Saturday, August 7, 2021

Launch Day Brownout

Here's a super-quick post just to mark the launch of Bless Unleashed. Even though it was the launch I was most looking forward to after all this summer's open betas and sneak peaks (other than New World, of course) I still managed to forget it was happening until Steam sent me an email.

I knew that would happen. It's literally why I put this free-to-play game with an announced launch date on my Steam wishlist in the first place. Steam is like having a butler to stand behind you and discretely clear his throat when there's something you need to know.

Thanks to some annoying work scheduling that's made all my days clump up even though I'm only working three a week, I barely had time to download and install the game and make a character on launch day. I managed to find three-quarters of an hour to play, more than half of which was taken up by making a character. 

I'm not at all sure I'm happy with who I ended up with, either, but I'm hoping she'll grow on me. As you can see from the screenshots she has a remarkably (or I guess that should be unremarkably) bland face and I seem to have picked an exceptionally (or, again, an unexceptionally) neutral color scheme for her, too. 

Classes are race-locked in Bless Unleashed. I wanted to play the small race, which left me a choice between Priest and Crusader. In the open beta I took the Crusader and liked it well enough but this time I went with the Priest on the grounds that if I'm going to solo using a combat system I find very awkward I probably ought to be able to heal myself.

In the very short time I had I managed to play through some of the same tutorial I reported on in open beta. The quality of the writing and the story impressed me once again. It's one of the more interesting, if not original, tutorial stories I've seen and the dialog is excellent. If that standard keeps up Bless Unleashed is going to be significantly more enjoyable to read (there's no voice acting as far as I can tell so far) than most mmorpgs.

The music in the tutorial deserves a mention as do the ambient background sounds. They're excellent. The graphics are gorgeous, too. Very detailed and convincing. Knowing what's coming I can't help but wish there was a non-combat version of the game that just stays on the tutorial island. It's that pleasant a place to hang out.


The game currently seems to be suffering from one of those problems game companies must both dread and desire: it's overwhelmed with players. I just logged in to the European server which is flagged as "Crowded". I'd have rather played on the North American server but if there was an option to do that I must have missed it.

I read on the news page that we'll be getting compensation "for the inconvenience caused to users during the initial launch due to a sudden crowd of users." I'm supposed to be getting an ostrich mount in the mail. I'd show you a picture of me riding it if I could find where my mail actually goes!

We Europeans may be crowded but we're doing better than China. Launch there has been so well-attended they've had to add two extra servers and restrict the creation of new characters on the first of them. A nice problem to have, I guess.

I only have another half hour this evening so I'm going to go finish the tutorial. Maybe next week I'll have time to give some proper first impressions of the game itself. We can but hope.


  1. I was completely oblivious to this. I knew they'd launched Bless Unleashed on consoles at some point but didn't release they were bringing it to PC after... Bless. Is it worth checking out? I think the main reason I fell off Bless was because of how shoddily optimised it was.

    Also, somehow was not aware you're in Europe. The more you know!

    1. I'm in the UK, in fact, and I am English. I do mention it now and again but the fact that I choose to use mostly American spellings does tend to confuse the issue. American spellings are arguably more authentically "English" than English ones but I mainly use them because I feel they're more aethetically pleasing.

      I'll let you know if Bless Unleashed is any good if and when I ever get the chance to play the thing! So far I haven't even caught up to where I was in the open beta. I can say it's really nothing like Bless was, though.

    2. Oh hey! Aye, we had to use American spellings at MMOGames. After years of it I've forgotten which is which in some cases. Identity crisis.

      Alright! That's good to know. I always wanted to like it but the original Western launch was unplayable.


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