NCsoft formally reveals Aion and Blade & Soul sequels ahead of G-Star

    
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This week’s NCsoft game announcements aren’t going to surprise most of you who’ve been following NCsoft for a while. We’ve known for many moons thanks to investor reports that the company was working on sequels for Aion and Blade & Soul, among other titles, and now, they’ve both been officially revealed at a press event in South Korea, as first reported by MMO Culture.

Worth noting up front is that in August, NCsoft said its PC sales had slowed down and that these games would be tailored to suit the “global market.” That means mobile. And yes, these are mobile titles. The Aion 2 mobile MMORPG is a prequel that features gliding, mass PvP battles, what sounds like an open-skill class system, and no opposing factions.

The Blade & Soul segments are a bit more complicated because there are actually three sequels, all on mobile. Blade & Soul 2 is the one we’ve known about since last year; it’s promising new characters, new zones, ecosystem-driven AI, improved combat, and again, no factions.

Blade & Soul M, however, is what MMO Culture characterizes as a port of the PC game for mobile, but with a bunch of new features, like a story-branching system.

And then there’s Blade & Soul S, a prequel to the PC game, but with a fresh chibi graphic style, a dynamic open world, and hero-collection mechanics.

Wondering about NCsoft big moneymaker, the Lineage franchise? Yet another mobile Lineage title, Lineage 2M, is on the way, a “reinterpretation” of the PC title; it claims to have a “seamless open world” for exploration, as well as RvR battles, raid bosses, and the original 31 classes and then some. Unfortunately, it appears that Project TL aka The Lineage aka Lineage Eternal – was a no-show for the media event. That game has been in production for what seems an eternity and has undergone several transformations and name changes along the way; as of this past summer, it was set for Korean beta (again) before the end of 2018.

Source: MMO Culture

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Solaris

This trend toward mobile is depressing.

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Brown Jenkin

Blech, I mean don’t get me wrong, I actually really enjoy mobile games and think Mobile MMOs could be awesome but it’d be nice to see some new options in the PC market. Blade & Soul 2 looks solid though.

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Dystopiq

At this point it’s safe to say Project Tl is in Dev hell.

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Hunter Jones

That’s awesome. Now the Blade and Soul community from what I know has been dying off because the game runs like garbage on most modern desktops no matter how good they are or what you do, I’m sure my old desktop would run it fine still lol..

A sequel I’m looking forward to though for B&S

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rafael12104

Err, yeah. I know about some of this stuff. I keep up with NCsoft more than I should. Heh.

A few takes on B&S. This is crazy. All of these titles cannibalizing each other does not make for a great strategy. They won’t eat into each other’s pocket? I beg to differ, especially given the competition outside of BnS. Why would I choose two BnS games on my mobile instead of just the best one of the lot? BTW, they already canceled one BnS mobile title this year, Blade and Soul Revolution.

Next, the PC strategy was made very clear earlier this year when it was announced that Blade & Soul for the PC would be getting a new engine next year. Yup, UE4 is coming to BnS which should make the game like new on the PC. The improvements in graphics and gameplay will definitely keep fans happy and bring new players into the fold. The work is analogous to a new dev effort but team Bloodlust won’t be starting from scratch in terms of assets and framework which should save time and money.

As for Lineage II M? Well, I think it has been well proven that anything Lineage is a cash cow. Not surprising that they would go for another round.

Last, I agree with Uta and others. PC seems to be getting the short stick, and I have to wonder if PC will continue to be a focus area as far as games are concerned. It bodes well that they are willing to revamp the BnS engine, but I hope this doesn’t mean that they are shifting gears away from PC gaming.

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Utakata

#OnePlatformToRuleEmAll

Vexia
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Kickstarter Donor
Vexia

Ooh, I didn’t know about B&S being moved to UE4! That’s such a great step forward for the game!

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Utakata

They will move further with the introduction of playable Lyn Wardens. /hint, hint…

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rafael12104

Yes. Not just a rumor, they have it working and actually had a demo with the new Wardens out for view running in UE4. It will not only fix most of the performance issues, but it will allow for new types of gameplay to be introduced such as large-scale battles and sieges. It could also mean housing, a much bigger open world with fewer instances and new types of game mechanics.

We will see. But it certainly lines up with there mobile strategy. They aren’t going to launch a follow up to the PC version, they are “just” upgrading the engine which as you say is a big step forward and will add longevity to the game.

Vexia
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Vexia

I’m not opposed to mobile games as a whole, but I am wondering as a Blade & Soul fan (who admittedly hasn’t dipped into the game for far too long) how I’m going to find time to play them all!

Serrenity
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Serrenity

I’m ok with games coming to mobile, but only if they have more depth than a puddle. I guess is that I would be OK with games coming to mobile if they were targeted at players like us, who want more complexity, depth and engagement with our mobile gaming experiences.

The challenge I have with “Mobile MMOs” is that they are almost all designed to be incredibly shallow experiences, with glacially slow progression to entice you to buy things to speed it up, and designed to enjoyed in 2-3 bursts. It doesn’t have to be that way with mobile games, but that what it is right now because it’s easier to fleece money away from players that way and requires less effort than designing a real game.

If a game company released a real MMO built from the ground up, for Mobile AND for traditional MMO players — well then I think the conversation would be different.

Right now, it’s shallow gameplay and exploitative mechanics.

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Dwarf-Orc

These all look like trailers for one single game.

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Weilan

I’m not going to be playing any of them. I was a fan of Asian MMOs, but they keep releasing the same crap over and over. Especially after I got involved with ESO, I can’t be bothered witch cheap Asian trash.

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Utakata

They know where they can globally stuff their mobiles then. And wouldn’t you know that the size of said platform is conveniently smaller and more ergonomically designed for said insertion. /grr

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Bannex

These announcements are like when you tell a peds patient in the ER “don’t worry you’re not getting a shot!” And then the doc orders an IV.