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What We Know About NCSoft’s Upcoming MMO Project LLL

What We Know About NCSoft’s Upcoming MMO Project LLL
  • Genre: Open-world third-person MMO shooter.
  • PvE: Yes.
  • PvP: Yes.
  • Business Model: N/A
  • Development Stage: Alpha.
  • Release Date: 2024.
  • Platforms: PC and consoles.

Project LLL or Trailblazer Project from NCSoft is an in-development third-person MMO shooter. The unveiling announcement bundled several titles, including the hyped Throne and Liberty MMORPG.

Who is making Project LLL?

NCSoft Corporation is a veteran player on the MMO scene. As a developer, the South Korean company has heavy MMORPGs under its belt, namely the Lineage series. As a publisher, NCSoft handles the distribution for the Guild Wars series. Aion and Blade&Soul are other well-known titles associated with the company. Clearly there’s no shortage of talented and skilled people at NCSoft, but who exactly is in charge of Project LLL?

Project Leader, Jaehyun Bae has been with NCSoft since the beginning. He was one of the 1999 Lineage developers and the producer of Lineage II in 2001. Project Director Hwang SungJin joined the studio in 2008. He is also the system designer and director for Blade&Soul.

The Technical Director, Son DongHee, has more than 20 years of experience in the programming department. It would appear as NCSoft’s best and brightest took the reins of Project LLL.

However, apart from publishing the now-defunct Point Blank, NCSoft doesn’t have much experience with shooters. Will they manage to make an MMO shooter like no other?

According to the game director, Project LLL borrows features from other NCSoft games. It will be one of the many MMO shooters, but it will have unique elements to captivate the audience.

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What is Project LLL’s setting?

Project LLL has a dystopian sci-fi setting that blends in several themes. A past event had a significant impact on our world. As a result, the timeline is now a fine mess entangling the 10th-century Byzantine Empire, post-apocalyptic Seoul, and the 23rd century. That’s a head-scratcher, for sure.

The lore creators envisioned an ultra-developed technological world. Or worlds, to be more precise. The game universe is a playground for humans, demons, and mutants from different times.

The team in charge of world-building recreated landmarks and locations from Seoul. We cannot help but marvel at the beautiful state of ruin the city is in.

The developers considered other famous cities but eventually agreed on the South Korean capital because of one simple reason: it is the city they all know best. Apart from Seoul, Constantinople is another featured city.

Dune, Foundation, and several Philip K. Dick novels served as a source of inspiration for Project LLL’s universe. We couldn’t have asked for a better starting point. That’s how you pique the interest of sci-fi fans. Now, let’s see how Trailblazer Project appeals to gamers.

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What kind of game is Project LLL?

According to the Project Director, three concepts drive the gameplay: shooter, open world, and MMO.

Nailing the weapons’ behavior is one of the key elements when making a proper shooter game. The development team examined real weapons in order to make the shooting experience as accurate as possible.

The developers are veteran shooter players, so they all know the importance of this feature. Elements such as recoil, aiming distance, muzzle alignment, and other gun characteristics played a part in designing the firing mechanic. The team worked with military professionals to create this crucial game aspect. The players will clearly tell the distinction as they switch through different weapons.

Project LLL will feature at least six types of weapons. From basic guns to the futuristic SCAR-based rifle, the weapon selection promises to be all-embracing. In addition to firearms, the game also has grenades and rocket launchers.

The animation team went all out as well. Motion capture was used to create physics-based animations. For example, when a character takes a hit, it reacts based on the location of the wound and its surroundings.

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Project LLL is made with Unreal Engine. The programmers work with content streaming and innovative rendering technologies to make sure that no loading screens interrupt the players in their journey.

The environment-building methods take into consideration the players’ circumstances. As a result, the world around you reacts and changes based on your state. The world is a big place, more than 30 km of non-instanced areas are available.

Such a vast world calls for transportation methods. Players will use land and air vehicles with combat capabilities. Each vehicle will have a set of advantages and disadvantages. Cars and helicopters do the trick nicely, but it’s the giant robot that stole the show.

The game will have several Power Loaders – that’s what the devs call the big robots – that players can use to cross the battleground and decimate their adversaries. Each type of robot has different weapons and tactical gear.

It seems that players have to strategically plan when to take control of these combat machines, as they don’t last too long. Especially when another robot – possibly player-controlled as well – rams into yours.

Project LLL has a PvE story-driven campaign that puts the player in the center of the action. You’re  going to save the world or you did that already. In the process, you will discover what’s going on in this universe.

If you itch for the thrills of competition, Project LLL’s PvP modes have you covered. We are glad to see that the game doesn’t play favorites when it comes to PvE or PvP content. We have no info on specific game activities and modes, but we can speculate based on what we saw in the gameplay video.

Players may wander alone following tasks. They can also participate in what seems to be mixed PvE and PvP encounters. It’s quite possible that dynamic events will occur on the open map and players choose to partake or move along.

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What kind of character will you play in Project LLL?

From what we gather, players will be able to choose from several characters belonging to different civilizations. Each character has a unique personality, name, and background.

The visual appearance matches the era the character comes from. Each civilization spots trademark abilities. Common features will be in place, most likely in the name of balance.

There is no mention of classes, so we believe that Project LLL is a “you are what you wear” type of game. Character customization and versatile play styles are possible thanks to different combinations of weapons and equipment.

Weapons support customization as well. We will be able to alter the character’s functions using tactical gear. The gameplay video shows a player making use of tactical gear to scan the environment, shoot single and multi-target missiles, and use an energy shield for cover. Wielding big guns is fun, but raw power doesn’t always win the battle.

Players will make use of the terrain and consider optimal approaches. Tactical gear allows you to get to strategic places from which you can better mount the offensive. Whether you find yourself a cozy spot and use the sniper rifle or stealthily get close to the enemy, the possibilities are numerous. You can use nearby objects, such as flammable tanks that explode when shot.

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When is Project LLL’s release date?

The team is aiming for a 2024 release on PC and consoles. The game is currently in the alpha development stage. It is likely that NCSoft is focusing on the Throne and Liberty release first before letting out more info on Project LLL.

The business model and global distribution partners have yet to be revealed. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if Amazon Games were to handle the publishing. The company was confirmed as the publisher for Throne and Liberty. We hope to have more info on both games soon.