Are you ready for Blade & Soul‘s launch on January 19th? Are you really ready? I mean, you might have played a lot of the game’s beta, but there’s more stuff coming to the game in the days leading up to launch. There’s even a guide to everything players can expect, starting with the full list of launch servers available in both North America and Europe. Plan ahead and coordinate with your friends before you start playing.
Name reservation for certain founder packs will open up on January 11th, with the game allowing players to log in and create characters while not being available for play. There will also be more skin tone, hairstyle, and hair color options available to provide a wider breadth of customization for everyone. Head start begins at 1 p.m. EST (10 a.m. PST) on January 15th, so be sure to check the guide and be ready if you’re hotly anticipating the launch.
On Friday, I took a look at the classes, combat, and tricky mechanics of upcoming sandboxy Korean-import Black Desert’s first western closed beta test. Today, I’ll pick up where I left off by addressing the game’s crafting, gathering, and economic systems.
Now then, as I noted in that earlier article, most of the things you do in the game will ultimately fall under the umbrella of resource gathering, item crafting, or trading; we’ll start with the first. Black Desert provides two ways to harvest resources. The first is the “standard” method that most MMO players will be familiar with: You find a resource node in the world, equip the appropriate gathering tool, and right-click the node to gather the goodies it contains. Harvesting from a node requires energy, so the number of resources you can gather at one time – at least in the early game when your maximum energy reserve is still paltry – is rather limited. We’ll talk about that more soon.
There are two types of MMO gamers when it comes to character creation. The first group attempts to craft a character that looks terrific or otherwise interesting. The second group, however, gets an impish grin and then abuses customization options until unholy monstrosities that beg for a merciful death from behind the screen are a result.
Pvt Wiggles of YouTube is firmly in the latter camp, as he takes a spin through Blade and Soul’s incredibly detailed character creation system and does vastly evil (if hilarious) things to an avatar’s face. It’s something that must be seen to be believed, and we have it for you after the jump.
Over the course of my first day in Black Desert, I did a lot of the things you’d expect from the first day in a new MMO: I killed some imps, couriered some items for spectacularly lazy NPCs, and learned a few skills. But I also spent a much larger amount of time doing things that might seem a bit more novel: I built a raft and sailed the sea; I made a hefty profit buying trade goods in one settlement and selling them off in another; I bought out all the real-estate I could, set up a residence for myself, and used the vacant lodgings to house the workers who built my raft; and I, honest-to-god, spent a solid half an hour extracting blood from dead weasels.
Black Desert is a curious and sometimes arcane creature; for the majority of my first play session, I felt more than a bit lost. And I loved it. It’s been a long time since a game has managed to make me feel lost in such a way that I actually enjoyed the experience. Sure, there have been plenty that have made me feel lost through various means, including convoluted UIs full of flashing buttons, poorly translated quest text, and indecipherable tooltips that provide no useful information.
A long time ago on another website far, far away, I held a tradition of kicking off the new year by listing the top 10 MMOs that deserved attention and were likely to launch that year. These days, however, the industry has changed quite a bit, most notably with early access, open development, soft launches, and crowdfunding blurring the lines of testing and play.
Therefore, I felt that a slight change was needed with 2016’s list. Instead of rattling off 10 titles that I think are going to release in the following 12 months, I’m going to mention games that strongly bear watching in the new year. Some of them will undoubtedly release, while the rest remain in alpha or beta testing, but all could have an impact on the industry and in our online communities.
Because I’m limiting the list to just 10 entries, some up-and-coming games won’t be mentioned. I have my reasons (secret, dusky reasons), but if you disagree about these or the exclusion of any title, pipe up in the comments!
I’ve had some time to think about Blade & Soul, and I’m still not sure exactly what I want to say about it. I enjoyed my time in the beta, yes. There are some kind of big outstanding issues that are definitely not going to be changed for launch, partly because they’re part of the very nature of the game, yes. There’s stuff to consider about the game, definitely. Is it everything it’s been hyped up to be… well, there’s the rub, isn’t it?
As with any title that released and then went without localization for an extended period of time, there’s a certain degree of mystique swirling about Blade & Soul simply because it was heretofore unseen. It was a mystery. It could take on whatever properties you wanted as you viewed it from afar. Now that it’s actually coming here, all of that speculation collapses into now. So it’s a bit of a thorny bush to untangle: I’ll do my best to present my thoughts in an entertaining manner and you can follow along to draw your own conclusions.
For as long as Massively Overpowered exists, this will be one of the most memorable years in our site’s history. It was the year that, after seven year of operation, old Massively got abruptly shuttered by AOL along with Joystiq and WoW Insider. It was also the year that the community rallied around us and Kickstarted the hell out of a new site, giving us the chance to create MOP as an independent MMO entity.
2015 will no doubt be remembered for a lot of other things too, of course. I don’t think anyone could have predicted all of the craziness and unexpected turns that happened in our genre over the past 12 months. Let’s take a walk back through the year-that-was to cover the biggest, strangest, and most exciting stories that we covered.
Massively OP’s end-of-the-year awards continue today with our most likely to flop in 2016 and beyond award.
Last year, Star Citizen took home this dishonor, leading to much discord in the comments. Star Citizen has yet to actually fully launch let alone flop, though, which is why we tack on the “and beyond.” We also note that “flop” can mean lots of things, from outright sunset to financial ruin to simply not living up to insane hype. And we don’t want anything to flop!
Don’t forget to cast your own vote in the just-for-fun reader poll at the very end.
The Massively OP staff pick for Most Likely to Flop in 2016 and Beyond is…
Who loves Albion Online? The game is clearly doing something right enough to celebrate 60,000 founders backing the game in its current beta test; that’s no small number. Maybe it’s the fact that the developers are already rolling out holiday events despite the beta testing, thus allowing people who just can’t stop testing this game a chance to get in on the usual gaming-based festivities despite the fact that launch is not yet here.
I guess we really ought to discuss more beta news, yes? Why not?
Wow. After that last one, I’m too depressed to go on. Tell you what – check out our full list of games down below, let us know if something jumped testing phases without us noticing. A whole year! What the heck was 2015 even about.
Blade & Soul begins its next-to-last beta test tomorrow, and if you’re not in it, that could be because you haven’t pre-ordered with a founder pack yet. So how would you like to win one?
NCsoft has granted Massively OP 10 “Master” founder packs, the highest-tier packs you can get, to dole out to our readers. These founder packs are valued at $124.99 US and include beta access, entry to the three-day headstart, 48,000 premium points, 7,200 NCoin, level 4 benefits, 90 days of premium membership, two name reservation slots, five extra character slots, and a slew of cosmetic perks like character titles, character alteration vouchers, and gear skins.
Read on to enter to win!
Blade and Soul’s roster is ever-growing even as the title’s western launch grows near. Steparu is reporting that the title is currently testing a new class called the Soul Fighter (although he suspects that this name will change for the NA release).
The Soul Fighter is a hybrid class that draws several abilities from both the Kung Fu Master and the Force Master while adding in a few new skills as well. The class utilizes ice and melee attacks to build up a meter that can be unleashed for a flurry of devastating blows. Only Gon and Kun (Yun) races can roll a Soul Fighter, so plan accordingly.
You can check out this new class in action after the break!
Screenshots often tell a story — or a part of one, at least. They invite us into a moment of a gamer’s journey, leaving us to empathize and speculate what we would do if faced with the same situation. I’ve seen a lot of brutal scenarios in my day, but this may be the worst of them all.
“Dealing with rejection is hard enough,” reader Zepheera submitted. “But when your medieval request for the innkeeper’s hand in Aion is met with the father’s stern stare to the accompaniment of sad music from the Lady herself… well, it’s enough to order up another ale. If only there was another pub in town.”
The woe! The pathos! The crossed arms of disapproval!
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.