NCSoft has now officially detailed their free-to-play model for Blade & Soul for the North American and European versions.
The first bit of news they shared is likely a sigh of relief for anyone looking to play the game – there will be no content locked behind a pay wall or any other restrictions on gameplay for free players. They do plan to bring their NCoin currency to the game, however the real money purchases will allow you to buy only convenience items, cosmetic items, and things that will improve ease of play, like an expanded inventory or extra characters.
Additionally, there will be a currency that can be earned in game through non-real-money means that can be spent on NCoin bought items.
Premium Memberships will also be available, of course, for those who want them. The benefits of having one will require the membership to be maintained, and the longer you subscribe, the better your rewards will be. These rewards will also only be quality of life bonuses and such, none of which will tilt the game in favor of paid members.
Blade & Soul’s western closed beta is planned to be this fall, and sign-ups are already underway on it’s main website. Sometime this summer, however, pre-orders will be available as digital-only. These pre-order packs have yet to be revealed officially, but it’s a safe bet to assume there will be plenty of bells and whistles involved in the higher tier packs.