I logged on to Bless Unleashed this morning to play a quick session before going out with the intention of continuing the main quest line. The last session I’d played I had mostly done side-quests at the previous camp and realised that I could very easily get *very* side tracked by fairly standard “kill 10 X” or “collect 10 Y” type filler quests that way. The main story has more urgency and depth to it, so I wanted to crack on with that to have a bit more directed an experience.
And then I encountered a world boss in the form of this giant. My short session ended up being filled by the boss encounter, which took a long time as its health bar was going down so slowly, and the numerous players there were in contrast being downed by the bigger attacks of the giant with great regularity. As the number of players grew the fight also became laggier, to the point where I was having some issues dodging attacks, not that I could see anything that obvious to warn when I should be dodging away – maybe it is just the animations that I have to look for? If the game is lagging badly that’s not going to be possible though. My venerable PC might not be up to the task of playing this game, after all…
As the boss’ health dropped lower I think the mob of players became less cautious as they focused harder on ‘max DPS’. That meant an increasing number of ‘downed’ characters to help back up. This game has the same system as Guild Wars 2, you bring a nearby ally back to their feet by channelling on their kneeling form for 10 or so seconds. Of course, if a monster is wildly swinging nearby that can make you a sitting duck. As a priest, I naturally wanted to help people back up, but I was knocked down a number of times in quick succession for trying to play the good samaritan.
That left me dependent on the kindness of others, which was swift enough to come for most of the fight, but towards the end more downed players were being left in that state. I released to run back from the nearest bind point, only to realise as I ran past an NPC on a hill that I’d not even noticed that there was probably a quest relating to this fight. I grabbed it as quickly as I could but, naturally, the boss fight finished a moment later, and I hadn’t re-engaged with the boss after taking the quest. I was surprised but gladdened to realise the quest had completed based on my contributions prior to taking it. That kind of retroactive credit, I feel, is still a rarity in the MMO genre. Bless has some pretty interesting little modernisations of standard systems along these lines. They add up to a less frustrating experience overall.