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!
It’s been a busy week for the folks at Blizzard. We’ve gotten a quartet of videos for Overwatch characters showing off early gameplay, and Heroes of the Storm slipped into that fabled open beta state. Then NCsoft goes and makes a big splash by announcing that Blade & Soul is finally coming over here after an enormous delay. I tried it out and thought it was pretty cool.
So what else happened this week? You know, this and that.
Oh, and of course we have a big old dose of games in testing in the list just below. Is there a game that should be on there that you know isn’t there right now? Should one of the games on the list be gone? Let us know in the comments!
I spent a ridiculous amount of time playing Blade & Soul just moving around.
Most of the time in a given game, I’m moving around because I’m trying to explore the game world I’m inhabiting. But during my hands-on with the western port of the game at this week’s NCsoft press event in California, I found that what drove me to move wasn’t really exploration in the strictest sense; there were no obvious points of interest drawing me in for a closer looks, and even after I had a pretty solid grasp about what the zone layout looked like, I was still getting to the highest vantage point and springing off. I was just jumping around and gliding through the air because just moving was fun.
I didn’t expect to care much about moving, but I didn’t expect to care all that much about Blade & Soul in the first place. Leaving aside the fact that I had long since given up any hope of the game ever coming out in America, I thought it seemed kind of surplus: just another vaguely wuxia title in a market full of them. After playing a bit of it, though… well, I’m hardly an expert in that subgenre, but now I’m actually interested in playing more.