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Old 01-19-2016   #1
Don Chipotle
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Let's Check Out Blade and Soul!

What's Blade and Soul, you ask? Good question!

Blade and Soul is a free to play MMORPG under the NCSOFT banner. NCSOFT has such hit games as Aion, Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, and Wildstar under their banner as publishers or whatever. Blade and Soul is a Korean action MMO about Chinese martial arts that is sure to attract a crowd of Japanese anime fans! All this Asian culture! I'm so enriched!

I'm curious enough to check it out and since it's free what have I got to lose other than time? Join me as I experience this game for the very first time!




Here we have the main menu and right off the bat I notice that there's no way to get rid of their intrusive "PAY US MONEY FOR SHIT" banner off to the left. Then I notice that I'm limited to two character slots. Which is probably fine, it's free to play. I guess they assume people who like it will be willing to buy more slots.

Let's take a look at the character creation screen.




So...we've got four races and...three classes? Seems a bit weird but...whatever. The Jin I guess are your standard human surrogates. Fair enough. The Blade Master class is their jack of all trades class, being all about living out your sickass teenage katana dreams. I predict this to be a popular class.




The Assassin is your stealth, rogue class. It's also invoking ninjas because of fucking course it does.



The Kung Fu Master is your...kung fu master class. It seems to be the most technically involved of the classes and that's probably why I want to play it. A little video showcasing the abilities of the class plays in the upper left, by the way. You can't see it because it's a still image.

Anyway, let's at least see what the other races look like.



The Gon are your 'we need a name for the not white/asian people' and also your 'fuckin...I dunno...dragon descendants?' race. They possess the ability to wear stylish fucking coats and wait...what class is that?

Force Master? What?

Blade and Soul has race specific classes. I'd say this is dumb but I mean...WoW does it, SWTOR did it (and still does if you're free to play), WildStar does it...so whatever.

Force Master is your mage class, wielding fire and ice and stylish goddamn coats.



Destroyer is a Gon specific class and it's your frontlines beefy, tanky sort of class. A giant fuck-off axe and strength to rival the gods.



The Lyn are your pedophile race and because of this they have two classes that only they can be. The first is Blade Dancer which I guess is like Blade Master but fast? Fuckin' I dunno I clicked off this race way fast because no.



The Lyn can also be SUmmoners which I assume to be a pet class. Go nuts.



The Yun are an all female race of hippies that are way into nature. They can be Kung Fu, Force Master, or Blade Master.


I went with Jin and Kung Fu Master because if I'm playing a martial arts game I want all the martial arts.


Let's go to character creation now, shall we?



Oh god it's one of these games.


Oh god why are there poses

Oh god why are the eyes like something out of KyoAni and Key?

Oh god why's it so sweaty or is that oil or oh goddddd




Good looking out, Korea.



Yeah, you can go fucking nuts with this. With shit like this I either customize physical aspects of a preset or hit random until I get something not hideous. But the afro did give me an idea.



Like FF14, servers are locked out for like reasons or something. So I went with Poharan because the one I wanted is locked.

I named my character Midnight Venus. Why, you ask?



Because she's the second coolest thing in Catherine.



I also made a Force Master Gon because stylish jackets. I wanted to call her Zhurong because Dynasty Warriors but it was taken. And so were a bunch of anime names I tried just to see. So I went with Dairuko, a character from a trading card game I was into once upon a time. Akodo Dairuko has white hair. The similarities are there.

But let's stick with Midnight Venus because she's the original.


With my character made, let's get into this!



...Fuck this.


Real subtle, Blade and Soul, putting your Priority Queue ad so perfectly in the eyeline.
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How dreamlike to see my x-sisters, outside the context of a Papa Song dome. They sang Papa Song’s Psalm, over and over; background hydraulics underbassed that sickening melody. But how jubilant they sounded! Their Investment was paid off. The voyage to Hawaii was under way, and their new life on Xultation would shortly begin... Watching them from the hangway, I envied their certainty about the future.

Last edited by Don Chipotle; 01-19-2016 at 03:00 PM.
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Old 01-19-2016   #2
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Yeah, this game is supposedly one of the best MMOs Korea has to offer (which isn't saying much) but my one friend is all over this. Giving it a fair shot because I need a break from ESO and Destiny isnt cutting it on its own. But yeah, they're total incompetent morons when it comes to figuring out things that the industry figured out 15 years ago, like server transfers, kicking you from a game because you're AFK, or server loads. The game's gonna be pretty fucked until people get fed up and leave. I went on Old Man Cho server and I only had a 200 person wait or so. Haven't logged off since, because why would I need to? I also picked KFM because I watched the launch stream and it looked fun as balls. Gonna make an assassin too of course but we already had an assassin in our group.
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Old 01-19-2016   #3
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Yeah, this game is supposedly one of the best MMOs Korea has to offer (which isn't saying much) but my one friend is all over this. Giving it a fair shot because I need a break from ESO and Destiny isnt ]

I'm pretty much going to be comparing it to TERA because I've the most experience with that Korean MMO and I can already see some similarities. Like the KFM plays sort of similar to TERA's Brawler class and I wouldn't be surprised if the same team worked on both.


Anywho, I managed to get in eventually.





I'm a sucker for fun credits sequences. It's why I liked Tales From the Borderlands so much because every intro credits scene was super great. An MMO is the last place I'd expect to have one, so Blade and Soul is already starting with a positive in my mind.



This lady keeps calling me Cricket because I suppose Grasshopper would be a bit too on the nose.




Oh holy shit this is absolutely an MMO, look at all that gold spam.

Right off the bat this game reminds me of TERA, that other Korean MMO with fun combat and TERA-ble quest design. I got way into TERA back when it came out even though the quest design was laughably dull. The combat was fun and interesting enough to look past the old school mentality of its leveling process. I reinstalled the game a couple of weeks ago, just because I was curious, and found it nigh impenetrable to jump in with my high level character. So I rolled a brawler just to see.

The similarities here are mainly with the UI. There's no mouse cursor unless you hold a button and instead the mouse moves the camera and points your character. The on screen map is quite like TERA as well, as is the menu that appears when you hit escape. F is also the default 'confirm/do actions' button in TERA and this. Again, given TERA's popularity once upon a time I wouldn't be shocked if B&S shared designers between the games.



This is the tutorial section which may as well be Jade Empire for how much Jade Empire it is.



The first ability you get is a sprint which is great, you run like you're straight out of Naruto with your hands behind you like a dweeb. You can't sprint forever, though, which sucks but I get it. This is at max settings so I dunno what's up with these textures though. Maybe the budget went to the character models? Had to perfect the glistening with sweat look I guess.




This guy sucks but he teaches me another new trick which is kind of novel and I like more than I should.



That trick is gliding! After sprint jumping you can glide until pretty much you reach the ground. This also recharges your stamina which means you can glide and then land and sprint away and glide when that gets low. Gliding is slow but I like doing it. If I were on the dev team I would incorporate gliding into quest objectives. If fucking BioWare can hide stat boosting items behind awful platforming in their MMO, a game with an actual useful platforming ability can do that too.



This little dog thing is your kung fu master. He essentially says that the Hongmoon are the Jedi from Star Wars.




This guy is going to teach us basic combat but he's really thinking how much better at fighting I am compared to him.

Kind of like how in Jade Empire you were the hot shit student that everyone was jealous of.



In a nutshell, the Kung Fu Master has a three hit chain on the regular attack. You can't cancel out of an attack once you click but inbetween steps in the chain you can use an ability - this will be handy soon enough - and keep the step in the chain going.

The Brawler in TERA is similar, except the Brawler has different attacks based on when you press the RMB. You can do launches, AoE, a knockback, all based on combo presses. I personally think this is great and far more interesting than just having skills be on a hotbar.

So if the KFM is like that, which it seems to be, then I can see this being a fun class to run with.


Another component of the KFM skill set is the ability to counter attacks. This is what I meant when I said using an ability inbetween combo chains. I didn't get a great shot of it, but essentially you can hit 1 on the keyboard and you will guard for a few seconds. If you time it right you'll do a counter attack to the enemy, opening them up for further punishment.

The Brawler in TERA has this as well and like in TERA, doing it here is always fucking rad as shit.



During your training, some asshole shows up and fucks your day up.


Then more assholes show up and kill your friends.




Told you this guy sucked.



Your master uses the power of anime to go Super Kung Fu Man and starts firing off Hadokens to stop the evil trio.

This is actually a pretty cool scene if only because the animations are pretty good all around. It's like when the Third Hokage fought Orochimaru.



As the last surviving Hongmoon student, my master decides to give the evil trio his magic sword in exchange for my life. Were this not a video game I would think the evil trio would just be like "Fuck you, dude," and kill me anyway.



#SquadGoals



To be fair, if someone with a giant red fro swung at me like that I'd be terrified.



It goes as well as you think.





You guys are fucking idiots.




Immediately following this my game crashed to the desktop and I didn't bother getting back in because fucking queues, man.
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How dreamlike to see my x-sisters, outside the context of a Papa Song dome. They sang Papa Song’s Psalm, over and over; background hydraulics underbassed that sickening melody. But how jubilant they sounded! Their Investment was paid off. The voyage to Hawaii was under way, and their new life on Xultation would shortly begin... Watching them from the hangway, I envied their certainty about the future.
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Old 01-19-2016   #4
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Immediately following this my game crashed to the desktop and I didn't bother getting back in because fucking queues, man.
Same...
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Old 11-23-2016   #5
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XD So accurate. Funny as shit commentary.

I generally used to chill in faction clothes, pretend to be afk on my KFM. And knockdown/pummel people that attacked me. Then I stopped playing because game ain't that great.
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Old 12-28-2016   #6
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