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PhoenixShi

Blade & Soul is finally coming to NA, and Europe, no really, it is

42 posts in this topic

It's been years since the North American NCSoft site first added the Blade & Soul section, and years since we last heard any official news from them on the matter. It got to the point that people felt certain it'd never actually come, so resigned themselves to an English patched Chinese version, or just gave up, with some mocking people still hoping that it'd come. While there have been rumors, especially in the past number of months, there's been nothing official, until now.

 

It'll be a free to play release for North America, and Europe in English, French, and German. They're looking to do a closed beta test this fall, so if you're interested are suppose to sign up for their newsletter. More official news at the official NCSoft Blade & Soul site linked below. Be nice to finally see what people have been so psyched about for years, hopefully it'll work out well.

 

http://www.bladeandsoul.com/en/

http://www.bladeandsoul.com/en/news/2015/05/20/blade-n-soul-is-coming/

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Started to forget about it already.

MadDemon64 likes this

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Nice, I wanted PSO2 quite a bit more, but this is a start.

MadDemon64 likes this

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Started to forget about it already.

Now all we need is Phantasy Star Online 2 to come over.

Seriously Sega, y u no like us?  Are you afraid to make teh moneys?

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They've been putting up some pages with info on the game, and lore for the past while. A recent one is on the business model which promises everything will be fair, not pay to win with just cosmetic items, conveniences, and such for sale in the cash shop, of course it's not like any company will just say it will be straight up pay to win, but people seem to think they've done alright with other F2P games. There will also be a premium membership thing that sounds similar to what TERA has, and founders packs you will be able to get that guarantee access to the closed beta, as well as various other things (personally, I wouldn't get them, but that's up to you guys). There's also going to be another livestream on the 24th of June.

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They've been putting up some pages with info on the game, and lore for the past while. A recent one is on the business model which promises everything will be fair, not pay to win with just cosmetic items, conveniences, and such for sale in the cash shop, of course it's not like any company will just say it will be straight up pay to win, but people seem to think they've done alright with other F2P games. There will also be a premium membership thing that sounds similar to what TERA has, and founders packs you will be able to get that guarantee access to the closed beta, as well as various other things (personally, I wouldn't get them, but that's up to you guys). There's also going to be another livestream on the 24th of June.

Let's see now, this is being released by NCSoft.  So, how about we make predictions about their F2P model based on what games they have:

Lineage 2

Aion

Guild Wars 2 (technically not F2P but still has a cash shop monetization model like one)

Wildstar (when it converts to F2P)

 

If we think that what they do with these games is decent, then we should probably expect similar decent monetization practices in BnS.

 

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Let's see now, this is being released by NCSoft.  So, how about we make predictions about their F2P model based on what games they have:

Lineage 2

Aion

Guild Wars 2 (technically not F2P but still has a cash shop monetization model like one)

Wildstar (when it converts to F2P)

 

If we think that what they do with these games is decent, then we should probably expect similar decent monetization practices in BnS.

 

Online games are released as free to play, buy to play, or pay to play, and these days, they all tend to have cash shops, so using their buy to play game GW2 as a means of drawing comparisons for a F2P game wouldn't work that well. Still too early to use Wildstar to draw comparisons, as it's still not free to play, but they do have their free to play model outlined in more detail, so you could look at that. I played the first Lineage, and never really felt like playing the second (getting ganked by much higher level bored players got old fast), or Aion, they do although have a web shop for those games, so you can take a look at what they sell, without playing the game. Looking it all over, it was just the usual things like rename chars, change gender, change the look of your char, mounts, XP/Gold/etc gain bonuses, costumes, and that sort of thing. Add that to the premium membership thing and it seems like what TERA is using.

 

People tried to do the same before ArcheAge was released, and expected good things as they felt Rift was pretty good. Problem there was it seemed the devs had more power than the publisher, the devs wanted to do some things players didn't like, and the service had problems what with all the botting, and such going on. Here at least NCSoft controls the game, and in a way, the long delay, and previous run at a F2P version in China for a stretch could prove to be a benefit for this release, as those versions could have helped iron out some of the potential issues, and it should be a more stable game than it was earlier on, as the Lyn, and summoner from what I remember used to be rather buggy. Although again, hopefully everything pans out well.

 

Thing with the F2P model in general is that so long as it has lots of players, and a decent number are willing to spend a bit here, and there, it really adds up. Blade & Soul should have a good player base for a good stretch, I really don't want to play for a month, or so (unless there's some really good start early bonus) as I'm expecting a huge launch flood, and so long as they provide a decent service, should hold onto a decent population. It's when the player count starts getting rather low, and/or people aren't spending enough that games that used to be fair, start moving towards pay to win. I have been hearing from L2 and Aion players for years that NCSoft has a decent F2P model for those game, so that's encouraging. Of course at the same time there's always some people that will complain about any company.

 

If they were like Aeria Games, then we'd have real cause for concern, they love pay to win, and will stuff pretty much everything of interest you spend real money on behind random chance, or just charge absurd amounts, even when in other regions pretty much everything was for direct purchase, and reasonably priced. Aeria Games will even have their games changed to remove drops, or rewards so the only way to get some things was from the cash shop.

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I just hope the game doesn't have an equipment enhancement system that so many korean games have where you can upgrade to a certain point without spending cash, but then afterwards you CAN but really don't want to because you need to cash to prevent horrible consequences that can (and by can, more like WILL 90% of the time) happen such as breaking your item completely, reseting its enhancement level back to 0, etc. I seriously hate those. It's tolerable when the game lets you win regardless of gear level thru skillful play, but notsomuch when you need groups to do endgame content and the groups are like "must need some crazy insane high stats to join" like in Vindictus, blech.

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I just hope the game doesn't have an equipment enhancement system that so many korean games have where you can upgrade to a certain point without spending cash, but then afterwards you CAN but really don't want to because you need to cash to prevent horrible consequences that can (and by can, more like WILL 90% of the time) happen such as breaking your item completely, reseting its enhancement level back to 0, etc. I seriously hate those. It's tolerable when the game lets you win regardless of gear level thru skillful play, but notsomuch when you need groups to do endgame content and the groups are like "must need some crazy insane high stats to join" like in Vindictus, blech.

Where that's the worst is in the genre of online beat 'em up dungeon crawlers started by DFO, which Vindictus would be a part of. In other genres with a risk vs reward enhance system the most you can typically boost the damage of your weapon would be around +100% to +150% damage, but in the genre DFO started it often adds some 600% to 900%, or more damage at max. In others the max safe level would add some 40%-60% damage, with it being 100%-150% damage at max, in stuff like DFO the max safe level would add about 60% damage, and maxes out at some +600% to +900% or more damage. Don't max out in other games, and you're weaker, sure, but if you don't have heavily enhanced equipment in something following the DFO formula, then you can be flat out useless by comparison.

 

I poked around, and found B&S uses some sort of equipment feeding system where you feed other equipment you don't want to your weapon to give it XP, and level it up as is described in more detail at this link. Also to my understanding, equipment doesn't break when upgrading, it would just take a lot of stuff to max it out. Basically if you just keep grinding, and grinding, and grinding, you'll get there eventually. Some, as I've seen in other games will say how that's pay to win, as it means people can buy costumes, and such with real money, sell that for gold, then buy equipment from the auction house to feed your weapons. So long as they don't sell fodder, or require you to use cash fodder, I wouldn't say it's pay to win.

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I'd call it pay to win only if there are severe penalties paying can bypass or mitigate... or if the chances of success are absolutely remote that paying makes probable... and I don't mean remote to do it to the final step or whatever, but like a remote chance to succeed in upgrading once when the max is like 10 or something.

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Personally I don't see anything wrong with the concept of buying stuff like cosmetics from the store with cash and selling them on the auction. To me this actually allow the more casual player to keep up with the person that plays 10-15 hours a day.

 

The biggest complaint is when people start screaming, "Ya it helps the casual. But what about the person whom can play 8-10 hours and has money to spend also?"

 

How is that any different than the person that lives in game and can play whenever they want?

 

By allowing players to sell cosmetic items for whatever reason it allows everyone to advance whether they can play all fay or want to spend their own cash to advance their character.

 

Pay to win for me means, being able to buy the BiS gear directly from the cash store, having to spend my money to unlock an area of the game, having to spend my money to compete. Such as to get this certain item to advance my character it is only availible in the store.

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Pay to win for me means, being able to buy the BiS gear directly from the cash store, having to spend my money to unlock an area of the game, having to spend my money to compete. Such as to get this certain item to advance my character it is only availible in the store.

I find when people are trying to stretch the definition of pay to win to something like "if you can buy a costume from the cash shop, sell it for in-game currency to a player, then buy the in-game item you want = pay to win" is when they really want to bash the game. Let's be honest, if that was the definition of pay to win, all online games with player trading that sell cash shop items that can be traded would be pay to win, and most of them let you do that, which renders that definition so inclusive, it's not usable. Of course on the other hand, some will try to defend a game so blindly, that even when it does sell the best equipment in the cash shop, they'll say it's not pay to win as it can be traded.

 

I go by the definition where pay to win is when what you can buy from the cash shop directly provides a significant advantage of some form. That although due to the use of "significant" means there's a degree of subjectivity to it all, but I mean significant to the normal person, not the obsessive nuts that think +1% is an absolute necessity. Examples of what I'm talking about would be things like say the best equipment, bonus stuff with significant bonuses, and how while it may be "technically" possible without the cash shop, the odds of doing it without cash shop help is so low, or can take such an absurd amount of time, that it was clearly expected that people would not do it without the stuff sold in the cash shop. Where some games seem to try to blur the line is where the game is purposely made an absolutely HUGE grind, so it's a matter of spend dozens of hours farming, and still maybe not have that one item, or just buy it with the cash shop currency, and have it instantly. I'm not talking about the best, of the best, of the best stuff, I mean just regular stuff, so as they keep putting out more items, it just becomes this never ending treadmill of grind in an effort to wear you down, so you open your wallet. Also when a game even uses the cash shop currency for player trading is when things have really gone too far, as then it basically has two cash shops, so perhaps everything is available for real money.

 

AION from what I gather is considered pretty darn grindy by at least some. Of course NCSoft was also behind the Lineage games, with the first one likely being the game that inspired the term "Asian grinder." Now generally the only ones that insist they need the absolute best, of the best, of the best stuff, at the highest enhancement level, and so on are the hardcore, "do you ever log off, or even sleep?" type people. If the enhancement system is just another type of leveling system, with each level being a bit better than the last, then even if it's an insane grind to get to max, I'd be ok with that, as I likely wouldn't expect to get to max anyhow. I just go for pretty solid equipment, and try to have fun with the games I play. Although if max enhancement is an insane grind, you can bet some of the fore mentioned hardcore people will class it as pay to win as they think they need the absolute best stuff, making that perhaps minor amount of extra damage, or whatever a necessity people supposedly can't live without to make the game even playable. Even though they never seem to log off, and would have been one of the people that could have done it all on their own, they'll still later bash the game as pay to win since they feel there is too much of a grind barrier to the absolute best stuff, and the buy costume with real money, sell costume for in-game currency, buy in-game stuff system expedites the matter significantly. Those cries would really star rolling in after a few content updates containing new higher level equipment to get, and level.

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I can't wait for it to come out this fall :) 

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I played the Chinese version of this game to level cap during its beta and eventual launch. I even revisited this game when the level cap was raised from 45 to 50. This is a fun game to play but I do have my concerns if it is anything like the Chinese version. 

 

1. You have to spend a shit ton of money to unlock inventory space and trust me, you need as much space as you can get. Your first few inventory slots are purchased with in game currency but it gets to a point where you have to pay real money to get any more space. Even subscribing did not get rid of this : /

2. Cash shop potions useable in arena pvp. This is blatant pay to win and I hope it does not make its way to the NA release. Just drop some cash and you get to laugh at your opponent's frustration as you heal yourself back to full as if they never hit you >.>

3. Costumes for rent. I do not understand why someone would pay to rent a costume. If I buy it, I want to wear it without paying a subscription to some imaginary tailor to fix it for me every month. Hell the costume sits in your inventory, unwearable, taunting you that you can no longer wear it.

 

I still found the game very fun to play though and only quit playing because I did not want to make a ton of progression only to start over again when it launched in here in NA. The game's pve is fairly linear but with a decent story to tell (not that often in MMOs unfortunately). The dungeons are OK. The real appeal, for me at least, was the PvP. The way the skill system works made it feel like a 3d fighting game. The abilities change out automatically depending on your status and your opponent's. For example, your basic attack might be a stomp if your opponent is on the ground instead of standing, or a trip if you are on the ground. The animation were also pretty awesome with magic flying around, or as a kung fu master, I could mount someone on the ground and beat their face in.

 

If you are interested in playing the game you are welcome to hit me up on here or in teamspeak. I will most likely be playing it again once it FINALLY releases here in NA. I will be playing a Jin Assassin and I will be looking to form a new 3v3 team. Any takers?

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To add, from what I understand this release will will have a type of currency you can gain from playing the game that will let you buy almost all the stuff you can buy with the cash shop currency with enough grinding, which let's be honest here, will likely be a lot of grinding if you want a bunch of stuff. Also this is one of those types of games I would say you likely shouldn't play specifically for the PvP, as games that completely mix the PvP, and PvE don't tend to work out well. Although at least they're doing the thing where everyone plays together, and you can elect to be open to PvP yourself, rather than what some other games do which results in splitting the community, ganking, and other such stupidity. They're even providing ways to get the PvP reward stuff to non-PvPers which is kinda neat. We'd have to wait for a while after the full release before a proper assessment of how they're handling the game can be made though, but again, hopefully it works out well.

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I was playing the f2p Russian server and liked it alot only got to like 30.

 

Am also wondering how the NA version will change for the NA release, we are such a fickle bunch on this side of the large pond

 

And Phoenix, just reread your post below my first one and the HUGE Grind thing again reminded me of AION at release what a grindy game that was at release

 

Had to crit green mats to get blue then crit blue mats to get yellow then crit yellow to get purple even the crafting was grindy

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And Phoenix, just reread your post below my first one and the HUGE Grind thing again reminded me of AION at release what a grindy game that was at release

Was thinking of stuff like Warframe/Grindframe/Warfarm in the part where I said how some F2P games are "purposely made an absolutely HUGE grind, so it's a matter of spend dozens of hours farming, and still maybe not have that one item, or just buy it with the cash shop currency, and have it instantly." I did mention AION as being pretty darn grindy according to at least some of those that have played it, and how the first Lineage game likely inspired the term "Asian grinder" that often is used to describe games from South Korea, both also being NCSoft games.

 

I'm generally more tolerant of grind than some are. Although, it depends on the type of grind, and if I'm having fun in the game. Used to play Dofus for a while not long after it was released, there they'd just add grind to make fights "more challenging," and if you for instance had 100 batches of something to exchange with a NPC, you'd have to open chat with them for each exchange, plus you'd have to chase after the NPC again after each one. There was some really annoying needless grind for the sake of grind there, which finally turned me off of the game, they did improve things some over time though. Then if I'm having fun playing, even if it takes a long time, I'm not too worried about how long it takes. I play games to have fun, not to get to level cap in a day, or get all the best stuff, and max it out almost as soon as it comes out.

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Soooooooooo, I bought a founders pack.... I normally avoid founder's packs like the plague but I have already played this one. I saw the founder's pack as more of an investment in what I was intending to spend on the game anyways. But anyways...

 

Anyone else plan to pick this up when it comes out at the start of next year, or have you grabbed a founder's pack as well? I will definitely be streaming some beta content once they start as well as when the game goes live. HELL, I am going to go re-download the Chinese version and play it again while I wait.

 

If you guys wanna know anything about the game feel free to hit me up.

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Soooooooooo, I bought a founders pack.... I normally avoid founder's packs like the plague but I have already played this one. I saw the founder's pack as more of an investment in what I was intending to spend on the game anyways. But anyways...

The thing with stuff like this is even if it has X character slots, and other such things in one release, it doesn't mean it will for this release. The final release could even differ from the closed/open beta version in various ways, and they can even change things after that, plus you likely won't know the cost of things until the final release, when the founders packs are removed, so founders packs are still something of a crap shoot. Somewhat less in this case, as you can play other versions, so you'd at least know if the core game is of interest, but you still won't know the various specifics of what you were buying till after the full release. I got a boxed copy of TERA a ways back, so have founders status there which gives me about everything I'd want there, plus they gave out two free character slots as well, so now I've even got more slots than I'd really need, but founders packs are still something else.

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Like I said, the only reason I am getting the founder's pack is because I already know that I like the game since I played it to max level in a different region already. I also know that I was planning to get most of the things in the pack already so all the extras are just icing on the cake.

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I was playing the f2p Russian server and liked it alot only got to like 30.

 

Am also wondering how the NA version will change for the NA release, we are such a fickle bunch on this side of the large pond

 

And Phoenix, just reread your post below my first one and the HUGE Grind thing again reminded me of AION at release what a grindy game that was at release

 

Had to crit green mats to get blue then crit blue mats to get yellow then crit yellow to get purple even the crafting was grindy

 

Just an FYI, the Russian version is a pirated private server and is essentially an alpha version of the game, the weapon enhancement is pretty broken, the normal game isn't as bad.

 

I'm still deciding personally if I'll get a founder's pack, I don't fully trust NCSoft, but what I've seen so far looks good (as far as you feel you can trust that). Also, we're getting our own 'unique' version of the game, so give NA's general dislike for grinding I don't think there will be serious issues with it being too grindy, unless they DO decide to go p2w, then we may see that. If I do, it's likely to be the master's pack which while expensive is 'probably' the best overall value. Or at least it is to me, I guess that's a subjective thing. If you're going to make a clan for ASJA you may wish to find out who wants to be in which faction as well.

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I don't play too many online mmos, but I find that founders packs are never actually a very good deal if you want to really get the best value.. I say this because they often have heaps of those little payment things that you would never buy yourself, such as premium consumeables and whatnot, stuff you probably will get more than enough of simply by doing events and playing in game... In addition, they generally only give you like a 20% discount from the regular price of premium items, where if you wait until black friday or something, you can often get 50% discounts.

As an added bonus, if you wait for a real sale in-game, you can decide for yourself if you really like the game enough to spend cash on it or not, and with more options in terms of payment amounts.

That said, even though I've only played a bit of blade and soul, and have decided it's better than your standard stand and hack combat type mmos in terms of combat (and really effing cool in terms of setting and art... I don't even like chinese themed things much, but seeing it so well done in a video game is a rarity, and I really enjoy it!), I think it looks alot better than wildstar, and I'm really still kinda peeved that they decided to delay BaS up the wazoo to western audiences for wildstar, which frankly looks like an april fools of a game to me.

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I don't play too many online mmos, but I find that founders packs are never actually a very good deal if you want to really get the best value.. I say this because they often have heaps of those little payment things that you would never buy yourself, such as premium consumeables and whatnot, stuff you probably will get more than enough of simply by doing events and playing in game... In addition, they generally only give you like a 20% discount from the regular price of premium items, where if you wait until black friday or something, you can often get 50% discounts.

As an added bonus, if you wait for a real sale in-game, you can decide for yourself if you really like the game enough to spend cash on it or not, and with more options in terms of payment amounts.

That said, even though I've only played a bit of blade and soul, and have decided it's better than your standard stand and hack combat type mmos in terms of combat (and really effing cool in terms of setting and art... I don't even like chinese themed things much, but seeing it so well done in a video game is a rarity, and I really enjoy it!), I think it looks alot better than wildstar, and I'm really still kinda peeved that they decided to delay BaS up the wazoo to western audiences for wildstar, which frankly looks like an april fools of a game to me.

I would consider myself primarily an MMO player as I have played most major MMOs that have hit the market in the last 10 years plus several other not so well known MMOs. The NCoin, bag pouches(which you will need to unlock additional inventory space), and the subscription time are well worth the money I invested in a game that I have already played to max level and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Everything else is just icing on the cake. Then again I am not quite sure why I am defending my decision to purchase a founder's pack for a game I have already sunk 100+ hours to someone who doesn't really play MMOs.

 

I also don't understand why you are bashing a game developed by a completely different studio just because it was released earlier in our region but was published by the same publisher. The two games do not share a common team that had to focus on one or the other...

 

I am also not quite sure why you feel the need to barge in to more than one of my conversations in an attempt to belittle my point of view and in some cases, flat out call me stupid. Frankly, I am getting tired of it. If you have an issue with me, why not come chat with me? I am sure we can sort out what ever problem you have with me and go about our day. 

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Ghaleon, I feel you are nothing but a troll trying to start flame in this topic. Next time before you decide to troll, please at least do a google search or two.

NCSoft didn't delay Blade for Wildstar. Wildstar was developed by Carbine Studios while Blade was developed by NCSoft. Even then, there is a difference between the publishing and developing side of NCS. The development group as a whole is divided into teams for each game, which Blade is done by team Bloodlust and the publishing side has no way to speed up or slow down either of these games.

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