Tower of Fantasy’s first major content update is right around the corner, and it’s a doozy. We recently got a sneak peak at everything coming as part of the game’s Vera update on October 20, and used the opportunity to learn more about the future of developer Hotta Studio’s anime-inspired, free-to-play MMORPG.
The Vera update is undoubtedly huge. It will not only continue the game’s main storyline, but also add the new region of Vera (which itself is comprised of two distinct zones), introduce a new playable character in the form of Ruby, bring in multiple new world bosses, add environmental hazards, and more.
Vera is made up of both the hostile Desert Gobby and the cyberpunk hub city of Mirroria. While in the desert, players will have to seek shelter from weather hazards like sandstorms and also keep an eye out for quicksand. The desert is also infected with areas known as Grayspace, where powerful Grayspace Entities, like sword-wielding Abyssant Weaver and the massive whale-like Abyssant Devourer, can be found. However, exploring these deadly zones will be more than worth it, as players can find valuable items like Golden Nucleus within them. But the desert isn’t all bad news. There can be beauty there as well, with players being able to discover various oases hidden within the sands.
As one might expect from the addition of a new region, there are two new world bosses to take on in the form of Magma and Rudolph. Magma is a heavily armored, fire-spewing lizard that can erect a sand barrier around itself to prevent players from standing out of range and attacking from long distances. The cybernetic stag Rudolph, on the other hand, is incredibly mobile and hard to hit up close, making ranged weapons an excellent choice when it comes to bringing the boss down to size.
Thankfully, a new character, the introverted Ruby, will be available at launch to help players overcome all of Vera’s new challenges. Ruby is a support character who wields her robot companion Spark to both aid allies and damage foes.
Because the Gobby Desert is dangerous, most residents of the Vera region live in the floating city of Mirroria, where players will undoubtedly spend most of their downtime going forward. It’s a huge space, with flying taxis players can use to get around and even a subway. In an email interview, Tencent senior publishing and live-op manager Veronica Cai (Tencent is Tower of Fantasy publisher Level Infinite’s parent company) said the team looked at various types of sci-fi aesthetics when it came to crafting Mirroria. The team ultimately went for a cyberpunk look to provide a “sharp visual contrast” while infusing much of its architecture with “traditional oriental aesthetics.”
Like Tower of Fantasy’s initial storyline, the new story quests as part of the Vera update will be time-gated, with players only able to make so much progress within a specific timeframe. According to Cai in a Q&A session as part of the preview event, the time-gating is to encourage players to explore and discover side content as opposed to just mainlining the story as fast as possible.
In many ways, the Vera update’s launch on October 20 is just the beginning. As many dedicated fans who have done their research know, there are numerous characters and features that have yet to be added to the global version of Tower of Fantasy that are present in the Chinese version. Cai said the global version of Tower of Fantasy will be looking to catch up when it comes to content already available in China.
“If you check the launching dates of the Chinese version update and the global version update, you’ll see we are trying to minimize the gap between the two versions,” Cai said. “We are working towards linking up the global version and the Chinese version but don’t know how long it will take for us to get there.”
A recent developer report from the Tower of Fantasy development team acknowledged that some players may be stressed out by the frequency of the game’s current limited-time event schedule. The team stated in the report that it wants to catch up to the Chinese version, but that in the future it would consider adjusting event schedules to provide a more “comfortable” experience for players. When asked whether players could expect the frequency of updates or events to slow down with the arrival of Vera, Cai said limited-time events are a good way to meet the needs of players in regards to new content. She said the team has also received feedback asking for more events and rewards as opposed to less.
Hotta Studios also confirmed in its developer report that some crossover characters present in the Chinese version of Tower of Fantasy may not come over to the global version due to copyright issues. Cai said the team is looking to bring new characters to both versions of Tower of Fantasy going forward in order to avoid one region or another from missing out on future content.
Tower of Fantasy recently became available on Steam, and is also available on iOS, Android, or via a download from the game’s official website. For those looking to check out the MMO ahead of the Vera update, be sure to check out our detailed Tower of Fantasy beginner’s guide for helpful tips and tricks on getting started.
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