After the western Blade & Soul announcement – or “re-announcement”, since we hadn’t heard from this game since December 2012 – that dropped like a bomb, NCsoft hosted a livestream session where some staff talked about the martial arts MMORPG for over an hour, as well as showing pre-alpha gameplay bits and revealing a few interesting facts. The sexy Blade & Soul characters won’t be censored, something that had many players worried, so you’ll get to see them in their full, original, bouncy glory.
One of the biggest reveals is that the western version won’t be based on a specific client from other region (Japan, Korea, Russia or China), instead being unique and made for the North American and European regions. Blade & Soul won’t be simply translated to English (as well as German and French), something that many players thinks is a simple task and could be done quickly; instead, the team is going for an in-depth localization of the game, balancing the gameplay and even changing some story elements that wouldn’t be well suited to a straight translation. It’s also interesting to note that the Kun race was changed to Yun, to avoid connotations with an offensive slang term (probably “coon”).
The Four Guardians trailer made a lot of fans ask for the original voice-over to be included with English subtitles, instead of the English voices, something to which the team responded that they will consider adding voice packs later down the line, not initially, due to the huge size of these packs.
Blade & Soul is going to ship with the first three acts, while there are six acts in Asia at the moment. This is seen as a huge amount of content and the closed beta will also be used to see just how quickly the players will blast through this content. There is currently no plan for IP block in NA and Europe (servers will be in Dallas, Texas and Frankfurt, Germany), and you won’t be able to transfer characters from the Asian versions to the western versions. There won’t be a fatigue/vigor system (seen in the China version) in the English versions.
Blade & Soul is far from being done with the story, as it was revealed that there are five years worth of content planned for the foreign versions.
As far as business model goes, founder’s packs haven’t been determined yet, it’s not going to be pay-to-win and NCsoft doesn’t want to segregate players by charging for content.
Plenty of interesting info, for sure. We’ll keep on watching Blade and Soul closely and keep you updated on its development. The closed beta is planned for this fall and the release is expected during the winter.