What’s up with Black Desert Online?

Black Desert Online. The game releases March 3rd and closed beta 2 is completing as I make this video. Black Desert Online (BDO) is a sandbox MMORPG, like EVE Online and ArcheAge. If you are into sandbox MMORPGs, this game might be a good pick for you. However, before I talk a bit about Black Desert I’m going to say upfront: if you are excited for a sandbox MMORPG consider, while watching this video, getting a founder’s pack so you gain early access before launch OR waiting for the initial rush to die down before jumping in. They sold an impressive number of founders packs so the odds of it being crowded the first couple of days is high. You’ll see what I mean shortly.

BDO is a beautiful game with insane character customization options. They have a character creation program that is separate from the game. It’s a free download so if you are one, like I am, that normally spends a lot of time in the character creation area, you can create your character in advance and import it at launch.

Traditional MMORPGs, like World of Warcraft or Blade and Soul, are linear. They may give you options on how to advance your character (quests vs dungeons vs PvP) but there is an end game (usually gear or achievements). In BDO, you create your own story which means, in comparison to traditional MMORPGs, BDO will require a significant time investment to advance and learn the game. Players won’t have a questing system, for example, to hold their hand and grant the player leveling experience. Many of the quests within BDO contribution points rather than leveling experience. Grinding mobs is the quickest way to level in BDO. There are guides on how to level efficiently in BDO – do your research.

Speaking of research, do your research because BDO is a VERY deep game. From talking to NPCs and developing relationships with them for benefits to opening up nodes for trading and crafting to exploring the beautiful world, there is a ton to do and learn.

The game is decently optimized. This footage is from closed beta 2 launch. The first people logging in did not realize we were automatically connecting to European servers. When I logged in the next day, all my progress was gone because my characters were on different servers, which is why I opted not to progress more. It’s beta – progress would be erased anyway and I found out what I wanted to know. Considering these beginner zones were jammed packed, and I was connected to Europe, the game ran very good. I have not purchased a founder’s pack because I am unsure whether I want to invest the time in BDO initially. There are some other things I want to complete but I love sandboxes and BDO looks great! I will be covering more as the game progresses. They seem to be making an effort to make this game “fit” in the US and European markets. It is buy to play (purchase the game, no subscription) and as of now, the cash shop is not pay to win (although the items in it are expensive).

Keep in mind BDO is an open-world PvP game, meaning you cannot opt out of PvP. There are mechanics in the game to encourage meaningful PvP, for example, a karma system that penalizes ganking, and guilds can go to war with each other so I expect epic battles to ensue. Remember, the best way to level in this game is to grind mobs so be careful – you CAN and WILL be attacked at higher levels. The good news: your characters on your account are a family and they share things. Because stats aren’t attached to gear like traditional MMORPGs, you can give your level 5 alt your max level character gear. You cannot trade with other players so keep this in mind when playing with friends and guild members.

I could go on and on about BDO, and I will in the future. The main point of this video is to inform you guys of the launch date, March 3rd, and to warn you: if you are thinking about playing the game make the decision NOW how you want to progress your character so you can decide if you want to take part in the beginning madness. Do your research! If you are interested in making a guild and being the top dog in crafting, then you might want to consider getting the founder’s pack for the early access and be prepared to endure the craziness that comes with it. Otherwise, wait for things to stabilize and then jump in the game.