Bless Online Shut Down? Lost Ark Update, Soulworker ZERO, TERA: Origin & More!
In news that everybody- I mean, clearly, nobody ever saw coming, Neowiz has begun the process of dissolving their Bless studio- the studio in charge of Bless Online.
Neowiz Bless Studio, the strangely named team in charge of Bless Online will be merging back into Neowiz with the official reasoning being that they want to “enhance management efficiency and coroprate value.”
What this actually means is that they are attempting to remove as many references to Bless Online and Neowiz as possible.. I can’t begin to wonder why.
With an average concurrent playerbase of only 500, a lot of people have begun speculating that Bless Online will actually be shutting down in the near future.
This is further backed up by the fact that Bless Online won’t have a dedicated team working on it.. not that the team has done anything other than translate already existing content and bugs associated with the content.
As it’s impossible to guage exactly what kind of impact this will have on the game, we’ll obviously have to wait and see, but for the few of you that are still playing Bless Online and furthermore, Bless Unleashed.. be careful.
For fans of the popular.. or once popular Action MMORPG TERA, you’ll be disgusted to- I mean, happy to know that like Lineage 2 and Blade & Soul, TERA is joining the list of Korean MMORPGs being ported to mobile devices!
Netmarble announced earlier this week that a spinoff – said to allow us to “experience the world of TERA from its beginnings” is currently in the works for iOS and Android devices.
While we do have a Mobile gaming channel set up now, and while we will feature gameplay of the game there, I still find the fact that instead of producing a new TERA title for PC or overhauling the current TERA MMO, they opt to port to mobile disheartening.
While little to no information has been given yet, it is confirmed to be a prequel to the current TERA MMO and will feature action combat that will supposedly “propose a new way of playing.”
What this means is unknown, but who knows, if we’re lucky, it might mean that it allows cross platform with PC (lol).
Chronicles of Elyria
In more news that is upsetting the community: Chronicles of Elyria is allowing backers who had selected the highest tiers to choose exactly where they want their land to be on the map.
And while that sounds cool in theory, backing an MMORPG and being given priority over what land you want and where you want it, the reality is that they are in essence, selling virtual land in a game that isn’t even out of Pre-Alpha.
Yup, selling advantages to players that paid the most. I dunno. I’m always iffy on crowdfunded games and especially crowdfunded MMOs, but this feels an awful lot like ArcheAge to me.
I might be wrong though, but the fact that so many players in the community are vocal about this is definitely disconcerting.
Black Desert Online
Now for some interesting news.
Last week I spoke about Kakao banning hundreds if not thousands of innocent players due to some hackers in their new Battle Royale mode, Shadow Arena.
I even did a video on the Shadow Arena and I admit it wasn’t half bad.
However, after a long and arduous battle with the few hackers causing problems Kakao has decided to throw in the towel, permanently shutting down the Shadow Arena all together.
I feel bad for players that were legitimately enjoying the mode as although there were hackers and exploiters, there were also plenty of legit players as well.
But, this just further demonstrates Kakao’s ability to not only manage their game but also handle situations like this.
I fear for the future of Ascent: Infinite Realm after seeing their ineptitude.
Blade & Soul
We got some good and some bad news depending on how you look at this. We’ll start with the good news first, though: Blade & Soul just rolled out new content for players to partake of in the form of their Legends Reborn event.
There will be new dungeons with varying levels of difficulty, balancing of current skills, reduced difficulty for current dungeons and raids, and more.
The most important thing to take note of however is that NCSoft are merging the two remaining North American servers into one single server, Yura, and the three European servers into a single server, Jinsoyun as of April 24th.
This is disappointing as it no doubt marks the beginning of the end of the game – that populations have declined to such a degree that there is only a single server left up for both regions.
However, for people that felt the game was dead, you’ll now likely have double the current server population to play with which should breathe new life into the game for you.
Finally, and I almost forgot this important bit of news, NCSoft recently released a trailer showcasing the new Blade & Soul overhaul from Unreal Engine 3 to Unreal Engine 4.
Currently, there is no ETA on when the overhaul will be released as they have no idea exactly how long this could take, going as far as stating that it could take years to implement in-game.
Whether or not we in the West ever get to see this remains to be seen though, especially with the state of the game as it currently is.
I know, I know. The vast majority of you aren’t fans of mobile MMOs and that’s why I attempt to keep these to a minimum but I feel obligated to mention mobile spinoffs of current MMORPGs purely for people interested in them.
With that being said, the closed beta for the upcoming mobile port of Soul Worker Online, titled Soulworker ZERO will be beginning soon.
While little information regarding Soulworker ZERO is currently known, we were told that the game utilizes the same story – meaning it’s likely a direct port of the PC title as opposed to a prequel or sequel.
Monster Hunter Online
For fans of Chinese Monster Hunter Online players, or Monster Hunter Online players in general, Tencent announced that they will be shutting down the game at the end of 2019.
Granted, the game was only released in China, but there has been an ongoing fan-translation of the game for as long as I can remember that allowed players to play the game in a mostly translated state from whichever country they originate.
The reasoning behind the closure of the game is due to both Tencent and Capcom refusing to renew their contract with one another – possibly due to a lack of profits, or China’s very restrictive game-regulation practices.
Regardless, you have until December 31st to hunt as much as you possibly can, and then you’ll likely have to make the jump on over to Monster Hunter World or Dauntless to satiate those urges.
As of April 10th, the PvP sandbox MMO Albion Online officialy went free-to-play.
With their transition to a free-to-play model, various updates were rolled out such as new portals, combat rebalancing and more – which honestly, if these are of concern to you, you should probably just check out their website.
Judging from the reception on Steam, 75% of the reviews left in the last 72 hours were negative which bodes poorly overall, but then again the team behind Albion noted that their login servers were under “heavy load.”
This shows us that there were significantly more players playing than they had expected and were likely used to.
This is backed up by merely taking a look at the Steam charts, which show Albion’s average concurrent playerbase in March at 300, and the last few days at over 7 and a half thousand.
What do you think since you’ve likely played it?
In exciting TERA news, En Masse managed to absolutely destroy the game’s economy – resulting in a day of lost progress for everyone playing the game due to rollbacks.
With the release of Skywatch: New Heights, En Masse increased the level cap to 70, introduced a new Skill Advancement system and Gear Fusion system while removing daily lockouts on dungeons and introducing some new and overhauled favorites.
I won’t go into what exactly destroyed the economy but at the very least it’s safe.. for now. Sorry to everyone that lost progress, though! That’s pretty shitty.
Smilegate, the developer behind the popular Lost Ark MMO announced the Lance Master, the game’s very first addition in the form of a class to the game since it launched. For players interested, the Lance Master rolls out into the game on the 24th of April.
Of more peculiar note is the fact that Smilegate have been recruiting for a “new project,” seeking experience in Unreal Engine 4. Lost Ark is developed and published using the Unreal Engine 3, for reference.
There are rumors abound and even some websites going as far as speculating that Lost Ark could actually be getting a mobile port due to its monstrous success and South Korea’s obsession with mobile ports of their games.
Alternatively, Smilegate could merely be upgrading the game engine for Lost Ark similarly to how NCSoft is overhauling the engine for Blade & Soul.
Unfortunately there is still no word on a North American or European release but do stay tuned as we’ll update everyone as soon as information is revealed!
For those of you that still play Vindictus, you’ll be happy to learn that April 30th marks the release of Eira, the game’s newest character.
Nexon have begun a pre-registration event for players interested that will offer unique items for participating. The girl, like seemingly all of Vindictus’ female characters, is absolutely gorgeous.
So if you wanna jump in and play your favorite game of jiggles, then they have a Warm-Up Attendance Event going on right now offering tons of goodies!