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.
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.
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.
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)..
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.