blade and soul

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

Blade & Soul switches to larger, slower updates with brand-new Secrets of the Stratus

Blade & Soul is rolling out a massive expansion next month, one NCsoft says "marks a shift in pace for the game."

Dubbed Secrets of the Stratus, it goes live on April 12th with the seventh act of the storyline, an overhauled skill system, a new solo/casual open-world area called Celestial Basin, floors 16 through 20 of Mushin's Tower, and Naryu Sanctum, "the most difficult 6-member heroic dungeon to date."

"Moving forward, NCSOFT will offer larger and more ambitious expansions on a slightly slower release schedule," the press release says this morning. "This means players will have more time to experience and master content without having to feel rushed by the next update."

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The MOP Up: Wakfu hikes up a mountain (March 12, 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 Heroes and Generals, Faeria, City of HeroesLineage MArmored WarfareWakfuArk ParkDauntlessDark Age of CamelotOverwatchBlade and Soul: Table ArenaLeague of LegendsStrikers Edge, and Final Fantasy XI, all waiting for you after the break!

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One Shots: No more worlds to conquer

There's that special joy that every screenshotter knows when you're able to get that perfect angle, that photogenic pose, and then capture it for all time. I kind of feel that Rob was able to get that with this first picture from Star Trek Online.

What is his captain thinking? Is he bummed that the Federation has put a kibosh on his plans to warmonger his way across the galaxy? Does he want that planet to be named "Glory to Rob the Magnificent" and populate it with adoring subjects? Or is he merely contemplating the deep mysteries of what was in that replicator ration he ate for lunch?

No matter which it is, he's looking profound and deep doing it!

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One Shots: All dolled up

It's always a crapshoot with our weekly screenshot challenges; sometimes they take off, and other times... not so much. But boy howdy did you all seem to fixate on last week's call to share pictures of MMO sights that creeped you the heck out. Now they're creeping me out and I need sleep tonight!

Reader Vexia kicks us off this this nightmare fuel from Final Fantasy XIV: "I have 3,784 screenshots taken from FFXIV. Having played since open beta, I take an increased total amount of pictures each year. I searched through my 1,744 between now and February of 2016 to find the perfect shot of something that is creepy and, coincidentally, child-like. For some reason, the Sharlayans thought these were just the thing to guard their abandoned magical stuff. In true Square-Enix boss fashion, this is not even the final form. I spared you from having to look at that because it somehow gets even creepier.

Um... thank you?

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The MOP Up: FFXIV's triple world records (February 26, 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 Dragon Nest 2VaingloryWild TerraHeroes and GeneralsOverwatchArmored WarfareBlade and SoulCloud PiratesPokemon GoEternal CrusadeFinal Fantasy XIV, and Elswordall waiting for you after the break!

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One Shots: There's nothing wrong with being childish

An interesting bit of fallout from last week's One Shots challenge to submit a picture that captures a "childlike" spirit is that several commenters noticed that there is a fine line between something being innocent and childish and something belonging in a horror movie.

Why not start out with this shot from Zulika Mi-Nam, who brings back Halloween at the tail end of February? "I think everything in Dragon Nest looks childlike, so I found all of it kinda creepy. Just as I had heard though, the combat is 100% awesome -- and no child's play."

I've occasionally heard that Dragon Nest is an underrated title in the same vein. Might have to check it out one of these days.

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Blade & Soul opens a pair of raids in its Wings of the Raven update

Coming at players like a massive one-two punch, Blade & Soul's newest update contains a pair of 24-player raids designed to take you to the limit (cue Eagles).

Wings of the Raven is definitely aimed at high-level players, adding both the Skybreak Spire and Dawn of Khanda Vihar raids. Skybreak is a Naryu fortress where the man who betrayed the Hongmoon School is holed up and protected by several guardians. Meanwhile, Dawn of Khanda Vihar is the home to a corrupted dragon who must be taken down to protect the land.

The update has a couple of other additions as well. The devs have streamlined weapon and accessory evolution while adding a new generation of weapon design on top of the existing pile. PvP players can also take part in the new clan battleground rankings for both Beluga Lagoon and Whirlwind Valley.

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NCsoft 4Q 2016 financials: Record sales, WildStar's fate, Lineage Eternal launch

On the surface, fourth quarter 2016 financials for MMORPG giant NCsoft look solid. Yesterday, the company released its investor report, highlighting hefty year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter growth in sales and operating profit, both setting records for the studio.

Among NCsoft's chief games, Lineage as always drives performance, significantly so this quarter, but Lineage II, Aion, Blade and Soul, and Guild Wars 2 held more or less steady over their previous quarters too, though Aion and GW2 are down year-over-year.

Of note, WildStar's performance is no longer being reported separately, so we can no longer track its downward trends; it's now bundled unceremoniously into "other sales" -- not a good sign, but presumably better than the alternative.

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Blade and Soul turns on character transfers, streamlines evolution process

Frustrated with being tied to a server in Blade and Soul while watching your friends gallivant around on another shard? There's a reunion in the works, thanks to the MMO's new character transfer service.

With the service, players can transfer a character to another server in the same region (so no hopping from North America to, say, Europe), but they cannot transfer to another server in the same linked group. All transfers will take place on Wednesdays during server maintenance.

Coming next week on February 8th is another interesting change to the game: a streamlining of the current gear evolution system. "Our goal with these changes is to reduce the complexity of the weapon upgrade system for new and leveling players by reserving the Evolution system for end-game upgrades only. Now, instead of continuously spending materials and gold to upgrade your Hongmoon weapon, you’ll directly receive weapon rewards as you level," NCsoft said.

Source: Blade and Soul #1, #2. Thanks Qarran!

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Battle Bards Episode 91: Forest Tales

Take a stroll through the trees and become totally lost in the foliage, drinking in the sounds of the forest with today’s show, as the Battle Bards go hiking through the woods to hear the music that they inspire. It’s an hour of forest tales on this week’s exploration of MMORPG soundtracks, so journey with us from Ultima X to Final Fantasy XI!

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.

We’ve got Episode 91: Forest Tales and the show notes for you after the break!

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Blade & Soul's Wings of the Raven February 8 update includes two huge raids

Two weeks from today, Blade & Soul is getting what surely has to be its thousandth patch by now since launching here in the west a year ago. February 8th's content dump is called Wings of the Raven, and according to the official site, it's set to include two 24-man raid dungeons, a new legendary upgrade path, a new generation legendary accessories, and a new 6v6 clan ranked battlegrounds.

The raids are:

Skybreak Spire: "Enter the Naryu fortress where—still under the influence of the demonic Raven King—Lusung awaits. You will face many powerful guardians within the Spire, until finally you come face-to-face with the former clan mate who betrayed the Hongmoon School. This new 24-member dungeon raid is not for the inexperienced."

Dawn of Khanda Vihar: "The Naryu Paradise was once protected by the Great Drake, but the Dark Realm has been breached one too many times, corrupting the Great Drake and twisting the land into an alternate realm. Now known as Meganura, the ancient dragon must be awakened and defeated in this 24-player instanced raid."

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The Stream Team: Happy birthday Blade & Soul!

Massively OP's MJ hasn't been in Blade & Soul in quite a while, so what better time to bounce back in than on its birthday? The game turns one year old today, and everyone is invited to partake in the festivities. TestSubject and her feline familiar Sleepyhead want to party, and MJ just can't say no to those faces. Join us live at 4:00 p.m. to get in on the fun.

What: Blade & Soul,
Who: Name
When: 4:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 19th, 2017

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Blade & Soul teases big anniversary event update for January 18

Guess who's having a birthday this month? A lot of MMORPGs, actually, which is odd for a bleak month like January, but there it is. The one I'm talking about here is Blade & Soul, which turns one year old in the west on January 19. (It actually turns five in Korea in June, but who's counting? Oh right, we are.)

Anyway, NCsoft isn't going to let the big day slip on by without some pomp. In addition to a weapon and pet skin swapping system,

"You’ll be able to pick up a free anniversary present from the Hongmoon Store—which has lots of goodies inside, including an achievement and title only available during the event—and the 1st Anniversary Festival event begins. During the Festival you’ll be able to collect special coins throughout a wide range of content, and turn them in for unique rewards like rare consumables, and a new costume. In addition, several in-game buffs and bonuses, and a refresh of the 365-day Premium Membership—including an exclusive new costume—also join the anniversary festivities."

Reddit is aswirl with rumors of a new dungeon too. You can watch the unveiling tonight at 7 p.m. EST.

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