Bless Online Executive Producer Sungjin Ko is back with another letter for the community today, this one offering insight into why Neowiz picked early access in the first place, especially given the game’s rocky reception. In short, it’s because Neowiz did so much rewriting of the game for western audiences and really wanted western audiences to give it a thorough testing.
“Ultimately, this desire to try something new with the systems of Bless Online combined with the need for an open discussion with our player base led us to Steam’s Early Access platform,” Ko explains. “It allows us to make sure we have the funds to continue supporting Bless, while also working directly with our players to make Bless everything it can be and more. […] Where we are today with Bless Online’s Steam Early Access is not where we will be when the game officially launches in the coming months. As you hopefully have seen, we’ve been hard at work addressing feedback, making changes, fixing bugs, and working to make the best game for both Neowiz Bless studio and our fans.”
You know it’s a really good and meaty content patch when a studio can get more than two blog posts out of it. Blade and Soul’s
Celestial Dawn fits that bill, because NCsoft is still talking about next week’s update, this time with a post on the big changes
coming to various items and systems.
The Celestial Dawn update is goign to give players even more rewards from Nightfall Sanctuary’s hard difficulty bosses and improved the payouts from Celestial Basin activities. The crafting system got a balance and price pass and Zen Bean traders will be stocked with a “greater variety” of goods.
To help players tackle the bigger challenges of this patch, the legendary accessory augment system was born: “The new legendary accessory augment system allows you to tackle specific hard mode dungeons for a chance at Psyche items, which will allow you to further increase your legendary accessory power. Each dungeon has their own unique psyche related to the augment system, in addition to the battlefield traders having their own PvP-focused versions.”
In peaceful villages and bubbly burgs, you just know that there’s bound to be an abundance of happy music! Whenever the Battle Bards regroup to lick their wounds and drink the terrors away, they often find that happy town music is perfect to soothe jangled nerves and re-center one’s heroism. There’s plenty of those tunes in today’s episode, so recoup with them as they listen to the songs of the common folk.
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, TuneIn, Pocket Casts, Stitcher, and Player.FM.
Listen to Episode 122: Happy town (or download it) now:
Seriously, what could be better than a juicy content drop for your favorite fantasy MMORPG? Well, how about a pair of events
that tie into the patch and give you an extra boost to get caught up?
For the June 20th release of Celestial Dawn, Blade and Soul is planning a pair of events to maximize interest and excitement over this patch. First up is the Weaponsmith’s Forge, which runs from June 20th through July 25th. During this period, players will be able to upgrade their weapons for a discounted cost, get more upgrade materials, and snag a daily gildstone to exchange for pretty awesome cosmetics and weapons.
Also running during that same window is the Raid Crusade event. This throws down a weekly challenge to complete raids and hard mode dungeons in exchange for bonus rewards.
With the rollout of Patch 4.3, Final Fantasy XIV is offering its players a nice big slice of content to enjoy as we head into the summer. It certainly seems to be a time in which many players are making their way back to the game — or through it.
For example, Harbinger Zero booted back up his subscription to give the game a second chance. Sounds like things are going well: “How can I not compliment the job system? It keeps the game fresh to know I can log in and with a button click change my playstyle while keeping my character and progress.”
Aywren Sojourner recently wrapped up Stormblood’s main storyline and has a few thoughts on the journey (with lots of spoilers, of course). “I hate to say it because there were some pleasant parts to Stormblood, especially in Doma,” she wrote, “but I’m actually just glad to get beyond this story arc.”
We’ve got more MMO blog essays, including ones on making alt-friendly MMOs, State of Decay 2 impressions, and the best and worst of Dungeons and Dragons Online!
Massively OP reader ichi_san has a burning question about the state of the industry.
“Lots of people seem to be looking for an MMO they can get into – consider the rush into Bless as an example. Lots of games are being released, but most (or even all) have some glaring issues, like pay-to-win, lockboxes, ganking, poor optimization, heavy cash shop, horrible gameplay, and so on. There’s the WoW model and other semi-successful formulas, and a lot of unexplored territory. The market seems hungry, and there is a bunch of history to build on and new territory to explore, but either gaming companies don’t understand their customers or greed/laziness/expediency get in the way, such that we see release after release that fails to scratch the itch. Am I missing something – are there fun MMOs with good graphics and fair monetization that I’m missing? Or is there a gaping hole in the MMO scene, and if so, why isn’t someone filling it?”
I’ve posed his question to the writers for their consideration in Overthinking this week. We’re long past bubble-bursting here when all of the still-major MMORPGs are four years older. What exactly are we looking at? Why is the obvious demand for MMOs not being met?
Earlier this week, Massively OP’s MJ completed the 11 incursions
to build her first temple of the new league. Today, she’s going to dive into that personalized dungeon. What will it look like? What loot will she collect? Rumor has it there is lots of good loot to be had! Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. to see what she finds once she raids the temple.
What: Path of Exile
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, June 7th, 2018
What MMORPG actually releases a fully-fleshed out raid in this day and age? You have to milk that content drip by drip, giving players just enough to be challenging but not enough so that the top raiding guilds blow through it in one evening.
Blade and Soul seems perfectly fine with the current model of chopping up raids, as it only delivered half of the Nightfall Sanctuary so far. The rest is coming on June 20th, when part two arrives with even more bosses, areas, and rewards for 12-player groups to tackle. It’s in this update that the final showdown against the Grand Celestial Emperor is going to take place, with appropriate legendary gear dropping for anyone who can dethrone this shiny jerk.
“Your raid will need to work in perfect harmony if you’re to have any chance against the Grand Celestial Emperor. More than a few will fall before him and his relentless pursuit of power,” said NCsoft.
Hero’s Oath is live in TERA
today. Somehow, I didn’t quite realize that TERA
had committed to a “near-monthly” update schedule, but En Masse is definitely keeping to it with this leg of the anniversary launch content. Expect a new dungeon, new PvE leaderboards, and gobs of loot:
“Dungeon runners with level 65 characters wearing powerful gear, an average item level of 446 or higher, can head to the Velika Outskirts to take on the newly introduced Antaroth’s Abyss dungeon. The dungeon comes in both a normal and (Hard) difficulty, with three deadly bosses ready and waiting to challenge even the most skilled of players. And with the newly introduced dungeon leaderboards, currently active for Antaroth’s Abyss (Hard) and Pit of Petrax, players can race against each other to see who can claim the glory and be the fastest group to clear the dungeon.”
Incidentally, TERA is also running a monthly level-up event right now; the Gunner is up first!
Pushing back against poor reviews and mass refunds, Bless Online has grand plans to turn public perception of the game around with big ol’ battles.
Neowiz dropped a preview of the Siege of Castra today, pointing to the possibilities of 140-player battles waging across this special zone. The siege, which is coming “soon,” will last for 30 minutes at a pop and be open to players level 25 and up. During this half-hour, each side will be attempting to infiltrate the enemy fortress and assassinate the commander. There are elements on the battlefield, such as a Purifying Tree and Guardian Stones, that can sway the fight in your favor.
“The key to victory is to adapt a unified yet swift attack tactic through forming a raid party and appointing a leader who will lead the faction,” said Neowiz.
The studio also pushed out a small patch this morning that addressed a trio of issues and adjusted the price of chilis. “Overpriced chilis!” will be the rallying cry of the mobs no longer.
Conan Exiles has weathered its first major milestone of reaching proper launch without exploding or melting down too much. Now it’s time for Funcom to look forward to later content, and that’s exactly what the latest post on the official site is all about. Technical updates and bug fixes are obviously going to continue, but the developers are also hard at work at bringing in pets and taming mechanics as well as a new dungeon.
Plans are also moving for new in-game religions, archery improvements, animation fixes, and new automatic downloads of mods as a quality-of-life feature. There’s also a new Far East-themed DLC planned for sometime in June, with three new armor set appearances, 11 new weapons, 25 new placeable objects, and a new set of Tier 3 building pieces. The post is quick to point out that the teams working on this DLC aren’t taking time away from the base game to add this, so buying it or not shouldn’t impact the overall future plans for the game.
If you’re curious about the state of the game right now, you can check out Andrew’s most recent glance at the title.
You wouldn’t think this was something that would frequently slip one’s mind, but somehow I manage to repeatedly forget that Dancer was made in no small part as a job to settle people tired of dealing with Final Fantasy XI’s nonsense. It seriously has a bit of everything. Want to dual-wield? Great, it gets that slower than Ninja but it’s still perfectly capable of handling it. Curative magic? Yes, and it doesn’t cost MP. Movement speed boosts? Naturally. Sneak and Invisible in one ability so you can stealth without items? By all means.
This comes up as a relevant fact whilst doing missions because FFXI has a weird approach to handling missions. It has no level requirements for any mission, just progress requirements… but it also barely needs level requirements, as several of them will absolutely murder you below a certain level. And that’s just in the process of getting to where you need to go for those missions, much less the challenges involved in the missions themselves.
Do you remember at the beginning of May when Just Survive was talking about “working on a plan to go forward”? I understand if you don’t: It almost seems as if Daybreak itself has forgotten about the game, so how can it expect players to remember. Well, with H1Z1 doing so well on the PlayStation 4, maybe — just maybe — the game that actually birthed the battle royale version (that it lost its name to) will get some love. We can dream! And while we dream, we can also help the studio out with its plan-making endeavors. And boy, do I think it needs some help! As it is, the next promised patch sound like little more than maintenance mode and doesn’t really dispel the rumor that the game is on the sunset path. In order to survive, Just Survive needs to step up and offer a bit more than that. So here are eight ways Daybreak can give this survival game a fighting chance.