Blade and Soul promises a new class, engine upgrade, and new raids

    
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Feeling like your Blade and Soul character has hit a plateau in his or her development? Then it’s probably time to graduate to the next level, thanks to an upcoming job extension feature that will transform your class into an evolved version. Yes, that old favorite from JRPGs is heading into the game so that your character can graduate to an advanced level.

MMO Culture shared one example of these evolutions, stating that Warlocks will be able to grow up into Distortionists. Next up on the table for Blade and Soul? Other than an upgrade to a new graphics engine, players have been looking forward to the next classes to hit the scene. We may know of at least one of these, thanks to a vision preview. The class in question is the Tusan, a fast fighter than can berserk up close or deal out ranged damage.

NCsoft itself posted a producer’s letter today with even more in store for the western version of the game. In addition to teasing the same new class the Korean team is teasing, Producer Jonathan Lien promises plenty more in 2018, including more on the epic quest, challenging new 12-man raids, new solo and 6-man heroics, a new legendary gear upgrade system, new game systems (like fishing), new events and holidays, and the requisite quality-of-life adjustments. He also reaffirms NCsoft’s previous announcement that it’s upgrading to Unreal Engine 4.

Source: NCsoftMMO Culture. Cheers, Rafael!

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kgptzac

Not a big fan of adding new class being the core method of tackling the “staleness” problem… because I don’t want to make alt chars. GW2 got away with it because at least they locked parts of personal story behind character races and made me not able to experience the said content without rolling a character of the specific race… and unfortunately for BnS, it doesn’t become my next exception.

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Roco

Good.

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Suikoden

Giant anime sword? I’m in. Where do I sign up?

Grave Knight
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Grave Knight

So is it basically a combination of the Destroyer and Assassin or something? The new class I mean.

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rafael12104

Destroyer/Sin that is a good way to look at it. It will be a tank, and it will be tough with huge pools of health. But the kicker is that it uses it’s own health to protect and deal damage.

We will see.

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Krzysztof Czajka

Aion 3.0 Vision trailer – never forget, Ncsoft.

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rafael12104

Thanks, MOP.

A few notes from a player. There is no question that NCsoft is worried the game is getting stale. The news of these awakenings is case in point. The playerbase expected more classes but awakenings are much more preferred. And a reason to keep going on your current main.

There is more than one new class planned, which is interesting. We have confirmation from the producers letter that the next class is going to be a Greatsword tank who will be very tough and will have the ability to use his or her individual health to protect a group of allies, among other things. And that class will be released this year (end of year is my guess).

So I was wrong about the spear or bow wielder being next but there are more classes yet to come.

NCsoft is going to try and make Blade & Soul last a long time, which is great news for those who enjoy the game now. But, I hope that they understand that a new engine, awakenings etc. will mean nothing if they don’t keep current players interested and new players curious.

Grave Knight
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Grave Knight

I honestly think they shouldn’t do a new engine. There is nothing wrong with UE3 or how the game looks. Going to UE4 will strain resources plus not everyone who plays BNS has a computer that can easily handle UE4 (or at least not yet, Epic’s efforts at optimization have brought down the hardware requirements).

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zyrusticae

On the contrary – the build of UE3 the game currently runs on is woefully unoptimized relative to newer builds of UE4, which are actually built to use the full address space of 64-bit memory as well as modern multi-threaded processors (the current game is basically dual-threaded, which is not great for performance on any modern quad-core or above). That’s on top of the fact that the game is running in DX9, whereas a DX11 version would have far superior GPU utilization.

Switching engines is a good thing for both visuals and performance.

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Suikoden

I agree. The new engine will run better on current hardware for sure. I don’t think you’ll notice huge graphical improvements, but for sure performance improvements. Maybe some better ambient lighting and stuff. What the game really could use is some texture updates in some of it’s environments, and a new engine ain’t gonna help with that.

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CubAvenger

Yay! So the UE4 upgrade will address the optimization issues. Then I’m definitely excited for it.

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Suikoden

All great points Rafael. I think BnS has proven it has an audience. I hope they stick with it. This is one of those games I always jump back into. I always end up rolling a new toon though because I can never remember how to play my class that far into the game. I’ll jump back in for sure with the new engine and new classes. I do wish you could que up for dungeons without having to sit in the que screen though.

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Utakata

…even more problematic when no one else is queing for it. :(

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Utakata

*Pigtails quietly wait in small folks’ gallery for Mr. rafael’s assessment of this*

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Utakata

*Pigtails are now satisfied that their patience has been rewarded*