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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.