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[First impressions] after 40 hours spent in CBT2

SvarcanumSvarcanum Member UncommonPosts: 425
edited February 2016 in Black Desert Online
Hey guys! I'll split this review (of sorts) into different areas discussing all the systems that are in the game, and what I feel works and does not and what uncertainties there are.


COMBAT

I really like the combat in BDO. All attacks have a weighty feel to them and the combo system is just slow enough that I feel I can master it quite easily. For those that have a hard time remembering or executing some of the combos, they can just put the skill on their hotbar. However doing so increasing the resource cost of the skill. Thus you can choose and easier route as far as combat is concerned but you'll be slightly penalized for it. Love that!

I also tried some dueling in arenas when I reached level 20+ and I feel the pvp is just slow enough for me. This can of course change at higher levels, but at this low level it felt you had a big chance of escaping a ganker out in the world, just by playing defensively. Bad news for those who love to successfully gank, good news for those, like me, who love the risk of getting ganked, but would rather survive to fight another day.


GRAPHICS

It took quite some tweaking to make the world look glorious, but in the end it did. I would say that you HAVE TO check both "High End Mode" and "Improved Distance" as this removed the pop in issues as well as make the view distance fabulously great! Also you need to turn off other players' lanterns. Once I tweaked these things I got a steady, albeit lowish, frame rate and I just loved the looks of the game. It's one of those games where you climb a big mountain just to stand there and enjoy the beautiful view with your falcon perched on your shoulder.


QUESTING

The quests are generally not at all exciting, but since all of them, except those that give you class skills and your awakened gear, are completely optional I don't feel that is a big deal for me. That said, since I found myself being Contribution Point starved I did spend quite alot of time doing non combat quests in town just to be able to continue building up my trade empire (of doom). I will say though, if you are a fan of quest based content this game will NOT be for you. 


THE WORLD AND TRAVELLING

The world in BDO is quite big and sadly gated off by invisible walls that appear at the edges of the map. There is no quick travel of any kind, which I love! Instead they have and autorun feature where you select a waypoint and your character automatically moves there. I can't express how much I love this system, even though I at the outset thought that I wouldn't. The time you spend autorunning longer distances are generally spent socializing or micromanaging your trade routes or gathering workers, etc. It feels like a natural downtime in game which surely will foster a good community later on.

Post edited by Svarcanum on

Comments

  • SvarcanumSvarcanum Member UncommonPosts: 425
    edited February 2016
    PVE

    There are no real dungeons in BDO (even though they will come in a later patch that just arrived in KR) so the PVE endgame will consist of mob farming (soft cap at 50, then a slow levelling to get a few more stat/skill points here and there) and summonable group mobs. If coordinated group PVE is the thing you like most, you probably won't like BDO. There are tons of things to do at endgame, since maxing your character will take ALOT of time and grinding. So both mob grinding, trading and crafting will stay viable at 50, since you need both exp and money to advance. However, if the economy won't support crafting and getting max gear happens quickly, I see you running out of things to do in PVE. So it's impossible to say exactly how much staying power the game has in this area. 


    PVP

    I like the siege system as it's been explained to me, but since there were no sieges I can't really personally comment. The open world PVP system, where you CAN gank anyone but are heavily punished for it, is something I really look forward to. Generally you will be safe out in the world, unless of course your guild is in a war, where you can freely attack one another. I foresee those who really like random world PVP joining guild that wages the full amount of five wars against likeminded guilds. Where those who rather focus on PVE (like me) try to gauge who are asshats and not, and run from the former with a high pulse!


    CRAFTING

    I never found a good way of discovering recipes in game, so you have to resort to google fu to find out how to build things. There is no real minigame to crafting, as far as I understand, you simple try to combine different items and see what you get. Even though I'm a big fan of crafting in games such as FFXIV and Vanguard I didn't really miss a more gameplay:y crafting system in BDO. Some of the crafting you can automate if you invest in a workshop (each workshop produces certain categories of items) and assign workers to production and gathering in the area. This system I just love, it's a lot of micomanagement, and it feels more like a strategy game than an MMO. Some crafting, however, you can't seem to automate, like cooking and alchemy. 


    GATHERING

    You can gather all resources there are out in the world with you character, however this is not the fastest way to get materials. The best way if to connect farms and mines to a town and build housing for workers that you hire, and have them do the gathering for you. Again, this is a lot of micromanaging, as you need to feed your workers beer when they grow tired, and perhaps reroll them to get higher tier workers to speed up the processes of gathering. If your guild owns a node where you harvest you will double the speed with which your workers gather, so you probably decide on a communal niche for what to gather, so you can pool your military resources to conquer those very nodes. All in all a very in depth gathering system.


    HORSE TAMING

    Some people in KR and RU specialize in horse breeding. You go out in the world to find a wild horse (can take quite some time of hunting) and go through a fun little minigame to capture it. Then you level the horse by riding it. By level 30 you can breed it with another horse, giving you the chance of obtaining a foal 1, 2 or even 3 tiers higher. In KR and RU the leveling of these horses is done by afk autopathing. However in NAEU they've removed that feature, so I'm unsure of if horse breeding will become a viable source of income here. If it isn't this whole system seems a bit redundant, even though it's fun to tame your first horse. However you probably then won't do it very many times.


    THE ECONOMY

    So this game isn't sporting a free market economy. What? Might it be that North Korea has influenced its southern neighbor and sibling?! 

    You can't set you own prices in this game, instead the developers have designed a plan economy. You can only price your good in a set range of XX - YY. Also you can't directly trade between players, to circumvent the plan economy. This means that goods that have a market price UNDER XX will be overly expensive on the market, pretty much forcing you to make them yourself if hold your money dear. And goods that have a market price OVER YY won't be put up on the market (other than by people who don't know it's true value) making those goods be things you HAVE TO get yourself if you need them. In the real world this would lead to some pretty bad things. And I initially thought it was such a weird design choice. But I do not anymore. Being monitarily forced to find/craft some things yourself is good in an MMO. You can't just grind mobs all day and buy what you need, you actually are better off if you diversify. In other games with free market economies I generally get stuck doing what is most optimal for me, and use my profits to buy from those who make what I can't. This is what you WANT to happen in a free market economy. You overly specialize. However, for me, this leads to boredom. So the monitarily forced diversification really resonates with me. Much more so than forcing people into crafting by making certain things you make BoP so you therefore have to do them.


    TRADING

    In order to trade efficiently you need to activate trade routes in the world, which is something you do by discovering nodes and subsequently investing Contribution Points into them. I will say I like the system, but since it involves alot of semi afk autopathing I probably will do it mostly when I'm tired, watching Netflix or spending my time talking to guildies. As you level up your trade routes and your trade skill you will get increasing profit for this. I foresee it being quite the moneymaker for those spend a lot of time doing it.


    IN CLOSING

    So those are my feelings for the different systems. As you can probably tell I really like the game, and the only things that can destroy it now, imo, is a P2W shift in the Cash Shop and a malfunctioning in game economy that effectively will kill off trading, crafting, gathering, fishing and horse taming (a disaster for the game, in other words).

    Post edited by Svarcanum on
  • redcap036redcap036 Member UncommonPosts: 1,230
    Very nice read, thank you.
  • SararielSarariel Member UncommonPosts: 301
    Great read
  • SvarcanumSvarcanum Member UncommonPosts: 425
    Thanks for the positive response!
  • uplink4242uplink4242 Member UncommonPosts: 257
    Nice review, but what kind of computer do you have so you can so easily check 'high end mode'? Top of the line graphics cards barely manage to stay above 20 fps in towns with that setting on. 
  • SvarcanumSvarcanum Member UncommonPosts: 425
    I have got a pretty mid range computer:

    i5 3470
    gtx960
    8gb RAM

    And my frame rate was pretty much always at 21, both in cities and outside, it didn't really budge. I'm ok with lowish framrates like that as long as there is never any stuttering.
  • SvarcanumSvarcanum Member UncommonPosts: 425
    Also my settings were the aforementioned, only medium textures but 2560x1440 resolution.
  • d_20d_20 Member RarePosts: 1,878
    I've been watching videos and this game looks pretty complicated. It seems like it will take a lot of time -- I'm not talking about leveling either. Just learning stuff with all the different systems.

    I am thinking about pre-ordering for early access, but I'm also wondering if it's even worth it since I won't have more than 4 hours an evening to play. And since I didn't even participate in the beta, I won't know what to do at all. And I don't have a guild.

    I've read that some guilds are already planning to lock down farming spots for pvp.

    What can new solo players do to prepare? Any advice?


  • DrecapzDrecapz Member UncommonPosts: 38
    No Svarcanum said:
    I have got a pretty mid range computer:

    i5 3470
    gtx960
    8gb RAM

    And my frame rate was pretty much always at 21, both in cities and outside, it didn't really budge. I'm ok with lowish framrates like that as long as there is never any stuttering.
    Bruh, You would be cranking out better xp if you either:

    1.)Upgrade ya GPU to atleast a 970 but 980ti is golden for 1440p for gaming
    2.) go down to 1080

    your cpu is another story, but its decent.
  • uplink4242uplink4242 Member UncommonPosts: 257
    edited February 2016
    Svarcanum said:
    I have got a pretty mid range computer:

    i5 3470
    gtx960
    8gb RAM

    And my frame rate was pretty much always at 21, both in cities and outside, it didn't really budge. I'm ok with lowish framrates like that as long as there is never any stuttering.
    No offense, but you shouldn't be recommending people to use the "high def" mode when it gets you 21 fps on a mid-range computer. For a lot of people that's completly unplayable, and even a high-end system still struggles to go over 40-45 ish fps in most places. It is terribly unoptimized and experimental feature at best.
  • SvarcanumSvarcanum Member UncommonPosts: 425
    I don't see how a steady 21 fps could ever constitute unplayable in an MMO. In a fast paced game like a fps I would agree, but in an MMO I'm completely fine with around 20fps, as long as it never dips. So my experience isn't hurting at all. I've tried turning down effects and I don't see why 60 fps would be worth all that fidelity disappearing. I'm not a purist gamer I guess. 
  • YashaXYashaX Member EpicPosts: 2,403
    d_20 said:
    I've been watching videos and this game looks pretty complicated. It seems like it will take a lot of time -- I'm not talking about leveling either. Just learning stuff with all the different systems.

    I am thinking about pre-ordering for early access, but I'm also wondering if it's even worth it since I won't have more than 4 hours an evening to play. And since I didn't even participate in the beta, I won't know what to do at all. And I don't have a guild.

    I've read that some guilds are already planning to lock down farming spots for pvp.

    What can new solo players do to prepare? Any advice?
    Personally, I think 4 hours an evening will be plenty and that's more than I will be playing. You just need to think of what you want to do with your time and focus a bit because there are a lot of distractions.

    You only have to worry about being attacked by other players when at level 50-plus. It will take quite a while to get to that level if you are trying to work out the systems in the game. So you will have time to learn everything in a safe environment.

    I recommend looking at some videos like http://forum.blackdesertonline.com/index.php?/topic/12448-bdo-need-to-know-guide/

    It was quite fun to play solo during CBT, you can meet some friends on the way while playing so don't worry about not having a guild. Its really not that serious imo, just have fun and play.
    ....
  • SvarcanumSvarcanum Member UncommonPosts: 425
    edited February 2016
    /snip
    Post edited by Svarcanum on
  • SvarcanumSvarcanum Member UncommonPosts: 425
    edited February 2016
    /snip
    Post edited by Svarcanum on
  • SvarcanumSvarcanum Member UncommonPosts: 425
    Anyway if you are dead set on 60fps, I'd recommend the upscale mode rather than disabling High End Mode. Those pop ups without Improved Distance can be quite immersion breaking..
  • SvarcanumSvarcanum Member UncommonPosts: 425
    Added extra removal of posts..
  • spikers14spikers14 Member UncommonPosts: 531
    edited February 2016
    Pretty good read overall. The only part I disagree with is the questing content.

    There are over 10,000 quests in the game, some have to be unlocked, and some quests will grant you access to certain things in game. Tie all that into the amity mini-game, I think questing is overall well done and serves a purpose beyond pushing a player from point a to point b. Are the quests revolutionary? No, but they are also something you can do as you see fit. I found myself actually wanting to do some quests, while also wanting to unlock certain NPC's.
  • SvarcanumSvarcanum Member UncommonPosts: 425
    I kind of agree, spikers14. I also found myself trying to unlock quests with amity. But I didn't do it to get a good story, but rather to get CP xp.
  • ThebeastttThebeasttt Member RarePosts: 1,130
    That travel system sounds rather innovative, a word I don't get to use often these days. It's a nice compromise between immersive and instant travel. Unfortunately BDO is constantly caving to the crybaby casuals so i won't be too surprised if instant travel wins in the end. Here's hoping for developers with a spine.
  • Varthanos1Varthanos1 Member UncommonPosts: 22
    Except for the opinion on questing, this is very accurate to how I experienced the game so far.
    I spent about 10 hours on the questing and Amity system.
    Boosting Amity with NPC's through the conversation mini game was quite enjoyable for me.
    I like that quests, information, more items they could sell you were available when you got to certain numeric thresholds of Amity.
    Some of the shown thresholds have such high numbers that you just know it will take you quite some time to get your Amity that high to get the reward.

    The only downside in the game, for me, is no real motivation to group.  Like ever...
    While I do enjoy solo play, it would have been nice if they included some real coop quests or targets that cannot be done solo.
    Maybe they will include some later.

    Thanks for your opinions and info Svarcanum!
  • breadm1xbreadm1x Member UncommonPosts: 374
    I like the co-op killing quest's
    I have been standing there for over an hour watching like 100% <- doing it solo :pleased:
    Saw some people "trying" to co-op by partying but it did not seem to work (me included)
    Personaly i hate the game, still i cant wait to play it just to know more.
    Its actually the only game i don't really like after the beta test, but i still want to play it. (wtff)
    I liked Wildstar Archeage after beta, ordered founders pack, played 2 weeks quit and never seen it again.


  • shellusshellus Member UncommonPosts: 11
    Good review.  I like your section on combat because that is what I was worried about the most, I think i'll give the game a try.
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