Why I’m Not Playing Black Desert Online… Yet

Well, for one thing, I never buy anything for MSRP.

The coverage for Black Desert has been extremely interesting. As noted over on Dragonchasers, a lot of the blog posts read really similarly: being overwhelmed by the map, the quest structures, the crafting, etc. Bhagpuss struck out on his own, of course, with a series of very compelling exploration posts. But perhaps the most intriguing point to be made came from Syl’s observation that:

If we are thinking more longterm however, there is one thing on the forefront of my mind since the beta: BDO is very playing alone together. There is not just very little opportunity to cooperate with other players, the game actively discourages player-to-player interaction on several levels

Nearly 100% of the coverage I have been reading has been solo-exclusive. Which… makes sense, considering this is a sandbox slash sandpark. But even though I feel a strong twinge to jump into Black Desert to fiddle with the AH – Bhagpuss mentioned a particular weakness in the player-made furniture market that got my AH senses tingling – the seeming lack of “endgame” focus somehow dampens my enthusiasm. What do you do on the regular at the end? Amass more wealth? Gank high-level players? Or, god forbid, “whatever you want?”

I have not actively participated in an MMO endgame in probably five years… but the possibility that I am able to is important to me. For some reason. Damned if I could tell you why.

Still, the game is on my radar and will be procured eventually. At something less than full price.

Posted on March 23, 2016, in Commentary and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Considering I just started playing BDO, I can give you my opinion. I apologize in advance for the brutality :P
    The graphics is fantastic. As in REALLY fantastic. The character creator itself they could probably sell as a standalone game for 10E and it would fetch good profit.

    The problem is all the rest. It feels like a mishmash of random MMO ideas stolen right and left and stuck together in some way. The whole thing covered with an user interface which is horrible beyond words.

    Where to start…. hmmmm….
    – combat. Tera done bad. It’s a mess of combos clearly designed for console controls. Keyboard and mouse? Not a good idea. I honestly have no idea what I’m doing, sure there’s a ton of indicators of which combos with what but they just appear and vanish so fast that I cannot even recognize the icons. I just mash buttons and stuff dies. I’m at level 16 and my exp went up exactly 0% during the last two sessions because I just can’t be bothered by such a shit system.
    – trading. Archage ripoff of the trading system. With a lot of useless complexity added. Just know that you cannot trade from where you want to where you want, you need to “connect the nodes” first. Of course you better rely on google to give you answers, because the game itself won’t provide them. In any case, a glorified buy here sell there system.
    – farming. Same as in AA, put farm down, put seeds down, wait. Wait WHILE LOGGED IN, because stuff only grows while you’re logged…. ah and it requires tending every 10 minutes or so. Which is easy to do since the farms are account-shared, just park an alt there and enjoy the endless character switching.
    – crafting/workers. Another horrible mess. Seriously, it’s not like idle games (“time management” games) are a new idea, why do they have to come up with yet another messy system instead of just ripping off some random tablet game is beyond me. In short, “connect the nodes”, hire worker, assign to job. Wait. Wait while logged out, of course. Ah, in perfect consistency with the farming, the stuff which works when logged off lasts 30 min, the plants/seeds which require you to stay logged in take 6 hours.
    – AH/player economy: players are a danger to the economy, so we’ll first of all make sure that they cannot trade directly. Then we’ll fix the AH prices based on “market”, so that you cannot be undercut. Then, just for good measure, we’ll have a captcha every time you buy an item from the AH, just to make sure that only OCR-equipped bots actually use it. But wait, all this is to prevent the evil gold sellers to infest the game, which brings me to the next point….
    – ….chat channels: full of gold seller bots. Well, actually there’s no gold, the currency is silver. And they don’t sell silver, they sell cash shop items at discount price (how, I have no idea). In order to make sure that the gold sellers can monopolize the channels the best idea is to allow multi-line (MANY lines) messages with ascii graphics. I honestly don’t even know if any other player tried to talk to me, because not only I don’t really look at the chat window (it’s just gold sellers), but one big fat message is enough to fill the default windows, scrolling anything else out.
    – amity minigame: another thing which may even be interesting, but it really feels glued in “just because”. In short, talking with NPC is a minigame where you can increase your standing with them for increased perks. It’s not bad in itself, but looking at the amount of NPC and the amount of interactions my guess is that it’ll get old well before it’s of any use.

    The good thing is that it’s B2P. So buy it and log in to enjoy the scenery. You have a lot of time for it, since teleports don’t exist, but in order not to stress too much the players with travel you can just click anywhere on the map (or on a name on a quest), press ‘T’ and the character will walk/ride there automatically. Hit Ctrl-U to turn off the UI and admire :) Unfortunately the world is smallish, but it’s very very very well done. It’s better-than-AA light effects in a world-even-more-detailed-than-WoW. The capital in particular is fantastic.


  2. Trading isn’t tied to the AH per se, but it’s more like a 4x side-game attached to the MMO. You focus mostly on the macro management, instead of the typical ‘snipe low prices, sell high’ schtick. If this is your thing, stay away.

    If however you like the idea of loading stuff on a wagon and then go on routes buying from traders and selling them for a profit (aka retail), then it’s pretty good. And the Civ-like aspects of setting up shop in cities, hiring workers and managing their tasks can be surprisingly addictive.

    In short, here you are the manager/sales executive, not the peon. As Helistar above pointed out, it’s not enjoyable for everyone.


    • Yeah, after one week-end I could probably sum up my “review” in much shorter terms.

      It’s a single-player game where some NPCs are controlled by other players. I have no idea if it becomes a problem with ganking above level 45, but the moment I stopped to think “I log into an MMO” and replaced it with “I play Elite in a medieval setting”, it’s not that bad actually.

      The trading limitations are what really kills it as a multiplayer game: a friend joins and I have no way to help them. And the AH with a 35% fee….. it’s as if they want to discourage the existence of a player economy.


  3. Yeah I think there’s a tradeoff here, well for every type of MMO really. Most games I’ve played in the past were classic themeparks with dungeon and raid-centric endgame. WoW aside, it usually took me 3-6 months to tire of that. FFXIV is a much broader MMO compared to GW2 or Wildstar, so I have now stuck with it for over 1 year.
    BDO doesn’t have the usual endgame but there’s tons of stuff to do right now in a more horizontal fashion. I would say 3-6 months minimum for my own playstyle at the very least. It may very well run out of things to do later, which means it’s just like other games – they either run out of “length” or “breadth”, so to speak. That said, there are apparently already four expansions lined up for BDO which come with new regions and quests, so if you are okay with the soloing part or into group PvP, I’d say there’s a year of gameplay in it or more. That’s one upside to getting a title to launch much later in the west.


  1. Pingback: There is no AH fiddling in BDO. | The Noisy Rogue

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