If you’re ready for Blade & Soul to launch in more regions as I am, you may very well be interested to know the game is entering its open beta in Taiwan tomorrow — and it looks to have some benefits over Chinese version.
Blade & Soul fully launched in China and Japan earlier this year, and was announced to be reaching Russia sometime in 2015. With nary a word about a European or North American release, English-speaking MMO players looking to give the game a shot are left with foreign releases with high ping.
While the game’s servers will open up Thursday, November 20th, at 2PM Taiwan time (UTC +8). This converts to 1AM EST (Nov. 20th)/10PM PST (Nov. 19th) for North Americans, and 6AM GMT for those in the United Kingdom.
Account registration is currently open for the Taiwanese version of the game. Pohwaran.com has a complete and easy to follow registration guide.
Will the grass be greener in Taiwan?
Unlike the Chinese version (which was published and run by Tencent), the Taiwanese version will be run by NCSoft themselves.This alone is a bonus to anyone who pays attention to Tencent’s business practices.
If you gave Blade & Soul China a shot and found your ping to be too high to enjoy the game, the Blade & Soul Taiwan may be more latency-friendly for foreign players. This is especially for North American players as there is no national firewall in Taiwan, and it is a little closer to North America than Mainland China.
The Taiwan release will be free to play and will not feature neither the VIP nor fatigue system seen in the Chinese version.
All of the currently visible differences from the Chinese version make this release sound better to me, but we have yet to see how NCSoft will choose to monetize the free to play Taiwan release. Details should be revealed during the game’s open beta.
And finally, if you’ve never given Blade & Soul a shot but are interested: Keep in mind there is a rather complete English patch to be found on the fan forum Blade & Soul Dojo, which will likely be updated to be compatible with the Taiwanese open beta soon after launch.