During this passing week we got several interesting game news. 4 of them were particularly interesting for me, since they concern the games I either play or intend to play when they are released. And what is even better – they are all good news!
Bless Dev Talk #03
Bless Dev team is working hard on making everything ready for the Steam release of the game, but still every once in while they manage to find some time to give us updates on what they are working at and what we can expect from the game. This time, in their third Dev Talk, they focused on some of the biggest changes comparing to the Asian releases of Bless Online. An interesting fact to note is that the news were first “leaked” on official Bless Discord to celebrate over 10.000 members of the channel.
In this blog developers explain the main changes to combat system, mentioning the “Rhythmic Combat” which seems a really interesting approach to the combat system. There are no videos of what the reworked combat will look like but from the comments around the internet it seems that people compare it mostly to Guild Wars 2 combat mechanics, that strongly depends on a set of weapons you have equipped with that difference that in Bless it would depend on the Stance and Core Skill you’d choose. Of course everything here is just a speculation because no one got to test it in action yet.
Another thing that is mentioned in the update we got from Neowiz is that there will be party buffs that the party leader will be able to choose both for combat and for non-combat activities. I understand that it’s to encourage players to group into parties as they are intended to in an MMO and it’s really cool but on the other hand people who prefer to play alone for whatever reason will suffer from it. I’m not sure how I personally feel about this feature but I do think it’s an interesting idea and since the game is still not released we all have to wait with the final opinions for until we can actually try the game out.
The thing that is especially interesting in this dev blog is monetization system. On every possible occasion the dev mentions how they don’t want Steam Bless to be P2W. I do think it’s really good but what I’m worried is that with time (assuming the game will survive and keep on going) Neowiz will forget about this strategy. Or will simply change it. It happens and I don’t want to point finger at anyone but sometimes promises of “never” and “always” just change into “we had to take a decision”. Anyway, for now we are told that Neowiz tries to do everything to avoid P2W. Their monetization plan for Bless is to introduce tokens you get just for playing the game that will buy you usable items from the store and it’s said to be also exchangeable to the paid currency – Lumena. The Lumena, on the other hand, will only buy you cosmetic and so-called “fluff” items and you can’t get the usable items nor the tokens for it. In other words you will be able to get, for example, a health potion for tokens, and a pretty dress for Lumena. If you don’t have real life money you will still be able to buy the dress if you play the game a lot but you won’t buy the potion if you only spend real money on the game. It seems fair for me and this is a monetization plan I’d like to see in any MMO.
The last big thing mentioned in the Bless Dev Talk #03 is the new introductory area meant to be a place to practice basic skills. It will be skippable but the players will always be able to come back there. Additionally, there will be new Guide Quests that will, as the name suggests, guide you through some aspects of the game that the other tutorials won’t cover.
Overall, there will be quite a lot of new and changed features that all the Blessers wait for. What surprises me is that many players already complain on things, even though neither of these features is live yet. I understand all the voices disappointed on the amount of news though. The game is supposed to be released next month (#hype!) but we still have only scraps of the informations. Interesting informations, yes, but still, there should be more – gameplay videos of the reworked, Steam version of the game, screenshots, and, what is the most important, PRICE of the game, the Early Access packs, as well as the first Emissary program members announced. Or at least the invitations sent. I hope the game will be ready for its release. At worst – I’d much prefer a postponed Early Access than an unfinished game released and I think many players would share this opinion.
Elder Scrolls Online Anniversary event extended
This week there was a lot of unexpected downtime in ESO. It’s always unpleasant in an MMO and companies (as long as they treat their players seriously) always try to make it up for everyone somehow. This time such a thing happened to ESO during an Anniversary Event, in which you can get double XP and additional rewards for every completed daily. Fortunately, to make it up to those who wanted to participate and do as much as possible during the event – Bethesda decided to extend the event duration to April 23, which makes me really happy because I don’t always have a lot of time to play, so the downtime really affected me.
But that’s not the end of good news from ESO! As you may know, soon (June 21) the newest ESO expansion, Summerset, will be launched and on Monday, April 16, you can start testing it on Public Test Server! No invitation is required, so everyone is free to do that, just remember not to spoil the fun for everyone else. All the details and instructions are described on official ESO website, so be sure to read everything – no tl;dr allowed!
Skyrim Special Edition free weekend
Did you know you could try out Skyrim Special Edition for free this weekend? No? Well, there is still several hours left to download the game if you don’t have it downloaded yet and give it a try.
What’s the difference between regular Skyrim and Skyrim SE? SE is a remastered version of the game. It has improved art and effects, lighting, dynamic depth of field, reflections, pretty much everything that would make this game look gorgeous AND it still is mod friendly, even on consoles (of course since it’s a newer version of the game – less mods is available for SE, but more and more modders check/add SE compatibility to their creations so don’t worry about not having available mods you’d like to use).
Pillars of Eternity Scavenger Hunt
If you loved the first Pillars of Eternity you’re most probably excited about the sequel coming out really soon (May 8th!). Apparently Obsidian, the developer of these awesome game, was hiding (sometimes not even very good!) codes for DLC which you can now claim on their website. This is a really smart AND fun promo event. But I would expect no less from the developer of such fun games that were funded on kickstarter. Crowdfunding campaigns make developers realise who really they should care about: the audience. And Obsidian is apparently very aware of it, so it’s giving players a fun minigame where they can win their game’s DLC. Good job, Obsidian 🙂
And that’s it for now! Hopefully next week there will be as many exciting news as this week 🙂 Ah, I only wish I had time to play ALL the awesome games out there!