Live in Bless Online today is the Migra Turris elite dungeon for endgame players. It’s a level 45 zone intended for a 5-man party to roll through once per day, with five bosses to beat down for a chance level 45 heroic weapons, depending on how quickly you can take them down.
“Players can obtain additional rewards depending on the number of boss monsters they defeat in a limited amount of time (25 minutes) after ‘Time-attack’ starts after talking to Yitzhak the NPC on the first floor of the Elite dungeons. If a player manages to defeat 3 boss monsters in 25 minutes they can obtain ‘Ymir’s Skin’ when destroying the Supply Box that can be found in the dungeon. If a player manages to defeat 4 boss monsters in 25 minutes they can obtain ‘Ymir’s Skin’ and one ‘Ymir’s Horn’ at a certain probability when destroying the Supply Box that can be found in the dungeon.”
What else is in the patch? The promised new targeting mode, bug fixes, and a balance pass for Paladins, Guardians, Zerkers, and Rangers. Check out the Migra Turris preview video below for a taste of what’s in store.
It’s Friday, and that means the requisite Bless Online producer’s letter. Fans of the game who’ve stuck with it through the rocky start will want to know that Neowiz has several tweaks on the way. Next Wednesday’s update specifically targets Migra Turis; it’ll add a new elite level of difficulty, complete with new level 45 heroic weapon from the last boss.
Everything else is still flagged “coming soon”; that includes the PvP balance changes, optimization, the doubled dungeon drop rate, and the combat targeting revamp.
“Many of you have been asking to have the option to switch targeting mode for different classes. As such, we have been working to bring you more options. In the next change to the targeting mode options, you will be able to switch between modes with all classes except the Berzerker and Paladin, which will still be locked to action targeting and tab targeting respectively. As the Paladin needs to use tab targeting to effectively heal and the Berzerker skills were optimized for action targeting, we have not yet been able to give both mode options to these classes that resulted in a positive player experience. We will instead be adding a target tracking function for the Berzerker (and the other classes as well) that we think will address many of your issues.”
The saga of Bless Online’s turbulent Western release (which we dove into last week) continues with a new producer’s letter posted today, this time addressing two topics that have been the target of much discussion (and criticism) among players: optimization and hacking. The letter recognizes that optimization is “a big question on the community’s collective mind” and states that the team is “currently in the process” of reworking the in-game options menu to allow players more control over their settings without resorting to altering the .ini file. Moreover, the devs have “identified specific function problems” in the game client and are working to remedy these issues in addition to network-related problems. Neowiz plans to hold stress tests for these fixes “sometime in July.”
The letter also acknowledges that the devs have received numerous reports of players using hacks and states in no uncertain terms that it is “absolutely against [the game’s] terms of service.” In response, the devs “have already been taking immediate action” against these players and are “issuing permanent bans” to the guilty. The team also encourages players to continue reporting players suspected of hacking, particularly by providing video evidence containing character names and server information. You can read the whole producer’s letter over on the game’s Steam page. For more first-hand information on the future of Bless, be sure to check out our interview with the devs.
Live in Bless Online on the holiday today is the 18.104.22.168 patch as promised, with its two big chunks of new content. PvE players are getting a new series of dailies called Royal Quests, at least if they’re level 45. Neowiz says you can finish off 15 per day to max out your rewards. As for PvPers, Basel Gorge is about to be your new haunt. It’s a “highly contested centerpoint of the conflict between the Union and Hieron factions.”
“While in Basel Gorge, players are able to gain more Combat Points from engaging in PvP than they would in other open world zones by controlling neutral bases. Gaining control of a neutral base will grant all members of that faction currently in Basel Gorge a ‘Gorge Occupier’ buff. This buff can stack up to three times, once for each neutral base in the area. Each stacked buff grants a 7% increase in movement speed and increases the amount of Combat Points gained from killing another player by 50%, making faction PvP within Basel Gorge extra rewarding. However, keep a close eye on the bases! Once a base is captured, it will only belong to that faction for twenty minutes before it reverts to neutral and can be contested by the opposing faction once again.”
It’s a big week for Bless Online, as Neowiz is prepping an update due to hit right smack in the middle of the 4th of July holiday here in the States. The good news for folks whose primary beef with the game is content-related is that the update injects the endgame with a much-needed dose of stuff to do.
PvE players will find a helping of daily quests. “Royal Quests are a new daily quest series that will be available to characters starting at level 45,” Neowiz says. “Players will be able to find an accept these quests in multiple locations around the world; they will be marked by purple quest icons on the world map. Players will be able to complete a total of 15 Royal Quests per day to get the most rewards possible.”
If your interests are more aligned with violent delights, however, you’re going to want to check out PvP-oriented Basel Gorge, which Neowiz characterizes as “the highly contested centerpoint of the conflict between the Union and Hieron factions.”
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.
Whether you’re having a lot of fun with Bless Online or wondering if its port is something of a curse, you probably would not object to the game having more endgame content. The latest producer’s letter confirms that a big chunk of endgame content is heading to the game on July 4th with the next major patch, rolling out new Royal Quests for players to take on every day. Royal Quests can award players with better-than-usual items including rare mounts and pets, so you’ll want to be sure to pick up all 15 available quests every day.
The patch will also bring in a new dungeon meant for a full group of level 45 players, Basel Gorge. Adventurers will take on new bosses like Murderous Rover Sykeeli while assaulting enemy bases and taking down enemy soldiers. That’s in addition to market improvements and UI enhancements, all of which should give players plenty more to do in the game at the top end of leveling. Luckily, there’s nothing else happening on July 4th, so it’s well-timed.
The Protector has returned! The denizens of Bless were shouting this refrain when Massively OP’s MJ last played, but will this really solve their problems? Will it solve Bless’ problems? And when will Bless start seeming like a MMO? Tune in live at 2:00 p.m. to see if MJ finds answers to these questions.
What: Bless Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, June 29th, 2018
To say that the development of Neowiz’s high-fantasy MMO Bless has been somewhat beleaguered would be an understatement. Since the Korean import’s Western release was announced in 2011, it has weathered numerous delays; the loss of its would-be publisher, Aeria Games, which dropped out of the project in 2017 citing concerns about “quality standards”, and an ambitious “rebuild project” wherein Neowiz announced a massive overhaul of the game’s core systems and even considered “[abandoning] the current structure and [making] it from scratch.” Despite these obstacles, however, Bless made its Stateside debut last month when it hit Steam as an Early Access title.
Its launch, however, has been every bit as tumultuous as its development, if not more so: Alongside the standard slew of post-launch hiccups that tend to plague any major MMO release, such as login queues and server outages, Bless had to contend with constant balance issues, half-baked localization, community uproar over missing content, and at least a couple of potentially game-breaking exploits – and that’s just in the first week of launch.
But many a game has weathered a touch-and-go launch and hit its stride in the following weeks, so the question remains: How is Bless holding up nearly a month after its release?
Earlier this week, Massively OP’s MJ tried to do a first look in Bless Online. Unfortunately, Bless wasn’t cooperating. She has now managed to get past the character select screen without crashing, so she’s going to take a second shot at the first look. Tune in live at 8:15 p.m. to see what happens when you can get to actual gameplay.
What: Bless Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:15 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 23rd, 2018
Oh, Crowfall, you really looked like you were going to make it to soft launch this year. But it’s not happening; the studio has outright said that soft launch is just not going to be doable before the end of the year, because it’s more important to get the game to the right place. A shame, but on the plus side, we can find out more about the day/night cycle. That’s… similar?
It’s really not. Let’s move on to other beta news.
And that’s everything, but you know, we do have a list of things in testing down below. Is something missing? Has something jumped phases? Do let us know down in the comments below, we always appreciate it.
Bless Online hasn’t quite yet dug out of the hole it made for itself during its early access launch, but at least Neowiz has identified the most important step to take in improving the game’s chances: server stability and consolidation.
A producer’s letter posted on Friday talked about the next steps that the studio will be taking to make the servers a better place on which to play. The good news is that Neowiz has tracked down a key issue that was causing serious server issues and has since corrected it, causing the sahrds to become more stable.
The studio also said that now the rush to check out the game is over, it will be consolidating servers down to four: two in North America and two in Europe. Ever the hopeful studio, Neowiz did say that it will keep the remaining temporary servers on hand if and when they are needed for the game’s official launch. Details are forthcoming about the server merges and how they will affect players and their items.
The merges are tenatively scheduled for the end of July, to be followed by the release of the Siege of Castra 70v70 mode.
Bless Online is trucking out a brand-new patch today. The highlight is the Certanon Arena, essentially a 3v3 best-of-five PvP minigame for level 45 toons; it’s subject to time gating, do note, and opens only at 6 p.m. EDT each evening. Neowiz has also performed a wide-ranging balancing patch on armor, with effects that pertain to every class in the game. Every class is further seeing its own tweaks; Berserkers and Rangers in particular will be pleased as punch with their righteous buffs.
Meanwhile on Reddit, players are currently debating whether the game should merge servers as a result of the loss of players – or they would be, if most of the threads calling for merges weren’t apparently being wiped away by the mods. A few stragglers referring to those threads do remain; one asserts that the studio might not care it’s losing players – after all, as one poster argued, “they’ve already got your money.”
The game peaked around 34,000 concurrent players at the beginning of its early access launch. Within the last day, peak concurrency has fallen to just over 7000 on Steam Charts.