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Home > NEWSThe classes are pretty varied in Blade and Soul

The classes are pretty varied in Blade and Soul

The publisher held a world championship for Blade & Soul's one-on-one and three-versus-three PvP modes last year, which featured Korea, China, Japan and Taiwan, regions where the game had already been out for a year or more. The world championship had a $40,000 prize pool. This year, NCSoft will add North America and Europe to those world championship proceedings, with the proper PvP season beginning once the level 50 and warlock updates have been added to the game. In the PvP mode, levels, gear and attributes are all normalized, so it comes down to skill alone.


The classes are pretty varied though and you have the choice between melee and casters, each with their own stunning set of combination moves. From magic using Summoners and Force Masters to sword and board Blade Master and again, the mighty Gon, wielding their huge battle-axes, there is enough to play around with if you’re an altoholic and like to change things up when you get bored with one of your toons. The only thing missing was an archer class, which I feel always deserves a place among any fantasy MMO, probably because it’s my usual go-to when I fire up a new game…


Disappointing, but they at least had the Assassin which has sated my needs over the past week. The Bloodshade and Nightshade Harbour dungeons will also be added - the former accommodating four and six-player teams, and the latter 24-player teams. Then you can expect a dungeon called Naryu Labyrinth which, as the name suggests, is laid out like a labyrinth (over three levels) - its layout, too, will be randomised for different players. Inside, you’ll have to battle the Thunder and Wind Gods, Fujin and Raijin.


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Combat is fluid and intuitive by offering up a variety of spells for a variety of purposes and attacks that can be countered and chained into new attacks. This combat system performs well in both PvE and PvP settings without being so dumbed-down that the player only has to hold down the autoattack button to win. “Blade and Soul” requires a certain amount of skill to perform well and this means when the player does do well, there's an actual feeling of accomplishment, rather than the feeling you held down a single button, and maybe slipped in a 1 or 2 push while you were at it.


Where the PvE can get tedious, though, is in the platforming and general traversal. Jumping, sprinting, and gliding through the air can be an exhilarating experience, but it's bogged down by a limited stamina meter (which could have been unlimited outside combat) and a few gameplay sections that require you to glide with precision onto floating platforms. Waiting around for respawning enemies to complete a quest can be irritating too, as you and everyone in the immediate area tries to get the first hit on an enemy so that it counts toward their quest. (It helps to be in an impromptu party, though it doesn't always happen.)


Blade & Soul is a free-to-play MMORPG and as such offers a lot of content and gameplay for literally nothing. It’s attractive and has an interesting and flexible combat system that will actually take some time and thought to master, and lots of classes and move sets to play with. If you’re looking for an MMO that isn’t a generic high fantasy clone, Blade & Soul will be appealing.


After a while, though, the romance fades and the grind sets in, and you realize that the good stuff is the PvP after level 45 and even then, there’s not that much to do. There are seven classes but every character slogs through the same story and the same quests and easy-kill monsters. It’s then that you realize the cash shop and XP-boots are there for a reason. It’s easy to recommend giving Blade & Soul a try, but hard to imagine sticking with it for long.


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