One of the three core content pieces in Bless Online is its taming system, though it was only lightly on display for press during our most recent hands-on. Neowiz has a new video out this morning featuring the system ahead of its early access beta launch later this month. And yes, you can tame monsters.
“Almost all of the existing monsters in Bless can be turned into either mounts or pets – when Early Access begins you will find 660 unique creatures available for taming. Each region in Bless has its own type of creatures. Depending on the type of environment, you can meet monsters of all sorts: some are cute and friendly, while others are wild and fierce or even ridiculous! If you happen to stumble upon an elite monster as you journey around the Bless world, try to tame it! Although it may be difficult, if you are successful in taming it you will gain a special companion.”
The brand-new taming video is below.
Bless Online’s media event and pricing reveal last week may not have gone entirely to plan. You’ll recall that Neowiz announced at the time that it’d be charging $40 for the standard edition of the game, on up to $200 for the collector’s edition, with each package containing headstart and varying chunks of premium membership time chunked together. That’s what set the community off: It was the first notice that the game would definitely include a premium sub with its early access. The studio also didn’t fully detail what people spending up to $200 would be buying, nor how it would balance all of that with its anti-pay-to-win stance.
Neowiz has taken the feedback to heart, however, and released a new plan overnight. The important parts are that Neowiz has cut the $200 pack down to $149, there’s no longer any “customer service priority” accompanying the packs, there’s an actual preview of some of the exclusive pack skins, there’s confirmation that player-to-player trading won’t be in the game, there’s confirmation about the cash-shop item that’ll safeguard you against PvP, and there’s a refreshed promise not to roll out DLC – instead, Neowiz says it’ll update the game every three months, with the Assassin class in the first one.
Bless Online’s YouTube channel may have inexplicably deleted itself last week, but that doesn’t mean the team has stopped putting out videos.
“In addition to the original paladin class combat video, the community would like one that shows the paladin exercising their healing abilities,” Neowiz says. “Our community would also like to see the healer paladin and all the classes together in group combat (party play). As a result, we have decided to quickly put together this extra Dev Talk to satisfy your curiosity! Included in this Dev Talk is a video that shows the paladin’s healing abilities and some group party play. As with the previous videos, this was also taken in a developmental environment and is therefore not reflective of the final game. However, we hope that through this video you will be able to gain a better understanding of the game and its combat mechanics.”
Bless is still slated to launch in the west later this month. Enjoy!
Neowiz is following up its Bless Online class previews from last week with another round of videos, this time focusing on the different combat styles for each playable archetype. Videos for the Berserker, Ranger, and Mage are now being followed up with a deep-dive on the Guardian and Paladin.
Guardians sound like stance-based tanks whose resource, dubbed bravery, rises as the character performs combos. Paladins, on the other hand, are hybrid melee healers.
“The third skill of a combo in each of the paladin’s stances is a buff, and by changing the buff used, paladins can function either as a damage dealer or a healer,” Neowiz writes. “Although the paladin has fewer combo types than other classes, it requires more tactical skill as choosing the right combo for the situation is extremely important.”
The Steam launch of Bless Online draws ever closer, and that means you’re going to need to pick a class to play. You have a choice between three different flavors of heavy armor, arrows, or spicy chipotle staff user, although the game would probably prefer that you use the correct names (Berserker, Guardian, Paladin, Ranger, and Mage). But if you don’t know much about what these various classes do, you can also check out quick descriptions of all five on the official Steam page.
Three of the five classes also get short animations, although they’re really just animated wallpapers; you can check them out just below all the same. And if you’re still considering which class you want to be, perhaps they’ll help you sort things out. Or, as mentioned, you can read the descriptions. Those are a bit meatier in terms of information.
When Bless Online launches on Steam early access next month, the version that western players experience won’t be identical to the client that is already running in Korea and Japan. This is because Neowiz is making a few important changes to tailor the game to a different audience, and in a new dev blog, the developer explains exactly what those changes will be.
Bless’ combat system has received the most attention in the transition. Neowiz revamped how rhythmic combat works, giving players a choice of skills to make up their combo rotation. Generally, combat will be more action-oriented and become “more difficult.”
Other adjustments include restructuring how skill acquisition and leveling works, adding more ways to obtain skill-leveling gems, choosing party benefit buffs to incentivize grouping, adding newbie friendly tutorials, giving monsters special skills, and improving the content pacing.
There are two factions in Bless Online, so you can be sure that both factions want to make sure that the other faction no longer exists. The real question is why the two factions are at odds with one another in the first place, and helpfully, the latest post from the developers explains exactly that. In short, it’s not just about territory, it’s about two different styles of governing that are explicitly incompatible with one another.
To sum up a fair amount of lore, the Hieron is the northern order-based faction, while the Union is the southern freedom-based faction. The Union dislikes the social order and rigidity of the Hieron rule, while the Hieron faction likes the social order and rigidity of its own rule (the fact that the Union races tend to be on the bottom of that order is mostly icing). Of course, there’s more to it than that, so you may wish to read up more to understand exactly why your faction wants the other faction dead.
With its early access debut coming next month, Bless Online has a lot riding on how well it can present itself to a western market. Renovations and adjustments continue apace on the fantasy MMORPG, with the combat system receiving a top-to-bottom revamp in order to please future consumers.
The dev team said that it looked through the classes’ combat skills and “restructured their composition and effects” for the upcoming release. This revamp includes changes to rhythmic combat, incentives for grouping, and more ways to skill up your character.
It also emphasized, yet again, that the buy-to-play title will not feature pay-to-win aspects. “Bless Online’s monetization system will be user friendly,” the team said, going on to point out how the two main in-game shops work in conjunction with each other.
Get ready for Bless Online’s May launch by reading up on our interview with owner and operator Neowiz!
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin recover from an avalanche of expansion news, including announcements from Elder Scrolls Online and Star Trek Online. Also, did you hear that Bless Online is coming this May? Oh, they did, and they have many words to say on the matter!
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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With Bless Online due out on western shores this coming May, players who’ve never paid much attention to this Korean-born MMO may be wondering about how the world actually looks and feels, particularly since its overhaul overseas last year. That’s just what Neowiz is addressing in its latest Steam dev blog.
“We aimed to make something new but still stay true to the essence of fantasy worlds,” says the studio. “This philosophy guided our choices in deciding how to create the races, cities and other aspects of Bless. For example, when creating the dragons, we did a lot of research about the appearance of dragons in myths and legends before deciding that a ‘classic’ dragon type was the most suitable for the Bless fantasy world. In short, we wanted our audience to see a Bless dragon and say ‘Yes, that’s exactly what a dragon is,’ not ‘It looks like a dragon.'”
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!