As we progressed through the initial levels of Blade & Soul, many aspects of the game got us really excited and enthusiastic, to say the least. As we reached higher levels, a certain awkward feeling has arrived which is probably caused by the inexplicable decision of the game’s developers.
During the first few levels of Blade & Soul, one gets overwhelmed with all the combos, zones, unusual enchanting system, gemming and wheel of fate spinning, which takes away the attention from a very unusual feature of the game.
For me, this previously mentioned awkward feeling arrived around level 25-8. I was mainly focusing on improving my weapon, my precious dagger that I kept evolving, being lucky enough that all the necessary follow-ups dropped from the equivalent instances. Accessories also gained my attention after a while, but something was missing. The Soul Shields eventually turned out to be rather irritating and highly unusual, and this realization pointed to the weirdest of decisions I have ever encountered made by some of the game’s developers, and that was the complete, utter uselessness of the various armor pieces.
I am sure the devs wanted to seem extremely creative and radical, but this move beats all brave innovational attempts I have seen so far, but not in a positive way. It often turns out to be fruitful for the MMO industry when companies attempt to bring innovational ideas, like Rift’s multirole classes or Tera’s political system and even Guild Wars 2’s dynamic events.
Call me skeptical, but this completely “stat-less” armor system really was an unnecessary addition to the game. I mean, sure, it is great to collect sets of various looks, but since everybody else gets to collect the same ones, it does get boring after a while just to be hunting outfits that only alter our looks, or in some rare cases, enable PvP-mode against opposing factions.
The Soul Shield system was clearly made to replace the traditional ways, but many of you probably would have liked better if there were separate armor pieces that gave distinct stats instead of those weird Soul Shield pieces. To me, it seems that the lack of the need to collect armor sets takes away a significant amount of excitement from the game and I felt far less enthusiastic about seeing Soul Shields drop in dungeons than if it was gloves, shoes or chest armor that players were aggressively bidding on.
NCSoft is a company that is known to often make brave steps and allow game-changing updates like they did with Aion in the near past. It is not completely impossible that we might get to eventually see the arrival of stats-changing armor sets in a later update, which will evidently be a decision that pleases the player base, as long as the game’s engine allows this major alteration. I have to admit, that even though the outfits lose plenty of significance due to not improving our characters’ performance, many of them are extremely well-designed like the Stinger or Wolfskin set, which I really want to get my hands on.
Feel free to tell us how you feel about this unusual idea that Blade & Soul has introduced and whether you are satisfied with the Soul Shield system or you would prefer to bring back the traditional ways of improving our stats.