Outright disclaimer.. I know very little about this game. Had some friends who were all trying out Blade and Soul, and since we’re in a sort of downtime with FFXIV, and since I had built my TARDIS in Minecraft, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it a whirl. Character creation was pretty cute and had a lot of options.. Here is what I ended up with… Always wanted to see Katella with curly hair (like my own).
I have to admit.. I’m really bad at this game. Not sure why, but the UI & controls seem to frustrate me a bit.. (really this is a me problem.. not a game problem likely). I’m so used to having my cursor available to use whenever I like, and to be able to simply click the skill I want instead of having to hit the key on the keyboard to set it off. Also the inflexibility to not be able to have the skills visually appear where I’d like to them on the hotbar really bugs me. I understand that it shouldn’t matter because its the key presses that make them go off, so having the skills you often use together visually appearing in the order you want on the hotbar doesn’t technically matter. The thing is that is generally how I train myself to remember what should come next… its what shows up next or near to what I just used in my hotbar that helps me train myself to do the right combo. Right now the only combo in Blade and soul I’ve figured out for summoner is V then C then Tab… and I’m not even sure if I’m doing it right half the time, or if I’m using it too much… lol
Perhaps its too much time of FFXIV programming me to want/need to move in a split while at the same time activating a skill that I can use while moving away (I blame Ruin II which is my passive aggressive response to being forced to dodge in FFXIV… making me move… I’ll show you!). In Blade and Soul, everything is basically keyboard controlled, which again is fine for some… just not as easy for me. I don’t know if its a finger dexterity issue, a result of simply having smaller hands, or just me being super unused to this game yet.
First thing I did was try to adjust my keybindings so that they would be similar to what I was used to. I was feeling a little better about it until I entered a summoner class quest that required a skill that no longer showed up on my hotbar at all.
I spent probably 5 minutes alt-tabbed looking up on google how to find the skill in the UI, and how to drag it back down to my hotbar. Turns out that had I not rebound my keys it would have been available to use (though still not necessarily visible on screen to select?). From what I’ve found on google, it has just said you just need to plain avoid binding Q & E keys for any other purpose. That was kind of frustrating, so I tabbed back into the game and reset my keybindings to default (still all the while my poor cat was getting beat up on) and then finally completed the quest.
Here is a cute shot I got of my poor kitty that has been saddled with being bound to me… I present my cat Serenade. (Serenade was the name of my puppet in FFXI)
I have to give it to this game. While I don’t usually like overly “Cartoony” type characters, the graphics and animations in this game are beautifully done and are pretty smooth. Leveling at the moment for me is more about getting to see the next beautiful zone than actually leveling up.
I am becoming in awe of my character too surprisingly.. she seems to grow on me over time. I really think the personable motions she makes. Things like how the characters in this game look around when idle. Some even bend down and inspect the dirt at their feet. All those actions serve to kind of endear them a bit. Brings them to life in a way and makes them a bit more relateable. I sometimes wish FFXIV would add idle motions that lasted a bit longer (like simply looking around).
Aside from my struggles with the controls (again.. mostly my personal issue with being stubborn about my preference in UI and way I move and control my character… dang small non-acrobatic fingers!) I’ve still managed to enjoy the experience.
Free to play, which makes it a nice distraction fodder. That said, you definitely do end up ‘paying’ for it in time spent sitting in queue just to be let in at all. Pretty much when I want to play, I get my queue going, then go wash dishes, or clean the living room, or alt tab and watch youtube videos until it lets me in. Paying to have “Premium” status is akin to Disney’s “fastpass” to get you ahead in line, however when I see it state that there are still even Premium players sitting in queue, it makes me kind of figure its not really worth it (to me) to pay and still sit in any queue… but that attitude could be because this isn’t a priority game for me… just a fun distraction.
The gameplay so far has been fun enough. Its definitely fast moving.
Never a fan of cash shops… but so far I’ve not really noticed a need to get anything from there which is good. However keep in mind that I’m also not that far along. Not sure what raiding in this game entails, or what ‘needs’ it presents. If the cash shop is ‘needed’ later in order to be successful, I simply do not know.
Gear and equipment – Near as I can tell, body piece functions are only used for PVP and/or glamor. Doesn’t seem to be stat benefits which is actually kind of freeing in that you can make your character look how you want and it doesn’t affect your performance. Upgrading your jewelry and weapon, (the things that do have stats) is kinda cool, but I’ve really not figured out what to do once you’ve maxed out your first weapon. Not really sure where to go next.
I’ve collected a ton of stuff, and half the time am afraid to sell it because I don’t know how to look up ingame what it is for. I’m starting to need inventory room pretty bad (big surprise), so I think I’m going to have to just sell things and then just do things over again to get any items I’ve sold by not knowing any better.
The Blade and Soul main story – well I have to be honest, it lost my interest rather quickly. I started flipping through it rather quickly. (Yes I know how bad that is.. and I can fully imagine how much I can be told by die hard BnS fans that I’m missing out because of it. Honestly though I fully understand that I’m just a very spoiled Square Enix fan. My impression after the first 10 levels of story was that its really apples to oranges comparison. Blade and Soul’s story is almost even stereotypical.. Player meets mentor, player loses mentor, player is the last of his group, player must carry on alone and uphold the way of his teachings) The times where I have paid attention along the way, its become evident that plain and simple… you shouldn’t trust anyone!
Friends are the reason I came in the first place, so its only right that I put up a few screenshots I got with my Distant World Community friends currently playing Blade and Soul on the Soha server. :) Really thankful for their help… I’m such a mess in this game lol! Wouldn’t have gotten very fall had it not been for them! <3 DW Members!
If you want to see me be really bad at this game (but having fun anyway).. here you go.. lol