The State Of Bless Online..
Bless Online Information
Bless, Bless, Bless.. Geez, where do I begin?
Beginning this video is more difficult than I thought it’d be. See, there are three types of Bless players at this point.
- The Bless Online player that is having fun with the game and criticizes anything negative said in response to it.
- The Bless Online player that hates the game yet continues to play it, commenting everywhere they can about how bad the game is.
- The ex-Bless Online player that dropped the game and refuses to go back, finding any positivity pertaining to the game and attempting to shut it down as fast as they can.
I’m of the impression that I’m going to get hate from all 3 types of players, because.. well, frankly, not much of this video is going to positive, yet not everything is going to, ultimately, be negative either.
Rather, I would like to talk about the game, how it’s being handled, the problems it’s facing, and what they’re doing right.
So, in light of that, I’d like to take a moment to ask each and every one of you to attempt to remain civil in the comments – refrain from flaming each other, criticizing each other, and putting one another down for a mere difference in taste.
We’re all fans of the genre here and we’re only dividing the fan base by fighting.
Also, please watch the entire video before flaming me in the comments for no reason. Often enough viewers hear one single thing they disagree with and they take to the comments to defend their thoughts.
At times, I’ve actually elaborated on it further – even going so far as to bring the issue up repeatedly throughout the video on occasion.
And before someone inevitably calls me out for “being paid to say something positive” about the game, no.. I was not, have never been, and will never accept payment for my opinions on Bless Online.
Our Concerns Were Misplaced
Who would’ve thought that with the general player concern surrounding the business model, potential pay to win and game price, that none of the above would end up being a prevalent thought beyond the launch?
We were so caught up with what could’ve been.. that we forgot what should’ve been.
One of the critical issues with Bless when it launched was how poorly handled the server-management was.
Servers went down repeatedly over the course of the early access, halting player progress significantly. Furthermore, servers ended up locked due to overpopulation, resulting in additional servers being brought online to combat players’ inability to play.
This is something that could have very well been combatted if they had run stress-tests during a closed beta period, but the game’s initial launch was rushed, in an attempt to get the game out as soon as possible.
In response to that, we are now left with multiple dead servers.
Then we have the controversy surrounding the duplication bug – something known about from earlier iterations of the game – something that ran rampant for days without being patched.
The dev response? Ban the offenders for a few days, but allow them to keep the items and money earned through duplication, regardless of how it affected the economy.
The fact that they didn’t permanently ban the people that purposefully and advantageously abused the duplication bug is disgusting, even more so them allowing the players to keep what they made through it.
Granted, at a later date they claimed to have fixed the bug and “removed the remaining duplicated items”, but the fact of the matter is that days passed, abusers continued to abuse, and the damage was already done.
Repeatedly over the course of the last week Neowiz has rolled out balancing patch after balancing patch in an attempt to balance concerns with the game.
This has ranged from individual classes being nerfed into the ground to the point of being unplayable, to classes then being re-buffed to the point of being overpowered.
Not to mention the issue with dungeons being too easy, then too difficult to the balancing changes – changes to classes only, that result in the actual statistics of the monsters you engage in PvE being altered on a global level.
I get it. Balancing is difficult. Anyone here that is a fan of World of Warcraft knows how royally players get screwed over by Blizzard when they attempt to balance their classes.
That’s why they seperated PvE and PvP specs though – something Neowiz hasn’t caught on to yet.
The State Of PvP
Potentially one of the most disappointing aspects of the game right now are Battlegrounds.
Not the PvP inside the battlegrounds – the fact that PvP is insurmountably inaccessible.
For a game that boasts PvP as a focal point – something that plays a very large overall part in your endgame.. having that content in specific gated behind hour long queue times two weeks after launching because nobody is taking part in it..
All the hardcore grinders that spent the last two weeks grinding to 8k+ gear score only to realize that over the course of those two weeks, they accomplished.. nothing. Nothing at all, because there is nobody to fight, is a disconcerting thought.
I know I shouldn’t expect too much personally, especially when there are at peak times around 15,000 players playing, but I am just incredibly underwhelmed by the average turnout for PvP.
Don’t even get me started on how unbalanced PvP is with immunity skills, healers soloing everyone, and.. To say I’m disappointed would be a vast understatement.
As I mentioned in my PvP segment, players leveled rapidly to max level and furthermore to get as high gear score as they could in as little time possible, only to find that the endgame consisted of.. well, there is actually a severe lack of endgame content.
As many players are coming to realize. Many of them either spending their in-game time farming two dungeons, doing a few dailies, killing world bosses, doing hunts, crafting, battlegrounds when they pop 3 times per day, or leveling alts.
While some people might argue that that is fully acceptable for casual gameplay.. for anyone that puts in more than an hour or two per day, that is nowhere near to being enough content to satiate player appetite.
Now, the Japanese version of Bless has significantly more content than our version does, and that is explained by pointing out that it is quite a bit ahead of ours.
So while people are complaining about a content drought, there is quite a sizeable amount of content due on the horizon. Whether or not players are patient enough to remain to see that content is another matter all together.
Gearing, And Why It Sucks
Gearing is more or less like it is in any other MMORPG. You farm gear, you equip gear, you upgrade gear, you farm better gear, you equip better gear, you upgrade better gear. Rinse and repeat.
This continues until you inevitably end up with the best gear in the current patch. Bless Online, however, has 2.. yes, 2 gear sets only. The game offers each class 1 set of green gear and 1 set of blue gear for each level bracket, and.. that is it.
Then, gems, or “spirits” – as Bless likes to call them, has some of the worst implementation I’ve ever seen for an upgrading system.
The spirits are fairly expensive – and one of the most important things in-game.. which leads me to question the dev team’s sanity when they made them all break upon death – in both PvE and PvP environments.
I just.. I can’t fathom how they accept that that is a solid design choice.
Gold And The State Of The Economy
As I mentioned above, the duplication bug had a large impact on the economy.
The process of actually earning gold in-game is markedly limited. The vast majority of items you obtain that are worth anything at all don’t actually sell.
Add on to that the marketplace – which I brought this issue up prior to the launch – sets a minimum and maximum selling price per item. What this means is that you have no control over how much items sell for – the game decides for you.
This system has essentially shot itself in the foot, as there are people that set items for sale in the marketplace at a base minimum, only to have the minimum raised at a later date, meaning to sell your item.. the game requires players purchase everything placed in at the original minimum.
It just.. makes absolutely no sense at all.
The game just runs poorly. There’s no beating around the bush here, it just runs poorly.
I have quite a powerful PC, having it custom built a year and a half ago costing me $5,000 AUD while I resided in the country.
This computer that can run multiple instances of Black Desert Online, stream, and simultaneously record the streamed video to my PC at the same time has FPS drops in Bless.
There are entire freezes at times, random FPS drops, and that’s when there aren’t too many players occupying an area at a given time. I cannot begin to express how sad it makes me that the game requires manual editing of its game files to improve performance.
The world in Bless Online is beautiful. I know people say it looks like a mobile game, I know people say the game looks like garbage, I know people complain about this or that. They’re welcome to their opinion, as I am to mine.
And that opinion is that I believe the game looks great. It’s a very simple, very fantastical game. The characters don’t have ridiculous body proportions like Blade and Soul, nor do they utilize pop-in textures like Black Desert.
I mean, if there’s anything that Final Fantasy XIV has taught us, it’s that a game doesn’t need to break your computer to look good.
The world is open and large, filled with monsters to tame and players to fight.. but that’s about it. There isn’t much purpose to it, and that is a detriment to having a world so large.
Combat And Skills
A lot of players were concerned with tab-target combat in this day and age, and Neowiz assured players the combat would be a lot better than it is.
As an example, Aion, Final Fantasy XIV and even ArcheAge all did tab-target combat correctly.
Aion managed to make tab-target combat require a significant amount of skill – Final Fantasy XIV’s is a little slow but that is required at later levels, and ArcheAge.. even they managed to get their combat right, if anything.
Now, one of the main attractions to Bless Online was supposed to be its “unique combat system” – which, admittedly, was fun at first, even though understanding skill descriptions were difficult at times.
As you continued to progress through the game, you began to encounter more life-threatening encounters and mechanics.
That’s perfectly fine, normally, as you’re given ample time to react to them due to telegraphing – however, quite a few skills in Bless animation lock your character – meaning that you are required to finish your animation before being given control of your character again.
Couple this with the lack of a functional dodge mechanic and you can see how often that would become a problem, especially for Berserkers.
As of right now, the Bless Team is hiring new temporary staff in acknowledgement that their localization is dirt-poor.
They went on to list that their “top priority right now is to increase the quality of their English translations, eliminating player confusion caused by poorly translated text.”
This is surprising news as I would have figured there were more pressing concerns at hand, but it is good to know that we’ll be able to better understand what our skills do.. amongst other things.
The dead battleground queues, lack of players to do dungeons with, limited people participating in open world activities are all very discernable signs of a dying game, and although I’ve never been one to hop on the “This game is dying” bandwagon.. numbers don’t lie.
When Bless launched its headstart on the 28th of May, there were an average of almost 40,000 players playing.
By the 31st of May there were 34,000 players. By the 1st of June, there were 28,000 players. This was due to the damage nerf patch – a patch so many people hated that they just up and left at that point.
By the 2nd of June player count was down to 26,000. As of today, June 11th, player peak is at 14,000. In a mere 2 weeks, the game has shed almost 60% of its active population.
Tell me – what game is capable of surviving when within the next 2 weeks we’re looking at active player numbers dipping below 8,000, if not lower?
I don’t even know what to say in regards to this other than it’s just.. absolutely shocking.
I know it’s in part due to so many Youtuber’s and streamers tearing its asshole open – but it’s also partly due to the fact that there isn’t much to do right now and the game is still riddled with issues that need remedying.
Neowiz and the Bless Team have been pretty good with responding to high-priority concerns. When people had issues with balance, they were remedied in a timely manner.
When players had issues with the duplication bug, although it took them too long to fix, they let players know they were aware of the issue and in the process of narrowing down the issue.
Players have talked about how difficult it is to understand the game due to poor localization, and Neowiz have responded by expanding their localization team.
Yes, you may not get updates and responses as rapidly as you’d like but that is because they’re a company that is more than likely working behind the scenes trying to fix all the issues they’re having.
Even though I’m in the minority, I do have to give credit to Neowiz for their consistent communication with the playerbase.
My overall thoughts on the game remain similar to what they’ve always been.
I believe the game has potential. Has being the keyword here. Or, maybe, if this downward spiral of population decline continues, had would be the keyword.
Neowiz aren’t a terrible company – they’re inexperienced, they’re sloppy, and they’re unprofessional. From what I can tell, though, they’re still hard at work trying to make the game worth playing for the playerbase, regardless of how much is left in the future.
So I have to give them credit there.
The game is far from perfect. The game is barely passable as a functional MMORPG – it’s missing so much content, so many features, and the playerbase drying up is doing it no favors.
Would I recommend people purchase it? No. Would I recommend people avoid the game all together? No. I believe with time and effort, Neowiz may take it to a level that players can enjoy. Or, maybe it’ll end up like WildStar, who knows.
My overall thoughts are that there is a lot wrong with the game, and not enough right. Yet. Take that, along with every other reviewer’s opinion with a grain of salt though, as just because we don’t like a game – doesn’t mean you won’t.
Don’t be a sheep. Don’t follow the herd. Make up your own mind about the game.
Other than that.. I really can’t say anything else. I’ve said my piece, and I’m done with Bless Online until enough fixes are made to the game that it’s worth mentioning again.
So with that being said.. thank you all for watching and I hope to see you all in the next video. Or one of the other MMORPGs I’m playing.
Which.. shameless plug, I do have a video talking about the only other good MMORPGs left if you’re interested in watching.