Blade and Soul is a martial arts action MMORPG that puts you into the role of the last student of the Hongmoon School. You begin your adventure as a student to a great martial arts master, and are quickly thrown into a quest for revenge against another student of the Hongmoon School who turned traitor. With various classes and races to choose from, the ability to sprint and jump through the sky, and a very indepth story, Blade and Soul is one of the few good Action based MMORPGs still flooded with players. The game has had several expansions that improved the game as well as extending the story, adding new dungeons, and overall allowing for more aventures!
The character creation process in Blade and Soul offers various ways to make your character your own. You start off by selecting your race, choosing between one of the 4 races available, and then selecting one of the classes that go with that race. Some classes are bound to certain races, while others span across all of the races. Once you’re satisfied with your race and class, you’ll be able to customize their size, hair, and color scheme by using the standard selections available in most action MMO’s. The overall process is easy and you can make unique looking characters that aren’t just another clone of everyone else.
The story starts off with you as a student to a martial arts master, but things quickly go dark when one of his own students (the best one) turns on him and burns the entire dojo and village. As the only one to survive the attack, by some miracle of intervention, you swear to take your revenge and learn the remaining Hongmoon Clan’s techniques so that you can be able to fight the traitor who killed your friends. As you adventure to find the other Hongmoon Clan members, you find friends, enemies, and get pushed into something bigger than your revenge and discover the Dark Realm forces are trying to destroy the world. Whether you choose to continue with the revenge, or change focus on the bigger picture, is an option available to you as you continue your quest through the game’s story.
Skills and Techniques
Blade and Soul features a rich skill system that is unique to each class with an expansive array of skills and techniques to use against your foes. As an action based MMO, you’re limited to which skills you can have hotkeyed at any time, but with if you can master the combo system and chain your skills together, you can easily make full use of every skill in rapid succession. If you play the Summoner class, you’ll have a Cat Familiar which you can mold into a tanky pet or a burst DPS assistant, also with its own skills dependant on which path you choose to take with it.
You also have techniques, which are skills that are across all classes. These are the Hongmoon skills, which can help you with things like soaring through the sky like a crane, or rapidly dashing across the ground like a cheetah. The techniques will allow you to explore and discover the true beauty behind the game world of Blade and Soul.
PVP and Dueling
Blade and Soul has various ways to enjoy competition against other players. From the basic 1 v 1 dueling, to arenas and tournaments, you can enjoy hours of PVP with each fight feeling like a different experience. So, what are the differences from other games? There are a few differences with the arenas, which make Blade and Soul one of the most enjoyable in terms of team battles. As for the 1v1 battles, it’s similar to all others.
The Arena, or 3v3 / 5v5 battles, consists of two teams that will fight in a “tag” style where your party can swap positions or assist the current fighting member at any time. This makes for a very interesting style of PVP. Each player can “assist” three times, and they can tag out freely but with a cooldown. Once a party member’s health drops to 0, they are eliminated from the arena fight. If done right, you can assist your party members and be able to rapidly chain combos with them to quickly defeat your foes. As a Summoner, I found this quite fun since I was able to heal my allies, stun my enemies, and let my stronger allies assist the person fighting by unleashing devastating combos on the stunned enemies. The Summoner pet is full of stunning skills, so controlling the enemies was pretty easy and made for a fun experience, but if I was put into the battle as the main fighter, it was a bit different since I couldn’t take the hits myself. Either way, the experience is very unique and I’ve only seen this type of PVP in Blade and Soul.
There are also tournaments that take place every few months or so, where you can compete against 50+ other players in 1v1 or 3v3 style combat to prove your value among the strongest of the world! This one is a bit more difficult to get into since it’s based on specific times, so as an NA player, I was rarely able to compete in this.
Blade and Soul has a bunch of different dungeons, each with its own story, history, and obstacles to overcome. Most story dungeons are solo only, but the team dungeons are very enjoyable since each boss has various skills you’ll have to avoid or your team will wipe. You’ll also be able to revive fallen team members as any class, but you have to act quick since it takes awhile to do and if you stand in one place too long, you can end up in the same situation. The game has different types of dungeons from the standard single path dungeon ending in a boss battle, to the more interesting and unique branching dungeons that are dependent on your own actions in the fights. As you get higher levelled, the dungeons become more complex and more difficult. Eventually, you’ll get to a tower of trials, where one failure can result in failing the entire dungeon so you have to advance with caution in those types.
Factions and Forging Your Path
Blade and Soul has two elite factions that are both fighting for the same goal, but differ in the way they wish to pursue that goal. As you level up, you will be given the opportunity to join the Cerulean Order or the Crimson Legion. The Cerulean Order prefers the path of war to bring peace to the world by punishing the evil forces of the Dark Realm and ending their threat with force. This faction follows a strict path where it’s leader is the one deciding what the entire faction does. The Crimson Legion on the other hand, while still wanting to eliminate evil, want to bring freedom to the world as well, where they aren’t lead by a dictator. They seek a new path, carved for and by themselves, without the same old mistakes made by governmental ruling since it has only failed to protect the citizens who reside in that government. Both factions are great and have many members, but the faction quests vary quite a bit because of how different they think they should go about fighting.
Overall Blade and Soul is a fantastic game, full of lore, great stories with both beginnings and endings, lots of PVP action, and so much more to enjoy as you play it. After the few years the game has been out for in the NA region, it still has a strong dedicated playerbase, so there isn’t any problem waiting for dungeons or PVP battles like most MMO’s end up with. The story is great to follow and you gain and lose many friends along the way. If you’re looking for a great story driven MMORPG full of action, betrayal, and harsh lesson learning, Blade and Soul is definitely worth playing. Even if you play MMO’s alone, you can do quite a bit in this game alone.