Interview: Neowiz on Bless Online’s tech, class balance, gems, PvP, and more

Neowiz’s Bless has been the subject of much chatter lately (not least of all my own), with its troubled, let’s say, launch raising a bevy of questions and concerns among the game’s community. And as it just so happens, we recently had the opportunity to ask the Bless dev team at Neowiz some questions of our own.

In the exchange, conducted via email (and helpfully translated between Korean and English by the Bless PR team), the devs answer questions on a variety of topics, including the game’s performance and balance issues, chat limitations, and what players can expect from upcoming content updates. If you’re curious to know what they had to say, then read on for the full interview.

Read more

Crowfall shows off the Assassin’s toxic skills

Nasty toxins, sneaky attacks, and underhanded tactics: If these things appeal to your style of play, then you’re definitely going to want to check out Crowfall’s newest class, the Assassin.

To master the class, players will need to utilize the Assassin’s toxins and positional combat to the greatest effect. The Assassin can break out poisons, heals, and nature damage based on which crafted toxin is applied to her blades. She can stealth, of course, and attempt to ambush, blind, and stun foes to keep them from retaliating. Other skills include backstab, kidney shot, diffusion, dagger storm, shadowstep, disengage, and engage.

Get a quick look at the Assassin’s powers and effects after the jump!

Read more

Take a peek at the development of Crowfall’s winged fae assassin class

OK, so “minimum viable product” is pretty much the worst thing an MMO dev can say about her game. But how about “minimum viable powers”? That’s the descriptor for the philosophy underpinning Crowfall’s power development, a new dev blog by ArtCraft Design Lead Thomas “Blixtev” Blair explains today.

“We have been building each archetype with what we think would be a ‘minimum viable power’ kit for that archetype to be useful and fun in combat,” he says. “We are leaving ourselves room on the powers tray for the player to eventually slot additional combat powers (i.e., the ones that the player will acquire via disciplines, advantages or class promotions). In other words, don’t freak out about anything at this stage.”

As his chief example, he uses the Fae Assassin, a “stealthy, quick-attacking, stabby-stab type that utilizes poisons and has positional-based attacks,” to assure backers that the team didn’t accidentally forget about stealth and illuminate the game’s wing and poison mechanics. There’s also a dive into the Sin’s UI, which demos passive and active skills, the power bar, and modes like stealth. Definitely worth a look if you’re the type of gamer who prefers stabbing from the shadows (or, y’know, running away from people like that).

Read more

The Daily Grind: Is there an MMORPG class type you can’t stand playing?

For me, it’s rogues. Ug.

It’s bizarre because I adore rogues, thieves, and especially stealth archers in single-player roleplaying games. There’s never been an Elder Scrolls game with a roman numeral after it that I didn’t beat and play most thoroughly on a thief first!

But man, in MMORPGs, rogues just tick all the wrong boxes. I hate stealthing mechanics in MMORPGs. I hate being slow. I hate positional melee. Actual thievery is usually reduced to tedium (games like Ultima Online and Elder Scrolls Online being notable exceptions). I just don’t have the patience for rogues in the MMORPG space, and when I look across my accounts for games where I’ve played lots of alts — City of Heroes, both Guild Wars games, even World of Warcraft — rogues, assassins, stalkers, and thieves are always the ones I never bothered to level past noobness.

How about you? Is there an MMORPG class type you can’t stand playing?

Read more

These are the stealthers who will gank you in Camelot Unchained

During this afternoon’s studio livestream, City State Entertainment revealed the three classes that will be stunlocking and PKing you from stealth mode in Camelot Unchained.

The Tuatha Dé Danann stealther is the Red Cap, an almost necromantic sort of assassin who trades in blood power. The Veilstalkers, repsenting the Arthurians, are more like arcane rogues who enjoy a zen-like stealth mode. And the Viking realm’s Shadow Walkers walk in… shadows. Don’t mess with these guys and gals at night is what I’m saying.

To date, we’ve now seen the game’s healers, spirit mages, support classes, mages, scouts, shapeshifters, archers, and heavy fighters.

At the end of the stream, Mark Jacobs addressed media and backers personally and apologized for the delay of the crafting system reveal, which is on the way!

Read more

Blade & Soul’s Assassin gets a class overview and a video

Blade & Soul has released a class overview for the Assassin. NCsoft describes it as “a complex class that excels when they have the freedom and time to set up their attack, and can be defined by their strategic approach to combat.”

Playing an Assassin well involves mastering position, timing, and skill chains to ensure that your opponents lack the time to respond to your attacks. Skill availability is dependent upon stance: Stealth allows Assassins to deal huge damage while hidden while Decoy provides a bunch of crowd control effects. Be sure to read the full class explanation via the link below, and don’t forget about the video after the break.

Read more