As I am writing this my character in Black Desert Online is fishing in the middle of the sea, on a boat I sailed and with a funny looking fishing costume so i can get some more fishing bonuses. This is the kind of innovation BDO brings to the table. It’s more than just a game, it’s a jewel of beauty, animations, incredible details, great story and fancy techniques like a real guild system that makes you feel like living a second life in a medieval fantastical world. Black Desert is pretty much the delineation of 15 years of MMOs and it certainly does not feel like anything close will be released in the next 5 years. However the lies around the internet and the opinions of others are ruining this beauty.
In this review I will talk mostly about the little details the game offers that just makes you go „I always wanted to do that in a MMO”.You can see any game play videos with a quick search on Youtube, the music is amazing and so is the action. My personal recommendation is to check out Steparus channel by clicking here. I will divide the details I experienced in my play through and what I know is possible in these categories : Character, NPCS, World system economy, Life skills and then I will end with a rant about the lies that this game is NOT Pay 2 Win.
These details I am listing are in no particular order, just what got into my head at the moment of writing. I am also using an old hype post supplied by my friend who uses 4chan a lot Cristian, so I thank him for that.
Let’s start with your character
-The skill system is one that you will see in old MMOs as Silkroad and what not. You have skill points that have an experience bar and as you kill more mobs you get more skill points. You use these points in your character’s skill book and for each skill there will always be an ultimate part that will change the animation, make it cooler or be able to use the skill as a cancel. This is in my opinion great for the PVP aspect, as gear is not the only defining factor.
-Gender locked classes ? Yes, we have those ! But this is where Black desert starts adding the unique and special nature of itself. The classes are gender locked but the characters make sense. For example you have the Warrior and the Valkyrie, they both wield a sword and a shield but the Valkyrie has more acrobatic and more magical skills – Sword of Judgment or Celestial Spear. While the Warrior is more into animation canceling his Spinning Slash. You see this kind of gender locking shouldn’t be overlooked because it makes the game shine from a design perspective.
– The armors can be dyed part by part and for a new account you have like 1 month of free dyes to change your characters colors as you will. You can be a black knight, a white capped wizard or a green nature wielding ranger. This feature is called the merv’s pallete and it will come with the value pack, you buy the value pack and you get merv’s for 30 days, non stop
-An active combat system involving manual aiming, dodging, and comboing.Similar to Vindictus, the action is immersive, no stupid lines showing attacks and overall pure and unadulterated action packed awesomeness.
-Death penalty: Upon death you can break your socketed crystals and replacing them is quite costly. Negative reputation results in a greater chance of dropping more valuable items. You may also lose equipment durability and experience.
– Arena 3v3 and 1v1 duels are your duels, and trust me, pvp in this game is no joke. The only thing I don’t agree with is that it’s a bit more gear dependent than you would like.
-HP Indicator turns off when you crouch in-game. A great way to sneak up on castles and to do guerilla tactics.
-Guild war prep takes a long time because players have to farm mats for barricades and cannons. You can use workers (humans, goblins, elves or what not) that have different stats, and can get you wood or whatever you need.
Being an 18+ game, it has lots of blood and your character/weapon can become drenched in it.
-No level cap.
NPCS-You can’t get anywhere with out them
– All the NPCs in the game have something called an Amity minigame. Basically it’s you talking with your NPC about other NPCs and improving your relationship with them. Some NPCS have special items or knowledge at some amity level. So it’s always fun to talk around in the minigame.
-NPCs have their own interests and you develop favor with them, increasing rewards. There is a knowledge system where you gain knowledge of various parts of the world and get points that you can use to improve your standing with various NPCs. Knowledge system seems to involve monsters, regions, NPCs, and quests, history and books.
The world is immersive and feels alive.
-Open world PvP – Can be activated by pressing alt + C transforming yourself in basically a cold blooded killer, note that killing people who attack mobs on your spot is pretty common, and parties of 5 people can gank on you if you ks on them for no reason.
Castle sieges involving cannons, siege ladders, and possibly other siege tools. Conquest: Guilds may conquer an area and collect taxes from those regions. To participate, each guild can build fortresses or command centers. Conquest lasts for either three days or until only one fortress or command center is left. Sieges will most likely take place at set times.
Description of castle siege: There are 2 types of sieges: Castle siege and defense of your citadel (tower). In order to participate in a castle siege, guilds must construct a command center (tent) on the territory of the castle siege. The other type of siege – defense of your citadel. Players must build citadels inside the castle perimeter, and which ever guild maintains the citadel will at the end control the castle (Lineage 2 mechanic)
Planned for siege: cannons, siege elephants, ladders, and more.
-You can rent a flute and play a minigame while walking and playing the flute. Just felt like adding that in here haha.
-The world is designed with an European medieval feel to it. And the various houses and cities have architectural ornaments and rugs or whatever that make it feel more realistic. Even the accents are more African – middle east as you go towards the desert of Valencia.
-Dynamic, world-wide weather system, the rain and water affects the buildings and your character. Your stats are affected by rain also (your defense is lower).
-Player housing. You can get a house in a lot of places and your house can be used in a multitude of ways. Use it for a bed to gain energy, use it as an alchemy workplace, a grinding stones workplace or as a warehouse for your workers. The choice is yours
-Amazing fishing and ocean depth. Waves, tornado’s, raid, whale hunting, fishing… You can’t ask for more. Hunting minigames, ending with a giant whale boss. Naval Combat, nuff’ said.
-The areas are not limited by level and there is no quest guiding/tracking in the game to help you along. Also, quests do not award experience. They award Contribution points which can be used to activate nodes, borrow tools, expand node/town functions, etc. Most aspects of the game do not require contribution points; emphasis is on killing mobs and doing trade runs.
In-game wiki system allowing you to learn more about places, NPCs, and monsters that you’ve already encountered in-game.
-Can craft a scarecrow or rent them from an NPC. Different types of scarecrows might allow larger numbers of crops. Low limitations on where you can place farms (farms all over the terrain). Can harvest a finished/grown plant or extract seeds to cultivate more.
When planting a plant: you have meters for temperature and underground water. You want these to be optimal for your plant to increase the speed that it grows. On the map you can view the overall current water and temperature status of the area. After planting, it gives you a timer for how long it takes to grow.
Ride that mount to the ends of the world
-Mounted combat: Mounts can be tamed in the wild and mount breeding will be in-game. Mounts must be fed and cared for and can be killed.
-Mounted combat is possible and has some skills associated with it. However, foot combat is generally the most effective.
-No fast travel. Movement across the world is either on foot or mounted.
-Wild Horse Taming
-Various Skill System for Horse
-Horse Breeding (Exchange Skills and Unique Color Outcome)
-Various Horse Armor Pieces
-Horse Auction System
Spare change? GET A JOB !
-Crafting: Gathering and crafting. Several types of crafting:
Cooking, Alchemy, forging, woodworking, and jewel crafting.
-Gathering gives xp and gathered cooked plants can give short term buffs to strength, attack speed, critical, damage, and movement speed.
-There will be a guild alliance system. There is friend from foe identification in the game.
The game will probably have a mercenary system, allowing you to hire mercenaries.
-Guilds will have skill trees.
-Claiming a castle gives your guild access to tax income over an area, but may also have other benefits.
-Game focus guild activities – trading, fights, sieges, territorial control.
-All sieges (territory included) start at the same time. Big guilds can (if have enough resources and people) can compete for multiply sieges. Territories have their own taxes, but keeps take percentage of taxes from territories.
-Guild war prep takes a long time because players have to farm mats for barricades and cannons.
The lies are holding the game back.
While motives such as, action combat is not enjoyable for me, I prefer tab attacking etc are decent and understandable reasons if you grew with games such as WoW the lies about pay 2 win are spread like cancer trough the MMO community. I will debunk all these false claims made by people who just were trying to make an excuse for not playing anymore.
The primary reason of why this game is not pay 2 win is that all the ‘premium’ items can be bought from the marketplace with silver. But does that not make it p2w then? No ! Because the prices for the premium items are FIXED. And so low that it’s really hard to find people selling them, you have to spend a day close to a marketplace trying to snipe them.
The value pack is a thing you can buy for real life money that gives you a few beauty advantages, but the most important and of note is that you won’t have 30% taken by the marketplace you sell. Only 8 mil silver, and lasts you for 30 days. I can make 10 mil silver with mid gear and 3 hours of grinding, so I only need to grind 3 hours per month to take this. Totally worth it.
The costumes are a joke. You gain jump height and other stupid stuff, 0 pay 2 win here. And a 10% buff to exp that you can get from a 20 k silver mean you get from the marketplace.
Pets, a lot of pets that get your items from the ground for you. If you are smart and know how to do rotations you will be more effective to pick your own loot, because the other spots will spawn the monsters while you pick your stuff up, and if you really want to go hardcore grinding just buy them from the marketplace as the rest.
I’ll post here a few pictures from my adventures from BDO, all the other photos are courtesy of the many users that posted their pictures in the reddit/forums.