Bless Online has officially launched out of early access open beta as a free-to-play MMORPG

    
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It’s been nothing but a whirlwind for Neowiz’s Bless Online these last few years. After an aborted attempt to get the gorgeous Korean MMORPG in western hands through Aeria/Gamigo, Neowiz took the title back in-house last year and retuned combat for the western audience, with intent to bring it to early access this May, which it then did.

To say it didn’t go over well would be an understatement. The “Bless Mess” as it came to be called struggled with downtime, refunds, Steam review bombing, duping, balance problems, localization woes, influencer corruption, hacking, insufficient endgame content, and server merges. Nevertheless, Neowiz kept plugging away at the game in its early access, even as concurrency fell and the original Korean servers planned for sunset.

As the studio told us in one of several candid interviews, it’s aware of the MMO community perception of the game – but it also says it’s all-in on the western port. “Bless is not a project that was undertaken with the goal of short-term profit,” studio reps told MassivelyOP just a month ago. “We’re in it for the long haul, or we wouldn’t be here releasing the game on our own via Steam. If there’s any one thing we think players can see about Bless, it’s that we’ve been dead-set on supporting the project and trying to get it to as many regions and playerbases as possible since we first began development. Ultimately, we think the Steam version is the best way to do this, and we’re now concentrating on this effort as the main and sole version of Bless Online across the globe.”

And now the full launch day has arrived: The Steam version moves out of early access open beta and becomes a proper, no-excuses launch today. It also goes free-to-play, meaning everyone can jump right in without a package. Of course, there are buyable packages with costumes, mounts, and skins, starting around 20 bucks. Players who stuck it out through the early access are getting goodies too: “Those who own the Collector’s Edition will receive a lifetime premium membership subscription, and all editions receive at least three months of premium membership, along with exclusive skins that can only be obtained as an owner of the Early Access.”

Halloween is live as well, and next month’s update, due to land on November 7th, will bump the level cap to 50 and add more endgame content as previously announced. Today’s patch to go with the launch is relatively small by comparison!

Here’s a quick catch-up on some of our best coverage of the game from early access to now. It’s been… kind of a busy period:

Source: Press release
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JC Denton

I fucking called it: https://archive.is/lUS8e

Nobody believed me; trolls laughed at me and afterwards they went mysteriously silent as Neowiz quickly began to forcefully bend them over and have their way with them and the rest of the Early Access MoronCrew that threw $100+ USD at them to the tune of over $1 million USD in profits on Steam alone (not counting refunds).

I wonder what compelled Valve to finally offer refunds but I suspect a powerful/influential lawyer probably got in touch and made a few threats. Valve wouldn’t ever give a damn otherwise and has never done this kind of thing with any other MMO launch (ever). EA is at your own risk, you get what you pay for, blah blah read the warnings and large pale-blue warning stuff you idiots.

Bless is still a janky jumbled near-unplayable clusterfuck for most people. The few remaining players may stick around or may end up getting bored and moving on to other games. The Korean servers shut down so no more ‘new’ content will be made. Only stuff that was already in the Korean version will eventually (slowly) be meted out until the game is shut down.

I predicted a late 2018 demise but it seems that this F2P conversion was a bit of an interesting curveball that even I didn’t think they’d manage to succeed at. Although I wouldn’t call an MMO with ~5k total peak F2P playerbase a ‘success’ but it is hanging around far longer than anticipated.

It is a sad time in gaming when WildStar gets shut down, Visceral Games gets shut down, TellTale games gets shut down, but fucking Bless Online & Neowiz are still around.

Then people wonder why gambleboxes are in everything. Because fucking morons and idiots are running the market now. That’s why. Time to hunker down back in my retro gaming hub and wait out the storm until the idiots get bored and go back to fucking WoW.

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JC Denton

There’s no need to lie. In literally the very first town/questhub you are in, you’re tasked with killing some animals (wolves or whatever). There’s no need to kiss Neowiz’s ass because they sure as hell don’t care about you or anyone else blindly defending them. Just speak the truth instead of bullshit.

I could link a dozen or so YouTube playthroughs that show the ‘kill animals’ quest in the first town.

((Edited by mod to remove ad hom. Please review the commenting code.))

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Necromonger

I installed it just for the heck of it while waiting for RDR2.
After 10 minutes it was obvious what a shit game this is.

An people even payed money for it…
What is wrong with you ?

I mean i have played some bad mmo’s but this one is ridiculous.
I gues people like to torture themselves and if thats what you like i am happy for you.

But man o man if this doesnt make it to the top of the worste mmo ever or at least 2018 i dont know what will.

To all people looking for a fun mmo, please skip this one.
Dont do this to yourself.

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ting

The amout of attention MassivelyOP gives to Bless Online makes me wonder about the journalistic integrity of the site. I would think the ads were enough.

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Bruno Brito

You’re always wondering about the jornalistic integrity of the site.

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Greaterdivinity

They had an ad manager, they don’t deal with ads directly IIRC. And you mean a major MMO would buy a whole lot of banner adds targeted to MMO sites around launch? HOLY SHIT WHY WOULD THEY DO THAT?! CLEARLY THE FEW HUNDRED BUCKS MASSIVELY MAY SEE FROM THE ADS IS BUYING THEM OFF!

This post is especially dumb if you’ve actually read Massively’s coverage of the game. They’ve been plenty critical and have covered all kinds of bad news that Neowiz would probably have rathered they not. You can check the coverage articles linked below.

rahkeesh
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rahkeesh

I just assumed ting was posting pure sarcasm. Maybe not.

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Cypher

Downloaded and tried for a few mins before bed… does actually look very pretty… not sure if I understood the control system tho… rolled an assassin;
Combat was “press 1” to initiate an attack then chain it by spamming “R”?
Seriously? How are you supposed to twist your hands to do that? And while pvp-ing too?
Might give it another shot tonight but I’m not sure about that default control scheme…

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Jo Watt

If you have a gaming mouse. I ended up binding the combos to 4, 5, 6. So it ends up being (1,2 or 3) to start the combo and then 444, 555 or 666 to finish it. Makes things easier. But honestly I cant tell if I’m enjoying the game because its “fun” or simply because it’s something newish to play…

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Caleb Firce

The free to play launch was a massive failure.

They only got a max of 3534 concorent players on launch day lol!
https://steamcharts.com/app/681660

No game can survive on such a small player base and fund the development of new content for the game as well as maintenance costs.

What they will do is slowly release already developed content from the shut down Koren version till it runs out and milk the small NA/EU playerbase for money as hard as they can at the same time before shutting down the servers when they run out of said content sometime early in the new year.

Don’t be ripped off this is there plan to rip as many people off as they can so they can fund there other Bless game thats exclusive to Xbox One and is in development right now.

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John Kiser

Sorry, but linking steamcharts/steam spy is kinda silly to do considering since april data collection by those sites is utterly useless for the vast majority of steam players as that information is by default private and only those that have gone out of their way to deliberately allow the collection on steam charts or the like are really going to be shown.

Steamcharts/steam spy is not a good metric to use for a game’s success or the like at all anymore and hasn’t been since april

seculaparsec
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seculaparsec

Im no where near a Neowiz fanboy but im SO sick of clueless clowns linking these erroneous charts as “valid data”.

Go do some proper research people before you spew lies.

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Doctor Sweers

I think I dropped 8 or 9 singles on this game. I played for about 15 minutes and was thoroughly disappointed. Perhaps that’s not the best way to phrase it as I had low expectations going in.

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psytic

Probably still better off downloading Lineage 2 Classic or Aion if you want a generic grindy Korean mmo

micedicetwice
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micedicetwice

At least Aion is an actual game, and Bless is not.

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_Windsong_

eaten digested and excreted

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Winter

I might have tried it if there was not open world pvp..