Jaggy's Corner! - Saturday May 19

Throughout the week I've been hearing about this new MMO called Bless Online. Being a fan of MMO's, I decided to research the game to see if the hype is worth it. Keep in mind, I have not played this in any rendition so take my opinion for what it is, just an analytical opinion.

Blessed is the questionable for hours tick away...

As I have mentioned previously, MMO's are more likely to succeed if they provide players with something different to their players. It could be that fans are part of a franchise that they really enjoy. Franchises that pop into mind include Oblivion which became an MMO called Elder Scrolls Online. Maybe players are die hard Final Fantasy fans so they went from the turn based RPGs into FFXIV. Sometimes they do provide a different appealing system like Secret World (in either rendition of it). It doesn't matter which MMO has grabbed a players attention, there is always a reason that people flock to certain games.

In this case, Bless Online does not have any previous franchise to draw people in. It stands to reason therefore, that the game would have features that other MMO's do not have. Unfortunately, that isn't the case here. Already there have been discussions on Reddit about pay to win components, standard class types, standard dungeons, and PVP components. It boasts to keep both PVE and PVP fans immersed with content but I'm skeptical.

Keyboard warriors have jumped on the bandwagon to say that the game is pay to win because of cosmetic items...? Let's use Googlefu to find out what pay to win means, because clearly the keyboard warriors don't know how to research... Pay to win games are games that allow "players who are willing to pay for special items or downloadable content" that "may be able to gain a significant advantage over those playing for free." As in, a paid player must be able to do things that a free to play player cannot. This definition does not extend to cosmetic items which simply makes a character or item look better! That doesn't provide any serious advantage unless the game is some kind of porn game but I digress...

Now that we know the definition of pay to win, from my understanding Bless Online does not exhibit that kind of advantage, and the developers have already stated the following:

"Q: Is the premium membership subscription based? What are the benefits?

A: Premium membership is not a subscription-based product. Premium membership can help increase efficiency or provide an effect that will, for a limited amount of time, reduce the costs of convenience related fees. As anyone with the base game can enjoy all of Bless' content without restriction, premium membership can be see as an option for those who want a more convenient gameplay experience. As we are aware of your concerns regarding P2W, there will be no items that can directly enhance characters or items." [emphasis added]

At launch, the game will have Berserker, Guardian, Ranger, Mage, and Paladin. In the future the Assassin, Mystic, and Warlock because these classes need to be reworked. Already, one of my regular classes has been taken off the table and the game isn't even out yet.

Graphically the game looks appealing. It's set in a high fantasy environment which does spark at least a little interest but that's not enough to draw a crowd. Looking at the footage, the game does ring similar bells to that of Lineage II, so for perhaps that's a plus?

A bonus to the game that I've discovered is that Neowiz is self publishing it, meaning that they will have full control over the monetization system. It won't be taken over by greedy publishers who have a different vision than the game developer. So, perhaps this developer will stick to their claims but keep in mind, they will need to make money back somehow. We shall see how this goes for the company.

Here's the thing: Publishing an MMO is a huge undertaking, and I hope for the Korean based company, Bless Online has some decent success at the outset. After the initial hype dies down, then we'll be able to see if the game holds itself up.

You see, this isn't a story based game that has a linear or dynamic storyline that comes to a satisfying end. We are talking about a game style that will need regular updating, balancing, content additions, and its fair share of gold farmers who will destroy the online gaming space. Let's face it, that will happen. And in terms of the trolling and flaming, the game hasn't been launched in Early Access yet and already there is drama.

Not only that, but the developers have to make sure that the servers can handle the server load. I say that because Neowiz is including an open world PVP system. Part of the reason that Blizzard did away with it in World of Warcraft is because the players crashed the servers. One of those instances was an epic showdown between the Alliance and the Horde in southern Durotar. I think it wasn't long after that when open world PVP ceased to exist. Anyways, from what I understand, the kicker to this is the only way a player can avoid the world PVP is to buy an item out of the shop. Do you want to die all the time while questing? Because that's what's going to happen in Bless Online! Ugh.

Blessed are the Good for they shall inherit something?

The game does have some things going for it though. Hans Zimmer has written the music for the game which will add to the high fantasy atmosphere. He's a brilliant composer and has worked on a large number of films to his credits. While the music in the announcement trailer (linked below) is amazing, I don't feel as though it fits the genre all that well. I'm not sure what the intended result was meant to be but it's a bit of a disconnect.

Bless Online also has a feature to allow players to tame any creature in the world to use as a mount. If there is any big selling point (although the irony of calling this as a selling point is amusing to say the least), this fact makes the game mildly appealing.

Despite those two features, I'm going to pass on playing the game. It's difficult for me to justify playing another MMO for a minimum of 50 hours just to become decent at a game that I'm not completely invested in from the start. I know that many people will be giving the Korean developed MMO a shot but I won't be one of them due to lack of interest and time constraints.

Early access is set to launch May 29th for those who bought the Founders Pack and May 30th for everyone else.

Here's the Announcement Trailer for the game,

What are your thoughts on Bless Online? Will it survive the original launch or no? Leave a comment below.

Until next time.

Article by Susan N.


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