As I’m sure many fans are already aware, the highly-anticipated Blade & Soul Gunslinger class will be available on September 13. Additionally, the update that brings the new class will also include the crafting system revamp that should streamline the crafting guild systems.
While at Gamescom 2017, I had the opportunity to get my hands on the Gunslinger, which Blade & Soul fans have been eagerly awaiting since it was first teased last year. Even though I only had a few minutes with the class, it was easily the most fun I’ve had with any Blade & Soul class to date and it’s possibly one of the most stylish ranged classes I’ve ever used in an MMORPG. Toting dual pistols, the Gunslinger is both quick and deadly.
Flame and Shadow
Similar to the other classes in Blade & Soul, the Gunslinger utilizes two distinct specializations that cater to different play styles and fill different roles. The first specialization is Flame, which is focused on building up charges to unleash explosive rounds. Up to five rounds can be stored at once and then unleashed to do heavy amounts of damage. During the initial build up, the Flame spec Gunslinger might feel a bit weaker than the other damage-focused classes, but the burst from the explosive rounds is enough to put a dent in any boss or finish off an unsuspecting player.
While the Flame spec is focused on heavy burst via its explosive rounds, the Shadow specialization builds up meter to achieve Lightspeed. During Lightspeed, the Shadow Gunslinger’s abilities have amplified damage and quicker cast speeds. When compared side-by-side, the Shadow spec has more sustained damage while Flame has more burst damage, but both kits are designed to build up to a certain point and then unleash a ton of damage. Picking a spec will mostly come down to personal preference, but I felt the Shadow spec to feel smoother and less reliant on a single skill than Flame.
There are also a few similarities that both specs share as well. One really cool aspect of the Gunslinger is the ability to grapple across the ground (granting crowd control immunity) or into the air for a few seconds. While airborne only a few skills are active, but it should prove to be an annoyance for any melee classes. It’s also a good way to build some meter/charges and do some damage without getting punished. They also share the Tombstone ability, which pushes the Gunslinger into an overdrive type state for a few seconds.
The Mobile Mage
I’ve always liked the idea of playing mage classes in MMORPGs, but scenarios usually don’t play out in-game how they do in my head. Being able to manipulate the elements, unleashing massive fireballs, crowd controlling enemies with frost magic, and throwing lightning bolts like Zeus sounds fantastic on paper. Unfortunately, most MMORPG mage classes aren’t that exciting.
Usually, you’re forced to be stationary while pressing 1 and 2 repeatedly with the occasional 3 or 4 thrown in for good measure. In some games there is a bit more complexity, and often times the systems are really interesting, but almost all mages archetypes are required to stand still while casting or at least have animation locks.
Until recently, this was my experience with Blade & Soul as well. I initially enjoyed both the Force Master and Warlock, and while they didn’t suffer from the stationary gameplay as classes in similar games do, they both felt much slower than the other classes in Blade & Soul. Trying to do boss fights that required a lot of mobility or PvP can feel frustrating, especially when other classes seem to be able to hop around the map with ease.
Well, if you’re like me and want a class that feels like a mage but doesn’t have that tacked-on sluggish feeling then the Gunslinger might be the right choice for you. It can be extremely agile while simultaneously putting out a lot of damage and supporting the rest of the party. Of course, speed and damage aren’t the only things that matter in a class. There’s also style, and the Gunslinger bleeds it. Every one of the Gunslinger’s abilities looks and feels way over-the-top, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your style preference.
For those who haven’t seen the latest Blade & Soul news, a major crafting update is launching alongside the Gunslinger. With the new crafting system, players can have up to three simultaneous tasks for each guild. Additionally, the level cap for each guild is being increased to five and varying amounts of items can be crafted with a single task. Players who have already put a significant amount of effort into crafting can expect some form of compensation at a later date.
An update wouldn’t be complete without new items. Here is a list of new items for each crafting guild:
- Empyrean Spirit Stone – Used to upgrade legendary weapons
- Transformation Stone
- Master Field Repair Tool
- Void Fragment
- Ascendance Stone
- Galaxy Fragment
- Brilliant Key – Key used to obtain class-specific weapon
- Ivory Beluga Orb
- Smelting Orb
- Aransu Orb
- Shield Bases – Exchangeable for Soul Shield Primers
- Shield Engravings – Used to enhance attributes for a specific set of Soul Shields
- Serpent Calling Bell
- Purification Jar
- Dragon Soups – Increases combat EXP by 100% and 200%
- Mild & Spicy Dumplings & Dumpling Soup – Recovers 100% HP and gives various combat buffs
- Cactus and Prickly Pear Potions – Instantly recovers HP
- Persistence and Awakened Potions – Raises Max. HP or AP
- Revival & Resuscitation Charms – Revives yourself or a party member
- Cooldown Reset Charm – Resets all cooldowns
In order to smooth the transition, all crafting and gathering requests will be disabled from September 9 until the update is applied on September 13.
Are any of our readers excited to try out the Gunslinger once it goes live next week? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!Related: Blade & Soul, Gamescom, Gamescom 2017, MMORPG, NCSoft, Preview