Bless Unleashed – launching the game saga
Admit it, you didn’t expect me to write a blog post about a game at this point. Especially not about Bless.
I used to write about Bless. Back then it was a (slightly) different game named Bless Online and we all know what happened with it (it closed, I didn’t get my money back). But Neowiz being the greedy people they are, after closing Bless Online (the game that, in my opinion, wasn’t that bad, actually! Unfinished, unpolished, needed more work, but not bad!) on PC they released a console version and guess what! After a few years, they ported the console version to PC! I mean, seeing what Bethesda is doing with Skyrim and Neowiz releasing various versions of Bless over and over, I don’t think I’ll be surprised about any game re-release anymore.
You’d think that with Neowiz’s history barely anyone would play the new iteration of Bless. You’d be surprised then. It’s actually incredibly popular at the moment. Loads of people play it, loads watch it on Twitch.
I’m trying not to be biased about the game but I’m probably failing at it, to be honest. It’s not like I hate it though, I only hate Neowiz. But, since the game is so popular and it is free to play I thought I could give it a chance (at least while waiting for New World launch), as many others seemingly did.
It took me a while to download Bless on my horrible Internet, but after it did download I was actually quite excited to revisit the game and see what they’ve improved. You must know that I’ve played the game during the first Bless Unleashed beta. It had so many issues back then that I didn’t even bother to launch it ever since (during the later beta events), so I had no idea what they could have improved before the launch.
In any case, I was ready for any adventure that “Play” button had for me and curious if the game can actually be good now (so many players can’t be wrong, right?) I pressed it…
Bless has its own launcher now, I don’t think it was the case during the beta. It actually looks ok and intuitive. There is also a built-in anti-cheat system that activates after starting the game from the launcher. After I did it and saw the anti-cheat window… the game gave me an error and crashed. Not the best first impression, Bless.
It’s ok though, it happens, I thought, I get crashes in ESO and GW2 sometimes, too, maybe it was just an unlucky coincidence that Bless crashed on the first run, let’s not be biased! Let’s give it another try.
The second try was more successful – this time I got probably to what’s supposed to be a cut scene… but the game crashed again after showing me a Round 8 Studio logo and about 2 seconds of the black screen with some sea-side sounds in the background. Now this coudln’t be a coincident anymore so I have to fix the issue somehow, whatever it was.
I started with the most common fix. Opened the game’s location, set the .exe files to run as an admin and tried to open the game again. This time though, since I had the folder with the game opened anyway, I ran the .exe file directly, rather than clicking “Play” in Steam. This apparently helped and took me to initial brightness settings – the typical “adjust the brightness so the logo is barely visible” screen. What is not typical is that you can’t control the brightness slider with a mouse, you can only use keyboard arrows. And you accept the settings with SPACE?! Why? Because weird default controls settings are apparently a feature of this game.
At least I was getting no more crashes so far and after setting the brightness I was taken to the main menu/character choice screen. Except I didn’t have any characters yet of course but I was SO going to create one! I heard that the classes are race-locked which sucks but I still wanted to give the game a go. The screen said “press [space] to start” and… it didn’t work. I didn’t get an error, no “locked” sound, no notification, it just didn’t do anything. After a few seconds, I did get a notification though. “There is no server available at this time”.
I was annoyed at this point. After the crashes that I shouldn’t have gotten and I shouldn’t have had to fix them, and yet I did, there is no server available? But I thought, ok, the game is really popular right now, maybe the dev overestimated the capacity of their servers or didn’t think so many people would play the game all at once so the servers are full at this moment, a similar issue to the one Final Fantasy XIV had recently.
I decided to wait a bit, maybe someone will log out and I’ll be able to create a character and in the meantime I wanted to see what settings are there to tinker with, maybe I’d be able to set the windowed mode or make the music lower (the main music menu is ok but generic). So I opened the setting (with the F key, because what else!). And yes, I did assume there might not be all options available there before I logged in on a character, but I did not expect at all what I got. Behold, the options screen!
The only option I got was to… close the game! Pardon my meme but… MUCH WOW. Not only that was the only thing available in “options” but the choices I was given were “OK” and “Close”. So which one actually keeps me in the game? Which one closes it? And also the controls for the answers were, Space button and right-click, respectively. What the actual hell, Bless? Who thought it was a good idea? I understand it’s a console port but it’s a port to PC, not another console, why not use a medium you’re working with? You know we have pointing devices here, right? A.k.a. MOUSES.
“Why” is actually the question I was asking myself a lot while trying out Bless Unleashed. I wonder how long it will take me to ask “why am I even playing it”. But at that point I still couldn’t get in game, so let’s continue from there.
I waited for a while for the servers to go back or whatever was wrong with them but nothing has changed. Also the music started to annoy me at that point. It was like combat music and I was stuck in it and you should know that whenever I can, I always turn off combat music because it usually annoys me. Of course, I couldn’t turn off the music in Bless, I could only turn off the whole game. And so I did, thinking the server notification might have been some sort of an error that would go away after reopening the game.
It didn’t. In fact, no error was fixed, contrary to what I thought. The game would crash when opened from Steam and it would get the “no server available” notification when opened directly from the folder. I was told it could be a firewall issue so I whitelisted the game and even disabled my antivirus for a moment but it didn’t fix anything.
I started to look for a fix on the internet but all the websites I saw were only mentioning running the game as an admin, whitelisting it in firewall and changing DNS settings so only the things I’ve already done or didn’t want to do. Luckily after some more research, I found a post in which someone advised to verify the installation files on Steam. It came out that I was actually missing several files and after updating, the game ran fine from Steam, I even got more logos while opening the game (yay), and there was no server error anymore so I could go and create my character.
“Ah, so it wasn’t actually the game’s fault”, someone may think. But what I think is, why did the game let me in, if it was missing the files preventing me from playing it? I’m used to games, especially MMOs, checking the integrity of the files before the first launch so even though it may take a bit longer to open them at first, at least we know there are no errors and if there are – we are even sometimes prompted to repair/verify the files. So how I see it, the download might have been faulty, yes, but the game shouldn’t have let me in at all. It should be on the game’s side to check if it has all the files it requires to run, not the player’s.
Anyway, the problem has been fixed and I did get to create my character and play some and… the game is actually not that bad! Can be even fun! :O But I’ll tell you more about it next time 😉