Another week and another Black Desert Online report ready to go! Now that the Black Desert CBT2 servers are online for more than nine hours a day, I finally managed to get to level 50! What's new in this week's report? I will walk you through some of the game features such as the skill awakening mechanics, NPC trading system, items on market, unlimited levels, guild stuff, and more. I like adding a bunch of high quality 1440p and 2160p gameplay videos in my reviews so check em out!
Multiplayer Characters and Alts
One of the more interesting features of Black Desert Online is that you don't have to map out the fog of war all over again between all of your characters. Once you've explored that area it will be visible on all of your characters, a very nifty features for players that often get lost like me! However, the quests aren't shared so you will have to complete the same old quests when rerolling or starting a new character. Farming contribution points is a little bit easier with this system as the contribution bar is shared between all characters.
Making Money and NPC Trading System
There are a couple ways to earn money in Black Desert Online. The usual grinding and farming items to sell on the Market place. Others take advantage of the unique trade system where you buy certain goods from NPC's and sell it to other NPC's in different regions or towns. An item's worth varies depending on the the demand or areas where the supply is low. These items can only be bought and sold by the "Trade NPC" and is worthless to other NPC's. As a foreigner, the trade system was a bit confusing at first, but I eventually picked it up during my adventures. In my last review, I talked about how contribution points are obtained from questing. Another use of the contribution points is to open up trading routes. For example, opening a trading route from one town to other might cost a total of ten contribution points. Once a trade route is opened, the lines connecting the two towns will transition from white to yellow.
Players can earn a large amount of money if they were to just focus on trading all day because they will spend most of their contribution points on unlocking trade routes from town to town instead of using those points to purchase better gear for grinding levels. I focused on the latter part so I am not wealthy as other players. One thing to keep in mind is that other players can ransack your items while you're enroute! Kind of scary, especially if you're delivering a bunch of expensive items from one town to the other. If you're rich enough, you can always think outside the box and hire another player to hop along your carriage or mini cart. An Archer would be good because of their crazy range attack. Random payers can protect your precious cargo from users that enjoy trolling, griefing, etc. A friend of mine got ransacked the other day, he ended up losing a bunch of armor and weapons that he had stored on his horse.
Skill Awakening System - Enchant Skills
Upon hitting level 40 you're given an option to enchant one of your skills by summoning the Black Spirit NPC using the "/" key. You can enchant any of your skills, but it's a one time deal for that skill. Enchanting that skill will give it special bonuses everytime that skill is used. The first skill I enchanted was my Shift+LMB. I ended up getting attack speed and critical bonus on it which was fairly decent. A guild member of mine enchanted their Shift+RMB which is the chain lightning skill and got life leech as a bonus effect, which is awesome because no more HP potions needed while grinding. I decided to enchant my chain lightning. Unfortunately, the enchants I received wasn't good as my guild member. I don't think there is any way to reset the enchants yet, so you're stuck with whatever random buffs it gives you. I ended up enchanting most of my skills by the time I hit level 50, since you get to enchant a new skill per level. (Updated) As it turns out, you can sacrifice 50% of the exp you earned to re-enchant a skill once you hit level 50. I ended up learning this the hard way... T_T seems like a waste of EXP, would rather have used that EXP to get level 51, now I have to earn all that EXP back.
Guild War and Open PvP
Either something went wrong with siege wars or it just bugged out this week because there were no other competing guilds that wanted to rival the castle that we claimed. The next siege event starts later next week so perhaps that might be more interesting. It's kind of a good thing that something wrong with the siege war because of the overpowered Archer bug or skill that got nerfed the same day. I ran across a bit of server lag and bugs because I am playing from USA and got stuck on random things. I am hoping for a better experience next week. The game has gone through numerous patches this week, Pearl Abyss and Daum are working really hard to fix some of the issues the game is facing. According to the last beta, the first guild to break the statue claims the castle. From there on out, other guilds can band up and team up against that other guild via alliance in guild menu and try to overtake the guild defending the castle. I will have more details next week, when guild wars actually happen.
Max Level or Unlimited Levels
Technically the max level in Black Desert Online is Level 50 because there are no new skills beyond level 50. You can still train your older skills by obtaining more skill points from quests or grinding onward. Wait, did you just say grinding onward?! Yup, there is no level cap in Black Desert Online. Meaning you can level up like crazy and go beyond or should I say over 9,000! The current highest level player at the moment is level 54 or 55'ish. Once you get level 50, the grind becomes a bit of a chore and hassle. Some players might complain about the no level cap thing. If you ask me, I don't mind. I have a pretty good tolerance when it comes to hardcore leveling and grinding. I can foresee some problems for high level PvP matches later on. Unless there are diminishing returns on the extra stats gained beyond level 50 and up. Black Desert is like a grinding machines dream, perhaps too hardcore for other gamers outside of Asia.
My leveling spree was halted a day or two because of a serious bug that made the durability of my armor go down real fast. Not only that, the repair prices were extremely expensive! I couldn't do anything all day because I spent all my money on repairing my armor. The outcome of that patch was good though because I finally got a chance to play around with the trade system. A day later, they hot fixed the bugs and reverted the prices back to normal. I was really upset that day because I couldn't make any money at all and the prices were so expensive. I suppose I wasn't the only one because everyone ended up complaining about it and it was fixed. Was it a bug or some major test that failed on making content more challenging. Whatever it was, I am glad it's back to a normal playable game. If I had enough gold, I would have just bought a house and an anvil so that I can repair at my own home.
Clothing and Clones
Hate to say it, but the game is a bit lacking in clothing variety. I am pleased with the designs in general because there are no crazy bikini armors and stuff. I'm happy that my last set looks nice, at least better than the other classes. If I had to guess, the special and cool looking armors are obtained from field bosses that I need to poke later this week. I was hoping to get one of the cooler looking outfits previewed during the character creation. Large scale battles still look like clone wars because of the same overused colors that doesn't change much, especially for the Ranger class. You're just green all the way baby. I suppose this problem will fix itself when the remaining classes such as Wizard, Valkyrie, Blader, and Tamer is released. Pearl Abyss focused a lot on how clothing adapts with the environment when used too much the armor becomes dirty and ragged like the image below. When raining clothing become soaked in water.
The Market System - Sell and Buy!
I was a bit confused on how the Auction houses or market system worked in Black Desert Online and learned the hard way. My items weren't selling because the I paid the minimum price when placing it up for auction. The market only lists thirteen pages of items. Depending on the city or location it will have more than one market. For example, the large city of Calpheon has two to three market stalls while the smaller towns in the starting zone only have one. Items listed on the market aren't between places. When putting up an item, you can adjust the price of how much you want to sell it and how much gold you want to use so that the item is displayed on the first few pages of the market or the last page. The more gold invested when putting an item up in the market, the more priority it will get over the other items. For example, if I wanted to put up a super rare sword, I would sell it at 80,000g and add 200g extra for the listing fee. Checking the market and the last page, I don't see my item anywhere because the current lowest item is some 5,000g potato and that a random person put up with a listing fee of 1,000g. Looking at all the items on the last page, everything has a listing price of 1,000g. Now I have to remove my sword and price it at the same 80,000g, but change the listing fee from 200g to something like 1,001g to 6,000g so that it will be visible on top of everyone else's items. With that much gold the item might be displayed in the first few pages of the market. In short, it's a good idea to check the minimum listing fee in the market and the last page before adding an item to be displayed in the market.
Conclusion - What's next!?
Now that I have reached level 50, I really have no idea on what to do other than level up some more! Holy moly, am I crazy!? The next guild battle kicks off this weekend. I can't really say if I am looking forward to it because there seems to be a huge problem with balance at the moment. I do want to hunt some field bosses soon, but my guild is very busy grinding leveling like crazy, more than me sheesh! I will most likely end up relaxing or start playing my other games, though level 51 sounds very tempting. More importantly, I think I need to catch up on some sleep-lag as I have been staying up late and playing way too much Black Desert lately.
Developer: Pearl Abyss
Game Site: http://black.game.daum.net/
Three Pages to Follow!
English Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Pearl.Abyss.Black.Desert
Korean Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Daumblack
Steparu Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Steparus