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I just got in the game and this is my first experience with it so far. I was not in any of the previous beta events. That being said, we'll start at the graphics and make headway from there.

Next I'll touch on the blade and soul pvp system a bit

I just got in the game and this is my first experience with it so far. I was not in any of the previous beta events. That being said, we'll start at the graphics and make headway from there.

 

As far as graphics and optimization go, I'm quite pleased. So far the game runs much better than the game I used to play, Tera. I'm, for the most part, getting 30-50+ FPS on a 3.6 ghz quad core AMD FX 4100, 8 gigs of Corsair 1866 mhz ram and an nVidia GTX 750. There are a few times to where the frame rate dips down below 20 but it's few and far between. When it does happen, simply tweaking the graphics fixes it for the most part. The game itself is beautiful and I love the music as well. I've always enjoyed eastern music and this game is no exception. The voice acting however, is utterly abysmal. The voices just don't seem to fit their character for the most part in some instances. A prime example was a Gon in the main questline that had a rather high pitched voice for what I was expecting. He didn't sound much like a giant as I would have expected, with a deep, booming voice but like your average joe. This misconception of what Gon sound like that is probably just something of my own making.

 

Moving along to the combat, I rather enjoy it. To be fair though, this game, in my opinion, is not a true action combat game. That is one area in which I feel Tera does actually beat it. This game is a fancy dressed up tab target game. The dodge and evade stat clearly show that it's a tab target behind the hood. It's closest competition is probably Skyforge. The game in essence, isn't a true action combat game like Dark Souls or Tera but rather a weird amalgamation of the two. That's not to say it's a bad game. I love the fact that combat is very, very fast paced. You can kill and be killed incredibly swiftly and the lack of any sort of radar-like minimap means that your awareness comes from your own skills rather than just glancing up at map every few seconds. If there is an option to show enemies on the map, I must've missed it. The reason I say it's not a "true" action based combat game is simply because of the fact that your skills can't necessarily miss in essence. In Tera, if a person is not in range of your swing, it does not hit. It's the same way with mobs. There are several instances to where mobs in this game can hit you even when you're clearly out of range of their strike. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as I've said, but does kind of make it limited as to what you can do. The good part is that, unlike Skyforge, BnS does this system much, much better. You have skills that have i-frames as well as skills for mobility among other things. That makes it fun and makes the system very enjoyable to play.

 

Next I'll touch on the pvp system a bit. I am a huge pvp'er. It's mostly the reason I play games as I enjoy the challenge from fighting another player. While i wish BnS had a faction that was dedicated to killing everyone NOT in their faction, (think marauders or bandits or just general evil guys) I understand why they didn't do this. The versus aspect of the faction system is nifty. The Cerulean order and the Crimson Legion, the Tyrian Cult and the Stratus Empire as well as the Bamboo Guard vs the Blackram Marauders are all really fun and enjoyable. I love the fact that the outfit simply allows you to switch sides pretty much at will, with a slight limitation so you can't just gank and take it off. It also gives a sense of war to the world which is neat. I personally enjoy putting on the outfit just to kill guards and mess with people. Sometimes people put their outfit and come at you, other times most just watch in wonder and confusion while you mercilessly slaughter guards. This gives an option of actually playing a good guy or a bad guy, which I think seems pretty cool.

 

That being said, there is one bug I've noticed. When Blackram and Bamboo Guard, equipping a Blackram outfit makes you hostile to the Bamboo Guard NPC's. However with the Tyrian Cult, there are a lot of Stratus guard NPC's that don't bother attacking you. I felt that was a bit odd and definitely seems like a bug.

 

The story line is mildly interesting so far. I have read about the recent "changes" to various side quests and to some of the main story line but without actually playing the original, I can't really comment on that. I will however say that, my personal opinion, is that if you're going to translate something, it should largely be left unaltered. It's one thing to translate something. It's another to altar it because you disagree with some material that is presented. To me, I feel this is in line with altering classic texts like Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn simply because it had racial slurs in it. Regardless of if you like it or not, it shouldn't be done. That's all I'l say on that matter.

 

Up next on the agenda is crafting and gathering. Holy cow is there a lot of trades for gathering and crafting. Admittedly, I didn't bother with this at all. Largely it's because I feel that the money you make at early levels is spent mostly on upgrading your hongmoon weapon and accessories. That will eat through your budget super fast along with unsealing charms and keys. Without those surveys and such to help boost along, it'd have taken considerable more effort to get my weapon and accessories to where they were. The actual upgrading mechanic is nice and I like the way it works. It doesn't seem like there's a failure, at least I didn't notice one, which is good, but it gets exponentially harder to upgrade your weapons as it should. I feel that this is pretty well balanced overall.

 

In the end, I didn't have much money left over for crafting as it required pickaxes and the like. That and I wasn't sure where I wanted to begin. I think when the game goes live, I'll probably invest in alchemy or so for the potions. That however is just me musing to myself.

 

Let's move on to the questing system and the UI. The questing system I will admit is generic. MMO's have a habit of doing this. Go to X position, kill Y of Z mob. Rinse and repeat. I do however like the faction quests as the pvp makes those quests interesting and a real challenge to complete. It was also neat to see the quest that gives you a Blackram Marauder outfit. In all honesty I wish there were some faction specific quests to go along with those sects as well. If there is, well I apologize for my ignorance but it seems I missed them. I like that you can get achievements and titles from things like the Tyrian cult pvp and that makes it worth it to an extent, but it also makes it hard to find people who are fighting in those niche factions.

 

The Map and UI itself is horrible. There are often times to where I would run around because the arrows on the map span such a large area that it's hard to really pin point the mob. That's not a bad thing admittedly as I generally find them after a bit of searching, but it would be convenient if you could zoom the map in more or just make the quest arrow more precise. As for the UI itself, it's a bit bulky and cumbersome. The text however in the chat box is far too small for my tastes on the default settings. I quickly changed those in the settings but it seems that some tabs don't allow you to change the size. I changed it in the general and whispers tab but after that , I couldn't change the text size in my faction chat tab. Not sure if this is a bug or not, but it seems so to me. Simply put it greyed out the apply button in the chat tab options and wouldn't let me change them.

 

In closing, I plan on playing the game on release and any other betas I get into. I actually enjoyed it and I love the combat animations. I can't wait to see how the game evolves and, hopefully, will do well. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Sorry for the long winded explanations.

 

I guess tab target is not really the best way to describe it. As I said above, it's more of a weird hybrid. A real action combat game doesn't have evade and block stats on the character profile. There's no need for them, the attacks either hit or they don't. There are no dice rolls and movement skills are what gives you the ability to dodge them. There were plenty of times, as mentioned, that I was simply running circles around mobs and their attack would hit the air yet I still take damage. That doesn't happen in Tera unless I'm lagging.

 

That being said, tab target probably isn't the best way to describe it, you're right on that point. It's a weird hybrid system for sure. I probably should have worded that better in the above post.

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