Bless outlines its new box price and sub plan, which it does not want you to call a sub

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.

The company also insists that Bless’ premium membership is “not a subscription-based product” because it is intended to “increase efficiency or provide an effect that will, for a limited amount of time, reduce the costs of convenience related fees” rather than block access to content. We suspect MMO players will not be convinced by this argument, as subscription generally refers to paying for a service for a set amount of time, rather than to the precise nature of what is being purchased, but there’s the argument anyway.

Regardless of what the studio wants to call its subscription, the company has outlined just what you get with it: It looks like premium pet and mount skins, a cheaper market tax, a cheaper repair fee, cheaper fast travel, unlimited gathering bag, unlimited pickaxe, more stuff on the auction hall, plus 20% boosts to experience, gold, dungeon points, and activity point exchange. In most MMOs, these would be rather significant, and precisely what some folks would label pay-to-win, so expect more fuss over that.

For those worried about how the emissary program could go wrong, Neowiz has a document out trying to clarify the role of those influencers as well. “We will not be providing in-game items or buffs that can affect the actual gameplay to Emissaries,” the company says.

Massively OP resident gankbox fan Andrew Ross was at the media event last week (if you squint, you can see him in Neowiz’s photos of the event!). He came away from the hands-on and discussions “concerned about the core Bless experience,” particularly given that neither PvP nor taming were on full display, though he was impressed with the PvE dungeon experience.

Source: Press release, Steam. With thanks to Leiloni and Kieran.
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Cypher

Meh, we need to go back to a time when every MMO had a sub. No Pay to win arguments or any of this shady crap! The people who had the best gear were the best players (or the chronically unemployed) or at least had worked the hardest (or again, had nothing else to do that month).
But no one ever got an advantage for having paid more! (indeed, the poorer – jobless – players had the advantage in that scenario!)

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Beat Energy

We’re definitely listening to the Community.
Didn’t people vote B2P to NOT pay more like it was a F2P game?
Cosmetics, Item Shops and now a Premium Service? All on that fancy Outdated game engine (Yes it is outdated, they are using an older version of UE).

This isn’t WoW, FF or ESO. You’re not buying these things from an established company who knows what they’re doing. You’re (basically) buying these things from an Indie Dev team that has gone back on their words of F2P- because they’re listening to their “Community” (Who only experience in Game Design and Marketing is selling WoW Items for $$$).

Let’s not forget, they have no advertisements at all for the game (Ask Epic Games how that worked out for Paragon).

They don’t have the advertisement or a big name to go along with Bless Online. They’re betting it all on the “Community” (Which isn’t working out obviously if they’re starting witch hunts of its own moderators on their Reddit). Betting it on the Community to do person by person build up- which won’t work since eventually, they’ll realize that they should have built their game to be enjoyed by everyone and NOT experienced MMO players (And yes, there is no reason for someone new to this genre to pick Bless over FF, WoW, ESO, TERA or GW2).

THEY should of AT LEAST made the genre of the game in an Anime-Styled theme (Or even Cel’Shaded). Even then there’d be a far bigger market for them to work with- and a less crowded market with dead games to work with.

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Michael

“It looks like premium pet and mount skins, a cheaper market tax, a cheaper repair fee, cheaper fast travel, unlimited gathering bag, unlimited pickaxe, more stuff on the auction hall, plus 20% boosts to experience, gold, dungeon points, and activity point exchange. In most MMOs, these would be rather significant, and precisely what some folks would label pay-to-win, so expect more fuss over that.”

Those people who would label that P2W probably have not looked at ESO’s sub ;P

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Roger Melly

I ended up going for the Elder Scrolls expansion instead because I got the Morrowind expansion as well included in the price . Once I have gone through that content in a few months time I might take a look at Bless again .

Whatever Neowizz say’s this is a subscription in all but name . Its made me go from wanting to go out and buy the game on release to adopting a wait and see approach to see how it works in practice . The boosts and perks it gives does approach my personal definition of pay to win ,which is basically can someone get an advantage by spending money in a game which has a strong world pvp element ( I realize this differs for everyone which is why I said my personal definition ) .

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Michael

Well, if you play through Morrowind, you will be done with that in less then 2 days. Dunno about the new “expansion” but the expansions for ESO are what a DLC used to be, but barred behind a paywall now. They also took out 1 free DLC a year and the actual DLC that comes into the game is less meaty then it used to be as a result. I agree that this is a sub, but that is just semantics. I don’t understand how someone could claim they are skipping a game to play another game with a worse monetization model.

ESO is buy the box and pay the sub because you have to if you want to access the DLC, unless you buy it all, which rarely anyone has short of people who play year round. (You also need the crafting bag) You are also paying for a “expansion” every year as well so there is an additional 30$ a pop. Oh yeah, the “convenience features” of ESO look an awful lot like Bless as well. The only things Bless has are purely convenience. Stuff like repairs are cheap as it is (Even in other versions it is cheap) and all the other stuff is similar. Exp boost also doesn’t really matter when you have pets that give you +100% more exp and such, as well as, you know, that there is a level cap.

There are also cooldowns on the PvP potions so you can’t just spam them. The cooldown on the PvP potion is atleast an hour (and lasts 10 minutes) at 45 as well. They are basically worthless.

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Daedalus Machina

I frakkin called it.

I’m also going to take credit for promoting that YT video on Steam and Reddit by highlighting the ‘premium customer service’ comment to get them to change their minds. You’re all welcome, dorks. :P

All the defenders make me chuckle a bit. We have all seen this song & dance number before when Black Desert Online was set for a Western release. Same F2P game with a B2P box price due to the demands of reductive salty dorks that don’t understand how modern gaming economics work in today’s market. Then it turns out that BDO went pay to win and didn’t bother to change a single thing about that until they’d lost close to 90% of their initial playerbase and had already milked the Korean/Russian markets dry. Their mobile attempts also failed miserably so they had to eat some crow and fix the shop a bit. Not entirely but just the most glaring pay to win items that were there.

But it seems whenever a new asian-imported MMO gets announced it is the same thing all over again. Because subscription MMO communities are SO much better than B2P/F2P ones hmm? Because it totally isn’t based on the capability of the publisher/devs to handle the RMT/botspam/etc instead of removing basic features like player to player trading, right?

I sincerely hope this game crashes and burns in a spectactular fire and takes Neowiz down with it. Those who blindly ‘preorder’ this game via those absurdly-overpriced founder packs will do so at their own risk. And for anyone who does think it is a good idea, I’ve got a timeshare to sell ya :P

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Emiliano Lozada

Not sure what you mean but P2P ges haven’t tried to pull scummy shit like this and the countless KMMOs. You’re right that Bless is doing the same dance as BDO which is basically making a F2P faux B2P game. You’re basically paying to play a F2P game with all the same nooks and crannies.

As for what I consider P2P? FFXIV and WoW. I’m just waiting for Bless devs to announce Korean Parity and remove all the “Western changes” just like BDO. As well as watching the same group hyped for this get burned by the next imported Korean MMO like it was the best thing since sliced bread.

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Michael

Actually, the Steam version is going to be the premier version of the game going forward.

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Michael

It is pretty messed up to hope a game fails and brings a company down with it. The fact that you would celebrate that is fucked up, regardless of your opinion on the game. You want people to lose jobs. Get a life, seriously. That is messed up.

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Brown Jenkin

Gotta admit, this is *way* better than I expected. I’m still on the fence about the game (mostly want to understand combat better, tab target is hard for me to pay for these days) but they do seem to be doing a good job of responding to people’s concerns, and the sub decidedly does not feel pay to win.

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Nick Smith

You took the words right out of my mouth.

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Robert Mann

Still looking at that item for ’10 minutes’ without PvP going “So, uh, enough time to get away from town and be a target, huh?” That definitely fails on that whole ‘Hey, can we can a more PvE experience’ question every darn time.

I expect very few people to even bother seeing the time limit, and those few to leave gankville shortly after.

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dumpster_baby

They have stated since the beginning that the main focus of this game would be pvp. It would be counterintuitive to the design of the game to let people opt out, for a significant period of time.

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Neiloch

PvP focus despite the fact they didn’t show it off in their demo.

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Yoshi Senpai

And for the money can be completely ignored.

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Daedalus Machina

There’s absolutely nothing ‘counterintuitive’ about restricting PvP to only be ‘always on’ once hitting max level. Allowing a gankfest for lower leveled players with zero (real) restrictions is something that Aion tried (and failed) to do back in 2006 and over a decade later it seems nobody has learned despite multiple attempts at the same type of system.

For a semi-recent example, go ask TERA what happened when their open-PvP servers switched to ‘PvP65’ (max level only PvP) servers. The ganking was gone while still preserving the experience for those just leveling up. Zero issues and the gankers had to actually learn to fight their own level or bugger off.

No, the foreign non-English devs will never care about feedback from non-Korean players. They only care about money. I don’t know how many MMO flops there have to be before people realize this truth and close their wallets while walking away. So many gaming choices on the market yet THIS stupid game is what people seem to want. Yikes.

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Roger Melly

I find that sort of “gankville” is only a big problem in games that don’t have faction based pvp . Usually what you get happen in faction based world pvp games when that starts is people from the other faction coming to defend the members of their own faction .

Its why those big battles around Tarren Mill and Southshore took place .

But I do see your point . Allowing people to buypass that sort of scenario by spending real money on such an item is another form of pay to win .

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Sorrior Draconus

Irony is i was really looking forward to trying it out and even buying a founders pack. Buut not now. Now the game is a no go for me and i suspect this will put alot of others off as well sadly.

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Yoshi Senpai

comment image

More than the directionless feeling I get from the dev team.

More than the fact it has failed in every other market.

That picture right here and what I learned about their armor enchanting is what killed so much of my hype for this game. Those wings are just like an emote thing and don’t matter, but that ugly glow… That is something your armor will do once you enchant higher than +10 and it gets brighter and brighter each level past +10.

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Dug From The Earth

So… like a mobile game, where you purchase gems to reduce the time you have to wait… In this game you purchase “premium” status.. which effectively does the same thing.

Garbage.

And in a PvP game, where PvP power is clearly going to come from how quickly you level, and obtain good gear… allowing people to PAY to speed up both of those things… how is this NOT pay2win?

aYates
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aYates

If you can obtain the same stuff, but it just takes a little longer because you’re not a subber, I don’t consider that Pay2Win.
What about the person who doesn’t have to work and can just grind all day to get the best gear quicker? Is that unfair to the person with less time to play?

I’m not a big fan of not being able to trade w/ other players, but I guess you can go find stuff on the AH. I’m impressed that they lowered the price of the $200 pack, but it makes me wonder if it was all planned this way ahead of time to look as if they listen to their fans, and maybe 149.99 was always their target price…smart!

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Dug From The Earth

So using your logic… if someone can buy the best weapon in the game, but I can still earn it by playing 200 hours to grind it out, thats not pay2win either. Because the person who doesnt have to work, can also grind out those 200 hours sooner than I can, because im stuck at work.

Id be more willing to accept this logic in a PvE only game, where you having better gear is meaningless to my personal gameplay.

But this game is heavy Open world PvP. Adding yet another way for someone to get more powerful than me, and have a big advantage of me, beyond the “they have more time to play than me” factor, is not something that should be supported.

THE ONLY REASON IT EXISTS IS TO GET EVEN MORE OF OUR MONEY.

its not some grand game concept, or break through innovation. It serves one purpose. To get us to spend more money.

aYates
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aYates

Of course they’re trying to get more money out of us lol.
I grew up on sub games, so the buy2play entry point looks more like an option for people on a budget than highway robbery.
Plus, I’m a PvE player, so I see your point on how it would affect you more.

I just think if you’re going to be playing this game a lot, you should be open to subbing to it and if you can’t, having to grind a little more, a little longer shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.

They should’ve been more transparent about their biz model, too.
I just see P2W in extreme cases where the best gear has to be directly bought from a cash-shop, or a potion that gives you better stats.
Correct me if I’m wrong..I don’t think they’re doing any of that.

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Dug From The Earth

I dont see extreme pay2win either

but i do see lesser pay2win.

Its just an example of a company trying to get away with as much as they can without the players revolting/not buying

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Michael

What are you even talking about? Or are you just attempting to spread misinformation? The best gear comes from PvP currency and Adventure currency. The two currencies that don’t even have a bonus available in Premium.

I would also like to point out, that by your logic, GW2 is P2W.

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Jo Watt

So someone who got to lvl 45 like an hour before you did and has to do dungeons and stuff to even get gear… will be more powerful than you??? What if they get shit drops and you get a full set in a couple runs… just because someone can lvl a little faster or get a few more points doesn’t mean they will be so ahead that you cant catch them in a game like this.
Real p2w is being able to stay so far ahead that a f2p will never be able to catch or obtain a close enough gear rating…
It would have to be the sub giving people a combat buff or something for it to even have any actual effect on gameplay.