Blade & Soul Producer Nico Coutant offers a look at the current game and upcoming content.
Hello Blade & Soul community,
The response to Blade & Soul in North America and Europe over the past four months has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve seen thousands of pieces of fan art, watched hundreds of hours of streamers and online tournaments, and have read through countless threads of your comments and feedback. Every goal we’ve set for ourselves when preparing to release Blade & Soul has been exceeded, and we have you to thank for that. We greatly appreciate your ongoing support.
We wanted to take a moment to reflect on the current state of the game, as well as offer an early look at the Blade & Soul roadmap for the rest of this year. One of the key pieces of feedback we’ve received is that players need a better idea of when new content is coming out, so they can better plan for it. When we designed our content release schedule before launch, our primary goals were to provide consistent updates with new things to do, catch up quickly to the content available in the other regions, and in doing so, support the PvP community with the newest classes and balance tweaks.
Today I want to show what’s coming to the game this year in a content roadmap, the impact this content will have on progression, and why we hope you’ll be excited for the great things on the horizon.
Before I get to the roadmap, it’s important to point out that our recent efforts haven’t all been aimed at releasing more content. Since launch we’ve made numerous quality-of-life changes to the game based on your feedback—changes like retaining purchased gem slots, earning Hongmoon Skills through PvP content, and transferring costumes between characters.
Additionally, we’re aware that there remains some disruption caused by bots, spam, and other forms of cheating in the game. Please know that every week we continue to add improvements to spam, bot, and cheat detection, while adding more ways for you to report such behavior and help us to take action more quickly. We play the game on a daily basis and experience these issues firsthand, so we fully understand the need to take continual steps in reducing bots and cheating in the game. Within the past month we’ve been able to meaningfully combat Arena PvP bots and cheaters, reduce spam to be considerably less intrusive than it used to be, and make a number of game changes based on your feedback to address some of the most irritating issues. That being said, we believe we can always do better, and are working on a series of measures which should further improve the situation in the coming weeks. While we very purposely don’t share much information on this front—to keep from showing our hand to anyone intent on cheating—this is all part of a concerted effort which started months ago, and we appreciate your continued patience while we’ve worked on implementing both short- and long-term solutions.
On the topic of our upcoming releases, we understand the quick release of content has left some of you feeling pressured to complete all the existing content as fast as possible in order to be ready for the next quick release. To help alleviate some of your concerns, and allow you to better plan your character progression, we’ve put together an overall look at the content coming out this year.
As you can see, no more new weapon tiers are arriving this year apart from lvl 3-6 Legendary, but you don’t need a Legendary weapon to clear any of the new content. The new accessories and Soul Shield sets are also not required to complete any of the new content, but we hope they will be viewed as enticing rewards, and ultimately help you clear the content faster.
We will continue having in-game events and promotions which will provide additional ways to obtain upgrade materials that reduce time and costs to improve, as well as other rewards (costumes!).
Not only will there be less major shakeups to the progression paths, the new content coming out will make existing upgrade materials easier to obtain, and drop in larger quantities.
Now let’s take a closer look at what’s coming in the immediate future. We released our Vengeance Breaks update on Wednesday, which includes the last chapters of the Act IV Storyline, and sees you facing off against Jinsoyun. It also adds new solo and group content, as well as a brand new pet system (with new pets exclusive to the West!), and new Hongmoon levels and skills. You may also come across the Merchant of Wonders in various dungeons, who will be offering various goods at a discounted price. He may not be around for long though, so take advantage while you can! Finally, we removed the Siren/Pirate weapon upgrade path with this patch, in an effort to streamline the player experience and consolidate the community around the Silverfrost area, which we believe is the best content Blade & Soul has to offer.
New account services such as the gender/race change was also added with the Vengeance Breaks update, and we’re hard at work on server transfers as well. Arena PvP Spectator Mode is in development and planned to release this summer. We know this is a critical tool to help run community tournaments, and important to help us support our PvP community.
Last but not least, we know that everyone is excited for the next class to be released, and we’re happy to announce that the new Soul Fighter class arrives June 22. We’ll be running multiple events to celebrate this milestone—including a return of the very popular XP Event—as well as offering a free character slot to everyone for a limited time, similar to what we did during the Warlock release. For those of you who have been away from the game and are coming back now, or want to check out the Soul Fighter a bit later, we’ll have additional bonuses for returning players and those who level up new characters—more info on those will be coming in the near future. Also you’ll want to make sure you’re subscribed to our Newsletter, as we’re going to be sending a thank you package to all of our Newsletter subscribers toward the end of June.
There’s never been a better time to jump into Blade & Soul, whether you’re continuing on your adventures or checking it out for the first time. All of us here sincerely thank you for your continued support and passion for the game.
We know you probably have questions we haven’t addressed here, so we’re asking you to post them in the forums and then we’ll try to answer as many as we can during a Producer’s Letter livestream on June 9. We’d like to keep the stream related to the content roadmap, features and support, and the future of Blade & Soul, so please try to keep your question on-topic. Head over to the official forums to post yours, and then tune into the livestream June 9 at 4pm PDT on Twitch.tv/BladeandSoul where we’ll be answering as many as we can.
Thank you again for your continued support.
Producer, Blade & Soul