Mabinogi was first unveiled way back 15 years ago in South Korea, and it was always bound for the mobile device sooner or later. First announced last year, a playable demo version was at the consumer hall of G-Star 2018, where Nexon had over 10 other games being showcased. The Korean media managed to speak with the general manager of Nexon’s devCat studio, Kim Dong Gun, who is also known as the “father” of Mabinogi. Here are some of the summarized questions and answers regarding Mabinogi Mobile. Read on!
Q: How different are Mabinogi and Mabinogi Mobile?
A: I have spent a lot of time on the original Mabinogi, and if Mabinogi Mobile is the exact same game, I feel that fans may be quite disappointed. But I also cannot betray the memories of Mabinogi. Hence, the goal is to create a Mabinogi mobile game which has a new flavor, but at the same time also reliving memories of the original.
Q: The original fans of Mabinogi have also gotten older over the past 15 years. So who is the target audience for Mabinogi Mobile?
A: Mabinogi Mobile is a game targeted at a wide range of audience, as well as players of the original Mabinogi. We are making a game which can be enjoyed by both the young and old. Those who are older and play Mabinogi Mobile with their children while immersing in the old memories of the game.
Q: What are some of the new features introduced during the transition to mobile?
A: The costume feature is divided into top and lower parts. Most of the in-game functions have been developed to match mobile patterns, and there are big differences when compared to the PC version.
Q: It was difficult to experience the combat system in detail in the G-Star 2018 demo. What changes have been made compared to Mabinogi?
A: Compared to general mobile games, the party-based combat system is much more intense. The design also makes sure that each players have to focus more on their roles.
Q: Please tell us more about the transition from Mabinogi to Mabinogi Mobile.
A: Mabinogi is a very old game, and we want to continue to run the game in the future. However, we felt that there is a need to renew it a little more to continue 10 or 15 years more. Hence, Mabinogi Mobile was designed to be a “new” Mabinogi.
The social features of of Mabinogi can be enjoyed with the mouse and keyboard, but we need a new design to suit the characteristics of a mobile device. It is not easy to have a PC-level conversation on a smaller screen. To overcome the drawbacks, we applied the macro input method emotion expression system to the bottom right of the screen. We also tested a speech recognition system internally, but it was not as smooth as the team wanted. But if players ask for it, it is something we can implement.
Q: How are roles defined in party play?
A: In the demo version, players can see the different bonus stats for each costume. This is intended to create separate roles for players in the same party. The main item which differentiate the roles are weapons. Players cannot change costumes or weapons during combat. In other words, players in the same party need to prepare in advance before battle begins.
Q: It seems that weapons play a much bigger role in Mabinogi Mobile?
A: In the original Mabinogi, there is a big focus on skills rather than weapons. In Mabinogi Mobile, there is more influence made by weapons. Players can still improve their skills, but the maximum skill value differs based on the weapon held. This is the main point of the combat system in Mabinogi Mobile.
Q: Some parts of the story of Mabinogi Mobile matches with that of Mabinogi, but some do not. Does the mobile version takes places during a different time from the original?
A: Mabinogi has the theme of being an old tale told by a grandmother. There has always been differences based on who is explaining it. Mabinogi and Mabinogi Heroes have the same world view, but have totally different atmosphere and vibe based on different experiences. This is the same for Mabinogi Mobile. We plan to implement as many features as possible found in the original Mabinogi.
Q: How do generations work in Mabinogi Mobile?
A: The full release version will have content up to Generation 3. We will listen to feedback from the community for future generations.
Q: Reincarnation is a very important feature in Mabinogi. Is it in Mabinogi Mobile?
A: This system is currently being planned, and we hope to make it more fun.
Q: Mabinogi Mobile supports both portrait and landscape modes. Is this intended for the Japanese market, where portrait games are more popular?
A: The biggest reason to include a portrait mode is due to the chat system. Portrait mode has always been more efficient when it comes to better communication. Of course, we do have many Mabinogi fans in Japan as well.
MMO Culture note: The reason why portrait mobile games are popular in Japan is mainly due to public transport (buses and trains), where the passengers hold on to a handle with one hand, and play mobile games with the other. It is more convenient.
Q: Is there a housing system in Mabinogi Mobile?
A: We are planning for the housing system to be implemented. However, it will be a guild-based housing system rather than individual players.