Yup. Still on that level grind. You’ll have to forgive me, but other MMO’s have diverted my attention away from Blade and Soul. That said, having gone through quite a few of those levels on a couple of different characters, I’ve pieced together a couple of things. Some concepts that would have helped me when I first started playing this title. While it seems like a lot of players are at cap and waiting, I’d like to share some of the things I learned while moving across the Earthen Realm.
Even from the very start of this game’s launch, Blade and Soul very much will put you in to a soloer’s mindset. Everything about it is built around making your own way along. The classes all have a variety of utility and several skills that allow you manage danger and handle most situations. As such, be ready to be alone for a very long while. Even when you’re meant to group with others, don’t expect to feel included or even talked to.
This sounds a bit like an awful thing, but after a while you sort of get used to it. That’s not to say that it’s excusable, but it is the way it is. As such, it’s likely best for anyone starting out to get acclimated to the idea of a solo wuxia adventure. The primary story does pick up pace after a little while, and taking on enemies by yourself without being led along by the nose in group actions really allows Blade and Soul’s combat to shine through. It’s for these reasons that I’m grateful for focusing on my Destroyer, as she is an absolute monster of solo action. I’ve been able to take down open world bosses and 4-player dungeon bosses entirely by myself with her skills. It’s remarkably empowering. If you’re one of the folks who likes to play solo, then you’re likely going to feel welcome.
Don’t Neglect Your Equipment
Blade and Soul doesn’t have gear or armor in the classical MMO sense. Instead, what it has are upgrades for your existing weapon and accessories. Keeping an eye on your gear’s progression path every once in a while is absolutely vital to keep your character in top condition.
The progression path will actually follow the breadcrumb trail of your questing progress. So taking time to note what your next Breakthrough item is will save you a lot of tears and backtracking later. Considering that each item’s stats are already optimized as you go through the progression levels, there’s little worry about selecting the wrong gear. Even stuff you’re not using can all be eaten up by the black hole of your equipment progression, meaning storage space should hopefully be better managed. Furthermore, if you want to customize your weapon just a bit more, you can slot in gems to improve some stats or add some benefits. The game will very kindly tell you what content the next major Breakthrough is located when you reach that item’s maximum level, so don’t forget to note what you’ll need next and keep in mind where you are in the story.
Stay on the Path
Blade and Soul has a large amount of quests, and nearly all of them are repeatable on a daily basis. It all sounds convenient but ends up being a bit more of a headache than perhaps intended. Logging in and forgetting which quests you’ve already done and picking them up again by accident is probably one of the single biggest time-wasters I’ve run in to in this game. I’m sure the designers meant well by allowing most quests to be repeated daily, but what it ends up doing is putting you off track.
When you head back in-game, try to pay attention to any quests with that little “Daily” tag next to the quest name. Check the requirements to be sure that this is, indeed, something new to you. You’ll be able to move forward at a more even pace without feeling like you’re spinning your wheels. Following the breadcrumbs faithfully should net you all of the experience you’ll need to make it through the game, so following these “Daily” quests is almost utterly useless.
Don’t Sweat the Details
Blade and Soul is a carnival ride dressed in a Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon-style outfit. It is, ultimately, meant to be a fun, casual and free-wheeling experience that is probably not meant to be taken very seriously. Considering the bombastic plot and the action sequences throughout, I’m continuously reminded of this fact.
Again, this can sound like a mark against the game, but I’m of the mind that everyone needs a good bit of popcorn entertainment now and again. A thing one can enjoy while simultaneously turning their brains off. Blade and Soul definitely sits as my personal top choice for stupid, mindless fun. The graphics are colorful and vibrant. The vistas of the world are the highest of anime fantasy. The outfits are patently ridiculous. The combat is big and explosive. It’s not a deep, meaningful or life-affirming game. And that’s okay! Some games are better off like that.
Keep these concepts in mind, don’t get confused on which buttons do what, and you’ll find yourself likely enjoying your experience in Blade and Soul significantly more. It is a long road to get to the endgame stuff, but maybe these lessons will make that walk a little easier.Related: Blade & Soul, Column, Tower of Mushin