Bear with me. I know it is long, you may not agree, but this is my take on the state of BDO, and the design philosophy at Pearl Abyss.
When Black Desert launched I was skeptical. It was a KR game, and I was deep in ESO at the time, but it looked so pretty how could I not at least take a peek.
I am sure many of the western players started this way. Then we found a complex game, amazing detail, graphics, wide open game play, and the insanely fun combat system.
Mostly we found that playing BDO the right way, was about a personal journey of what you wanted to do. No uber builds, no single type of class or gear, life skills would make you just as rich as combat skills.
They have a great balance of pay for cosmetics and convenience on the cash shop, I have spent more money with them just buying clothes, furniture, and pets than any other game in my life. Not even close. I know I am not alone with that.
There were occasionally bugs and downtime, but they seemed to work hard at getting them fixed, and have been rolling new content at a very steady pace.
Above all they have seemed focused on all changes being about the best user experience in this fantasy world.
Recently there have been bugs introduced that don't seem to be addressed, features stop working or removed.
In October they had a bug where if you hit the 'walk' button it would glitch and your avatar would just slide in a locked step along the ground. For a game that was so smooth it was jarring. Tickets we logged, dev staff engaged and offered 'sorry for the problems and disruption'. Fine, things happen, looked like they were going to fix it.
Instead they just turned off the feature. Gone. You can still map the key in the settings, but you cant get it to just walk. Many complained, Pearl Abyss offered a toggle on the autopath as a 'new feature'. So click your caps lock, and then click autopath.
Poof, back in business. Only now you can't turn, and if you touch your keys you are running again. So you cant really walk around your house or town, you can more like march, in a line. Yep. That is one kind of feature.
Users have logged tickers, posted on the boards, spoke with GMs, tweeted etc. trying to get this addressed. "Feature working as intended." is now the response. "If we get people to request it in an constructive manner maybe the devs will look at it again".
It's really about how naive I was. I just wanted it to be different. I wanted a studio that did not break things and say "No, that was a feature. Its working like we planned. You are using it wrong."
I am too old to be this clueless, but here I am. I thought BlackDesert was special in a genre full of cash grab studios and play to win sharks. Really. I know you are calling me a dumbass. You are not wrong. I wanted it, so I saw it. I was not there, it was maybe never there.
So the only power I have is my spending, and my recommendation as a consumer. I wont do business with those companies, they dont give a shit about me, but they do care about my dollars, and I choose to spend it someplace else.
If you want to try BDO. Just know they are the same as the people at WoW, at Rift, at SWTOR, the same as Guild Wars, or Secret World, or ESO.
Its the same. Black Desert is not special. #BDOWalkAway