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Is Blade & Soul Worth Playing in 2019?

Is Blade & Soul Worth Playing in 2019?

Well, honestly, despite some complaints, Blade & Soul is still a fairly fun game at its core.
I’ve been playing Blade & Soul since it released. Partly due to me running the MMOByte Youtube channel, and partly due to me just having fun playing through various MMOs.
I will admit, I’ve played it on and off since it launched, in between large patches and releases. But I feel like that’s how everyone tackles MMOs in this day and age.
We play through the game, obtain gear, run everything we can, leave, play something else for a while, then decide to come back after enough new content has released.

SO, WHAT IS BLADE & SOUL?

Blade & Soul is an MMORPG released back in 2016 that had a pretty positive reception. Yes, there were people that found issue with the game but that’s a given. The game has a very large focus on plot – in both forms.
Where most MMOs have a semblance of a story.. somewhere, that people generally skip through because it really isn’t necessary to enjoy the game, Blade & Soul chose to make it a focal point.
You start off the game following the story, and progress only via the story. New areas, features and.. well, the whole game is more or less gated behind the story, but that doesn’t really inhibit you from playing it how you want to.
The story, in my opinion, is probably one of the better ones you’ll find in an MMO.
I haven’t found many, bar Final Fantasy XIV or Guild Wars 2, really, that have a memorable story that isn’t an incoherent mess.. or just not present all together.
So when I got to play through Blade & Soul’s story, which MrsStix and I decided to play together, I’ll admit.. I was left pretty satisfied. I mean there were issues, of course, and some things I found a little.. silly. But whatever.
The game is set in a large world with segregated semi-instanced zones. You move on to different areas that each have their own levels, NPCs and storylines associated with them.
Which of course tie into the main story. Since you wouldn’t be there if the main story didn’t require you to.

I HEARD THE COMBAT WAS #AMAZE

I know there have been a variety of changes to the skill system ever since the game launched, but I feel like we’re all still of the opinion that Blade & Soul’s combat is pretty damn good.
It utilizes a martial-arts themed real-time combat system that is one of the best in the genre.
While people might argue that Black Desert or, maybe TERA are competitors for the best action combat in an MMO, I like to see it as neither of them focus on the aspect of combat that Blade & Soul does, and that makes Blade & Soul unique.
The combat is fast. You mash your skill keys together to attempt to combo various skills and force your opponents into submission – some of which frustrate me to absolutely no end – partly because I’m not the best PvPer in this game.
And partly because I hate CC classes – something I’m sure a lotta you guys are very capable of relating to.
I enjoy playing my character, and one of the things that frustrates me the most in pretty much all PvP oriented games, is people CCing me to literal death.
Like, cool, I’m in the air, now I’m paralyzed, now I’m rooted, stunned, frozen, rooted again, back in the air, on the ground, oh now I’m dead. Thanks for your time!
Jokes aside, that doesn’t happen too often and I honestly don’t mind CC all that much. I just don’t think CC being so prevalent in games as a result of the developers inability to balance their classes is the way to go.

THE GAME LOOKS BEAUTIFUL

It truly is. The game was released way back in 2012 – by MMO standards, that’s a lifetime. Even so, graphically, the game holds up exceptionally well.
The zones that you can explore, either by foot or through the air are all so large, so expansive, and beautifully crafted.
Yes, the zones themselves might be a little barren in terms of content outside of the main quests – but even though exploration isn’t promoted, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. There’s a lot to see.
But the vistas, the environments aren’t the only aesthetically beautiful aspect of the game. The characters themselves – and subsequently the character creation is one of the most praised features.
Well, the character creation, the outfits you can earn both in-game and purchase via the cash shop, and the combat are all highly praised.
But the character creator specifically.. man. You wouldn’t think this game was made in 2012, not with the kind of characters you can create.
With the exception of I guess Black Desert, I daresay that Blade & Soul has one of the better character creators out there.
You can really craft something truly amazing.. or terrifying. You’re able to construct your characters’ face and body how you want – with a lot of creative freedom given.
And like I mentioned earlier – the game has a large emphasis on “plot,” and.. well, this doesn’t disappoint.

CLASS DIVERSITY – IS THERE MUCH?

There are several races in Blade & Soul and quite a few classes, with more added each year. As of right now, August 2019, there are the Jin, Gon, Lyn and Yun.
The Jin can play as Warden, Gunslinger, Assassin, Blade Master, Kung Fu Master, Warlock and Soul Fighter.
The Gon can play as Warden, Kung Fu Master, Force Master, Destroyer, and Soul Fighter.
The Lyn can play as Warden, Gunslinger, Blade Dancer, Summoner, Warlock, and Force Master
The Yun can play as the Gunslinger, Blade Master, Kung Fu Master, Force Master and Soul Fighter.
So as is evident, each race has a different class combination associated – meaning certain classes are locked to specific races.
I know some people are put off by that but for the most part, Blade & Soul does a good job of making it possible to play as the class and race combination you want.
I feel like, personally, this adds a little bit of personality and flavor to each race.

HOW IS PvP AND PvE?

I mean, PvE is about what you’d expect out of the game as an MMORPG. It’s broken down into leveling, the story, side-quests, crafting, dungeons and raids.
PvP on the other hand: You have open-world faction vs faction PvP which has people of different factions, such as the Crimson Legion vs Cerulean Order fight one another.
There’s instanced PvP in the form of 1v1 and 3v3 Arena battles that are normalized in terms of stats, items aren’t allowed and there’s a ranking system in place. But that’s the case for pretty much all MMOs.
Then you have Battlegrounds, the Shackled Isles..
Now a case can be made for pay to win being prevalent in PvP but honestly, I’ve never attempted to competitively push PvP so I wouldn’t really know.
All I do know is that some people feel PvP, or at least a bracket of PvP is pay to win, however other’s are of the opposite opinion believing that that’s far from the reality of things.

MY THOUGHTS

Blade & Soul is a beautiful MMORPG. It has amazing environments, almost unrivaled character customization – at least for an MMO released in the West, and some of the best combat, even after 7 years.
It has a gripping story – which I’m always fond of as I’m a firm believer that a strong story helps provide players with a sense of involvement – especially if it’s relatable.
I feel like even though the game is free to play, and there are complaints of it being pay to win, so long as you remain out of the competitive scene you’re probably going to have a lotta fun.
I know I have and I know I still do whenever I come back to the game.
The population, granted isn’t what it once was as the servers have merged down to.. well, a fraction of what was once available but that doesn’t mean the game’s dead.
I’m not saying that Blade & Soul is objectively good or bad – it has some good aspects, it has some bad aspects. You need to weigh the pros and cons yourself and see if it’s worth playing even in spite of the good and bad.

The post Is Blade & Soul Worth Playing in 2019? appeared first on MMOByte: Your #1 MMO Portal – MMORPG News, Reviews, Gameplay.

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ArcheAge Black Desert Online Blade and Soul Blade and Soul: Revolution Bless Online Elder Scrolls Online EverQuest 2 Final Fantasy XIV Guild Wars 2 Legends Of Aria Maplestory 2 New World News World of Warcraft

MMORPG News: Black Desert RU Shut Down, MapleStory 2 Launch, New World MMO, Blade&Soul Mobile

Black Desert RU Shut Down, MapleStory 2 Launch, New World MMO, Blade&Soul Mobile

Quite a bit of news has circulated its way around the internet this week and I plan on covering as much of it as I can in this video. So sit back, grab a slice of pizza from the fridge and let’s jump into this weeks’ Weekly Byte of MMORPG news.

MapleStory 2

Let’s start this off with some news that I’m sure Nexon is happy about: MapleStory 2, the highly anticipated sequel to one of Nexon’s most successful games, Maplestory, finally launched a couple days ago as a free to play MMORPG both on Steam and through the Nexon Launcher.
The game had originally launched its Headstart for Founder’s on October 1st but this marked the first time free players could join in.
According to Steam, the first day of its launch MapleStory reached a concurrent player number of 22,000, followed by 30,000 on its second and a monstrous 33,000 on its third.
While not groundbreaking numbers alone, a large majority of players play Nexon’s games through their official launcher, so showing 30,000 players through Steam alone is quite impressive.
While no concrete number is given for the cumulative concurrent player number for both Nexon’s Launcher and Steam, we can expect it’s at at least 50,000, if not more.
This marks well over a hundred thousand players actively playing – maybe even a few hundred thousand, something Nexon is no doubt gleefully reveling in.

Black Desert Online

GameNet has been the local publisher for Black Desert Online in Russia until recently – Pearl Abyss chose not to renew their license with GameNet, however both companies vowed to work alongside one another to transfer over all player data.
GameNet closed down the servers this week as planned however left an ominous note stating that “all responsibility for the future” was on Pearl Abyss.
Pearl Abyss went on to state that they were “making every possible effort to solve the problems” they were experiencing.. without elaborating on what those “problems” actually were.
Shortly after, Pearl Abyss sent out an email to players stating that they had “failed to acquire their game data from GameNet”.
This means that negotiations to acquire player data fell through and all data would be lost to the void.
Pearl Abyss have since blamed GameNet for the loss of data, with GameNet rebutting that with claims that they were ready to transfer all player data, and Pearl Abyss themselves were at fault.
According to GameNet, Pearl Abyss wasn’t going through the correct legal route to manage personal information in Russia, resulting in the failed transfer of data.
Pearl Abyss have stated that they won’t have their Russian servers up immediately as they lost access to GameNet’s localization, requiring they localize the game fully from scratch.
There is no ETA on when the Russian version of the game will be back up, Pearl Abyss merely providing a vague “we’ll work on it” for all Russian players.
Quality work as always, Pearl Abyss.

Bless Online

In lieu of Bless’ upcoming free to play scam-I mean, launch, Neowiz released a “Road to Bless Online” press release on Steam.
They went on to state that the reason they’re going free to play is for the community, not themselves. They want to make sure the game can provide an amazing experience for all players, but also that it can reach as many audiences as possible.
Neowiz stated that the “player response to Bless coming to Steam was initially very positive”, further claiming that “there was a mismatch of expectations between the development team and players”.
“Despite this, the team saw Early Access as a success, collecting important data and feedback from players” – and doing absolutely nothing with that data and feedback. That last part wasn’t a quote, just a general statement.
Finally, Neowiz noted that they are aware of what players want, but what players will get remains to be seen. “The Bless team isn’t ready to talk about all of the details”, they said in a finishing statement.
So.. mark your calendars. Bless is almost here.. again.

Legends of Aria

Citadel Studios are proud to announce that their flagship title, the upcoming “living, breathing” classic sandbox MMORPG Legends of Aria is finally launching into Early Access through Steam on December 4th, 2018.
They went on to detail Founder’s Packs – which cost $29.99, $49.99 and $89.99 respectively.
All players that pre-order the game between now and December 3rd will have the opportunity to participate in a 7-day Head-Start while obtaining each Founder’s Pack bonus associated with the pack purchased, including the chance to lay claim to your very own plot of land and have the ability to build your home before any other player.
Legends of Aria is being touted as the “spiritual successor to classic MMORPGs”, having a “massive, player-run world in a modern and beautifully realized setting”.
Citadel Studios are promising a “return to a setting where giving the player choice and freedom is paramount” and having a game-world where “hand-holding and gear scores have no place”.

Blade and Soul: Revolution

Netmarble held its media conference for Blade and Soul: Revolution on October 11th, and had quite a bit of information to divulge regarding the upcoming free to play MMORPG. Blade and Soul: Revolution, powered by Unreal Engine 4 is based on the popular IP from NCSoft, “Blade and Soul“, released on PCs with a console port in the works, was revealed to have finally been given an official launch date for South Korea: December 6, with pre-registration beginning yesterday.
Blade and Soul: Revolution, following in the footsteps of NCSoft’s other mobile adaptation, Lineage 2: Revolution, will follow the original game’s story, including the conflict with Jinsoyun and the search for Twilight’s Edge while aiming to stay as true to the original PC game as possible.
Key features from the PC iteration of Blade and Soul are making its way into Revolution, including the glide and sprint mechanics which are said to be a requirement to explore the 5 massive zones that comprise Blade and Soul: Revolution. Additional features include large-scale real-time 500 vs 500 clan battles that make use of watchtowers and cannons to provide strategic elements to the game, and over 150 high-quality cinematic cutscenes that are completely voice-acted.
There are 4 total races announced to be making their way into the game, the Jin, Gon, Yun and Lyn.
There are 4 classes associated with each of those races, having the Blade Master and Kung Fu Master (JIN), Destroyer (GON), Blade Master and Kung Fu Master (YUN), Machinist/Force Master (LYN).
The Machinist for the Lyn is actually supposedly a new class but is reminiscent of the Force Master as it makes use of elemental spells.
This is actually a downgrade in terms of what is available on PC, as the PC version has access to Assassin, Blade Master, Destroyer, Force Master, Kung Fu Master, Summoner, Blade Dancer, Warlock, Soul Fighter, Gunslinger, Warden.
Although these classes are all that is available right now, this does not mean NCSoft has no plans of introducing those classes as the game continues to receive updates.
While there has been no confirmed English release for Blade and Soul: Revolution as of yet, Lineage 2: Revolution had a rather fast Western release so we can expect Blade and Soul: Revolution to hit Western shores sometime in the near future!

ArcheAge

ArcheAge 5.0, which is still somehow alive, has a new major content expansion on its way. Trion have announced that the 5.0 update, titled “Relics of Hiram” will be arriving on October 24th.
Relics of Hiram will add the Malediction skill set, meaning players will gain the ability to play with a total of 45 new class combinations.
Trion are merging servers together prior to Relics of Hiram’s arrival to attempt to combat the lack of a semblance of a playerbase.

EverQuest 2

EverQuest 2 is launching yet another expansion: Chaos Descending. The expansion is available right now for pre-order and will launch officially on November 13th.
Players that pre-order the expansion can begin playing the beta for it as soon as their payment clears.
There are three different versions of the expansion on sale – the Base game going for $34.99, the Collector’s Edition going for $89.99 and the Premium which goes for a whopping $139.99.
Chaos Descending brings with it expanded lore, a new mount equipment feature, and additional dungeons, zones, adventure quests, raids and more. While the game itself is free, expansions are required to be purchased to play.

New World

After what seems like an eternity of waiting for news on Amazon’s upcoming full-loot open-ended sandbox PvP MMO New World, a video was released on October 11 showcasing some beautiful Alpha footage of an area we’ve already seen enough of – Windsward, a region “composed mostly of grasslands and forests that are packed with harvestable resources”.
We can clearly see abandoned crates, farms, windmills, cottages, wagons and more along the side of the road, with lit torches and railings.
However that is pretty much all we see.

Happy Halloween!

Finally.. I’d like to take a quick moment to wish everyone a Happy Halloween!
Every MMO ranging from WoW to Final Fantasy XIV to Guild Wars 2 to Elder Scrolls Online are launching their very own Halloween events in-game, so make sure you log in to your favorite game to participate!

The post MMORPG News: Black Desert RU Shut Down, MapleStory 2 Launch, New World MMO, Blade&Soul Mobile appeared first on MMOByte: Your #1 MMO Portal – MMORPG News, Reviews, Gameplay.