How is it possible it’s Sunday already? Where did the rest of the week go?
Hey everyone, it’s been a pretty nice week for me, what about you?
I still can’t really find my place after I finished playing Mass Effect Andromeda (and watching Gotham) but the developers never sleep… or do they? Not long ago we got announcements of Bless Emissaries, the game prices and… existence of a subscription in the game. This week Neowiz has shown again that they not only monitor the community’s reactions for the announcements but they also listen to the players' voice.
During the passing week Bless developer posted two important updates on the internet. The first one was a „Q&A” post that addressed many game-related questions and issues that last updates and press conference brought.
The Questions and answers that I personally found the most interesting are below.
Q: How does pricing work in different countries with different currencies?
A: Prices for different countries and currencies are set individually, and won’t necessarily be equivalent to the USD price.
This information is very interesting and I’m really curious how exactly they will execute it. Europe usually either has to struggle with US game prices in dollars or the price is not even converted to Euros, just the currecy mark is changed at the end of the price, so instead 40USD we have to pay 40EUR. According to Google 40EUR = 47 USD. Fair? Not really. An additional thing here is economy. 40 Euro can be an ok price on the Western or Northern Europe, but in Central and Eastern Europe the situation looks completely different. Everything is much cheaper here than on the West or North but we also earn much less than those regions. And so when we get a western price it usually is expensive for us. More or less, of course, depending on individual earnings, but you get the idea. It’s very rare for developers to actually consider the economy of contries different than USA, so I really would like to see how the Bless pricing will work. I’m so very disappointed with some developers that I will be happy even if just the Euro price will be adjusted, but we’ll soon see what the dev will do with the prices.
Q: Is the premium membership subscription based? What are the benefits?
A: (…) premium membership can be seen as an option for those who want a more convenient gameplay experience. As we are aware of your concerns regarding P2W, there will be no items that can directly enhance characters or items.
Below is the list of subscription benefits:
- pet and mount skins (active only during the sub)
- reduced equipment repair cost
- reduced „portal” usage cost
- unlimited gathering tool (the regular ones wears off)
- unlimited gathering bag (the regular ones wears off)
- 20% more monsters hunting experience points + 20% hunting gold bonus
- 20% more dungeon points
- 5 more market registration slots
- reduced market tax rate
- increased max daily activity (dungeon, combat) point exchange into Lumena by 20%
I’m not exactly sure if it’s not P2W at all (we still don’t know much about the cash shop items, but Neowiz keeps saying it will be nothing that would make the game p2w) but I guess it’s acceptable. I mean, they never said anything about the subscription in the game so I’m disappointed with its existence at all but if it does have to exist it should be still attractive enough for people to buy it and not game breaking or frustrating for others who won’t buy it. I wish the dev removed the gold bonuses though. Or the daily activities points bonuses. Either of them. Unfortunately, because the sub was never mentioned before the prices announcement – I feel like we should be more suspicious about announcements from Neowiz now – because they didn’t say there won’t be a sub either, so they didn’t lie, just hid it. So now I expect hidden things and paid options everywhere. For example: „The character limit is 5. But we won’t tell you only 2 slots are free„.
Q: So about that Collector’s Edition… Tell us more about things such as the credits title and gift copy.
A: This feature allows for the purchaser’s name to appear in Neowiz’s Bless Online credits list [in the game lobby screen] under the section titled „The Founder.”
This is actually a nice feature. Not enough to make me buy the most expensive founder pack but for those who do buy it, I think it’s pretty cool to be in the credits section of the game. Initially I thought the title would be one of those you can see under (or next to) the character’s name in game, so it’s nice they explained it and it isn’t the case.
Q: What is premium customer service? Does that mean that you won’t be assisting normal players?
A: Premium customer service was a feature designed for purchasers of the collector’s edition to receive exceptional support. However, as a direct response to user feedback, the Bless Team has decided to remove this feature and provide service to all our users equally regardless of the pack or game that they purchased.
Premium customer service has been removed from the list of benefits.
This is one of the cases which made me say Neowiz listens to the player/fanbase. And it’s the proof we should speak when we don’t like things and when we have a different opinion than the developer. It’s also good to know that our opinion is actually important, not every developer cares, even though it’s the players who make the game business work.
Q: The price of the Collector’s Edition though…
A: (…) we have received user feedback that the Collector’s Edition is overly expensive. As a result, the Bless Team has decided to adjust the price from $199.99 to $149.99 so that the pack is more accessible for all.
The Founder’s Pack – Collector’s Edition will be sold at $149.99 instead of $199.99. (We will adjust previous price announcements to state the new price of $149.99)
This is another important update and another case of the players shaping the game since the very beginning. As I said in my previous Bless updates post they had time to change their pricing decision and they did. I’m half proud of Newiz for doing it and half of myself for believing in them. But still, for some reason something made them think such a price was a good idea. I hope in the future they will think twice before making such announcements.
Q: Will there be Player to Player trading?
A: No there will not. Aside from the in-game auction house, there is no feature that allows player-to-player trading as we do not want a black market.
Now that’s sad. What if we want a black market? This is a joke of course but Player to Player trading is something really useful at times. The game gives bonuses for playing in a party. What if one of the party members is your friend and really needs an item you have? Nothing, because you will not be able to pass them that item to your friend. We’ll see how it will work in game though. As long as the marketplace is free to use there will be probably a way to use it to give items to friends.
Q: Is there playable content accessible by purchasing additional DLC? (…)
A: We do not expect purchasers to buy DLC as we have no plans to sell updated content as DLC. For example, content updates that will include the assassin and mystic will be able to be fully enjoyed just with the purchase of the base game.
As I said before – I can’t fully trust their words if there is still space for „buts” and „what ifs”. So what I’m thinking now is – great, no purchasable DLC – everything will come for free if you have the base game. Except the expansion packs. As long as the new content is named „DLC” it’s free. But what if they release it under „Expansion Pack” or any other pack? Not mentioning such an event is not really fair, everything should be clear and transparent since the start, to establish trust between the community and the developer.
Speaking of community – another interesting update that we got from Bless this week was a Reddit open letter to the community. It was addressing some of community-related questions and issues rahter than the game itself like the dev post on Steam did.
Penta the Panther from the Bless Team talked in the letter mostly about the reasons and ways to choose the Bless Emissaries for the first wave, as well as about the healthy community that Bless moderators are aiming for. He also mentioned that this letter is just the first one and suggested that the next ones will be published with answers and explanations when there will be some controversies among the community.
A bit more than a week is left for the Bless Early Access head start and 10 days for the actual Early Access. I’m super excited and can’t wait to play this game. I’ve been waiting for the launch for over a year and it’s almost here! But, I still haven’t decided which faction to choose nor which race to play. Ah, decisions! At least I know which class I will pick… except it won’t be available with the Early Access launch… Have to give it some more thinking throughout the week.
Have a nice Sunday everyone, tomorrow ESO Summerset launches so have fun (I sure will!)