Why so many mixed reviews?
It’s easy to see a game like Black Desert get so many mixed reviews, due to it’s cash shop systems. In North America, we drew the long straw thankfully, as most of the pay to win features that plague the Asian and European versions would make this game unplayable for most people that live in the states. Nobody wants to really fork over thirty dollars more than one time for a character costume that gives stats as well, unless you have that sort of disposable income or time to waste on the game. (bidding for literal weeks for a costume on the marketplace for MILLIONS of silver)
It is a plausible reaction to be upset over the amount of things that you really should just pay for, like in-game inventory space and weight, contribution points and housing for your workers which lets you earn in-game silver with much more ease, and even value packs that give you discounts on all in-game shop items. If you can put these down-sides (or up-sides, depending on who you are) on the back-burner, this game has so much to offer! The content is steadily increasing, the map is massive, and the depth of this game is unquestionable.
What makes this game what it is?
Black Desert: Online is not your typical theme-park MMORPG. It has a lot more depth than titles like World of Warcraft, ArcheAge, or any other MMORPG really on the market, other than perhaps EVE Online. (don’t even get me started on that rabbit-hole)
Countless other MMORPG’s have tried to implement systems the way Black Desert does, from it’s unique, RNG-based gearing system, to it’s plethora of life-skills, Open-World PvP style, and it’s very own unique energy and contribution system, it’s off to a fantastic start, and has the potential to completely decimate the competition, with reform. This game is a grind, and if you are not a fan of grinds, don’t even bother with this game. Whilst not all of the game is a grind, to get most of what you’re seeking, it is going to take countless hours of time, effort, grinding, and alt-farming. That’s just the way it is.
The amount of grinding however, can become extremely tedious in the late game, but most of it can be circumvented with large sums of silver. Silver becomes very easy to acquire the farther you progress. You can make a node empire and build ships entirely from resources gathered by your workers, or you can simply invest your extra money in high-yield investment banks, or low-yield investment banks with no chance to lose your earnings. It goes in-depth enough for you to have hours upon hours of tasks to complete, with most of your tasks being off-tasks that will help you with what you are currently doing, even if what you’re doing is completely irrelevant to the thing you’re progressing towards.
The same feeling doesn’t necessarily go for the gearing system, and questing, but for life-skills, silver making, and node progression, this will always ring true. Black Desert has a very good progression system, and is extremely alt friendly. Your Energy points, gained from talking to as many NPC’s as possible, grinding mobs, and literature even, is shared accross all characters; You need that energy in order to gather, and your alts do not share an energy pool. Meaning: if your main character has 100 energy, so do your alts, effectively raising your energy total to 1000 if you had ten alts. This makes for effective gathering, grinding, questing, etc.
Contribution is different, and will be a larger time-sink for any adventurer. Although it doesn’t cost amity as much as perhaps seeking all of your knowledge would, it is still a major time-sink, requiring many daily quests to be completed, every single day, along with story and side-quests. It will take you months and months to reach 200-300 contribution if not playing religiously. Contribution is also not shared between characters, so pick your node investments wisely.
Other than that, this game boasts some of the most hardcore, fun PvP, especially in the open war node wars, and the outlaw system that rewards players who do not gank. (but also punishes people who defend themselves, which is quite ridiculous)
What are some of the things you cAN do, and how does it look?
You truly have a ton of options when it comes to doing things in Black Desert, and that includes:
- Instanced PvP/Open World PvP
- Node Wars which reward tax revenue for your guild
- Fantastic life-skilling progression systems
- Grinding Spots/Grinding Money-Making Methods
- Alt-Friendly systems
- A not-so-steep learning curve that will allow you to truly catch up in no-time
- Naval combat, naval exploration and gameplay
- MAJOR emphasis on exploration and having fun in that way
- Knowledge gathering – You will spend hundreds of hours on that alone
- Contribution dailies/weeklies
- Black Spirit Group quests, boss summoning scrolls
- Open World Bosses
- Red Battlefield (PvP Battlegrounds)
- Gear Progression without farming for different pieces of gear for hours (just buy it on the in-game marketplace)
- AFK Life-Skills and Semi-AFK Life-Skills
- Gear is not locked to your character
- Skill Points which allow for diverse ways to play
- Awakening at level 56 which radically changes combat gameplay
- Unique mounts, all with their own inventories and costumes as well
- Custom Player-Housing
- Way more we haven’t thought of
Here are a few different pieces of media to help you understand what Black Desert: Online really is:
Thank you for reading! If you wish to support the site, click on the article itself, and leave a like and a comment for good measure! We’re working on getting content out faster, and in a more organized fashion, so stay tuned!