The Korean free-to-play MMO, Blade & Soul, just saw its western release last month, and I got the chance to give the game a try.
Of course, the first step to any MMO is character creation. I was pleasantly surprised at the range of customization Blade & Soul offered for a free MMO. First off, the game gives you four different races to choose from: the Gon, Lyn, Yun, and the Jin. The Gon are a sturdy, physically-powerful people and the Jin, while similar, are slightly smaller and lithe. The Yun are an entirely-female race with a strong connection to the natural world, while the Lyn are a small, nimble race with large animal-like ears and tails. For my first character, I created a Lyn.
On the next step of character creation, the game presents you with a large collection of various skin tones, hair styles, hair colors, eye colors, and so on. There is also a large collection of sliders to further tweak and adjust aspects of your character’s appearance, from shoulder width and arm length, to even foot size. I am probably not alone when I say I tend to spend an excessive amount of time looking through every customizable option, trying to find a combination I liked best.
One thing I noticed while creating my character, with the Lyn specifically, was that you could not alter the color of your character’s ears/tail combination. There were two colors locked specifically to an ear style, with no way to change it. For example, if you wanted your Lyn to have rabbit-like ears, you would be confined to the option of having either white or black ears. While this detail was a tad annoying to reconcile with, I eventually made my selection and moved on to the next part of the character creation.
Blade & Soul also features seven unique classes, and these are Destroyer, Kung Fu Master, Force Master, Summoner, Blade Dancer, Blade Master, and Assassin. Each race has access to three classes to choose one from, and some of these are unique to the race themselves. This could be a drawback for many players who wish to play a certain race, only to find they have limited access to classes. For example, only the Gon have access to the Destroyer class, while the Lyn are the only race who can choose to be either Summoners or Blade Dancers. The only other class unique to a certain race is Assassin, which is only available to the Jin.
Now this means that someone wanting to play as a Yun could never be a Destroyer, and no other race but the Lyn can be Summoners, which is a tad disappointing. Coming from a background of playing Final Fantasy XIV, where any one character of any one race can play as any and all classes, this understandably felt quite restrictive in comparison. Nonetheless, I believe most will reconcile this fact by creating multiple characters.
All in all, despite a couple drawbacks, I was rather surprised by Blade & Soul’s diverse range of customizable options seeing as that it is a free-to-play MMO.
Blade & Soul is available for PC.