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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.
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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Introduction to Wuxia
NCSOFT gave us a little background on the themes present in Blade & Soul.

Introduction to Wuxia
To the uninitiated, the story of “Blade and Soul” might look simply like an excuse to beat people up with Kung Fu, but it is actually a tale of loyalty, morality, revenge and redemption. Anyone familiar with eastern literature or movies would recognize it as a Wuxia (“woo-shya”) tale, a modern storytelling genre with roots deep in Chinese culture but a reach that extends to westerns and modern day action movies. Trying to play “Blade and Soul” without understanding Wuxia is a little like trying to play an FPS without understanding military culture; it’s possible, but you are probably missing a lot. So with that in mind, here’s a quick primer on what it means to exist in a Wuxia world.

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Jianghu & Wulin
Wuxia takes place in the Jianghu (“Jee-AHNG hoo”), which translates literally to “rivers and lakes”. Jianghu is not a specific location, but really a way of describing the state of the world. It is a place of complications and chaos, a place where society is falling apart under the pressures of corruption and war, a place beset by the worst qualities of man and yet a place where the best qualities of man may still prevail. Government authorities are too corrupt to trust, so codes of honor must be adhered to instead of the law.

In the Jianghu exists the Wulin (“woo-lin”), or the society of martial artists. This is no organized group, but a community that anyone who has dedicated themselves to a martial discipline belongs to. The Wulin consists of many factions, sects, and brotherhoods under many masters, and each may be aligned, neutral to, or openly hostile to another.

Neigong, Qinggong, & the Secret Scriptures
The wushu, or martial arts, practiced by the Wulin are as varied as their clans. Skills are passed from master to student as they prove themselves worthy. Schools can specialize in hand to hand, swords, staves and other weaponry, and even more supernatural skills. Neigong (“nay-gong”), or “internal skill”, is the ability to focus qi (“chee”) or energy to heighten speed, strength, and stamina and even grant healing powers. Another mainstay of Wuxia is Qinggong (“ching-gong”), or “lightness skill”, which nearly circumvents gravity, allowing martial artists to propel themselves high into the air, to run up walls, or to even run across water.

The greatest martial arts techniques are usually recorded in an ancient text – a Secret Scripture or Tome – that imbues the owner with superhuman combat abilities. The secrets contained in this Tome are guarded fiercely and can be quite dangerous. They may cause harm to the practitioner if they are used wrongly… and they can be even more dangerous for the world if used correctly.

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Both heroes and villains come from the Wulin, and what separates them is Xia (“shee-AH”), a code of honor that borrows heavily from Confucian morality. Xia means both “honorable” and “swordsman”; it requires its followers to be loyal, righteous and to help the poor or oppressed by righting wrongs committed against them. Wuxia heroes must follow their Xia and remain loyal to their clan, their family, and their true love. Often, heroes in these tales are young and inexperienced, and the story unfolds as they mature, master their arts, and grow as people.

External conflict in Wuxia always occurs between a person following the Xia and one who has fallen from it and is hurting the world; but just as important is the internal conflict every character in the Wulin faces when trying to balance their loyalties. Often, the way one goes about addressing conflicting loyalties will be the only thing defining them as hero or villain. When asked to kill his cousin, a member of another school, to settle an old vendetta, a villain may not hesitate to betray his family or lie to his master and say he has done so. A hero will seek the path of righteousness, perhaps reasoning with his master after discovering the vendetta is based on an old and petty slight. And since Wuxia focuses on the development of oneself into a better person, a villain may even learn to seek redemption if they choose the true path.

However, not everyone is redeemable, and a hero must right the wrongs even if it means killing those who committed them. This is ultimately the heart of Wuxia, one person standing against all to make the world a better place, no matter the odds.
Current Events in the World of Blade & Soul
NCSOFT has shed some light on Blade & Soul's past and its regions over the past week. Now they're giving us a taste of how the world stands today.

How the world of Blade & Soul stands today.
While having the opportunity to train in the martial arts at the reputed Hongmoon School is a great honor, it must be hard to remain in touch with the outside world. Heaven’s Reach is such a secluded place to hold lessons, though perhaps the distance from the rest of the civilized world is just what an aspiring warrior needs to hone their focus. Still, one must not fall too far out of awareness of the world at large, lest you become a stranger in your own land.

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The Stratus Empire and the Talus Dominion
Sadly, it seems as though there will never be any sort of peace between the two empires. With the Stratus Empire wounded by its losses over the years and the Talus Dominion rapidly rising in might, the two remain at each other’s throat. It seems as though each seek a way to overwhelm the other.

The Stratus, in their disarray, look to the past where the Naryu Empire once stood, hoping to find some lost treasure or weapon they might seize in order to regain their former glory. The Talus, as always, move in opposition to the Stratus as they march ambitiously toward the future, looking to gather strength. Mighty war machines and firearms developed from ancient Naryu ruins bolster the Talus’ forces, though one fears they may go too far in the name of progress and bring calamity to the lands, just like the Naryu did long ago.

The Warring Factions
Civil war is so deeply entrenched in the world that it seems to be a daily fact of life at this point. While there are many clans, there stand two so mighty that the lesser clans practically fall over themselves in an effort to curry favor. The Cerulean Order is a militant group that seeks to bring law to all the land, while the Crimson Legion believe we should rule ourselves rather than bow to others.

The two factions meet in battle so often they practically seem like old friends at this point, but there is no denying the passion of their followers as they wage war over precious Soulstones. Powerful martial artists are often approached by representatives of the factions, hoping to gain the strength to overcome the other… perhaps you will find yourself asked to wear a uniform someday as well?

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The Blackram Marauders
These foul pirates have been causing trouble around the Viridian Coast for decades now. They never quite seem to go away no matter how many times they’re driven off, but these days it seems like their numbers are swelling. They recruit any rogue will to raise a sword for them, so it’s no surprise to see the sea monster species of the Yutay or the mercenary Pot Dogs in their ranks.

For such a shabby bunch, the Blackram Marauders have begun construction of massive war ships big enough to house entire villages upon. There’s even rumor of the mighty captain Hae Mujin and his adorable-yet-deadly granddaughter Poharan coming back to the region… just what sort of schemes are they up to if they’re gathering so much strength all at once?

The Beast Kin
It’s not as though strife is limited only to the humans. The various Beast Kin species all have their own troubles to deal with as of late. There has been non-stop insurrection among the war-like Snapjaw Tribe, while the Hoglin have their so-called freedom fighters endlessly harassing the countryside. Even the amphibious Ploggles are in a sorry state due to civil uprising within their kingdom. Meanwhile, the Yutay, Pot Dogs, and Zoraxi Bandits all cause no end of trouble wherever they go. Be careful when you set out into the world, as one never knows where danger might come from.

There’s much more to tell and to be seen… too much to cover all at once, really. You’ll just have to come see it for yourself sooner or later. The world has its troubles, but don’t worry, as the good and bad parts are necessary. It’s up to honorable martial artists like you to right the wrongs in the world, after all. So train hard and become a warrior the Hongmoon School can be proud of! There is no doubt you will rise to do great things in the future.
History of Jianghu
NCSOFT has released some background lore of the world within Blade & Soul on the official site today.

The background lore of the world within Blade & Soul.
The history of the Earthen Realm is a long and varied one. So much has been lost as empires rose and fell through the ages; tyrants sought to shape history to their own design, and entire generations have vanished in the wake of great tragedies. Even what does still remain, gathered in so many scrolls and tomes pieced together from across the continents, tell uncertain stories with much still left to question. Perhaps all we can really do is cover what we have and draw our own conclusions. Those souls entrenched in their own affairs cannot be trusted to give an accurate telling anyway. It takes a neutral party to find the truth tucked amid legend and lies. Let us first speak of those few mighty warriors who helped shape the world as we know it today.

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The Four Guardians
Over a thousand years ago from this present day, the Naryu Empire stood as the ruling power in the entire world. Drawing upon the mystical natural resource of Soulstones from within the earth itself, the Naryu created technological wonders that vaulted them into prominence on a global scale. But today, all that remains of them are half-forgotten ruins and the buried wreckage of their amazing machines. The Naryu, in their hubris, reached too far and dug too deep. The energy of the Soulstones they mined in such excess distorted the spirit of the continent, and the gap between the Dark Realm and the Earthen Realm was bridged. Dark Chi seeped in from the baleful Dark Realm, poisoning the world and unleashing demons upon the populace. The Naryu Empire fell to these horrors and it seemed as though the very world itself would share that same fate.

But the Divine Realm was not content to sit idle and watch mortals suffer at the hands of invading demons. While the denizens of the Dark Realm sought to open a permanent path between their world and the mortal world for conquest, the Divine Realm gave a call to arms. Of all the beings in the Earthen Realm, four powerful martial artists were chosen to fight against the darkness. Mushin: the Divine Fist and the heir to the Naryu bloodline. Jiwan: the Righteous Blade. Iksanun: the Realmwalker. Hong Sokgyun, the eldest of the Four Guardians and so mighty his power earned him the title Earthbreaker. It is said that the divine spirits granted these Four Guardians a weapon of immeasurable power and unknown origins: the Twilight’s Edge. It is said the weapon would change its form to suit whoever wielded it and could drive back the darkness. Armed with the Twilight’s Edge and empowered by the mystical blessings of the Divine Realm, the Four Guardians met the demons in glorious battle.

It would be pleasant to say everything went well. That the righteous triumphed and the world was saved. But, alas, things are never so simple or clean. The demons attempted to summon their master, the Dark Lord, to the Earthen Realm through a Dark Gate so his might could overwhelm the world. Mushin, in a moment of desperation, made a noble sacrifice as he leaped into the Dark Gate and closed it from within, sealing away himself and the Dark Lord. The remaining Guardians had no time to mourn the loss of their friend as they fought against the remaining demons, finally purging the world of evil for a time. But, in the end, all they could really do was delay the inevitable. The corruption of the vile Dark Chi had infested the world and could only be held at bay for so long.

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The Stratus Empire
As the centuries marched along, the Four Guardians passed into history and then legend. The world rebuilt itself and new empires rose where the Naryu had once stood. The Stratus Empire came to prominence in the Southern Continent and spread its influence throughout the Earthen Realm. The Northern, Eastern, and Western Continents were each ruled by one of the Emperor’s sons while the Emperor himself remained upon the throne of the Southern Empire. His youngest son, Prince Wan, was not yet ready to rule and remained by his father’s side, learning the ways of leadership and royalty until his day would come. But that day arrived far too soon as the Emperor met an untimely demise, forcing Prince Wan to take the throne for the sake of the people.

From then on, the Stratus Empire was besieged with tragedy and loss. Young Emperor Wan’s older brothers were jealous of him ruling in their father’s wake and sought to overthrow their own sibling, each believing their self to be a more appropriate candidate to rule. The strife and unrest of the Stratus Empire allowed the toxic influence of Dark Chi to return, seeping into the hearts of man as they turned on one another. While the exact nature of the incident is unknown, some great disaster befell the Eastern Continent as its capital city, the Highland Central, was invaded by demons thirty years ago. Prince Sobu and his sister, Princess Solaan, were both killed in the event as malevolent forces overran the city and threatened to open another Dark Gate. But, as before, the remaining Guardians once again rose to their divine duty. The energy of the Divine Realm sustained them throughout the centuries and, along with the Sacred Beasts of the land, they managed to seal away the dark forces once more. The city was lost, but the world was safe again.

That was not the end of the Stratus’ troubles though. With the Empire in such a weakened and disorganized state, it became unable to control its own army. Defectors rose within the Stratus itself as one of its mightiest generals, Yunma Kahn, broke off from the Stratus Empire and founded his own Talus Dominion in the east. In these modern days, the Talus Dominion of the Eastern Continent has risen rapidly in power to become a true force to be reckoned with. Meanwhile the Stratus Empire of the Southern Continent is a hobbled beast gasping its last defiant breaths. The two kingdoms remain fast enemies even as both are fraught with civil unrest and corruption, fighting each other to the bitter end in an ill-fated hunger for power and control.

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The World Today
The modern world is built upon the bones of fallen warriors and the ashes of ruined lives. Warring factions have risen to bicker over territory and resources while smaller clans exploit the population for their own ends. In these times of discord, martial artists have grown in population and influence; some as the defenders of the weak, standing up for the people. Righteous warriors such as the Eight Masters have banded together, rallying their clans behind them for the sake of the innocent. The Guardians’ absence is keenly felt: Jiwan had been slain years earlier by the wicked Jinsoyun for the Twilight’s Edge she wielded. Hong Sokgyun struck down Jinsoyun before she could claim the mystical blade, while Iksanun was badly wounded in the ensuing battle and retreated from the world at large.

Where this will all lead is unknown. Dark Chi has once more begun to poison the world, the people suffer under the burden of corrupted empires, and the heroes of old are no longer able to come to the rescue. Perhaps the world truly is coming to an end. Or, perhaps, new heroes will rise up to stand defiant against these threats.

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NCSOFT Seeks Blade & Soul Cosplayers
NCSOFT is calling all Blade & Soul Cosplayers! If you have a Blade & Soul Cosplay they want to hear from you! Check it out!

Calling all Blade & Soul Cosplayers!
We know that many talented cosplayers out there have expertly crafted some of our costume designs and shown them off at conventions and events across the globe. Now we want to showcase these beautiful works of cosplay to all our fans, old and new.

We want to create a collection of all this amazing work on our Facebook pages, and we need your help!

If you have a Blade & Soul cosplay and are happy for us to upload it to the official Blade & Soul Facebook Page, then please send it to us at [email protected] and we’ll upload it to share with all our fans.

Please make sure to include the following in your email:

  • Display name (The name you are happy for us to put in the description)
  • A link to your portfolio, FB page or web gallery (whichever you prefer)

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Poll: Community Voice: PvP (1458 member(s) have cast votes)

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

  1. I love it! Here's why... (923 votes [63.31%])

    Percentage of vote: 63.31%

  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 [31.82%])

    Percentage of vote: 31.82%

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 [32.44%])

    Percentage of vote: 32.44%

  2. I will be a defender, equipping my PvP Dobok only to save or help others. (226 votes [15.50%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.50%

  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. (480 votes [32.92%])

    Percentage of vote: 32.92%

  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