Black Desert Online was clearly designed by people who have a complete and utter focus on one thing, and not the other. That one thing is: All the MMO Mechanics. That other thing is: WHATEVER THE FUCK HUMAN BEINGS WANT.
It’s a tough choice. I get it. MMOs have fleshed out as having a few basic characteristics and mechanics. One mechanic is the Eve: Online one: spreadsheet style business running. The other mechanic is: Basic kill things. Zap. Pew Pew. Doom. That last mechanic took 20 years until the technology had matured to the point where it was viable commercially. So we got Terra Online, and the pinnacle of online looter shooters, Destiny.
Black Desert Online, however, quietly pushed forward. With it’s easy-to-access Witchtard mechanic…. that’s the affectionate out-right hate term used to describe people who play the Witch character class. I play Witch. It’s said to be “Press Left Mouse Button to Win” mode.
The game also has a heavy economic simulations that are actually built out into the cities and locations you visit. In the starter town alone, you can “buy” a potato farm, process those potatoes to flour, and make that flour into pet food you can then sell on the market for profit, given some hunted meat and fish you’ve caught as well.
Time = money. And you can, if you setup your Cp/silver metrics properly, earn money over time. You hire in-game workers (with no salary, just an up-front cost) and supply them with raw materials only you can harvest. You can buy those materials at market, but you know, freedom of markets… It’s literally a stock market.
Like it is in any MMO. The real issue here is that Black Desert Online optimizes all the best bits of the various MMO genres into one fairly cohesive package.
I have poked around MMOs for fucking DECADES now, and the entire time, I have been convinced that none of them, NONE, have even come close to getting it right. For me. I am picky.
To this day, there is only one MMO I’ve ever enjoyed as much as Black Desert Online: Clan Lord. Why? Because Clan Lord, as limited as it is, is about community. About the people in the game. The people in the world. It’s world was small enough that the activity was concentrated. Things happened and everyone sorta knew.
My experience there was… oh, 1999? 2001? I’ve not signed on since. I got to level 37 in WoW before getting bored out of my damned mind. I ground Destiny to 900. I hate Borderlands. I am weird.
Black Desert Online if fucking great. It’s got plenty of AFK play mechanisms. It’s got ways to gain XP from travel, from carrying shit, from fishing, etc. It’s got combat that’s basically point and push left mouse button, and shit dies. It’s got high level PvP and territorial disputes. It’s got the spreadsheet trading Eve thing.
HOW-FUCKING-EVER, there is a god damned caveat to all this praise I’m heaping onto this Korean mess. This game has technically jagged edges that will cut your fucking balls off, take them down to the corner giant, and sell them on the community market for 30,000 silver a piece.
First, the game has a horrible time of giving you access to your residence. You need to get in there to cook, but sometimes, it’s just not gonna throw the “press r” menu option for you to go inside….
Second, playing with a modern PC with a massive fucking screen is not going to go well. Text will be blurry and illegible unless you take the UI elements up to 150 or above, if you want 2540 resolution. Then, you reduce the resolution to make things better, and you get hit with a settings box that is larger than your screen,. and cannot be changed. The buttons don’t line up with the cursor, and the UI element size cannot be reset until you scrag the entire config file,
OMG it’s nuts. 5 year old game, still having major tech issues. It wouldn’t be so frustrating if I didn’t like the game so much.
Things no one will tell you about Black Desert Online
There’s a buncha stuff you have to learn the hard way in Black Desert Online Remastered. Here’s some tips.
- Increase your health by eating food. Srsly. Eat every 30 minutes. Get yellow foods at the marketplace and just keep eating em. I like couscous cause it’s cheap, but few will agree with me.
- Use your boosts and buffs as soon as you get them in the first weeks. They’ll just clutter your inventory up.
- When you hit level 56, you have to do a specific quest hidden in your black spirit quest menu. It should be the only one with your class as the first word in brackets in the title. Until you do this quest, you don’t awaken shit. Equip the stuff you get before trying out these new skills.
- You can level up all skills, you don’t have to specialize in just a few.
- You can cook, fish, and process things while AFK. Running AFK can result in deaths when you arrive in a hostile location while getting a beer or peeing.
- Turn in gold and silver bars at the storage vendor for silver. Carry around as much silver as you want, you won’t lose it walking around.
- Nodes…. Don’t connect them to two cities. The pattern should look like a tree, not a circle. Otherwise it won’t let you do anything.
- Boats. They suck ass to board when you get your first boat. Be careful, don’t board someone else’s. Go to the steering wheel and press R when the menu thing pops up.
- Pet food is basically 1 fish, 6 meat, some grain and some mineral water. Make it don’t buy it.
- The RNG in this game is around enchanting, which is called enhancing. It sucks.
- Your breath is your stamina. It increases as you run around. Do laps.
- Strength increases by lugging heavy things around. Go to the trade manager in town, buy some random thing, and you’ll have a backpack. Do laps. Town to town. You can get mugged, but just hold down shift for a bit and outrun them.
- Learn to “minimize to tray” near the “disconnect” button. It’s great and saves power.
- Horses are a pain. You’ve got to treat them like a real horse and don’t lose sight of them. Check them into stables, leave one in each of your favorite towns.
- Make beer. Lots of it. Take the resulting fucked up dishes to various NPCs. Dish with poorly prepared ingredients can be traded for contribution points.
- Make sure your workers are in the right towns.