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Old 09-21-2011, 04:13 PM   #1 
Garro
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Blade & Soul CBT2 Review


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Before I give you my honest opinion of the game, I would just like to say, I am not a fanboy of this game. I love gaming and as such, I expect my games to be good and if there is anything a game does badly, I am not shy to talk about it. I have taken part in countless betas and alphas for videos games of multiple genres, not just MMO's, so I would like to think I am giving an honest and well formed review of this game for the build that I was able to play during CBT2.

Getting back to CBT2 now, this time round I decided to focus on one class and just play the game like it would if it was released and see how it stacks up against other games in its category.

Graphics

Blade & Soul's graphics are, in my opinion, outstanding. I have to admit that although I am not a fanboy of any particular games, I do like the Asian art style that we see in Eastern MMOs, and graphically Eastern titles impress me more and more and Western titles seem to just be playing it safe. I am referring to the MMO market here.



Mechanics

I had mentioned earlier that armor in Blade & Soul is purely cosmetic and this is how it works. Instead of having different slots for chest, legs, etc. etc. Blade & Soul has an armor slot for one piece. You have a weapon slot and accessories such as rings etc. but you only have one armor slot which changes your full characters appearance.

By level 12 I had found 3 different armor styles (including the default one you get in the tutorial) and they are pictured below...







I am a bit unsure about this system. I hate in MMO's when I need to give up a really nice looking piece of armor because I have to upgrade to a better, but visually less impressive item, so this system in Blade & Soul prevents this situation from happening. However, I don't see what this system adds to the game that could not have been achieved by simply using a "reskin/remodel" system similar to say Aion. To me, I feel like the decision to allow players to make their character look how they want it to without affecting their stats is a great choice, but the way in which it has been executed just feels a bit complicated and unnecessary. Also, I think it's a bit weird to imagine my character walking about with a mystical pizza in its pocket which gives it stats. I understand that there may be an argument that there will be multiple Bo-Pae fragments and you can build your character they way you want to, but ideally, you could argue that there could be multiple sets of armor with differing stats which would allow you to do the same and if you were able to reskin them, you essentially have the same result but without the Bo-Pae. I just think it is a bit random and a bit unnecessary for what it is trying to achieve.

Blade & Soul also allows you to customise your characters abilities through the training system. The training system is basically a talent tree style system which you will be familiar with from any other MMO or RPG which uses them. I never got the chance to play about with it too much as you only get access at level 15, but it seemed good. Being able to customise your character so it isn't the exact same as everyone else's is always a good thing, so I liked this system. Below is a screenshot of a Blade Masters Training System screen.



Questing

Blade & Soul's questing system can be summed up in one word... boring. If you have never played an MMO before, then you may be able to see beyond the simplicity of the "kill ten rats" style quest system that Blade & Soul is using, but anyone who has played any MMO before will tire of the system very fast. With the innovation being made in the Blade & Soul combat system and the high standards set by the games graphics, it was a real disappointment to see how poor the quest system is.

I was hoping we would see something like the GW2 event system or even the Warhammer Online PQ system as they are two ways of making questing less boring and more dynamic, but that is not the case. What annoys me most about the questing however is that I don't feel involved in it at all. I have played many Eastern titles in languages that I cannot understand and I have always felt involved in the questing, like my actions actually mean something. I always thought that if I can have that feeling when not knowing what is happening (because it is all in a language I do not understand) then it would make for an interesting questing system once it's in a language I understand. This was the case with Aion. I originally played it in Chinese, thought it was brilliant and then played the European version when it was released. With Blade & Soul I actually felt demotivated and bored when questing, the questing actually made me what to log out and play something else, which is not good at all.

Staying on questing, the quests are also all very similar. I was moving from zone to zone following the storyline quest, and each new zone had "go kill x of this" and "go kill x of those" and to be honest, all of the mobs all looked the same. There was always a quest or two to kill something in cave (which are instanced) but all the caves were very similar in design and were always just kill you way to the end then quest done.

The combination of a very boring quest system combined with very repetitive quests and repetitive design of the caves in which you quest in just made the whole questing experience a pain.

Overall


If I have to be honest, the Blade & Soul CBT2 was a huge disappointment.

CBT1 was so promising as you saw the game for the first time and saw how much potential it had. We have had about 6months since CBT1 and CBT2 and the game just feels identical to how it did back then. I understand that there was higher level content added this time round, but there felt like nothing mechanically had changed in the game between the two betas, which was surprising as I expected things such as the quest system to be made a bit more exciting during this time.

I played CBT2 every day the beta was up, however I have to admit I only managed to stay ingame for 2 to 3 hours a day before logging out to play something else. I was logging out because I was bored. The game is very linear in the sense that the storyline quest takes you from here to here to here and you quest here then here then here. This makes alt play incredibly tedious as not only is the starter zone the same for every race/class, but the whole game is the same as you follow the same path each time. As I have also mentioned, the quests in each zone are almost an exact copy paste of the previous zone but upping the number of mobs you have to kill, increasing the time in each area. The caves you go into are almost all the same with the same mobs doing the same things.

Someone asked me how it was to play on TeamSpeak and my honest answer was... "If you can get into combat and stay in combat from level 1 to max level, then you will enjoy it as the combat is amazing. If you break combat and then realise you are fighting the same mobs you were fighting a few levels ago only now they have a slightly different name, you will get bored fast and stop playing."

I know a lot of people will think this is a bit harsh, but it is me being honest. I am a big fan of MMO's an especially Eastern MMO's, but if Blade & Soul was to be released tomorrow, I wouldn't buy it and I couldn't recommend it to anyone. Yes the combat is incredible, yes the graphics are beautiful, yes the animations are insane, but none of that matters when the games progression and questing is so boring that you get fed up and log out after a couple of hours.
Old 06-05-2012, 03:44 PM   #2 
Watkins87
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This game does not differ much from the other games of this type. Yet, it is well done.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:37 AM   #3 
Scarecrow13
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The English version of Blade & Soul is still in limbo, but we are trying to get in Chinese or Korean version to test it. The full review coming soon.

I think project tank is better than world of tanks.

Last edited by Scarecrow13; 04-09-2013 at 10:15 AM.
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