What is Black Desert Online?
Black Desert Online is an MMORPG created by Pearl Abyss, a Korean developer. Pearl Abyss is striving for a revival of the sandbox sub-genre of MMOs, where the endgame is all around you. Whatever you choose to do in this world, be it crafting, fighting, or trading, is part of living in the world created by the developers. There are no raids or instanced dungeons; everything is end-game. What you do in this world and who you choose to be is entirely up to your imagination. Want to be primarily a fisherman and have a huge fishing boat and make money? You can do that. Want to grow the best crops and best cooking food to sell at the auction house and traders? You can do that. Want to gank players and fight in PVP arenas outside of major cities for glory? You can do that.
BLACK DESERT GUIDE EXTRAVAGANZA: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1JnFambQifvui7-V68QMsfuXuhAuu4C0NsVJCxJIv84E/preview
The character creator is one of the best in the biz.
But dungeons and raids are how I only know MMORPGs are good!
Stop right there. Black Desert Online is a sandbox MMO, which means the focus of the game is not what traditional theme parks are after. Theme park MMOs are all about the race to the top; get the best gear, fight extremely tight and nuanced fights, and do it again and again until you have the best gear, then do more when developers release more content. Black Desert Online is all about letting YOU craft the experience you want in the world, be it fighting extremely tough enemies including summoned bosses, or setting up your own housing and trading system with NPCs, and much more. Thus, if you come into this came expecting something out of traditional theme park MMOs, you will be disappointed.
Uh, okay, but what makes this game GOOD?
Pearl Abyss have gone on record stating they want to enhance all the areas of the game as needed, including the Life (crafting/fishing/trading) categories, the PVE (adding open-world dungeons!), and the PVP (new cities that cater to negative karma and positive karma players, setting up a bounty hunting system, and more). All facets of what you enjoy about MMORPGs are taken to a new level in this game, with in-depth cooking and crafting, housing system reminiscent of The Sims, and combat similar to that of Devil May Cry.
Rip and tear!
Plus, it doesnt hurt that the games visuals are gorgeous and on a entirely proprietary engine that the developers themselves came up with.
Thats all well and good, but what about the downsides to the game?
Currently, theres a bit of contention with the cash shop in terms of pricing on costumes and stats (which are negligible), but those issues are expected to get resolved or at least listened to as time goes on. At launch, the publisher DAUM will be reducing cash shop outfit prices by 10% of what was seen in the last closed beta; further feedback will be taken into account, of course.
Other than that, besides having no raids or dungeons to speak of, the game can be overwhelming for first-time players of sandboxes. The game drops you into all the systems without very much in the way of tutorials, so its entirely up to the player to learn as they go, which may not be for everyone. This is essentially dropping players into the mix and saying OK heres the tools, now its up to you to figure out how to use them. Its not for everyone. Expect lots of YouTube videos from content creators to explain every system.
Can you stealth? You can stealth quest.
Alright, Im psyched. I want to live in this world. How much do I pay?
On Black Desert Onlines website, blackdesertonline.com, you can purchase a copy for either $30 or $50. $50 gets you a horse, a pet, and a whistle to call the horse should you leave it behind. Think like Link and Epona.
MAJOR FEATURES OF BLACK DESERT ONLINE
Snow coming soon(TM)
In Black Desert Online, theyve elevated what you normally call professions in other MMOs into a real part of the game. Almost everything in the world can be harvested and gathered; in the starting area alone, you can harvest crops, trees, metals, stone, and much more. All you need is some gathering tools, and off you go. Being a sandbox, you dont know exactly what youre digging up, and knowledge of the item increases as you gather it. See a bush? Its just a normal bush upon gathering, but as you gain more knowledge, it becomes a berry bush, then a blueberry bush. This is just an example. In a regular theme park MMO, it would immediately be a blueberry bush, and youd gain a standard amount from them. In Black Desert, the more you gain knowledge of an item, the more you gather, and more interesting new items you could gather from the same node.
To facilitate this, theyve added systems to the Map that allow you to see temperature, humidity, as well as fishing and trading routes.
Awakening weapons coming soon(TM)
The PVE of Black Desert Online is primarily based on killing mobs for gaining levels (otherwise known as grinding, however it does NOT take much grinding to hit the soft cap of Level 50, the hard cap is currently 55, and will take a while to reach.) That said, the difference between a Level 50 and Level 55 is not that much different, and is mainly there to give you something to continue working toward while you do other things in the game. Questing also pertains to several different things, including helping NPCs find their lost items or cats, carrying items back to a town that have been left out in the wild, eradicating camps of enemies, and much more. Some include mini-games like jumping on a bellows to heat a pot of water, and so forth. Summonable bosses are in the game that use scrolls to create huge enemies that take effort to beat solo and recommend you get friends to help in the slaughter. Each player in the group can get loot from the boss, and it is recommended to take these on in groups of five.
One of the biggest areas of the game is the mini-game involved with the NPCs, called the Knowledge system. It not only extends to knowing your enemies as well by killing them (you wont see their HP bar until you get knowledge!), but NPCs require you to chat them up and get on their good side before they unlock useful features such as renting their gear or new quests and other various goodies. Its probably one of the most robust systems ever added to an MMORPG concerning the usual NPCs you just usually take quests from and not read anything.
(GUILD NODE SIEGES/CASTLE SIEGE/WORLD PVP)
Racing off to catch up with the guild siege!
The PVP of Black Desert Online is an unusual one - instead of your usual themepark MMO trope of world pvp anytime, anywhere (which this is still in this game, but with a caveat), the game emphasizes taking towns, nodes, and using that to their advantage of selling goods and items better than before. Guilds can war over these areas and nodes every so often. In solo PVP, you can go to arenas outside of towns to duel with no respawn removal, or you can gank players after level 50. Doing so however will incur the games unique feature: karma. All players have some form of karma, be it positive or negative. Positive karma occurs from killing mobs all the time. Negative karma occurs when you kill a player who hasnt flagged up for PVP. Doing so will drop your karma into negatives, which have disadvantages upon death: losing your equipment, your gems break, even get teleported randomly when you die to make ganking harder and harder. Its one of the friendliest PVP systems to PVE players Ive ever seen in a sandbox MMO. Make no mistake; the majority of PVP is done Guild vs. Guild, and you can declare war on another guild if you so choose.
MANY MORE FEATURES TO COME; PLEASE KEEP CHECKING BACK!
GAF GUILD (NA)
ORWEN - CALPHEON #1
EU GAF GUILD
JORDINE - SERENDIA #1
DISCORD LINK - QUOTE TO REVEAL