MOP reader Xijit recently pointed us to a thread on Bless Online’s Steam page where players are noting that person-to-person trading is not currently possible in some overseas versions of the game, including the Japanese servers. While a Neowiz representative wrote, “There has been a TON of feedback from players that they would like trading for the Steam release, so it is not set in stone yet that trading will not be available for Steam,” that didn’t stop the discussion and frustration over the possibility.
What surprised me was how many people are in favor of demolishing player trade in some form or other on the grounds that it reduces RMT and/or pay-to-win. Personally, I consider player trading crucial to MMOs and don’t even like it when they make it difficult, the way some of my favorite MMOs already do – Guild Wars 2 makes you mail items to each other, for example, while in Trove, you have to hunt down a trading post or leave items in a secured bin in your guildhall.
Is player trading a make-or-break MMO feature for you?
Earlier today, we posted up Bless Online’s new trailer and big news: That’s it’s launching on Steam early access as a buy-to-play title this coming May. As part of the announcement, Neowiz agreed to answer a few of our most pressing questions about the infodump. Read on for more about the game’s planned monetization, what constitutes early access, and the state of PvP servers.
MassivelyOP: Can you disambiguate a bit for us here – is Bless’ early access more like a paid beta with wipes or a true soft launch? When exactly should regular gamers be jumping in if they do not want to help test, and how much testing and server wiping is going to go on?
Neowiz: Bless Online’s early access period on Steam is closer to a soft launch. There won’t be any wipes once it begins. While we’ll be listening closely and gathering feedback on how to improve Bless for the full launch, those who aren’t interested in focusing on testing will still be able and welcome to jump in and enjoy the game in its early access form.
Thanks to an unfortunate leak, it’s almost old news now, but we can now officially confirm that Bless Online is launching in the west this spring: Specifically, it’ll come to Steam’s early access program in May, with its website now live.
Neowiz has further announced that the game will be buy-to-play with a cash shop selling “cosmetic equipment, skins, awesome mounts and pets, and consumables that give services and boosts,” but it also vows it won’t be pay-to-win, so wrap your brain around that one. Founder packs will eventually be on offer as well, and the team is currently hunting for “player emissaries” to assist with game promotion and wiki work.
We’ve got a batch of fresh questions out to the devs now, so stay tuned for more details on the stuff you’re probably most curious about having read and watched all this!
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin infiltrate Secret World Legends’ Morninglight, dig into yet another progression server, wonder how many allied races World of Warcraft is going to introduce, and get all nostalgic over the original Guild Wars.
It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.
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Most western MMORPG gamers know about Bless Online’s mechanics and visuals thanks to years of watching the game developed from afar. What hasn’t crossed the ocean and language barrier as easily is the lore, which is something Neowiz is helping to rectify today! The studio has granted us an exclusive dev blog covering this half of the playable races in the MMO – specifically, the Hieron, whom we’ve already discovered is the gloomier of the pair. Read on for the details and new images, then stay tuned for the launch of the official website next week and the eventual early access release!
How about some eyecandy for your Friday evening? Neowiz has posted up a ton of Bless Online concept art, specifically featuring the capital cities in the game, Spezia and Hieracon.
Spezia, the studio says, is the largest city in the southern continent, dubbed the city of water and the “heart of the Unión alliance.” Hieracon, on the other hand, is a many-spired fortress controlling the northern continent for the Hieron peoples. The images also explore Terny (the city of death), the Burning Desert, the gloomy Beolan Valley, and the Horse Mane grasslands. Enjoy!
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!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from War of Rights, Blade and Soul, Lineage 2 Revolution, Darwin Project, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Closers, Elder Scrolls Online, Bless, Soulworker Online, Skyforge, The Black Death, Saga of Lucimia, Dungeon Fighter Online, Mu Origin, Prosperous Universe, Legends of Aria, Battlerite, and Aura Kingdom Mobile, all waiting for you after the break!
You are probably aware that when you play an MMO, all of the voice samples you here are not produced in real-time by actors in a small box who desperately wish to see their families again. But that doesn’t mean you know about how it actually goes when you start producing voice work for a video game. So here’s some good news, if you’re curious: actor Brent Miller recorded his sessions for Bless voiceover.
That is, he recorded the video of him performing the voiceovers. By which we mean… all right, look, there is a video down below and it is of him doing the voices. It’s not a terribly long video at only 10 minutes, but it should give you an idea of what it’s like to do multiple takes, refine the voice over time, and stand there whilst voicing multiple characters and trying to get in the right mindset. It’s more than just reading off a list of lines, and it’s pretty fun to watch besides.
Remember Maguss, the Harry Potter-esque ARG everyone was buzzing around right up until Pokemon Go company Niantic said it was making Harry Potter: Wizards Unite? It’s just about to launch its open beta; you west coasters will want to wake up early on Saturday indeed to make the 8 a.m. EST starting time on Android and iOS. The game originally raised almost half a million dollars on Indiegogo, so its popularity seems assured!
What else happened in the world of MMO testing this week?
- Camelot Unchained finally has a beta date: the fourth of July. Fortunately, nothing else important happens on that day. Our interview all about how beta will work is pretty great if we do say so ourselves.
- Dead Maze officially launched! No more beta! Free at last!
- Villagers & Heroes seeks iOS beta testers ahead of its launch at the end of this month.
- Project Gorgon laid out the details of its upcoming Steam beta.
- Stardew Valley promised multiplayer beta this spring.
- Soulworker Online is inching ever closer to testing here; forums for NA and EU arrived this week.
- Ashes of Creation dazzled again with more footage of “alpha zero” gameplay.
- Staxel landed on our sandbox radar; it’s currently in early access.
- Bless Online is anticipating that when it starts, its early access open beta will run half a year.
We’ve tucked whole list of games temporarily and very much permanently in test stasis right on down below.
Six months. Six months is the countdown timer from the start of Bless Online’s early access to the game’s official launch, according to developer Neowiz. Although with no planned character wipe, the open beta should act more as a soft launch than anything else, especially to fans who have been eager to get their hands on this good-looking title for years now.
The studio fielded another interview about the incoming MMO in which it hedged a bit on the topic of grind, promised improved optimization, and confirmation that there will not be a region lock for the title. Neowiz said that it is planning to introduce a new race as early as 2019 and that housing is also on its way to the game.
Bless Online is one of the biggest MMORPGs we’re expecting to launch in the west in 2018. Over the last six years, we’ve watched it blossom in South Korea, switch publishers, and even go back to the drawing board for a revamp before Neowiz pushes it westward. That’s left a lot of gamers, including us, with questions about the game’s future. And to get answers to those questions, we spoke with Game Director Jae-hoon Jeon all about the game’s planned monetization, early access, and just what sets Bless apart in a field of high-quality import MMORPGs. Read on for the details!
Welcome back to another mobile MMO roundup, those MMOs that obviously don’t count because they are played on a small screen instead of a massive screen, and we all know that’s what the M stands for.
First up is Lineage 2 Revolution. Netmarble’s new toy got a big update this week infusing the game with seasonal content for both its PvP modes. You’ll want to make sure you jot down the Fortress Siege and Open Siege start times in your calendar! For PvE players, note that
“the latest game update also expands the max level for players to 180, along with the expansion of Main Quests, Daily Quests, and Scroll Quests, providing more content for active and higher leveled players. New region, Giran Dominion, has been added, along with field expansion in Deathly Fog Shores, Devil’s isle, Haunted Necropolis, Ivory Tower Catacombs 1, 2, and 3. Moreover, Elite Dungeon has additionally opened Ivory Tower Catacombs 1, 2, 3, allowing players to gain even more EXP and Adenas.”
Read on for more mobile MMO news!
We are going to kick off this week’s exhibition of player screenshots with a few email submissions (yes, some of you still email them in, and bless you for it!).
It doesn’t take much of an excuse for a celebration to break out in Final Fantasy XIV, as Souseiseki notes: “A certain Miqo’te had a little too much fun celebrating Heavensturn (and too much to drink!). Although, I think she had more fun opening the bottles than actually drinking them! Fortunately, I had the foresight to hide the good stuff. Don’t worry, her chocobo was parked safe in the stables and we confiscated her saddle.”
Postscript: That chocobo was later seen perched high on top of a temple summit, wrapped in toilet paper and spray painted with an incomprehensible slogan.