First Impression: Blade and Soul

I’m trying out Blade and Soul Russian version. It’s open for international players, and has English patch.

It’s really “first impression”, my highest level character is just lvl 10, I didn’t get to crafting yet (lvl 11) or skill specialisation.

Character

Blade and Soul: Character Customisation
Blade and Soul: Character Customisation

There are four races: Jin, Gon, Lyn and Kun. There are 6 classes divided between the races: Assassin, Blademaster, Kung-Fu Master, Destroyer, Summoner and Forcemaster. Summoner is Lyn-exclusive, Destroyer is Gon-exclusive, Assassin is Jin-exclusive, ther rest is shared. Kun is gender-locked – only women. It’s a pity there is such a limitation. Since I wanted to play summoner, I had to choose a doll with crooked legs.

The character customisation is quite advanced. You can choose type of voice, pupils, colour of eye whites, the age of a characters (wrinkles), bust size, chin position, etc. Or use one of the pre-made body builds (including anorectic and bulky) and appearances. Good enough for me.

World

The world is mostly open with a bit of instances (dungeons and homes). You can teleport to another place by just clicking on a map (and creating i-cing circle) if you have visited this place before. You can go through the world unbothered by other players, if that’s your wish.

Quests

Blade and Soul: quest
Blade and Soul: transport-him-quest.

There is a prologue which serves as a tutorial to movement, gliding and fighting. It’ll take you to level 3. Half of it, or so, is cinematic. Doing quests usually isn’t problematic – you get detailed instructions and map pointers. The only problem could be English patch, which sounds like a machine translation.

The quest objectives aren’t only to kill monsters (usually no more than 10), but to gather or transport some items/people too. One of the quests required you to kill vampires and then burn them on a crematory hill. Some quests are funny too, like a narcissistic girl who thinks she’s a beauty or a guy asking for dead man’s foot. Much is lost in the crappy English translation (moreover not everything is translated) and there are times where there is no Japanese audio. The NPC’s story doesn’t end after one quest, which is really nice.

The quests are what pushes forwards the character. I can’t imagine in this game grinding in one spot for an hour. You level up quickly with the quests.

It all starts with an attack on a martial arts school… Your master is betrayed by some of his students, current and former. You miraculously survive (after the Goddess’ intervention) but after a while you learn that you weren’t the sole survivor.

Skills

Blade and Soul: Skills
Blade and Soul: Skills

When you level up, you get skills automatically. Each skill is bound to a certain key, each key can even be used for several skills. This isn’t troublesome so far (in case of summoner). At chapter 17 there starts the skill specialisations or opening the skill trees. Not all skills have specialisations. You also learn skills in the training rooms in various caves around the world. There is an NPC who tells you how to use them.

The skills looks great and are unbelievable. Cat using martial arts, swinging huge pole-axes, attacking with hornets are just some examples. Blocking, countering and position is what matters, as I read. Unless you play a summoner, since it’s your cat which is a tank. Actually the summoner playstyle reminds me of Perfect World’s Venomancer, which is a good thing.

There is no lock-down on a target, so if you move out the mouse cursor, you won’t hit. Which is a bad idea. The fight is interesting and don’t require (force) to spam 1 skill.

Equipment

Blade and Soul: Equipment
Blade and Soul: Equipment

The armour is just a costume. I love the idea, no longer I have to worry that the best armour for the class is the one with the worst look. Some costumes you get for free (quests), other you can buy in the cash shop. In cash shop you can see how your character would look like, you can’t see how your character would like in the quest-awarded costume. There is a special costume for PvPing, but I don’t have anything like this yet.

There is an unusual type of equipment – bopae thing – a table, or how a friend called it “pizza”. It’s an octagon (8-part circle) with various statistics depending on the tile. Three, six or whole eight parts give out bonuses. There are also weapons, which have an upgrade level and can be upgraded with different weapons. Choosing between weapons doesn’t seem problematic, choosing bopae is. They have various sets, and moreover can be refined to get some bonus stats. In the beginning it shouldn’t be too big of a problem.

The equipment is tiered with the rarity/quality system. White, green, blue etc. The first blue equip is obtained at lvl 6, after killing a world boss – you can just hit him once to get the loot. The loot is used to spin the wheel of fortune and you get the bopae sets or weapons. Before you complete the set, you’ll probably run out of inventory space… Not everything you get is sellable on auctions, but most is. You can expand a bit using regular currency, but then you’ll have to get the cash shop items to do so. If you don’t clear your inventory always before going out of town, soon you can run out of space even at lowlevels. The inventory isn’t that small like in some other games, but there is one irritating feature. Unless you have 3 free slots, you can’t break down things to save space.

Client

The big plus of Russian version is the ability to choose between the audio – Chinese, Japanese or Korean. You can also choose the text – Russian or English. Like I wrote earlier, English is quite broken here. Despite claims to have 97% translated, I can’t just believe it. Even in translated dialogues, there are Russian words left. Things like “You have to go там” are quite often. The map isn’t fully translated either. Cash shop is not translated at all.

Summary

Blade and Soul
Blade and Soul: Summoner in a costume.

Blade and Soul looks like an interesting game, even for people who don’t like martial arts too much. It’s interesting enough for me, to level up a character a bit more and wait for the official English European client/server. So far, I like the game and recommend it.

Are you playing the game? What do you think about it?

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