Bless Online was a Korean developed MMO announced way back in 2011. The game was highly anticipated in the West and it took a few crash and burns for this MMO to eventually make it to Western shores. It was PC based only. I bought into the hype and started Bless Online, on day one, by purchasing a founder’s pack. For some reason, the game never grabbed ahold of me for too long. I think I got smitten when I realized it took a lot of coins and grinding to capture pets above level one. “Creature capturing” was one of the features that attracted to me to the title yet the cost and grind needed to get a stronger pet turned me off. Nevertheless, I stopped playing. Now let’s talk about Bless Unleashed!
Fast forward to May of 2019 when it’s announced that Bless Unleashed is coming to Xbox One as an exclusive. As you read this article Bless Unleashed has already opened its doors to F2P (free-to-play) borders for all to enjoy. My “sad”(?) story is I bought into the hype once again, after participating in the closed beta and bought a founder’s pack. This means I’ve been playing twelve days before general F2P players.
As I’ve been playing something occurred to me. I enjoy playing the title. So I started to think to myself, “why”? In response to that, I decided to jot down the things I enjoy in the game. On that note, I now present to you ten random ten things I like about Bless Unleashed. Hopefully, they serve you as reasons to play. In a follow-up article, I’ll also present the “other side of the coin” with a list of things, not so good. So, in no particular order, let’s get started!
1) It’s Visually Stunning
The game is beautifully displayed in 4K. You’ll spend a lot of time just pausing and looking around at the architecture and character model details. Being appealing to the eye just adds to the enjoyment of playing the game. The only other MMO that is in the same category of beauty would be Black Desert Online (BDO).
2) Every Character Running Around Looks Unique
This goes hand in hand perhaps with the 4K visuals but given the game’s dying and wardrobe mechanics everyone, for the most part, looks unique. I said “most part” because there are exceptions, e.g. costumes and mounts that can be earned and purchased. The level of uniqueness is tenfold over what games like Black Desert Online afford!
3) Action Combat
Action combat versus tab targeting makes sense obviously on a console game. There are a few more action RPGs on Xbox One like Tera and Black Desert Online (BDO). Bless Unleashed keeps the controls a bit more simplistic compared to BDO, which isn’t a bad thing. The action combat in Bless Unleashed feels more natural than Tera but yet not as “crisp” as BDO. But a few hours into Bless Unleashed with an Xbox One controller and things will feel natural pretty quick, especially as the muscle memory takes hold.
4) Swappable “Blessings”
In an attempt to allow you to play your class the way you’d like Bless Unleashed introduces the concept of “blessings” (skills sets). As you level you come across quests to find “fragments” for a blessing. You then go to one of the many “Altars of Physera” to unlock the blessing and equip it. As each blessing is equipped as you level you can assign skill points to individual skills. It’s a fun concept and keeps gameplay a bit fresher as you level up.
5) Gathering Aplenty
The game scores points if your a crafter because gathering resources is a treat. Timbers, roots and ore show upon vividly on your mini-map. As you get closer to the resource they are nicely denoted so they are easy to find. The bad news is they are not shared resources. Meaning, if another player gets to it first, you’re out of luck. In some games, this is cause for concern but in Bless Unleashed these resources are in abundance so it never truly becomes an issue.
6) Enhancing Equipment
Fortifying equipment is a feature that is nice to have, as long as you don’t forget. Bless Unleashed has fewer equipment drops compared to other MMOs. Bless Unleashed seems to have taken more of a Tera approach in that a lot of the equipment can be enhanced and upgraded to the next tiers (e.g. Uncommon (green) -> Rare (blue). As you level if you feel “weak” it might be due to needing to fortify your equipment and gear, assuming the pieces you have can be enhanced. There are plenty of quests that reward the fortification stones you need for this process. You can also craft pieces that can be fortified as well.
7) Regional Quests
These are quests that unlock after a player completes a prerequisite side quest or enters the appropriate game area. These are usually open world quests that any player in the area can help take part in. There are six regional quest types in all. All of them typically need to be completed within a given time limit to earn the reward. From the map, they are easily recognizable with each type having a unique logo.
Unions are a type of faction system. Players can join a faction to improve their character progression through different aspects of the game. One faction is geared towards PvE, another towards gathering and crafting, and the third is focused on PvP. You are not restricted from joining one Union. You can a union you’re currently in and join a different union, and re-apply on past unions joined. The downside is every time you switch, you are required to complete the same tasks again as you would from scratch, i.e. you start at level 1.
Each union offers “union quests”. Each day, you randomly get a pool of different union quests with their unique union specific rewards. Completing these union quests grants you union experience points which allow you to increase the level of your unions. The benefits of a higher level union are the increased cap in union credits and unlocking more union specific passive traits. Each union also as a merchant as well as union specific items.
Each union also offers a unique skill. Unfortunately, this skill is an active skill that has a long cooldown.
9) Estates & Creature Capture
Okay, maybe “estates” is just a fancy name for player housing but it’s still cool, especially since there are some other unique elements brought into the fold. Estates open up the concept of constructing buildings which allow you, in turn, to gather different resources and train tamed monsters to use as mounts. Your estate will contain a tavern. Inside the tavern, you can hire workers such as farmers and miners.
You’ll also have access to an orchard (helps you produce timber, fruits, plants, and other items, including materials for equipment enhancement), an underground mine (allows you to obtain ores, rocks, gems, and other items, including materials for equipment enhancement) and of course an animal pen to manage your critters.
Though I’ve not managed to open up my first estate yet this all sounds exciting and seems like a time sink in itself!
10) All Player Characters Can Resurrect
In the event, your character gets into trouble you’re put into a “near-death” state. If a friendly character player is around they can “resurrect” you (really it’s called “recovery”). You can also spend Star Seeds (in-game tokens) or spend a pre-purchased / earned recovery scroll. It’s nice to have the option for another player to recovery a downed player. This is especially helpful in the open world large group regional quests.