Blade and… Soul?

I know curiosity will eventually get the best of me. My Twitter timeline is brimming with people trying out the new Free to Play (F2P) Korean MMO Blade & Soul, and I know that someday along the line I just might download it and give it a shot, if only to see how it plays.

My problem is that B&S (or is it BnS?) reminds me a lot of TERA, and another Korean MMO from a long time in my past: Silkroad Online (SRO).

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TERA was a fun alternative to World of Warcraft during those days. Visually much more appealing than Blizzard’s aging juggernaut, the game also flaunted it’s “action combat” which was a nice change of pace to the familiar combat in WoW. Honestly, it was a fun game! Alas, as I approached the level cap, it started to show that for all the wonderful vistas and how fun it was to solo the game’s BAMs (“Big Ass Monsters“) the game in reality was quite dull in its core. There was a hint of lore but it was lost in the extensive areas that employed the usual “go to town, get quests, repeat” MMO mantra. I stopped playing before the game went F2P so I can’t really comment on that.

SRO was another thing entirely. I played that before WoW and it was fun to play with people I met in the game. However, being a F2P game, it was exceedingly obvious the amount of success you had in the game was directly related to how much stuff you bought in the cash shop: experience boosts, item upgrades… and while not in the cash shop, you also needed a lot of luck to actually tag a mob before the horde of bots killed everything in sight. Like many MMOs, it’s the people you played with that kept me playing.

So how are these two past experiences affecting my current perception of B&S?

The game reminds me of TERA in the visual and gameplay sense. It looks quite good and, from what I gather from tweets, the combat’s pretty fun; the high points of TERA if I were to draw a similarity. But also, from a few videos I have seen, the game also seems to have that feeling of “I look good but there’s not much underneath“.

The game is also F2P, which reminds me of SRO. I have already seen screenshots of gold seller shouts in general chat; but one could argue that other MMOs are also full with them (even Final Fantasy XIV). Now I’ll be honest: I haven’t seen B&S’s cash shop so I don’t know the variety of items, but if it’s anything like SRO it’ll likely contain crafting materials, everyday items, and the like alongside with the standard vanity items. I have heard of an in-game currency that is used for the cash shop, though. Will it become the dreaded “Pay to Win” cash shop? Only time will tell.

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Aren’t you being unfair with B&S?

I don’t think so… because I haven’t made a formal statement, yet (you could say I’m being unfair with TERA, though). I have a “feeling” of how it’ll go, but can’t really say until I try it. I am not in a rush, however. I have enough of a backlog to make time for another MMO. Wildstar is another MMO in my PC that I have barely touched – it doesn’t help that updates take forever to do with my internet.

Some real-life friends – the same ones that played TERA, XIV and Destiny with me – are jumping to B&S. I’ll take their feedback and make a more informed decision.

So, you gonna try it?

Yes. Eventually. Not in a rush to do so.

B&S looks good. Sounds good. And I hope it plays good. All that’s left is seeing if it is actually good.

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