players can experience various elements of each.

Will there be a cross-platform and progression system implemented?

In recent years, games have become more and more taking the format of cross-platform, making it easier for users to play anytime, anywhere. At this year’s G-Star, we prepared a demonstration on the PC platform, and we aim to generate the quality of the PC game and make it possible to enjoy it on mobile.

However, since the mobile platform is more accessible to users than the PC platform, we are aiming for the quality to be at the PC level, but to run smoothly and with good quality on mobile.

I was curious about the mention of realm vs. realm battles. Can you provide more details on it?

In the previous ‘RF Online,’ when players chose a race, their choice was locked into the game and could not be changed. Our development team realized that this could have been a bit of a stressor for players, so we’re reimagining it as a nation selection element in ‘RF Online Next’. We’re also planning to recreate the resource wars over control of the Crag Mine, which were a key element in the previous title, with nations as the basis for conflict. More details will be revealed at a later date, so stay tuned!

Can you share insights into the progression system and character customization options in RF Online Next?

RF Online Next will offer six different biosuits for players to choose from. In addition to classes that use swords, shields, and magic, which have been available in previous fantasy games, the Punisher class, which will be unveiled in this G-Star build, is an exciting class that uses a rifle/launcher. Each of the six biosuits will have its own unique combat experience, and we’ll be revealing more about each biosuit’s combat characteristics at a later date.

RF ONLINE NEXT Biosuit battle
Image via Netmarble

With biosuits and giant robots that can be summoned and ridden, players can experience distinguished battles that are apart from other games, and it will be fun to find an optimized battle method by combining biosuits and giant robots according to the situation.

How does the sci-fi setting influence the world-building and storytelling in the game?

‘RF Online Next’ is a game that inherits the world and chronology of the previous ‘RF Online.’ ‘RF Online Next’ has a fascinating world with not only futuristic sci-fi elements but also fantasy elements. It was symbolized by three races: the Cora, who use divine powers and summoners, the Bellato, who are skilled in armored combat, and the Accretia, who have mechanized human bodies.

Each nation has different ideas, cultures, and values that their nation is based on, and the characteristics of each nation can be seen visually through the appearance of national characters and representative buildings implemented in the game, as well as through the story. We’ll be revealing more details about each nation, including their features and compelling stories, at a later date.

Any expectations you carry before the game launch?

RF Online Next takes the next step from the previous RF Online, fusing the overall atmosphere of the previous title with new systems. We are striving to achieve the goal of continuing to be loved by fans who enjoyed the RF Online and to provide new fun for those who have never played it before.

RF Online Next World Boss
Image via Netmarble

In addition to the game, we will continue to provide the world of the RF Online IP through various media and content, including web novels set in the world of RF Online Next. By utilizing Netmarble’s IP, ‘RF Online,’ we will prepare it to be one of the most famous IPs in Korea, and we will make sure that ‘RF Online Next’ is loved by global players as well.

That’s all for our RF Online Next interview! Did you feel we missed out on any query in this RF Online Next Interview? Let us know in the comment section below!

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