Blade & Soul Entering Open Beta in South Korea

Blade & Soul characters looking chic, just in time for OBT. (NCsoft)

NCsoft’s martial arts action MMORPG Blade & Soul will be entering open beta in a few days in South Korea – June 21st, to be exact. The open beta phase in an MMORPG’s life cycle is considered a soft launch in Korea – you can expect even more fan-made videos and streamed walkthroughs of the game in the coming weeks and months. NCsoft also released a new promotional trailer for the upcoming open beta phase, which you can view below.

During the previous beta phase (closed beta 3), NCsoft introduced a wealth of new content to Blade & Soul, including new qinggong abilities (martial arts-inspired movement/quicktravel options), a much more robust character creation system, the playable summoner class and an experience-modifying fatigue system, which allowed casual players to level more easily.

Following the conclusion of this phase, NCsoft’s business director Kim Taek-Hyun addressed fans criticism of some of the content and changes made to the gameplay for the closed beta, and promised that they could be corrected this. His statement specifically mentions the fatigue system, which is being removed for the open beta. He also that other features will be addressed to improve the overall game. As mentioned above, the “fatigue” system greatly affected experience gains, and limited how long a player could play the game.

When a player’s experience gauge was blue, they earned 200+% experience. It then dropped to green after the player earned a few levels, reducing experience to 150%. More time resulted in the gauge changing gray, reducing gains to a piddly 10% gain and finally, the gauge would turn white, signifying a normal, 100% experience gain. This gauge would re-charge with time, so the longer a player didn’t play, the larger their experience bonus when they returned.

The system was implemented to accommodate less committed players by allowing them to more easily earn experience. The issue with this mechanic was that it penalized hardcore players by severely reducing experience gains after a certain point, forcing them to stop playing to re-earn the bonus modifier. With the system removed, players can level at their leisure.

Finally, NCsoft has revealed its official open beta trailer to promote the upcoming soft launch, showcasing the game’s awesome art style and setting, impressive story cinematics, and the ever-amazing action-combat. Watch the video below.

Fans interested in watching Blade & Soul live streams can visit the Blade & Soul Dojo or Steparu‘s channels when open beta begins, and see the game in action. As stated above, Blade & Soul‘s open beta begins on Thursday, June 21, 2012. Be sure to mark your calendars!

Blade & Soul OBT Official Trailer

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