Blade & Soul reveals Secrets of the Stratus expansion, release date set

It took NCSoft's Blade & Soul three and a half years to reach western shores following a mid-2012 launch in Korea. When it arrived, our own MMO aficionado Steven was left underwhelmed, suggesting its "excellent PvP is buried beneath a mountain of tired MMO tropes that are sometimes frustrating and rarely innovative." 

NCSoft has now revealed the 'Secrets of the Stratus' expansion—due to land in Europe and North America on April 12, and set to overhaul the game's skill system and further its main story. 

Changes to the game's skill system will make it "a lot more user-friendly", explains the publisher, "while still allowing players the same degree of customisation as before." The expansion also brings with it Act VII of the main story and a number of PvE areas suited to end-game players. 

Naryu Sanctum, for example, is a treasure-filled six-player dungeon; while Celestial Basin marks a new open-world zone for casual-leaning players. Mushin's Tower is being upgraded to include new floors and leaderboards, while a new Training Room facilitates solo skill combo practice. Here's a glimpse at some of that in motion: 

On top of that,  "Blade & Soul is getting a purchasable voucher that will let players instantly create a new level 50 character," so says NCSoft. "This will allow players who have been itching to try out a new class or get back into the game after a break a new quick way to experience a brand new high-level character."

Secrets of Stratus is due April 12, 2017—more information can be gleaned from the Blade and Soul website. Steven's review of the base game can be read in full in this direction