First announced in April this year, the mobile version of the classic MMORPG The Great Merchant was showcased to the Korean media yesterday. Titled “Gersang M”, which roughly translates to The Great Merchant M, it is actually published by RPG Republic while the developer is a team known as Studio Titan. No matter the relationship, The Great Merchant M will be showcased at G-Star to the public for the first time. A 3D mobile MMORPG, the game takes place in 16th century Joseon and adopts a quarter-view RTS combat system.
There is also some time-traveling involved. Basically, the whole story is centered around players who are from the future collecting “prisms” which is made up of memories to prevent space and time from twisting. It seems that these prisms is a form of currency too.The Great Merchant M will even touch on actually historic events, such as the Imjin War where the Japanese invades South Korea 2 times. Hence, players will see Japan (and China) characters in the game, including former ones from the original PC MMORPG. Sweet!
There are 2 types of mercenaries in The Great Merchant M: Combat mercenaries (for battles) and mobile mercenaries (low combat power but moves fast and collect many items). There will be several economy systems for players to discover and sell items for a profit, which is the main feature of the game. There are systems such as day markets, farms, shops, mini games, crafting, taxes, owning a town, and more. Players will even have to speculate the up and down prices of staple items, just like playing the stock market!
As mentioned earlier, combat is more similar to a RTS game with players controlling multiple mercenaries, even being able to split them into 2 groups on the same map. In all honesty, I will have to take an actual look at the gameplay before commenting more. There are also casual modes such as protecting wagons and attacking opponents’ (similar to the Guardian and Thief system in Silkroad Online) to get additional items. Hopefully I can give the game a try soon and explain all these features in better details. For now, this is vague.
Set for a launch in South Korea in the second half of 2020, the main way to obtain new mercenaries is through the gatcha system. The development team is also working on how to balance historical facts with the fantasy elements in order not to mislead players. And yes, there is the auto setting available. Interestingly, while RTS games have faced control problems before on mobile, the team actually used Penta Storm (Korean version of Arena of Valor) as its main reference. For G-Star 2019, there will only be a trailer. Stay tuned!