Blade and Soul NA Censored and Localized?

Finally after 5 years of waiting, we in North America can finally play Blade and Soul! In MMORPG, it is quite common to have slight changes among regional versions. However, not only are there slight, but disputed, changes and even censorship in Closed Beta for the NA fans.

A list of changes and censored content has been compiled by Reddit user SafeguardKilly. Some seriously modify the story line and visual ascetics of the game, although many of the changes are minor.

KO_NA copyCensorship Related

  • Instead of forwarding forum posts to CM’s/Moderators, the localization team deletes them. These posts are of the nature that criticize the team’s decisions.
  • Content in the quests that are found to be personally offensive or not “welcoming” enough are removed or the quest is altered.
  • Players turn into a strict hero model with no moral neglect or equivocalness with the changes in story/NPC dialogue. Villains have become conventional cartoon-tier evil.
  • Becoming cash shop items, lingeries are removed and replaced with regular bra and panties. Also changed are default poses.
  • By combining surnames together with given names, they are now being erased.

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Localization Related

  • There are now memes and in most cases, a situation meant to be taken seriously turns into a comical one.
  • The game now has a dumbed down story. A puzzling/low-level experience is the result of foreshadowing being removed.
  • Because they feel it doesn’t make sense, game lore is being changed or overhauled entirely.
  • For no evident reason, NPC personalities are changed or randomly swapped around with other NPC’s.
  • In some cases, titles are replacing names entirely.

Some of these changes may sound trivial, such as the lingerie change, or can possibly be bugs. However, many will find it such a shame that NCsoft has chosen to ‘dumb down’ the story experience, particularly those who actually enjoy reading the lore and storylines.

According to the lead senior writer on the localization staff at NCSoft, in bringing the game to Western fans, making the game more “welcoming” to a more diverse audience is the ultimate goal for the changes. And not for the sake of censorship or to change the cultural intent of the quest.

“It’s not a matter of censorship or anything like that. There are a number of quests and NPC interactions in the game that go into playful innuendos and the like. It’s more a question of whether or not we wanted to include some genuinely questionable and uncomfortable content when we had the ability to make it something more welcoming. When I’m presented with the choice of writing a character and story line that is pretty reprehensible without it being critical commentary on his actions, or reworking it to a more positive direction that isn’t going to make me and others squirm, I’m not exactly going to hesitate to go for the latter.”

Check out the original reddit thread for a more comprehensive list of changes and ongoing discussions on these issues.