Black Desert Online Final Test Review
The Black Desert Online final test has kept me busy during the past few weeks amongst many other games. I told myself that I would play this game casually so that I don't burn out before release day, but that didn't go as planned. I ended up with a strict schedule of eat, sleep, and play Black Desert.
Quests and Leveling Up - To Quest or Not to Quest
The most efficient way to level up is to grind like crazy and complete worthwhile side quests along the way. The Black Spirit quests rewards items and enchanting stones. All of the other quests are not so important unless you want contribution points used for purchasing houses, unlocking trade points, rental equipment, and more. Pearl Abyss added new mini quests in this beta where you can collect a certain amount of items from the monsters and turn it in for money. This solves some of the financial issues players run into while leveling up, as long as they are farming at the right places and not vendoring the item drops. I wasn't concerned on getting to level 50 right away so I did a lot of side quests here and there between my grinding sessions.
An alternative way to level up fast during the final test was to perform manual labor through commerce trading though it was slightly nerfed a few days after everyone went Oregon Trail crazy. Buying NPC trade items from one town and selling it to the other for a higher price. The only down side to this system is that you won't have enough skill points. On the bright side, you will have a ton of money!
Open Seamless World and Graphics - Amazing Feature at What Cost?
One of the many features that I love about Black Desert Online is the high quality seamless world partnered up with perfect day and night transitions. Pearl Abyss did a fine job with the real-time lightning features that actually looks good not half-assed like some other MMORPG's where it's instantly morning followed by instant noon then nighttime darkness. Overall it's a very pleasant experience. Nighttime areas look splendid and there are specific times when areas are going to be completely pitch black until the moon reveals itself. Weather conditions also play a big role when it comes down to the lightning of certain areas. Pearl Abyss also added special effects to the environment such as heavy rain adding random puddles on the map, wet textures to buildings, and player equipment reacting to rain. Graphics improvement doesn't just stop there alone. Whenever your armor's durability drops, you will start noticing random gash marks and chipped off pieces, which is nice because you can't be shiny forever. However, if you want your equipment back to its pristine state, you will have to repair it via blacksmith NPC's.
Being an 18+ game, the game has a lot of blood when slaying certain monsters such as Humanoids and monsters alike. Kill enough enemies and your equipment will become drenched in blood... like extremely bloody. Now taking all of what I have explained so far when you're out on the field killing stuff your equipment can become extremely worn out, bloody, and soaked in water. Amazing right? Now for the big boohoo. I'll be honest, it's no secret that Black Desert has a pop-in texture problem. I'm not sure if this is a latency thing playing from USA or just general feature because rumors say that this game is supposedly going to get ported over to console. Either way it's not much of problem for me, but a certain amount of my viewers find it a bit disturbing. Perhaps they will improve it later on so deal with it for now and moving on!
GvG - Breaking Down the Mechanics and Penalties
The GvG system was a bit different compared to the previous betas because each guild must build a Command Center within the GvG Area. A Command Center acts as a respawn point for a fallen guild member. If the command center is destroyed, they can no longer win rights to obtain Calpheon the large city. It's an all out FFA guild war so it's best to find a spot where the Command Center won't get flanked or backdoor'ed by other players. There is no built in alliance system so guilds are forced to form a "player made alliance based on trust" where they agree to not attack each other until the end. Of course, it doesn't always end well as we have had random guilds backstab us during the past few betas. I would have had a better GvG experience if I actually lived in South Korea and played without lag. As you can see there are times when I try to grab players, but they are already a few steps away from me. I didn't expect to kill many players as I have gone full tank mode and support with +7 equips and a few pieces at +9. Soaking in damage for the team! Death is imminent once a player gets knocked down heck you can see my HP drop from full to almost dead and I am a tank. Imagine what it is like if an Ranger or Sorceress gets knocked down, not even potion spam can save them unless they are decked out in full +10 gear.
The penalty and karma system plays a huge role in GvG. If your guild as at a negative Karma for killing players during non GvG hours, then you're most likely to drop equipment, lose enchants on equipment, drop potions, items in inventory, and if you're extremely unlucky with high Karma your equipped items. I invited a guest player Furia from community Black-Desert.com to join my guild raid and he managed to pick up a +9 Sword, +6 Shield and amongst other things. A very scary penalty for some players, is this game too hardcore for others?! Honestly, I would tableflip if I lost my equipment in this matter. Would I quit? Nope, because I can farm it all back in less than week with energy drinks and gold farmer mode. The severe loss of equipment penalty might be from players who have PK'ed several innocent players. However, I can confirm that I have lost the extra equipment that I was carrying upon death during GvG. Guild Karma is separate from the Normal Player Karma which only affects yourself, so make sure both is at a positive or you'll risk losing items upon death.
Other guilds went out of their way to troll my guild when it came down to abusing the Karma system. They would purposely turn on PvP mode and suicide jump in on the line of fire to get PK'ed by my guild members. That player would die instantly and our guild Karma would shoot up for PK'ing that player. Once our Guild Karma is at a negative score the penalties start kicking in. Having negative Karma will have a big impact in GvG because of the penalty system mentioned in the previous paragraph. The only way to bring Karma back up to a positive state is to farm guild quests which usually takes an hour or so to complete. Guild war preparation also takes a lot of time because players must manually collect materials for barricades to wall off the Command Center. Also, crafting the higher tier Cannons which does a ton of damage during siege war! A guild member of mine made a short Cannon video below.
1v1 Arena PvP - Challenge Accepted!
As much as I wanted to practice a lot of the 1v1 PvP content, I spent most of my time farming upgrade/enchanting stones and preparing for the final war. Black Desert Online offers various open world PvP Arena's where players can practice 1v1 fights without penalties. The only downside is that you will have to spend some money on potions to heal yourself to full each session. Given you can SPAM potions in this game most players agree not to use potions during their duels. You can find more PvP videos from my friends Korean tournament here. I doubt they are going change how the potion system works because of the enchanting system. Players with good equipment are able to drop players in less than 10-20 seconds especially if they proc various stuns, knockdown, and disables one after the other.
Enchanting System - How does it affect class balance?
Honestly, I don't even know about class balancing anymore because of the enchanting system. Pearl Abyss is extremely working hard on class balancing because they would always nerf or buff skills daily during the final test. Is it enough? Perhaps it is, but it's extremely hard to balance content when everyone is upgraded. Which is one of the reasons why I spent most of my time farming during the final test. Like most MMORPG's enchanting gear is very rewarding and it plays a big role in PvP survival. I just wish the developers would add more ways to obtain enchanting stones other than purely grinding monsters and one time mainstory quests.
I've actually grown used the enchanting system in this game. When enchants fail your item loses -5 durability so instead of 100/100 dura item, it will become 95/95. Fail enough times and your item will become a useless 1/1 max durability piece of equipment. The only wait to get its max durability back to how it was is to sacrifice the same type of item that isn't enchanted. No more raging when enchants go down from +10 to +9! The only time you're going to lose enchants on your equipment is by dying with negative Karma.
Dye System - Can't become too fabulous!
Becoming extremely fabulous in Black Desert Online is challenging mainly because you're not going to see super hot red armor or shiny sparkly colors on armor like you would normally see on Vindictus which isn't bad a thing. It would be extremely awkward and out of place to see a full neon green Knight running around. I believe the dye system might be a cash shop feature later on, but for now players are able to purchase dyes from a specific NPC. You can find out more information by checking my dye video description below.
Horse Taming - Catch'em and Breed'em
The horse taming system is still a lot of fun! Female horses is extremely so if you ever catch one make sure you start breeding with other horses from the stables. Breeding horses grants the player a new horse with a different set of skin and skills. That's pretty much the only way you can obtain special colored horses with super stats.
End Game PvE Content - Not Looking so Bright
While the game does offer a lot of optional PvE content, Black Desert Online is still lacking in the team-based PvE End Game department. Either Pearl Abyss is saving all the PvE end game content for Open Beta or this game is heavily PvP oriented. The only PvE end game I have done during the past few betas is world boss hunting and I decided to skip out on that this beta to focus on PvP related content. You will just have to wait for Open Beta! I will definitely share some crazy boss battles and write about it in the future. Players were only given access to 1/4th of the world shown below. If players could reach the max level in this area alone then that leaves end game content in the other areas? I will get to the bottom of it!
BUGS - Squish Them ALL!
It ain't a beta without some bugs, right?! There are times when I got stuck on random places or endless rubber banding stuck in one place. It might be a latency issue playing a Korean game from the US. Either way, there are some fun bugs around like the one shown below. I haven't ran across any game breaking bugs or exploits just yet. Not sure if air swimming would count as one? Shucks, I should have swam towards the sky!
Conclusion - LGTM
I could go on forever and write about the various features this game has to offer, but I will save it for the future. I am planning on making this game my new main MMORPG so expect a lot of videos and articles about Black Desert Online in the future. The game is scheduled to be release this year in South Korea and the wait shouldn't be that long with only a few months left. I will most likely try one of the two new classes so look forward to seeing more Black Desert adventures from me soon. Thanks for reading and please support me by Subscribing to my Youtube and Facebok Page! Thanks~
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