Overall, I enjoy Blade and Soul. Truly. The combat system is fun, the clothes generally are nice, the endgame looks fun (no, I’m still not max level yet shuddup) and the game has a style that makes it stand out.
All that said, though, there are still more than a few things that haven’t really been ironed out with the game; things I feel like should have been cleared up already. Lets take a look at Blade & Soul’s persistent problems.
The amount of currencies, reagants and other baubles this game throws at you is nearing Guild Wars 2 levels of insanity. Valor stones, Breakthrough materials, Naryu stuff – it is a LOT to take in without a guide or two.
Perhaps this is a failure of my not paying attention to how things looked in the Korean build. Perhaps it’s just the way K-MMO’s operate. All the same, the sheer litany of things I have to keep up with makes my head spin. At least with other games like Final Fantasy XIV they have the good sense to rotate out old currencies for new. Here, I’m left with an inventory full of random stuff that I don’t dare sell or throw away for fear of tossing out something potentially needed or useful later. I’m almost positive that I’m not going to require all of these dropped weapons and all of these Valor Stones, but who knows?
And hey, speaking of that inventory…
Stingy Bag Space
Come on, guys, I need a little more room for my stuff. No? I have to pay for it, don’t I?
Annoy-to-pay is one of the worst things that has sprung from the otherwise lovely free-to-play monetization. While this game overall doesn’t hit Perfect World-levels of annoyance, the forced hand of straining convenience aggravates me. It’s just about as bad as the Class-Specific Lockbox Key I had written about a few weeks back, but at least with this bit of annoy-to-pay I’m not running in to a brick wall or having my progress halted. It’s just slowed so I can determine whether or not I can throw out this thing or that.
So no, game, I will not buy more bag space from you. You will give me those Dragon Pouches. Until then I will fight my inventory arrangement tooth and claw. I bested Diablo’s bag management, I can best you too!
Not in a networking sense. More in a community sense. As much fun as I have with the game as a game, I am still not invested in Blade and Soul as a world. As a community. There doesn’t really seem to be anyone who wants to communicate amongst each other while I’m out and about.
I don’t just mean in a roleplaying sense either, even though that’s my community of choice. There’s no social hub that I’ve seen, unless everyone’s hanging out in Zaiwei. No connections with others in-game. The cross-server lobby is about the only affirmation that people want to see each other, and that kind of sucks. I could most certainly write a neat story about my character in my head, but that’s only fun for a little bit. Even if my Destroyer is so solo-friendly I’m able to take on small group bosses and world bosses by myself, MMO’s will always be better with others. Particularly when you’ve got a tall drink of water character like I have. It’s a disconnect that pervades the whole experience.
How to Fix It
I’m usually of the mind that if I’m going to whine about something, I’m also going to devote some thought and energy to solving the problems. So, with that said, I’m going to outline my thought processes on how to turn around these matters.
Currencies – This one I’m going to actually devote the most focus on, since endgame progression will require a plan. I’m going to look through a few guides, take stock of what I have and determine which will be useful and which can honestly be tossed. Then, I’ll try to keep a running record of the things I’m collecting so I’m aware of what I have and how much. Maybe even figure out what I can get upon reaching cap, if anything. This will take a bit more paperwork than I’d want, but the effort should be worth it.
Community Problems – Since the roleplay site I had linked to a while ago is dead, I’m going to have to look at alternate routes to find a community. There are outside sources that can provide even though the in-game ones are seriously lacking. If nothing else, I can at the least enjoy this game as a game and perhaps look to some of the other MMO’s in my rotation for my character writing needs. It’s not an ideal solution, but it will have to do.
Bag Space – Eh, I’m probably going to cave on this one, to be honest. The battle has been long and mighty, but I grow weary of the whole thing.
An MMO is what one makes of it, but sometimes you can only work within the confines the game’s designed in. These limits are annoying to be sure, but it’s up to me to try and not let them get me down in the end. Perhaps focusing on what can be done or what is more enjoyable will provide me the fuel I need to let this game further take hold of me. These things are not exactly dealbreakers, and the game is improving in some areas such as its rampant bot problem, so there’s still hope that other things can be turned around as well. It’s just a matter of knowing what I want out of the game instead of trying to force its square peg in to a mental round hole.
With that said, I think it’s time to get some of that enjoyment via headbutting enemies. Nothing says “cathartic” quite like chokeholds and body slams. So until then, thanks for reading and hope to see you in the fields or soaring through the air.Related: Blade & Soul, Column, Tower of Mushin