NCSOFT will be bringing its wildly successful Blade & Soul to multiple regions in the coming months, and we were recently afforded a golden opportunity to spend some hands-on time with the game. While the project is currently considered to be in pre-alpha state, don’t let the software development jargon fool you. The game is already in great shape from what we were able to experience, and I walked away with high hopes that the closed beta – set to kick off sometime this fall – will be one of the more noteworthy for the modern era of MMOs.
While most MMO betas are a process of debugging code chugging away in the background, and the illusion of player feedback having any possible impact on core game features, things will work a bit different in Blade & Soul. In particular, the team will be attempting to determine how best to tweak existing systems and features to best fit a regional audience that tends to have some very specific expectations and preferences when it comes to the core MMO experience. All this comes together to complement a uniquely rewarding PvP experience, which reaches its zenith in the arena mode once players have unlocked their full range of skills at the level cap.
Blade & Soul allows lower-level players to try to rough up level-capped folks in the arenas through normalization–a setting that evens out competitors’ stats–but that’s rarely wise since the absence of complete skills and their boosts from talent trees presents a monstrous disadvantage. Yet it’s not impossible. Skill reigns supreme in Blade & Soul (as does a decent ping), and a smart newbie can still technically take down a veteran. A single arena match provides enough evidence of why Blade & Soul enjoys such a healthy esports life in Asia.
Many NPC enemies use skills that players will use in the arenas, which should make for decent PVP training. The problem? They fight at a snail’s pace, and it’s possible to simply clobber your way through most encounters if you don’t mind chugging a healing potion every once in a while. Blade & Soul is a free-to-play MMORPG and as such offers a lot of content and gameplay for literally nothing. It’s attractive and has an interesting and flexible combat system that will actually take some time and thought to master, and lots of classes and move sets to play with.
If you’re looking for an MMO that isn’t a generic high fantasy clone, Blade & Soul will be appealing. After a while, though, blade and soul gold the romance fades and the grind sets in, and you realize that the good stuff is the PvP after level 45 and even then, there’s not that much to do. There are seven classes but every character slogs through the same story and the same quests and easy-kill monsters. It’s then that you realize the cash shop and XP-boots are there for a reason. It’s easy to recommend giving Blade & Soul a try, but hard to imagine sticking with it for long.
Blade and soul is a game with a very obvious catering to the male audience, especially when it comes to the costumes that get released within the games hongmoon store, but why is it that companys feel the need to over-charge players for cosmetics that are especially character bound in their current state? Blade & Soul introduced a quite unique and highly addictive way of obtaining some rare outfits, evolution material weapons and accessories and Shield pieces. We played around a few hours with these spinning blade & soul gold wheels and these are our findings.