Neowiz on Buy to Play, the Item Shop, Emissaries & More
Today is a huge day for fans of Bless Online with the announcement of the May Steam Early Access program and the debut of the new site. We managed to corral the devs to ask them a few questions on a wide array of subjects. You won't want to miss this one!
MMORPG: Why did you decide on the “buy to play” model for Bless over all the other types?
Bless Online Team: After reviewing the pros and cons of the Buy-to-Play, Free-to-Play, and Subscription models, we decided that B2P is the most suitable model for both Neowiz Bless Studio and the players. First, B2P would create a pleasant gaming environment by preventing bots from flooding the servers and disturbing the players. Second, we decided against F2P to prevent us, the developers, from being tempted into P2W. And of course, we also looked at our community’s opinions and requests. We have heard many players’ feedback and concluded that buy to play model is what players want the most!
MMORPG: Will microtransaction or item shop things be available at a later point for players to purchase? If so, please tell us about the types of things players will find.
Bless Online Team: Yes, Bless Online will have a cash shop. In it you’ll find awesome cosmetic equipments, skins, mounts and pets, consumables and boosts, and more. There will be no “loot boxes” as it were.
MMORPG: What is the Emissary Program? How does it “build and cultivate the community” for Bless?
Bless Online Team: The Emissary Program is a community initiative for partnering passionate fans with Bless Online to help spread enthusiasm and awareness! Emissaries will create content revolving around Bless to share and expand the number of people who are excited about Bless. Additionally, some members of the program will function as community moderators, facilitating discussions and imparting information to other players. We will also boost and support our emissaries so that they can grow their followings as well!
MMORPG: When Early Access launches on Steam in May, what new features will players find added to the game? What improvements over existing features will debut with EA?
Bless Online Team: One of the biggest new features players will find is localization, including a full voice over for English and a new combat system will allow players to have their own combat styles and combat mode even if they wear the same equipment and have the same level. This new combat system will debut with EA for the first time.
MMORPG: Will there be separate PVE and PVP servers, or is it all PVP all the time?
Bless Online Team: There will not be separate PVE or PVP servers, but we understand that many players do not wish to partake in PVP until it’s on their own terms. To help with this, there will be a consumable item that players can buy in-game to make them non-PVP enabled. This will work all the way to the level cap, last for a time, and has no cooldown. At the level cap, the item will still be obtainable, but via the Cash Shop. A large part of the later game content is PVP oriented (like our sieges), so we’re hoping players will try to engage in the conflict between the two factions then. Still, if they wish to avoid PVP, they’ll be able to buy the consumable in the cash shop, and you will also be able to earn cash shop currency via in-game activities as well.
MMORPG: Do you have plans to release a detailed “roadmap” of what development goals the team is aiming for? If so, when can the community expect to see it published?
Bless Online Team: We are not planning to release a detailed “roadmap” at this point. We will keep our players apprised of all new plans as soon as they’re “ready to talk about”.
MMORPG: What are the biggest post-EA launch plans you have waiting in the wings?
Bless Online Team: We have a lot of exciting things planned for after EA, including the Mystic and Assassin classes, the final combat rework, new battlefield, housing, guild system rework and more. In addition, a new area where you can only travel with Wyverns and flying mounts will be introduced as well as beyond max-level content.
MMORPG: What have been the biggest challenges in “re-engineering” Bless?
Bless Online Team: When we were deciding on the developmental direction of the Steam EA version of Bless Online (“Re-engineering”), there was a lot of internal discussion regarding whether we needed to go beyond just fixing problematic areas and completely restructure the system. Deciding on whether it was the correct decision was the hardest part. However, because we believe that our development direction is the correct way to go, we have been doing our best in developing the game and we hope that our hard work will be reflected in the Steam version.
MMORPG: What have been the high points for your team since the re-engineering project began?
Bless Online Team: I believe that we were the happiest when our projects were completed on time, without delay, and with the least amount of bugs. Seeing the content that we decided on through many discussions finally come together brought our team great joy. Not only our team, but I think that all developers will be able to relate to this.