Bless Online: 10 Interesting Facts About This Awesome MMORPG

Featuring familiar fantasy races and gorgeous-looking armor.
Featuring familiar fantasy races and gorgeous-looking armor.

Even Though It's A Modern Game, Bless Manages To Bring Back That Old, Nostalgic MMO Feel

Does the name Bless Online ring a bell? The game has managed to fly under the radar for quite some time now. Its developers are keeping a low profile, concentrated on working on their title rather than spending resources on advertising it and keeping the hype alive.

Yet there are lots of things you should be hyped about in Bless. The title is already well-polished, developers have a lot of endgame content ideas and most of all – even though it is a Korean MMO (a combination of words that usually makes a lot of people wince), it looks indeniably Western. A deliberate move on the part of the dev team, who wanted to make a “game for the Western audience” from the start, and the least one can say is that it looks quite promising.

1. A Mix Between World of Warcraft and Lineage 2


Bless portrays the struggle between two factions with a graphical style very similar to Lineage 2.

The basic premise of Bless is really similar to that of World of Warcraft. Two factions are locked in an ongoing struggle, vying for the domination of the world they live in. Two different sets of values, ideals and visions of the future.

At the same time, the players can feel a strong underlying feel of Lineage 2 that permeates everything, from model designs to the cities and their surroundings. Lineage 2 is a game that is praised by many for its focus on player versus player content, and that focus is undeniably back in Bless.

This is not surprising since many of the game's developers had formerly been working on Lineage 2 and TERA and, although you can clearly feel the influence from these two games in Bless, team Neowiz has decided to create something very different by Korean standards. Let's see everything that Bless promises to offer so far – it looks good.

The fearsome Berserker, one of the classes that were available in Closed Beta 2.

2. A Huge Explorable World


You can actually explore every nook and cranny of this immense city.

The seamless world of Bless is absolutely huge and filled to the brim with details. There are very few places that you can see but cannot go to.

The graphical team actually went to Europe to research European medieval architecture as well as Middle-Eastern and some other cultures. The result looks amazing: towns and villages are very lifelike and taking a walk through them actually feels like you've been transported back in time.

The world is so big that exploring it on foot would take ages. In addition to mounts, which we will cover below, players can use several means of transport to travel between locations. Traveling is done in real time – you don't just get teleported around but must physically board a boat, for instance, then wait for it to set sail and arrive at your destination.

If there is a door, you can pass it. Every house is populated with NPC that can have some pretty funny conversations, but also provide the player with tips and hints about certain aspects of the game.

3. Interesting Factions And Races


All races are very charismatic, albeit nothing out of ordinary.

Featuring a struggle between two alliances that fight for the domination of a continent, Bless seems to have adopted an approach to its factions taken straight from Wildstar. They are indeed very symmetric, almost mirrored in many aspects.

Unlike the classic period in WoW where there was a stark contrast between the graphical styles of the Horde and the Alliance (a “monstrous” faction and a more human-looking faction), Bless seems to do everything not to push players away from a specific faction or, on the contrary, encourage everyone to join a specific faction. They both have roughly the same appeal: both factions have a human race, an elf race, an animal race and a demonic race, so no matter which faction the player ends up choosing, they can play a character whose looks or story they like.

The Union, whose races live in the south of the continent, flies red colors with a dragon emblem. They value liberty and trade, and fight against their enemies, the Hieron, to remain free from the influence of their empire. The Union is very inspired from city-states that existed during the Italian Renaissance .

The Union is comprised of a human race, the Amistad, as well as the Aqua Elves, the beast-like Panteras and the Iblis, a demonic race that looks a lot like the Castanics from TERA. The Union also has a fifth race that does not have an equivalent in the Hieron: the mystical Sirens.

The Hieron, established in the north, flies blue colors with an eagle emblem. They prize loyalty, courage and honor. The Hieron fights to unite the continent under their banners in order to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity. Unlike the Union, they take the form of a medieval kingdom based on vassalage and religion.

The Hieron is comprised of four races that mirror those of the Union: the human Habichts, the Sylvan Elves, the Lupus and the demonic Fedayin. Just like the Union, they also possess a fifth race that is unique to the Hieron: the Mascu, cute little creatures that are excellent scientists and engineers.

The fall of the empire divided the continent into two.

4. Tried-and-Tested Yet Interesting Classes

Meet the devout Paladin, one of the classes that were available during Closed Beta 2.

Bless is based on a class system, and when you look at the available classes, you could say that they are a little unimaginative. That is not true, however, as there is an unexpected depth under this apparent simplicity.

Bless will have 8 classes in total, with more possibly being added later. They aren't really anything out of the ordinary: there is the Guardian, the Berserker, the Paladin, the Ranger, the Assassin, the Mage, the Mystic and the Warlock. They do just what you expect them to do: the Guardian is a resilient, shield-bearing tank, the Berserker swings a two-handed axe and the Mage hurls fireballs.

The unique thing that Bless brings to the table is that, despite being a tab-targeting MMO, the developers tried to incorportate some action-based aspects in their combat. For instance, the Berserker uses a non-targeting system because all of his attacks can hit several targets, but you will need to aim with your camera where his hits will land. As for shield-bearing classes, the Guardian and the Paladin, they can use an active block system to completely deflect incoming damage with their shields.

Each class has three stances that affect their gameplay on a deeper level. For example, the Paladin is a battle healer class. They have healing and support spells, and may adopt a stance that increases their healing capabilities, but they may also switch to a more offensive stance where their attack skills deal more damage, or to a defensive stance that takes full advantage of their heavy armor.

5. Exciting, Faction-Based Open World PvP


A skirmish between the Union and the Hieron.

Just like World of Warcraft, its Korean spiritual child boasts a faction versus faction conflict, and because Bless promises to focus a lot on PvP, it will be a key aspect of the game.

PvP in Bless has several aspects. First, there is the realm versus realm war, which can take place in open world and in instanced battlegrounds. Killing enemy players and winning battlegrounds rewards honor points which a player can use to progress through military ranks, much like the old ranking system in Classic WoW.

However, honor points aren't a mere currency you exchange for fame and rewards. They are also earned by the player's guild, and while the players rise in military ranks, guilds posess a similar prestige ranking based on their overall might. The guilds at the top of the ladder earn the right to own a castle back home... which opens up the second aspect of PvP in Bless.

The war between the two factions is brutal. Only one shall remain.

6. Epic Castle Sieges


Each side has 7 fortresses that players may conquer.

The political struggle within a faction is the second key aspect of PvP in Bless. Each faction has 7 key fortresses on their territory. The seven guilds that perform the best in realm versus realm PvP may acquire these castles, which give the owning guild members benefits and allow the guild master to interact with the surrounding land, for instance raise taxes which then go to their guild's treasury.

Of course, the guilds that do not own a castle are not going to stand idly by. Similarly to Lineage 2, Bless boasts epic castle sieges, where guilds or entire alliances are vying for the control of these fortresses and the benefits they confer to the members of the owning guild. It is the feature that many people are looking forward to the most in Bless, as they expect these confrontations to be every bit as epic and meaningful as they were in Lineage 2.

An explanation of how inter-faction and intra-faction PvP (RxR) are tied into each other.

7. Cinematic Storytelling


Questing cutscenes are like a movie.

Bless is a story-driven game. The developers have taken the stance not to create too many “filler” quests that only exist to reward players with items and act as a means to level up. Instead, they're focusing on making questing in Bless a memorable experience.

The game is filled to the brim with awesome cinematics that play at key moments in the story, but numerous smaller cutscenes also happen on many occasions. In that aspect, it is very similar to the way Final Fantasy XIV handles questing (the game definitely draws a lot of inspiration from the excellent games we've seen in recent years, which can only be a good thing).

The plot is complex and intricate. It involves political struggles, treason and sinister ploys. It can be really heavy, and even very mature at times (some cutscenes are franky not safe for work).

The story-driven Aqua Elf starting zone.

8. Raiding And Other Endgame Content


You may encounter dangerous world bosses during your travels.

PvP players have faction war and castle sieges, but what about other forms of content? Luckily, Neowiz did not forget about its PvE playerbase.

Bless has several instanced dungeons you can take on with a party, starting at around level 15 and all the way to the level cap. Once you reach the endgame, you can continue your epic adventures in raids, which are promised to be difficult and rewarding.

There are also world bosses that you can encounter in the wild. They're big, nasty and they will prove to be a challenge even when faced with dozens of players that want to bring them down. And as Neowiz has people from Lineage 2 working on Bless, we can expect that hunting worldbosses will not only be a worthy challenge, but also meaningful and worth one's time.

Low level dungeon gameplay.

9. There Are Flying Mounts!


Scouting the area on dragonback, so to speak.

Mounts are a really interesting aspect of Bless. Of course, just like in other games, they provide a fast and convenient means of transport to quickly travel from one location to another.

But it does not stop there. Mounts provide bonuses to their rider, and these bonuses also change depending on where the mount is ridden. Bonuses will be greater when you ride a mount in its natural habitat: for example, a horse will be faster on plains, and obviously not a good choice to explore a smoldering volcano.

Some of the animals you encounter in the wild can be tamed. You can ride not only spirited mustangs, but also more exotic creatures, like huge wolves and even unicorns, if that's your thing.

And a question that players often ask is: are there flying mounts? The answer is yes! Several mounts in Bless are of the flying kind, and apparently can even carry one or two passengers along with the rider, but presumably obtaining them is going to be quite difficult.

Meet the agile Ranger, one of the classes that were available during Closed Beta 2.

10. It's Going To Be Free

So after all this goodness, surely you must be asking yourself just how much is the monthly fee that you must pay in order to be able to experience all of this?

The answer is: it doesn't cost a dime if you so choose. Developers want to make Bless a free to play MMO, with the usual cash shop that will presumably contain things like cosmetics and mounts; however, the game should be free to play for anyone.

 

What do you think of Bless so far? Leave your impressions of the game in the comments below.

 

Did this article spark (or re-ignite) your interest in online gaming? Check out our list of 10 Best Free MMORPGs to Choose From!

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