blade and soul

Play Blade & Soul now
Official Site: Blade & Soul
Studio: NCsoft
Launch Date: Western ETA Q1 2016
Genre: Fantasy Themepark
Business Model: Hybrid Free-to-play
Platform: PC

Blade and Soul cracks the hatch to a high-tech dungeon

Just because a game is loosely labeled as “fantasy” doesn’t mean that it is forbidden from delving into the realm of technology and sci-fi on occasion, right?

Today, Blade and Soul is opening up a dungeon quite unlike any seen in the game to date. The Irontech Forge is a combination of mine and bio-tech research facility, and there’s enough grit and evil down below to beat down even the most seasoned player. Of course, there are shiny new rewards, so everyone will be lining up for a turn at a spanking even so. The dungeon, which features two difficulty modes, is meant for a team of six players who are level 50.

“The ousted Chief Administrator, Jang Hansol, desperately needs your help to recover the Forge’s valuable secrets and dismantle the Iron Army before it evolves into an unstoppable force,” the devs explained. “To do so, you must fight through legions of advanced automatons, soldiers in augmented mech suits, and the Forge’s hideous cyborg prototypes before facing the facility’s new administrator, Yoong, the ‘Chief Mechanizer’ who has used his own experiments to transform himself into a one-man army.”

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One Shots: En garde!

It’s hard to deny that one of Final Fantasy XIV’s newest classes marries style and substance, particularly if you’re into a certain swashbuckling aesthetic.

Skoryy took time out of playing Stormblood to share his new Red Mage with us: “More character screenshots this week as Eorzea’s version of Skoryy, Skory’a, reveals himself as a defender of the weak, the innocent, and candy drops! En garde!”

Now, be careful with that sword there! It’s not just a prop to make you look good at historical reenactments; it can stab your way into a felony charge if you’re not careful.

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Choose My Adventure: Cryptic’s Neverwinter in review

My time with Neverwinter is done, and it’s a game I find myself in an odd relationship with. It’d be fair to say that despite what some members of the audience expected, I never went into disliking the game; even when I was getting a little bit bored, I didn’t find myself desperately wanting to play something else just to be free of the scourge of the game itself. But at the same time… it never really got its hooks in me, either.

And some of that, I think, is that I’ve played it before.

I’m reluctant to say that every game Cryptic Studios makes is the same because every single one has very clear pieces that stand apart. Star Trek Online’s space combat, Neverwinter’s action combat, and Champions Online’s status as the last relic of a forgotten time. (Probably other things, too.) They’re not the same game. But they do all share the same gameplay loop, which is different… and despite my best efforts, there’s a certain point when all of that just winds up getting a wee bit tedious.

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Battle Bards Episode 100: Centennial spectacular!

After four years and over 700 MMORPG music tracks, the Battle Bards have arrived at their 100th show! For this centennial spectacular, Syl, Steff, and Syp reminisce about the most notable shows, their best soundtrack discoveries, and their favorite tracks. This super-sized show gets wrapped up with a bout of listener emails and a promise of another amazing hundred episodes!

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunes, Google Play, TuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 100: Centennial spectacular (or download it) now:

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The MOP Up: EVE Valkyrie lowers its price point (June 11, 2017)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

This week we have stories and videos from MechWarrior OnlineGuild Wars 2EverQuest IICabal OnlineEVE ValkyrieParagonSecond LifeLuna OnlineAtelier OnlineFinal Fantasy XILegend of Ancient Sword OnlineNo Man’s SkyHeroes of the StormArt of ConquestDreadnoughtOverwatchSINoALICEBlade and SoulPokemon Go, and Eternal Crusade, all waiting for you after the break!

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Check out footage of Blade & Soul’s Maestro in action

If you were hoping for some reason that the Maestro in Blade & Soul would be all about conducting a stirring symphony, that’s definitely not the case. In fact, judging from the new bits of footage from Steparu, the only instrumental section the Maestro is familiar with is percussion. Because of gunshots, see. The Maestro shoots guns. That’s the joke.

Let’s move on.

There’s a new CG trailer for the class available below as well as a look at the class in action in the game’s training room on the Korean servers. It’s enough to give you a good idea of what it’s going to look like when you’re gunning things down in the actual game, so if you’re curious about that or just want to watch a whole lot of things get shot, jump on down and check it out.

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MMO Mechanics: Making healing interesting in MMORPGs

I was reading a recent Daily Grind article on the topic of unique healing classes and it prompted me to think about the variety of mechanics on offer for healing in MMOs that go beyond the World of Warcraft model. There are few MMO mechanics that run the risk of being diluted down by mods and add-ons in the way healing mechanics can be, which makes the area a fantastic area for a thought exercise in keeping healing interesting in MMORPGs.  Pair the lack of immersive interaction with the mechanics presented by the existence of click-heal and other ‘easy-heal’ overlays with many people’s general wish to be the more extroverted hero character instead of the less flashy but also very much needed party healer and it’s easy to see the need for more incentives to be presented by development teams.

In this edition of MMO Mechanics, I’ll take a look at some of the class suggestions from the Daily Grind article mentioned and will attempt to summarise what makes those classes so unique and interesting, hopefully in order to find a commonality between some that goes beyond the basic healing mechanics we know from more traditional MMOs.

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One Shots: The 3:15 giant flea is on time

When it comes to public transportation, I can think of no better way to get from point A to point B than by climbing up seven stories and latching myself onto the back of a giant flea who may or may not have my best intentions at heart. Oh wait. I can totally think of a zillion better ways.

But that’s just how it is in Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind. Zulika Mi-Nam revisited his old stomping grounds and had this to share: “I spent a lot of time in it about 15 years ago, so the whole place is full of memories. Balmora here is where I spent the most time. I think this is a good interpretation so far — and the best part is the cliff racers aren’t as big of a PITA.”

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Blade and Soul doubles its firepower with the Maestro

Asian MMOs can’t exist for long without succumbing to the temptation to introduce some sort of gun-toting fanatic, and Blade and Soul is proving to be no exception in this department. Next month, the fantasy title is rolling out the Maestro class on Korean servers, with the update presumably coming to the west in the near future.

The Maestro, which will go live on June 14th, is a dual pistol class might be able to use more than one type of weapon. A teaser trailer shows glimpses of the Maestro toting around a minigun and dual rifles (which is completely practical, you guys) as well.

Check it out after the jump and let us know what you think. Will you be rolling one when it comes to western servers?

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NCsoft’s Q1 2017 financials: Tumbles for Lineage, Guild Wars 2, plus new leadership for Lineage Eternal

NCsoft’s first quarter financials for 2017 have released, and… well, let’s get the bad news out of the way. While sales dropped only slightly since the preceding quarter and in line with last year, the company’s operating profits and incomes fell sharply, in the -60 to -77% range both quarter over quarter and year over year. The company says that’s “due to incentives paid on the back of record-high earnings last year.” In particular, Lineage 1’s sales were down significantly on the quarter and the year (“due to the early sales recognition in 4Q and weaker traffic from anticipated Lineage M demand”). Aion’s and Lineage II’s sales dropped ever so slightly, as did Guild Wars 2’s, which has fallen by more than half following the late 2015 launch of Heart of Thorns.

The good news? Blade and Soul saw a small boost.

During the conference call, NCsoft announced that it has overturned the development leadership working on Lineage Eternal, suggesting that the closed beta failed to “reflect NCsoft’s characteristics” and promising a retooled dev schedule in the months ahead.

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One Shots: Lights, camera, frogs!

Just because you happen to be a humanoid frog doesn’t mean that you’ve lost at the lottery of life. On the contrary, you have all sorts of advantages, such as being able to install and replace light fixtures very high in your underground cavern. Also, you can eat flies.

Reader Finyar starts us out this week with a stunning interior location from a fan-favorite MMO: “I’m currently playing Guild Wars 2 again and I’m always impressed with how beautifully crafted the game world is.”

Art matters, people. Also, why can’t we play more frogs in online games?

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Blade and Soul’s newest patch revamps class progression and adds new regions to explore

The latest big patch for Blade & Soul has arrived, and it brings with it some major changes. Class trees and skill points, for example, are gone altogether. In the place of this progression system is a new one that’s meant to be more intuitive and streamlined. There are also new Hongmoon levels available, and you can earn them while exploring the new Celestial Basin region, so you’ll have plenty of time to decide for yourself if the changes are really a marked improvement or not.

The patch also adds two new dungeons, the depths of Naryu Sanctum and the heights of Mushin’s Tower for groups and solo players, respectively. There are also overhauls to items and the upgrade material system. Check out the full set of patch notes for more details on the changes, which are substantial; it’s going to make leveling a very different experience, but it looks like you’ll have plenty of extra stuff to do while leveling.

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One Shots: Eight-bit vista

One of my favorite MMO April Fools of all time is Guild Wars 2’s playable Super Adventure Box. It’s so brilliantly designed and executed that it goes far beyond mere joke territory and became an institution. A fun game-within-a-game.

Reader Little Bugbear took advantage of an initial foray into SAB to take what I consider to be a very arresting picture. It’s almost a silhouette of a character lounging against an 8-bit skybox. “Sometimes it’s nice to just sit back and enjoy a nice day of gaming,” Little Bugbear said.

Before we get into the rest of this week’s lineup, I want to share the news that we’ve made some further improvements to our comment system that should allow you to share your screenshots in bigger and bolder glory, especially when you post one at a time!

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