Is Bless Online Worth Playing?
Oh, man. Where do I even begin with this?
So, on May 28th, Bless Online went live with their 2 day head start, allowing any player that purchased a Founder’s Pack to jump in and partake of what the game had to offer.
People had unrealistically high expectations, claiming anyone caught talking ill of the game were in fact slandering – or worse yet, attempting to ruin the launch of the game.
Now the thing with expectations is, what you actually experience rarely lives up to the hype of what you believed you’d get. As was the case with Bless Online.
I’ve poured a decent amount of hours into the game over the last 3 days, both on-screen and off-screen and I’d like to take several minutes or so of your time to go over my thoughts on the game.
I’m sure this is going to upset a lot of people that believe the game is garbage and should burn in a fire, and likewise, I’m sure this will upset whiteknights of the game equally as much.
Why? Because unlike some Youtuber’s and streamers, I’m not overly critical of the game, believing it’s the worst MMO in existence, nor do I believe it’s the savior of the genre.
So, now that I’ve made haters of literally everyone watching this video.. let’s jump in and discuss everything I’ve come across and learned so far.
The Bless Team told players that they had completely overhauled the combat for every single class – making it much faster, much more fluid, and much more action-oriented.
They actually coined a term for it, “Rhythmic combat”.
However, upon release, players found that they didn’t have access to the action variant of combat that was promised outside of the Berserker class.
The devs went on to say that they had “Temporarily disabled the ability to change characters from Tab target to Action combat for every class excluding the Berserker because they felt they needed to refine the combat more.”
Further stating “Instead of offering a substandard feature for some classes, we wanted to spend a little more time polishing action combat.”
What upset people about this was the fact that they had not announced the lack of action combat for most classes until the launch of the game.
Bless’s head start began at 10AM PDT whereas the update that listed the lack of action combat was announced at 10:14AM PDT, nearly 15 minutes after players had been given access to the game.
I believe it’s highly unprofessional to not disclose something so vital – something so critical to players before the launch of the game in any capacity. Whether that be the head start, or early access.
So most classes, and quite a few players, were left with the slower, clunkier tab target variant of combat that they didn’t want.
Okay, I get it. People are nitpicking at everything they can to jump on the hate bandwagon. Graphics were another pivotal complaint made by players, a lot of people claiming Bless Online looks like a mobile game.
C’mon, guys. That’s just silly. Most mobile MMORPGs look nothing like Bless, and even the best looking mobile MMORPG – Lineage 2: Revolution, looks nothing like Bless does.
The character creator is beautiful – it offers very attractive looking characters – sure, not up to Black Desert’s standards, but no other MMO does.
I understand that you all expected something as good, if not better than BDO, but let’s be real here.. the game dates back all the way to 2012. That’s 6 years ago. Couple that with the fact that it runs on Unreal Engine 3, and you have your reasoning.
Speaking subjectively here – to me, the game looks very good. It’s a very beautiful fantasy-inspired traditional looking MMORPG – something we haven’t had released in quite a few years.
So I have a GTX 1080 – and my computer, which costed around $5,000 total to make ran Bless at around 45 FPS at max. It occasionally dropped down to around 10-15 FPS in random spots, and sat at a stable 30 FPS throughout most of the game.
This did not feel smooth, and made my experiences through the game much more of a chore than I would have liked.
When you can run multiple instances of BDO or Blade and Soul without any hit to performance, but you can’t run a single instance of Bless Online without FPS issues.. there’s something wrong with the optimisation.
The Bless Team said that they removed NPCs and monsters around the world in an attempt to increase performance, but in essence, all that did was make the world feel more dead than it is. But that’s a discussion for another topic.
Players with average, even good PCs were running the game at 10-15 FPS, experiencing frequent crashes to completely freezing their game up.
The optimisation for Bless is abhorrent.
Here’s where things get more interesting.
People, within 48 hours, had already begun to hit max level, therefore being able to experience endgame.. or what little there was at endgame.
The Bless Team told us that the game was ready for early access and went on to elaborate on all the amazing features we’d be able to experience.
So with that in mind, let’s take a quick look at the features that are in fact not in-game currently:
– There are no Arenas or Battlegrounds.
– There is no PvP ranking system, nor are there any ranking rewards.
– The Honor point acquisition is broken.
– Basel Canyon, the map that PvP content is supposed to primarily take place in, is empty. They did comment on this saying that that is because the map is not “currently ready”. Yet it’s available nonetheless.
– SLevels, required for leveling beyond 45 and learning your other 2 stances, along with trait points are currently not implemented. You therefore cannot learn your other 2 stances and cannot make any additional progress.
– The Skill Gem aquisition is broken.
– Lack of Hard mode for Migra Turris.
– Both endgame dungeons offer the exact same gear score on gear dropped.
– Players are experiencing instances where they are not obtaining any gear from bosses after defeating them.
– No Royal quests.
– No Honor quests.
– No daily dungeons.
And I’m sure there’s more that we’re missing. These are just things that people have taken note of in the last 48 hours.
Promising content and then failing to deliver on that promise is an abuse of trust. It is false advertising of the worst kind.
However, Neowiz did take note of player concern and did mention that they are “aware that end-game content is missing”, and that it will be made available “in 1-2 weeks time, with more to come soon after.”
We know that the devs to care – at least to a degree. So I do in some part believe that at least partial pieces of content will make their way into the game in 1-2 weeks, but at the same time we know they’re compulsive and deceptive liars.
So it could be an attempt to appease the playerbase until a later date, when they’re capable of finally implementing it.
I know this is a very prevalent concern for players, and was for my viewers and I as well.
See, we had all agreed to roll onto Tanara once the game launched, however, being in different time zones made for the creation of our characters at separate times.
By the time my wife and I were able to create characters, half the people that were going to play with us were on Tanara, and the other half were on Lilyanthes because Tanara was locked to new players.
So we figured alright, we’ll roll onto Lilyanthes, sorry everyone that rolled onto Tanara.. only to find Lilyanthes was locked to new players, and that a few of our remaining viewers had opted to roll onto Murabi.
Fine. We’ll just go onto Murabi then so we can at least get in-game. We announced that we would be, and before people could join us.. Murabi was no longer accepting new players.
The Bless Team just kept adding new server after new server without thinking of ways to instead circumvent the issues they were experiencing, like.. Iunno. Increasing server capacity?
This made it very difficult for friends, partners, and even guilds to join the same server and play together, resulting in people just giving up and playing alone.
The point of the MMORPG genre is to play together with people – not to separate them. This was handled so poorly, and continues to be with the devs continuing to announce additional servers.
The User Interface
So this one isn’t too big of an issue for me – I get that it’s not really all that pleasing on the eyes and offers no real way of customizing it, but people really blew this one out of proportion.
I get it – it’s large, clunky and intrusive, and by now we’ve all gotten accustomed to neat, smaller, highly customizable UIs.
One part of the UI that did bother me however was the camera.
I attempted to mess around with the.. 2 camera options I was given access to but neither had any real effect on the camera overall.
I was left with a very high, very awkward camera angle that almost felt like I was playing an isometric MMORPG like Lost Ark.
Oh, man. The translations in this game were an absolute abomination.
People thought when Revelation Online launched it had poor translations – part of the game still being in Russian. Bless Online, however.. Ohh ho ho.
Allow me to give you a prime example of the kind of translations we were given.. “Increases the cooldown cooldown, but further reduces the cooldown cooldown.”
I know. Very informative skill description, right? Really elaborates on what the skill does. Totally worth investing Rose Stones into based off of what we’re told.
That wasn’t all. Outside of poorly translated, confusing skill descriptions, we bore witness to some of the worst translated quest and quest lines in the game.
Thank god for auto-pathing..
While playing through earlier iterations of the game from other regions, I’d experienced some very adult in nature cutscenes.
These were actually cut from the final version of our game, with the devs heavily censoring everything so the game could get a T rating, even though this game is marketed as a more adult MMORPG.
Allow me to take a moment right now to show a comparison of some of the content censored in-game currently.
Note, the one on the left is live with my wife, and the one on the right is an older version with my sister, Wiggy.
Yeah, this is just an example. Kinda shitty if you ask me.
Downtime and Launch
Yes, Bless has had a lot of server crashes. Yes, Bless has had quite a significant amount of restarts. Yes, Bless had quite a few bugs (more on that in the next talking point.)
But if you’ve ever seen an MMORPG release – or been present at the launch of an MMORPG you’d know how badly they normally go.
Honestly, I had expected this kind of launch – I had actually talked about it and got flamed for it. Which lead me to the realization that people had far too high expectations for the game.
Especially the game’s launch. People expected perfection – servers to remain online, no lag, no crashes, no last-minute bug fixes, patches.
Essentially, we had a bunch of whiney, entitled children demanding something even large companies with years of experience in the genre still have trouble with.. a bug free, successful MMO launch.
I know you expect everything to work. I know you expect everything to be what you deem appropriate for the early access launch. But shit happens, and more often than not ends up happening when games launch.
One of what I believe to be a predominantly game-killing bug is the bug that allows players to duplicate items.
It is a bug that has been confirmed to be present in older versions of the game, and a bug that devs have refused to fix.
I.. I just don’t understand how something this game-breaking to the game and its economy is allowed to run rampant.
I’m not kidding. This is 100% fully and completely capable of destroying the entire game.
The only way they can fix the game, and therefore fix the economy at this point is to wipe the servers. So much damage has been done to the game already with a plethora of players already abusing the bug incessantly.
With the method already distributed, more and more players are taking part in this.. repugnant practise, assisting in the destruction of the games economy.
I cannot stress enough how big of a problem this is, and I cannot believe it hasn’t been fixed.
As of right now, I cannot recommend players play Bless Online. I cannot endorse the game when issues like player duplication are running rampant.
I cannot give the game my support when I see that they aren’t being truthful with their playerbase, instead opting to hide missing content instead of addressing it prior to the launch.
I cannot understand why they needed to censor the game – frustrating players, removing crucial cutscenes that help understand the story and what’s going on.
The game’s translations make it so difficult to understand. Being locked out of playing with your friends or family forces you to play by yourself.
However, at the same time, the game looks fantastic in my opinion. Definitely not a 2018 tier MMORPG but even so.
It’s beautiful to look at, has a huge world that you can explore either by foot, ground mount, or by air.
It has a much more in-depth story than games like BDO or TERA, has a fascinating Pokemon-esque monster capturing system, and a PvP system with a lot of potential.
How they’re handling the game though.. I just can’t see the game doing too well into the future.
Pay to win were many people’s concerns, however, at this point in time, I see that as being one of the least of our concerns.
I wanted Bless to do well. I was thoroughly looking forward to it after Revelation flopped and turned out garbage, but I feel like this is now a lost cause as well.
It still holds potential, if the devs can recover from all of this somehow, but until then, I wouldn’t recommend playing. It isn’t worth the money invested, in my opinion.
Sorry to all of you that were as interested in it as I was. However, don’t fret. If you’re on the lookout for an MMORPG to play in the meantime, I plan on doing a video of current active, well maintained MMORPGs to play in place of Bless.
So subscribe to stay updated and informed of future Bless news, and other games to play until the next big thing comes along.