Don't bank on Blade & Soul being PvE-oriented

Blade & Soul isn't going to play PvE players happy for long, but it is a PvP paradise.

If you're reading this, chances are you haven't played one of the foreign Blade & Soul releases. The game made its way outside of Korea and into Taiwan, China, and Japan in the past year and a half, and it's finally on its way here -- but the game may not fit what the average Western MMO player wants.

Blade & Soul is a game that has a lot going for it, but has one glaring issue that I feel is going to ruin the game for a lot of Western gamers: It's PvP heavy.

One look around forums and comment fields on other sites shows that the average player over here isn't interested in PvP. Quite the opposite, as Western MMO players and gamers in general sans the FPS and MOBA crowds tend to avoid PvP like the plague.

There is a reason Blade & Soul is treated like an eSport in some countries, and that reason is not because of its difficult dungeons and enthralling story. It's because of the game's heavy emphasis on world and arena PvP, both of which are the focus of daily quests among other things. Beating on other players (or avoiding them while doing the PvE aspects of PvP dailies) is an integral part of the Blade & Soul experience.

The game's combat is perfectly tuned to duke it out with other players -- and in some ways, I feel it's as fast and fluid as it is for that reason. The dungeons are fine and dandy, but the PvE aspects of Blade & Soul feel nowhere near as rewarding as playing your character well when trying to survive in the wild or going head to head in the arena.

PvE players won't have much to look forward to but the game's amazing story

PvE-only players will find themselves loving the story and world found in Blade & Soul, but will find themselves disappointed by the game's constant egging you on to put on a PvP dobok and take care of some quests.

NCWest may try to implement a PvE-only server somehow, but in the end the game is missing a leg without the PvP. You can't have Blade & Soul without it -- there simply is no reason to play past the end of the story. The game's ultra-skill-based combat is wasted on AI mobs, and in the end the only longevity Blade & Soul has is in fact the PvP.

Dungeons are fun, but you get tired of them after the 20th run for your weapon.

So before you start wishing for a PvE server, either open your mind a bit to the concept of PvP or accept you'll only be playing for the story. Blade & Soul is not a PvE game. It was never built to be, and NCWest's limited resources couldn't make it that way if they tried.

The above all said, the story is a wild ride and definitely worth the playthrough alone. Players in it solely for the PvE may not get the amount of time out of the game as those in it for the PvP, but its story is still one of the most engrossing in the MMO space. Just don't expect miracles out of the nature of the game itself.

Published Jun. 7th 2015
View Comments
  • GabrielKross
    Featured Columnist
    Tis is all as I expected from B&S from the small amount I actually plaid of it. It was my first true experience at playing an MMO that didn't have a healer as well.

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