Would you consider a cat to be a faithful battle companion? If not, you probably haven’t played a Summoner in Blade & Soul, the class in the spotlight this week. Summoners are the sole pet class in the game, and they summon a magically enhanced feline to aid them in battle. The Familiar engages in melee combat, while the Summoner hangs back and makes use of powerful control effects.
Summoners offer several opportunities for enterprising players. Skilled Summoners can use their pets to effectively solo challenging encounters, while in parties Summoners can make use of group healing and the aforementioned control effects. In PvP, the class has to make use of more defensive skills, forcing opponents to choose between focusing on the Familiar or the Summoner. Check out the video just below to see some footage of the class in action.
You would think that a class by the name of Blade Master would be really important in Blade & Soul. It’s half of the title right there, after all! But no, the Blade Master is just another class in the game, albeit a popular and versatile one. It’s also getting a big spotlight on the official site for the game that shows off what the Blade Master can do.
Blade Masters focus on Fire and Lightning damage, dancing between two stances and providing a blend of offensive and defensive skill. In parties, the class can focus on distracting bosses whilst the rest of the party takes care of other things, and in PvP you need to balance between your stances to avoid being movement-locked. Check out the video just below and read up for more detail on combos.
NCsoft has updated Blade & Soul’s western website with a bit about the game’s skill trees. You’ll earn a skill point with each character level, and most skills may be customized through a skill tree in the martial tome that you receive at the beginning of the game.
You can tweak your skills at any time outside of combat, and there’s a spot in the skill book for saving builds and swapping between them. NCsoft also hints at ultimate skill masteries in today’s update. “These are the kinds of legends and stories whispered about in hushed tones in local taverns, the kind of fables that all martial artists believe they can aspire to, but that only a few may ever attain,” the update says. “Discovering secret techniques is the utmost challenge for anyone hoping to master their skills, and the ultimate in martial prowess.”
You can stop holding your breath now: The beautifully rendered action MMORPG Blade and Soul arrives on western shores very soon. NCSoft officially announced today that the closed beta for its premier wuxia MMO will begin on October 30th, giving the development team plenty of time to prepare the localization for it impending first quarter launch in 2016. And you can sign up for the beta starting today!
Blade and Soul has been a huge hit in Korea already. Its action combat and the incredible art by Kim Hyung-tae set it apart from other Asian imports. Also the 1v1 arenas that play very much like a fighting game — testing skill against skill — have put this game high on the most-anticipated list of many MMO players.
At this year’s PAX Prime, I had the chance to see the game in action and also sit down with a couple of the developers to learn what to expect when the game launches.
I was very excited to sit down during Gamescom with Nicolas Coutant, producer at NCSOFT West, about the upcoming US and Europe release of Blade & Soul, a quirky Asian fantasy MMO developed by Team Bloodlust. Some of you may have seen our very own MJ Guthrie’s fantastic E3 hands-on, but for those of you who are new to the title, know that this F2P MMO features a beautifully crafted online world and some very unique combat mechanics. I got to briefly try out the Windwalking movement feature and some of the signature combat combos that call to mind the best classic martial arts movies, and I was very impressed with what I saw.
Today I’m able to let you know that the highly anticipated entry to the US and EU MMO marketplace is now on sale via three different Founder’s Packs, each offering good value and a shedload of extras for the keenest fans to grab early. Every tier will include access to Closed Beta and also will grant players entry to the title’s Head Start access, meaning that those players who decide to purchase early will enjoy early access and full testing privileges. I was also promised at Gamescom that Blade & Soul will release in the first quarter of 2016, so we don’t have long to wait until we can get our hands on this stunning looking game. Read on for details of the three packs and my initial impressions.
Did you catch the classes page update on Blade & Soul’s website today? NCsoft has fleshed out what exactly will be playable in the western version of its martial arts MMO, and there are a couple of tweaks in terms of what race can play what class.
“The Yun are now able to stand fist-to-fist with the Gon and the Jin as Kung Fu Masters,” NCsoft says, “while the Gon can now channel their inner chi to create Fire and Ice as Force Masters along with the Yun and Lyn.”
Want to know even more about Blade & Soul’s Chi? There’s a new update on the fantasy title’s website that offers a few cryptic hints at how the mechanic will work. Chi isn’t just for warriors, NCsoft says, but is for “the mighty and the meek” who are all able to windwalk and who may take advantage of dragon pulses wherever they appear to teleport across the map.
Blade Masters, Summoners, and Force Masters “externalize their chi to enforce change on the world,” the blog says, whether that be by manipulating elements or conjuring familiars. Destroyers, Kung Fu Masters, and Assassins all internalize their chi, which hardens the body and allows for physically dominating monsters or vanishing into thin air.
In other Blade & Soul news, MMO Culture has posted a pet system preview trailer. You can view it after the cut.
Chi is vitally important to Blade & Soul’s lore and gameplay, but it’s perfectly OK to not completely understand what it’s about. That’s why the devs have penned a new lore blog to explain what chi is and how it will fit into the game.
“Living creatures have chi as well, which is directly related to their health and martial prowess,” the article states. “The true martial artists of the world have mastered their inner focus to perform stunning feats and demonstrate otherworldly powers.”
In Blade & Soul, chi is the fuel that allows players to perform superhuman acts, such as windwalking, healing rapidly, and enhance weapons. There are higher levels of chi, called divine chi and dark chi, which can be tapped for even greater feats. It’s implied that players might have access to divine chi while demons and monstrosities are powered by dark chi.
Long before NCsoft officially announced that Blade & Soul was heading west, fans were eager for the chance to get their hands on the game — including a number of us here at MassivelyOP. So I might have had a slight grin on my face when I sat down to experience a bit of gameplay on the Summoner class at this year’s E3. I also talked shop with Producer Nicolas Coutant, Social and Community Director Omeed Dariani, and Brand Manager Julianne Harty, who revealed Blade & Soul’s “full-access free-to-play” business model for the western market. We also touched on subjects ranging from story to closed beta and pre-order packs to cats.
Yes, cats. According to Dariani, “This game is all about cats.”
There’s a great big world out there in Blade & Soul, but if you were hoping it would be a calm and welcoming place in which people of diverse talents could come together… well, let’s just go ahead and say no. The realm is actually split between the two biggest factions duking it out until most people can’t remember a time when they weren’t at war, as outlined in the game’s most recent fly-through of the game’s lore and setting.
At the core of the conflict is one that likely sounds familiar to players who have seen their fair share of fantastical settings. The Stratus Empire looks to recover the devices and knowledge of the Naryu Empire, while the Talus Dominion fears that unearthing those ancient weapons means repeating the same mistakes of that older assembly. That’s in addition to the ongoing feud between the Cerulean Order and the Crimson Legion, the relentless pirate attacks, and the various beast kin. Check out the full post for more details on the conflicts plaguing the realm.
Is the world ending? Is hell freezing over? It must be because Blade & Soul is actually coming to the west! On this week’s podcast, the hosts talk about this incredible development as well as progression servers, launch dates, and flying in Draenor. Get out your Bree Topic Bingo cards, as you’re guaranteed to be a big winner!
Join us on the podcast as we talk about what we’ve been playing in MMOs, the top news stories from the past week, and topics that listeners have submitted!
Some folks from fan site Blade & Soul Dojo have started a petition that asks NCsoft to consider an Oceanic server for its upcoming Blade & Soul MMORPG. Given that B&S is action-oriented and given “the way the game’s net code was designed,” petitioners are hoping for a local server in order to reduce latency and ping problems that “severely effect one’s attack speed/DPS/skill activation and mobility.”
According to petition author Nathan Conti, NCsoft has said that it might support additional servers if the company feels that there is enough demand in a particular region.
So, Blade & Soul! Huzzah, and stuff. I don’t know about you, but NCsoft’s heading-west announcement has reinvigorated my inner MMO fan, at least for a little while. I’d basically given up on the game since news of an American version has been hard to come by in recent years, so last week’s surprise was a welcome one.
What about you, MOP readers? Did the Blade & Soul announcement improve your outlook on MMOs for 2015?
Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!