Blade And Soul MMO Log Two: Grinding To A Halt

It’s been a little over three weeks since I started playing NCsoft’s martial arts MMO import, and my desire to reach the level cap has lessened considerably.

Things were going so well in my first Blade & Soul MMO log. I was enjoying combat. The questing is pretty linear (go to town A, complete all the quests, move to town B, repeat) but the storyline was interesting enough to propel me along. The free-to-play aspects of the game were a bit obnoxious but nothing I couldn’t ignore. Crafting looked complicated, but I used my top secret method to overcome that (not crafting at all). Plus I loved the movement system.

So what changed between now and then? Here’s a quick rundown of points I touch on in the video log.

  • Grouping with other people for dungeons becomes much more common when you start reaching higher levels (currently at 35), and it all feels so pointless. No one talks. There are no traditional roles (healer, tank, damage) so it’s all just a free-for-all. Were I playing with friends I might dig that. Instead I’m even more annoyed with other people than I already was.
  • Other people suck in Blade & Soul. There are some nice folks wandering about, but mostly I’ve run into kill-stealing arseholes. It’s escalated since the last log, to the point were instead of just taking whatever target you’re obviously running towards they will tag that one, then keep running and tag any others in the immediate vicinity. I’m really getting sick of them.
  • The Cross-Server Dungeon feature is speed and efficient. I’ve never waited for more than a few seconds to get a full group for any game dungeon. If only group dynamics were better, this would be wonderful.
  • Player versus player combat is actually a blast. Putting together combos against weak NPCs is one thing, but figuring out what another live player is doing and trying to counter it is a lot of fun. If I stick around much longer, PVP might be the reason.
  • I still love the game’s early content. When I’m tired of slogging through quests for small rewards on my main I hop onto an alt and burn through the starter quests again. Normally I despise that sort of repetition, but the classes here are diverse enough that they provide the variety the game lacks.

I think what I need to do here is let my Assassin, Back, rest for a bit. Maybe I’ll have more fun as another class approaching the level cap. I’m really enjoying my Conjurer. Maybe it’s his time to shine.

See Albion With a Different Perspective

First i have to say congrats to developers of this very interesting game concept. I have followed Albions progression for a while and it definetly looks like a game i want to play and i also surely will. Still some things concerns me little a bit, so here comes few notifications i have made and these are based on my own opinion. Some of these things are surely posted before, but i hope theres something new also.

1. PvP and PvE. Now this game feels like much more PvP oriented. It is a good thing to remember that there is three types of players. Those who like only PvP, those who like only PvE and those who like them both combined Albion Online Silver. So it is important to please them all if you want to keep as many players as possible with the game. So my concern is PvE players, because their world seems to be quite limited. Also lack of later game content is something that is really in peoples minds. So what i am saying is that some of the people will stop playing at the point when they are forced to go PvP areas (and this comes pretty quickly). Also full PvP loot is a very scary thing which can fear players to use their best gear. I like both PvP and PvE so this is not a whine, i just try to be as objective as possible. Surely that full PvP loot scares me a little bit. 😉 But if this all is developers awere choise, i think we just have to respect that.

See Albion With a Different Perspective

2. Making things difficult to players. This is something game developers need really to think through. It is nice to have ideas about seperate banks and making traveling harder, just doing so to make it more realistic. Now think this about players point of view. Making players life in game hard makes them also frustrated and somepoint they might quit playing and you (developers) dont want that. Players dont want to use hours just to just travel, no they want to play. I dont say you have to make everything easy, but when i watched a video where player runs 4 hours to get his island from city, it just makes no sense. Players have also a real life (most of them), so they dont have time to waste things like that. So making players gaming experience frustrated makes them surely quit.

3. Something new. Albion have lots of great own ideas and you have found a way to combine great things from different games. Still theres some totally wear out things, specially in mage skills. Fire, frost and albion online gold for sale. Come on! Straight from WoW and surely from somewhere else too. I have wondered why always have to use those same elements. Theres also water, air and earth to use or just think something new or less used.

I tried to be as objective as i could and give some notifications from players point of view. Some people agree with me, but surely there are people who dont, but i think thats the idea of suggestions..

Blade & Soul Introduces Shattered Empire Group Content

Blade & Soul is going to release the Shattered Empire update on April 27, bringing three new pieces of multiplayer content, in the form of two new endgame dungeons, and a brand new PvP game mode. Recently NCsoft revealed the details of these upcoming contents to give players a first look of the update. Check below for the details:

Whirlwind Valley
This is a brand new 6v6 PvP mode that challenges teams of players to capture and maintain control over a number of objectives to earn points. The first team to 1800 points, or the team with the most points when the timer runs out, wins. Your team can earn points by holding objectives, defeating enemy players, and for killstreaks. After a match you’ll earn Battle Points, which you can then use to purchase rewards from new Battlefield Traders that have a wide range of items for sale including upgrade materials, Soul Shields, and costumes.

Blade & Soul Introduces Shattered Empire Group Content

Whirlwind Valley is entered through the F8 (Cross Server) menu, and unlike the Arena, player gear is not equalized. This means that your progression in the game content—and quality of your gear—will play an integral role, but good strategy and teamwork will ultimately decide who wins.

Sogun’s Lament
Explore a ruined palace compound far in the frozen north of the Silverfrost Mountains. The tragic tale of Prince Sogun is told throughout your adventure here, and you may finally be able to help put his tortured spirit to rest. You must fight your way through the palace’s defenses, including a small army of elite troops and summoned monsters, before finally facing off with Asura—the palace’s final boss.

Blade & Soul Introduces Shattered Empire Group Content

Sogun’s Lament is the most difficult piece of new group content, offering a new pinnacle of difficult content for coordinated groups of players to attempt to tackle. Available in 4- and 6-member difficulty, the drops from Sogun’s Lament allow for the continued progression for weapons and accessories.

Cold Storage
Cold Storage is a new Heroic group dungeon that can be completed once per day, unless a Cold Storage Reset is purchased from the Hongmoon Store. It offers consistently sought-after rewards, and most players will want to complete this fairly low-difficulty dungeon every day to assist with their progression.

Blade & Soul Introduces Shattered Empire Group Content

The second boss, Kaari Lord, is optional, and can only be spawned by collecting three colored orbs (which are tradable) from the first boss Winter Mane. By defeating bosses and completing the dungeon you’ll earn rewards like experience, Frozen Stingers, and Freezing Orbs—which can be used to purchase Frozen weapons, Hongmoon Skillbooks, and clan crafting recipes.

Do that crafting or pay 4-6g in Blade And Soul

Do that crafting or pay 4-6g EACH on the Market by the insurmountable possible bots that mass farm these things every day and players selling them in the mix. But anyways the worst part about it is it being time gated, you’d be much better off making 4 free accounts and making 5-8 different chars and craft the same thing of one type if you want a lot of something like 5-7 moonwater pickaxes for instance,
and then just log in and out and switch to all your chars and queue them up for 20 hours to farm this one white cedar sap to wait another 12 hours to make a moonwater pickaxe that only works once to mine 1 mineral node and then breaks which yields you anywhere from 1-6 moonwater quartz. (Hold those pickaxes for huge mineral piles they’ll give you 3-6 quartz).

Which is really stupid.
Why stupid? Think about all the botters in the game, what do you think is going on there? This time-gated system not only hinders legit players it BENEFITS bots by a billion, shuns new players to not even bother with it as the game develops and makes the system altogether worthless.

Do that crafting or pay 4-6g in Blade And Soul

NCSoft claimed there were over 2 million players active in Blade And Soul at some point. I told myself no freaking way. If I could rank 2000 something in my Force Master class in PvP(and I freaking suck, hate the PvP and am a PvE-oriented player) that means the other 1.9 some odd million players are pure trash. THERE’S NO WAY I would never believe I’m in the top 1 percentile as I know I’m not that good and admittedly so know my own faults of non-commitment to the competitive scene within BnS. I would gauge myself in anywhere in the 150k-200k rank or unranked crap since I don’t play it competitively in any sense.

But no here I am halfassing PvP arena and my class rank is like 2011 and all time ranking 18,908 with people telling me how to play the class when I don’t even care how to play my class. I only did PvP to get Soulstones so I can progress in PvE faster than at a snail’s pace.

Blade & Soul: Silverfrost Mountains Dungeon Preview

With the upcoming Silverfrost Mountains expansion NCsoft is introducing eight exciting new dungeons to Blade & Soul—five Expert (blue), and three Heroic (purple). While these will present a significant new challenge for even the most highly trained martial artist, the rewards will be even greater, providing new weapon and accessory upgrade progression paths, Soul Shields, and cosmetic rewards.
Below are brief overviews of the three Heroic dungeons being introduced in the upcoming Silverfrost Mountains expansion.
Awakened Necropolis

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A demonic invasion has been sealed inside a city’s walls, and the demons have been making coordinated escape attempts to spread their vile influence. The demons are rallying their forces once again to smash through the blockade, and it’s up to you to help the Soul Wardens keep them under control.
Battle through a horde of undead to face the Unholy Jiangshi Demon, then you’ll need to split your team up to simultaneously defend separate Demonseal Cores from waves of demons, and finally enter the Necropolis itself to face the Scorpion Queen.
Lair of the Frozen Fang

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In the northern parts of the Silverfrost Mountains live a tribe of savage monsters called the Jomu, who kidnap humans to serve as slaves and blood sacrifices. The Jomu worship the Tetralisk Queen as an ancient deity, and are attempting to empower demonic snakes to let them escape their frozen captivity.
Fight your way to the first two bosses Godem the Fist and Jarakhan, and then challenge Court Lady Sa. Next you need to take on Chuchu, a large winged boss that will summon miniature yetis while you attempt to defeat him. You can choose what order you take on the final two bosses, but you won’t be victorious until you defeat both the Bladescale Naga King and Tetralisk Queen.
Avalanche Den

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While the Yeti in the Silverfrost region have been known to kidnap the odd villager from time to time, the Angler Yeti is a special case as it uses illusions to lure victims into its clutches. This has posed a particularly dangerous threat to the locals, and it’s up to you to stop the Angler Yeti and keep it from capturing any further victims.
The Avalanche Den presents a number of unique obstacles, including cavern fungus and giant snowballs that you’ll need to dodge to avoid being grabbed or knocked down. You’ll need to use snowballs to knock the first boss, Mighty Chubarro, from his perch to defeat him. The final boss, the Angler Yeti itself, will attempt to freeze and smash any of those attempting to stop its terrible reign.

Blade & Soul Reviews – Is It Worth to Play

Blade & Soul Reviews

Blade and soul has been a game that many of us have been waiting for years to get our hands on, after seeing all the trailers and gameplay footage, having first-hand experience at the game gives a completely different feeling of its own, but the real question is, have you enjoyed it or did you come to dislike it much quicker than you thought?

Blade & Soul Reviews

Visuals:
First off I just want to say that the visuals for a game that’s already “old” enough considering it’s release date on other countries is quite fantastic, I’ve done the “rush” to cap thing in many different games though I decided to more or less just start off very casual in order to just take my time and enjoy something that we’ve been denied over the years.

The game has many vista points where you can have a quick admire at just how pretty the game can actually look due to the pleasant locations and brilliant lighting effects, the game has some really vibrant areas which makes trekking through areas a nice experience. Obviously this goes without saying that you would be able to tell the difference in the texture quality in some cases on if you was to compare this game to more recent games like black desert, but the art style of Blade and Soul is what I think saves it and makes it still look quite relevant for its time.

Blade & Soul Reviews

Gameplay:
I’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the general gameplay of the game going from 1-45, none of it is to do with the levelling speed or the way you actually level up via quest grind, for me it was the way that the game felt very repetitive and lacking in the mob department.

As I progressed my way through the levels, I started to notice the lack of variety in what I was killing, I can’t remember the last game I played where “human” style mobs were the main enemy that you would be killing mostly throughout the game, especially as you get closer to 45 and then actually hit 45. When you hit the level cap and start doing dungeons, you’re mostly just battling against human mob types that are also using class based stances, aka destroyer, forcemaster, blademaster, assassin and kungfumaster, then you will also be seeing a fair amount of mob only “classes” which is a spearman, gunman, archers and a sword and shielder.

Even though the lack of mob variety (and lack of general interesting ones at that) seemed to be at an all time low for me, I’d rather not make that the butt of this whole thing, it was just simply something that had me feel the increased boredom when I wasn’t really facing anything new as I went forward through the game outside of the odd undead encounters, bears/lions/giant birds, frog people and a few other varients with predictable attacks in where you would just find your self laying waste to the enemies, generally you would be trying to lure up groups of mobs as much as you could as to make the process go quicker when it was viable due just how very easy it is to CC crowds of mobs with no AoE cap.

Blade & Soul Reviews

As it’s already quite an obvious thing and has been mentioned in other write-ups, making sure to get a good build is the obvious key to blowing through mobs, either with it being killing 1 at a time or mass luring, though when levelling in PvE I would easily always suggest to keep an AoE/CC based build if possible for your class. As I levelled up a kungfumaster, I was heavily limited to 1 by 1 kills until I got access to skill points with the ability to build how I wanted, it changed it from slow 1 on 1 killing experience to an AoE/CC machine, something that I wasn’t expecting considering how the kungfumaster is introduced to you at lower levels, though saying that, I wouldn’t recommend using the set builds that are offered to you.

Story/quest content:
I had heard that Blade and soul had quite a decent story to it, I saw some pretty nice cutscenes here and there over youtube and such so I knew that I had something to look forward to whilst levelling up, I don’t usually make it a thing to read through side-quests either as with many games it tends to be a lot of “who cares” with things such as “hi there stranger, fancy bringing me some meat by killing me some pigs” etc etc, not to say that Blade and soul lacked those quests…because it certainly did have some here and there which unfortunately takes away from the main story when you go from an epic story to dealing with a guys farm.

The cutscenes in this game really dragged me into the story and kept me immersed, some of them were quite long which made me enjoy and appreciate it just that much more, you can really tell the developers put a lot of effort into what they were making and the story they were telling. I’ve played my fair share of MMOs where I will usually skip reading the quests which can often even include the main story quests as they tend to not really drag you into it enough and sometimes have cutscenes that are either being told with pictures (which I don’t mind but it doesn’t drag you into what’s happening and can result in an easy skip) or just general in-game stuff with nothing all too big going on, I think this is what made me really enjoy and have that “I can’t wait to see what happens next” going off in my head after the scene ended, personally I don’t think I can give it enough praise as I’ve not really enjoyed an MMOs story in far too long, perhaps the last one that did it properly was swtor.

Blade & Soul Reviews

Outside of the main story content, I was quite surprised to find that the blue side quests actually had some interesting little storys to each area you was at as opposed to a load of content quest fillers to drive you along the levels. I enjoyed reading through a good amount of them as at times it would tie in with the main story it self to give you more of an idea on what’s happening around each zone, so really you could say that while the main yellow story quests is all you really needed to read as you progressed, the blue quests would give you that bit extra like with a general rpg if you’re one of those people that want to complete everything instead of just the story which can result in over double of your game time.

As I mentioned with the side quests having some of their own sub-storys, I enjoyed them enough to want to keep reading for the fact that there was a good amount of relevance to what was happening, such as being in the desert area dealing with yonkais brigade and helping soha out with another sub characters little army of “Yes Men” which then turns out to flow into the main story.

I do wish that all of it could of been as interesting as it was, much like I said earlier was that the game did have some general “throw-away” quests which I think was just there to help elongate the levelling time and offer some source of exp outside of doing dailys instead which would of been the worser option if forced upon some players, for me personally it was a pain to deal with as I kinda forced my self to read through the quests anyway even though I wasn’t bothered which took away from the general experiences I had been having up to those moments, but aside from that, I thoroughly enjoyed it all.

 

Blade and Soul: A Mixed Bag

Now, let me get this out first; I’ve always had different expectations from Korean MMO releases when compared to other MMOs from the West or Japan. Without fail, Korean MMOs have a certain standard that is aligned with every other contemporary they have coming out of that country. With that said, despite my being crazily hyped up for Blade and Soul’s release in the North American and European territories, I never expected BnS to ever revolutionize the MMO industry in any way, shape, or form, with the slight exception on the combat.

With that said, Blade and Soul has, indeed, met all of my expectations for it. But the kicker there is, unfortunately, both good and bad expectations came true and there’s only so much optimism can do for an eager gamer excited about this new wuxia wonder.

Fantastic Visuals
The first of my expectations are the fantastic visuals. I’m not alone when I say that the first thing that attracted me to this game is its drop-dead gorgeous graphics. From the character creation screen alone you can already see the level of detail available for player characters. There is virtually a slider option for everything.

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There are so many options to choose from! From calf width and length to hand and arm sizes, it’s nearly impossible for players to create avatars that look exactly the same. Granted, the game is older than it actually is and does not really have the same level of character creation detail compared to its other contemporaries, but four years down the line, it’s amazing to see that BnS’ character creation does not at all pale in comparison.

Once in the game and in the introductory tutorial mode, players are greeted by BnS’ gorgeous wuxia world, replete with cutscenes, lush and green foliage, top-notch animation work, and a relatively engaging story to boot. My expectation on stunning visuals was definitely met a hundred times over when I finally got out to explore the world and see the painstakingly made environments.

An Ironically Bland and Interesting World
Unfortunately, my expectations for the corridor-filled open-world was also met by BnS as it sports the same kind of layout and mapping system that TERA and a bunch of other Korean Action-MMOs have. The pathing is straightforward and questing is generally done via quest hubs, a standard seen since the early days of Vanilla WoW. It’s a shame that gorgeous environment is taken back by the frustrating corridors of trees, shrubbery, and mountains that cannot be easily traversed or was ever meant to be traversed. It’s also bitterly ironic considering that there’s this amazing sprinting and gliding system that lets players travel faster and across borders. But with zones, instancing, and the aforementioned corridor pathing, all those become a moot and academic element.

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Blade and Soul also met one of my fears through its quest types. Kill and fetch quests are everywhere in BnS’ quest hubs and you really can’t avoid the whole idea of collecting X number of stupid items for some stupid NPC you could care less about. This just takes away from the grandness and momentum that the story provides for players and can make it quite a tedious activity just to level up.

But, at least, with the game being new on our western shores, world chat is replete with the crazy ramblings of fervent fans to the continuous spamming of Blade and Soul gold sellers, indicating that the game is healthy and that it can only get better. This is one expectation that I’m glad that Blade and Soul met a hundred times over, making the tedious questing a lot more tolerable due to the sheer amount of people playing.

Exciting Combat
The combat system in this game, while I find to be very engaging, falls a bit short on my expectations for the game. I figured that Blade and Soul was going to be similar to the skill-shotting and free-style combat that would be similar to TERA, but it turns out, to my surprise, that it’s a lot more similar to Skyforge than anything else. This is because only certain skills, especially from enemy NPCs, can be avoided by quick reflexes. A lot of attacks, like enemy auto-attacks, have to be face-tanked rather than being truly avoidable. The targeting system is also a mix of the traditional tab-targeting (though no real pressing to tab to target) and some skills can only be properly used when locked onto a target. This was a real disappointment for me because I was truly expecting a free-style hack-and-slash type of combat.
But even though it’s not what I expected, it’s still damned good and damned refreshing to encounter an interesting take on the Action-MMO genre. If you’re a fan of the Action-MMO genre, then the combo system here will be all too familiar to you because it runs in the same vein as other games like Dragon Nest. Other than that, BnS just takes a little getting used to.

An Oddball Story
I certainly did expect Blade and Soul to follow the trend with its Korean Action-MMO contemporaries on the aspect of story. There are a lot of fantastic looking cutscenes here that dig in deep into the nitty-gritty of this unique wuxia world, especially in the introductory cutscenes where your dojo and all the people you care about get cut down by some pretty badass individuals. The feels, man! The feels!

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Unfortunately, despite the potential for BnS’ story, it falls short in the depth department, which also achieved my expectation for the game to have a shallow story. Of course, I can’t really say that with complete confidence as I have yet to reach the very end of it, but from what I’ve seen, it’s all just badassery. Cool moves and flashy attacks are thrown out everywhere with snarky comments at the side, but there isn’t any relative character development. How can I say that when I haven’t even reached the end yet? Well, for starters, and perhaps the only reason I need, is that you control a silent protagonist. In this day and age, a mute hero is something that isn’t too used anymore because there is nothing personal at stake as the story progresses. Your character just follows everything their told and does them without fail. There are no hard choices, no alternative paths, and no flexibility in going through the story. It can be just as bland as the its corridor world, especially since I’m used to MMOs with fantastic story lines like SWTOR. Certainly, this aspect could have been done better.

Expectations: Achieved
Frankly, all my expectations for BnS were met, whether good or bad, and it turned out to be a solid experience. Yes, I do find a lot of faults in the game when I look at my experience of more than a decade of playing MMOs, but I take them in stride because I certainly can’t expect it to be perfect. If anything, Blade and Soul is a very honest game that focuses more on its strengths to, hopefully, blot out its weaknesses. But at the end of it all, Blade and Soul is a damned fine game as expected.