Last Monday the Bless Online Advanced Access (for Founder’s Packs owners) went live and on Wednesday the actual Early Access has started on Steam, too. And… unfortunately, both of the launches were rocky. Very rocky in fact. Of course, the problems have started when massive amounts of players tried to log in, create characters and play, all at the same time. Things didn’t go much better when Bless Early Access didn’t start out as intended either, because the base game was locked for buying on Steam for a while. But, most of these things – disconnections, server crashes and restarts were to expect and people who are getting mad because of them aren’t entirely right in my opinion.
What is true though, Neowiz tried to handle the problems in an unusual way. New servers were added, yes, but also some of the already existing ones were (temporarily) closed for creating new characters, so people who were just a bit late to the party might have been locked out from playing with their friends. This is especially frustrating for people who bought the Founder’s Packs so they could be able to play EARLIER with their FRIENDS. And after locking the servers – sure, they could play earlier, but alone on different servers. In addition, Bless encourages players to group and play in parties – there are special buffs for partied characters, so such servers locks seem even worse.
Fortunately, by now most of the previously locked servers are open again and as an apology – Neowiz gave all the founders some Lumena, a paid (and obtainable through playing) currency.
I, personally, wasn’t affected by most of the problems with the servers, mainly because my game was downloading and I was at work when the problems started occurring, plus I didn’t have a preselected server I wanted to play at so I just created a character on the server that was open at that moment.
While playing during the early stages of the launch I only was disconnected from the server several times but it didn’t surprise me because that’s just the reality of the MMO launches. Of course, Bless was released quite a while ago in Korea, Japan and Russia so in theory the devs should be ready for this launch, but it WAS a fresh launch of the game on the West and we don’t know the details of it – was it a brand new team behind the launch or they just didn’t expect so many players on the first days? There are so many possibilities. I refuse to not believe in the developer, I choose to wait and see how they will fix all the mistakes there are there.
For now, most of the first game issues were addressed. Some of the problems were completely removed (like the terrible tutorial translation that gave many players, myself included, a lot of problems with understanding what the quests wanted them to do). The servers are getting more stable, too. Some people who already have completed the game complained about no end-game content. It was not only addressed in the Producer’s Apology Letter, but also new content has been already released. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to release new content when there are optimization problems, lags and all the other newly released games' issues, but the point is: the dev team is TRYING and it’s LISTENING to the players.
One of Neowiz’s last decision is the infamous damage nerf, that touched all the classes but the hardest it hit the Rangers. And guess what? I’m obviously playing a Ranger! So I can tell you that the class was definitely too strong, yes, but now it’s definitely too weak. I’m really hoping the dev will update the game with another class balancing, this time not a rushed one, but put into testing first. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not even salty, It’s just the beginning of the game on the West, there will be lots of nerfs and buffs in the nearest future, I just don’t think this time they thought the balancing through. Or maybe someone typed wrong numbers? Orrr Neowiz wants to divert our attention from the servers issues, who knows 🙂
Does Neowiz fail sometimes? Sure it does. Like we all do. But we all have to remember Bless is in Early Access, so things will happen, servers will go down, bad balances will be introduced, we won’t be always happy with new features. But the game is in its early days and we have the responsibility of shaping both the game and its community, so it’s important to inform the devs about the problems instead of getting a refund when the smallest glitch occurs or complaining about everything in the world chat in game. Even if we stop playing Bless at some point – new players will come in our place and they will continue what we start now, so let’s create a nice community, supporting each other AND the devs 🙂
I will not tell you much about the game itself today, I’ll wait until the major issues will (or will not) be fixed before saying what are my first impressions of Bless. For now I’ll only say that I absolutely love the music in game, the taming feature is really cool – I enjoy it a lot and every race has a different starting zone and quests so that’s pretty cool too – adds some depth to the story.
And that’s it for now, it’s Saturday, so there’s some painting to be done today. See you next time!