Tag Archives: Revelation Online

Bless Online – #Hype or /Ignore

Bless Online is the next big MMORPG we’re getting our hands on. The May 2018 Early Access date is quickly approaching, resulting in the plethora of MMO souls clamoring for more information. Is Bless Online worthy of a hype hashtag or will this be another game to safely ignore? No doubt fanbois and detractors will be at odds from now until the game’s final server closure. For the average Joe though, this is what’s worth looking forward to and what’s worth worrying over.

bless online bloody screenshot

#Hype

B2P

This happy medium bridges the gap between F2P and subscription and has turned out financial successes for Elder Scrolls Online, Guild Wars 2, and Black Desert Online. Regardless of what’s best for players, I do think this is the best model for Bless Online’s continued success. More revenue for the publisher and developer should translate to more content for players. Theoretically, it also means less scummy or spammy revenue generation tactics. Ideally, B2P results in fewer bots too. That’s been rather insignificant in my experience though.

No Loot Boxes

In an interview with MMORPG.com, the developers of Bless explicitly stated there would be no loot boxes. There will be the standard fare selection of goodies such as cosmetics, advancement boosts, and mounts but nothing that’s currently on the commonly accepted MMO no-no list. Of course whether or not they stay more pure or descend into Black Desert’s P2W practices remains to be seen.

Fresh Combat System

bless online old combat

Truth be told, we don’t know exactly what Bless Online combat will look like when Early Access launches on Steam. The developers are really pushing a narrative of a full rework for the game so we can only guess what that will entail. Currently, it plays like something akin to the combination of Guild Wars 2, Revelation Online, and Black Desert Online. It’s action oriented but with tab targeting. It also feels clunky with limited build options, so I imagine that’s what they’re targeting to “fix” rather than radically alter core gameplay mechanics. For example, there’s a combo system in Bless Online but it feels about as interesting as a standard ability rotation in World of Warcraft. If active tab targeting is something you’re interested in right now, I’d recommend trying out Revelation Online to see if it’s worth getting hyped over. Revelation handles “classic” tab targeting combat exceptionally well.

Horizontal Endgame

At level cap, Bless alters progression from a strong vertical experience to horizontal advancement. Guild Wars 2 manages this fairly well, but I think there’s a lot of room for improvement. My hope is that Bless Online’s endgame will reward players who see the value in switching builds depending on the situation (a big deal for its PvP centric gameplay). This does mean the development team has to be on the ball with balance changes, and that’s not particularly easy even for seasoned veterans like Blizzard. I love this idea in theory, and greatly prefer horizontal progression to never-ending item level progression.

Unique Racial Storylines

Apparently each of the game’s seven races will tell their own unique story. This reminds me of Star Wars: The Old Republic’s approach to storytelling. Reports from players on the Russia and Korean servers tell of a diverse questing system with a passable story. Whether this will translate well depends on localization efforts, but Bless Online seems to be going the distance by implementing full voiceovers. Good stories can go a long way for MMORPGs so if Bless Online succeeds here, they will be one of the few.

Party Buffs

hyped for bless online group buffs

Tyler Bro and I tend place different values on solo player MMOs vs. group MMOs. While we see the merits of each side, there’s no denying the industry has catered more towards solo players lately. Bless Online seeks to change that with their party buffs. Depending on the makeup of a party, leaders can select one combat and one non-combat affect to apply to all party members. Whether these buffs will actually encourage group play in any meaningful way remains to be seen.

/Ignore

Not F2P

The merits of B2P are clear, but there’s a serious problem with the model. With so many substitutes in the space, it can be challenging to convince friends to pay for and pick up yet another “MMO with potential”. My general preference now is something akin to Guild Wars 2 – a limited free experience and introduction to the game with enough gameplay to get players hooked.

Pay to Carebear

If you want to avoid PvP at max level, you are going to have to pony up regularly for a cash shop item. I doubt it will be too expensive, but it’s a noteworthy additional cost. Additionally, the game will clearly be designed with PvP in mind so PvE players may find content updates more lacking than something like the well-balanced Guild Wars 2.

Two Faction PvP

Bless Online is pushing a heavy PvP narrative, promising 100vs100 battles. That sounds great with the exception of no MMORPG has ever balanced a two faction system, which Bless will be using. Inevitably one side pulls ahead on a server and draws players who crave to winning. Games like Aion that have rewarded players on the “losing side” still haven’t succeeded in a truly balanced experience. I’d argue Dark Age of Camelot during its peak has offered the best massive scale PvP, and it did so primarily because with three factions, two of them can also gang up on one if the one pulls too far head.

Current State

The biggest concern is that we’re hinging a lot of hype on Bless Online’s ability to radically alter their combat system. As I mentioned above, combat right now is not a strength of the game. Fighting enemies feels rote and mundane. While quests offer diversity more than most F2P MMORPGs, they still lag behind immersive offerings such as Elder Scrolls Online and World of Warcraft. Bless Online did post about key changes last Tuesday, but the new dynamic combat system is suspiciously sparse. The The lack of concrete gameplay videos showing these massive overhauls with a month left to go should be concerning to anyone that’s followed an upcoming MMORPG before.

My recommendation is to avoid the hype trap but continue following the game. Bless Online could develop into a worthwhile experience, possibly even as soon as the Early Access launch. It’s just that MMORPGs are notorious for missing the mark, especially at launch.


Guide to Couples MMO Games for Valentine’s Day

What better gift is there for that special someone than spending some quality time together in a virtual world? Maybe you just started dating and want to get to know each other better. Maybe you’ve been a couple for a decade. No matter the length of a relationship, MMO games offer opportunities that simple cooperative games can only fawn over in jealousy. After all, the only thing better than hanging out together is doing it in front of other people. This Valentine’s Day, don’t just show off how great of a couple you and your partner are. Do it in one of these MMOs that lets you flaunt it to thousands of other players.

Elder Scrolls Online

valentines day mmos elder scrolls online

Rings of Mara aren’t explicitly for romantic couples, but it sure is appealing for them. This cash shop item only needs to be purchased by one partner, presumably whoever’s turn it is to pay for the next date. Afterward, head to a Shrine of Mara in one of the major city hubs. Then pray to Mara and boom! Your two characters now earn +10% EXP when playing together. If you really want to go the extra mile, a tuxedo and a wedding dress are also available in the cash shop. And since Valentine’s Day is all about showing off to everyone else in the world, you better buy them.

V-Day MMO Flaunt Score: 5/10

Sound good? Read our Elder Scrolls Online review here.

Revelation Online

This system is pretty cool. It actually lets you court your significant other by simply playing together. Activities such as questing, clearing dungeons, grinding on mobs (and/or each other), or mentoring will generate love points. Love points can be spent on costumes, buffs, and emotes. After reaching a certain love point threshold, you and your partner will qualify for a wedding (which can be between same or opposite gender characters). Marriage will bring even more benefits including your partner’s name in your title, buffs, and new “married person” abilities. Hilariously, it costs 10,000 gold divorce mutually and 300,000 gold to “force” a divorce. Commitment is no joke in Revelation Online so the flaunt level is pretty damn high here. Valentine’s Day itself brings costumes and emotes each year.

V-Day MMO Flaunt Score: 10/10

Sound good? Read our Revelation Online review here.

Lucent Heart

valentines day mmos lucent heart

Lucent Heart has a standard list of MMORPG features until you get to the “Cupid System” bullet point. Then you realize this game is the perfect cheap date compromise. Once Cupid matches two players as Soul Mates, they gain some unique gameplay opportunities. Grouping with a Soul Mate adds extra EXP for both partners. That’s pretty standard. But then they get special Soul Mate Dungeons, the responsibility of growing a “flower” together, and access to lovers emotes that provide temporary buffs. That’s right – Lucent Heart actually rewards you for obnoxious PDA. It’s amazing! Of course, official marriages are also included. The tricky part to all of this is you can’t manually select someone as your Soul Mate. You must use this matchmaking system which randomly partners you with someone. There are guides out there for “rigging cupid” though so don’t be too worried.

V-Day MMO Flaunt Score: 10/10

Eden Eternal

Beginning a relationship with someone in Eden Eternal is as simple as right clicking their name and inviting them on a date. Assuming your partner accepts (you are actually dating each other, right?) you will each earn a 10% EXP buff and a specialized ‘Couple’ tab on your social screen. This will keep track of Luv Coins (to buy skills), a couple’s only message board, and Lover skills. If the couple wants to take the next step, they can get married. There are some steep requirements before marriage though. The couple must have been dating for longer than 30 days, have both reached level 50, and must pay a hefty bit of coin for the wedding. In return, they’ll be granted a firework show for all to see and a ring that grants +2% to all attributes.

V-Day MMO Flaunt Score: 8/10

Final Fantasy XIV

valentines day mmos final fantasy xiv

If you’re feeling particularly optimistic about your lovely Valentine then you can go with Final Fantasy XIV’s eternal bond. It might just marriage by another name, but it sure does sound a lot more…permanent. There’s some good and bad to say about Final Fantasy’s progressive system that allows characters to marry regardless of gender, race, region, or allegiance. The wedding attire in FFXIV is pretty sweet (see above). The ceremony can be pretty extravagant too if the couple ponies up a collective $40 USD.

You will undoubtedly impress onlookers with the spectacle, but the long term result is disappointing by comparison. The couple is awarded a 2-seat chocobo, the ability to teleport to one another, and an embrace emote in addition to their wedding clothes. Rubbing your love into people’s faces like a scene from Twilight for a full day is commendable, but ultimately it’s just one day. Like Revelation Online, Final Fantasy gifts emotes and costumes for its V-Day content.

V-Day MMO Flaunt Score: 7/10

Sound good? Read our Final Fantasy XIV review here.

La Tale

Similar to Eden Eternal, La Tale lets you court another player. It’s nice to have some options before tying the knot in an MMO. Valentine’s Day is for gaming couples new and old alike so jumping into marriage might not be the best course of action. Luckily, in La Tale couples receive stat increases for playing together, a healing skill, and an EXP buff. Married players get a sweet ring that builds affection points through slaughtering innocent monsters while partied together. These will give the happy couples buffs that they can show off to other party members. Excellent.

V-Day MMO Flaunt Score: 8/10

Dragon Blood

Once you hit a certain level you gain the ability to propose. A wedding date must be set after the proposal is accepted. It cannot be canceled unless express permission is given from the Dragon Temple Priest. Assuming nobody gets cold feet, the wedding will commence on the chosen date with wedding gifts for guests and rings for the newlyweds. These rings are not just for show as they will boost tons of stats. They also open up new skills as the rings absorbs the couples’ love from playing together. Unfortunately, the level requirement isn’t super easy so both partners will need to show their dragon dedication before their romantic dedication. The main plus of Dragon Blood is that its a browser game so you can both get some Valentining in during work hours.

V-Day MMO Flaunt Score: 5/10

Sound good? Read our Dragon Blood review here.

Age of Wushu

valentines day mmos age of wushu

Age of Wushu is one of those few MMOs with an intimacy system. After adding someone to your friends list (in this case, your Valentine’s Day sweetie), players will earn Intimacy Points for playing together. Intimacy Points basically give you and your friend/partner mega stalker abilities on each another.

If you want to take things to the next level and get married in Age of Wushu, you’ll need to commit real world financial resources to the game’s developers. Both players must pay for VIP status before taking their vows. Additionally, one of four level weddings must be paid for with in game money. And Age of Wushu is about as traditional at it comes here, with the male needing to front the entire bill. On the bright side, the weddings are pretty fancy. At the highest tier, a 28-man palanquin will carry the bride to the altar and ten heralds will loudly proclaim the ceremony. After the delightfully unnecessary wedding display, guests can cheer on the couple. If they cheer loud enough, they all get gifts! Finally, marriage comes with tax-exempt trading, married couple titles, a unique skill, and unique items.

V-Day MMO Flaunt Score: 9/10

Fiesta Online

With Fiesta Online, you go big or you go home. This MMO is great for a Valentine’s Day couple that is serious business. Wedding is the only romantic option, but it is a blast. First, an announcement is made to the entire server that you two are the best couple of the day. Then you get to invite guests to a special wedding chapel to participate in the ceremony. Wedding attire is highly recommended but not required. Afterward, the priest will grant you a stat bonus for partying together, a permanent wedding pet, and the ability to summon your partner. Of course, if you’re like me and my wife, you will troll summon each other for the rest of time. Ain’t love grand?

V-Day MMO Flaunt Score: 7/10

Sound good? Read our Fiesta Online review here.

Ragnarok Online

OK, truth time: a lot of these MMOs don’t have anything to offer but marriage. Like Fiesta and Eden Eternal, players will need to level and pony up some cash before reaping any romantic rewards. Like a lot of older MMOs, Ragnarok Online unfortunately only allows opposite gender marriages. If this affects you, plan your characters accordingly! The wedding ceremony will grant the couple a few unique skills and amusingly disable attacking for a while. Ultimately, getting far enough in Ragnarok Online to get married really shows more commitment to the game than to one’s partner.

V-Day MMO Flaunt Score: 5/10

MapleStory

valentines day mmo maplestory

MapleStory’s marriage system is pretty simple. Buy a ticket and get married. The ticket costs about $5 cash, which is actually pretty cheap for couples compared to some other MMOs. The wedding isn’t all that amazing outside of the Vegas style chapel sign. The only saving grace is that your wedding photos will be published on the MapleStory website for all to see.

Of course there’s also a near-mandatory $5 price tag for a ‘Commitment of Love’ ticket. This ticket is necessary to get any actual benefit out of being married. Every 100 days of marriage will grant the (hopefully) happy couple special quests and an upgraded wedding ring. This can go on for up to 1,000 days so there’s potentially four Valentine’s Day worth of content in MapleStory. It may not be the highest quality or the flashiest, but quantity counts for something! Unfortunately, Valentine’s events in MapleStory feel more like Candy Crush than anything lovey dovey with its solo-centric consumable rewards.

V-Day MMO Flaunt Score: 6/10

If I missed any other MMOs with some romantic element or frequent Valentine’s Day events for couples, let me know. I found it pretty odd that Valentine’s Day quests are fairly solo driven both in terms of content and rewards. Having events is certainly a plus, but most of these aren’t going to drive couples to play the game together. The games that scored the best offered unique advantages for playing with a partner, extravagant emotes or weddings, and/or a numeric relationship score.

Playing games online as a couple is something that should really happen more often. These MMO games should help couples spend some quality time together this Valentine’s Day. While they’re at, show as much digital PDA as possible to sicken everyone else. Isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about?