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Each one has a different feel and play style from the others

NCSoft’s Blade & Soul isn’t exactly a new game; since 2012, the game has seen successful releases throughout the Asian territories beginning with South Korea, so you might be scratching your head as to why the game would warrant a preview rather than a review. The answer is simple: The MMORPG is finally headed to the Western world in early 2016, and we were lucky enough to be afforded the opportunity to find out what makes it stand out from the crowd ahead of its release.


Being unique, however, doesn't necessarily make a game good. Blade & Soul is made good by its fluid and timing-based combat, its compelling narrative and soundtrack, its take on open-world PvP and PvE, but the major point I'd like to stress is its style of combat. Blade & Soul could be accurately summed up by calling it a mashup of a fighting game and an MMORPG. The game features 7 classes currently on the North American and European servers (there are more classes on the Korean server) and each one has a different feel and play style from the others.


We think that the we are the only ones who can choose which region we would like to play at. IP blocking won't help Innova to get more players as its well known company with bad reputation. We ask you to change your decisions and allow people to play on EU/NA servers. The one thing that most Western MMO gamers will ask themselves before trying Blade & Soul is “how long is the grind in this game?” Korean MMOs, as mentioned earlier, are known for their grind, but Blade & Soul is actually pretty light in that department.


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It takes a relatively short amount of time to reach the current max level, and a weapon upgrade system allows players to take their starting weapon and continue to upgrade it to it best form. Some players will enjoy this mode, but others will find it completely tedious. Speaking of outfits, these are what you will wear throughout the game. They give no statistical advantage, so you can literally wear what you think suits best. Some outfits however, as stated above, do cause you to be hostile against certain factions.


Interesting if you want to have a challenging PvE session or you want to take on other players. In terms of gear for your character the purple ‘Hongmoon’ items you acquire as you level up are basically evolved with loot drops you gain from the open world and dungeons, removing the need to swap out weapons and accessories. Costumes gained provide no stats and merely change the look of your character. There are no traditional ‘mounts’ in this game as you have a limited sprint and glide move-set to quickly traverse the areas.


It's the last class that's currently reigning in Blade & Soul's PVP. The combination of a familiar, long-distance attack, and great control abilities tends to put most other classes at a disadvantage when playing against a Summoner. Summoner currently holds a strong spot on the PVP rankings and dominates low-level PVP play. (The Korean game has completely different rankings, by the by.) In contrast, the Force Master holds the bottom spot. There's a solid middle in the tiers, but it can sometimes be demoralizing to run into the same class again and again. Balance is a key part of any competitive game, so it's something that should be looked at a bit more here.


I’d love to see and equal opportunity MMO when it comes to character customization. I’ve yet to see bulge sliders or banana hammock outfits. When I make a male character in an MMO that has extensive breast customization, I expect my character to have an anaconda running down his leg. Not only that, I want it to thrash around when I’m running. When I get in a grappling maneuver on my Kung Fu Master, I want my junk to start a choke hold. My flying should start with my pogo stick launching me into orbit.


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