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How THRONE AND LIBERTY Brings Online RPG Gameplay into a New Era


Long ago, the Star of Sylaveth shattered, and its fragments spread across the land. Those fragments granted an immense power to a select few, and attracted malevolent forces who sought to claim that power for their own. Now, as light prepares to wage war against shadow, the fate of Solisium hangs in the balance...

THRONE AND LIBERTY is a free-to-play online role-playing game, launching on September 17, 2024, for PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5. The game, developed by South Korea-based developer, NCSOFT, takes players on an epic journey to save Solisium, a vast and dynamic living environment that almost serves as another character in the game’s story. Solisium’s geography and environment change during the course of play, presenting adventurers with unique challenges and opportunities on the fly, and ensuring that the moment-to-moment experience is exciting and unpredictable.

Gather your guild and conquer the world

The vast world of Solisium is not one that you’ll be exploring alone. Playing with others is a core part of the experience, from massive player-versus-player (PvP) battles to wildly unpredictable player-versus-player-versus-environment (PvPvE) dungeons to, of course, guilds. THRONE AND LIBERTY is a game where players survive and thrive through strategic decisions, and how they forge their alliances is critical. While much of the game’s content can be enjoyed solo, joining a guild is the way to get the greatest experience out of THRONE AND LIBERTY.

“In THRONE AND LIBERTY, there are numerous goals that can be achieved through guilds, including guild rankings, Conquest Battles, and Castle Sieges,” said Moonseop Lee, Game Design Director at NCSOFT. “Guilds are at the core of strategic competitive battles. Guild members not only work together to achieve common goals, but also benefit from a guild reward system that includes distributing raid items and sharing rewards from events among members. However, the greatest appeal of a guild is the sense of belonging it provides, ensuring that you always have companions by your side.“

Conquest Battles and Castle Sieges are two unique pieces of content that help THRONE AND LIBERTY shine in PvP. Conquest Battles are large-scale PvP events where guilds compete over two objectives: Boonstones and Riftstones. The guild that controls either gets valuable buffs and guild resources, and the guild owning a Riftstone also gets the exclusive opportunity to challenge a daily field boss. Castle Sieges are massive-scale battles where up to thousands of players clash over the control of a castle. This chaotic, thrilling experience involves not just sheer numbers but also sound strategy. Players must tactically allocate their forces, effectively use unique elements like Golems, and secure respawn points by capturing strategic resurrection sites. Even smaller guilds can participate by capturing looting sites to collect taxes, making Castle Sieges an engaging event for all players, regardless of their guild’s size.

Play with your friends, and make new adversaries

While Conquest Battles and Castle Sieges are massive PvP-focused affairs, THRONE AND LIBERTY also blends PvP and PvE in an interesting way through its unique PvPvE dungeons. The development team took this direction to solve a problem that can be common in group co-op content: fatigue. “PvE can be a very challenging and enjoyable experience at first, but once you reach the required level it can become repetitive,” said Lee. “Even the most difficult raids are thrilling the first time you clear them, but after that it’s just repetition until you get the desired rewards. PvP introduces new variables into repetitive situations.” The PvPvE dungeons in THRONE AND LIBERTY are some of the game’s highlights, but even the development team can’t pick a favorite among them. “This feels like asking which child is the cutest and most lovable among many,” joked Lee when asked which dungeon he felt was the game’s highlight. “Each dungeon has a different atmosphere and requires different play mechanisms. I’m really curious to see which will win.”

Freedom to play your way

Whether it’s running a dungeon with your guildmates or sieging a castle with thousands of other players, combat is at the heart of these experiences. And THRONE AND LIBERTY comes with many different options for how you can build your character and take them to battle.

Unlike many other online RPGs, this game ditches the traditional class system for a different approach: a dual-weapon system. “The problem with the traditional class system is that you have to start from scratch if you want to try a new class,” said Lee. “This often leads players to create multiple characters, trying to develop them all, and then eventually focus back on their main class if the others don’t work out. In THRONE AND LIBERTY, we wanted to provide an environment where players could actively try new things without such constraints.”

By simply equipping a weapon, players can access most of that weapon’s skills, and through the Transfer system, they can transfer the enhancements they’ve invested into other items. This system lowers the barrier to players trying out different builds: They won’t have to abandon the character they’ve built in order to try something new. The dual-weapon system can also give players the feeling that they’ve created their own unique class by linking unique combinations of weapons and skills.

Exploring a world of wonder

“When designing the world of Solisium, we started with a planetary scale, much larger than a continent,” said Gumin Han, Narrative Design Director at NCSOFT. “The planet Novcrea, where Solisium exists, is a world where the source of magical power fundamental to the fantasy resides.” That magic enables the world of THRONE AND LIBERTY to operate very differently than what players have experienced in other online RPGs.

“This foundation allowed us to define unique natural phenomena in THRONE AND LIBERTY, and conceptualize an ancient ecosystem in the world,” added Hoseok Seong, Art Director at NCSOFT. “As a result, we created places like Laslan, a typical medieval harbor city, and the Monolith Wastelands, where fantastical structures coexist within a seemingly standard desert. We also designed distinctive locations like Vienta Village, a desert settlement with varying elevations.”

The many methods of traveling Solisium

Exploring areas with varying elevations is just one example of how traveling the world of Solisium is a truly novel experience. Due to the dynamic nature of the land, torrential rains can cause floods and suddenly create large bodies of water to traverse. THRONE AND LIBERTY enables players to navigate these constantly shifting environments through morphing. Players can morph into a variety of different animals to aid in travel as they explore Solisium. The decision to let players morph into animals, in place of the traditional mount, was the subject of deep discussion by the team at NCSOFT.

“Within the development team, there has been much discussion about whether it’s better to ride something special, or to become something special yourself,” said Lee. “To focus on the idea of becoming a ‘special me’, we decided to feature the experience of transforming into different beings as a core aspect of THRONE AND LIBERTY.” Morphing into these different animals is a key part of the game, so the team worked hard to get it to feel right. Players can leap off of a cliff and turn into a bird to take flight mid-descent, or transform into a sea turtle instantly upon making contact with the ocean. These quick decisions require split-second thinking and fast transition.

“In typical games, when you ride a mount you often have to wait while the transformation occurs. However, in THRONE AND LIBERTY, since you become the creature yourself, we put significant effort into making this transition seamless, without delays or interruptions,” said Lee. “In addition to morphs, the game features shapeshifts and playful transformations, all adhering to a soft magic system within the game’s lore. This means players can transform into animals, magical creatures, golems, and even enchanted mechanical entities.”

NCSOFT and Amazon Games: a harmonious pairing

The collaboration between NCSOFT and Amazon Games to bring THRONE AND LIBERTY to the West has been beneficial to both companies, and most of all to the game itself. Opening any game to a new audience, especially one as large as a new global audience, means the teams involved can get new and valuable feedback that helps to improve the game.

“Although there are international players who enjoy the game on Korean servers, we don’t often have the opportunity to collect and analyze their feedback comprehensively,” says Moonyoung Choi, THRONE AND LIBERTY Camp Captain at NCSOFT. “Collaborating with Amazon Games has allowed us to receive feedback from a wide range of global users, which was extremely valuable to us. Amazon Games didn’t simply present user needs as demands: they used various reports and data to convincingly explain to our team why certain changes were necessary and how many users wanted them.”

Daniel Lafuente, Globalization Design Manager at Amazon Games, agrees. “From day one, we’ve been working tightly with NCSOFT to make sure THRONE AND LIBERTY hits the mark for a global audience. We’ve been in the trenches together, running multiple public test phases to get direct feedback from players worldwide. That input has allowed us to really shape the game’s direction in unison with NCSOFT over the last year-plus.” The teams have worked together closely, listening to player feedback from around the world and making adjustments as they prepare the game for its Western launch in September. “At the end of the day, it’s been a truly collaborative effort adapting the core experience, while still keeping the soul of what makes THRONE AND LIBERTY awesome,” said Lafuente.

Looking forward to launch

Massive scale multiplayer battles, a dynamic and changing world, the ability to shapeshift as you explore ... this is just scratching the surface of what THRONE AND LIBERTY has to offer players when it launches on September 17. Eager players can experience some of this first-hand even sooner, however, when the game enters an Open Beta this summer, running from July 18 through 23. Interested players can visit the THRONE AND LIBERTY site for more details on the beta.

The teams at Amazon Games and NCSOFT are eager to see players get into the world of Solisium, and are looking forward to what fans gravitate to most in the game. Both teams certainly have ideas on what they think players will be most excited to experience.

“Many people highlight THRONE AND LIBERTY’s ability to provide a smooth gaming experience, even in large-scale player environments, as one of its key strengths,” said Lee. “The distinguishing feature of a multiplayer online RPG compared to a single-player game is the scale of players, and in this aspect we take great pride in the technical prowess of our development team. Beyond the technical aspects, there are many fun elements in the game’s content design that are unique, and we have various new content planned beyond what’s been showcased so far.”

“The game has some seriously powerful tech under the hood that allows for these massive PvP battles with some events boasting thousands of players duking it out while maintaining that buttery smooth experience we’ve all grown to love,” said Lafuente. “That sense of scale and spectacle is awesome, but what I'm most excited about is the strong community aspects. THRONE AND LIBERTY has an exceptionally deep guild system, giving players the experience of bonding with your friends as you take on challenges together. It's got the perfect blend of modern features that allow you to truly engage at scale.”

Players can learn more about for July’s Open Beta, and the game, over on the THRONE AND LIBERTY site and experience the wonders of Solisium themselves for free when Amazon Games launches THRONE AND LIBERTY on September 17.