I’ve been playing Blade & Soul a lot since its Head Start began late last week, and today I’m happy to report that I’m still having a good time, for now. The core of B&S enjoyment, at least for me, is in the game’s combat, PVP, and group dungeons. The combat essentially being the chief reason I’d recommend people play this F2P MMORPG. But that doesn’t mean NCSOFT’s most recent effort is perfect. Today, we’ll list some of the Weird, Wonky, and a few Wonderful things about Blade & Soul so far.
I took to Twitter, like a true Journalist, to ask some of my friends there what their chief concerns might be with Blade & Soul after a few days of playing. You see, while the questing and rather linear path through the theme park is MMO standard, there’s a lot about Blade & Soul that’s not so straightforward or commonplace in western gaming. The fact that you actually have to bid in-game money on loot (by default) in dungeons being one such oddity. Aside from that, let’s start a bullet list! Those are always fun…
Jiggle Physics – We’ve known B&S would have rather large breasts since its announcement years ago. But what I don’t think people realized is just how much the female parts would bounce around, even when NPCs are just STANDING still and talking to you. Imagine if a male NPC’s crotch just sort of flapped around the same way while you talked to him.
Pray to RNGeezus – The sheer amount of things tied to getting the proper item to drop are pretty intense here. NCSOFT doesn’t really force you towards the Store to make it easier, though it is possible to guarantee you get a class-appropriate item from a lockbox with a key from the store.
High Skill Curve, believe it or not – While you can probably just spam your way through a lot of the PVE early on, the skills, combos, and sheer number of button presses you need to know for many classes is through the roof. Fans and skilled players of Street Fighter will fare well, but MMO folks will be dying for macros sooner rather than later.
You Only Ever Need Hongmoon Items – What I mean is, the very best set of items in the game, is the stuff you get from your earliest moments. As you level, quests will reward you with Hongmoon earings, necklaces, and so on… those too are the best items of that type in the entire game. Everything else is just fodder to be used to level up your Hongmoon items. It’s absolutely strange, the result of content patches Korea saw long before we ever got the game, and it makes the idea of loot collection much less exciting.
Master Pack Items Goe to One Character – Now, I’m sure it was said somewhere that this was the case, but one thing that really seems to bug folks is how their founder pack items, and indeed all items, are single-character use. If you buy an outfit, it’s on that character only. Buy a skin for a weapon? That character only. Spend $125 on a Master Pack? You’ll only get the items on your first character. You can move the items around with the mail, which is a solution. But be aware of this before you go spending everything on one character.
Bag Space Cost – Frankly, it’s steep. It only takes a few bag-expansion items to open your first extra row of slots, but at $0.50 a bag expansion item, and with higher tiers of your inventory costing upwards of 35 items (and more)… that means it’ll cost me $17.50 to open a row of a single character’s inventory. Bag Space will be something people definitely want/need to buy, and it seems NCSOFT knows that. You get some bag expansion items as rewards, but it doesn’t seem like enough. Rather it’s a way to say, “See, you have one more. Now just buy a couple more from the store and it’ll all be alright.” Smart for business, absolutely. But annoying for players. Cosmetic items, like the $5 bunny ears, can at least be traded across characters.