Blade and Soul is the most recent mmorpg to hit America. It was available for early play(with a purchase) on January 15th and free for everyone on January 19th. The first thing you encounter is the character creation process which I enjoyed somewhat. It was nice to create a Lynn(cute animal type character) and have more slider options. The color options were lacking in terms of hair and make-up but it was an improvement to games like Tera. However, many classes are race locked so be prepared and you are only given 2 slots. You can buy more at around 5 dollars a piece with a max of 7. Also BnS has no “real” trinity system of healer, tank, dps. Everyone is a dps but some classes can tank such as a summoner’s pet and Kung Fu Masters.
The leveling process in BnS is fairly fast although extremely repetitive. You run the first dungeon at around level 14 and it is very fast taking less than 5 minutes to complete. This was a very welcomed experience. Most dungeons in BnS are extremely short; you can run in and out in less than 10 minutes. Even the current most difficult dungeon takes less than 30 minutes with an average of about 20.
The current max level is 45 and it takes about 3 days of active (20-30 hours total) game play to reach. The journey to 45 was not unbearable and you have some interesting quests and dungeons to see. One of the best ideas I have seen in a long time in an mmo comes from BnS. The weapon and accessories you receive at low levels called Hongmoon are upgraded and stay with you forever. You never buy a new one you just upgrade what you have. However once you hit 45 the real grind begins. You need to upgrade your weapons and accessories and they require a large amount of items or a few items that are very expensive to obtain. You have daily quests you can do (40 a day cap) with the main purpose of earning gold. So the life of a 45 is pretty much log on to the game run your dailies which are the exact same every day and then either go and level another character or pvp. There is no real other option.
Overall I would give BnS a 6/10 because it’s free(has cash shop) but very repetitive and the end game is extremely lacking. They are adding new content in just 2 days but it will be the same thing as before; get on run dailies you will just have new dailies that you do everyday.
I left out explaining the factions in BnS because its pretty much just open world pvp that is not enjoyable and they have arenas for 1v1 and 3v3 as well. If you are into pvp you may enjoy BnS for a while but the classes are imbalanced and you will tire of it fast.