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Is this game ready?

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  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 20,498
    At this point, I'm inclined to give up on the game.  The primary culprit, though not the only one, is that the control scheme is just too awkward on a gamepad.

    Relying on mouse movement to turn the camera and aim at mobs is a big problem on a gamepad.  It's not a completely insurmountable problem, but a game that goes that route better have something in place to mitigate it if the game is going to be playable on a gamepad.

    There are two examples that I've seen that worked on a gamepad in spite of mouse control of the camera.  One is Neverwinter, and the only reason it worked is that it offered extremely versatile control options.  Most critically, it offered console commands where you type particular commands in chat and it rotates the camera by some fixed amount.  That alone isn't sufficient; it also offers the ability to map keys to send arbitrary console commands at the press of a button.  And it critically allows you to map combinations of keys to functions, which is hugely important with the limited number of buttons on a gamepad.

    The other example is Trove, which is playable largely because of its simplicity.  You could map combinations of keys to commands, and you didn't need a ton of commands.  A gamepad in Trove basically meant no strafing, but I could get access to everything I really needed.  And neither Neverwinter nor Trove were ever really comfortable, but they were at least playable.

    Not so for Black Desert.  It doesn't have Neverwinter's console commands, so you have to map something on the gamepad to move the mouse.  It doesn't have Trove's simplicity, so you need a ton of things mapped to keys.  And the real killer is that you can't map combinations of keys to actions.

    Bizarrely, Black Desert has a lot of skills mapped to combinations of keys.  But you don't get to pick which combinations of which keys.  They're hard-wired into the game and not changeable.  You do get to change the base keys, but skills are forced on you to use particular combinations of the base keys, with no apparent regard paid to whether those combinations are awkward.  Even with keyboard+mouse, I can't imagine that working well.

    Now, you can assign many skills to your hotbar, but that uses a weakened version of the skill.  And that makes the number of buttons you need greatly proliferate, which just breaks everything because a gamepad doesn't have that many buttons.  You can conjure up a lot more buttons available if you allow assigning arbitrary combinations of buttons, but Black Desert simply doesn't allow that.

    Meanwhile, Black Desert claims to have official gamepad support.  I find that baffling considering how little thought seems to have gone into making a gamepad-friendly control scheme.  It's understandable that not all games are intended to be playable on a gamepad, but why offer official gamepad support if you're in that camp?

    I said that the control scheme was the primary culprit, but not the only one.  Another problem is that the combat is just awful.  Even up through level 18, the only mobs that meaningfully fight back are the occasional ones marked "violent".  The rest seem to just stand there and wait to die.  A lot of games have the very first mobs that you face fight back better than that.  Maybe it picks up at higher levels, but level 18 is awfully high for mobs to still be standing there waiting to die.  Level 4 is awfully high for that.

    Bad combat is a big problem in a game that is primarily about combat.  Black Desert does offer a lot of side features, and I appreciate that.  So bad combat isn't as deadly of a problem as it would be in a game that is almost exclusively about combat, which describes a lot of MMORPGs.  But it's heavy enough on combat that just ignoring combat entirely cuts you off from broad swaths of the game.

    I also didn't like how heavy the game is on making you run back and forth repeatedly.  It seems like the bulk of my time in the game was spent starting to run somewhere, then not paying attention for a while.  If that wasn't an outright majority of my time, it was an awfully large fraction.

    And then there is the energy system.  I don't mind having a fixed amount of energy per day.  I don't like the game expecting you to constantly be logged in.  They do let the game minimize to the tray nicely, which mitigates it somewhat, as you can get plenty of other use out of the computer without straining the CPU and GPU from a game running in the background.  But I want to play games when I'm ready to play, and not be penalized for the time I'm ready not matching the time the game wants.

    If not for the awkwardness of the controls, I'd give the game more of a chance.  I might have even liked it quite a bit.  But the controls are really awkward now, and it's only going to get worse as I level up and need easy access to more things.
  • laxielaxie Member RarePosts: 1,040
    Interesting. I did not realise you can't rebind keys.

    If memory serves me well, the game has soft targeting. You actually need to aim at the stuff you want to hit. You can't simply swing and hope for the best. This would make it less ideal for a gamepad.

    The reason I left is because of the "stay online" design. I presume this is tailored to the Asian market. I've never seen it in a Western game. The more you get into it, the more you encounter all these arbitrary design decisions, forcing you to be online. The energy regeneration you mention is a great example.

    After a month of intense playing, I realised 90% of the time, the game is playing for me (or is minimised).
  • VardahothVardahoth Member RarePosts: 1,472
    edited August 2016
    1. There are still hordes of bugs with the game, non of which I was able to get a response for.

    2. Cheaters seem to be doing so at node wars. Apparently Daum is on top of banning people though. However recently they were bought out and the game is now hosted by kaokao games.

    3. Pay to win seemed to be getting progressively worse. I ended up leaving when everyone was selling cash shop items for 20mil a sell.

    4. Yes, but only between alts. No player trading or helping someone get geared up.

    5. PvP is pretty much carebear style. You lose nothing if you get pk'd or die while flagged. If you pk too many unflagged and get negative karma, worst that will happen is your gear will de-level on enchantments when you die.

    6. The game is a grind, but unfortunately you will more than likely do grinding solo. The game encourages all gameplay to be solo play. Grouping with people heavily punishes your exp and drops. Also, there are no areas in the game currently that require any sort of group to grind on, everything is solo-able.

    Overall I would say the community is very toxic and childish. The game encourages this me attitude since you can't really do anything in the game as a group (other than node wars). So all you hear in voip is how someone found a rare drop or got something good. Other than that it's just nonstop complaining about people complaining on the forums. At least that was my experience with all the guilds in that game.

    Other than the toxic community, you have the pay 2 win slippery slope getting worse. If you don't mind either of those things, and enjoy playing solo and heavy grind soloing, then it would be the right game for you.

    I Quit.

    http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/436845/page/1 -> http://forums.mmorpg.com/discussion/436845/what-killed-mmorpgs-for-you/p1

    http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2316034
    .............
    Retired Gamer: all MMORPG's have been destroyed by big business, marketing of false promises, unprofessional game makers, and a generation of "I WIN and GIVE ME NOW" (brought to you by pokeman).

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member LegendaryPosts: 20,498
    laxie said:
    Interesting. I did not realise you can't rebind keys.

    If memory serves me well, the game has soft targeting. You actually need to aim at the stuff you want to hit. You can't simply swing and hope for the best. This would make it less ideal for a gamepad.

    The reason I left is because of the "stay online" design. I presume this is tailored to the Asian market. I've never seen it in a Western game. The more you get into it, the more you encounter all these arbitrary design decisions, forcing you to be online. The energy regeneration you mention is a great example.

    After a month of intense playing, I realised 90% of the time, the game is playing for me (or is minimised).
    You can rebind keys to some extent, but it's limited.  For example, by default, your main attack is the left mouse button and your secondary attack is the right mouse button.  A third attack will be both of these buttons at once, at least for some classes.

    You can rebind your main attack to A and your secondary attack to B, but if you do this, it's forced on you that the third attack is A+B.  You cannot rebind keys to combinations of keys, so your main attack can't be Ctrl+A, for example.

    FFXIV did a good job of making the game gamepad friendly, as you could bind things to combinations of keys.  You could have A as one skill, Shift+A as another, Ctrl+A as a third, and Shift+Ctrl+A as a fourth skill.  That way, you only need two buttons to be Shift and Ctrl, and then every other button can be four different things.  A lot of games let you do combinations of two keys, which is usually enough.

    FFXIV went further than this by making many (all?) menus navigable by keys.  That means that you don't have to constantly set down the gamepad and grab the mouse to mess with the UI.  It might be possible to play FFXIV purely with a keyboard without touching a mouse.  That was really nice, but it's not really essential.

    Soft targeting isn't a complete killer for gamepad usage, though it is awkward.  Neverwinter and Trove both do that.  Games like Spiral Knights and Elsword are very gamepad-friendly even though combat there is you attack in some direction and hit whatever is there.  But those game are fundamentally 2D, not 3D.
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