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Just some of my thoughts about blade and soul

1. Dest bots are nearly impossible to lose to. This is shown by our inflated ratings, but obviously there are the underlying minority that still lose to them which puts bots all the way up to plat.
2. Not counting mats, 1 upgrade is about equal to the amount of gold earned in 1 day. Bots actually help with upgrading because of how easily they destroy the costs of mats. Everyone can complain all they want, but it’s so true that bots reduced upgrades by maybe 1/3 of what it should be.
End game is kind of lacking I agree. We’re short on meaningful content.

3. GPU is not the deciding factor for performance in this game. You need a CPU with good single-threaded performance. Even then this game runs like crap with tons of people around so not much anyone can do here.

4. You complain about lacking endgame then about content coming too fast. Pick one :
Like I said before, bots are cutting down on the hours you need to grind, so this shouldn’t even be a complaint at this point.

5. This is the internet.

7. Linking PvE and PvP content together makes each side worthwhile to do. If one side has no meaningful rewards, no one will do it. But yeah, bots kill the fun in PvP.

8. I like how almost no one even realizes what’s be done so far about bots. Bots will always be an ongoing issue for any MMO. If you followed the game from release, NCSoft did implement a few things over time.
Faction chat is much cleaner than it used to be. There’s a list dedicated to spam bots and it’s easy to manage with a function to delete the entire list. There were also a few ban waves going through that wiped out a ton of bots. But obviously this isn’t enough. It’s like battling cancer, it’s tough. Maybe our player base likes buying gold?

9. Again, we’re short on content. Not sure what else to say without repeating.

Note: I’m not defending bots, they are a double-edged sword. People like to complain about how it destroys the economy yet at the same time talk about how hard it is to upgrade gear. Seriously just pick one, you can’t be on both sides of the spectrum. The only things they truly do at the same time is kill the fun in entry PvP and slightly annoy you in chat.

Blade & Soul: Animation Cancelling

So it seems Blade & Soul has a few hidden tricks that can be used to noticeably increase damage output.

Blade & Soul

Animation cancelling is not a new thing, and plenty of other games had it before Blade & Soul, with tricks like jump shots in Aion or the ominous Furious Charge bug in Diablo III. Personally, I have not known about these ways people become overpowered in Blade &Soul until I began playing as a Destroyer, and around level 30 when I decided to fully spec on Cleave, I realised that certain skills were cancelling each other’s animation.

Blade & Soul

With the Destroyer, this is a simple matter of timing left and right clicks or if you have the basic attack and cleave bound to other keys like R and T, then you will be pressing those. I played around a few hours with this dirty element of Blade & Soul, and it seemed that you will need somewhere around 0.3-0.5 seconds between two clicks or key presses for the animation cancelling to work. This is only the case if you have a decent ping, probably under 75ms. Other classes also have skills that can cancel the animations of others when timed right.

If I am not mistaken, the Assassin has a similar way of cancelling animation with left and right clicks along with the Force Master who can use LMB and RMB clicks to quickly stack up debuffs.

Blade & Soul

The Blade Master can combine Flicker with RMB in order to get the animation cancelling to work, and the other classes are bound to have similar tricks up their sleeves.

Whether this feature of Blade & Soul was intentional or it is a simple bug, I do not know, but as long as you use it without third-party programs like macros, it shouldn’t go against any of the rules. It seems that the animation cancelling could have been an unfortunate phenomenon that players eventually spotted and it can greatly affect a character’s success in many segments of the game.

Blade & Soul

There are plenty of sites on the internet that provide guides for animation cancelling for separate classes, but be warned, it does often put one’s finger to the test. We are not encouraging you guys to actively make use of a constant bug, but there is a high chance that this part of Blade & Soul will never be fixed. We have added below a video from popular B&S streamer Jaesung in which he demonstrates animation cancelling for the Destroyer class.

Blade & Soul and The Mystery of the Pointless Armor

As we progressed through the initial levels of Blade & Soul, many aspects of the game got us really excited and enthusiastic, to say the least. As we reached higher levels, a certain awkward feeling has arrived which is probably caused by the inexplicable decision of the game’s developers.

During the first few levels of Blade & Soul, one gets overwhelmed with all the combos, zones, unusual enchanting system, gemming and wheel of fate spinning, which takes away the attention from a very unusual feature of the game.
For me, this previously mentioned awkward feeling arrived around level 25-8. I was mainly focusing on improving my weapon, my precious dagger that I kept evolving, being lucky enough that all the necessary follow-ups dropped from the equivalent instances. Accessories also gained my attention after a while, but something was missing. The Soul Shields eventually turned out to be rather irritating and highly unusual, and this realization pointed to the weirdest of decisions I have ever encountered made by some of the game’s developers, and that was the complete, utter uselessness of the various armor pieces.

Blade & Soul

I am sure the devs wanted to seem extremely creative and radical, but this move beats all brave innovational attempts I have seen so far, but not in a positive way. It often turns out to be fruitful for the MMO industry when companies attempt to bring innovational ideas, like Rift’s multirole classes or Tera’s political system and even Guild Wars 2’s dynamic events.

Call me skeptical, but this completely “stat-less” armor system really was an unnecessary addition to the game. I mean, sure, it is great to collect sets of various looks, but since everybody else gets to collect the same ones, it does get boring after a while just to be hunting outfits that only alter our looks, or in some rare cases, enable PvP-mode against opposing factions.

Blade & Soul

The Soul Shield system was clearly made to replace the traditional ways, but many of you probably would have liked better if there were separate armor pieces that gave distinct stats instead of those weird Soul Shield pieces. To me, it seems that the lack of the need to collect armor sets takes away a significant amount of excitement from the game and I felt far less enthusiastic about seeing Soul Shields drop in dungeons than if it was gloves, shoes or chest armor that players were aggressively bidding on.

Blade & Soul

NCSoft is a company that is known to often make brave steps and allow game-changing updates like they did with Aion in the near past. It is not completely impossible that we might get to eventually see the arrival of stats-changing armor sets in a later update, which will evidently be a decision that pleases the player base, as long as the game’s engine allows this major alteration. I have to admit, that even though the outfits lose plenty of significance due to not improving our characters’ performance, many of them are extremely well-designed like the Stinger or Wolfskin set, which I really want to get my hands on.

Blade & Soul

Feel free to tell us how you feel about this unusual idea that Blade & Soul has introduced and whether you are satisfied with the Soul Shield system or you would prefer to bring back the traditional ways of improving our stats.

Options for Ethnicity in Character Creators, Part 1: Race in Games

As fans of RPGs, one of our favorite parts has always been the character creation and customization. Spending a lot of time in character creators over the years, we noticed a pattern in which the available options seemed skewed. As a result, we got the feeling that many ethnicities were somehow being actively ruled out and we both thought this was a prominent problem that needed to be examined further. This article is a comparative analysis of character creators in a selection of fantasy computer RPGs and MMORPGs, made for our bachelor’s thesis at Uppsala University Campus Gotland.

We chose games from the fantasy genre since we noticed that the issue of the omission of ethnic minorities is often strongly present in those. The games we examined were developed in North America and Europe, including Russia: Allods Online, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Guild Wars 2, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Neverwinter, Rift, The Elder Scrolls Online and World of Warcraft. We collected data of the human races and examined whether the character creators allow representation of different ethnicities.

By following a defined procedure we gathered relevant perceivable data from the character creators, which was the basis of our analysis, and conducted a series of interviews with people of different ethnicities to include opinions from those it directly affects. These interviews added different perspectives and valuable insight to what players want versus what’s offered, when analyzing the results from the data.

When we use the term race, we mean it in a virtual setting inside a RPG system where characters, nations and cultures are products created by game developers, with clearly designed differences such as biological appearance and abilities. But while racialized social systems in real life are a fact, biological determinism to define human groups into different “races‟ is a social construct (Bonilla-Silva, 2006), so instead, we say ethnicity when we refer to real life.

Background

When we conducted research in preparation for our thesis, we found studies about self-representation in games that show the importance of diversity. When creating a personal character, players usually make the character more similar to an ideal self than to their actual self, and being able to act through a character closer to an ideal self may help create positive real-life changes and increase a person’s well-being. It might sound far-fetched, but it’s supported by a study done by Bessière, Kiesler, Kraut, & Boneva (2010), which showed that the use of online games as entertainment resulted in a reduction of depression over time. The game world gives players the freedom to create successful virtual selves, but at the same time, the player’s identification with the avatar is very important for the enjoyment of the media (Trepte, Reinecke & Behr, 2010).

In the same study, it’s stated that a higher similarity between player and personal character leads to increased identification with the character, and coupled with the previous paragraph, we can assume that character-player similarity leads to media enjoyment. This would mean that if the player cannot create a character that properly resembles them, some enjoyment is lost. While of course some players sometimes want to play as characters that are dissimilar to themselves, studies show that most players find gaming scenarios more entertaining when they can create characters that are more in accordance to their own appearance (Trepte, Reinecke & Behr, 2009). So imagine the frustration when time and time again, there’s no options to create a character that looks like yourself.

Many fantasy settings have a vague historical European aesthetic. However, using that as an argument to not include an ethnically diverse cast of characters is invalid, as there has always been a variety of ethnicities in Europe, as seen in both art, historical records, findings, and countless other sources. (for example Gates, H.L. 2010. “The Image of the Black in Western Art, Volume II: From the Early Christian Era to the ‘Age of Discovery’, Part 2: Africans in the Christian Ordinance of the World.”.)

Procedure

In order to study the games and be able to compare the character creators, we created a procedure that was used to collect data. It needed to cover all areas but still be flexible enough to be applicable to all games, and to make the data reliable. It was intended to be extensive enough to be objective in its purpose, which was to collect the relevant perceivable data available. The procedure was designed with the selected games’ character creators as well as previous knowledge in mind, and focused on five categories: presets, skin, hair, facial features and body. Since the procedure was very extensive, some categories did not apply to every game. For example, if a character creator didn’t offer any presets or didn’t let the player customize the body, those categories were not applicable and weren’t collected. Some categories allowed exceptions to be made, since not every game is the same. The data in its entirety is available to be viewed in our thesis (http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:819422/FULLTEXT01.pdf).

In order to gather opinions on what people think about ethnicity in character creators, we sent out an online survey to a number of people, and the only requirement was that they had played games with character creators. The interviews were anonymous, consisting of twelve questions with free text answer fields, and we encouraged them to leave longer answers about their thoughts and experiences with character creators. The interviewees were of a wide variety of ethnicities and backgrounds. The interviews were qualitative research on a small sample, and were not intended to be statistically representative of the population of players. We conducted them to give voice to those it directly affects and as an incentive for further research. Relevant interview answers are included throughout the article, the rest can be found in our thesis.

Playable human races

Fantasy as a genre frequently blends real life cultural signifiers to create an entirely different world, but their original meaning can’t be overlooked and are often noticeable. So while these people and nations are fictional, they still often take inspiration from cultures and racial identity formations in the real world. Therefore, it can teach us multiculturalism and tolerance, but if done without consideration there’s a risk of reinforcing stereotypes instead.

When entering a character creator one of the first choices is to pick a race. In some games there are several different human races coded with different ethnicities, while others have only one fully customizable human race. Out of the examined games, Rift, Allods Online, The Elder Scrolls Online and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning have two or more different human races, while World of Warcraft, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Guild Wars 2 and Neverwinter each have one race presented as “Human”. An argument is that having a determined, for example, Black human race will help strengthen the presence of different ethnicities in the game world. A few of the interviewees were on the same track: “It will help to “normalize” various ethnicities instead of everyone choosing a “default” white human and then making “exotic” character variations.” But the majority of the people interviewed had a negative stance about having several human races, saying that it would be an easy way to implement racism and stereotyping, dismiss the need for characters of color in the game world, and for the player base to ignore the non-White playable characters. “The differences are too complicated and ultimately too marginal for it to represent any significant dynamics among different human races.” We agree that the danger of having several playable human races with different abilities specific to their race is indeed that it may subconsciously reinforces stereotypes and creates prejudice towards real-life ethnicities.

A possible way to avoid creating unintentional stereotypes is to disrupt the notion of race as geographically and biologically fixed. An interviewee touches the subject too: “[Humans] often hail from different continents or countries, have different cultures and standards. I enjoy games in which the [character creator] differentiates this as a function of deeper immersion for the player. That’s not to say that I think skin-tone and ethnicity would be similarly monolithic within those factions.” It would be interesting then to see a RPG in which race and culture are not one and the same, where for example the player would first choose the culture, to which abilities and the like are linked, and afterwards the race and ethnicity. It would provide interesting world-building, and would also mirror real life history, where people from all cultures have traveled all over the world throughout the ages. Similar concepts can be seen in science-fiction, for example the Federation in the Star Trek franchise, or in the Stargate franchise, where The Ancients are a humanoid species that always features people of all human ethnicities. This would naturally present another set of development challenges, but it would interesting to see an attempt in the fantasy genre.

Having several human races does not mean diverse ethnicities, as we noticed in Allods Online, which has two human races, both coded White and European. But having only one human race does not mean it can be customized to all ethnicities, as seen for example in World of Warcraft, that is severely lacking in options. There exist pros and cons with both alternatives, and developers need to be aware of this, regardless of what they choose to do. They need to want to include different ethnicities, as there is a decision behind every part of the a game. Both the studies we found and the interviews we did show that audiences, regardless of their ethnicity, are clamoring for more diverse content, and want more ethnic representation. But as the results from our thesis show, most character creators are lacking in options for diverse characters.

In part two we will take a look at skin tone and hair, two areas that are very important in this regard, and it will be posted next Tuesday, the 9th of Febuary.

Interview: How the World of Tanks Team Is Locked and Loaded for PS4

Multiplayer vehicular war game World of Tanks has finally made its way to PlayStation 4. The free-to-play game first launched in North America for PC in 2011, followed with an Xbox 360 release in 2014, and hit the Xbox One in July 2015. With the game now available for current-generation platforms, we speak to lead game designer Jeff Gregg about the challenges of bringing the game to PS4, and discuss the future of the free-to-play genre.

GameSpot: What are the key differences in graphical fidelity that we can expect from the PS4 version of the game when compared to the Xbox One version?

Gregg: Graphically, we made a big point to try and make sure that they were on par with each other. Both machines are so powerful in different ways that our content was able to look almost the same. If you showed me two screens and put a gun to me head and said, “Which one is the PS4?” I probably could not tell you if there was no HUD elements on.

So we didn’t hold back, but just the content we had that we’re moving over to the PS4 looks pretty similar, or has almost exactly the same fidelity. Which is both cool for the players and for us, just so we can post content to the PS4 faster, and once they’re both at parity do stuff for both platforms with less cycles. Hopefully people will just play on whatever console they own and no one’s going to feel jipped.

You’ve worked on the game for both of the current generation consoles. What were the key challenges you faced in bringing the game to the PS4 specifically?

Honestly, the key challenge was integrating with PSN. That’s not a ding against Sony’s PlayStation Network at all. It’s just different enough but does the same things as Xbox Live that we didn’t have the same kind of relationship that we had with Microsoft when we first did the 360 version. [Microsoft] was partnered with us. So we were just looking underneath the hood of Xbox Live all the time, you could say. We could say that this needs to be different, and then they would say ‘your game needs to be different this way, and you build your structure this way.’ And we came together and kumbuya we made a game. I mean it wasn’t that easy, but you know what I mean.

But with PSN it was more like, we would come in and say, “This is how it works,” and they would say, “Uh, we don’t know… here’s how our system works!” It was a lot of trial and error just to get the systems up and running. It’s fun to talk about now because it’s behind us, but when we did the first open beta for the PlayStation… I wish there was a giant red handle to turn on the servers, because part of it was like, “Is it going to work?” We’d never done it on that big of a radius and with that many people trying to access the server at the same time. And it did. So like, yay. I mean I’m not trying to paint us as idiots being all, “Oh whatever, it works!” But that integration was not as easy as we thought it would be. I think that was the case for both sides of the fence, for Sony and for us. Now that it’s working right we’re ecstatic.

Do you think we’ll ever see crossplay between the two versions?

If you put that in front of my desk to sign, I would be like “Absolutely!” But the real truth is when you’re in Sony you’re in your PSN account. All of your handshaking, and all your account details, what tanks you own, it’s all kept in their ecosystem. And it’s the same thing with Microsoft. Those two parties just don’t talk to each other. Linking back to your previous question, they’re both very different structures. We can’t do it. Until they talk to each other, if they ever choose to, and I’m not saying that they should just talk to each other, but that’d be awesome. But there’s such a big barrier that it’s not really in our hands. The systems are setup to work, your account is tied to PSN or XBL, and that’s just the way it is.

What are some modes you’d like to bring into the game in future?

One of the big pushes that we’re doing, we’ve done a lot of work trying to get people that are new to the game. Especially since we knew we were going to have a tournament for new players on the PS4. It’s to teach them what’s cool about World of Tanks without just throwing them into the fire. We’ve discussed it, and a lot of times just going into a multiplayer game where you’re fighting other humans that want you dead, it can be like “How do I move–oh I’m dead.” That’s not really great. So we made this system called IPX, or Initial Player Experience. It’s to try and teach you how to play without insulting you and taking you to school. Or lying about what the experience is going to be once you start facing other people.

What a lot of our focus in this is, what are the social elements? What keeps you coming back? What are our opportunities? What does esports even look like on consoles for World of Tanks? What does any kind of tournament that we can do look like? How can we expand the clan systems to make sense within the console environment? That’s where a lot of our focus is. Now that we have the infrastructure and all these awesome consoles, and the awesomeness that is Sony’s PS4, we can start using our bandwidth and our engineering time to figure out what that’s going to look like. There’s stuff that will hopefully come soon that will be really exciting on those fronts.

It is a case of the studio focusing on bringing updates to the PS4 version to bring it up to scratch to the other platforms? Or are you still updating the Xbox One version and bringing in new content in at the same time?

Everything. Everybody’s important, every console is important. Our creative director TJ Wagner basically sat everybody down and said, “This is the new thing! Everybody look at the shiny new thing!” I mean, it wasn’t quite as melodramatic and formal as it sounds… but the reason we live and breathe and exist, until the PS4 version launched, was our Xbox players. And they’re going to get just as much love. It might be different love sometimes, because of contractual obligations. But nobody gets left behind. We are going to make sure that both consoles always get love.

I don’t know how to speak to speed, but the short answer is yes, new stuff will keep coming before parity is reached. Because new stuff is always cool. It was in the pipe before the PS4 was even born, and we’re not changing that.

What are the major differences you face working on a more traditional disc-based game versus a free-to-play game?

Living up to the expectations of the player. We can honestly, and obviously, do whatever we want, right? But we always have to anticipate what the new people are going to think about this new feature. What are the pros, the hardcore people that are playing thousands of hours going to think about this feature? Is it what they’re asking for? Is it right for the game? What is this going to do to our balance? What is this going to do for our economic model?

The fact that we have people that like what is on their televisions right now because they’re playing it, is an expectation that is really different from a disc-game. It’s basically a game you’re making for a couple of focus testers in the development team. You shoot it out there and you hope everyone wants it. There’s a danger of dipping [in audience] with every new feature modification. That takes a lot of time–whenever something is added or removed or changed we consider all the angles and make sure that it’s going to meet its goals and that nobody’s going to rage quit the game.

It’s really important, and I really actually enjoy listening to what people say about that kind of stuff. It’s a two-way street, and it’s super exciting for a designer to have multiple clients and hear what they think and hear “oh they love it!” That’s really fun.

What are your thoughts on where the free-to-play genre is going?

The bulk of my career before Wargaming has been disc product or cartridge product, if you want to date me. You put stuff on a physical piece of media, you throw it out there, you hope they like it, and maybe after some DLC and some patches, that is what it is. I think the cool thing that free-to-play has because it’s a zero barrier to entry in terms of money, it has this ability to adapt to not just what the development team wants to do, but what the audience is demanding. If you think of a difference between a play and stand-up comedy or improv, where you’re looking straight at the audience, you can know right away if you’re bombing and you can try to adjust. Hopefully you don’t panic. I think that is amazing.

Where I think, or where I hope free-to-play and a lot of these games go is kind of similar to what I mentioned before. Removing that barrier to when you can play. A step in that direction is like the Vita and the PS4, where you can play anywhere you are. And the social aspect. Because people ultimately keep playing because they’re part of a community and they really enjoy either actively engaging and making a clan or even engaging with the social aspects above and beyond more than the matchmaker. I think that is where a lot of the free-to-play to games are going to go. More into a social environment and removing as many barriers as they possibly can to just playing the game.

Like if I had unlimited funds and a magic genie who could make wishes I would make the same system on every piece of hardware that has instant invites and it will just find you. We can just form a clan and there’s absolutely no barriers to you jumping in a game when you want and leaving and that whole ecosystem is preserved. That’s where I want it to go in future.

Mordheim: City of the Damned Review

There’s been a slew of Games Workshop games lately, where the company appears to have generously ripped open its treasure trove of tabletop licences. Many of these licenses focus on the futuristic Warhammer 40K, following the success of Dawn of War, and the last twenty years have been rather frugal for fantasy Warhammer video games. However that’s changing, and where the last game I truly loved was Dark Omen in 1998, we’ve recently been treated to the wonderful Warhammer End Times – Vermintide and Total War: Warhammer is quickly looming. Even so, I was excited to play Mordheim: City of the Damned.

A skirmish game with RPG elements, Mordheim is the only tabletop myself and a few friends still play, even if the gap between games is often several months at a time. Abandoned by Games Workshop, Mordheim has been kept alive with a series of community modifications and simplifications, that managed to vitalise and balance the game better than Games Workshop ever could. Mordheim: City of the Damned, after a long gestation period in Early Access, is the first videogame adaptation of the tabletop which shares its name.

Upon starting you’re invited to choose a warband from one of four options, each of which varies in abilities and available equipment. You choose from the conniving Skaven, the religious fundamentalists Sisters of Sigmar, ballistic human Mercenaries, and the nefarious Cult of the Possessed, before hiring individual characters to fill the ranks. Warbands are relatively small to start with, but after successfully surviving several battles, the number of characters that can be recruited increases, with later additions including more powerful heroes and eventually large, intimidating monstrosities.

Each individual character gains experience for various feats, as well as for simply surviving a skirmish, and that experience allows you to shape your warband to suit your play style. Attributes which can be levelled range from basic stats such as strength and toughness, to their ranged or close combat proficiencies, intelligence and even skills and abilities. Additionally, characters can be named or even customised in their appearance, although this appears to be limited to slight variations in colour and aesthetics.

Mordheim’s gameplay revolves around a mixture of turn based strategy and sheer luck – the latter can be modified with the aforementioned skills and abilities. Characters have a finite number of strategy and offence points to use in a turn. Strategy points are used for basic movement, climbing, defensive stances and passive actions such as reloading, whereas offence points are utilised for attacking, ambush stances or even magic.

Mordheim-IL1

Those familiar with XCOM and its ilk will find the systems in place very familiar, with actions such as overwatch borrowed directly. However, unlike XCOM, Mordheim sees you control a character from the third person, and without the strictures of a movement grid. Whilst this viewpoint and play-style allows a much more intimate relationship with the excellent looking maps, it is often too easy to snag your character on bits of scenery, or realise too late that an alleyway is inexplicably impassable, or a wall cannot be navigated over.

The game’s not particularly consistent with which walls and gaps can be clambered up or leapt across, and this can turn to frustration, having spent two turns ascending a building, only to find that it has no other way out. I can’t help but feel a grid-based isometric system would have worked better.

Each game has the potential for lasting consequences. Suffering heavy damage or being taken out of action in battle, can result in random permanent injuries for your troops, whether psychological disorders and missing limbs, or simply death. The injuries are visible on your characters, and can even stack, so that losing the same limb twice will retire them from the warband completely. Treating injuries also hits you in the pocket, forcing you to allocate gold away from paying your warband’s upkeep and, oddly enough, paying for character upgrades in addition to the skill points earnt.

It feels like an attempt at balancing your warband’s overall power, but it creates a feeling of superfluous avarice on the game’s part, especially when many skills are based on risk/reward. This segues to another complaint about Mordheim: the skills are largely a sea of mediocrity and mostly serve to mildly alter percentage chances for dodging or hitting, with only a few that add something genuinely interesting.

Mordheim-IL3

The singleplayer campaign mostly consists of randomly generated skirmishes and missions, as you battle through this wartorn city to try and collect wyrdstone – solidified Chaos magic which you can sell for extra gold. Your ruthless, omnipresent warband CEO will demand shipments of this valuable commodity within short time limits, and since defying them is inadvisable, it soon becomes a hurried race to fulfil these requests.

This can sometimes feel like an unfair addition of difficulty, especially if you’re struggling with injured characters who still need to heal, or if you’re unlucky enough to only find missions which yield a meagre amount of wyrdstone. Persevere and occasionally you’ll unlock a story campaign mission with greater rewards, unique objectives and a multi-faceted structure, but the singleplayer as a whole is sullied by inconsistent AI that is sometimes alarmingly effective, but otherwise woefully inept.

Online is where Mordheim really shines. Battling against another human being can elucidate some fantastic plays of strategy and planning, and ultimately leads to a more cunning use of the terrain’s labyrinthine verticality. Multiplayer games can either be consequential – allowing you to injure your opponents or pilfer their belongings – or friendly exhibition matches for those who want a more relaxed practice game. Numerous modifiers can be also applied to online matches, enabling a much higher degree of flexibility and rules, but it’s a shame that both singleplayer and multiplayer games are limited to two players, with no option to play larger scenarios.

There are also larger issues to be addressed. Mordheim is plagued with long load times. This isn’t hyperbole, and I’m not really a person who is terribly affected by load times as a whole – I grew up with a Spectrum – but Mordheim suffers from some arduous waits of over three minutes, where on more than one occasion I assumed it had crashed behind the “Don’t panic Chaos at work” loading screen. Even the most patient will wince once you realise that after 10 missions you’ve endured over half an hour of thumb twiddling and groans. It’s faster when finishing a mission, but occasionally made worse by repeated voice acting. Menus also appear to have been afflicted by the Chaos gods, feeling cluttered and unintuitive in their design.

Mordheim-IL2

Most importantly, combat doesn’t feel that engaging. It quickly becomes apparent that strategy can be defeated by sheer numbers, and fights can descend into a battle of health bar attrition. Despite the viewpoint and movement systems allowing for immediate interaction with the environment, it often feels rigid and loses the relatively dynamic nature of the tabletop game – it isn’t possible to knock someone off a ledge, for example.

The limited warband variety is also disappointing, with three of the choices limited to humanoids. It misses the opportunity to use some of the more uniquely interesting fantasy options such as Undead, even if these were limited to hired swords. This lack of choice a;sp appears on the customisation side – it’s notably impossible to change the sex of individual characters, meaning the only option for creating a female warband is to choose the Sisters of Sigmar. The more options for customisation the better for a game of this sort, as losing a character you’re attached to can be devastating. In Mordheim, aside from mourning their accumulated experience or equipment, I very rarely felt this for my warband members. I even stopped naming them, which is a shame.

Blade-Soul Unveils Safe Blade And Soul Gold

Internet Game Exchange has brought out Blade And Soul Gold options for users that are quick, safe and cheap as well.

Blade & Soul features a combination of martial arts inspired combat and qinggong in an open-world environment. Players create playable characters that explore around the world by completing quests assigned by various NPCs. The game uses a real-time battle system in the third person camera view and requires players to “combo” a series of attacks, much like that of fighting games. According to NCSOFT, the game also features an innovative “Downed” mechanic, allowing players to recover from the brink of death. Players begin with “player-versus environment” (PvE) but may participate in “player-versus-player” (PvP) combat later in the game.

That’s where one really realizes the importance of Blade And Soul Gold, which are absolutely vital to players. Only when they have the required credits can they really make the most out of everything the game has to offer them. Now for gamers there is a safe and convenient option to buy these credits in the form of Blade-Soul. In fact, it has become one of the most popular destinations for players of the game.

Those looking to Buy Blade And Soul Gold Cheap and Safe don’t have to look beyond the options offered to them by the company. For starters, the company has a solid list of suppliers for the credits, which means users will never have to return empty handed. What’s more, these suppliers are also tried and tested, genuine and reliable. Thus buying these credits from the company is completely safe and won’t get players into any kind of trouble.

The company is also known to deliver Blade And Soul Gold Fast, which is just what gamers want. In fact, it claims to deliver the credits within five hours although in several instances it gets delivered within as little as 15 minutes. As a result gamers can get on with their play without any delays. 24×7 customer support is another highlight of the services offered by the company and it keeps users’ minds at rest.

Importantly now gamers don’t have to pay through their nose to get their hands on reliable credits because they are available to them with Blade-Soul at reasonable rates. Discount offers further sweeten the deal from time to time.

About Blade-Soul

Internet Game Exchange has become a reliable source for gamers who can get credits for Blade And Soul game fast and at reasonable prices.

Blade & Soul launches today, NCSoft outline post-launch content – and it’s all free

Good news for fans of MMOs, martial arts and disproportionately large bosoms: Blade & Soul has officially launched in Europe and North America, and developer NCSoft are already working on a ton of post-launch content. Although no release dates have been given, we’re promised a new continent, four dungeons, the warlock class and a major narrative expansion – all due out in the coming months, and all free of charge.

Looking for more massively multiplayer action? Check out our list of the best MMORPGs on PC.

By far the biggest announcement is the news that Blade & Soul will be getting an enormous expansion titled SIlverfrost Mountain. Adding a whole new act to the main narrative, a level cap increase from 45 to 50 and an entire continent to explore, it’s clear that NCSoft aren’t taking a laid back approach to endgame content.

blade soul content

Elsewhere: lots and lots of lovely dungeons. Mushin’s Tower is a single-player instance dungeon, which will launch with seven floors (an eighth will follow shortly after), each with their own unique monsters and challenges. Catering for the game’s PVE audience, Mushin’s Tower is designed to accommodate speedrun challenges and is intended to grow in the future, with the Korean version currently totalling 20 floors.

Another dungeon, Naryu Labyrinth, is intended to considerably up Blade & Soul’s replayability factor. Boasting pathways that shift and change upon every visit, it offers four or six players an ever-changing dungeon. Make it through three gruelling levels and you’ll get a shot at defeating the wind and thunder gods, Fujin and Raijin. In typical Blade & Soul style, expect plenty of revealing costumes, oversized weapons and off-the-wall accessories as your rewards.

Blade & Soul boss

Adding some piratical themes – for absolutely no reason whatsoever – is the final confirmed post-launch dungeon, Bloodshade Harbor. Playable with either four or six players, this features some of the game’s most popular costumes and a massive final boss fight in which players attempt to topple vice-admiral Haemujin and his female associates. A 24-player version of this dungeon called Nightshade Harbor will release alongside it.

A ranged DPS class for the Jin and Lyn races is also incoming. The Warlock garnered interest and speculation after the 2015 Blade & Soul World Champion claimed victory using the currently locked class. The Warlock is able to summon allies into combat as a main ability, acting as an effective distraction or primary attacking force depending on the scenario.

Blade & Soul warlock

The additional confirmation that the 2016 Blade & Soul Championships will feature players from Western regions for the first time, appears to confirm the company’s eSports ambitions. This tidal wave of impending content will help level the gap between the Eastern and Western regions, offering players in North America and Europe enough content to bring them up to speed with those who have been playing in Eastern regions since 2013.

Blade & Soul is out now in North America and Europe. Looking forward to getting your hands on it? Let us know in the comments below.

Blizzard Adds New Item To World Of Warcraft: Legion Digital Deluxe

A couple of months ago, Blizzard started taking pre-orders for the upcoming World of Warcraft: Legion expansion. As expected from Blizzard games, there are several options that gamers can choose from. They can choose a standard version which is just a digital copy of the game itself, and a digital deluxe version, which includes the game and other bonus items.

wow legion helmet

That being said, it looks like Blizzard has decided to make the digital deluxe version of Legion even sweeter by adding a new item. According to Blizzard, “We’ve added something new to the collection of goodies you get when you purchase the Digital Deluxe Edition of World of Warcraft: Legion. Take on the terrors of Diablo III in style with the Legion-inspired Demon Hunter helm transmog. Wear it with the Wings of the Betrayer, and you’ll truly look the part as you hunt demons across Sanctuary.”
The end result is that your character will look like what you see in the screenshot above, which we have to admit looks pretty cool. Just in case you forgot what else the digital deluxe edition gets you, you will receive an Illidari Felstalker Mount and Nibbles pet in World of Warcraft. You will also get a Felstalker Mount for Heroes of the Storm, new Fel Protoss portraits for StarCraft 2, and the Wings of the Betrayer for Diablo 3, in addition to the helmet transmog.

World of Warcraft: Legion is currently available for pre-order where the standard edition is priced at $49.99, while the digital deluxe edition is priced at $69.99. Both options will also include a free level boost to level 100.