Blade & Soul Taiwan Trumps China in Ease of Foreigner Access

International gamers looking to play Blade & Soul may want to choose the Taiwanese version over the Chinese.

International gamers looking to play Blade & Soul may want to choose the Taiwanese version over the Chinese.

Blade & Soul is definitely my favorite MMORPG from a combat perspective, but unfortunately there currently only four regions in which the game has been released. And two of those are difficult for foreigners to get into.

Blade & Soul has seen a release in Korea, China, Japan, and Taiwan thus far. Each of these versions has their own set of difficulties to get into for foreign players, with Taiwan being the easiest.

We’re going to be focusing on the Chinese version vs. the Taiwanese version, but here’s a quick breakdown of what’s currently available:

  • BnS Korea – Requires a Korean social security number to sign up and is pay to play.
  • BnS Japan – Pay to play past level 15 and requires the use of a third-party service to purchase a subscription.
  • BnS China – Free to play, but has a complicated sign up process that some foreigners cannot complete due to the new phone number requirement. On the plus side: a Tencent-owned VPN that works for foreigners.
  • BnS Taiwan – Free to play and easy to sign up for. Lower ping than China for North America, as well as some European players.

BnS China and Taiwan are the most easily accessible for international players by a long shot.

The default go-to for international players used to be the Chinese version of the game. It was, after all, the first free to play release and for a time was easy to get into. This has changed, with Taiwan becoming the preferred option for people playing overseas. This is due to a similar English patch along with a number of differences that make it easier to deal with.

It is definitely worth noting that BnS China has the new Warlock class, which is currently absent in BnS Taiwan. Warlock should be added to the Taiwanese version in the coming months.

Why is the grass greener in Taiwan?

There quite a few reasons to pick the Taiwanese version of Blade & Soul over the Chinese release, but we’re going to be focusing on the things that affect new or prospective players the most.

Ping is MUCH lower in Taiwan

Ping means a lot for a game like Blade & Soul, and the unfortunate truth is that as a foreigner you will always be at a disadvantage when compared with native players. Luckily, this disparity is a little less obvious with the Taiwanese release.

North American players can get a ping of anywhere from 150ms to 270ms to the BnS Taiwan without a VPN. With a VPN it can be reduced by 50ms ~ 80ms. Ping to the Chinese servers can be anywhere from 170ms to 400ms, depending on location.

The game’s update servers are also located in North America, making patching quick.

European players may not see as much of a change between China and Taiwan’s ping, but I have had friends report their ping to Taiwan is better and controls are more responsive. Pinging to China from a foreign country tends to be slower than to Taiwan, regardless of location, due to China’s firewall.

Signing up is way easier

Several leagues easier, even!

Signing up for BnS China requires that you make a QQ account and verify your age as over 18 to adhere to the country’s anti-gaming addiction laws. You can take a look at my old tutorial on signing up, which in itself is complicated — but get this: It’s even more difficult now.

Verifying your age now requires a cell phone number — and you may or may not be able to receive the message QQ sends to verify.

Signing up for the Taiwanese version of Blade & Soul is much easier. Simply go to the Taiwanese website using Google Translate and choose to either sign up via email or using your Facebook account. Head to your email to verify and ta-dah! You’re done signing up for BnS Taiwan!

Here’s a link to the download page if you want it. The orange button next to the paragraph with (NC Global Launcher) is the one you want to download.

The Chinese install shoves some stuff onto your computer

This is something that didn’t used to happen but has been included with the game download for some time now. The biggest issue being the homepage hijack.

Installation forces your homepage on all browsers to become Chinese search engine hao123, which is very difficult to get rid of. Simply changing your homepage back does not work, you need to return your browser to default settings.

Another issue I can’t speak much on — because I’ve had the Chinese version uninstalled for a month now — is Bonjour.exe. This is a resource hog and I do not know what its function is, but it appeared to have come with the Blade & Soul China installation and disappeared after I uninstalled the game. I may be wrong on this.

Both of these are not present in the Taiwanese installation.

VIP is a different thing in each version

Both the Chinese and Taiwanese versions of the game are free to play with VIP membership. Both VIP memberships offer different benefits from the other.

Chinese BnS VIP is applied to a single character and provides a host of benefits based on the level of VIP a player has purchased for that character. The most basic of these being unlimited auction house listings and an EXP buff to that character.

There are a number of arguments on how China’s VIP system makes the game pay to win. On the plus side, it’s pretty cheap.

Taiwanese BnS VIP applies to all characters on a server and provides less benefits than Chinese VIP. Unlimited auction house listings, a priority login queue, and mobs dropping money are three things among several, but VIP users do not receive an EXP buff like they do in China. It is, however, slightly more expensive as it covers all characters on a server.

China has the vigor system, while Taiwan does not

There isn’t much to say here: The vigor system in Blade & Soul China prevents players from leveling too much in a single day. This can be circumvented by VIP (which allows for more vigor), cash shop potions, and rolling several characters.

This is simply not present in Blade & Soul Taiwan, which allows players to level a single character as quickly as they want.

Some things better in the Chinese version

There are, of course, some things that are better in the Chinese release:

  • BnS China’s voice acting is of much higher quality.
  • There are more VPNs to choose from with the Chinese version, and even one Tencent (the game’s publisher) provides for free.
  • The game is further along in patches (though one might argue the broken Season 2 and Season 3 weapons make this a downside).
  • Topping up and adding points to your account for cash shop use is a bit easier.
  • Easier on the CPU. BnS China was optimized for lower end computers, while Taiwan seems to fall more in line with Korea’s graphical build.

Hopefully this helps anyone on the fence in regards to which version of the game to play on. Hopefully we will see a North American or European release sometime this year, so we can play with reasonable ping.

About the author

Ashley Shankle

Ogryns are good lads. Simple as. Anyway, I'm basically a human tornado and I love jank. Also simple as.