A3: Still Alive Exclusive Interview – Battle Royale Plans, New Class & More

A3: Still Alive Exclusive Interview

With the recent global release of A3: Still Alive for Android and iOS devices, Netmarble delivered another high-quality MMORPG. However, the addition of a battle royale mode without auto-play is a highlight that deserves to be emphasized. We had the opportunity to ask Minkwan Kwon, development lead and CEO of Netmarble N2 a few questions about the game and learned more about it. One of the interesting reveals is that the new A3: Still Alive class Scholar is in development right now. Read our A3: Still Alive exclusive interview below to know all the details on the genesis and future plans for the game.

FreeMMOStation: Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Minkwan Kwon: Hi everyone. I am Minkwan Kwon, development head of A3: Still Alive – also the CEO of Netmarble N2, one of Netmarble’s development studios.

FMMO: For those who don’t know, can you explain what the A3 designation actually stands for?

Kwon: Officially, A3 stands for Alone. Alive. Attack. However, when we first decided on the name of the project, we were determined to create a game with triple A-class fun.

A3: Still Alive Exclusive Interview Minkwan Kwon

Don't Miss: A3: Still Alive Coupon Codes List

FMMO: A3: Still Alive is the follow-up to A3, a PC MMORPG released 17 years ago. Why did you think that this was the right time to revive the franchise instead of settling for a completely new IP?

Kwon: Our team first met 20 years ago while developing A3, and we are still making games together today. In the meantime, I wanted to expand upon A3 with a sequel, but was unable to do so until now. I was able to take a challenging opportunity with the launch of A3: Still Alive and formally see it through. Our team is now steadily expanding the universe of A3 with new updates over time.

FMMO: The inclusion of a battle royale mode from day one is unusual. Why did you decide to include it in A3: Still Alive?

Kwon: Mobile RPGs these days emphasize cooperation over competition. However, it is not easy to cooperate while chatting in a mobile game, and I thought having strong competition rather than forced cooperating is more suitable for the game's natural fun.

So, we made our direction and differentiated the game to pursue extreme competition. With this direction, the first mode I made was ‘Dark Presence’ (all-area free PK that comes at night), but since this mode battles with already grown characters, the difference in combat power is more important than ‘strategy or control’. The idea of a ‘Battle Royale' system in which everyone competes with ‘strategy and control' in a fair environment inevitably came up.

There were challenges to put this mode in an MMORPG as it has yet to be done. Still, our development team made sure the mode was fun through various tests, and improved the maturity of the mode itself, eventually enabling players to play Battle Royale for the first time in the history of MMORPGs.

FMMO: The battle royale mode has a level playing field with rewards that nicely tie into the MMORPG part of the game. Are you planning on expanding this mode, and if so, how? New weapons, a second arena…?

Kwon: Battle Royale content will be held on a seasonal basis. In the new season, new weapons are added and detailed balance adjustments are made to existing weapons. Of course, we plan to add new battlegrounds as well.

The direction of the balance adjustment is not limited to singular changes and will be adjusted so the characteristics of the weapon survive better.

FMMO: If you had to choose one subject to highlight over the other, would you prefer to praise the MMORPG or the battle royale side of A3: Still Alive?

Kwon: Battle Royale content is not endgame content that you enjoy only after you have developed your character. You can enjoy Battle Royale while playing MMORPG content simultaneously. Being able to enjoy both modes at the same time will be a new experience that can only be felt in our game. There is a mutual synergy effect between MMORPG content and Battle Royale content, so I would like to emphasize both rather than highlighting one over the other.

FMMO: Auto-combat is perhaps the most divisive feature in MMORPGs nowadays. Why did you decide to add the option in the story part, yet left it out of the battle royale mode? What do you think it brings to the game?

Kwon: A3 is in fact actually a game with fun controls. It is designed so that it is very advantageous to play various contents such as Battle Royale, Dark Presence, and Conquer Battle. In particular, Battle Royale is content that relies on ‘strategy and control', so auto- combat is unnecessary.

However, in the story mode, we wanted to give players options on how they want to play A3: STILL ALIVE, especially if they need to hunt money monsters, farm for a long time, stay in fields and dungeons, and interact with other players as well.

I think A3 will be able to enhance both ‘fun to watch’ and ‘fun to play’ experiences by allowing players to choose between auto combat and actually playing the game.

FMMO: Can you give us a taste of what’s to come? When can we expect to see a new class, for example?

Kwon: We are doing our best to make the game more entertaining.  We will continue to update content to give players new fun and create a game that will be loved by players for a long time. Right now we are working on a new class called ‘Scholar’, and we hope to deliver excitement to players waiting for something new.

FMMO: Would you like to say anything else to our readers?

Kwon: I am confident that A3: Still Alive is the most entertaining game with community-oriented guild content and PVP than any other game in the world. We developed this game to let players experience new sort of MMORPGs that are different from existing games. We promise to actively communicate with players globally and make the game even more enjoyable. Thank you.

FreeMMOStation would like to thank Minkwan Kwon and Netmarble for taking some time off their busy schedules to answer our questions. A3: Still Alive just received its first update on November 30, 2020.

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