A few days ago, we broadcast an official BABYLON’S FALL live stream in Japan, where we answered questions sent in by the community!
This article will go over those questions (and some more that we were unable to fit into the stream too!) for all the members of the BABYLON’S FALL community around the world who are interested in the game. It is quite a long read, so take a good look when you have the time.
We are also looking to set up an opportunity to talk directly to our North American and European communities in some way, so watch out for that too!
- Battle related questions
- Game system related questions
- Play environment related questions
- Other questions
Battle related questions
What is the average time needed to play through one quest?
About 10 minutes.
As a basic principle, we have aimed to make a game where you can quickly pick up and finish quests.
Can you change your equipment while engaged in battle?
No, you cannot change equipment during battle.
We deliberately did not allow players to do this, as stopping to change your gear would keep teammates waiting and slow down the tempo of the game.
Will new weapon types be added to the game?
Yes, they will! You will be able to enjoy trying out new play styles and combinations.
In addition to the currently available swords and hammers, we do plan on adding new weapon types that fit in with the setting and the feel of the game (they will be future additions, so not available from the release date though).
Will additional weapon types be premium content?
No they won’t!
If you buy the base game package, then you will have access to all future weapon type and other updates for free and be able to use the new weapons when they are made available. However, some of the decorative equipment (cosmetic items) will be premium content.
If the weapons and armor that you pick up are entirely randomly generated, will that not make it impossible to put together combinations based on the bonuses and abilities that you want?
We are unable to reveal full details at present, but the game will have a wide variety of different customisation elements available, and we have made it so that players can put together their own desired combinations of abilities as they progress through the game.
Will there be a feature to swap around or alter the additional effects on items of equipment?
Yes, we have created a function like this. However, there are certain set conditions and restrictions placed on it as part of the game balance.
It seems like the random elements on weapons and armor would make things tough without some kind of help. Will there be options to do things like combining top parameter “A” on one weapon together with top parameter “B” on another if the two weapons are of the same type?
We have thought of those kinds of features and will announce the exact form they will take later. BABYLON’S FALL will run a long-term game service, so we also have to consider new players who start playing later on in the lifecycle when we plan these kinds of features.
When using hammers or other weapons that take comparatively long to swing, will it be possible to take a certain number of hits and muscle your attacks through?
When using a hammer, you can still take hits from enemies after starting an attack and will not flinch or be knocked back. This gets harder if you are hit by attacks with the knockback or punish traits though.
Are there juggle type attacks in the game? Having them would change how excited I feel about it! (Laughs)
We got them!
Are there “emergency evade” type moves?
There are not, but regular dodge and Shadow Dodge manoeuvres are available.
You can perform a Shadow Dodge that renders you invincible for a moment by evading with pinpoint timing.
Is there healing magic?
There are different types of rod weapons, with some granting high attacking power, while others allow you to cast area of effect magic that enhances allies or debilitates enemies. The latter type can be charged up to heal the wielder’s HP. There are also some enchantments for equipment that let you heal by attacking.
The “Soul Share” ability also lets you heal an ally.
Please could you let me know if there are any easy-to-use weapons suitable for players who are not skilled at action games?
I would recommend the sword as a close combat weapon and the bow as a ranged weapon.
Both offer great manoeuvrability and can be used by people who are not so familiar with games or who don’t get on well with action gameplay.
Is there a system that guarantees the minimum rarity of items dropped based on player level? (E.g., will I keep getting common items even after reaching higher levels?)
The system is set up so you will find relics of a higher rarity level as you progress further into the game. Different quests will also have different items available to acquire, so there is a modifier in place to make sure you get something at the power level you are looking for.
Is there a feature to save your character build?
You can save multiple builds.
We want to see players trying out lots of different build variations.
Will it be possible to create a “crowd control” type character (a character who uses stun attacks and other methods to engage multiple enemies)?
It is possible to stun enemies.
The game has a variety of different status ailments and some enchantments you can get will inflict extra damage on enemies suffering from one or more of them. It is also possible to create builds that stack these effects to boost attack power.
How have battles changed since the Closed Beta Tests?
As an overall trend, we have generally lowered enemy health and increased the damage they do.
We are aiming to have nicely paced battles that emphasise the effects of player actions.
In the previous CBT, the enemies felt rather too durable.
We have made tweaks since the CBT ended and the enemies are now a little less tough. Instead, we have raised their attack power slightly to increase the tension and excitement you feel in battle. PlatinumGames are tweaking the game to enhance the value of the action gameplay.
It feels like the attack effects can get in the way and make it difficult to see your enemies at times, so will there be an option to turn the effects generated by your allies on and off?
There will be no option to toggle effects on and off but rest assured that we will be adjusting the intensity of the effects to make it easier to see what is going on than it was in the CBT.
When playing on PS5™, will it be possible to turn the adaptive triggers off if you have assigned the spectral attack to the L2 button or R2 button?
Yes, you can switch the adaptive triggers off from the options menu.
Are there plans to add skill trees to the game?
After a while you will become able to customise your Gideon Coffin and gain access to further customisation options that are similar to a traditional skill tree.
Will there be reward items for helping out beginners?
There is a feature that adjusts the balance of a quest to make it possible for all players to enjoy it, even if their respective power levels vary greatly (but still keep a certain gap between them). We think that the way this feature gives you more comrades to adventure together with is the greatest reward you can get!
Is there a level synchronisation system like in FFXIV?
Yes, there is a system that modifies player capabilities when playing together with others of a significantly higher or lower power level. This ensures that nobody finds the quest dull because they are too powerful or cannot contribute because they are too weak.
What is the penalty for dying like?
As a rule, downed players will usually be helped back up by their allies, but the number of times players can automatically resurrect on their own is also set individually for each quest. If you have used up all your auto-resurrections and all players are down at the same time, then you will fail the mission. This means that you will never fail as long as you still have one comrade standing to help you up again, however many times you die.
Will there be PvP modes added?
There are currently no plans to introduce PvP style modes to the game.
Is there a “training room” like area where I can practice with each of the different weapons?
I would like one of those as well!
We will do our best seeing as how everyone wants one!
There will not be such an area at launch, but solo play is possible, so you can practice on your own with that. I don’t think that is the answer you are looking for though, so we will sincerely take your request on board.
Are there plans to add a mini map of some kind, as there was not anything like that present in the CBT? It would be good if you could tell where your comrades and enemies are and who is seriously injured at a glance.
We are not considering adding a mini map.
The reason for this is that the area battles take place in is not particularly large. We feel it is desirable that players need to look around themselves to read the ebb and flow of battle and see what state their allies and enemies are in.
There is also an assist function that automatically gathers the players together when someone enters the final area of a quest if some of them have lagged behind.
Will FINAL FANTASY monsters appear?
They will not. It just wouldn’t be right to borrow their monsters…
Game system related questions
Is there a story mode?
There is not a separate “story mode” independent of the other content, and the player will proceed across a gameboard like map with different spaces for playing story quests, quests designed for multiple replays and high-level challenge quests.
How many hours will it take to complete the main campaign?
There is more than enough content for a satisfying playthrough.
However, we do want players to try out all the other modes and elements in the game, so it will be possible to complete the main story fairly quickly and then dig into all the other good stuff.
We wanted to avoid a situation where the player really wants to get on and dive into the hack and slash elements but is prevented from doing so because the initial campaign drags on forever. In these kinds of games, the campaign can be seen as somewhat of a tutorial, so it also serves the function of letting players learn what kinds of gameplay are on offer as they enjoy the story.
Is the main story now complete?
The main story is now complete, and we have even finished the voice recordings for all the story scheduled in the first year after release! (Development work on it is still ongoing though)
Is the game designed around multiplayer?
The game does support solo play and enemy HP are automatically adjusted based on the number of players present. It will also adapt in real time if one player drops out due to connection problems etc. We do want players to try out and enjoy multiplayer though!
Are you automatically matched with other players in multiplayer?
The basic matchmaking is automatic, yes.
You can also choose to deliberately set out with a smaller party size, or just to play with friends by creating a private HQ lobby.
What ways are there to communicate with other players?
You can communicate via stamps and emotes (gestures).
There are lots of different ones available and we will continue to add more in future.
The game is designed to allow players to enjoy playing together using simple emotional expressions, without having to do detailed co-ordination or role assignment.
Are there plans for an official party recruitment noticeboard or similar?
I recommend the official Discord server for that!
Is there an option to kick out other players (remove them from the game)?
A single play session is fairly short, so we have not added this kind of feature. If you were to drop out partway through a quest, then you would still be able to take away all the loot you have picked up so far.
* You will get more loot if you play through to the end of the quest though.
Is there anything like the glamour prism (cosmetic item) from FFXIV in the game?
Yes, in addition to weapons and armor with different capabilities, there is also decorative equipment that you can wear. This is worn over the top of your usual gear to change its appearance.
Are there decorative versions of weapons as well? What about ones that don’t quite fit in with the setting (traditional Japanese designs etc.)?
There are no cosmetic versions of weapons, but you can change their colouring. Players can look forward to seeing what kinds of decorative equipment we will add to the game!
What are “relics”?
These are the items dropped during quests and include equipment and other things. You appraise the relics you have found at the end of a quest to find out what they really are. Different rarity levels are shown by color.
Can all players obtain all the relics that appeared during a quest?
Yes, all players can get them. There will be some difference in the actual items individual players receive, but no need to fight over loot while you are out adventuring together.
The equipment I pick up has stat numbers and a color on it, which should I prioritise when choosing what to take?
In the early game you will be fine just focussing on the numbers (power value).
As you progress into the endgame and other content, the rarity differences may overturn the significance of the numbers though.
As a rule, the higher an items stats are, the higher its rarity value will be too, so choosing by color (i.e., rarity) is also a valid way to get more powerful.
Is there a rarity level higher than “legendary”?
The system is structured so that higher rarity items can be acquired the further into the game you progress. The basic order (from lowest to highest rarity) goes “common” -> “uncommon” -> “rare” -> “legendary” and there is even a level higher than rare called “divine”.
What is the rate that legendary gear will appear at?
Obviously, we can’t reveal that here, but if you put in the effort, you can find a fair number of them!
Is it possible for players to exchange or trade weapons and armor between themselves?
We have not put in any kind of trading features, so the game will basically focus on your own efforts to gather loot.
Will there be ways to double the rate at which you acquire new equipment or similar?
We would like to do something like that in future special events and campaigns.
We have no plans at the moment but are considering it as a possibility.
Will the game suffer from “weapon inflation”?
We have asked PlatinumGames to do their best to balance the game in a way that prevents this kind of inflation happening. Essentially you will gradually get more powerful one step at a time, so it depends on the level of inflation you are talking about here, but the system will let you find weapons as powerful as those from the new content.
Will there be in-game achievements?
Not only do they earn you bragging rights, but you will also receive special reward items to show off your prowess to other players.
These items will reflect the specific feats that the player has achieved, so completing ones that align closely with your play style will net you a reward that other players will see and recognise how you play.
Are there measures to deal with players who just leave the game running without playing?
There are no special penalties for retiring form a session, so if you are really concerned about a particular player’s behavior then I would recommend retiring yourself and finding other comrades to play with.
There are no specific measures of this nature on the game system side, as we have made the time it takes to play a single quest fairly short, and we honestly think it is just quicker for the player to retire out rather than creating individual countermeasures.
What happens to the enemy HP when one player retires from a session?
Don’t worry, we have planned for situations such as when a player’s connection drops out! For example, if you are playing as a group of four and then one player leaves, the enemy HP will automatically be readjusted for a party of three.
Are there any penalties for retiring from a game?
You will not lose any of the rewards you previously earned when you retire part way through a quest.
However, you will not earn the quest completion rewards if you do that, so playing through to the end will net you more stuff.
Are there any more open style locations?
We will be able to show you more very soon.
We have mountain ranges and snowy mountains and many other kinds of locations too.
Will the game have a seasons system?
Yes, there will be new story, new game modes and equipment added with each season. Player’s character levels and inventories etc. will not be reset with each new season.
Could you please release as much information as possible about the battle pass?
The battle pass will be similar to the ones you get in battle royale type games, where you earn more points as you play through the game and obtain items.
We plan on releasing detailed information about the battle pass at a later date.
Are there any sandbox style elements like housing or crafting?
We don’t have any plans for sandbox style features like housing, but we are considering various crafting features.
Will you be able to form groups along the lines of guilds or clans and do things like have your group icon next to your player name or the guild/team name shown by the stage completion time or when beating a special boss?
We currently do not have any guild functions in the game.
Part of the design philosophy is to make one-off play sessions with people you have just met really enjoyable, and for this reason we did not emphasise strong team co-ordination in the core design. We want to make it easy and fun to pick up and play the game in short chunks, although we have provided the option for private HQ camps for those players who want to form teams with just their close friends.
Are there features to block other players you don’t quite like the look of?
Yes, there are.
How many characters can I make?
You can create up to three characters per account.
There seem to be differences in the abilities of different factions, and it is impossible to change your character’s faction after creation, so are there any features to make it easier if you want to make a second character to try out a different faction (E.g., being able to share inventory with the first character or to skip straight to the end game content after completing the main story)?
Your progress through the game is shared between all characters on the same account, so you can continue from where you left off with a second or third character and even replay quests that you have already completed.
Items in your possession are also shared between all your characters, so you won’t be wasting all the gear you have built up when you try out a new faction.
Play environment related questions
Are there plans for an Open Beta Test or a Demo?
PlatinumGames are working hard to try and create something like that.
We want to be able to bring this to you as early before the release of the full game as we can.
Is it possible for players on PlayStation® and Steam to play together?
Yes, you can play with other players across different platforms.
* It is not possible to carry over or share save data between platforms though.
it possible to share or transfer save data between the PS4™ and PS5™ versions of the game?
You can use the same save data as long as you are using the same game account on both PS4™ and PS5™.
The game currently does not support cross-progression, but will this feature be added in future?
This is not supported.
There are areas where the game’s structure conflicts with platform holder policies, meaning we are unable to implement such a system.
* Cross-progression = functionality to share save data when playing across different hardware platforms
Is a SQUARE ENIX account required?
Yes, a SQUARE ENIX account is needed to play.
This account is used to link to the Hanging Garden community website and allows you to switch around your equipment etc. while on the website.
Are there separate servers for Europe, America and Asia and is it possible for players on them to play together?
I cannot reveal the exact locations, but there will be servers in Japan, Europe and the USA to make sure that players can play with the minimum of lag.
Can you select your play region in the full version of the game?
We want to reduce lag as much as possible and have made it so the server you connect to is automatically selected based on your country of residence!
The Collector’s Edition of the game contains the exclusive “Dux Domitiana” bonus item, so can this only be obtained on the PS4™ and PS5™ versions of the game?
There is an issue with Steam (Valve) policies relating to this, meaning we are unfortunately unable to offer a Steam version, so customers who want the Dux Domitiana should purchase the PS4™ or PS5™ version.
I would like to know about the game’s fee structure.
If you purchase the main game, you will have access to a full game’s worth of content from day one and receive all additional story content, game modes and new weapon types released going forward at no extra charge. Additional microtransactions will mostly be decorative elements, and players will not be able to suddenly acquire powerful equipment by paying extra for it.
Are there any other ways to obtain the in-game premium currency apart from purchasing it?
The premium currency used in-game is called “Garaz” and cannot be obtained in any other way apart from purchasing it. Rest assured that the items you can buy using this currency are basically all cosmetic elements and do not include anything that will make your character stronger by paying money.
* There is also a separate currency that can be earned in-game called “Conch” available.
Will DLC for the game be sold in the future?
On the understanding that “DLC” here means additional content packs, there are currently no plans for anything like that at present. Having said that, we have already started work on lots of new content that will be added to the game after service begins.
* We are planning to release several updates of an equivalent volume to traditional DLC packs throughout the year, so watch out for those!
Are you considering doing expansion packs like FFXIV has?
We would love to do them but want to focus our efforts on launching the game service properly first. Accordingly, there are currently no specific plans, but we do want to consider making expansions if the fans support us.
What is the framerate?
The PS5™ version and PS4™ version run at a maximum of 60 fps, while the Steam version lets you set unlimited frame rate from the options menu. See here for full details.
It would be really convenient if there was some kind of companion application for smartphones that let you check the appearance and capabilities of your equipment in gaps between work etc. Are there any plans for such an application?
After game services begin, it will be possible to log in to the Hanging Garden players site using your SQUARE ENIX account!
There will be quite a lot you can do on the website while away from the game itself, such as adjusting your inventory, changing your equipment and even crafting new gear.
Has the game already been mastered up yet?
Master up is now complete, and we are currently working to prepare the day one patch.
Are there any plans for collaboration events with other titles?
We get asked this quite frequently, so we will definitely look into it!
Will there be more live streams and other programs after launch?
Yes, we will be doing them!
Can I think of BABYLON’S FALL as a hack and slash style game?
Yes, I think it can be considered a part of that genre.
The definition of “hack and slash” is incredibly broad, so I do not know if it aligns with what everyone thinks of when they hear that term, but I think it is fine to consider the game as a hack and slash experience with full emphasis placed on the action.
In the same way that FINAL FANTASY is called “FF”, what abbreviation for “BABYLON’S FALL” do you use during the development? Please tell me if there is an official way it is shortened!
The development team usually refer to the game using its codename. There is no specific official term that we want people to use, but I think that “Babylon” or “BabFo” would probably be the most natural abbreviations.
I played in the Beta Tests but did not really feel much of PlatinumGames design genius in it. I would like to know how much the full version has been improved since the Beta Tests.
As this is a hack and slash game where players will be repeatedly playing through content, the initial balancing was based on making it easy to pick up and play. However, we are certainly not looking at the action as an afterthought and have worked it to feel enjoyable for hard-core gamers as well. Try it to find out!
There were some things that we did not communicate too well, but the CBT were actually intended to check the server environment and communications, rather than as an appraisal of the game itself.
Accordingly, the version used did not contain all the game content and this caused players some inconvenience (for example, not having any tutorials in yet). All the things that were left out from the Beta will be in the full game and we do want to show these off at some point before launch.
I am worried that the game will be put straight on PlayStation🄬Plus to play for free. Please reassure me that this is not the case!
We had not even thought about having the game available for free play, and at present there are no plans to do so.
If you released a content roadmap for the game then I think it would make it easier for players who have become bored to come back, for people to invite friends and to make decisions on whether to buy other games or not.
We have not yet revealed our long-term plans, so we would like to create something that presents them to the public and are looking at the best way to get that information out in future.
Will you clearly display the policy for handling players who cheat or abuse glitches in the game etc.?
We will make sure to handle these kinds of things properly, including putting up our policy on dealing with these actions on the Hanging Garden website and taking whatever measures we need to prevent the spread of cheating.
I would like to hear about the team’s passion for the game, as I am still undecided and would definitely buy it if I heard something like “We will strive to rebuild and come back stronger, even if the game is not initially popular”.
As we showed on the live stream, the development team are also having a lot of fun playing the game together. This is the first time that we (PlatinumGames) have challenged ourselves to create a server and client-based action game, and we very much want to make it a success.
It might sound a bit self-assured, but we can very much say that we have confidence in the game! Service model games like this keep getting better as they operate, because when an issue or challenge comes up, the developers work to improve it. The team is dedicated to this process, and I think that dedication will come across in the game’s content.
We are working on future content for the game even now.
We will definitely be listening to everyone’s feedback as we build it, so I think the game can only get better and better. This is a new experience for me too, and it is a lot of fun, so I am optimistic that players will be able to keep playing and enjoying the game for a long time yet to come.
I can say in no uncertain terms that the game has improved in leaps and bounds since the CBT, and that this process of improvement has in no way finished yet. We want to continue pushing the quality even more going forward, listening to the opinions of our players along the way.