NCSoft and Team Bloodlust's Blade & Soul has been pretty darn successful overseas, and it has its moments of being a pretty darn good game. But some aspects of it are so incredibly punishing even I have to take a step or seven back and remind myself of why I'm putting up with such torment. And that is not a good sign, because I really love punishing games. In fact, the more likely a game is to cause me repeated death, the more likely I am to view it favorably. Which explains why I love Let it Die so much and why I've been dragging my FFXIV free company through all the Savage content I can get them into.
I suppose my biggest problem with Blade & Soul is that the difficulty is so heavily skewed toward a few classes. I can make my way around on many of the classes just fine. Soul Fighter is one of the easier classes for me to play around with, mainly because you don't get horribly punished when you screw up your damage skill rotation.
And then there's destroyers, who interrupt boss mechanics using specific rotations of right and left mouse clicks at a specific tempo. Everything about the class speaks to me, but I just cannot get it. I can't get myself to mouseclick properly.
Blade & Soul is arguably the one of the best free-to-play MMORPG for a reason. It's a fun game with a ton of content, and a ridiculously detailed character customization feature with so many sliders.
And its concept is great. The game blends genres between MMOs and fighting games. Seriously — the premise sounds wonderful, but that isn't often what we get. And, like every other MMO, it doesn't bring a whole lot new to the table.
The story is perhaps where that is most obvious. You must avenge your fallen friends and martial arts master. You know, like every fighting game ever.
There is PvP and PvE content, but no housing or and very complicated, limited crafting. And if you play MMOs, you know how much of a mistake that is. People love crafting and decorating houses, especially in MMOs. When the game first launched in the West, it had approximately no crafting at all. So it is getting better. Slowly.
So while Blade & Soul is improving and has a lot to offer, it isn't quite where it should be just yet. There's a good game in here somewhere. And one day I believe we'll find it.