Trending Games | Astellia | Guild Wars 2 | Elder Scrolls Online | World of Warcraft

    Facebook Twitter YouTube Twitch.tv YouTube.Gaming Discord
Register
Quick Game Jump
Members:3,876,505 Users Online:0
Games:883 

Show Blog

Blade and Soul vs TERA

Posted by Ozzallos Wednesday March 2 2016 at 10:11PM
Login or Register to rate this blog post!

Blade and Soul vs TERA

After four years of waiting, Blade and Soul has finally released for North America and Europe, and If your question is whether you should download it, the answer is ‘yes’. The visuals and creativity are worth the bandwidth alone, but the real question you should be asking yourself is whether you’re going to want to invest the time and/or money into the game versus its competition. There have already been a lot of comparisons to Black Desert, but we’re going to take a step back and look at a more relevant comparison—Blade and Soul versus TERA.

The pair are closer in terms of release dates with BnS being released in 2012 while TERA released in 2011. Their actual content is also strikingly similar in terms of the action MMO theme. In fact, one could be forgiven for making the assumption that one was developed in direct response to the other.

So is it time to jump ship on TERA for a title that is in all actuality only about a year younger? Let’s find out.

Graphics.

To illustrate just how similar these games are, you may be surprised to learn that both utilize the Unreal 3 graphics engine. As such, neither is a slouch in the visual department. To its credit, TERA has remained one of the best looking MMOs under active development to date and given that fact, one would expect Blade and Soul to render just as competently. You’d be right, which would seem to make this category a tie.

Except it’s not. The attention to detail in BnS is exquisite. I don’t often offer that level of praise and the last time I can remember doing so was for DCUO. In fact, I’m notoriously cancerous when offering my criticism, but it is no overstatement to say this game looks amazing thanks in no small part to Kim Hyung-tae. His visionary artwork has been faithfully translated into the game itself and as long you’re on board with the anime theme, he can do no wrong. As I mentioned earlier, just looking around the game is worth the download by itself. Even better, the game makes your character look good even at level one, something a lot of developers forgo in order to abuse your appearance as progression bait.

About the only fault I can find in the BnS arsenal is an over-reliance on instanced content, as if every other character encounter had to be set aside from other players. That said, the game runs amazingly smooth on my trailing edge GeForce 650. If more instancing is what is making this game run so effortlessly, I’ll shut up about it.

Verdict: Blade and Soul

Character generation.

Aside from the attention to detail, Blade and Soul goes by the moniker ‘Boobs and Soul’ for a good reason, and that is due to its propensity to display skin and cleavage. This is largely due to Kim Hyung-tae’s influence, but it’s realistically no worse than TERA. Both are equal opportunity employers, with the guys looking just as buff and ripped as the girls are well-endowed and curvy.

Like TERA, every aspect of the character can be tweaked in some way shape or form, be it the boobs in question or something as subtle as the eye angle. Once the preference for artwork is set aside, the two games are nearly identical in their ability to customize a character; to the point that both even feature a race of lolies. About the only difference there is that I don’t feel like a perv for rolling a BnS Lyn versus TERA’s Elin.

Blade and Soul, however gets a nod for allowing to player to view their character in different lighting scenarios, something that has caused me to reroll too many times to count in other games just to get things perfect. It also lets you save appearances to a template and recall them at will for use. These are functions every MMO character generation setup should have in my opinion, and the call narrowly goes to BnS for it.

Verdict: Blade and Soul

World Content

Not to be confused with graphical prowess, this is the game’s ability to entertain you through questing and content. Frankly, this section is going to be short because neither game really excels in providing an original experience for the would-be player. Most of that consists of ‘Fedex A to B’ runs or ‘Kill X of Y’ quests. That said, Blade and Soul provides platforming elements where the player has to negotiate terrain and obstacles in order to clear some areas, but they’re is just sprinkles on the already bland meal deal.

World PvP is handled in a unique manner that I couldn’t help but to approve of. Cross faction open world PvP does exist and it’s as simple as putting on the right clothing. Multiple factions exist and each has an opposite that can attack you at will as long as you’re wearing the uniform affiliated with your faction. Don’t want to PvP? Don’t put on the clothing, that simple.

Regardless, neither the platforming nor the unique PvP switch make up for the fact that both TERA and BnS feature a very one dimensional world in terms of their content. Yes, it all looks amazing, but after that, there’s not much to it, let alone anything unique.

About the only other item to note here is NCSoft’s inability to control gold spammers or in chat, to the point where some have been noted connecting to the game via remote client to insert their advert. Your 50 name ignore limit will fill up quickly and there’s always more than that spamming the channel. In contrast, I can’t recall the last time I’ve seen a real spammer in TERA. Botting is very blatant and somewhat worrisome in a title that has effectively had four years to fix the issue If Blade can’t control this very important social aspect of their world, this particular category could easily slip into TERA’s favor.

Verdict: Tie.

Combat Mechanics.

By now, you already know that both games are action oriented, meaning your skill plays just as much of a roll in your victory as the numbers running behind the scenes. Both games require you to move, manually target and make skill shots in order to be effective, unlike a World of Warcraft target and cast setup. Though Blade Soul and TERA can be classified as action MMORPGs, how they go about executing that description is vastly different.

TERA is what I would call a 50/50 setup, relying just as much on traditional casting mechanics as it does player interaction. The game features a hotkey bar that can be rearranged at the player’s leisure and a rudimentary talent tree. While skills can often be combined, TERA is more than happy to facilitate the process for you with the simple- and sometimes repeated -push of a button. TERA also features skill based healing and traditional ranged DPS roles, so there is something for everybody.

Blade and Soul, on the other hand, is most definitely a skill based setup. It’s like somebody took a technical fighting game like King of Fighters or Tekken and made it an MMORPG. Combos, counters, breakers and other fighting game elements feature large in BnS, and none of it is handed to you on a single keystroke platter. For instance, a level 12 Kung Fu Master will have you leaping to strike an opponent from afar, Leg sweep to trip, maneuver to grapple, head-butt for HP return, block their counterattack, trigger automatic parry, attack with shoulder slam to stun and charge in with another strike to close the gap that move opened up. Aside from the automatic parry, that is all manually actuated.

At level goddamn 11.

Make no mistake, playing Blade and Soul is like learning an arcade fighting. You’re going to love it or hate it and I don’t see a whole lot of in-between here. Even the caster classes will have to contend with this, let alone the Summoner who will have to micro manage their pet in order to get the most out of it. Again, there is no world of Warcraft auto cast pet where the only real decision you make is to set attack or passive.

While classes can heal, it’s a side thing. There is no dedicated healer nor will you ever find a group looking for one. Like Guild Wars 2, it’s all DPS or crowd control. Normally I would have a problem with that like I did in GW2. It was a game whose content was dominated by DPS zergfests with CC being built in as an unconscious byproduct. In BnS, you have to know what you’re doing at all times in order to not only mitigate damage, but to actually DPS. Can you lock down your opponents? Yes, but it won’t come from button mashing and assuming equal skill levels, it won’t come easy either.

The combat system is what saves BnS from being just another pretty MMO whose world content is ultimately one dimensional and derivative. Assuming you can handle the fighting game aspect to begin with, you’ll find yourself too preoccupied with actually learning your class to care that it’s just another Kill X of Y quest, and even better, the mobs will start to incorporate those combos into their attacks as well. They start off as the same mindless mobs featured in every other MMO, but unlike those MMOs, become more than just HP sinks. They will attack, parry, combo and lock you down as well.

As for TERA? Meh. Things haven’t changed much since World of Warcraft and the minion thing was a fail gimmick from day one.

Every class has its own learning curve to keep you busy in BnS. It features two sword classes, a rogue like class, two pet classes (warlock to be added later), a mage class and an unarmed fighter class. Since you are dealing less in cast times and more in reaction times, ping does matter.

It’s not all gravy though. Key binding aren’t exactly a simple matter of drag and drop into the hotbar. You’ll have to manually set those in the options and even then, not everything is 100% changeable. If I had to level any one complaint against the system, it’s this one, and don’t even think of using your mouse to click your skills. In the end, I think the good vastly outweighs the bad and is ultimately what saves BnS from being a TERA clone or Guild Wars DPS spammer.

Verdict: Blade and Soul

Economy

This is where the Free to Play element usually comes in. It can either make or break games as it did Archeage and many, many others. By now you should know that leveling is no longer the gate of choice in F2P gaming and neither TERA or Blade and Soul overtly hamper it.

TERA has had a run time of four years now and the economy is a mess. Anything worthwhile in the game runs you several thousand in currency, while crafting and cosmetics represent the bulk of the F2P sink. While you certainly don’t look bad through the leveling process in TERA, the game definitely makes it a point to dangle better costumes in front of you as an incentive to pay more and level faster. Blade and Soul, on the other hand, lets you look good from level one and you only get to look better. It’s a refreshing approach to the carrot on a stick costume mentality because in the back of your mind you know that if your character looks this good now, what can you do with actual money?

I find that incredibly fair and amazingly refreshing.

Whereas TERA has inflation problems in its currency, BnS is an absolute miser unless you pay for premium. Even at low levels you can already tell that currency is going to be the F2P gate of choice in order to hamstring encourage you to pay into the system. Mobs might drop gear and other crap, but they won’t drop a dime unless you drop hard cash on the game. NCSoft also loves the key scheme even more than EnMasse does. For example, you got that cool weapon from a drop, but you need to unlock it first. Keys don’t grow on trees and you may not have the right one. Go buy it. And then it probably needs to be unsealed using a special unsealing charm. Since you don’t have those fabulous drop rates, you’re buying that too and the game is going to go out of its way to make sure you aren’t rolling in cash. See where I’m going with this? Make no mistake, your quality of life will suffer. Enough to make you /ragequit? Hard to say.

In terms of hard metrics, $5.00 will get you 400 NC coins and that’s about what it costs for a new character slot. EnMasse will sell you the same thing for 495 of their EMP and 1000 of that will run you $10, so we’re roughly equal in price here. Elite Status in TERA will run you nearly 2000 EMP or $20 for a 30 day period. 30 days of premium in BnS will cost you 959 NC Coins, or somewhere under $15.

Name change scrolls in TERA 995 EMP, or almost $10. BnS prices them at 1200, so that’s going to run you about $15. Character alterations in BnS is an even 1k NC Coins; just over $10. EnMass will sell that to you for 995 EMP, so again, there’s parity. Let’s take one more look, less at a quality of life purchase and more at a cosmetic. From the TERA standpoint, you can pay anywhere from 995 to 1400 EMP for a costume. BnS costumes price in the range of 800 to 1200 NC Coins… Almost not enough of a difference to matter.

There is a tie breaker, however. To do something as basic as send mail in Blade, you have to buy something with real money at least once. Dungeon modes also feature Loot Bidding where instead of rolling for loot, you bid for it. Given how stymied player income is for the free players, it’s a mechanism that goes out of its way to encourage players to pay into the system.  There’s even a key/seal system to bar you from unlocking gear easily if you are a free player. For the mail money grab alone, I’m tossing this one to the veteran.

Verdict: TERA.

Final Verdict

So the final verdict on all of this? I’m going to say it’s going to all hinge on just what kind of game you want. If you can roll with a highly technical combat system where reaction times matter and tactics are rewarded… and are willing to pay for them, I’m going to say hands down Blade and Soul. This and the creativity invested in the environment as a whole save the game from mediocrity when it probably had no right being saved.

That’s not to say TERA doesn’t have its share of technical combat, reaction based encounters and instances where tactics matter. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it deserves your money just as much as BnS does. TERA is a more casual experience, however. And again, that’s an apples to apples comparison, not against something like Warcraft whose experience is downright sedate when compared to either. Regardless, once you start talking free to play, the value ratio dramatically shifts into TERA’s favor.

Still, I cannot stress this enough: If you were that girl or guy who hated fighting games down at the arcade because of the need to learn some fancy combat system, Blade and Soul might cause you to stab you eyeballs out. Granted, there’s no complex joystick maneuvers to learn, but the learning curve is comparatively steep when contrasted against TERA… And probably every other MMORPG you care to name.

But if you can stick it out, or perhaps choose one of the more forgiving classes, Blade and Soul is worth the hype and perhaps even your wallet.