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Blade & Soul - First Impressions - Page 2

Posted Thu, Sep 13, 2012 by Ethec

But Blade & Soul takes combos two steps further: through group combos and active countering. “You’re actually engaged – doing combos based on your enemy’s attacks and movement. Your attacks will change depending on how you’ve responded to an enemy’s attacks, whether it’s an NPC or another player.” No worries if you’re a chronic button-masher, too; Steve noted that the game’s tutorial system will try to channel that energy into skill.

Blade and Soul Combat 1  Blade and Soul Combat 2

Active countering and group combos are hallmarks of Blade & Soul combat. (image gallery)

Steve mentioned that six classes will be available in the game, seemingly confirming fans’ notions that the Summoner is still on the table for NA launch, and definitely confirming that the Elementalist would now be called a Force Master. As for the other classes, Steve likened the Kung Fu Master to a ground-and-pound style MMA fighter. Then there’s the Destroyer (“Big guy, big axe. – an area-of-effect type of tank”), Force Master (“Your ranged mage for this game – fire, ice, shock, and just some beautiful skills”), and the Assassin (“Your classic, stealthy, sneak-and-attack character with some AoE options such as traps”). On the PvP side, Steve affirmed NCsoft’s commitment to competitive players, noting that that Blade & Soul would offer tournament PvP and larger scale faction-based PvP.

Inside the Game

Steve dove into Blade & Soul, noting the extensive character creation system that interestingly allows players to customize poses as well as appearance down to very fine detail. Loads of presets as well as sliders for every conceivable trait are available for the get-in-the-game-fast and the model-painter types alike.

The tutorial masquerades as a familiar scenario for most of us: waking up late for work. Our protagonist, ladies and gents, is a humble cook’s assistant, and we need to roll out of bed to get the kitchen fire started. It’s a charming example of how Blade & Soul seeks to teach through story, just like a good Eastern master would. The tutorial, Steve explained, is optional, but short enough that you might replay it just for the charm of the environment and characters.

A beautiful place to wake up late for work. (Blade & Soul image gallery)

The other feature I immediately noticed was the voiceovers – every character spoke aloud. I asked Steve if the game would be fully voiced, and he affirmed that he game would be fully voiced in English at launch, with other languages to follow.

The next teaching moment came as our boss, the cook, needed us to make a supply run. To do so most efficiently, he taught us the Swift Dash ability. I mention this not to drag out the word count of this article with some boring mention of the game’s sprint ability, but because Swift Dash is part of the game’s first combo, which allows Gliding, then later in the game (with some additional pulse abilities) Flying.  Swift Dash is the first of the game’s movement skills, a body of abilities Steve called Qing Gong (pronounced zhing-gong)..

Blade & Soul's Qing Gong movement abilities are as pretty as they are necessary. (image gallery)

Stepping back a moment, Gliding allows you to continue on in the tutorial by reaching the area near Clan Master Hong, which pretty much assures that you’ll learn your lesson well.

Clan Master Hong, a diminutive older fell with gold rings in the vast curls of his hair, is one of the four great masters who paved the way for the current 1,000 years of peace.  Hong teaches us our first combat abilities, preparing us for full membership in Clan Han Moon, then marches us off to the training dojo.

In light of NCSoft's recent anti-Western antics (i.e. abruptly shutting down the healthy City of Heroes of franchise and firing the 90 employees of US-based Paragon Studios to help bolster its Asian market games), I'm trying not to laugh as they serve us up this tripe. If this is where the company plans to show "a realignment of company focus and publishing support" then they can shove it. I hope Western market consumers are smart enough not to purchase Blade and Soul in light of NCSoft's penchant for dumping games to support their bottom line, regardless of said game's track record or loyalty of the fan base. I think it’s pretty obvious that Blade and Soul represents yet another super-generic fantasy grindfest in an already oversaturated market.

City of Heroes? Seriously? With other, more recent and even free superhero mmo's on the market now, did anyone even play that game anymore? I'm guessing they dropped it because who wants to play MMO pong.

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That looks like Lucy Liu the same way I look like Jason Statham.

Thank God for NCSoft, I was salivating over the thought of playing another generic Korean Fantasy grindfest MMO. This will surely join the ranks of Aion and TERA; both of those games were wildly successful and considered smash hits by North American and European audi- I can't even bring myself to finish that sentence.

More Korean dreck.

I think this looks like a really cool game. I look forward to checking it out.

If you want an MMO within the same genre, WITH STABILITY... Don't go NCSoft. Although the Perfect World franchise isnt a much better choice, it is the better choice none-the-less. NCSoft has a colorful history of developing intoxicating, yet addictive, games and dropping them like a bad habit.

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I always like your blog post because you always come with different ideas and information. I always shared your site post with my friends. Keep posting and i will follow you.

To all the haters of this game, don't play it. Sorry but played other games and so far B&S is by far the game changer, love the Korean version so I can only imagine how the NA release will be. PPL just need to stop bashing on every game that isn't that boring World of whiners or TERAist lol

Sorry but COH was bound to shut down, it was running on fumes DCUO killed that game upon release so get over it.

Having played the korean beta for a bit, I couldn't understand anything being said, and the gameplay by itself was enough to make me want to buy this the second it releases. Anyone who likes both fighters and mmo's will buy this once they get a taste.

its sad that ppl say such bad things about the game, though it is really awesome and the looks and grafich makes the game more fun to play. i mean when i see on other sites all the ****comments then im getting sad, its like they wanna make the creators sad for making an awesome game, but of coures if theres fans then theres also haters.

i just hope they stille wanna release it in the west even though some ppl, just dont deserve it but their are fans who waited many years for this and they deserve to play til their hearts conten,

anyway i hope it will come soon and stick with what all the fans think not what a hater who cant see the beuty in the game. dont judge a book by its cover as i say :3 hehe

and ps to all the hater (if theres any) = w =)/ if u hate it so much then dont play or watch the videos more simple cant it get.

Peace out

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Blades may be used to scratch moving the blade sideways crossways a shell as in an ink eraser slightly than along or from side to side a surface, they are also to cut and dismember things.

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