Gamescom 2017: Hands-On Blade & Soul Gunslinger

As I’m sure many fans are already aware, the highly-anticipated Blade & Soul Gunslinger class will be available on September 13. Additionally, the update that brings the new class will also include the crafting system revamp that should streamline the crafting guild systems.

While at Gamescom 2017, I had the opportunity to get my hands on the Gunslinger, which Blade & Soul fans have been eagerly awaiting since it was first teased last year. Even though I only had a few minutes with the class, it was easily the most fun I’ve had with any Blade & Soul class to date and it’s possibly one of the most stylish ranged classes I’ve ever used in an MMORPG. Toting dual pistols, the Gunslinger is both quick and deadly.

Blade & Soul Gunslinger

 

Flame and Shadow

Similar to the other classes in Blade & Soul, the Gunslinger utilizes two distinct specializations that cater to different play styles and fill different roles. The first specialization is Flame, which is focused on building up charges to unleash explosive rounds. Up to five rounds can be stored at once and then unleashed to do heavy amounts of damage. During the initial build up, the Flame spec Gunslinger might feel a bit weaker than the other damage-focused classes, but the burst from the explosive rounds is enough to put a dent in any boss or finish off an unsuspecting player.

While the Flame spec is focused on heavy burst via its explosive rounds, the Shadow specialization builds up meter to achieve Lightspeed. During Lightspeed, the Shadow Gunslinger’s abilities have amplified damage and quicker cast speeds. When compared side-by-side, the Shadow spec has more sustained damage while Flame has more burst damage, but both kits are designed to build up to a certain point and then unleash a ton of damage. Picking a spec will mostly come down to personal preference, but I felt the Shadow spec to feel smoother and less reliant on a single skill than Flame.

Blade & Soul Gunslinger

There are also a few similarities that both specs share as well. One really cool aspect of the Gunslinger is the ability to grapple across the ground (granting crowd control immunity) or into the air for a few seconds. While airborne only a few skills are active, but it should prove to be an annoyance for any melee classes. It’s also a good way to build some meter/charges and do some damage without getting punished. They also share the Tombstone ability, which pushes the Gunslinger into an overdrive type state for a few seconds.

 

The Mobile Mage

I’ve always liked the idea of playing mage classes in MMORPGs, but scenarios usually don’t play out in-game how they do in my head. Being able to manipulate the elements, unleashing massive fireballs, crowd controlling enemies with frost magic, and throwing lightning bolts like Zeus sounds fantastic on paper. Unfortunately, most MMORPG mage classes aren’t that exciting.

Usually, you’re forced to be stationary while pressing 1 and 2 repeatedly with the occasional 3 or 4 thrown in for good measure. In some games there is a bit more complexity, and often times the systems are really interesting, but almost all mages archetypes are required to stand still while casting or at least have animation locks.

Until recently, this was my experience with Blade & Soul as well. I initially enjoyed both the Force Master and Warlock, and while they didn’t suffer from the stationary gameplay as classes in similar games do, they both felt much slower than the other classes in Blade & Soul. Trying to do boss fights that required a lot of mobility or PvP can feel frustrating, especially when other classes seem to be able to hop around the map with ease.

Well, if you’re like me and want a class that feels like a mage but doesn’t have that tacked-on sluggish feeling then the Gunslinger might be the right choice for you. It can be extremely agile while simultaneously putting out a lot of damage and supporting the rest of the party. Of course, speed and damage aren’t the only things that matter in a class. There’s also style, and the Gunslinger bleeds it. Every one of the Gunslinger’s abilities looks and feels way over-the-top, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your style preference.

Blade & Soul Gunslinger

Crafting Changes

For those who haven’t seen the latest Blade & Soul news, a major crafting update is launching alongside the Gunslinger. With the new crafting system, players can have up to three simultaneous tasks for each guild. Additionally, the level cap for each guild is being increased to five and varying amounts of items can be crafted with a single task. Players who have already put a significant amount of effort into crafting can expect some form of compensation at a later date.

An update wouldn’t be complete without new items. Here is a list of new items for each crafting guild:

The Forgekeepers

  • Empyrean Spirit Stone – Used to upgrade legendary weapons
  • Transformation Stone
  • Master Field Repair Tool
  • Void Fragment
  • Ascendance Stone
  • Galaxy Fragment

Radiant Ring

  • Brilliant Key – Key used to obtain class-specific weapon
  • Ivory Beluga Orb
  • Smelting Orb
  • Aransu Orb

Soul Wardens

  • Shield Bases – Exchangeable for Soul Shield Primers
  • Shield Engravings – Used to enhance attributes for a specific set of Soul Shields
  • Serpent Calling Bell
  • Purification Jar

Acquired Taste

  • Dragon Soups – Increases combat EXP by 100% and 200%
  • Mild & Spicy Dumplings & Dumpling Soup – Recovers 100% HP and gives various combat buffs

Silver Cauldron

  • Cactus and Prickly Pear Potions – Instantly recovers HP
  • Persistence and Awakened Potions – Raises Max. HP or AP

Earthseers

  • Revival  & Resuscitation Charms – Revives yourself or a party member
  • Cooldown Reset Charm – Resets all cooldowns

 

In order to smooth the transition, all crafting and gathering requests will be disabled from September 9 until the update is applied on September 13.

Blade & Soul Gunslinger

Are any of our readers excited to try out the Gunslinger once it goes live next week? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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Dual Universe Shows Promise to be First True Sandbox MMO

There are a lot of MMOs out there that claim to be sandboxes but none of them are even slightly comparable to what Dual Universe is attempting. Generally, most sandbox games allow players to choose their role within a set of parameters. In EVE Online, you can pick from dozens of different playstyles but you’re still confined to the cold dark of space whether you’re a miner, mercenary, or crafter. Dual Universe, however, is giving players the tools to create anything they want.

The first time I had a look at Dual Universe was E3 2016, and it was more or less still in the concept phase. I got the see the developer fly around a massive planet while discussing their Continuous Single-Shard Cluster technology and limitless potential for player-created content. This year, things are starting to look a little more realistic for Dual Universe, and necessarily so with the pre-alpha becoming available to Gold Backers and above.

Dual Universe pre-alpha

 

The Building Blocks of Civilization

Novaquark has been approaching the development of Dual Universe in a similar manner that the first players in the game will be. In order to build a great civilization, first there needs to be a solid foundation. The same can definitely be said about building a game because if the technology isn’t working correctly then there will be nothing but problems in the future.

The two most unique design choices for Dual Universe are the fully editable world designs and the Continuous Single-Shard Cluster. These will allow an assumedly infinite number of players to interact with each other in a single server where they can harvest, mine, and build upon anything that they can touch. This is being achieved through custom-built technology that focuses on cloud-based scalability and a voxel design system.

However, Dual Universe doesn’t look anything like your typical voxel-based game. It’s visually much closer to something like Landmark, without the limitation of being confined to the planet, than Minecraft. Players will be able to claim their own territories where they can build, gather and set access rights for other players. There also won’t be an issue of running out of player-controlled territories as the planets are massive and should be able to support newcomers for years (depending on how quickly the population grows). Furthermore, there’s no limit on gathering in your zone; technically you could mine all the way to a planet’s core, which would take an incredibly long time.

Dual Universe pre-alpha

After all those materials are harvested, there’s basically no limit on what players can create with them. Dual Universe uses 25cm precision voxel technology that allows players to create objects with minute details or massive space stations. Of course, it will be difficult to gather all of the minerals required to created complex machines and players will need to work together to be efficient.

The available demo had a few examples including a player-created room and small spaceship. In order to work correctly, the ship needed a frame, cockpit, landing gear, and engines. Additionally, it used a pre-made physics program that players can even modify with Lua programming. The room was fairly basic, but it had examples of triggers that players could build into their designs, such as pressure plates or laser sensors.

 

A Place for Everyone

This might sound amazing for players who love crafting and creating grand designs. It’s obvious from other voxel and building style games that given enough time, and resources, players will stretch the limits of a game. However, not everyone is interested in that sort of gameplay. There are explorers, gatherers, fighters, politicians, etc.

While discussing Dual Universe with founder Jean-Christophe Baillie, it became clear that only a small percentage of the population would really be successful at designing and constructing unique creations in the game. However, there will definitely be a role for all types of players and those roles will change and expand as the game goes on.

For example, resources are needed in order to create buildings or vehicles. It won’t be efficient for a single person to run around gathering all the necessary resources for a motorcycle. Instead, crafters will hire people to go out and gather specific minerals or simply buy them from a local market. In order to construct a city, there will need to be people laying blocks and building walls. Furthermore, once something is designed, its blueprints can be sold for mass production.

Dual Universe pre-alpha

Due to the true sandbox nature of Dual Universe, the environment on launch will be completely different than what new players experience months or years down the line. The first players will arrive on a barren planet filled with resources and could eventually turn it into a thriving metropolis. Wars will break out, factions will shift power, and new technologies will be introduced. So even if it doesn’t sound like your type of game right now, that could completely change in the future based on how the players have taken it.

 

To Infinity and Beyond

Initially, players will be confined to the starting planet, but they will be able to leave and explore others once space travel has been developed. Baillie said that the development team will be starting out small because each planet will be custom designed with a certain set of biomes. As of right now, a single planet and moon are in a playable state but he plans to at least have a complete solar system and possibly other systems in the future.

There won’t be an unlimited amount of planets like other games have attempted, because leaving things up to procedural generation can lead to a generic feeling experience. Instead, the team wants each planet to have a feeling of uniqueness.

Dual Universe pre-alpha

 

From what I’ve seen of Dual Universe, it’s definitely an ambitious project but the tools appear to be in place. It’ll be interesting to see what the pre-alpha testers do with it and how the single server holds up. If you want to be one of the first to get your hands on Dual Universe, Novaquark is still accepting pledges with gold-tier receiving access on September 30, 2017.

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Gamescom 2017: Star Citizen Demos 3.0

Star Citizen 3.0 isn’t quite live yet, but it most definitely appears to be approaching a playable state according to CIG’s Gamescom 2017 demonstration. The over two hour long presentation demonstrated a variety of new tech and gameplay features being added to the in-development space sandbox.

star citizen 3.0

3.0 will introduce more levels of persistence to Star Citizen, meaning character items and ship damage will be maintained once you’ve logged out of the Persistent Universe. The demonstration also showed off Star Citizen’s new facial capture technology, allowing players with webcams to translate their facial expressions to their in-game avatar. According to a post about the feature on the official website, the new tech will also allow your voice chatter to be broadcast in 3D space in-game.

The lengthy demonstration provided a look at a series of activities starting from the moment of one person’s waking up all to a coordinated effort on a multi-crew ship. The demonstration did have at least one particularly powerful bug which saw one of the players crash, showcasing the challenge of what Chris Roberts called “the most high level of coordination difficulty demo ever done” by the team.

Bugs notwithstanding, get comfortable and take in the immense video below.

Our Thoughts

A lot of the demonstration was pretty clearly staged (except for the crash), but otherwise certainly showed off a huge amount of potential. We’re definitely curious about what players have to say about 3.0 as well as the new facial recognition technology, so feel free to share your thoughts below.

Source: YouTube

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Gamescom 2017: Crowfall’s Q&A Session Offers Dev Insights

You know what they say about the best laid plans? Turns out ArtCraft’s earlier idea for daily livestreams from Gamescom were marred by technical issues. Regardless, a Crowfall Q&A session has offered a look into where the devs are looking to go with the MMO.

crowfall q&a

The session took a slew of questions from the game’s Twitch chat and offered a few insights into the vision for the game as well as some rough timelines for features and content. Here’s some of the more potentially interesting tidbits:

  • Update 5.3 is not quite ready yet, but will be soon; the team wants to wrap up Gamescom then release the first Campaign Worlds, which should be approximately in a week’s time.
  • Speaking of Campaign Worlds, the first CW map will be the same size as the current test map (the larger one, not Tiny Tyranny).
  • The team is considering adding a speed boost to pack/caravan animals who travel on main roads, making them attractive as well as high-risk.
  • The Campaign World “faction bar” still needs some testing to see if it feels rewarding, but just in case a King of the Hill mode is ready to deploy.
  • Different “sports-like” Campaigns are on the table, such as limited-time short-span Campaigns or teams of 20 Champions in a territory control/elimination match.
  • Relic effects are on the table for “a complete pass” to possibly have their effects translate outside of the Eternal Kingdoms into the Campaign World.

There’s a WHOLE lot more in the Q&A video, so be sure to check out the game’s official blog post for the full broadcast as well as a summary on the official forums. You can also take a look at the game’s Gamescom 2017 cinematic trailer below.

Our Thoughts

While it’s a shame that sound problems made daily broadcasts unavailable, we’re pretty sure that the Q&A session is salve enough for Crowfall fans hungry to find out some more information about what’s next. As always, we’re looking forward to a lot more details as Crowfall’s development pushes on.

Source: official site

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Gamescom 2017: Blade & Soul Confirms the Gunslinger’s Arrival

Conforming to the unwritten law that your Korean wuxia-styled MMO must have a ballistics-wielding class, the Blade and Soul Gunslinger is on its way. The reveal was made just before the European Regional Grand Finals of the game’s esports tournament, along with a teaser trailer and a launch date.

blade and soul gunslinger

The Rise of the Gunslinger update will introduce the class to the game, along with a number of unspecified updates, in-game events, and promotions. Details are currently sparse on the class itself, though a previous trailer from the Korean version showed the class switching back and forth between twin pistols and a long-range rifle in combat.

The Gunslinger and the related Rise of the Gunslinger update will arrive to Blade and Soul on Wednesday, September 13th. Further information is promised in the coming weeks, but you can check out the teaser trailer below in the meantime.

Our Thoughts

There’s not much to go on here, but a brand new class is almost always going to drive up some excitement. We’re anticipating learning more about what the Gunslinger brings to the class choices in Blade and Soul!

Source: official site

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Gamescom 2017: ArcheAge 4.0 Gets a Release Window

Trion Worlds has unveiled a bundle of new details for ArcheAge 4.0, not the least of which being a release window for the upcoming update. The new update is said to make the game “more accessible than ever before” with a variety of system updates and refinements along with a brand new naval PvP arena.

archeage 4.0

On the accessibility front, 4.0 will add an open-world raid finder in the form of a Raid Recruitment Board. This board will let players post advertisements for their raid groups in order to help players come together to take on Erenor’s greatest challenges. ArcheAge’s Gem system is also being streamlined with a new Lunagem system to reduce the effect of RNG, while a new crafting questline will seek to bring inexperienced players into the game’s economy. Crafters of all skill levels will also get a new crafting UI.

If you’re the PvP’ing sort and want to take your fight to the seas, there’s the upcoming Bloodsalt Bay, a 20-player naval battleground where three ships crewed by five players each must battle each other and the various monsters of the deep.

ArcheAge 4.0 is due to arrive sometime in the final quarter of this year. You can check out some of the high seas PvP action of Bloodsalt Bay in the trailer below.

Our Thoughts

This is looking like a drastic update for ArcheAge and we’re excited to explore more once it releases. In addition to the refinements proposed by the update, the new Bloodsalt Bay arena certainly sounds – and looks – very hectic. We anticipate more details as we get closer to release.

Source: press release

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