Sword Art Online Alicization Lycoris: Raid Dungeons, Comments From Producer, Director
Sayuki cosplaying Medina, SAO singer ReoNa shared their favorite characters and scenes.
Bandai Namco together with Dengeki Online, held a final stream for the release of Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris in Japan, July 9. The stream featured Producer Yousuke Futami, ReoNa, and cosplayer Sayuki, who was cosplaying as Medina Orthinanos. Game Director from Acquire Satoshi Hirayae wasn’t physically present but participated via voice-chat. The stream most notably focused on the upcoming update and DLC content scheduled to launch in 2 weeks. It’ll most notably fix the FPS problems.
I’d recommend first reading our past coverage regarding SAOAL DLC before delving deeper in this article.
Note that this article contains SAO story spoilers.
First off, the Daily Quest system, which we previously detailed, is scheduled to be added via this free update in around two weeks. Producer Futami stressed out it is “scheduled”, but might be a bit late, seeing the current state of the world. The second picture showcases the “Sword Punk Online” costumes, an example of the cosmetic content obtainable via the Cube gacha.
Next up, Raid Dungeons will be added as well. Up to 8 players can run Raid Dungeons together online, and they’ll be joined by 8 Sub Members NPCs, for a total of 16 characters. You can also try out Raid Dungeons offline with NPCs characters. Producer Futami and Director Hirayae described Raid Dungeons in SAO Alicization Lycoris as highly difficult content you should challenge after clearing the game.
There are four Raid Dungeons in total, one in each Empire of Underworld. The current player level cap in the game is level 50, but the Raid Dungeons will include bosses with levels over 85. However, later on in the stream, Director Hirayae explained that Raid Dungeons have gimmicks, some of which can lower the level of the bosses. As such, even if you find the boss room fast, it’s best to fully explore the dungeon first.
Some Raid Dungeon gameplay was also shown on stream, linked at the 43:45 timestamp below.
Producer Futami also revealed that early in development, the developers at Aquria actually didn’t want to include a mini-map in Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris, to increase the feeling of exploration and everything. Producer Futami turned down the idea. Overall, he wished the game to be as accessible as possible. Seeing Alicization is an incredibly popular SAO arc, Alicization Lycoris might be picked up by people who aren’t used to playing games at all. He also mentioned Alicization has a lot of female fans, who tend to prefer enjoying the story and not focus on the gameplay. (Many Japanese developers, most notably the Bandai Namco ones, often mention most of the Japanese female players of their franchises tend to focus only on the story and not much on the gameplay, most notably when it comes to the Tales of series.)
We got to see a Raid Dungeon mid-boss fight at the 51:50 mark:
Next up, while Director Hirayae was readying the next gameplay sequence, Producer Futami, ReoNa and Sayuki chatted about their favorite SAO moments and characters. Sayuki mentioned one of her favorite characters is Asuna and she likes the Kirito x Asuna scenes overall especially the one when Asuna saves Kirito from Kuradeel. ReoNa already mentioned in a past stream she’s a Eugeo fan, so her favorite Alicization moment is his death and Stay Cool line in episode 24 of the anime. She really likes GGO too and Sinon. All three fangirled together about Kirito x Sinon scenes like when when Kirito pretty much tells her he did end up killing people too in the past.
The gameplay restarted at the 1:02:00 mark, with a level 87 boss battle:
Following that, Producer Futami explained multiple costumes will be added in the late July update alongside Daily Quests and Raid Dungeons. It’ll mostly be costumes already in the game, such as villagers, nobles, soldiers NPCs costumes, but usable by players too.
More costumes were teased as well.
This is at that point that Producer Futami started enumerating multiple improvements coming alongside the update. As we already mentioned, the FPS will be improved.
The camera as well. Producer Futami acknowledged multiple players in Japan are complaining about that on social media.
They’ll also change how canceling attacks and Skills work. It’s possible the way loading times work will be changed as well.
Producer Futami also explained how at times the game stops auto saving. It isn’t a bug but is so players don’t get stuck with a save where they’re under leveled right before a boss and can’t go train.
Multiple other improvements will be made: The UI will be improved. The movement inertia of the characters will be improved. The update will make it easier to recognize high rarity weapons and loot.
Another issue to be solved: There’s a certain situation right now where strong unique named monsters on the field can get all their HP back if they suddenly end up too far away from the player. For example, if they end up falling from a cliff. Because the game thinks the fight encounter has been reset. They’ll fix that too.
Lastly, Bandai Namco is collecting player data on how many times certain monsters or bosses were defeated. Using this data, Sword Art Online Alicization Lycoris will be adjusted in real time. For example, if a certain monster was heavily killed by the players, it’ll get a temporary buff. Meanwhile, a monster that was under hunted could become the target of a “Wanted” feature.
Producer Futami revealed near the stream’s end that Bandai Namco plans to regularly add new content to SAOAL for at least a year. We haven’t heard more yet on the Premium Pass paid DLC content, but they’re still working on it.
A special launch illustration was also revealed on stream.
— ソードアート・オンライン ゲーム公式情報 (@sao_gameinfo) July 8, 2020
The launch illustration was provided by one of the artists of Aquria. They weren’t directly named.
The usual end of stream photo, tweeted by Sayuki:
Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris is now available worldwide on PS4, PC, and Xbox One.