My Final Thoughts On Bless Online - Should You Play It Or Not?
Should You Play Bless Online?
Let me preface this by saying that this article is not created with the intention of dissuading you, nor persuading you to purchase Bless Online. It is here for the sole intention of clearing up everything going on with the game right now, before Early Access.
So, please make sure to watch the entire video before making your judgement on whether or not the game is conclusively worth it.
Now I am not a Bless Emissary. I was not interested in potentially being locked into producing frequent Bless content if I ended up disliking the game or finding something I enjoyed further.
I actually feel quite jubilant that a few content creators I follow such as Nocht and TheHiveLeader applied and ultimately got accepted as emissaries.
I’m a fan of both of their content and couldn’t argue that there is a better MMO content creator than TheHiveLeader at this moment. Small shoutout, btw. The guy’s amazing.
Bless Online has had a fairly controversial last week in terms of their poorly handled press conference, misinformation being spread (Emissary Cloak, anyone?), and unprofessional moderators on the official Discord running amok.
Then we had entitled emissaries claiming they deserve the largest founders pack for free because they don’t want to feel inferior to people who can afford it.
There were complaints going around that the game was going to be pay to win, that Neowiz and the devs for Bless didn’t care about what we, the playerbase wanted, instead, opting to just attempt a quick cash grab and then bail.
Instead of addressing complaints – Bless’ devs chose to remain completely tight-lipped while all this was happening, refusing to respond to anything regarding those concerns as opposed to addressing them as they were taking place.
Now, as a gaming company I believe you should take the time to address issues as they’re made apparent, and although Neowiz did not at the time, Bless’ devs did finally take the time to respond to and address a large amount of issues in a recent Steam update.
So kudos to them for taking the time to do some damage control before it got out of control.
In this update, they went on to reveal that they had reduced the price for the outrageous $200 founders pack, made clear everything included in each pack, and addressed the pay to win concerns – most players’ primary cause for alarm.
Let’s take the next several minutes to go through and clarify all of this together, now that this information has been made available, yeah?
Founder’s packs are said to include the Bless Online base game, exclusive skins, premium membership, Lumena (a premium currency), and other benefits.
Now, the problem with that last bit was that they went on to list, once again, “other benefits“. While initially I thought “Oh, great. So they’re still not being 100% transparent with what is included”, they did go on to further expand on that by saying:
The premium membership will not feature any items that could promote pay to win, instead, offering things like premium skins, reduced repair fees, reduced travel fees, an unbreakable gathering tool, unlimited gathering storage, 20% increased XP gain from killing monsters, 20% increased XP gained from completing dungeons, 20% increased gold earned from monster drops, an increase in the amount of items you can list in the market place, reduced market tax, and the ability to gain additional Lumena from exchanging dungeon and combat points.
Nothing that is included in the premium membership can be coherently argued as pay to win.
Everything is either to increase the leveling speed – getting you to endgame faster, or merely for the sake of convenience.
On the note of founders packs, however, I would like to point out that in light of player feedback, the Bless Team has reduced the cost of the largest Founders Pack – the collector’s edition down from $199, to $149.
Premium Customer Service
Another feature people found to be not only unprefessional, but also quite repulsive for a developer to offer was the Premium Customer Service option they were providing for people with the largest founders pack.
That would, in essence, provide the highest paying members with priority support over every other player. That is not, nor will it ever be acceptable for a buy to play MMORPG to offer as we are all paying to play their game.
So, with this in mind, and once again due to player feedback, the Bless Team has decided to completely dismiss the idea all together.
This should never have been an idea to begin with, and hopefully they learn their lesson in the future, but it’s good to know they’re taking note of our feedback.
PvP And Avoiding It
I’m still not sold on the idea of the Peace Declaration item, an item that allows you to disable PvP all together.
I feel like what the Bless Team should have done was create one server specifically for PvP oriented individuals like myself in mind, and one PvE server for those of you that just want to enjoy the game without fear of being ganked and camped.
I understand that the item is purchasable in-game through gold, but gating it behind Lumena at max level, especially when the item in question only lasts for a mere 10 minutes is just.. ludicrous.
I know people will argue that you can make Lumena in-game and therefore it is still, technically purchasable through in-game means but honestly, if they’re going to force people into PvP-enabled servers, I feel as though the item should remain an in-game exclusive.
Additional Dungeon Entries
Although the Japanese version of the Premium Membership allows additional entries into dungeons, the Bless Team have went on to clarify that there will not be any included in their iteration of the membership.
And although there do exist items that can reset dungeons for players, they will not be sold for real money.
The Infamous Emissary Cloak
A rumor had been going around Reddit, Discord and social media regarding a special cloak that only Emissaries were given.
I would like to clarify that every single Emissary have confirmed that that is 100% false. There is no special cloak, nor any special items given to Emissaries for being an Emissary.
The Cash Shop
At the press conference, Emissaries and players alike bombarded the Bless Team with questions on the cash shop, why it wasn’t available to be seen, and what would be included within it.
While the devs took every opportunity to dodge answering these questions, ultimately, we were left with a rather ambiguous “convenience only” response.
I’m still rather disconcerted at the fact that we’re not aware of what’s going to be inside before the game officially launches, and I would love if players continued making this a point to ask for before the Early Access in two weeks.
They’ve been fairly open thus far, even if a little lacking in terms of response time. Although I feel like if enough people press for answers, we’ll end up with the insight we need.
Talking About The Game
With all of the additional information aside, I would like to talk more on the game itself.
Although I didn’t have much opportunity to stream the majority of the press conference, I did catch up on it over the last several days by watching highlights, checking out Twitch vods, and reading up on what went on.
More specifically, the combat, performance, and UI were very actively discussed topics.
From what I’m capable of telling, there haven’t really been any changes to the overall UI thus far, but I do believe changes are planned.
The Bless Team mentioned that UI changes are in the works – and although I’ve yet to see them, they were promised to assist in the performance issues people were experiencing.
Next, and one of the most important topics discussed, were changes made to the combat.
Yes, the game is still tab-target. It is not action combat like Black Desert, TERA or even Soul Worker.
This may be a huge turnoff for a lot of you thinking this would replace Black Desert for you, but for the rest of you, you should be relieved to know the enhancements made to the combat are mostly all positive.
I say mostly because the one and only complaint I have with regards to the combat now is that they have opted to remove auto-attacks all together.
Those of you that have been playing tab-target MMORPGs know how important auto-attacks are to a DPS rotation, especially for classes like archers, or tanks that have mostly damage mitigation, threat generating, or low damage skills.
They insist that this is to force players to make use of their unique stance system – swapping between stances regularly to give you access to a larger variety of skills to use.
While I still feel like this isn’t the way to make people utilize the stance system, I’m sure it’s not going to be game-breaking for me.
Performance-wise, the game looks like it runs a lot better than it did. The original Russian version I played had severe performance issues. Much worse than its Japanese counterpart.
People created a plugin just to address these issues so players that got into the game could actually experience it without your FPS dropping to a negative integer.
I recently saw Fevir’s recent video on Bless (who, again, shoutout to his channel – great person with above good quality videos – grats on 100k by the way,) and he further went on to comment that from what he saw, NPCs and various other items were removed.
Likely to reduce the overall impact these NPCs, structures and items would have on your computer.
One issue I have with the game, and this is an issue I have in Black Desert as well, is that they will not support player to player trading.
So say I play with my wife, or even my sister Wiggy, and one of us gets an item the other can use, one of us has a large surplus of potions, etc., etc., and the other person could benefit from using it.. nope.
You’re unable to trade items. So anything you loot will be bound to you – unless you sell it to an NPC or place it up for auction in the market place. Which, strangely, has fixed prices.
Meaning you’re not capable of influencing or manipulating the market by increasing or decreasing prices on products.
While not a huge issue, I do believe trading between players is crucial to the MMORPG experience.
I can’t tell you how many times in World of Warcraft an item would drop that someone else could use in a dungeon that I rolled for and didn’t need, that I ultimately ended up handing over, earning their unfaltering loyalty and gratitude.
Final Thoughts - Should You Play Bless Online in 2018?
Now, from what we’ve seen from the Bless Team and Neowiz over the last 24 hours, it definitely has me hoping they address the few remaining problems I have with the game – such as showcasing the Cash Shop, more professionally handling criticism and questions,
being more transparent with what they’re offering us, and not hiding behind ambiguous answers like “cosmetics.. and stuff.”
I’ve been a fan of the game since before Revelation Online, and I want to be excited for Bless. These changes. This communication. This response to player feedback. It’s all required for the game to be sucessful over in the West.
Remember, the game has failed three times so far – don’t let this be the final nail in the coffin.
With the base game being only $30, and the cheapest founders pack being a mere $10 more, I’m going to, naturally, be going for the basic founders pack to get the 2 day headstart along with the month-long premium, but if you don’t want to, don’t do it.
If you want the $149 pack, go for that one instead.
Like I mentioned at the beginning of this – don’t let someone persuade you to purchase the game, or dissuade you from purchasing the game based off of their opinion.
Haters will hate on this game and overreact to every little thing they feel they can.
Fanboys will praise every single thing the Bless Team does regardless of how bad it is.
It is ultimately up to you to decide whether or not the game is worth it to you, not me, not the Bless Team, not anyone.
For me, personally, having the pay to win mess cleared up for me is a weight off my back as that was definitely a pressing concern that needed appropriate addressing.
Furthermore, seeing the devs openly being more transparent is a nice change.
So, even though I’m not totally convinced the game will be a huge success like Black Desert, I feel like something more along the lines of Blade and Soul would be a nice compromise.
I’d be more than happy to get a few months fun out of this game – and would gladly pay $40 for a game that can hold a couple hours of my time several days a week.
So what do you guys think? Are you more excited now that they cleared most of our concerns up? Less excited? Still on the fence? Don’t care?