Getting The Blade Out Of The Soul
Hyung-tae Kim is bringing his design expertise to the table with one of the most highly anticipated MMORPGs for PC, Blade and Soul. The game is one of those richly detailed MMOs that bases its unique structure and character development on the experience of questing and unfolding the plot through story-related missions as opposed to the standard mob-grinding tactic that most MMORPGs employ to keep the masses entertained.
Based on the information that has been released so far, Blade and Soul could easily be one of the most original and acclaimed MMORPGs this generation if things turn out the way they’re supposed to. Find out what will make the game worth playing in this Blade and Soul Online preview.
Character Designs Made To Ogle
There’s really no denying that graphics and characters play a huge part in the appeal and draw towards a demographic of gamers who enjoy cosplay and anime-style aesthetics. The same applies to Blade and Soul, which goes head-over-heels into an overly-glamorous depiction of the races and characters presented in the game. There will be four playable races including the Jin, the Gon, the Lyn and a female only race called the Jun.
It’s safe to say that the designs of the female characters are made purely for eye candy and are easily some of the most sexy and scantily clad MMO characters aimed at a broad audience of players. If you thought TERA Online pushed the limits, well Blade and Soul pushes that limit just a bit further.
Classes And Skills
There are eight playable classes, some of which are attached to specific races. The classes that have been revealed so far include a Blade Master, Force Master, Kung-Fu Master, Destroyer and an Assassin. Each class has its own distinctive playing style and unique abilities, closer to the likes of TERA Online than Dynasty Warriors Online.
For instance, the Assassin class will use a Bayonet and focuses primarily on enemy counterattacks to work as a potential multi-target crowd-controller, with lots of parry and dodging moves. The Kung-Fu Master is like a mixed tank/DPS class that has iron arms and legs, which can deal out massive damage to nearby foes.
The Blade Masters are more like single-target crowd control, allowing players to dish out AOE DPS and aerial-juggle attacks that enable for mid-ranged attacks. Force Masters are like the magic users of the game, honing their skills on both short-range and long-range abilities that can bind or inhibit enemies’ movements while at the same time allowing for powerful magic attacks. They haven’t yet said whether or not Force Masters will be able to help with team heals or potential shield abilities, but for now it looks like they’ll be similar to the force wielders on Vindictus.
The main tanks of the game are the Destroyers, which are very slow with their movements but can absorb massive amounts of damage using demonic powers. But they aren’t just slow moving tanks, they can also unleash devastating demonic attacks, including a beheading move using a demonic scythe.
Environments, Lore And Questing
Team Bloodlust designed the game around Korean mythology, with tons of odd creatures and boss encounters that almost look like they came out of a David Cronenberg film. Still, the real highlight of the bright and lush atmosphere of Blade and Soul is that the environments weren’t designed as grind portals but as story portals. Players will travel not to farm but to evolve the story. Yes, for the first time in a long time an MMO is taking a leap out into the realm of originality.
While some gamers might think this is similar to BioWare’s approach to Star Wars: The Old Republic, it’s not. The difference is that in SWTOR it centers around character development identical to Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic, with questing replacing the farm-grind. In Blade and Soul the idea is that players will adventure and quest to advance the story which in-turn will advance the character. Now that’s unique. Players who make it further through the story will unlock new character traits and abilities.
As it stands, Blade and Soul is scheduled to launch in 2012 for PC and consoles, with testing to begin sometime in late 2011 or early 2012. For more information feel free to visit the Official Website.