Why All MMO Fans Should Play Blade and Soul



Blade and Soul is a big deal in Asia. Developed by NCSoft, the game has a massive following, with it being reported in early 2014 that the game had managed to achieve 1.5 million concurrent players in China. When you take into account that it took World of Warcraft 3 years to pull in 1 million players altogether in the region, it highlights just how popular this MMO is.

With NCSoft having suffered a dent in their reputation following the disappointing release of WildStar, they’re now finally bringing Blade and Soul to the West in the hope that it will attract a similar level of popularity. After initially being skeptical that a game which received its first release in 2012 could win over a modern audience, it took very little time for it to sink its teeth into me, and after only having access to the game a couple of days before its official release tomorrow (January 19th) I’m already halfway to the level cap.

So after becoming addicted to this wonderful MMO oddity, I am inclined to suggest that all (yes, all) fans of MMOs should at least try it out. Here’s why:

Excellent skill-based combat


Blade and Soul‘s biggest strength is undoubtedly its skill-based combat system. Rather than simply giving you a bunch of hotkeys and encouraging you to rinse and repeat your tactics for each consecutive battle, many of your confrontations in the game will be contextual, with you being forced to think on your feet in order to take out different enemy types/rival players. The extent of your powers is revealed to you slowly as you progress through its story, with side-quests revealing new combos that can be used in order to maximize your advantage against your opponents.

Also See: A Guide to Choosing Your Starting Class in Blade and Soul

In practice, it works as an unlikely yet excellent combination of traditional MMORPG and hack and slash combat, with players able to juggle enemies, use spells to continue heightening their damage output and even being given abilities that can only be activated under specific conditions – for instance, certain characters have the ability to leap to their feet after being knocked down in order to set up a new combo, while a move can be triggered during boss fights that allows the player to continue attacking their opponent in mid-air. It most closely resembles the combat featured in Smite, though it’s far more fast-paced.

It’s a system that rewards players who master the advantages and disadvantages of their chosen class, and as you go from engaging in hard-fought battles with low level enemies to taking on waves of rivals in one fell swoop, it becomes one of the most rewarding MMOs you’re likely to play. Considering entries in the genre frequently devolve into mashing the same combination of buttons, it’s refreshing to play an MMO that tries something unique with its combat system, and manages to do so successfully.

A focus upon PvP


It’s rare that an MMO features a focus upon PvP, but although Blade and Soul‘s PvE component is certainly worthy of your time, many prefer to sink their teeth into its arena-based combat mode.

Blade and Soul‘s PvP has been a big hit in the East, with there having been multiple world tournaments staged since its initial release. Taking place inside a circular arena, the game’s PvP allows solo players to battle it out against competitors from around the world, operating like a typical matchmaking system by pairing players up with opponents of a similar skill level. The end result looks a bit like something you’d see in an episode of Dragonball Z, what with the flashing colors and general air of confusion:

But in practice it’s a ton of fun, with the Western release of the game also set to receive the 3v3 and 6v6 combat that is available in the Eastern version, along with a selection of new game modes, too. There’s also World PvP, which allow players to duke it out anywhere in the game’s open-world by simply donning an outfit representing one of two factions. If you come across a player wearing your rival faction’s outfit, you can beat them up to your heart’s content. If you’ve got a party of players, this could also mean you could organize an all-out war between another party, though I haven’t seen such a large-scale battle take place in the game’s world yet.

While I’ve always personally preferred the PvE in my MMOs, it’s great to see a game with such a dedicated PvP offering, which has already greatly contributed to its high level of popularity in the East and now looks to do the same on these shores, too.

Deep character customization

Blade and Soul features some of the more intuitive customization tools you’ll find in an MMO, allowing you to tinker with the intricacies of your character’s appearance. For instance, I made skunk Tom Selleck:

While I stumbled upon some grotesque player-characters during my time with the game, with the female models in particular often being given the unfortunate appearance of dead-eyed blow-up sex dolls, there are plenty of tools at your disposal for you to create your ideal hero. They won’t be as ideal as skunk Tom Selleck, of course, but you can give it your best shot.

Freedom of Movement

Even traversing Blade and Soul‘s map is enjoyable, given the abilities NCSoft grants players outside of combat. Along with a standard sprint option (albeit one which allows players to move lightning fast), player-characters are also able to glide through the air, Dragon Jump to hard-to-reach destinations via portals, and even run along water.

For Westerners, this movement will conjure up images of martial arts movies such as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers, with it being clearly inspired by the wuxia fiction. Wuxia is a very old genre originating in China, which depicts ancient Chinese warriors engaging in superhuman feats of strength and agility. Blade and Soul clearly echoes this genre with both its setting and gameplay, and though the game’s absence of mounts may prove to be a little off-putting for those who like to spend the majority of their time in an MMO on the back of a monstrous horse-like creature, you’ll swiftly get over it as you clear whole regions in just a few jumps.

Growing attached to your sword

Considering most MMOs revolve around the acquisition of new equipment, Blade and Soul is notably light on lucrative loot drops. I’d wager that this is due to its aforementioned wuxia influence, with the game encouraging you not to simply drop your acquired weapon at the drop of a hat for a shiny new one, but to instead upgrade it repeatedly across the course of your journey in order to transform it into a formidable tool with which to cut down swathes of enemies.

Rather than being just another cool item to attach to your character, your weapon in Blade and Soul will likely follow you throughout most of your adventure. While there is the opportunity to buy new weapons from the in-game marketplace, you won’t find a brand new, better piece of equipment every couple of hours, with the vast majority of weapons you discover being most useful when they’re used to evolve your currently equipped sword/axe/other instrument of death. Evolving the weapon allows it to increase in level, and after every 10 levels you can perform a “breakthrough” by acquiring a rare piece of equipment obtainable in a specific location, typically at the end of a particularly challenging dungeon. Upon performing a breakthrough, the power of your weapon increases significantly, and it’s a great method of allowing the player to grow attached to the equipment they utilize.

This method is also used in the necklaces, earrings, and rings player wear, though the game does away with traditional armor in favor of “Dobok,” a form of clothing that features no stat boosts in favor of allowing players to dress however they want. MMO veterans may balk at this, but considering that the majority of the armor looks quite lightweight to remain in-keeping with the game’s setting, I found the ability to dress my character however I pleased a welcome sidestep from the conventions of the genre.

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Albion Online Guild Master Selection


I think a system needs to be in play to remove a player as the GM of a guild. I have noticed several time in beta that someone starts a guild and does nothing but keep all the resources the guild acquired for himself / herself.

I have also noticed GM will go inactive and fail to pass the GM touch to another player, thus the guild fails apart.

Generally, if you think about how the current Guild System currently works. A player can easily exploit the system for his or her own personnel Albion Online Gold benefit. I believe the guild system was designed for players to work together and not to be used as a personal way to acquire money/resources. Thus I think if there was a way for a guild members to vote if the GM should stay the GM this would greatly improve the Guild System.


– Keeps leadership in guild active.
– Stops a player from manipulating the Guild System.
– Gives members of the guild a feeling of ownership of the Guild.
– Forces the current GM to care about lower tier members of the guild.

You guys are forgetting the root issue here, if your in a MMO, you have access to a large number of players to run this exploit on. Yes If you join a guild and the leader is clearly running the guild for his profit then you quit. But with the massive amount of other players in the game he just recruit more and does the same thing over and over. Take your personally feeling out and think about this as a developer / game designer.

Albion Online Guild Master Selection

The Deadlord GM had a fit and decide to remove everyone from the guild thus keeping all the guild resources for himself. Is this fair to the other guild members? No. Members of the guild didn’t do anything wrong he just was having a bad day and hated the world. Now think about this after game launches if a player keeps all his stuff in a guild territory and his GM just boots everyone, how likely would the player quit the game? Its pretty likely..

Another example is a way a friend of mine would make money in this game was to create a fake guild and just invite a lot of new players he would find in the starting areas. There is nothing wrong with this but he would just do this on a alt character and just milk the newbe’s for Cheap Albion Online Silver. Clearly his not intending to do anything with the guild then just using it as a source of income. How is this not a exploit of the game? Remember when the game launches there is going to be a large amount of newbe’s to exploit.

Furthermore think about how any organization or government is structured in RL. When do you ever have a organization that has no way/ mechanic to remove bad leadership? A organization should live and die soul from one member.

Blade & Soul: GMs Obtained Unreleased Weapons in the Game Illegally



A report from the Blade & Soul community about the unreleased items (the image below) in the game raised a lot of attention recently. It was first speculated to be obtained through hacking tools by the community. The game’s Community Manager Rukkirii responded yesterday, claiming that these unreleased items were in the game because the GMs used NCsoft’s tool “in an unauthorized manner”.

Blade & Soul: GMs Obtained Unreleased Weapons in the Game Illegally

Rukkirii wrote at the forum:

Last night, we received reports that there were characters in game that had items that aren’t available in our game. We found that two of our support agents were using our tools in an unauthorized manner. The items no longer exist on the accounts and we will be resolving the staff matter appropriately and internally. It is against our internal policy for items to be created for personal characters.

We’ve also received a report regarding a potential item duplication issue and while we take every matter seriously, with a deeper look, we discovered that the video was recorded on an illegal server. We caution players to be careful of downloading unofficial programs. We do appreciate the community reports and will investigate accordingly.

We hope this clarifies what we’ve experienced today. Please continue to send potentially game breaking or game concern issues to us directly.

The clarification raised new concern, as some players were worried about the GM’s going rogue and NCsoft’s failing on detecting such behavior. Feel free to share your opinions of this topic in comment.

Blade & Soul: GMs Obtained Unreleased Weapons in the Game Illegally

MMO Hopper #20: Blade and Soul worth playing

I’ve been a part of the Blade and Soul closed beta testing phases and I loved my time spent testing everything. I was an assassin, and I tested out all the classes, but I seemed to only like the Assassin and the Blade Master. Though I hope I like the Warlock when it comes out. One question: How did you acquire your cosmetics? your accessory sash, your weapon’s current skin, and outfit? The BnS team said that everything can be obtained through dungeons and quests, but I’m curious as to how you got your stuff. Did you buy them through the Marketplace, or find all those pretty items through dungeons? Because I do hope that I can make my character look that good without having to dump money into the game just for silly outfits just so I can make my character look epic.

NCsoft Q1 2016 Financial Result Shows Blade & Soul Is Still Popular

Wildstar is never a profitable title for NCsoft, not at all. In 2015 the revenue came from Wildstar just made up 0.6% of NCsoft’s total revenue. It went worse in Q1 2016, as the game’s revenue dropped to the lowest point since 2015. While Lineage and Blade & Soul hit $67 million and $46 million in sales, Wildstar got merely $1.1 million in Q1 2016. Obviously, Wildstar is not doing well, and it’s not exaggerated to say the game is nearly dead.


Carbine Studios’ layoff in March and the cancel of Wildstar’s Chinese release was a heavy blow to the game. The game remains operational and keeps releasing new content in the west, which is good for players of the game, for now. But, how much further the game can go?

Blade & Soul: Weapon Path & Gem Hammer Changes

Today NCsoft has announced a heads-up on a few progression changes coming to Blade & Soul in next few weeks, including the weapon upgrade paths and some new ways to improve your weapons with gems. Check below for the details:

Weapon Upgrade Paths
Currently, there are two paths players can take while upgrading their weapons, which are described as Moonwater Plains and Silverfrost Mountains—named after the areas you collect the materials for your weapons. On June 1 the final tiers of Moonwater Plains—the Siren and Pirate weapon paths—will be retired, and any weapons on those paths will be diverted to the Silverfrost Mountains path at the next applicable evolution.

To clarify, True Profane will now only be able to progress to Oathbreaker and True Siren will only be able to progress to True Oathbreaker. The path from True Pirate will remain unchanged and can only progress to True Breeze.

Blade & Soul: Weapon Path & Gem Hammer Changes

Part of the reason for this change is that in an upcoming in-game event you’ll be able to reduce your upgrade costs with a new item called a Nebula Weapon Upgrade Stone. These stones can be used in place of an Evolution weapon to reduce the amount of materials and gold required for weapon upgrades, and can reduce your upgrade costs by 10–40%.

To give you some more background on our decision, in the original Korean version of Blade & Soul these weapon paths were retired at the release of the Silverfrost Mountains expansion. When NCsoft looked at average player progression at the time Silverfrost was going to come out, they made the decision to give players an option on how to progress, and kept the old path. While Pirate and Siren are considered to generally be cheaper routes to take, it requires continuous farming of lower-level dungeons to obtain the necessary materials. The official team think the player experience would be better served by being able to play in the new Silverfrost content, while also removing some of the weapon upgrade path complexity and short-term upgrade costs. With the weapon upgrade discounts provided by the Nebula Weapon Upgrade Stones in the upcoming in-game event, this is a great time to retire the old paths, help everyone upgrade faster, and get players into more of the content they want to be playing.

If you’ve been collecting Pirate Emblems and other upgrade materials for the Moonwater Plains weapon path, you have until June 1 to choose this path.
Gem Hammers and Gem Sockets

A while back NCsoft had identified an issue with players potentially losing the gem sockets they unlocked with Gem Hammers when they upgraded their weapon to the Silverfrost Mountains path. While this is how this system is intended to function, and has functioned in other regions, could be improved. Since then NCsoft have been continuing to work on the functionality, and starting May 11, any gem sockets opened with Gem Hammers on your weapon will no longer reset when transitioning from the Moonwater Plains weapon progression path to the Silverfrost Mountains weapon progression path. You’ll also still have the chance to gain additional gem sockets beyond the ones you’ve unlocked. Due to your feedback this is a change being made for other regional versions of Blade & Soul as well.

In addition, the official team is making changes to the number of Gem Hammers needed to unlock additional gem sockets, and unifying costs for all Moonwater Plains and Silverfrost Mountains weapon paths.

Blade & Soul Gems And Transmutation Guide

Increasing your combat power through gems and crafting in Blade and Soul.

Blade & Soul Gems And Transmutation Guide

While a martial artist’s clothing doesn’t provide bonuses or benefits to combat, their weapons, accessories, and Soul Shield certainly does. By upgrading a weapon, or finding new accessories or Soul Shield pieces, you can continually increase your power; in addition, stat bonuses can be added through the use of gems. Weapons of higher quality will contain gem slots, and by inserting a gem of a different color (Ruby, Citrine, Sapphire, Emerald, Amethyst, Peridot, Diamond), as well as increasing levels of quality (triangular, square, pentagonal, hexagonal), you can further customize your combat ability.

If you socket a tradeable gem into your weapon, the gem will no longer be able to be traded. This doesn’t though apply to account bound gems, which can still be mailed between your own characters.

Blade & Soul Gems And Transmutation Guide

If a weapon allows for it, additional gem slots can be added through use of a Gem Hammer, and gems can even be removed for a small fee. The color of a gem dictates the types of stats that it can provide, while the quality will dictate the amount of the stat. You can only slot a single gem of each color into each item, which ensures that you’ll have a variety of improved stats

Transmutation is a separate process that allows one to use components received by salvaging high quality weapons, accessories, costumes, and gems to improve or create items. Choosing whether to sell an item to a vendor, place it on the Auction House, or salvage it for Transmutation components can sometimes be a difficult decision.

Blade & Soul Gems And Transmutation Guide

You can use Transmutation to combine fabric to create outfit pouches that will contain random rewards, gem fragments (and occasionally some other ingredients) will create gem chests that will contain random gems, and multiples of a particular gem can be combined to create a higher quality version. In addition there are some special event items that will need to be combined through Transmutation to create event prizes.
Be careful, some Transmutation recipes do have a chance to fail, and will destroy your crafting components.

While not directly related to Transmutation, the salvaging and fusing of Soul Shield pieces is a notable process. When salvaging Soul Shields you’ll receive the Fusion Powder component, and through a separate Soul Shield UI you’ll be able to fuse Soul Shield pieces together. When fusing one Soul Shield piece to another, it will be destroyed, and one of its attributes will be added to the new more power Soul Shield piece. By salvaging Soul Shield pieces you don’t want, and using fusing others together, you can further customize and increase your character power.

Blade And Soul Green Hands Tips

Blade and Soul is an active MMORPG that has existed for several years. For those players who wonder what a fighting game, it would look like a MMORPG, Blade & Soul is a strong, solid hybrid of the two genres, with exciting raid bosses and a robust community for PvP that has several World Championships already.

1. Basic knowledge of Combat
First and foremost, you need to attract the enemy in front of you and within the necessary distance for your attack. That might sound obvious, but when it comes to dungeon raids, enemies move around the environment a lot and the game relies on manual targeting. Apart from bosses and semi-bosses, most enemies won’t have telegraphing data, so be careful about the attack animations of an enemy to dodge and counter properly.

2. Don’t Loss Surveys and Daily Dash for Free Items
Everyone likes free items. At every two levels or so (it becomes more space out after Level 18), you will receive surveys from BNS where you answer a few multiple-choice questions and fill out a comment. Completing these make you all kinds of healing items, keys for opening chests, and unlocking charms to access rare equipment drops.

Don’t miss out on the Daily Dash. Every day you can get two spins that make you move anywhere from 1-6 spaces at 100-space board. You will pick up free items that get rarer and rarer as you move along three or four steps once. A special item you’ll receive when you reach the end.

Blade And Soul Green Hands Tips

3. Skill Points Experiment
Your character skill can be changed skill points set noticeably. You’ll start earning a single skill point to assign for you at level 15, but you need to get through Act I Chapter 17 when you start putting those points into good use.

Most skills with small effect is infused by skill points such as healing properties and adding damage, but some trees can change the skill into a different one or give awesome CC effects which are knockdown, airborne, freezing, daze, and stun. You can use your experiment skill trees when there’s no cost to reset your skill points. A simple change of the skill means a combo string can be lasted for fifteen seconds.

4. How to Play in Dungeon in the First Place
Gathering a party together exists several ways. At the front of some dungeons, you can press the ‘F’ key to search for party members who are around that area across multiple channels in a dragon pillar. One good method is that goes into the party finder by hitting F7, to choose a dungeon, and see whether someone is searching for a party for that dungeon. If so, you can apply for that party, or you can set up your own dungeon party. And just a note: You want to find many party finder notifications in one of the chat tabs, however you can’t click on them to join the party (I know it’s odd) instead, you need to find the party request in the party finder window as mentioned earlier.

Another method is to skip all of these together and go into the cross-server lobby instead, which is an option available in the party finder window. This will send you to a lobby screen where you can select a dungeon and enter a party immediately or search for a party of your own. Once it’s full (or not), all of you will head to a small cross-server area that has a merchant and vault storage before you enter the dungeon through the portal. Just for the merchant and vault storage, you may prefer doing the cross-server lobby instead, and you can be assured that players who use this option are experienced dungeon runners.

5. Blackram Narrows Dungeon 10 Times for 400 HP Boost
The first major dungeon will be Blackram Narrows 6-man dungeon at the end of Act I. if you like you can choose to skip this dungeon altogether, however when you’re around Level 20 it is your best interest to complete this dungeon if it’s available. Most important, if you finish the Blackram Narrows dungeon 10 times, you’ll receive the 400 HP bonus attribution which you can apply for in the achievements window (shortcut ‘U’ key) under Bonus Attributes. It is a huge benefits that you can’t miss.

You’ll have many chances to earn all eight pieces for the fantastic Blight Soul Shield as you continue to attack the dungeon. This is a major upgrade because each purple piece gives 90-110 HP instead of the rare 10 HP in most soul shield pieces (piece six will give a whopping 340 HP). To get all of the pieces through the boss treasure chest and the loot auction is not easy, but try to grab all eight pieces as possible as you can. It will serve you well through the entire second act of the story.

6. How to Get All 8 Pieces of Soul Shield
When we are talking about the Soul Shield, it replaces armor in the game by giving you an HP boost as well as other minor bonuses, evasion, and the like. You not only want to gather all eight pieces of Soul Shield for the HP boost but also to gain the set bonus for having 3, 5, and 8 pieces of a set. So you just to pray to the luck gods to collect an entire set as some of the rarer Soul Shield pieces cannot be traded as you know.

Apart from the Blight Soul Shield that I mentioned earlier from the Blackram Narrows dungeon, your first trial at a field boss needs a team of players. It is the giant Jiangshi near the Foshi Pyres in Everdusk. Defeating the boss will help you earn essences that you can spend at the two Dragon Union wheels in the Foshi Pyres area. If you’re lucky, you’ll get all eight pieces of the Stalker Soul Shield in one spin but it doesn’t take long to grab them all with a few spins.

7. Horde Coins
One of the first things you notice about the economy in Blade & Soul is that almost everything you sell is worth 1 measly bronze coin, vendors in some places sell for about 5 silver coins, or 500 bronze coins. That said, you need to keep your money close to your chest and don’t spend them unless you really need.

I recommend spending money either in the marketplace (shortcut key ‘F5’) or the loot auctions that pop up during a dungeon like the Blackram Narrows. Near the endgame, to upgrade your weapon needs amount of money, soul shield, and also the accessories become extremely high by feeding them junk, so you want to save your coins for that as well.

8. Save Your Keys and Unsealing Charms, Salvage Crap
It is quite rare to obtain keys and unsealing charms. They cost extreme amount of money when you’re starting out, and to earn them through quests, surveys, Daily Dashes, crafting is the only way and need a few other means. Keys are used to open locked chests that drop occasionally, whereas it is possible for you to equip weapons through unsealing charms and soul shield pieces that have been sealed. Sometimes, you need to use a key and an unsealing charm to get to the item that you want.

But both of these items are rare enough that you shouldn’t waste them on low-level green and blue items. Many times, it’s better to save the fodder for either leveling up the weapons and accessories you already have (you don’t need to unseal weapons or accessories to use them as fodder), or salvaging them into components for fusion later down the road.

9. Learn More Experience From Seasoned Veterans
As Blade & Soul has been launched for quite a while in Korea and Japan now, so there are already plenty of gameplay videos of expert players showing off their combo skills in both PvE and PvP. So I suggest you take a look at the videos on YouTube for your chosen class.

It may be a while before your character is high enough to have access to all of the skills that these experts will use, but it’s still a good aspect to see how the class is supposed to perform and which combos do the most damage. That said, how to build your character is up to you and you may be more comfortable with certain combos and skills than others.

10. Join 2 Crafting and 2 Gathering Guilds at Jadestone Village
Jadestone Village not only serves as the jumping point for learning how dungeons work, but also it is the hotspot for joining various crafting and gathering guilds. Many guilds interact with one another, producing materials for another guild, and you’ll find out all of this information by talking to the guild reps throughout the village. Many of them are what you would expect: stonecrafting, woodcutting, jewelry, healing, etc.

I found copper ore for the Prospector’s Union which I can refine into repairing tools and basic weapons through the Forgekeepers. Just make sure the spots you find on the map are your gathering guilds needed for creating raw materials, since it costs a lot to windstride to another area. You can also re-order anything you’ve requested by using the pop-up appears in the lower right-hand corner once an order is finished. Very handy, right?