NCSoft’s free-to-play martial arts MMORPG, Blade and Soul, has had 13 major updates since its launch in January last year and can boast that over four million players have had a bash at it. NCSoft have now released new details of its latest expansion, Secrets of the Stratus.
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Secrets of the Stratus will overhaul the skill system and add plenty of new content to punch through. Act VII of the main story will be added, as will the following:
- Naryu sanctum - a challenging dungeon for six players
- Celestial basin - a new open-world area for solo and casual players
- Mushin’s tower - new floors and leaderboards are being added to this solo dungeon
- Training room - a solo instance for players to practice skill combos and attack patterns
- New legendary items, new cosmetics, new pets
NCSoft say the current, "fiddly" skill tree will be removed and replaced with "a simpler, streamlined selection so you can pick your skills with ease." They promise that no skills have changed, just the way they’re selected.
Blade and Soul features a quest for vengeance and redemption, set in a luscious Asian-inspired fantasy world. Combat is inspired by martial arts and "windwalking" movement, as depicted in classic Asian action films. Like many MMOs, there are a range of classes and races from which to choose.
Sound good? If you’re new to the game - or looking to try a new class - the coming expansion will let you buy a voucher to instantly level a new character to 50.
Secrets of the Stratus is due on April 12. In contrast with the rapid pace of content releases they’ve followed until now, NCSoft say that future updates will be slower but more substantial. For more information on Blade and Soul, or to download the launcher and play for free, check out the website.