Black Desert Online Synopsis
Black Desert Online is a South Korean fantasy action MMORPG that has taken the world by storm.
It has some of the best graphics in an MMORPG to date, one of the most extensive character creators in an MMO, what is generally considered the highest quality, most engaging action combat in an online game, and offers a huge sandbox world to literally do whatever you want in.
Is Black Desert Online Worth Playing in 2017?
I’m well aware of the current problems and “protests” going around Black Desert Online right now, but that aside, I figure it’s as good a time as any to tackle whether or not I believe Black Desert is worth playing, going into 2018.
As we’re approaching the new year, many people are wondering what MMORPGs are actually worth investing time into during the new year.
There are new titles on the horizon – Bless’ potential 2018 release, Soul Worker’s release in December, Closers, the recently announced A:IR – Ascent: Infinite Realm..
So with all of these MMORPGs being thrown at us, is Black Desert Online, a game that is approaching 2 years old in The West, still going to remain relevant next year?
Especially when all of the above are free to play releases?
Why do people play Black Desert Online?
I’m sure you’ve noticed that by now, everyone says either Blade and Soul or Black Desert Online are the best looking MMORPGs on the market currently, depending on which graphical style you prefer.
This holds true – as Black Desert is by far one of, if not the best looking MMORPG currently playable.
There has yet to be an MMORPG released in the West that can compete with its quality of design – both speaking with regards to character models, and the world itself.
Speaking of character models, Black Desert Online has some of the best character creator tools available.
I’ve played games with sliders like Blade and Soul, Elder Scrolls Online, Final Fantasy XIV, Guild Wars 2 and the like, but never have I had such control over my creation.
The kind of control you get over designing your character in Black Desert Online is truly incredible, and I wish other MMORPGs- overall games even, would take advantage of the tools we have in games like Fallout 4 and The Sims 4, in turn allowing us this kind of freedom.
The world itself is one of the best parts of the game – it is absolutely huge. Insanely huge. The game world is so large that at times – especially when leveling up – you spend more time running to your objective than actually engaging in anything else.
This isn’t a bad thing in and of itself – as when you get the ability to mount up and your mount speed increases, getting around becomes decisively easier and faster.
Nevertheless, getting to that point leaves you spending the majority of your gameplay time just running around the overworld watching everyone else pass you by.
But that is essentially the same for all MMORPGs – you don’t initially start your journey off with mounts, so there isn’t much of a problem here other than the fact that in Black Desert Online you have the freedom to do what you want when you want.
Meaning that you’re able to go – right out of the gate – and begin grinding to level up, which admittedly is much faster than following the actual story. Strangely.
Which leads me to my next point.. the story in Black Desert Online.
The story in Black Desert is actually fairly disappointing. It’s so.. void of really anything. It’s very bland, very boring. It’s probably the main problem I have with the game, if not the only problem.
I enjoy games like World of Warcraft and Blade and Soul – games that may not be perfect, may have haters for a variety of reasons, but at their cores, both have you progressing through the game towards the end of each arc’s respective story.
Black Desert Online is not like this at all, and although that is perfectly fine as that is the kind of game BDO is, the fact remains that I believe that the story in a game is an integral part of truly experiencing it.
Seeing that Black Desert cares so little about its story isn’t the end of the world, and is far from reason enough to crucify the game, but I feel like this affects my overall enjoyment of the game and reaching endgame.
Endgame.. my next point.
Endgame in Black Desert Online is.. unique, in that there really is no “endgame”.
If your goal is to do PvE then your selection of activities involve grinding. There are no dungeons, and there are no raids.
If your goal is to participate in PvP, then to be competitive, you must grind.
If your goal is to make use of the professions – then you could also do that.
There is no real “endgame” in Black Desert at all. You are given the freedom to do as you please as there is no maximum level cap, meaning you’re capable of leveling endlessly.
Add on to that the fact that grinding out your gear to competitively participate in PvP even takes time and effort.
In essence, what I’m getting at here is that the “endgame” in BDO is more or less oriented towards grinding.
Most of the things you want to do at endgame will involve a grind in one way or another, and although you don’t have to, you’ll probably still end up doing so regardless.
Now as I’ve spoken a little about PvE, allow me to open up more on the PvP aspects of the game.
At its core, Black Desert Online is a PvP MMORPG. Once you hit your 50s, PvP is activated and you’re capable of being attacked. In the open world. As in, BDO employs an open world PvP system.
Some people dislike the fact that you can be attacked openly while grinding monsters, other people find it invigorating – having the opportunity to be killed at any moment and having to fight over protecting your spawn of monsters.
Me, personally? I’m a fan of open world PvP. I’ve loved it ever since playing Perfect World International back in 2009.
Man, I loved annoying people that wanted to take my grinding spots. I loved having to always keep an eye open when people passed by. I loved the thrill of potentially dying – always having to consider everyone an enemy.
Something I also enjoyed about playing on a PvP server in World of Warcraft.
I love PvP, so to me, open world PvP is satisfying and exciting. While I understand some people are frustrated by being camped or ganked – there’s always the option of changing channels and continuing elswhere.
Crafting and Life Skills
Next I’d like to speak about crafting and Life Skills.
Life Skills consist of things like Gathering, Fishing, Hunting, Training, Trading, Processing, Alchemy, Cooking and Farming.
While technically classified as “PvE”, the fact is that they can be done separately, as you can do traditional PvE – which is grinding monsters, you can do PvP, or you can focus on your Life Skills.
I know people, and know of people as well that focus their entire game time on pursuing only Life Skills as a way of playing the game, as BDO allows you to more or less do that.
However, the most efficient way of doing anything in the game is through silver, which you can gain through Life Skills, or grinding monsters. So in retrospect, you may end up grinding to progress with your Life Skills anyway.
Although I said there were essentially three components to the game – there is actually a fourth.
One that every player knows about and a large percentage complain about as well: The RNG.
Something not specific to Black Desert Online, but hated maybe moreso than in other MMORPGs due to how easily it is possible to blow up your gear, and how often you hear people whining about it in chat and on the forums.
So while RNG is a very common part of every MMORPG – and even game in general – some games just have worse RNG systems than others. Black Desert is one of those games, unfortunately.
But this shouldn’t dissuade you from playing – there are plenty of people that have no trouble with RNG or at the very least, little trouble with RNG. But hey – you could be one of the unlucky bastards that lose every time. I don’t know you.
What else is there to go over?
I think that’s it, right?
Oh! Wait, nope, I forgot something else. The most important thing in Black Desert Online. The one thing BDO is most notably known for: It’s fashion! .. Oh, and combat. But let’s start with fashion first.
Black Desert has some of the best costumes in an MMORPG outside of Blade and Soul, and that is due to how good the damn game looks. Or how good both look, really.
The bodies, the proportions.. every part of BDO is beautiful, and the outfits you get to play dress up and let your inner fashionista run rampant in are some of the best quality you’ll find.
That’s.. yeah, that’s pretty much it. I mainly just wanted to show off some sexy outfits to fish for views. So if you made it this far through the video and hear this, then.. um, well done.
Moving on.. combat!
The most talked about feature in Black Desert Online is by far its combat. People are always talking about how “amazing” BDO’s combat is and wishing every new MMORPG would utilize its combat system or have one comparable.
People claim that Black Desert has the best combat in MMORPGs. While I don’t argue that BDO has amazing combat, I can’t claim that as a fact as not everyone enjoys action combat.
I can probably go so far as saying that it has some of the best combat in an MMORPG, or it has the best action combat in an MMORPG – but stating that even people who dislike action combat will claim it is the best is just inane.
Now, while leveling, you gain skill points that you can put into the skills of your choosing – BDO providing a large variety of skills to choose from to give you plenty of customizability over your character.
However realistically, if you want to be a competent player or competitive by any means, there are still “cookie cutter” builds you’ll want to follow, often being criticized for straying from them.
Which is fine. I mean why do something different when something clearly already works, right?
Is Black Desert Online Worth Playing in 2017?
Now, regardless, I want it known that although some people dislike the game, and some people swear fealty to the game – the fact is that Black Desert Online is still very, very popular.
Even more so after launching onto Steam recently.
So, if you were wondering whether or not Black Desert was worth playing – the answer is.. more or less, yes. Yes it is. It is buy to play, not pay to play or free to play.
It has some issues, like problems with servers, some pay to win issues that people claim are prevalent, and it can get monotnous, but the game itself is very high quality and a lot of fun.
I would recommend it to people on the fence about purchasing it or those who don’t even know what it is.
Black Desert Online Minimum System Requirements
Operating System: Windows 7 or 8 (32 bit)
CPU: Intel Core i3-530 2.9 GHz / AMD Phenom 9500 Quad-Core
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce GTS 250 / 9800 GTX / AMD Radeon HD 3870 x2
RAM: 4 GB
Hard Disk Space: 40 GB
Black Desert Online Recommended System Requirements
Operating System: Windows 7 or Windows 8 64 bit
CPU: Intel Core i5-650 3.2 GHz / AMD Phenom II X3 740 Black Edition or better
Video Card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 / GTX 550 ti / AMD Radeon HD 7750 or better
RAM: 6 GB
Hard Disk Space: 40 GB