Black Desert Online PvP and GvG Review

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I've been thoroughly playing Black Desert Online for a good two months now, which should explain the lack of articles on my website lately. Most of the end game features lead back to guild related or the pvp content because it doesn't really have any major PvE activities like raids or dungeons yet, other than various life skills and summoned weekly and daily bosses. New GvG and PvP videos added for fun :3.

Battles Are Won with Strategy, Trust, and Negotiations!

Although I am in sizeable guild most, one of the main reasons we won is because our guild decided to make peace and form an alliance with other guilds. There is no official "alliance system" in Black Desert Online so I had to make sure that I didn't accidentally kill an ally guild in the GvG siege area. The alliance is purely based on trust and went something like if you help us get this castle, we will help you obtain other castles in the future. Not that I can read Korean, but you should get the gist. Meanwhile, the strategy was to pincer attack the enemy command centers from both sides with an "Attack Squad" while having a "Defense Squad" protect our command center. Everything went as planned and we were able to obtain the Castle along with all of the cities and towns in the Calpheon Region.

Guild Battle Aftermath Here Comes the Drama

Winning a Guild Battle feels great, but that's when real drama starts. Before the first Guild Siege, a good number of the guilds were neutral with each other. After the war ended, there was a ton of guilds who declared war on each other. Why does it matter even if it's not GvG castle siege time? It matters because you can PK your enemy guild without penalties whenever and wherever you want. Which means, you can deny your enemies from grinding areas and specific hunting grounds that drop good valuable gear. Pretty much a kill on sight. I would often join groups where we would hunt down the enemy players or get killed by group of enemy players while farming. You can also kill players horses, trade carriages, steal cargo, or kill them while they are fighting a summoned boss. There is also an option to wait for them to defeat the boss and kill them right away so that you can steal the boss loot. Pretty much how game was before they implemented the Karma and Bandit Murder System. All of your characters are automatically flagged for PvP even if you're leveling a new low level alt character. A high level enemy guild player can just camp your leveling spot and troll you all day. It's a lot of fun, especially when you kill an enemy so much that they will end up dropping their guild or running away to one of the four channels.

Upgraded Equipment Plays a Big Role

Black Desert isn't P2W, it's more like G2W. What the heck is G2W? Obviously Grind to Win! You see upgrading or enhancing equipment is important in this game because it provides crazy boost in damage and defense. Not only that, the hardcore players are able to upgrade to +15 and become insanely strong in GvG or PvP. Upgrade stones can be obtained by killing normal monsters, boss daily, daily token, black spirit story quest, treasure boxes, and more. However, the best way to get these stones is to simply grind and kill monsters like a zombie, which is what I have been doing for the past few months. Upgrading equipment in Black Desert Online is very casual because it doesn't explode or -1 on fail. If you fail to upgrade an item, it will lose 5 maximum durability so from 100/100 dura to 95/95. Fail enough times and you will have a useless 1/1 durability equipment. However, you can restore durability to your item as long as you sacrifice the same item! Go to an NPC with your 1/1 Green Sword and sacrifice another Green Sword with the same name and it will become 11/11 durability. Rinse and repeat until you're satisfied with the durability, easy peasy. Class balancing is going to become a nightmare with players with crazy gear. Black Desert rewards players who hardcore farm and play a lot or is blessed with the RNG Gods. There is no trading in BDO so you can't RMT stuff. Buying cash items and selling it Auction House is losing money in real life and the game because of the 30% tax reduction. You can't even potion battle to death because most players can out DPS a person spamming pots due to the 200-300% bonus damage when a player is attacked on the ground or from behind.

Grinding Over the Level Cap Doesn't Really Matter

Black Desert has a soft level cap of 50 which can be obtained in a day or two for hardcore players. It only took me two days to get level 50 on the newly released Beast Master job, but that is because I already had equipment prepared before the class came out, gear isn't bounded on to characters. In my opinion, the extra levels doesn't really do much against a player with upgraded gear. Sure, having the extra levels is nice to brag, but that's about it. The extra stats isn't that significant, or maybe it's because there aren't many players that hit level 53 and over yet. The EXP curve is like climbing Mt. Everest, not that I have such experience. The real grind actually starts once a player hits level 51. From there, players can earn 1% EXP every hour of non-stop grinding unless you run into enemy players and such. Let alone, there aren't any monster that will con near your level which makes grinding harder than usual. It's a good thing new content is coming out soon, because I am actually starting to get bored of killing monsters below my level.

The 2nd Siege War 200 vs 1,000+ You Win Some You Lose Some 

After having control of the whole Calpheon region and the residing towns, our guild attracted a lot of attention. Neutral guilds have declared war on us, our diplomatic "trust alliance" was broken, leaving my guild to defend against the whole server. Our items were good, so we had no trouble fending off everyone for a good two hours until the whole server started piling up and lemming rushing us to death. In the end, my guild was overrun and we lost control of the Calpheon region.

Karma System Prevents Players From Going on a Murdering Spree

One of the biggest changes in with the PvP system is the heavy Karma penalty system. Players who flag themselves for PvP and kill random players will get Karma. Murder enough players and your character will become a bandit and guards will hunt you down in cities and various safe zones. Players can even attack you in safe zones, lol. It only gets worst from there because you will lose items on death along with a high chance -1 on your upgraded equipment. I'm not sure if it's the developers or publisher, but it seems like randomly PK'ing players in this game is now a crime. However, if you're in guild and PK another player that's in a guild there is no Karma penalty at all. You can even steal other guilds boss loot and cargo in this matter mainly because Black Desert is a game that focuses on GvG. If players have a problem getting PK'ed by other guilds, they can always play it safe by dropping their guild or negotiating peace.

PvP Class Balancing is Challenging

Class Balancing is all over the place in this game because characters are buffed and nerfed all the time. The Sorceress went from low tier to very high tier in PvP due to her new ranged magic attack spells. Archer still remains overpowered as always which makes me want to reroll, but I love my Beast Master. Warrior used to be the highest tier during the previous beta and starting of OBT, but it seems like they stopped getting buffs recently. Giants, I am really not sure, most of them just spin2win, so I can't really tell. Beast Masters are good, but they don't do very well against players who targets and kills the pet first. For some reason the Beast Master pet doesn't scale with the masters level, stats, dumb AI, and such making it overall useless especially in GvG siege. Mounted combat on a Beast Master sucks and leaves the player very vulnerable. The Blader is coming out soon, I might try it out for fun. It better have immune dodge frames or will surely melt in GvG.

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Am I Bored of the Game Yet? What Motivates You Forward!

I'm currently level 51.53% and it will take me another 47 hours to reach my next level. I can probably achieve it within a few days, but I don't want to die IRL just yet. I spend over ten hours of my time playing this game daily. I can sit for hours killing the same monster over and over without a problem. If you've been following me, then you should be well aware that I have a very high tolerance when it comes down to mindless grinding. Grinding is life! Yeah, I know you're probably saying that's something you shouldn't be proud of. Anyhow, getting back on to the topic. I am a bit bored of grinding and want something new, but I continue to do so because I must, especially in a PvP Guild. The last thing I want is to become a walking piece of paper during sieges. With that said, my guild and making videos is what motivates me forward. I can't make nice videos if I die in one hit. Yes, you can die in one hit especially if your gear isn't upgraded or you run across a player with +15 weapon. There are moments when I just want to stop playing like during the first month on release with all the bug abuse and such, but I just can't seem to quit, at least not yet.

Conclusion My Final Thoughts the Good and Bad

Honestly, Black Desert is a lot funner if you're in an active PvP guild as I have been explaining all this time. Not many Koreans in my guild speaks fluent English. The language barrier isn't a problem at all because we have various groups setup during GvG sessions such as an attack team, defending team, cannon team, ganking team, sneaking team, backdoor team, etc. The Open Beta changes made the game a lot more friendly and casual towards players without a guild. Players in small guilds won't get much action unless they piss off other guilds and get declared war on or vice versa. I've always loved PvP and glad that my current guild which is the same guild from the first CBT1 of BDO is a hardcore PvP guild. I only wished that DAUM or PearlAbyss made an official "PVP Server" without heavy or close to none Karma penalties. I find it a bit strange that all of the servers are PvE compared to some games where they both have PvP and PvE on different servers. I suppose joining a PvP Guild like mine will be much easier for others once the game is released in their respective country. It's not much of a review, but should give an explanation of those wondering how the PvP and GvG system works in the Korean version of Black Desert Online. I am sure that they NA/EU/RU/JP versions will have a different kind of localization. I PvP'ed in this game since CBT until official release for almost a year, so I just added some newer PvP and GvG videos in the review. Enjoy

Developer: PearlAbyss
Publisher: Daum
Game Site: http://black.daum.net/