Massively OP’s MJ had a hard time getting into Bless at the beginning, but she wonders if it might get better in the higher levels. Why not test that theory out? She’s diving back in to explore the world a bit further along in the game. If you want to get a taste of life at level 45, tune in live at 2:00 p.m. for another round of…
What: Bless Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 2:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018
Neowiz is decompressing from the rollout of this past week’s Assassin update in Bless, which went… more or less OK. The studio said that it will be creating more instances of the Siege of Castra to accommodate the high demand for the battle. The studio also apologized for the extended downtime this past week and compensated players with 500 Lumena for the inconvenience.
“We also heard your feedback that you didn’t like runes/spirits breaking,” Neowiz added. “As such, we plan to include an update in the near future so that runes/spirits no longer break in Peninsular War or Siege of Castra.”
The title is currently a whopping 67% off on Steam early access, allowing players to pick it up for just $9.89 through August 13th.
Bless Online is rolling out a hefty content update today as promised, including the Siege of Castra PvP battleground, the faction-based open-world Capital War, and of course, the sneaky Assassin class. We had a chance to speak with Neowiz – specifically, Lead Game Designer Junyoung Hwang, Combat Designer Seongil Ma, and Chief Creative Officer Jangchoel Rhee – about both the update and ongoing concerns in the game. Read on!
Massively OP: First, regarding the Assassin: I’ve yet to see a rogue class in an MMO that wasn’t overpowered in some way in PvP, and that goes double for a class newly added to the game – studios just can’t seem to stop themselves from making the new toon a bit too appealing. How is Neowiz working to avoid all that, while still making the class something people want to roll up as a new toon?
Things might be looking up… well, less down for the beleaguered Bless Online, as Neowiz says that both server consolidation and bug fixes are helping to stabilize the fantasy MMO. This means more updates for fans, starting with the upcoming Assassin class patch that is heading our way.
In the second community video, the dev team discusses the game’s “biggest update yet” and the debut of the newest class for Bless. The Assassin is a fast-striking, combo-breaking melee class that attacks precisely from the shadow. “Like a panther, mm!” the community manager said.
The Bless team is also turning up the heat on its PvP game with the upcoming Dominon Contract and Capital War, both of which will go into rotation and change out every weekend to offer a different hotspot for the game’s competitive community.
One nice surprise that was revealed in the video is that Neowiz is putting an end to runes being destroyed in battlegrounds. This change comes from strong player pushback against the possibility.
Very soon, players of Bless Online will get to try their hands at playing an Assassin, but why wait until the patch arrives? The latest update on Steam gives off a few more details about the new class and the new systems arriving in the game in just a couple of days. Assassins are confirmed to use light or medium armor, with daggers as their preferred weapons (of course) and bonuses applied for correctly attired Assassins. Players will also choose between stances like the Assassinate stance which increases damage from behind or the Poison stance which hits harder against poisoned targets.
Those not interested in assassination should look into the new Dominion Contract system, which allows guild leaders to bid for control of a region. Winning the bid and holding the territory for an extended period of time awards Reign Points, which can be exchanged for various useful gewgaws; however, you can also lose your spot by the sword instead of by bidding. Check out the full update for the Reign Points shopping list and more details on the bidding time periods.
People don’t tend to trust assassins all that much, and the Assassins of Bless Online are not likely to change that fact. They do all of the typical assassin things, after all; they sneak up behind people, stab them in the back, sneak around and all of that. But for players who enjoy that gameplay, they’ll be happy to know that the Assassin is due out in the near future, and you can learn more about said assassin in the latest producer’s letter right now.
The update will also contain the new Siege of Castra match, a 70 vs. 70 map that sees both factions fighting for dominance. And speaking of dominance, the new Dominion Contract system will allow guilds to designate lords of certain regions as part of the Capital War, so you can very briefly see yourself made into a respected face of nobility before being toppled at the edge of a sword. Excitement abounds!
Bless Online’s planned western server merges are live as of today as 15 servers merge down to four, two per region. Neowiz has compensation planned, of course, and the rules for how guilds, character deactivation, and character names are lengthy.
“As compensation for the server consolidation maintenance, Premium Membership buffs that were active during the maintenance time will be extended by 24 hours. However, please be aware that players must connect to the game within the 7 day period from July 25 (after maintenance is complete) to August 1st (08:30 PDT) to receive the buff extension. 1,000 Lumena has been added to players’ account inboxes as an expression of our thanks to users who have waited for server consolidation.”
Have you missed out on the whole summer camp experience this season? The good news is that you can get a virtual taste of it thanks to Bless Online’s new summer camp login event. Starting today and running through August 31st, players can grab a free reward every day by logging onto the fantasy MMO and clicking on a single button. You’ll want to be faithful in doing this, as you only get better rewards by logging in cumulatively.
If you hate video updates, you’re probably not going to love Bless Online’s new plan for reaching the community, but at least this one’s short: Yes, Neowiz has posted a video from its community manager this morning promising more videos on a biweekly basis, so this is a thing that is happening. In this first episode, Penta says that Neowiz has expanded its team size, making good on its promise to bolster customer service and bringing on a new community staffer to manage the emissary program, which itself is apparently undergoing some overhauling.
Neowiz is also aware of the Discord community’s panic over the state of the game once Bless has merged its servers down; the studio promises it’s taking into account realm balance for PvP for those consolidations. And finally, the company is bumping up drop rates from bosses in some of the normal dungeons.
Do note that these new videos are not taking the place of the existing producer letters; Neowiz reminded us specifically that the written communication players are already accustomed to will continue on. Oh, and just in case you were tempted: Don’t read the YouTube comments.
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 126.96.36.199 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.”