According to a few friends that I’ve met who have played this game longer than me and that one guy on Reddit, the Blackram Narrows dungeon is not the standard for group content in Blade and Soul. As a matter of fact, it seems like it’s almost universally understood that it’s probably the worst indicator of how playing with others works in this game. Which got me looking ahead in Blade and Soul to see what’s coming up both for the game and me personally. Since we’re on the cusp of a new update I think it’s a fine time for me to peer down the horizon and talk about what I’m looking forward to.
The Unchained Update
So, about that Unchained thing. Honestly, there’s not much here for me right now in the late 20’s, but then again the frequency of updates is certainly welcome and is giving me plenty to mull over when I do hit cap. Of particular interest to me is the eight current levels of the Tower of Mushin, the monument to which this article gets its name. I was immediately intrigued by the idea of an immense tower offering up challenges to make someone a god-like martial artist, and the idea of endgame content designed around solo challenge is definitely appealing to me as an Assassin player – a class that so far feels best when working alone. On top of that, the large-scale dungeons all sound thematically awesome and loads of fun, especially Naryu Labyrinth. I’m always a sucker for randomly-generated dungeons ever since my time in Neverwinter and City of Heroes…except for those damn cave maps, you know the ones.
I am also intrigued by the new Warlock class. We’ve been seeing Warlock razors drop randomly in to our inventories for some time, and getting the chance to finally use them so soon surprised me. Granted, I’m not a huge fan of ranged classes or the glass cannon playstyle, but the tricks of the Warlock are all too interesting to ignore. With a plethora of lockdown skills and a very fierce-looking temporary pet, it’s going to be hard not to scratch that alt itch. Especially since we’re being handed a free character slot.
The Here and Now
As for the continuing adventures of my Assassin, I’m happy to report that the story is finally beginning to take an interesting turn for me. The entire narrative had been pretty droll up to this point, but things have begun to pick up a little bit and I’m starting to perk my ears up. It also likely has something to do with the fact that I’m leaving Bamboo Village in my rearview mirror.
A change of venue and accelerating plot isn’t the only thing I’m most eager for currently. I’m also finding that leveling up my equipment has still kept me engaged. Sometimes there’s enjoyment in the minutia of babying one’s equipment, and Blade and Soul’s gear advancement and Breakthrough systems still remain one of my favorite forms of power progression. Admittedly, I’m still using the same Soul Shield that I’ve had since I left the Stalker Jiangshi Wheel of Fate far behind, so there’s certainly room for improvement in the Soul Shard drops department. My fingers remain crossed that I’ll be able to see some worthwhile drops as I press forward. Or, failing that, I can just burn all of the Viridian Valor Stones I’ve got to purchase a level 20 Soul Shield in Jadestone.
On top of that, there’s also the slowly unlocking skill tree as well as some empty skill buttons that feed my desire to press on. The long and short of it is that I still feel like there’s lots of growth available to my pigtailed ninjette, and I can’t wait to see where things unfold for her.
More Group Stuff
Despite last week’s column, I’m still also looking forward to seeing how dungeon and group content unfolds as I move through the game. It’s my fervent hope that my worries about this game’s group dynamics can be softened by the assurance I alluded to at the start of this article. While I love tanking, I am hard-pressed to ignore the stylish slaughter my Assassin provides, and I’m still not sure how her cog fits in to the group machine. So with a mixture of curiosity about where Assassins fit, interest in what dungeons come next and my own annoyingly unwavering enthusiasm for MMO’s, I’m trying to leave the Blackram Narrows experiences behind.
In specific, I’m most curious about the Naryu Temple and the Tomb of the Exiles. The former offering up clothes definitely speaks to my digital fashionista tendencies in MMO’s, and the latter offering up needed Breakthrough items means this is pretty much mandatory content. By the time I delve further in to the Cinderlands, I’m hoping that my place in the group scheme will become clear and that I’ll have more tricks that can be offered up to help parties out. Blame my former class choices for these feelings I suppose, but I like being a worthwhile addition to a dungeon group even if Blade and Soul makes parties happen as instantly as microwave ramen.
The Community Factor
My interest in what’s ahead isn’t just limited to in-game things. Since I don’t personally know many people that play Blade and Soul, I’m afforded the opportunity to make new friends. I found some random roleplay before and I’m hoping to do so again, but the best way to get myself within the community is to seek it out. There’s bound to be plenty of others who love to RP in the world of Blade and Soul, and who could say no to that face up there?
In addition to the roleplay scene, I’m also looking forward to being around an energized fanbase. Half of the delight of MMO’ing for me is being with other fans, and I’ve been sniffing around to find spaces for me to collaborate with other Blade and Soul players. Making new friends in MMO’s is always a bit of work, but I also find it’s the most rewarding aspect. Not only can it net me spots on a friend list, it could also help me with advancement in-game as well as further building what is already a very fun character. Working myself in to Blade and Soul’s community will continue to be a personal goal.
With all of these things to look forward to, I’m reminded that the good of an MMO should be taken with the bad, and this game still remains a positive part of my MMO rotation. In the end, Blade and Soul is still fun for me to play, and that’s the most important thing to look ahead to. With that in mind, I hope to see you in the fields or soaring through the air with me!Related: Blade & Soul, Column, Tower of Mushin, Update