Hey everyone so Black Desert's Closed Beta just ended a few days ago.
This time around the Tamer Class was added into the mix of classes you can pick from at character creation.
First off before going into anything I'm probably going to TRY and address a lot of questions I see very often with the game itself. It's not too hard to see where the game is headed if you take it for what it is rather than expect it to be something it's not.
While I don't have very much experience in the game itself, it's quite easily speculated that most of the game points towards certain directions with just how the quests introduce you to systems in the game and how later levels become very hostile in its environments with players and monsters around the world of Black Desert.
Frequent Questions I see a lot
While I've been reading the forums and other player opinions of the game in game during the CBT1(because I read a lot because... no one reads these days of course). Most concerns for players who are unknown to Black Desert seem to have familiar and same repeated questions popping up repeatedly.
Is the game PvE? Can/will genderlock be removed? Will there be a PvP/PvE exclusive server? Can agelock be removed from character customization? Why is the grind so short/long?
While most of the answers to these questions are no, they're not exactly absolute in that No either and I'll share the reasons why I think most of these are no. Feel free to disagree but at least provide reasoning or it'll just be plainly ignored.
Answering: Is the Game PvE?
The game is certainly not PvE in its regards, while most of the game's early elements are PvE it's only to get you started in the game, the monsters and mobs in the game aren't exactly stellar, I'm being realistic here, they are quite dull and mindless for the first 30-40 levels or so. (I reached level 28 but I was fighting level 35-37 mobs). The later parts of the game involve a lot of PvP, you may end up fighting over grinding spots, just randomly PKing/getting PKed by others around your area, guild wars(there were about at least 10-12+ guild wars initiated in the time frame of 6 days in the CBT1 so either you're going to be soloing a lot or you'll get war initiated upon your guild a lot. Prepare yourself for either. War isn't consensual either, if a Guild dictates war upon your guild you will have to defend yourself or just concede to losses.) Especially for siege wars when castle nodes can be built and the like. So no the game is not PvE, it is both PvP and PvE you can't avoid one or the other if you plan to progress your character to any higher level aspect of content in the game.
I'm a PvE-oriented player myself but I went into BDO knowing it's not a PvE-oriented game because I like to play different games obviously! You'll be sorely disappointed if you think the game is mainly PvE. Most of you know I hail from Vindictus which is a highly PvE-oriented game, BDO is quite the opposite. You can fish you can socialize you can mine and craft whatever you want but the fields aren't exactly welcoming or handholding in the open world the game is offering in its later levels.
The fact that some areas are in constant war with just NPCs and monsters should indicate to you that some form of hostility and danger is always around the corner by the time you reach those areas.(level 35+ places).
If you're coming into BDO you should take it in as a PvE & PvP game or PvPvE game. It FEELS like 60% PvP and the 40% resides in PvE. So far the PvE can use many improvements where as PvP I didn't get there in time to experience any, most of the PvE elements at the beginning all point towards it; PvP. You wouldn't be harvesting wood to just collect it and build planks for no reason, you'd either use it for a) carriages/wagons b) ships and rafts to go sailing, c) siege weapons and cannons.
None of that attributes to your PvE cause.
a)Carriages and wagons for trade runs; a PvP oriented element here where people can attack your wagons or steal from you or you stealing from traders or defending against them etc. either get a group and trade together or defend against NPC bandits anyways.
b)Ships and Rafts to go sailing, while this is more to do with fishing in the ocean there's also castles and spots near the shores which to me indicates that there could be naval warfare in the future in updates. The game is still very young being only 1 years old in the market from KR's access date.
C) self explanatory.
Answer: Can/will genderlock be removed?
Highly unlikely as each class has their own awakening weapon, to remove genderlock and give every class a watered down washover of generic-ism would defeat each character's own particular lore and uniqueness within the game itself. If you have reasons to refute such logic I'd love to hear it because I have never heard that focusing on particular traits making a character unique resulting in it being more generic than others focusing on being able to be everything.
The witch and wizard have identical skills for now but there have been rumors circulating that their awakening weapons will be different. Valkyrie is what some call the "warrior" counterpart but they have different skills and play differently so I wouldn't really even call that a counterpart with enough variables and ingame things considered a small minor adjustment could be a massive difference(I've heard the many annoyances of Vindictus EU vs. Vindictus NA and the classes do have small adjustments but changes the gameplay entirely of a particular class). There are many MMOs out there that are genderlocked(Here's 3; Devilian, C9, Vindictus, I can give you another 6 if you'd like), I don't care whether it is locked or not, it depends on how the game is presenting itself to the player.
Sorceresses in the game's story is an entire lineage of females only. In Tree of Savior, as an example, with no genderlock, the game refers to you as Revelator. You become generic, again though it isn't a problem in Tree of Savior because of how the game is presented to you at the beginning. While in BDO each class has their own specific NPC statements and references to their class throughout much of the game.
That's why I concluded with highly unlikely, but if they introduce other classes that "deviate" and play differently from their considered "counterpart" that's not removing genderlock they just made another class that is still genderlocked, example would be the Ninja & the Kunoichi that exist in the BDO KR version, one is more bursty and the other one has a block. Those two things can be the difference between making and breaking it in different situations.
Answering: Will there be PvE/PvP exclusive server?
I don't see any point for this but I don't know what the developers will do, what I see though is that splitting the community up not only makes an open world game a very dead-feeling game but also requiring development focus to revamp one particular server to fit the needs of PvE only elements when the game has both PvE and PvP elements. A PvP server would just be a standard one based on how BDO already functions but a PvE only server they would have to redo a lot of things or omit a lot of the game's content to make it "PvE-Only".
There would be no need to craft siege weapons anymore, so that's just content loss, then there's also taxation and node control by guilds which is more content loss since you can't fight over it, because if you do that's PvP!. Castle Nodes same thing, trade running you'd have people just fitting their wagons/carriages with the largest amount and running from town to town without any consequence or worry of hostility which makes it obsolete. Horse taming? Someone stealing your horse on the rope? too bad sit there and watch like a sucker.(like me in the video down below LOL, failed so hard)
Grinding and leveling spots would be horrible. The more players you have since there'll be a mass influx vs. mob density being very low and considering you kill things like Dynasty Warriors everyone would be ks'ing one another and grief stealing each other as opposed to PKing one another.
Unless you can think of more beneficial reasons that overwhelm these number of problems I highly doubt even they would consider making a PvE-only server. PvP server is just standard as already stated.
I wouldn't think the game will have a PvE-only server unless the game was more established and flowing successfully before this is even considered but... I mean if they do then I might not be so interested in the game anymore if they're spending their efforts on making subsets of rules for the game rather than expanding on its content. A great example that's already shown is them expanding further content in the KR version just recently of the Valencia Territory.
Answering: Can agelock be removed from character customization?
No not really, just mess around with the customization long enough and you should accomplish something close to what you're looking for... or not. But don't expect to make the tamer look like a hag or the old man wizard to look like a kpop star.
It has its limits and bounds but the amount of customization within those limits and bounds are leaps beyond any other MMO out there except for a few select MMOs.
I don't expect the developers to be spending time on aesthetic limit removal for zero gain when that particular section of the game is already in a very high state of polish and you as a gamer, if you're interested in BDO, shouldn't either.
Although I have seen some pretty horrifying... or err.. "beautiful" creations... .. . (GM Tokaji's Ranger... Source: Black Desert Forums..)
Answering: Why is the grind so short/long?
Some have said the grind in CBT1 is that it's good enough or should be longer. Some raced to 50 in a matter of 28 hours or slightly more. There were about 7 level 50s at the end of the CBT1 on the final day. This isn't where the game stops nor would I consider it to be "I've reached endgame". Pfft yeah right even though I didn't make it I'd say "hey you just made it to your character's full attack technique potential". Great now go chase to endgame, dominate the world own the largest town with your guild, get your gear to +20, get all your crafting to maximum, make yourself an ultimate weapon, get yourself an orange grade weapon, have orange grade workers, connect the entire world with its nodes with a mass amount of contribution points. Etc. You won't have any of that when you reach 50 first time around.
The game starts at 50. The level cap for CBT1 was just set to 50. Most of those asking for the grind to be longer haven't stated or mentioned anything about anything past 50. There were 7 players that made it to 50+ on the NA side of servers, when there's a couple thousand CBT keys handed out and only 7 of them reached there, so yes the grinding speed is SLOW. Unless you make it on to the top 30 I don't think you can say it's "fast". The lowest level out of the top 30 was a level 32. The ones that reached 50 were already informed grinding oriented players from other regions of BDO(KR/RU/JPN etc.)
So if you think this is where the grind stops , you REALLY don't want it longer since it'll bleed into future content as well, then you'll be complaining it's way too slow and then it'll be too late for them to give a damn. A small little bit of research in 5 minutes of your time can easily get you the information that the max level in KR is 60+ and anything beyond 50 leveling takes a life time. Some more experienced players from other versions have stated going from level 50-51 is like going from level 1-50. Those who think 50 is the end(which it isn't btw), the grind is hella long as it is already because that would suggest that 1-50 is a tutorial and 28 hours of it is pretty slow.
Not only that but dying also incurs an experience loss of 2%, after a certain level PvP will be open to everyone past x level. So if you die to well anything really you'll be losing 2% of your exp bar. At 50+ take a guess where everyone's going to be bottlenecked in grinding?
On Day 1 of the CBT there were so many people in the beginner areas it was annoying running around mindlessly trying to find a single mob to kill, and obviously PvP isn't enabled, not only was that frustrating but that illustrated to me the fear of 50+ and onwards being that it's going to be really messy later on and glad there will be PvP later on(I don't care if I get killed its much better than someone haunting me and ks'ing and can't do anything about it) where leveling is going to go a lot slower, to make the EXP rate follow as it is currently is even more penalizing.
This isn't about someone getting ahead of me because clearly I didn't make it to 50 here and didn't care, it's about making sure we all have a decent time frame to progress in the game rather than halt everyone to a survival test of inglorious tedium.
Don't fret! This isn't saying the game has rampant pking going on in later levels either, there are karma systems in place that are still being adjusted and at most to redeem your karma levels after pking someone does take a lengthy amount of time.
Most of your character's abilities are unlocked through level requirements. So having this grind from 1-50 be extended would be absolutely pointless. It would destroy a lot of player interest before they even got to the good bits of their character's potential.
Anywhere from half the time required to 75% of the time required would already be a huge improvement(so if you were racing pure grinding to top levels, 28hrs * 0.75 or 0.5 would be a great ideal timeframe as my own suggestion, 14-21 hours, i.e. a base EXP boost overall of 25-40% more). I had many life occupying things going on I barely had time to play the game and only made it to level 27 while still trying to experience the other things the game has to offer, I'll make a safe assumption that not all of us can play the game like a full-time job.
The top 30 levels in the game on the final day the person at rank 30 was only a level 32. So even the level 32 player didn't reach much of the features the game had to offer, like Black Spirit Rage usage/transferring, majority of PvP mechanics, newer areas, different forges and towns weapons, items, armors various other things.
Elongating the grind from 1-50 makes the game only more dull as you'll be killing more or less of the same mobs repeatedly in some same fashion with not as many skills to work with than if you were at 50.
All of this ^ is just my opinion mixed with speculation and experiences plus the reasons behind these answers and looking out for the interest of BDO and for players coming in or out of it.
In alpha the game's level cap was 30, which also stopped a lot of players from reaching other areas, I don't know how big the map was enabled at the time but this time around the level cap was 50.99, so I figure a lot of other areas were enabled and opened up. This time around I got to Glish and explored further into Calpheon one of the capital cities of Black Desert. The other two which aren't accessible yet are Mediah and Valencia(which come much later).
Crafting in the game requires a lot of work on the players part, you have to connect nodes, utilize workers if you want it done faster, move materials and find materials from particular areas and centralize them in the town where you want a particular weapon/item/costume/furniture/wagon/stable etc. crafted. In short, don't come into BDO thinking this like a typical MMO where you gather x materials and just craft it anywhere on some pedestal in a main town.
It's great, I like the fact that it takes a lot of effort to make a weapon, after a while and getting used to the system I'm sure I'll appreciate it, right now it's a bit frustrating because there are so many items in the game and so many recipes of sub materials to learn about that it's a bit jarring and intimidating but the challenge I definitely welcome. You can of course grind millions of mobs too and hope they drop it and such but to get some of the best equipment I assume it will be coming from crafting in this fashion as crafting states you have a low chance to make an "Ultimate" version of the weapon.
Some may find it cumbersome or annoying but if you ask me it adds to the realism Black Desert tries to strive for and keeps the game unique from other MMOs in today's generation. Older/ancient MMOs had the same long and large process of gathering things everywhere and moving them around to get something made.
Something like a Seleth Shortsword required 3 Pieces of Steel, 1 Fine Tough Hide, 1 Pure Lead Crystal, 12 Blackstone Powder, 4 Traces of Death.
While that doesn't sound like much...
A small breakdown of where most of these materials come from:
3 Steel - Requires 5 Coal and 5 Melted Iron Shards,
Melted Iron shards - 5 Iron ore heated = 1 melted Iron Shard, 3 steel = 15 iron melted shards = 75 Iron Ores
1 Fine Tough Hide = 10 Tough hides = 50 animal hides(pig,rhino,cow etc.).
1 Pure Lead Crystal = 1 Metal Solvent + 1 Lead Ingot.
Metal Solvent = Clear Liquid Reagent x1 + Crude/Rough Stone x4 + Melted Iron Shard x2...? + Trace of Savagery x2.
Clear Liquid Reagent = 1 Purified Water + 1 Sunrise Herb + 1 Wild Grass + 1 salt
Purified Water = River Water + Empty Bottle + Thinning process
Lead Ingot = 10 Melted Lead Shards = 50 Lead Ore
12 Blackstone Powder = 2x roughstone = 1, = 24 Rough Stones. Blackstone Powder can be obtained from also grinding down magic crystals.
4 Traces of Death = No idea I just melted down weapons I didn't need and got them as a remainder of the processing.
So you put all that together and then you can forge a Seleth Shortsword at a weapon forge in a town somewhere.
GOOD LUCK! LOL. Some of the things also require a certain Life Profession level to be able to craft particular ingredients like the Metal Solvent or Pure Lead Crystal and Fine Tough Hide.
The whole game already has no teleport systems or instant travel system, you have to walk across the world to get from one area to another. If you want to transport goods you can also do so with workers and wagons to have your minions transfer stuff from storage to storage. Your storage isn't global access either it is local within the town you stored your things in, this is why I say don't come into BDO thinking like its your average MMO. The map is also massive, running from one border end to the other took 10+ minutes or so on a mount running in a "straight" path to the other end. Straight as in through the flat pathways, rather than climbing through mountains and such. And this is with other areas not even yet accessible such as the Mediah territory and Valencia desert territory.
There's also oceans and other things too where you can set sail outwards and try to look for whales and other things if you'd like and into some hardcore fishing.
Combat in the game is flashy as usual some have expressed to me in comments elsewhere saying it's so flashy they can't see anything going on. The game's settings allow for you to adjust this and lower it or disable other people's effects.
During CBT1 there was a world boss event in some templed areas south of Heidel(level 20-30ish area), that was summoned by the CM_Jouska for us players to experience. The thing that shined the most for me there was that the game engine and its resource handling worked very well for a mass number of people on the same screen, while my framerate did drop to about a horrid 15FPS it was still playable and surprisingly a lot better than what I expected, I thought my game was going to just straight up freeze and crash.
The fight was also hella messy so I hope for a PvE event like this there'll be future options to render or ghost/fade-in/fade-out other characters rather than rendering th em all on screen because it becomes nigh impossible to see what anyone is doing when you have a flurry of bodies making inaudible grunting noises and yellings on one target which looks ridiculous and possibly annoying after x amount of times. It'll be funny the first few times but ... yeah.
For siege wars and massive guild PvP wars I don't think such an option is needed since everyone will be fighting in small groups within a huge group or skirmish dueling one another in crowds of people fighting one another. But it's good to know the game engine itself can handle that without freezing up to a halt. My computer specs are an i7-3770k and a GTX 980Ti in case you were wondering, with the graphics set to near maximum.
Your mounts have skills too, they can learn it randomly at level, up certain tiers of horses will learn different skills and such. It's all random from what I've researched. The horses can be bred too so you can have stables and spawn more horses if you'd like and sell it to the markets for ingame $$ or players for ingame $$.
One activity I went to go try was horse taming this time around, it's rather difficult for your first few times to grasp what to do. I failed miserably and had the horse I was after stolen by someone else. If I had PvP on (level 30+) I probably would've tried to ravage the other person out of rage LOL. It's good to figure out these things early on before you reach PvP-enabled levels. When you have a lasso ready in the hand and the crosshair reticle is red on a horse in the fields it is a wild one so you can capture it.
The steps to capturing it is well landing the lasso to begin with, then overpowering the horse a bit, then moving closer. If the horse reels on its hindlegs it'll probably snap the lasso and you'll have to try again. Once you get close enough you feed it some food/lump of sugar in this case and if it succeeds it'll let you mount it. That's not finished yet, once you mount it make sure you get to a stable and register it in. Else if you just take off and never register it it could get killed...(by players or monsters...) or it could run away I think?.
It's quite the process but is a nice minigame touch to the game. See the video down below for more information.
Fishing is the same thing too, if you dont' get a perfect reel draw you'll have to do quicktime inputs to fully reel in what was caught on your fishing line.
I didn't get around to gardening as I don't know what it does or how to get it started, probably missed the quest somewhere.
For newcomers to BDO make sure you speak with most NPCs in the first town, if you just do the main quests and the Black Spirit quests you'll miss out on a lot of the systems wondering why there isn't any tutorial in the game for most of it. Most of it begins AT the first town; Olvia. Most of the crafting, life activities, mining, node management and things are all introduced at the first town from multiple NPCs.
The game itself has all these quests disabled by default, I hope they add some sort of notification to enable it or what not or at least direct the player to enable it after new character creation and logged in for the first time because it's not very obvious to anyone coming into the game.
I also rode further west from Heidel and eventually reached Calpheon west of Glish. The town is absolutely massive in it having 2 levels of floors and takes up a huge section of one part of the world map.
There's also about 238 housing elements in that city alone. The towns and villages average only 12-30. Calpheon has 238!. IT IS UNREAL. My computer itself had single FPS drops on just loading up the city inner housing elements.
Also the PvE areas surrounding Calpheon all appear to be in some form of ongoing siege or war, Trina Fort especially and the path towards Epheria Port are all littered with NPC ongoing in battles and things. These are also the areas I'm suspecting where PvP will occur frequently too since it is a high leveled area that seems to be for levels 40-50+. The areas I ended up in before the CBT ended was in a level 33-35 area which is very close to the between of Calpheon and Glish.
The Tamer is a pretty unique class I find between the other classes in the game. She can summon a pet to fight with her at level 20. Reading the skill descriptions you can also ride your summon, the Heilang, at level 49 as a mount as well.
She's a melee fighter that has quite strengthy AoE attacks and a fighting pet to help with offense. She isn't ranged in anyway but has some pretty extreme mobility. Her evasion dash slash goes miles around everywhere so I have no idea why a tamer would ever sprint lol. I thought this was strange but alright hah.
Here's a shot of some AoE blasting
A lot of attacks are huge areas of effect, that or they hit extremely hard but I notice they also kind of leave her wide open to enemy attacks also. Some attacks like Flash into a Pole Thrust into a Stance Shift work really well as it seems to provide me with some form of evasion and drags mobs towards me which synergize with those aoe attacks as shown in the above image.
Getting around an opponent is fairly easy and she has a lot of attacks that also inflict knockdown with repeated assaults great for slamming something on the floor to cause down attack bonus damage. An image doesn't really depict much so if you want to see more just check the video at the bottom.
While I didn't get to experience the Black Spirit Rage versions of some her attacks some of the "uppercut" looking techniques are probably some of the most used attacks I had with her and her grapple Soaring Kick was very useful in regenerating mana and kicking an enemy airborne into a knockdown state.
Some of her attack cancels involve stunning while I don't exactly know if it's a 100% chance infliction it doesn't seem to always work but is good for stopping your combo midway to cease yourself from getting frenzied and taking hits and avoiding them instead.
The thing I notice though is that the tamer's strength mostly comes from the combined effort of the Tamer herself & her pet being active. Without the Heilang pet being summoned the Tamer lacks a bit of offense power. With it though it's a formidable class. The Heilang is great at taking aggro and being a temporary tank too, it is also involved in PvP aspects of the game though I 've heard the pet is the first thing to die when fighting a tamer. So be wary.
Overall I think Black Desert Online is a unique game on the MMORPG market with an open world system. It strives for some form of realism in its medieval-fantasy sense. The game has enough complexity to keep newcomers entertained and experienced players still formulating everything around the world.
At the core of the game and all indications with many things considered, Black Desert Online does feel more of a PvP game than PvE so really don't go in expecting you'll all be fighting some raid boss together because so far the monsters in the game aren't a good example of PvE/AI which could use improvements.
The first few quests given by the Black Spirit itself should already indicate hostility within the game being as the first entity that speaks with you claims it stole all your power and is playing mind games with you. The many life activities the game has to offer away from all the fighting and killing is also very refreshing as most other MMOs don't have such systems in place to such an extent of minigames and just overall field scouting and exploration. NPC Amity growth at least encourages some form of NPC interaction rather than the run of the mill wall of text dialogue that 99% of us ignore.
In conclusion the game is still very young on the market, it's only 1 year old in the Korean version and less than 2 months in the NA/EU regions. I plan to be playing this game overtime because for such a young game on the market it has a lot to offer and many changes and additions should come in the future as long as the game stays on track with its vision.
Other things the game can use improvements on is a slightly more detailed information system with certain character statistics and some more transparency on dodging techniques because I found it hard to determine whether an attack missed me because of inherent evasion stats or because I actually dodged it with a proper technique in its invulnerability frames.
Anyways here's the video of most of this,
The video is rather long so here's some timer contents
Char Customization - 0:00 until 4:14
Bosses/TamerGameplay - 4:15
World Boss Event CBT1 14:20
Horse Riding Idiocy/Exploring 21:59
Higher level areas(level38+) 28:10
Horse Taming 36:04
Process of Crafting... 39:41
Dye System 49:36
Random Warrior on final day giving my dog pet a facial backrub...
Thanks for reading/watching! and Merry Christmas everyone have a great holiday!
As always comments are welcome! Please keep it civil among each other is all I ask thanks!