Blade and Soul (Review)

Blade and Soul (BnS) is an MMORPG currently under license by NCsoft. I have not played Blade and Soul before so consider this a review from a new player perspective.

Blade and Soul has a very solid concept and combat system, however there are serious issues with the implementation of these concepts. Blade and Soul has some stellar graphics for a game of its age. Most of the characters are well designed and combat movements are detailed.

Combat is enjoyable; there is a built in combo system that is rather unique and fun, as well as a means to combine your attacks with other members of your party (when it works). Sadly these are the only things that Blade and Soul has going for it.
Regarding combat, the ability to combine attacks with party members would be much more enticing if it wasn’t for the issues the game has with frame rate stuttering as well as high latency this makes getting the timing for such combos difficult to impossible. The same can be said for the games counter system. A player can use a counter move to disable an opponent, however the window to do so is very limited When the game has server lag and stuttering which is quite often, counters and combos are very likely to fail leaving the player wide open to attack.

Like most MMORPGs Blade and Soul has a diverse set of crafting professions, however once again the concept falls short due to poor implementation. Basic crafting is overly simplified. You simply click on the item you want and wait till the item is delivered to you. The time it takes to have a single item crafted ranges from 30 minutes to over an hour. This just feels sluggish and leaves the player for the most part uninvolved in the crafting system, this does include most of the games gathering mechanics as well.

The only exception to this rule is that each zone does have 2 resources (a water resource and an ore resource), however these are not required for most crafting items. These 2 resources are considered to be rare, and can only be acquired with buckets and pickaxes that are acquired at a very low chance through daily quest. Due to these issues, the entire crafting system just feels very limited, sluggish and uninvolved.

More over it seems that quite some time ago, there was a major overhaul to the weapon and accessory upgrade system which nullified many of the crafted items used by many professions. These changes have not been reflected in the item tooltips and the (now useless)items were not removed from the game. This leaves new players potentially wasting multiple hours crafting items that have zero actual value within the game.

Another issue with Blade and Soul is that the game sports dozens of currency items. Various tokens, coins, pearls, beans, Ncoins and Hongmoon points. It seems that with almost every new zone, there is a new form of currency to collect. For a new player this is overwhelming and after playing for several days it simply becomes tedious and irritating.
To go along with these currencies, the game also sports several menu based shops. There is of course the cash shop, but there is also the dragon empress shop, Hongmoon store, various “fortune wheels,” bean shops, special coin shops, zone only vendors and many more. This makes keeping track of what shops hold a desired item and what currencies go along with that shop tedious at best.

Many of these currencies could simply be combined into a single currency and consolidated for ease of use, however it seems that even more currencies are being introduced into the game with each content patch.

Continuing with the pain train of issues with Blade and Soul. The game has many bugs as well, by level 20, I had encountered 4 broken quests, one of which locked part of my inventory away requiring me to search old Reddit posts in order to find a fix for it.
I also encountered multiple issues with animations freezing up and movement failing. I was at one point stuck in a “paper doll pose” and unable to move or attack properly until I totally restarted the game. These kinds of issues should have been fixed long ago considering the age of Blade and Soul.

The games UI is also quite cluttered. To the degree of being intrusive at times. Random popups (reminiscent of the old pop up adds back in the early days of the internet) informing me of “new items in the cash shop are available”.

Moving on to the cash shop. The Blade and Soul cash shop is the single most egregious cash shop I have encountered to date. The shop sells everything from instant max level characters to all the items needed to upgrade equipment to max level as well as special pets which give massive buffs and the items required to upgrade; even pets, to max level. Players can even buy gold and all the other currencies mentioned above. A player with unlimited funds can easily have the best of everything as well as a maxed out character using nothing but the cash shop alone, without even doing a single quest.

In a game that focuses on pvp as much as blade and soul many players will consider this pay to win. PvP notwithstanding the idea of monetizing every single aspect of the game is abhorrent in my opinion.

In summation Blade and Soul has very little going for it, combat concepts with poor implementation and server issues making most of the inventive combat system useless. Nice graphics and outstanding boob physics. In short Blade and Soul is a shallow throwaway game.

[ 20/100 ]

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