“Blade and Soul” Surpassing Diablo III in Korea?

Numerous websites are reporting that the open beta test for an upcoming Korean RPG title, Blade & Soul, achieved higher users percentages (20.35% vs. 17.74%) than Diablo III, last weekend in Korean Baangs. Is Diablo III on the way out in Korea, with its first weekend under 20% play time? No, since the concurrency figures from last weekend are a bit misleading, as explained in a short post on GeekOSystem.

Blade & Soul came in on top because it had a good weekend with no interruptions for server maintenance. While Diablo III was down for Patch 1.0.3 over the weekend, NC Soft was heavily promoting Blade & Soul at PC Bang with a huge event, resulting in 240,000 concurrent users. To put this in perspective, Diablo III had 300,000 concurrent users during its open beta, and its servers crashed. Evidently, โ€œNo Server Crashesโ€ is the new buzzphrase in advertising.

Subscription MMORPGs may be deader than dead in the US and Europe, but apparently they’re still viable in Korea, as Blade and Soul is set to debut June 30th, with a $19.77 monthly fee. There are no Western release plans for the game, so if you want, you’ll need to find a way to buy a Korean copy and connect to their local servers.

You can see some gameplay footage from the game below, if you’re curious.

It’s got pretty graphics, though I think the arty style is absurd. But it’s very Asian/anime/FF style, so that’s just a personal preference, and obviously it appeals to the target demographic. Seriously though, the hot female character is about 2.5 meters tall of which 2/3 is legs and she’s going into combat wearing nothing but a Cheongsam style dress which fits very loosely and sways side to side with every step, and yet somehow clings tightly enough to show off her ass and even a butt-crack?

As for actual gameplay critiques, which are probably uninformed as they’re based entirely on watching like 4 minutes of this video:

1) The tracking camera has big angle and display issues and often points at nothing off to the side when in closeup under a cave roof. 2) The monsters do not pop out from the background at all, making for unclear visuals. 3) The monsters seem to have zero AI or vision, as some stand motionless while others are in combat a step away. 4) Healing/regen requires you to just sit down your char and rest for half a minute of real time? 5) It looks like WoW-style combat, in that you can’t ever dodge or miss with projectiles. (Which is an intentional design intended to be very lag-friendly, but one that sucks, from the the fast-movement, positioning-matters, Diablo player mindset.)

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32 thoughts on ““Blade and Soul” Surpassing Diablo III in Korea?

  1. Is it me? or that first person view and the way the background rotates gets me dizzy.

  2. “the hot female character is about 2.5 meters tall of which 2/3 is legs”

    I’m pretty sure its just like every other mmo in that you can customize the the character’s height, stature, girth and size of various body parts

  3. I’m living in South Korea at the moment and I can’t say that I noticed any differences in the most played game on the PC houses. D3 is still played by everyone!

    Interesting is that you can see much more people just on the AH than actually playing…

  4. BnS – customize = nothing.

    NCsoft’s margin system(not only high- flat sum system) also have come under strong criticism.

    Disillusion. Time will tell future of BnS.

    but also D3 popularity was beginning to wane after 1.0.3 patch in Korea.

  5. NCSoft. … The Korean guys with the shady financial reports, the supposed 4.7 million subs for Aion (that never happened), the so called 7 million players in GW (and counting every expansion disk printed) … And of course … The publisher behind the extremely viral marketed GW2.

    If Blizzard would have sold a game for 60 Euro or 70 dollars that can only be played for 3 days in a month and the rest of the time the servers would be OFF line, I think they would be publicly lynched in that country.

    Apparently these NCSoft guys even control the Korean gaming board comission.

    I seriously question these guys when you can fool the western players to pay for a full priced product with servers running 3 days out of 30 …for 6 months long as is the case with GW2.

    I see boxes of GW2 in game shops with a price tag if 60 Euros … And their servers are simply not on line 27 days out if 30… So … Can someone explain to me the discrepancy here with the Blizzard haters who want to sue the best PC game developper when they can’t connect for …6 hours per month ?


      • Well, you can buy it for 60 Euros in the shops for 3 months already… ๐Ÿ˜€

        How about that for a change : you buy the box and can play it once a month for a few hours.

        Where are the lawyers and sue posters now ? ๐Ÿ™‚

      • It hasn’t. And I’m very curious about this “viral marketing”, I’ve been following GW2 a long time and I haven’t heard anything of the sort.

        • Stop the fake.

          IF you offer the box in a shop for 60 Euros for the past 3 months you HAVE released the distribution of the game.

          The fact you simply can NOT play it – even 3 months after the “launch” – is simply a scam. If ONE company is being sued because players can “only” play it for 99.8% of the time, how about sueing another one for simply selling things where there are NO servers on line.

          And I bet you one thing: NCSoft – GW2 servers will stay off line until 2 months after MoP will launch.

          Well if that is not proof of hyper viral marketing stunts (and put it all through supporting forum posts in these times …), I don’t know what is…

          • I checked GW2 website. GW2 is in a phase of Beta weekends (not every weekend though). It is available in pre-order and “buying” it allows you to participate in the beta weekends (plus also giving you extra perks when the game ships depending on the version you purchased).

          • @Terenas It’s actually called pre-purchase and not pre-order. There are some differences between the two. The biggest one is the fact that you can’t cancel your pre-purchase.
            Now don’t get me wrong, the stuff that Thrall wrote is utter nonsense, but he has a merit in saying that you have to >purchase< the game now for beta access. Which makes it somewhat similar to Diablo 3: you pay now for an incomplete game ๐Ÿ˜›

          • I thought ppl on this site were aware of other games development… GW2 is still in beta phase, you can prepurchase the game, and get access to beta weekend events that come once a month, something that many MMO has done before. There are also stress tests (one today!), and you get various objects for prepurchasing at release. Fact is, if servers are consistent with GW, GW2 will be much more stable than D3: I played GW a whole bunch (which is an awesome game that deserves the praise it gets, not like that korean BS BnS or Aion), and I didn’t have that much frustration than with D3’s servers.

            To make it clear: you can prepurchase GW2 and get beta access on special events before release, just like you could preorder D3 and get some advantages at the start (though I’m not sure which ones).

            I assure you, when GW2 will go live, your 60 bucks will be well invested.

            Thrall, before writing total nonsense, please inform yourself on the game development! ๐Ÿ˜€ Did you rly think NCsoft was selling a game playable only a handful of hours per month? This is only beta!

            Edit: the box you see in store is a fake. No copy of GW2 has shipped, CE or standard.

  6. I remember trying Aion and finding to be very asian. It wasn’t something I found I liked. The over the top sound effects and animations seemed like something out of a japanese cartoon.

  7. Usually im not so mean but this just looked just so so so stupid. First off shes whereing high heels OK enough said? Parently not becausse shes jumping 20 feet in the air with high heels enough said? Parently not because thats just what they wear on there feet do NOT get me started on the gameplay I watched this and thought no way in hell I would ever play this.

    (srry for the small rage)

    • Just do some research on this game..:)
      Don’t wear horse glasses..it is better to try many things in life :>

  8. Stopped watching that video after first 3 seconds. It looks retarded as hell. What is that, Korean Barbie?

  9. Lack of quality in this article is disturbing. Especially with that monsters don’t pop out from the background argument ๐Ÿ™‚ It seems you don’t fight hundreds of monsters in the same time in this game, don’t you think?

    Everything about Diablo 3 (lately including this site) stinks. Hopefully D3 and it’s time will be forgotten quick.

  10. Two things that bother me with this game:
    A NORMAL mob takes 20 secs to kill.
    It’s so sexist it makes me sick.

  11. ROFL for some reason when I look at the article on the news home page, the video is actually a YouTube video for SNES Games If They Were Made By Blizzard. It’s HILARIOUS! Here’s a link to the video I see:


    I do see the correct “Blade and Soul” video when I’m on the individual link for the article, though.

  12. i can see why koreans would like this game over diablo 3. they clearly love crappy games.

  13. Personally I prefer this style than many western MMO’s.

    The art director (Kim Hyung Tae) is famous for his artworks, because using a deformation technique where Kim disregards anatomical accuracy to achieve a specific feel to the character.

    Yep, this is Korean’s barbie. Yep, the anatomy is absurd. Yep, this game is sexist

    But I’m so loving the art. ๐Ÿ˜€

  14. If you guys think that Diablo III is better than Blade and Soul ..

    I’m sorry guys but you all have a terrible taste in gaming .. Give it a try if the game released I have try’d the korean Beta personally , its a mind blowing game in so many ways to be honest !!!

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