Finally! After 2 to 3 years, the long wait is over! Blade and Soul, an MMORPG by NCSoft, now has an official NA version! It will launch its closed beta on October 29, 2015 10AM PDT (instead of October 30). The weekend English testing schedule is summarized below:
- Closed Beta 1: Oct 29, 10am PDT – Nov 2, 10pm PDT
- Closed Beta 2: Nov 13, 10am PDT – Nov 16, 10pm PDT
- Closed Beta 3: Nov 24, 10am PDT – Nov 30, 10pm PDT
- Closed Beta 4: Dec 11, 10am PDT – Dec 14, 10pm PDT
- Closed Beta 5: Dec 18, 10am PDT – Dec 21, 10pm PDT
To be able to join the Closed Beta, players need to have a special pass. If you are on a tight budget, you can try signing up to get a special pass, but there is no guarantee. On the other hand, those who buy any of the Founder’s packs will automatically receive Closed Beta access as well as a “headstart” depending on the pack they chose. For more details, you may visit their official website here.
Blade and Soul is originally a Korean game which definitely gives out an Asian feeling. It is martial arts inspired set in an open world environment. The game has really good graphics and has several customization tools for character creations.
Blade and Soul also has an anime adaptation released last year. It was directed by Hiroshi Hamasaki and Hiroshi Takeuchi of Gonzo Studio. The story is all about Aruka, a female assassin and student of the Clan of the Sword. Her master, Hon, was killed by Jin Varrel and thus, she is currently on a journey to seek revenge. Aruka meets three great warriors along the way while struggling with her master’s last wish. Apparently, Hon wishes Aruka to leave her life as an assassin.
Obviously, the game’s plot is quite similar to the anime. The story starts with you training as a student at Hongmoon School. Those days seem peaceful until Jinsoyun causes a havoc in your school just to obtain Twilight’s Edge. Everyone tried his or her best in fighting against her forces, but it ends in tragedy. Luckily you are able to escape with one mission in mind: to stop Jinsoyun and her dark forces from destroying the world.
Each race opens up a unique opportunity especially in Blade and Soul. If you are going to play this game, you should first take a glance at the races before trying to create a character. Certainly, you would not want to have your wanted class locked due to the wrong selection of the race.
First, there are the Gon. They are believed to have originated from the dragons’ breath. Obviously, the Gon has a great deal of physical strength to withstand its enemies. They are also known for their short temper. If you select the Gon, you can be either a Destroyer, a Kung Fu Master, or a Force Master.
Second, there is the cute race of Lyn. They are believed to be the descendants of the Kirin – legendary unpredictable animals. The Lyn got very good senses and have the ability to communicate with Familiars. If you choose this race, you can be either a Summoner, a Force Master, or a Blade Dancer.
Third, there are the Jin. This race is said to be the heirs of the Black Tortoise. While the Jin is comparatively smaller than the Gon, this race is known for its tenacity and flexibility. If you become a Jin, you can be either an Assassin, a Blade Master, or a Kung Fu Master.
Last but not the least is the Yun. This race is only composed of females. The Yun is believed to be the descendants of Funghuang, a mythical Asian bird known for its grace and elegance. This race is famous for its creativity and artistic capabilities. If you are to become a Yun, you can be either a Force Master, a Blade Master, or a Kung Fu Master.
Right now, the game offers 7 classes: Blade Master, Destroyer, Summoner, Force Master, Kung Fu Master, Assassin, and Blade Dancer.
The game also has two factions: The Cerulean Order and the Crimson Legion. They both share a common goal but differ on their methods of achieving it. The first believes in gaining order by using structure and control. The latter believes in freedom with oppression being the root cause of all.
Blade and Soul is definitely one of the must-try MMORPGs this fall 2015, especially if you are looking for that Asian touch instead of the usual medieval fantasy set-up. If you want more information on this game, check out their website.