Everything You Need To Know About The Upcoming Bless Online MMORPG!
Bless Online Information
Everyone and their mothers should be aware by this point that Bless Online is launching in just a mere few weeks.
Excitement for the game is comparable to the hype that Black Desert Online had when it launched, especially since the MMO market is so saturated right now.
With the failure of Revelation Online, the very average launch numbers for both Kritika and Closers, along with the restrictions imposed onto Soul Worker, we are in need of a win for a change.
We’re in need of an MMORPG to actually impress us. An MMORPG that shows us there is still hope for the genre.
What Is Bless Online?
Bless Online is an open world, 3D fantasy MMORPG published by Neowiz. Bless is a more mature take on the MMO genre from what I’ve seen, featuring cutscenes you wouldn’t traditionally find in most the MMORPGs I’ve played in the past.
You have the ability to choose between two distinct factions – Hieron, or the Union.
Personally, I’ve always been a fan of the more traditional, civilized, “good guys” as it were. Therefore both my wife Adrienne and I will be personally rolling with Hieron.
Each of the 7 currently available races will have their own unique story to play through, with different skills and a slightly different, unique combat style suited to the race.
Bless also has one of the best looking character creators in the MMORPG genre, and if there’s something my wife loves doing.. it’s spending hours making herself look pretty.
But doesn’t every girl?
Why Should We Be Excited?
If you’d played the original Korean version in the past, or even the Russian port, you may have a sour taste in your mouth. There were a lot of bugs that went unfixed and the servers ended up being ultimately shut down.
However, in what seems like Neowiz’s final attempt at appeasing the masses and restoring player faith – they decided to drop their current Western publisher, Aeria Games, and self-publish Bless in the West.
What this meant at the time was that Aeria Games, the company that ruined Dragomon Hunter, Shin Megami Tensei, Aura Kingdom, Eden Eternal, Grand Fantasia, and a handful of other fun MMORPGs was not going to screw Bless fans over.
Neowiz then went on to address various issues people had with the game: Optimization, bugs, and the combat.
Granted, at this point in time we haven’t seen the new overhauled game, however, they have promised we will be getting a look at it in the coming weeks.
Regardless of how it turns out, Neowiz listened to player feedback and addressed those issues publicly, elaborating on what they would do to fix players’ concerns with the game before they go into official release.
Pay To Win Issues, Business Model And Early Access
One of the most pressing concerns is that the game will become pay to win – a problem that many a free to play title ends up falling victim to.
According to Neowiz, Bless Online will not be a free to play title. They are opting for a full buy-to-play model like Guild Wars 2, Elder Scrolls Online, Black Desert Online all employ.
Players will be able to opt in to an Early Access through Steam – which will function as a soft launch to the title that will allow Neowiz to troubleshoot bugs, errors, and any issues that would otherwise arise with the launch later in the month.
Player data will not be wiped upon official launch – so those of you that make it into the Early Access will be able to continue playing right from where you left off.
Neowiz went on to mention that just because they are launching with a buy to play model right now, doesn’t preclude a possibility of the game having a future VIP membership, recurring fee, or even a switch in model to free to play.
“We will go with whatever model we believe will be best for both the game and for its players,” they mentioned. “So long as it doesn’t negatively impact the game experience, it could be considered.”
While this is slightly.. perturbing information for sure, players should be happy to know that they are listening, and unlikely to make a move that will ultimately negatively impact the future of the game.
In-Game Cash Shop And Future Expansions
There will be a cash shop in place, like pretty much every MMORPG has. You can’t honestly expect them not to have one – that would be inane.
According to Neowiz, they will have quite a few unique items available for purchase including cosmetic skins, outfits and costumes, players pets, along with boosting items found in most games.
They did note that they are attempting to stay away from “pay to win” by making sure that items in the cash shop don’t have a significant in-game impact.
Although we don’t have a full listing of items that will be available in the cash shop at launch, or know of their intentions with regards to what will be included in the future, it doesn’t look it’ll be all that worrisome.
Unlike Guild Wars 2, Bless Online will have all future expansions, classes, races, content updates and DLC be made available and free to all players that have purchased the game.
Races and Classes Available At Launch
Neowiz went on to reveal that we will be receiving 7 races upon the official launch of the game, along with a total of 5 classes out of the 7 available currently in the Korean version of the game during Early Access.
The Mystic and Assassin classes are currently being reworked as part of the new combat changes being made to the game and should be available when they release the game fully.
While it is a little disappointing to see we won’t have the full game available for testing during the Early Access, I’m actually glad to see they’re not pushing to release anything hurriedly or half-assed.
PvPvE And Open World Ganking
One feature of Bless Online that has people worried is that there will be no separate PvP and PvE servers. PvP will be enabled on every server from level 30 onwards.
What this means is that from level 30, players from the opposing faction will be able to engage you in combat.
This has been known to be an issue in the past with MMORPGs as people often grief other players, and max level players often troll lower levels that’re attempting to level and complete their quests.
I’ll admit, I’ve been guilty of doing this before in Perfect World and even in WoW back in the day, but I understand now that this is a serious issue for players.
Therefore I’m glad to see Neowiz taking initiative here and making a consumable item that is purchasable in-game to disable PvP while leveling – but here is where I’m concerned.
The item, although still useable at level cap, will be obtainable only through the cash shop. This forces players that do not want to engage in PvP to spend money to remain marked as PvP-disabled.
Their justification for making such an integral item gated behind a real life purchase is that the latter part of Bless is PvP oriented, like sieges, and they are hoping that players will attempt to engage in the faction vs faction conflict.
One thing that redeems this decision – if only to a small degree, is that cash shop currency will be earnable through in-game activities as well.
All in all, I’m not entirely convinced that forcing people to PvP is the way to go with the game but we’ll have to wait and see.
There are various forms of PvP in Bless apart from the obvious open world gankfests that will no doubt take place. 100 vs 100 man battlegrounds, guild vs guild battles, and castle sieges to satiate your PvP needs.
So, Should I Play Bless Online?
That’s definitely a difficult question to answer.
See, I can forsee potential issues arising such as pay to win in the future as games like Black Desert also promised no pay to win when they launched, and 3 months in they’d went right back on what they said.
However Neowiz might be completely different and stick to what they promise.
Should I judge the game before they’ve had the chance to prove themselves?
The game itself looks fantastic. Yes, some people may hate on how it looks – saying it looks dated, not as good as (insert x game here), or that it still doesn’t play as good as they would’ve liked, but I disagree.
I believe the game looks great. I believe the game looks promising. I believe that we need something else on the market and Bless looks like it could very well be another worthy game in our saturated lineup of MMORPGs left.
So with that in mind, yes, I know it could end up flopping. Yes, I’m aware it could go pay to win, I know full well the launch will likely be riddled with bugs and crashes.
Even so, I will give the game a chance, just like every gamer that loves MMORPGs should.
I highly doubt it’ll be another Revelation Online, but maybe I’m just naive. I don’t know. We’ll have to wait and see.
Regardless, that’s about everything I think you guys need to know before you go ahead and either buy the game, or inevitably trash it instead.
Thanks for watching, and both my wife and I will see you all in-game on the North American server, Hieron side. <3