NCSoft is serious about its upcoming Unreal Engine 4 revamp of Blade & Soul — so serious, in fact, that the project now has its own name, Revival, and its own page on the B&S website. The page re-iterates the Q3 2021 timeline for the new version of the game, while providing links to show off and describe upcoming changes to art and content.
The art link has two subpages, “Defining Your Character” and “Defining Our Art.” The images for each seem to be reversed, however, but you can still read the text to get an idea of what the changes will be. For characters, NCSoft wants to “maintain our unique character visuals and expressions” while striving to “improve our shaders and processes in full scale” and preserving “hairstyles, costumes, character designs, colors, and textures.” The art style page gets less of a description but does include the environment comparison video that was shown off last week.
On the content side, NCSoft is “re-imagining dungeons” which includes “re-focusing on player-centered combat and dungeons.” The goal is for “individual players to be able to celebrate amazing victories or huge plays that change the outcome of a battle.” Dungeon difficulty is also going under the knife. Dungeons that were added over the years were “ultimately exciting but became tedious,” and NCSoft wants to present goals that “will provide players with steady challenges and a true sense of accomplishment.”
There’s also one central link on the Revival main page, for “UE4,” which simply describes the general capabilities and how it will improve Blade & Soul. Long loading screens are singled out as an issue in the current version, so the Revival will offer asynchronous loading, allowing it to pre-load locations that it thinks characters will be traveling to.
There’s also going to be a “new focus on optimization,” which should lead to “more detailed and stable performance with less lagging,” as demonstrated in the boss battle video below.
NCSoft has a lot more info it plans to dish out regarding Blade & Soul’s UE4 Revival, with six more “Coming Soon” links on the main page, that will likely be populated over the coming months. It’s a lot of work to put into a nearly decade-old MMO, but NCSoft clearly thinks the effort will be worth it.