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 Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)

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Snow
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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:58 pm

So BS has been in CB testing for quite a while now
http://www.mmosite.com/ is full of vids & reviews of it

My personal concerns so far

It doesn't seem to be as free targeting as I thought it would, and looks a lot like Aion combat wise

The group boss battle that I watched looked so horribly boring (might have been because it were all noobs, but I doubt it)
Basically everyone could rez, and every time you were supposed to die you were knocked down 1st and were able to crawl out of battle then meditate to full health.
So it was get knocked down, crawl heal up, go hit a few times, repeat.

This is all in the beta ofcourse, and the English version is bound to be a few patches ahaed of how the game is going to be released over there, so a lot of things might still change & improve

Anyways what are your thoughts on BS so far guys

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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Sun Sep 11, 2011 8:58 pm

good reviews so far from all forum i read.

the graphics is good.i like it so far ^^

but i agreed we will probably need to test game first beforehand.they should have a english beta for players to test like in aion last time

however i think we will all end up playing it when it is out anyway heh

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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:56 am

Well my fingers are crossed for atleast 1 game worth playing out of GW2, ArcheAge and B&S I'm sick of all games promising so much but the release half finished.

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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:12 am

ya facade.year 2010 and 2011 been so far a year of disappointment for mmo.

so many promising game but turn out bad or not impressive.

hope those new ones upcoming will turn the tide ^^ looking forward to play a mmo long term again and have fun


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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:17 am

mainThe 2nd Closed Beta Test Review for Blade & Soul is finally online! Having played through out all the daily tests that occurred during the last week of CBT, I am here to share my whole experience. Of course, you'll have to keep in mind that this review highlights the 2nd Closed Beta only. Some of the information in this review may be irrelevant upon future releases. With that said, I hope you enjoy this super long Blade & Soul Online Review from your hardcore foreign gamer.







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Kicking off the review with a Blast!



Introduction



If this is your first time reading a review on Steparu.com, then I welcome you! Just like all my other reviews, I like to provide a ton of videos recorded with Fraps on maximum settings and 1080p quality. I will be playing as a female Jin Assassin in most of the videos in this review, so I hope you have enough time to watch and read all of the content below! GL HF Enjoy!



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Flying and Ninja'ing Around



Character Customization / Playable Race & Class



The 2nd CBT limited users from customizing their own characters, so we had to deal with a limited amount of preset ones. NCSoft already announced that Blade & Soul will offer its own unique and complex character customization, so I am looking forward to that in the future. Jobs were also limited to certain races, hopefully this will also be lifted upon the games final release. I would love to play as a Lyn Assassin in the future or some other melee class.



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2nd CBT Jin Character Creation.



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2nd CBT Kun Character Creation.



There are currently six playable classes available in Blade & Soul which are Blade Master, Assassin, Force Master, Kung Fu Master, and Summoner. A lot of rumors going around saying that there might be a seventh unannounced job called Gunslinger, but I guess we will have to wait and see.



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2nd CBT Lyn Character Creation.



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2nd CBT Gon Character Creation.



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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:18 am

Mainstream Story



The mainstream story for Blade & Soul is really well made, it feels a bit cliche at the beginning. Such as seeking out the truth and searching for the bad guys, but as you progress further into the story it starts to get more and more complicated with a lot of twists and turns. If you watch a lot of anime, then the storyline will feel a bit shonen'ish. Your character starts off very weak and you'll find yourself falling into lots of hopeless situations, eventually your character will get strong enough to overcome some of the main villains of the game.



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Last Battle and Cutscene of Chapter 1.



It's been awhile since I've played a game with a decent story line, the cutscenes are also amazing and very memorable. Most of the main story characters are easily remembered by their unique looks, personalities, and actions. I'm really hooked on Blade & Soul Online's cutscenes and story, I've always found myself rushing through mainstream quests just so I can see what would happen next! Even if you don't understand Korean, you'll still be able to pick up on what's going on in the plotline. If you want to enjoy it even more, then you should ask someone to translate for you, or look for subtitled videos via Youtube. Story is certainly passible if it was to be ported over to a single player console RPG, especially the numerous amounts of instances that you must solo.



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Epic Cutscenes are always welcome in my house!



Gameplay - Movement and Combat



Maneuvering your character should be the same as your average action MMORPG so it should be very easy to pick up. W,A,S,D keys to move around, mouse for camera. I know most of the videos says "R" to normal attack, which may seem a bit awkward to some gamers. It's okay, don't panic you can still press the LMB or RMB to normal attack. Double tapping the W key will make your character sprint on the ground, air, or water. Some classes will be able to learn dodge skills via double tapping E,Q, or S keys. The spacebar key is obviously for jumping, pressing this key again when you're in mid air will change your stance to glide mode, pressing it again for the third time will cancel glide mode. You can also hold down the S key when you're in mid air, this will make your character dive down without taking any fall damage.



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Flying Around or gliding same difference~



I really like the default settings on how the skill bars is setup, the hot keys are 1,2,3,4 and Z,X,C,V. I never did enjoy pressing any keys over 5 or 6, though I can see a very limited amount of skills with this setup. You also have your special action keys for combo'ing which are Tab key and F keys. When an enemy near you is down your R key, LMB, and RMB button turns into a stomp so you can spam kicking them on floor! Most of the buttons varies depending on your job. For example, when an enemy is in the air Assassins can press one of the following buttons R, LMB or RMB to pile driver the enemy.



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First Mission in Chapter 2.



Some of the playable classes have their own unique fighting styles for example, Force Master doesn't use an orb system but a Mana type system. Then the Destroyer class uses a Rage point system, if you have played Tera Online then this is an exact clone on how their Berserkers work. Your rage bar starts off at 0 hitting enemies nets you Rage points, certain skills uses Rage points and so on. Then the remaining melee classes uses an orb system, that I will explain thoroughly explained below.



Blade & Souls combat is a bit refreshing compared to your average action MMORPG. Some of your characters skills uses power orbs, the power orb gauge is located on the top left of the screen. After you have saved up enough orbs from using certain action such as selected skills, ground attacks, and normal attacks, you can then unleash a devastating set of skills that connects to each other similar to playing a fighting game. The skills are very flashy almost as flashy as Continent of the Ninth. Blade & Souls combat can take a bit of time to get used to due to the fact that there is a small window frame between your combos. Users who are living outside of South Korea will experience noticeable lag that interrupts your combos at times. Never the less that probably won't stop users from trying out the game.



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Level 27 Assassin Pile Driver Combo!



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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:20 am

Compared to other action MMORPG's Blade & Soul heavily focuses on it's non spamable combo system and well timed counter attacks! Sure you can spam your skills in this game but it's not very efficient compared to comboing. The mainstream boss fights are really fun and challenging. I always loved fighting bosses that required you to dodge attacks skillfully. The bosses in Blade & Soul is a bit forgiving compared to other games like Tera Online, which is understandable because there doesn't seem to be any classes that can heal in Blade & Soul(I think).



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Level 22 Assassin Questing



Bosses and Named Monsters require some team work mainly due to the fact that your disables won't work unless another person follows through with their disable. Normally, as an Assassin your default land mines trips enemies. If you were to use a land mine on Named Monster or Boss, a green hollow shadow will appear showing that the boss is knocked down. Another person in your party must use the same kind of disable that is also colored green within a certain time frame, like the Kung Fu Masters trip. If you're both succesful in timing your skills within a few seconds, then the boss will then be disabled. Now your Kung Fu Master can pin the boss down with tackle, while the rest of your party beats the Boss or NM down. There are different kinds of disables so if you were to use a Stun move (blue hollow shadow) then a Trip move(green hollow shadow), then the boss would neither get tripped or stunned. With this in effect boss fights are much more exciting, party members must interact with each other and time their disables together.



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Level 25ish Dungeon Party Gameplay!



Gameplay - The World



Blade & Souls world wasn't that interesting compared to Tera Online, I was a bit disappointed. The maps in the first Chapter felt very small and linear, it almost felt like I was playing a single player RPG. I felt very limited, I had to follow a certain roads and paths to move/zone to the next area, which was a big let down. I was really looking forward to ninja'ing around from tree to tree and jumping over mountains to move to the next area. As you progress further into the game the maps get a little bit bigger which was nice, hopefully the areas will be bigger in the future. I was really excited when I entered my first Open Map in Chapter 2 The Grand Desert. Finally, the game was starting to feel a bit more MMORPG'ish. No dynamic weather or time, everything is fixed so when it's morning, it will always be morning.



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The Great Desert Exploration.



Another thing that users might not end up liking is the amount of instances and loading there is involved in the game. It wasn't that much of a big deal for me, though users with slower gaming rigs may experience load times. Let's see, there are instances everywhere, when you enter some houses, enter new areas, new regions, and etc. It's a big problem to players who are often partied friends and want to stay in the same channel for questing. For example, you and your friend are in the same channel, then you both go inside a house to pick up a quest. Once you come back out, you'll both be in different channels. You can change channels and all but most likely channels might say it's busy or full. Both members can then try changing to a different channel, to find out that only one of you will make it in. Then you must wait the long cool down to change channels again, now you've wasted a lot of time trying to get to the same channel so that you can quest together. You can get by it by logging in and out, but that's a bit trouble some. Maybe it's just me or I must have missed something!?



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Cutscenes are always so good!



Blade & Soul has a lot of small and medium size instances for questing, none of them looked special, at least it's not recycled instances, though some of the textures are still the same. The bigger instances has more of unique feel to them, especially the mainstream instances. In terms of mobs and pve monsters, you'll be fighting a wide variety of enemies ranging from humanoids, monsters, wraiths, undeads, munaks(had to say it), and etc. Not much monster recycling going on either, other than the a bunch humanoids with different outfits and attack patterns. The maximum amount of players that can enter instances and dungeons right now is four. Looking forward to large scale raids in the future, I wonder how will that fare out with pure dps and tanking characters.



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Level 15 Party as a Kung Fu Master.



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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:21 am

Gameplay - Leveling Up



I'm the type of person that's okay with just mindlessly grinding experience points to level up, though for some reason I felt like experience points earned from grinding did not scale properly compared to mass questing and mainstream story missions. It seems like the only way to level up fast is by spamming all of your quests. Questing is pretty simple, playable even if you didn't understand a word of Korean, if you're veteran MMORPG gamer then you'll have no problems guaranteed. Everything is marked for you, where to go, what to kill. Quests that are marked with a red circle on your mini map meant you have to kill something in that area and blue circles had you collecting items in that area. No fatigue or stamina system that limited players from grinding their heart out, hardcore gamers can line up their caffeine or energy drinks and hardcore it up, 24hour+ questing sessions style.



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Randomly killing multiple enemies, because I can.



It's more efficient to quest with another person or two especially if you want to level up fast, most of the quests objectives are shared between party members which is a big plus for me. For example, if you're quest tells you to collect five items but your partied with two others. Only one person in your party needs to collect the item and everyone else will be credited for it, just make sure your members are in range. It's obviously the same when it comes to kill quests so you shouldn't worry about it!



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Duoing Low Levels as a Kung Fu Master.



At a certain point in Chapter 2 you'll be given an option to choose a faction, it's a good idea to pick the same one as your friends since there will be quests that require you to enter an open field with a lot of PKing going on. Some of these quests involve rescuing an NPC from your faction and returning them safely to camp. Sounds easy but in reality it's very hard, especially when the opposing faction is questing the same channel, or on the same quest vice versa. Pretty sure there will be lots of high level trolls camping this quest area to pick on newbies or something. I kind of enjoyed doing some of these quests and fighting against other players of the same level, after awhile some high level player mowed down my whole team. I ended up skipping the rest of the quests in that area due to the fact that I don't want to waste my time getting owned by someone ten levels higher than me.



For those of you who often like to dungeon, there are daily repeatable dungeon quests for decent experience points. I'd actually love to see more repeatable quests or other ways of leveling in this game. I never found myself repeating the same dungeon more than three times, unless I was trying to farm certain items or Bo-Pae pieces. Leveling alone gets boring really fast, it's a lot funner to drag a friend or two in your adventures. Why? Because both you can mix and match combos with each other, say you have a Kung Fu Master to keep the enemy pin down while the other person keeps kicking them. You'll just have to be patient with each other when it comes down to the solo mainstream story instance quests.



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Solo mainstream story dungeon and cutscene.



Stats and Equipment



Blade & Soul has very unique stat system compared to other MMORPG's. Blade & Soul introduces the Bo-Pae system, equiping Bo-Pae's increases your characters stats like Attack, Defense, Health and etc. Bo-Pae's are obtained from killing normal monsters, quests, bosses, and token shops. If you end up collecting eight of the same set then your character will have an awesome blue glow on them. It may sound easy, but it isn't mainly due to the fact that you can't equip the same Bo-Pae twice. Each Bo-Pae is numbered one through eight, if you have a Bo-Pae-1 then you can only equip that in your Bo-Pae slot 1. If you picked up a Bo-Pae-7 but you already have something sloted Bo-Pae slot 7, then you can replace it with the new one.



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Helping a friend out in medium sized instances.



So what do you do with the older Bo-Pae's? You can desynth it into dust, this dust is used for combining Bo-Pae's, now you'll be able to enhance and improve your stats even more by combining pieces! You can also combine dif Bo-Pae pieces like a Bo-Pae-2 piece with Bo-Pae-5 piece. It's all up to you and the stats you want to focus on the most. All of the Bo-Pae are interchangeable so it doesn't matter if you have a mixed set from different monsters and bosses. Though it's better to have the full set so that you can take advantage of the set bonuses. The only down side with the Bo-Pae system is you're always often running out of inventory space. Other than Bo-Pae's, accessories and learning new skills also boosts your characters stats, so make sure you're up to date with the best ones. You can also respec your skill points into different skills using ingame currency. In the 2nd CBT, you were able to respec every where and anytime by clicking on the respec button located on the bottom right of your skill specialization page.



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How bout some lowbie gameplay?



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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Sat Nov 12, 2011 9:23 am

Graphics & Sound



This game falls under my top three favorites when it comes down to awesome graphics. I wouldn't exactly rank it first place due to the fact that it has a lot of zoning and linear looking areas as I have explained above. It's a good thing that I didn't run into graphical glitches during my CBT2 experience. Which makes me think they are progressing very nicely, hopefully CBT3 kicks off within a few months. Character animations seems pretty fluid, your character shows a dodging animation every time they dodge an attack and block stuff. Combat just needs some minor improvement in terms of making skills combos flow through perfectly or I just needed to obtain higher levels. I was a bit worried about not being able to run this game on its maximum settings but in the end, it ran perfectly and smoothly. The game actually runs a lot smoother than Tera Online on it's maximum settings, at least in my experience. Recording videos in 1080p with Fraps significantly drops my FPS by 30-40, but at least the videos turned out to be fabulous. I was constantly getting 60-100+ FPS with a very outdated system that I bought 2-3 years ago. I hope that they enhance maximum settings more, the game already looks good, but I think they can take it up another notch with physics! Need something like omega ultra maximum settings for users with hardcore rigs.



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Mainstream Story Undead Invasion.



If you often read my reviews, then you probably know I go crazy when it comes down to attires and fashion. Blade & Soul has a lot of cool looking outfits to choose from and the best part is they are stat free! So you can wear all kinds of clothing without any worries. However, don't let my last sentence catch you off guard. Some of the equipable clothing can get you killed by NPCS or other players. So if you're wondering why you can't talk or find a certain NPC for your mainstream story or normal quests then you're probably wearing an opposing factions dobok/armor/attire. Most of the outfits are obtained through mainstream quests and the cooler looking ones can be obtained from field bosses or certain dungeons. Some of the attires obtained from bosses come in sets of three, for example the first field boss drops a hat, eye piece, and body piece. It's really awesome that you only need a body piece to actually look cool in this game. I've always hated the fact that I had to collect a bunch of pieces like body, shoes, and gloves to complete certain sets in other games. Out of all the games I have played, I must say that Blade & Soul ranks 1st place for me in terms of attires. The details are just amazing especially on female characters, everyone plays female chars because of it. On the down side male characters need some improvement so that they become as popular as female characters.



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Training with your new masters!



There's a lot of extra things dangling from equipable outfits, very noticeable when you're sprinting, flying, and gliding around. Guys will probably be sold out on the boob physics stuff too, they jiggle. The game itself has a lot of potential in terms of ideas because of the games setting and plotline, oriental anime'ish where everyone can Dragon Ball Z around. For the new generation kids I guess it's better to say Naruto'ing it up!



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Mainstream Story Creepy Cutscene.



Background music fits very well with the game, hopefully the full OST will be available on their main website soon. I can't really rate the sound since all of the user made characters of the same race had the same voices, or it seemed like they did. Once character customization is finalized you'll probably be able to select your own voice. The only problem I had with Blade & Souls SoundFX is the pinging noise it makes everytime a player aggros something.



Conclusion



The 2nd Closed Beta Test for Blade & Soul was quite enjoyable but not addicting enough to keep me glued down to my seat overnight. Maybe it's because I have played way too much Action MMORPG's. The maps from the first Chapter was a bit disappointing, the constant zoning to new areas and houses felt like I was playing some kind of PS3 or Xbox360 single player RPG. If I had to highlight three things that stood out the most during the 2nd CBT, then it would definitely have to be the combo system, awesome cutscenes/story, and traveling system via jump nodes/gliding around. If the videos in this review wasn't satisfying enough for you, then make sure you check out the SteparuTV Channel. I hope you enjoyed reading my Blade & Soul Online CBT2 Review and see you in the next time!



Game Score: 8.3



Developer: NCSoft Korea
Game Publisher: PlayNC Korea
Game Site: http://bns.plaync.co.kr/



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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Sun Nov 13, 2011 9:32 am

hey guys!! how are you guys doing. been years ever since i last log in. Just checking up on the status for B&S. seems like everyone is still waiting for it to release hahaa. man i cant wait.
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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:20 am

Hey Crov

Been doing alright,
No main mmo for now, but a lot of the big titles are slowly getting to their release stage

English version of B&S is probably, end of 2012 or even somewhere in 2013 though
So that's still gonna take a while

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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:26 am

So slow? -.-
gonna be bored to death.
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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Mon Nov 14, 2011 3:46 am

ya been like forever.they all come at same time or never come at all ^^

nice to see u again cro heh.still playing wow?

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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Thu Nov 24, 2011 8:43 am

hey shu. been a really long time. nah, quit wow since my friends been busy with work as well. now need a game to fill up my spare time hahahaa. any good recommendation? anything besides swtor hahahaa.
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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:16 am

GW2
But that's in 2012

Nothing big except SWTOR planned for this year anymore

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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Thu Nov 24, 2011 11:31 am

ya what snow says hehe.

many titles coming out 2012 though lol

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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:13 am

Tested this a bit on korean server and it looks really really good!! XD
Graphics are nice when I maxed everything out, but dunno if I can do that with other people on the map.Think my fave thing I've seen so far is the way the characters move, the jumping and gliding *0* awesome.

Even though most of it was in Korean, I didn't want to ruin it when English is out..so didn't play much.

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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:30 pm

I loved the freedom of movement back in PerfectWorld (yes their 1st game, not the 2000th copy after)

So it's a big + to be able to move so freely

Still I'm slightly worried that B&S is staying too close to what Aion was

The skill bars
Gliding with wings in Aion, and gliding on air in B&S

Also it worries me that everyone can do everything from the looks of it, heal/dps/tank/rez
Gonna lack team-play a lil bit (which still can be a good game, Vindictus for example, but that will be based on other things)

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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Tue Dec 06, 2011 12:55 am

and it will be taking forever to be in english.judging from their speed it could take 2013-2014 before retail is here heh

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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:45 pm

@Shu wrote:
and it will be taking forever to be in english.judging from their speed it could take 2013-2014 before retail is here heh

English is always slow. Also, BnS is a heavily quest based game (From what I've played, I don't see how fast the leveling will be when it comes to pure grind). The quest is similar to Aika, so it is good if someone can remember the sequence of the quests and stack them in 1 shot.

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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Sun Feb 19, 2012 1:34 am

Blade & Soul to launch in the first half of 2012

NCsoft revealed that it will launch its anticipated martial arts-themed MMMORPG Blade & Soul
by June at the latest. It already expects to begin a third closed beta
test for the title soon, and will make an open beta test available
before the commercial launch.

The game has received much attention for its unique visual style from
art director and noted character designer Hyung-tae Kim, who made a name
for himself working on the Magna Carta and War of Genesis series for Softmax.

shu:the beta is for kor version btw heh

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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:03 am

I'm assuming it will not be a global release? Or will it launch together with english version?
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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Sun Feb 19, 2012 2:38 pm

doubtful.

will wait for english version is my guess

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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:23 am

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PostSubject: Re: Blade & Soul (A.K.A. NCSoft's Project M)   Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:06 am

ah gunner is a new class.never saw it in previous video

but seems a bit weak in trailer ^^

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