MMO-of-the-moment Blade & Soul is getting its first content update just three weeks after the EU and US launch, titled Rising Waters. NCSoft have also announced that two million men, women, small-bunny-people and other have become players in that time. There’s no data on how many of them did more than register an account, but it’s still an impressive figure for a new F2P MMO in the year of our MOBA 2016.
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As for Rising Waters, it’s focused on max-level PvE. Here’s what’s come to the game:
- Bloodshade Harbor, a four or six player dungeon that also has a 24-player raid varient titled Nightshade Harbor.
- Mushin’s Tower Floors 1-7, a single-player area that scales in difficult and reward as you ascend.
- A Valentine’s Day event and accompanying store update that we’ll leave you to be the judge of, class-wise.
- Progression beyond the max-level of 45 in a system called Hongmoon, which give access to new skills, abilities and upgrades.
- A bunch of bug fixes, localization changes and other assorted patch notes.
The full release announcement is here, including relevant links to more details on all the different bits. If other games in the genre are anything to go by, they won’t keep up this pace of development for long, but expect this level of constant-bombast for a few months. This is the best time to explore any new MMO as it’s constantly added to, even if it is also the buggiest and least fully-featured.
Meanwhile the two million player figure is very big. Blade & Soul’s been hovering at the periphery of MMO fandom for a long time, so it had some build up, but that an MMO can even do those sort of numbers that quickly in the modern era is surprising. Based on looking at some community posts, the servers didn’t quite handle it but also didn’t completely incinerate, so that’s good. If NCSoft can maintain this popularity, particularly with daily interest in the game on Twitch, where it occupied the top 5 for a while after release, they’ll have a long-running hit on their hands.