Monday, November 02, 2015

Blade And Soul Beta, Headset Issues

I tried the Blade and Soul Closed Beta test this weekend. I didn't get very far, mostly because of an odd headset issue. I'll give quick impressions below.

Headset Issues

I had an odd issue with my headphones this weekend. For some reason, I could not hear voices at all, but all background music and other sounds came through fine. At first I thought it was caused by the Blade and Soul beta, so I uninstalled that relatively quickly. But that didn't help.

After a lot of fiddling, I found that if I adjusted the Left/Right balance of my headphones, I could hear voices. Of course, now everything sounded odd. It looks like I'll just have to find a replacement headset.

Blade And Soul Impressions

Because of the above issue, I didn't really get that much time with Blade and Soul. I tried the first 3 levels or so with three or so classes. However, since the beta was a weekend-only thing, I didn't bother re-downloading it after uninstalling it the first time.

Blade and Soul is an action-y MMO from Korea, being brought over here by NCSoft. The character creator is very extensive with crazy amounts of sliders. Sadly, for me this just means that it is very hard to make a decent-looking character, and very easy to make something grotesque. I ended up doing my standard "drag every slider to the middle" technique.

The game plays a little like TERA, with somewhat similar controls. There are some interesting design touches, like several classes having a block-style ability. Successfully executing a block restores resources and empowers one of your attacks.

However, I am not a big fan of the interface. Most western games like to have the default interface on the edges of the screen, leaving the center area dedicated to your character and the world. Blade and Soul moves a lot of the important UI elements into that center area, impinging on your view of your character.

Of course, the flip-side is that this is very common practice among experienced players. Moving the most relevant information closer to the center is very useful for performance. I just did not like it here, though. It seemed like there was too much "UI" and not enough "game".

However, I really did not get any time to give more than the barest of impressions. Maybe next beta weekend I'll be able to give a better overview.


  1. For the sound issue did you somehow set it to 5.1? Some games will pull dialog to the center channel in my experience and without knowing your setup it's possible it's not sampling to 2.0 for headphones correctly.

    1. Yeah, I saw that as a possible cause. But it's not set to 5.1. And I went over all the settings pretty thoroughly (which is how I discovered the level imbalance would fix it.)

      My guess is that dialogue to the center channel is the actual underlying issue, but it was caused by a fault in the hardware or drivers, and not a settings change.

    2. Makes sense. Sound and printers are the last great bastions of fail. Those are the two things I can all but guarantee will waste a lot of my time for no real benefit. Good luck with it :)