Most of the game's features are introduced to the player by the time they reach Velia(2nd village, literally the second town you reach after you spawn from char creation) if they bothered to chat with NPCs or do all the sidequests beginning from Olvia leading up to Velia. By level 17 I have about 40+ possible quests regarding, crafting, cooking, housing, workers, trading, horse taming(a very popular question at how-to comes up so often it's baffling). A lot of people seem to miss these tutorial quests that get any new player started on the game's activities.
Another reason to get started on them early and not later is due to the fact the game doesn't have teleport systems that you may be used to in previous traditional MMOs. In Black Desert you have to walk/ride everywhere and it is a very massive open world.
Gaining character levels, if you ask me, is probably the easiest thing to do in this game until you hit 50+, you can probably get yourself to level 40-50 in a day(there were level 49's on the first day of early access) if you're just pure grinding but I doubt you'll have very much of anything accomplished apart from having a high char level.At Level 18 I already have over 50+ combat points invested into character and I haven't even reached Heidel yet, that probably isn't a lot but in previous playthroughs in CBT/alpha my other chars only had about 30-40 points invested in at level 35 while skipping a mass of quests in the previous beginning areas.
The amity system can be confusing to newcomers to the game but the system is quite simplistic if the terms are a bit more defined.
Raising Amity with certain NPCs will unlock Amity shops, knowledge pieces, side quests that could unlock Black Spirit Quests that follow into granting your character combat skill points in 2-3 points at a time, much quicker than grinding and helps prep you for future areas a lot sooner unless you're a veteran and know what's going on already. Having more Knowledge pieces unlocked in your character/account's Knowledge database also raises your maximum Energy which is a very useful resource that is regenerated over time and used for a lot of things in the game.
Interest Level - If this number is below the NPC's interest level it'll have a higher chance in failing, the bigger the difference the worst it'll get. Sometimes you need Knowledge pieces to fail in Conversation to fulfill Requirements to continue conversation/to succeed in gaining Amity.
Favor - It's a range of 2 numbers, where the system can roll anything in between. Both of these numbers and subtract the NPC's favor and that's how much favor you'll gain when this Knowledge piece is conversed upon.
Sparking Interest from what I've experienced appears to be the success/fail chance of having a Knowledge piece be accepted by the NPC in Conversation.
Interest - How much favor you'll actually gain towards Accumulated Favor Levels on NPC. This is the calculated difference between the Knowledge piece's favor and the NPC's favor.
NPC Stats:Interest Level - This number represents what level of Interest a Knowledge piece should have to have any effect or chance in succeeding/failing with an NPC during Conversation. If a Knowledge piece's Interest Level is greater than the NPC's Interest Level the Sparking Interest % will be 100%. Anything below and the chances will start dropping.
Favor - This number represents what amount of Favor is at least required to grow Amity with an NPC, choosing Knowledge pieces with favor under this number will generate practically nothing for Amity gains(more on that below) but will sometimes actually help succeed in growing Amity a lot more than others.
Accumulated Favor Level - From what I've seen the higher this number is the more Amity you'll gain at the end of a successful conversation.
Maximum Favor Level - I think this indicates how much Favor you gained in 1 turn.
You MUST fulfill the objective here in order to gain ANY Amity from the conversation, you can have 600+ Accumulated favor but if you fail the requirement you won't get anything and the Conversation will end and you'll lose your Energy spent to start the Conversation with the NPC.
If it says Fail to spark interest 4 consecutive times it means you have to fail 4 knowledge pieces in a row in order to continue proceeding in Conversation.
Sometimes getting the Talk Freely requirement is the best one to grow an insane amount of Amity since that objective cannot be failed.
Other times it asks for your Maximum Favor gain to be an x amount in 1 turn, or get a total x amount of Accumulated Favor from an entire conversation.
On successful Requirements being fulfilled you'll be asked if you want to continue the Conversation to raise even more amity without the cost of extra Energy of restarting another Conversation with the NPC. This can happen up to 2 times after the initial Conversation totaling 3 Conversations. If you fail to fulfill the requirements in any of the attempts your Conversation will end and you won't be granted extra continuous Conversation with the NPC without needing to spend Energy again.
Combo effects such as Favor reduction and Interest level reduction all refer to the NPC stats and not your Knowledge pieces. I was confused at first but figured it out it was referring to the NPC later on. So lowering the NPC's Interest Level basically improves all your Knowledge pieces to have a greater chance at Sparking Interest. Favor Reduction just helps you grow larger bonuses in Amity gains at the end of a Conversation since it lowers the NPC's Favor stat so your overall Knowledge has a greater range of boosts.
Multiple Successes in Sparking Interest also seem to increase the success chance of lower chance Knowledge pieces in later turns in a Conversation while I can't really seem to know if that's true I'm sure having a 3% Sparking Interest success rate occur 3 times in a row after 5 successes in 3 Conversation attempts isn't a coincidence.
Multiple successes in sparking interest also grant an invisible multiplier to Favor gains, so even using Knowledge pieces that grants 0 Favor but has some kind of combo effect can be VERY useful in the beginning of a Conversation.
If any Knowledge fails in the Conversation it'll reset the multiplier and your combo and success rates to its flat rate.
In short, the higher accumulated favor level you can acquire in one Conversation is how much Amity you'll gain.(I think...)
It's a very neat minigame that helps give some impact to NPC interaction in the game and is very useful to your overall journey in Black Desert.
Below is a video I made to help with this system. While on Channel chat I notice a lot of people asking so I went ahead and learned the thing and made a guide on it. I hope it helps you! In the video in 1 Conversation attempt that's being shown I made the Accumulated favor go skyrocketing and got a +147 Amity gain in that single attempt which is a huge amount.
I hope this helped you out! Thanks for reading/watching! As Always comments are welcome! Please keep it civil among each other is all I ask thanks!