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!
Best known in the west for Bless.
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.
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!
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin hit up a week of huge MMO news, including Camelot Unchained’s investments, RIFT’s new subscription server, Devilian’s demise, and more!
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.
Listen to the show right now:
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.
The whole saga of development for Bless Online has been a lot of false starts and half-launches (the short version is that the game had its publisher pull out and then it was hastily decided to self-publish), so fans still waiting for news and a playable version of the game are probably unpleasantly familiar with being promised that the game is coming very soon. Really, we mean it. The latest post on the game from the development team contains an interview with director Jae-hoon Jeon, who promises that the game is coming to Steam early access as soon as possible. While he fears that the trial and error process might lead to some hurt feelings, the important thing is getting player feedback about the game’s new directions and refinement.
Most of the work for overhauling the game has started with a complete rework of the game’s combat system to make skills feel more impactful, introducing skill combos and adding in the first pass of skill customization mechanics. The goal is to keep individual fights feeling more interesting, and by extension making moment-to-moment and repeated gameplay experiences from becoming boring. Understandable goals, although you’ll have to wait until the game is actually in early access to see how it all plays out.
Neowiz has a new dev blog up on Steam today featuring none other than Bless Online’s dungeons, which include episodes relating to the main storyline, low-key jaunts for soloers, and hardcore raids for 10 bodies.
“The most basic reason for exploring dungeons is for the special items, but clearing dungeons with friends and party members is also a fun and worthwhile experience!” the Korean studio says. “Dungeons, one of Bless Online’s strengths, are places that utilize the strategies and tactics of each class, and are designed to maximize players’ pleasure and sense of accomplishment.” A real sense of accomplishment, mind you, not this kind.
Bless is slated to launch in the west on Steam later this year as part of a global rollout by Neowiz, which plucked its game back from planned western publisher Aeria following an apparently botched partnership last year. We recently included it in our list of top MMOs to look forward to in 2018.
We’re taking a time-machine back through our MMO coverage, month by month, to hit the highlights and frame our journey before we head into 2018!
Meanwhile, Shroud of the Avatar launched a controversial equity crowdfunding campaign, Cryptic announced a Magic the Gathering MMORPG, and we got a look at Skull & Bones, Sea of Thieves, and Anthem at E3. We also confirmed that Neowiz and Aeria had cut ties, leaving the former to bring Bless Online westward alone.
Read on for the whole list!
It has become a long-standing tradition as Massively OP and our former site that we like to end the year by creating a list of titles that we anticipate for the coming one. It has always been a devilish list to create, full of loose dates and fast guesswork about which titles will and won’t be releasing during a 12-month window (just read last year’s list to see how spot-on I was).
This year we’re changing things up a bit by tossing out the qualifying factor of “will see a hard launch in 2018.” Instead, I drafted up a list of 20 MMOs that have the potential to do or be really interesting next year, whether that be a launch, a long-anticipated beta test, or some other significant development. Plus, hey, you get 20 for the price of 10, so no complaining now!
As an aside, this list isn’t going to cover some other exciting-looking multiplayer games that are arriving in 2018, like Anthem, Sea of Thieves, The Crew 2, Monster Hunter World, DayZ, Red Dead Redemption 2, Stardew Valley, Conan Exiles, and State of Decay 2. And you old school fans won’t want to forget that Ultima Online has a new free-to-play option coming this spring.