How we expect it to be and how it is now
Most of the old members (I would say all of them) are pretty upset with the current stage of BDO. The newcomers, don’t really know the reason for this and a lot of arguments have started. Old members appear to be rude, and newcomers sometimes sound silly.
Here is the list of points showing how Black Desert used to be, and how Black Desert is right now and if you were not following the game before 2014, I would recommend you read it all.
2012, the company Pearl Abyss announced that they ware creating Black Desert and they released their first 2 trailers. This was the beginning of finding a publisher for their game. After a few months they announced that DAUM would be their publisher. DAUM is very good publisher for the Korean market.
By the end of 2012, Pearl Abyss showed us that the game would include the following things:
A large scale of open world PvP, anyone would be able to kill you and steal some of your stuff since you dropped items from your inventory due to death.
Large open world raid bosses where a full guild was needed to kill them. They said that these bosses would drop items to craft epic armors/weapons and jewelries.
Mounted combat, the horses were agile and they even showed us a warrior hunting with spear some boars while riding his horse.
Open world houses! At the initial stage of Black Desert all the houses were open world, they predicted to have 2000+ houses in the whole world, and all those houses were open world. That meant, the first person to buy the house, would be the only one who could own it. The house would be open world, therefore if you leave your door open, anyone could visit your house, you could even make a spare key for your friends. The houses would be bought by an auction house, the one who bid the most money would get the house but, since it was open world houses, you had limited time to keep your purchase. You would be able to keep the house 1 to 3 months max (they were not very specific, they were still discussing the time limit). With the houses you would be able to invest your money, because you ware able to convert them to a shop. e.g., make your house a blacksmith shop, therefore people would be able to come to your house, pay you and they would be able to craft their items.
And lastly, they said that there would be 3 types of guilds. Combat type guilds, Religious type guilds and Traders type guilds.
Time was passing, they announced that the first closed beta will take place in the autumn of 2013. In the mean while we had some interviews with Pearl Abyss, one of them was directly by us. You can read them here and here.
Here are some of the quotes which are most note worthy to look at again and you will realize how much the game has been changed:
Apollonius: You mentioned the players, here’s a question in regard to them. What will the leveling up process be like? Will it be more of a casual process, where players reach end level quite fast and focus on “endgame” or will you walk a different path?
Brian Oh Even though we haven’t finalized the leveling curve in our Game, I can tell you that the estimate from level 1 to 50 is around 200 real hours. Afterwards the curve becomes steep and reaching the final level will require a similar amount of time as in the old Lineage days. But as I said, we haven’t finalized it yet and I can’t give you a concrete answer of what the level cap might be.
Apollonius: Any thoughts on server population?
Brian Oh We’re aiming for a single server to be able to house as many as ten thousand players.
Apollonius: Now that’s a big number compared to other games. Why do you want so many players in a server?
Brian Oh Black Desert Online puts a lot of emphasis on player interaction, be it combat, trade or politics, so it is important to us, that there will be a population able to accomplish that.
Apollonius: Any word on the housing system?
Brian Oh Housing will be using physical ingame space and will be limited with players paying periodical fees for owning them. But since we want everyone to enjoy this feature one way or another, there’ll be also inns and tents present in the game.
Apollonius: We haven’t heard much on the crafting system of Black Desert. What can you tell us about it?
Brian Oh The crafting system will be more or less similar to the traditional crafting system seen in other games. Players gather materials and have their respective skills in doing so. Focusing on mining or gathering has as a result the reduction of time needed in performing the task, as well as increasing the success rate. Though most materials will be collectable, crafting in some cases may require drops from Bosses.
Apollonius: On the aspect of Guilds, we read that Guilds will be able to follow one of three paths: Combat, Politics and Religion. I’ve encountered the first two in other games before, but religion? What can we imagine on that?
Brian Oh: We’ve been thinking on how to have religion affect the game. Once concept is, that if a Guild gathers enough players to follow their religion, the Guild Leader will be maybe able to affect the weather or open portals for a limited amount of time for players to use them for a fee.
Apollonius: This sounds really interesting. In regard to the weather, word was that it will be dynamic and may affect gameplay.
Brian Oh Yes, we’re finalizing it. Depending on if it’s raining or not, certain animations might be faster or slower and certain spells might be stronger or weaker. For example if it’s raining, a swing with the sword by the fighter might take longer to execute and a fireball by the sorcerer might not be as effective.
The first closed beta took part in the autumn of 2013. You can see the first day of CBT1 here. Closed beta 1 lasted for 1 week, 9 hours per day. The game was indeed as they had announced, and was one of the most addictive MMO that we had played so far. In 9 hours, you would probably make from level 1 to level 20 max. The PvP was added few days later, but was available from level 1.
February 2014 Pearl Abyss announced that they found a Russian publisher but not English publisher yet.
April 2014 they announced the dates of Closed Beta 2 and that it would last 3 weeks.
Closed beta 2 took place, here and here you can see what we wrote and recorded from CBT2. Again the most note worthy quote “Took around 15 hours to reach level 20″
There were some differences from CBT1 but they were not so devastating. Here are the differences:
Open world houses turned to instanced houses which you bought with contribution points
There was added PvP limit at level 45
Religious type of guild was removed
Party link formation system was added
Calpheon area was added
You dropped items due death only if you have negative karma
Unfortunately due to the lack of having the ability to speak and read Korean, we couldn’t try some stuff like crafting, cooking etc. Also we learned the power of wealth. Money in BDO was very important. Monsters were much harder to kill than what are right now, therefore potions were a necessary thing to have. If for some reason you run out of money, you were in a really bad situation, you did’t have money to buy potions, nor to repair your armor/weapon therefore you weren’t be able to grind and to level up. Therefore, using the trading system, was a good way to make some money.
It also needs to be mentioned that even in CBT2, the exp was getting easier every day. Of course we need to discuss a little about the new party link system. The party link system was a system to make the players work together for higher party benefits. That depended on what formation the party members took, and how they were connected to each other. Depending on the formation, it could result in much damage, higher defense or to stun raid bosses. In CBT2, it was not really worth it, because to make the formation and do the skills, you needed quite a lot of time, and as a result you were getting some buffs only for 10 seconds, and till you were ready to play again due to the channeling skills etc, you had already lost 5 seconds of your buffs.
It was end of September 2014 when CBT3 took place, but till then, we had an interview in E3, a visit to their office and another interview in Gamescom 2014.
CBT3 was not bad, it was funny and nice experience, although there were some changes that we disliked. You can see here our impressions, but let’s check the major changes from CBT2:
New character creation system (which blew everybody’s mind)
Could reach level 50 in 2 days
Added dye system
Party link system was not working for some reason
PvP/PvE was not really improved
Added summoning bosses quest which gave you a lot of exp
Night become day (We know it is not a major thing, but small stuffs like these makes the game completely different, click here to see how the night time used to be in CBT2, and check how it is now)
Cat pet was added
Seeing the level of each player was added
Added channels in the servers
The radar which was working in a more realistic way was replaced with a mini map
fortunately since CBT3 ended, our communication with Pearl Abyss has been reduced due to the heavy work they have.
Later they had the Media conference, where they showed new pictures and videos and announced that the Open Beta will start in December, 2014. Lets discuss the major differences between CBT3 and OBT:
Open world bosses were completely removed
PvP level limit changed from level 45 to level 50
The Karma system was reworked and instead of seeing an improvement, it become worse since you can’t PvP any more due to the extremely heavy penalties
Seeing the level of each player removed
1 to 1 trade is removed
Cash shop includes armors/weapons with stats although they had clearly mentioned in previous interviews that this wouldn’t happen
You can reach level 55+ in less than 1 week
Monsters are much easier to kill
Party link system completely removed
Suffering death penalties from bosses or in PvP was removed
Different type of guilds were removed
The Auction House (AH) is changed, now there is a world AH not town AH and it is not free to player base economy system as they mentioned in previous interviews
Making money is an easy thing now
There are so many daily quests which creates a routine
New areas and classes were added
New quests were added
New items were added
Unrealistic colored sci-fi style glowing in characters and npc’s were added
There were changes in housing, crafting and workers
The old tent house was removed and replaced with a small farm
New skills and animations were added
Pets are now collecting loot, new pets were added
Character creation was improved
There are a lot of changes and things added, of course we can’t say that everything is bad, some of the changes are good, but we need to compare the current stage, with the initial idea of Black Desert online.
Let’s start with the Open World, Sandbox features of the game
Back in 2013, direct words from Pearl Abyss:
Black Desert Online puts a lot of emphasis on player interaction, be it combat, trade or politics, so it is important to us, that there will be a population able to accomplish that.
Unfortunately in Black Desert at this moments, there is no player interaction. a) There is no combat unless you are in a guild and have a pointless war. b) There is no trade nor politics, simply because there is no trade, and simply because everything is open to every single player. Right now in Black Desert online, you can achieve ALMOST everything solo. This collides with the initial idea of politics between guilds and areas of the world of Black Desert. c) how are the players supposed to run the economy and trade of the world when the game decides the higher and lower value of your items and not the player directly? Example, epic piece of armor (yellow color) having the same price as blue type of armor, it does not make sense!
Also why did the open world contents disappear? Open world bosses are removed, open world houses are removed, open world shops (from your house) was removed. We don’t have the answer why, but the game does not look as an open world MMO anymore, but as a single player RPG, where you have the chance to party up with your friends too.
PvP during CBT1 phase was fine. There was no level restriction, you’d suffer penalties, and if you were the one who got the PK, you would suffer the karma penalty. Because of course it was CBT and no one cared about their characters since after 6 days the characters were going to be deleted, everyone started get karma, therefore everyone started complaining, and added the PvP level limit later on the next betas.
Except for the level limit, another bad thing is that they removed the death penalties when you killed by another player. What are the consequences of that? Let’s have a scenario for an example. You are grinding in a very nice spot, and suddenly, an annoying player, comes to your spot, and kills the same mobs as yours. That leads for you to get less exp, and lose some of your loot and of course it is just very annoying. You decide, to suffer the karma penalties and to kill him in order to get your spot back. Since he does not suffer any death penalties, he is free to come back, and make you get so much karma that in the end you will have to leave your own grinding spot.
Also the change in the karma system. Karma is really hard to get rid of if you get a lot. We don’t really want to compare with other games, but in this case we have to say, Black Desert online had similar karma system as the Lineage 2 (early days, L2 Chronicle 1 to Chronicle 3) karma system. We would really like to see the Karma/Flag system as Lineage 2. If the other person fights back, you won’t get karma, if not, you will get karma but, anyone can kill you, and you will drop equipped items. Who will risk to drop his +10 weapon to kill a newbie for no reason? Also on death, the negative karma should be removed, not necessary all of it, but to make it much easier to burn it. For example, if you get -200k karma when you kill someone, to get +150k when you die and of course -2% exp due to death.
As we mentioned all of the houses turned to instanced except for a very small minority which work as guild halls. Why is this a bad thing? Another thing which Pearl Abyss was proud of their game, was the realistic things of their game e.g. no teleports. Now, since it is instanced, everyone can have the same house, therefore everyone can craft the top things, therefore there is nothing unique. Simple solution, make 90% of the houses open world, and only 10% instanced in which they could craft the low level things. The open world houses, could turn to shops as initially was aimed for, and craft better things. Although, of course we could keep the time limit e.g. one month and then again the house goes to the AH.
Initially there were 3 types of guild, now there is only one. That means all the chances of being different are simply removed, and you have to be the same as every other guild.
Party Link system
There was an awesome idea with great potential for party driven features and now for some reason it has gone.
No 1 to 1 trade
We can understand that they did this to avoid the “Gold Sellers” but you need also to see the ugly truth. What is that? That is DAUM is making more money. How? Simple, you can’t trade, so you can’t buy gold directly, but you can buy from the cash shop, sell the items and therefore, these are, indirectly, the gold which you bought.
Having no 1 to 1 trade is the silliest idea for an MMO game. Claiming to make an Open World Sandbox game in which the community of the game drives the economy and the politics of the game and not having a 1 to 1 trade does not make sense. Why? Because you can’t help your friends, which again drives you to be solo.
You don’t drop items due to death
You would ask why that is a bad thing? Well, let’s see what consequences we have by removing that death penalty. By dropping items (only from your inventory during CBT1 not from the equipped items) when you don’t have negative karma, you are driven to play more carefully, and are compelled to use what you have, in order to survive. Also that might drive some people to PvP more. Don’t misunderstand it. People won’t start PKing anyone just to pick up some worthless “wood”. They will get karma for that and risk dropping their items.
We discussed a little about the economy, but what is the major difference? Black Desert introduced new ways of making money in the game, e.g. the trading system. What is wrong with it? It is so easy right now to make money, so using the trade system right now, is just a waste of time. So they added another great way to make money, but it is simply worthless.
Well, no one can deny that the way you level up in Black Desert is really fast. What is the problem with that? First, they did not keep their word of saying that you will need at least 200+ hours to get from lvl 1 to lvl 50 and secondly, they created such a great environment and they do not give you the chance to explore it. Why? Because every 10 – 15 minutes you need to change grinding spot. You don’t really have enough time to explore the area, since you already took so many levels so you need to move on. Also you reach the end game content so fast (less than 1 day if you know what you need to do), so it ends up being boring really quickly.
Black Desert was designed (although it is not anymore) to be PvP and politically orientated by the players of the servers, therefore channels on the servers are not suitable for that kind of game. In big guilds there are a lot of wars, and communication with the guild members to be in the same channel when you have penalties to change channel (e.g. you can’t change channel if your workers are working) in order to fight your enemies, in the end it will cost you the loss of the fight. Why don’t all the guild members play in the same channel you might ask? Well, in the large scale of guilds, is not always so easy as you think.
We heard some people who said the current BDO is fine, that Black Desert right now have more than 1.5kk unique persons. Well, we have to say that the current BDO is not fine, please realize that 1.5kk unique persons are not many for a AAA MMO, the old BDO was predicted to be in the top 10 places in Korea, and recently even completely removed from the top 100.
What we would like to see, is the old (initial) BDO start taking form. With open world and real sandbox contents, where you could be someone, someone unique, like a real blacksmith for example, with your house and store. Now, everyone is the same, and everyone can reach almost any point solo. We wish to see again the real party link system, to see some proper coordination and communication between parties and not spamming of skills and potions. We wish to see guilds fighting each other for a reason and not just to have some “PvP”. We wish to see Black Desert as it was originally designed, and not how it eventually became.
Right now, only time will tell us how much the game will change when is it time to be released on the EU/NA.
Please note this article does not represent the whole community, but represents the majority of the old members of our website due to the comments and discussions we had 3 years ago when Black Desert was still under development.
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