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.”
Heading into Steam early access today is new isometric game called Corrupted, and if it looks familiar, that’s because it’s from Juvty Worlds, which also operates PvP sandbox Wild Terra. The new game appears to utilize Wild Terra’s world and graphics; the sole user review active as I type this rather uncharitably calls it an “asset-flip” and more of a “wave defense” title than an ARPG, but it definitely takes after its MMORPG kin on the surface.
For its part, Juvty says the game is a “mix of arcade, RPG and visual novel” in which you’ll “fight off the hordes of monsters and break through to the truth” and “discover new skills and improve your combat arsenal” as you cleave your way through enemies. This early access edition includes a 20-chapter campaign, multiple biomes, and a “twisted” storyline.
The full game is expected to launch later in 2018, Juvty’s Steam entry notes. “In the full version, we plan to add more active and passive skills, different opponents, more weapons and equipment, improve locations for battles, and make all necessary balance corrections. Together with you, we can make Corrupted even better and more interesting.” It’s currently $7.99.
You can’t accuse Hi-Rez of not chasing trends: Not only is it introducing a battle royale mode to SMITE, but it’s actually just launched a standalone free-to-play battle royale game into Steam early access today. It’s called Realm Royale, and the company is calling it the “first 100-person fantasy Battle Royale” title. You might remember it from its previous incarnation as Paladins: Battlegrounds, a mode originally planned for the MOBA-shooter Paladins (and we liked it when we played it then too).
“Players begin each round of Realm Royale by selecting one of five traditional fantasy classes. Each class offers a unique playstyle; Mages can soar above the battlefield and rain down fireballs, while Engineers deploy turrets and shields in hero shooter-style combat. […] Each round unfolds in true battle royale style, with 100 players dropping from a zeppelin into a massive fantasy-inspired map full of goblin villages and mushroom forests. Players loot weapons and abilities from chests as the fog closes in, customizing their character and effectively creating their own personal champion. In another fantasy twist, players are able to summon a mount at any time to quickly cover open ground and get right into the action.”
As the effort to westernize Bless Online continues, Neowiz is facing one issue that is bringing out the snickering junior higher in all of its fans: monster nudity.
Players have noticed that at least in a few instances, there are creatures in the game that show partial or total nudity. These include a harpy pet, a fairy pet, and a spider woman mount. Chances are good, the Reddit community concludes, that these models are going to see visual changes when the MMO hits Steam early access on Wednesday.
The western version of Bless is rated T by the ESRB for violence and blood. Guess the studio took its critters to the mall for some clothes shopping. Goofy jokes aside, these changes raise the specter of censorship when it comes to localizing games to a specific market. Should Bless stick to its guns and put out the same version globally, or is this a smart move that gives the game a less extreme rating?
. Thanks Leiloni!
On this week’s show, Bree and Justin delve into the future of Lord of the Rings Online, debate when a sub isn’t a sub, head on into Summerset, fly high with Worlds Adrift, 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:
Floating up out of the drydock of closed beta, Worlds Adrift launched into the bright blue skies of early access today. The airship sandbox drummed up hype for the release with a publicity stunt that involved hauling a batch of players high up into the air over London to try out the game. (The first livestream in the sky? Why not!)
“Worlds Adrift is now releasing to Steam Early Access,” Bossa Studios trumpeted. “This means we have opened up additional servers for both US and EU regions, and will release more servers depending on player population. The UI for the character creation screen has been adjusted to make it easier to pick a server to play on.”
With the early access start comes a full wipe and a new build that includes a different layout, additional islands, new clothing items, double the amount of ancient written stories, all-new music, and plenty of bug fixes.
The conflict between the North and the South continues to escalate as both the 5th Alabama and 87th Ohio battalions join War of Rights with this week’s Update 108.
The patch also improves some animation, reduces server crashes, and gave melee fighters a boost with faster cooldowns on bayonets and swords. So fix those bayonets and charge already!
To date, War of Rights has raised $751,213 from 11,052 backers through its crowdfunding campaign. The studio said that it is down to around a thousand Steam keys left for the pre-Steam early access version and does not know when it will be able to secure more.
Project Gorgon, the scrappy indie MMO that recently went into Steam early access, hosted an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit to talk about the game yesterday. Gorgon is a somewhat popular subject on MMO boards, and the AMA garnered a lot of questions and responses.
The devs said that they had not posted a roadmap for the fantasy MMO because “we don’t really work that way,” but they did tease major projects including “several new areas, a new animation system, horse mounts, playable fae race, a new dungeon, and (starting soon) player housing.”
There was also an explanation of how Gorgon veers off from the mainstream MMO design and appeals to players looking for that classic MMO feel: “Project Gorgon was designed around the idea of letting you explore deep game systems. The game’s complexity opens up like an onion — and it’s not pointless complexity, because that’s dumb. There’s real complexity that models interesting things, to let you create interesting custom combat builds, or solve problems in interesting ways. You have to learn how to play, but doing so is really rewarding.”
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.
With Project Gorgon now out on Steam early access, many first-time visitors to this strange game are feeling out the world and its systems. So what are they discovering?
Tales of the Aggronaut said that he was “hooked” when he put in a good weekend: “Part of the charm of this game is that it plops you into the game with no real warning or advisement about what you should be doing.”
“There’s never any doubting the sheer personality evident in every aspect of the game,” recommended Inventory Full. “The enthusiasm and good nature of the tiny development team sweeps all cynicism away.”
Project Gorgon not your cup of tea? Join us after the break for blog essays on Second Life, RIFT Prime, Shroud of the Avatar, and even Dungeons & Dragons!
Ready to take to the skies? All aboard Worlds Adrift’s custom-made airships, then, because Bossa Studios is bringing its “community-crafted” MMORPG to Steam early access on May 17th.
On that date, Worlds Adrift will become available globally for the price of $25. CEO Henrique Olifiers said that this marks a big transition in the game’s testing cycle: “When we went into closed beta in May last year, we couldn’t have envisioned the sheer amount of quality feedback we would receive from our inspiring community. At times, this completely shifted our production’s scope, and as a result, helped us truly hone Worlds Adrift’s vision.”
The crew behind Worlds Adrift recently posted a public development roadmap for the title. Check out the early access announcement video after the jump!
For a very long time now — we are talking years, here — Project Gorgon has operated a free public alpha to anyone who wanted to enjoy the game and test it out. But now with the launch of the title on Steam early access this month, that free ride is about to come to a close.
The team sent out notices on Twitter that it will be deactivating the standalone alpha client “in the near future.” This doesn’t mean the end of those players’ accounts; by purchasing the Steam version, a former alpha tester can link accounts and carry over his or her characters to the early access client.
Project Gorgon is charging $40 for its buy-to-play MMO. The title has accumulated over 100 reviews on Steam so far and remained in the “very positive” range of impressions.
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.