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  • Black Tower added to KR's Test Server!
    A new 24-man team dungeon is shown on the test server, plus other patch notes.
  • Official Blade & Soul Costume Contest
    Their accepting original concept designs for a Blade & Soul costume. The contest will last from now until July 5th.
Meet the Team - Part Two
NCSOFT has updated the official site with getting to know NCSOFT staff members.

This mini-series of articles introduces you to some of the team working on the Western release of Blade & Soul. Get to know both the people behind the scenes, and the ones you'll see plenty of over the coming months.
There's a whole bunch of people working together with the Developers at Team Bloodlust to bring Blade & Soul to the West.

Some of these team members you'll see on Livestreams, at gameshows, on the forums or answering questions via Twitter and other social media. Some of them will be working tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that feedback is gathered, content is localized, and everything runs on schedule.

Over the next few weeks, we'll introduce you to several members of staff, all from different departments, who are part of the Clan bringing you Blade & Soul. So sit back and let us introduce you to the Blade & Soul Team!

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Akli "Youmukon" Amichi, Community Manager at NCSOFT West

Who are you and what do you do for Blade & Soul?

I'm Akli "Youmukon" Amichi, Community Manager at NCSOFT West overseeing French speaking territories. My main role for Blade & Soul is to be the link between the Community of Blade & Soul and our different teams scattered around the World at NCSOFT.

Tell us something unique about your role and why you enjoy it.
Every day is a different day when we are managing online communities. We often have to face unplanned situations and be extremely reactive, that makes my role never monotonous. Being able to directly interact with fans is something I really enjoy.

What sort of things do you do on a regular day in your role?
Interact with the Community through Social Media or forums, preparing events, ensuring that all content delivered in French to our players is of quality. I also spend time in meetings with other key teams like Marketing, Localization, Public Relation and of course developers. This constant cooperation is necessary in order to forward feedback from players within the company and more importantly decrypt that feedback.

How did you first get into the games industry?
I first joined Square Enix in 2009 as a Game Master for Final Fantasy XI. Back then, I was a pretty hardcore player of the game. I applied for a position in London, few weeks and a Eurostar ticket later, I was in London. I quickly made it to Senior Game Master and moved to Community Manager once Final Fantasy XIV came out.

I joined NCSOFT West 2 years ago to work on WildStar at first and now on Blade & Soul.

What’s your favourite Race/Class in Blade & Soul?
My favourite class is Lyn and my favourite class is Blade Ma… (°◇°;)

What are you looking forward to doing most in Blade & Soul once it launches in Winter?
First and foremost, to play on a fully packed server! And then, PvP! I really can't wait to face players from all around Europe.

Is there anything you want the Blade & Soul fans out there to know?
I'm really looking forward to the release of Blade & Soul in the West. I know that many players have been waiting for years… but I have been waiting as well! I would like to thank again our most loyal fans that went through lot of hurdles in order to play Blade & Soul on Asian servers. That shows how dedicated and passionate they are about our game.

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Jonathan Lien, Assistant Producer at NCSOFT West

Who are you and what do you do for Blade & Soul?
My name is Jonathan Lien and I am the Assistant Producer for Blade & Soul.

Tell us something unique about your role and why you enjoy it.
Being in production I get to be involved with several aspects of the project and it’s been fun working with many talented and driven people.

What sort of things do you do on a regular day in your role?
A little bit of everything—gather and analyze feedback, build test plans, work with development, plan our strategies, and of course play the game!

How did you first get into the games industry?
I started in Quality Assurance at Blizzard Entertainment in 2009.

Tell us about an interesting or amusing thing that has happened whilst working on Blade & Soul.
One fun thing I got to do was playing some of the characters that appear in our trailers and other promotions.

What’s your favourite Race/Class in Blade & Soul?
I love the Jin Blade Master but I have to admit I have a soft spot for the Lyn Summoner!

What sort of challenges have you encountered working on Blade & Soul?
The biggest challenge is adapting the game to the western audience while preserving the integrity and core experience of the original game.

What are you looking forward to doing most in Blade & Soul once it launches in Winter?
Being able to play with my friends and the rest of the community!

Is there anything you want the Blade & Soul fans out there to know?
I want them to know that we are listening carefully to their feedback and are taking the utmost care to make this the best possible experience for our players.

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Concept of Chi
NCSOFT brings us some lore on Chi via their official site.

The life force of creation and its effects on the world
Chi is the life force of all creation. It is an unending force that flows through all reality, connecting the realms and all living beings in its breadth. Like water, chi will gather in great swirling eddies or burst from the earth like a geyser. Like blood, chi exists within all living creatures and is vital to their survival. Despite how prevalent this mystical, invisible energy is within the world, it is still highly misunderstood by most. Learning to Windwalk by manipulating one’s chi is something even children can do. But truly mastering the awesome power of chi may take a lifetime of rigorous training, yielding abilities beyond comprehension.

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Often somewhat mistakenly referred to as “Pure Chi”, this strange energy fuels and is fueled by all living beings. The earth, the air, the water – all have chi that courses powerfully through every aspect of their existence. Living creatures have chi as well, which is directly related to their health and martial prowess. The true martial artists of the world have mastered their inner focus to perform stunning feats and demonstrate otherworldly powers. Most anyone can Windwalk, but few bear the particular skills to harness the flow of chi in the world necessary to control Dragon Pulses. These natural wellsprings of chi can be manipulated, allowing a powerful martial artist to bend space and time, traveling long distances in an instant.

With years of training, martial artists have developed unique forms of combat that utilize their chi in extraordinary fashions. Their bodies harden against damage or heal rapidly with only a bit of food and meditation. They may channel their chi through ordinary weapons to make them even more deadly, or connect their own energies into those of the natural world to commune with Familiars or the very elements. Some legendary warriors have even been able to defy death itself through their mastery of chi. If there are any true limits to what could be achieved with the power of chi, they have yet to be discovered.

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Divine Chi
Beyond the Earthen Realm rests the unseen Divine Realm, where the pure-hearted spirits and enlightened beings watch over the world. Their chi is pristine and mighty, bearing a power that echoes through the ages. The royal family of the Stratus Empire gained the blessings of the Divine beings in ancient times and thus all its descendants bear a hint of that Divine Chi within them, passing from generation to generation.

It is not a power that is easily gained though. Few mortal beings ever bear the Divine Realm’s energy within them and even fewer master it. But those who do become enlightened enough to embrace Divine Chi stand ready to face the darkness without fear, for the wicked forces of the Dark Realm burn like kindling in the face of such radiance.

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Dark Chi
For every light, there is a shadow. Dark Chi is a malevolent poison that spews from the Dark Realm. Demons spread it whenever they are able, using its raw power to corrupt both the earth and its people. Anything that bears chi within it runs the risk of being tainted by this horrid energy. Normal civilians stand no chance against it as their bodies die and transform into Demons. Powerful martial artists may fend off the effects of Dark Chi for a time through intense focus, but they will eventually succumb to its toxic influence as the darkness seeps into their mind. Truly powerful beings may still fall under its influence and transform into nightmarish monstrosities.

Demonic Pacts
Worse still are those unsavory souls who actively seek out Dark Chi, drawn to its alluring power. By focusing on their rage, greed, or other earthly vices that keep them from enlightenment, they try to use the Dark Chi to their own ends. Manipulative Demons seek out these evil souls, promising them immortality or endless fonts of power so that they further spread their chaotic influence. While the baleful energy does indeed grant inhuman prowess, it is only temporary. The Dark Chi is a starving animal that will inevitably devour them, body and soul, as it seeks to spread across all the realms.
Update (6/25 11:33 AM PDT): Elusive has started a FAQ thread for the Costume Contest.
Update (6/25 11:33 AM PDT): The costume contest ends on July 9th. The official news post had an error.
Update (6/24 11:20 AM PDT): The livestream has concluded. Missed the stream? Check it out here.

Blade & Soul Costume Contest
A Costume Contest is being held over on Blade & Soul's official website! The contest will last from now until July 9th. One lucky winner each from North America and Europe will have the chance to get their designs made into an in-game costume with a special tooltip named in their favor.

Have any questions or concerns about the Costume Contest? Head over here for an FAQ held by Elusive.

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Send NCSOFT your Blade & Soul Fanart!

Alongside the amazing Cosplay we've already been receiving into our Fanart/Fan-creations email, we want to get all our artists and community creators submitting their works of art!

If you have any Blade & Soul fanart, videos, sculptures, hedge carvings or any other fan-creation, and you don't mind us sharing it on our social media pages, then please send it to us!

Submit your fanart to NCSOFT via e-mail: [email protected] and we'll share it with the world!

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Official Blade & Soul Livestream
Watch Blade & Soul's second official livestream where they display and discuss their latest announcement, Blade & Soul's Business Model, as well as various other topics.

Business Model Revealed
NCSOFT released information regarding Blade & Soul's Western business model.

Business Model Revealed
When we announced Blade & Soul, we said it would be free-to-play. Now, we’re giving you the lowdown on how free-to-play we’re going to be.

Our Philosophy
We believe in letting everyone play the game as it’s intended to be played – skill-based progression throughout all the available content. No paywalls will hold you back, and no amount of money will give you an unfair competitive advantage over other players. We don’t like pay-to-win, so what we are offering are cosmetics, convenience, and consumables – not power, not gear, not permanent stat increases. We’re also going to make sure that we have a regular schedule of content updates that everyone will be able to enjoy.

NCoin & In-game Coin
Our cash shop in the game will be using NCoin – you’ll recognize it as the currency that WildStar will be using, as well as the North American-published Aion and Lineage II. You can purchase NCoin online or through retail outlets (US Only). With this NCoin, you’ll be able to purchase convenience items like food, potions, and repair tools; quality of life improvements such as character slots, inventory expansions, and Premium memberships; and cosmetic items like costumes and accessories.

We’re also introducing an in-game currency that is earned through gameplay. This in-game currency can be used to purchase many of the same items in the cash shop as what NCoin can purchase, including event-related items.

Premium Membership
An item offered in our cashshop is Premium Membership, which is active for 30 days. Having an active membership will give you all sorts of quality of life benefits to enhance your enjoyment of the game – for example, a special windwalk animation and discounts in the Auction House. The benefits of membership are specifically developed for Blade & Soul West and will keep in line with our philosophy – no power boosts here.

Our membership comes in Tiers; you start at Tier 1 and immediately unlock all sorts of neat benefits that get better as you rise in tiers. Membership tier levels increase with the amount of NCoin and in-game currency that is spent including on Premium Membership itself! Once you’ve unlocked a tier, you will never drop below it but you will need an active membership in order to experience all the benefits; as soon as your membership is inactive, you lose access to the benefits.

Founders Packs
Want guaranteed access to the Closed Beta that’s coming this fall? We’re offering 3 different Founders Packs, and all three come with a Closed Beta key that’s good for the entire CBT period. More details about the Pack contents will be coming soon as we get closer to opening up pre-order on these packs.

Have questions? Join us on our Livestream on June 24th at 10AM PDT

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New Gameplay Trailer Released
The official Blade & Soul West YouTube released a new Gameplay Trailer today.

Set out on the path to avenge your master in Blade & Soul. You must first become a great martial artist, before you can defeat Jinsoyun and restore balance to the realm.

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Official Livestream Set for June 24th at 10 AM PDT
Blade & Soul's second Official Livestream now has a date! Join the Blade & Soul West team on June 24th at 10:00 AM PDT.

Have a question you'd like them to answer during the Livestream? Stop on by Arai's thread and post it there. Keep in mind that all questions may not be answered but they will be doing their best to answer as many as they can.

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Massively Overpowered's E3 2015 Hands-On
Massively Overpowered wrote up a nice article on their hands-on experience with Blade & Soul at E3 2015.

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Update (6/21 - 3:14 PM PDT):
SherlockHulmes confirmed on Twitter that there will be an Official Livestream before the end of this month. (source)

Blade & Soul's Playable Races
NCSOFT has updated the official site with more information on the four playable Races within Blade & Soul.

Blade & Soul Races

The Gon believe that their ancestors were born from the breath of Dragons and they embrace this legend with pride.

Physical power and combative skill are treasured among the Gon. They seek to make themselves strong, capable, and able to overcome any challenge, and use their might for the good of others. This can make Gon somewhat easy to trick, as the greedy use the Gon's intimidating physique and trusting nature for personal gain. However, if you are true, friendships established with Gon are as strong as steel and you would have earned their loyalty for life.

In their day to day lives, Gon move and speak at a calm and measured pace. This deliberate pacing was started to help nullify the other Gon trait: their famously short tempers. With their massive frame and incredible strength, little can stand in the way of these mighty people once a Gon has been moved to anger.

Available Classes: Destroyer, Kung Fu Master

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The Lyn, with their large ears and dainty tails, are descendants from the Kirin, legendary animals that were both mischievous and unpredictable

The Lyn have not survived in this dangerous world by mere chance; they have innately acute senses which steer them clear from danger and allow them to see treachery and deception where others cannot. More famously, the Lyn use these highly attuned senses to converse with beings from the Spirit Realm granting them the ability to commune with Familiars and harness the power of the earth.

The Lyn are known for their somewhat unpredictable nature. During a single conversation, it is not unusual for a Lyn to convey a multitude of emotions, including hatred, fear, jealousy, love, and respect.

Available Classes: Summoner, Force Master

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The Yun are a purely female race intrinsically entwined to the natural world. The planet serves as a guide for all Yun: they are heavily attuned to the rhythms of nature and dance to its tempo.

The Funghuang, a mythical Asian bird, has passed her traits of elegance and grace to her descendants.The Yun’s innate aesthetic skills make them some of the best artisans in all the realm. Other races look to them as the pinnacle of artistic skill and creativity, as the Yun weave beauty into everything they do. The Yun have become increasingly involved in modern society as they look to restore balance to the world.

Dignity is key to the Yun, and while they are able combatants, they balance their time spent fighting by teaching and meditating with others.

Available Classes: Force Master, Blade Master

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The word "Jin" means "Unyielding Effort" in the ancient language of the eastern continent. It is this characteristic that still defines the Jin people, who make up most of the world's most celebrated people.

Jin warriors may look fairly ordinary, and are certainly smaller than their Gon counterparts, but beneath a somewhat plain exterior lays incredible strength and tenacity, typical of the heirs of the Black Tortoise. Their versatility and never-say-die attitude gives Jin warriors a reputation that few would risk testing in the battlefield.

Jin people are often friendly and considerate with a strong notion of right and wrong. Their warriors are often found traveling the continents, helping the needy by working selflessly wherever they were needed.

Available Classes: Assassin, Blade Master, Kung Fu Master

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No Blade & Soul at E3 2015
NCSOFT did not have a booth up this year for Blade & Soul at E3 2015.

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Official Livestream Still Set for Once a Month
NCSOFT promised at least one Official Livestream cast a month a couple weeks ago, it looks like that's still the plan. We've apparently got more then just the livestream in store for us too.

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Update (6/21 - 3:14 PM PDT):
SherlockHulmes confirmed on Twitter that there will be an Official Livestream before the end of this month. (source)

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Recent Forum Topics

Poll: Community Voice: PvP (1457 member(s) have cast votes)

What do you think of Blade & Soul's PvP system?

  1. I love it! Here's why... (922 votes [63.28%])

    Percentage of vote: 63.28%

  2. I hate it! Here's why... (71 votes [4.87%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.87%

  3. I'm neutral. Here's why... (464 votes [31.85%])

    Percentage of vote: 31.85%

How will you PvP in Blade & Soul?

  1. I will wear my PvP Dobok proudly and fearlessly at all times, even if it will lead to my ultimate demise at times. (473 votes [32.46%])

    Percentage of vote: 32.46%

  2. I will be a defender, equipping my PvP Dobok only to save or help others. (226 votes [15.51%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.51%

  3. I will be a devious rascal, only equiping my PvP Dobok when victory is guaranteed. (92 votes [6.31%])

    Percentage of vote: 6.31%

  4. I will equip my PvP Dobok whenever the urge to PvP arises, defender or not. (479 votes [32.88%])

    Percentage of vote: 32.88%

  5. I will store my PvP Dobok, hoping to never kill or die to another player. (116 votes [7.96%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.96%

  6. *Insert own answer here* Be sure to respond to the article with your own answer. (71 votes [4.87%])

    Percentage of vote: 4.87%

Vote Guests cannot vote