Earlier today, Dengeki Online held a livestream with Bandai Namco Sword Art Online game series producer Yosuke Futami as a guest, where the latest story trailer for Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris was revealed. Additionally, Bandai Namco’s post-launch plans for the game have been revealed, and it includes free content updates and a paid currency named SAO Coins.
Check out the latest story trailer below:
Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris takes place in a timeline separate from the anime, where events diverge after the first half of the Alicization arc. While the anime will continue on with War of Underworld, which is an adaptation of the light novels, the game will go into its own original arc featuring game-original character Medina Orthinanos.
In the trailer and livestream, we also meet a man named Harcilian (CV: Jun Fukuyama), who has deep ties with the Axiom Church. Harcilian hails Medina as the ‘savior’ of Underworld, and says that she is the only one with the power to revive the Administrator. While Medina seems to be on good terms with Kirito in the trailer, it seems she’ll come to blows with him later on, as she’s dedicated her life to redeeming her family’s name.
Other New Characters:
Kayode Norlangarth, Fourth Empress of Norlangarth North Empire
The Empress who rules the North Empire. She exudes an atmosphere of strong authority which pushes others away. She’s seen holding a child lovingly, but it seems she has a secret she’s keeping.
A tribe of giants who fight to live on, and to prove their worth of existence. Just why do they seek power?
A person clad in heavy armor seen walking slowly can be seen in the trailer. Is it a vengeful spirit from the past? An invader from the Dark Territory? A mysterious being whose true nature is a mystery.
Communication Events and Dates
Like other SAO games, you’ll be able to communicate with allies in order to increase your bonds with them. Later on you can even have dates with them (and also bed scenes)
Post-launch, Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris will receive updates in the form of free content and paid content.
- All significant gameplay content, like Monthly Raids, Daily Quests, the Cube system, and more will be free.
- As for paid content, there is a new paid currency named SAO Coins, which can be used in the SAO Shop.
Daily Quests will be updated well… daily, and include common tasks like collecting materials, slaying a certain amount of enemies, using sword skills a certain amount of times, chain attacks with other characters, and more. The time it takes to complete can vary from ten minutes to even hours. When you clear Daily Quests, you’ll receive item rewards and Cube Tickets, which are required to open Cubes.
If your ‘Lootbox Sensor’ or ‘Gacha Sensor’ alarm is going off, that’s because Cubes essentially are those. You’ll get outfits, weapon skins, accessories, expendable items, emotes, and more from Cubes. Outfits and weapon skins are purely cosmetic.
That said, there is one big difference in the implementation of Cubes and SAO Coins compared to some other ‘lootbox’ strategies – you don’t use SAO Coins to buy more Cubes. Instead, SAO Coins are used to directly purchase the items like outfits and skins from SAO Shop, and cannot be used to buy Cubes at all. Cubes can only be opened with Cube Tickets earned through Daily Quests and other events. You can also buy expendable items in the SAO Shop.
Essentially, SAO Coins and paid purchases are a ‘get it quick’ option that spares players the randomness of the gacha.
Here’s the currently announced real world prices in yen for SAO Coins:
- 100 SAO Coins – 100 yen
- 600 SAO Coins – 500 yen
- 1,500 SAO Coins – 1,000 yen
- 2,100 SAO Coins – 1,500 yen
According to producer Futami, the SAO Coin system was implemented to help out players who pick up Alicization Lycoris months after launch, or those who don’t have the time to regularly play the game. Items will generally cost 100-400 SAO Coins in SAO Shop.
Additionally, early purchase bonuses for Alicization Lycoris now include 200 SAO Coins alongside the fan costume design contest winners.
The first Raid Quest to be implemented is called ‘Ancient Apostle’, and is the first of several Raid Quest updates planned for the game. There will be new voiced character scenarios, new bosses, and more. You can challenge the new bosses in offline singleplayer, recommended for those who just want to follow the story, or online with others for a cooperative experience.
There will also be a Premium Pass DLC which includes a new story that’s split between Part 1 and Part 2. Combined, the story of the new scenario is half the length of the singleplayer campaign in Alicization Lycoris. Apart from the story, there will also be other new content included.
The Premium Pass will be included in the Deluxe Edition. More info on this will be announced later.
Beater’s Cafe Outfit
Finally, a Beater’s Cafe outfit for Medina was shown off on the stream, a free exclusive for Beater’s Cafe members. More info will be revealed via the Beater’s Cafe website.
You can watch the full gameplay segment from the livestream below (starts 21:46 mark):
Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris will release for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in Japan on May 21, 2020. The game will release in North America and Europe on May 22, 2020. Check out battles and multiplayer in our previous report here.