When a new game comes out, you can play it cautious by waiting for reviews or you can roll the dice and take your chances by leaping in right as the doors open. While it’s certainly fun to be among the first in a new MMO, sometimes caution — especially when one is on the fence — is the better approach.
At Massively OP we hold to the opinion that MMOs can’t be reviewed in full but that accurate observations and relatable experiences of the current game can be shared. If you’re still trying to figure out if Black Desert is for you after reading our new column, then here is a round-up of many impressions from MMO bloggers as they suss out the game in its first week in the west.
“I’d heard a lot of impressions about the bland voice acting, the lack of story and sub-par questing. So, I went in with very low expectations of these things. While the localization and voice acting won’t win any awards, I’ve played a LOT worse in Korean-based MMOs *cough* Dragon’s Prophet *cough.* Sure, it’s lacking the charm and character of big name story-driven games like FFXIV and GW2. But it’s certainly a few leaps up from someone just running Korean through Google translate.”
“Housing serves multiple purposes in BDO. You must decide that purpose during the purchase. If you’re going to have workers, you must provide their housing. You can use it purely as a warehouse facility — your inventory has weight. Or it can be a home for your character, where you can keep furniture that provides buffs, crafting stations, trophies and/or establish a working storefront. I decided on a house where I can craft for my own use — for now.”
“I didn’t delve into any of the sandbox systems like housing, cooking, crafting, gathering, getting a donkey or a horse, etc. Maybe due to that, I don’t feel any ‘stickiness’ to the game. Sure, the low-level combat is fun because you’re essentially a raid mob compared to what you’re fighting and it’s nice to feel super-powerful, but it also gets old with no challenge, so I don’t really feel the need to try out the other classes, nor to log in again. It was an enjoyable diversion for a few hours, but nothing I care about either.”
“I still don’t know what the f**k I am doing. And that is probably a good thing too, given how I generally find new MMORPGs too easy, too repetitive and too been there done that. Really, BDO is doing a lot of stuff its own way; I can’t say how effective or worthwhile it all is yet, but between node and worker management, haggling and raising amity with NPCs, one million gazillion crafty things, sub-menus for every possible resource, horse breeding, AFK-fishing, shipyards, and feeding pets while looking to unlock the perfect residence, I have my hands full and then some. That Black Desert Online learning curve is no joke even for seasoned players.”
“It is of course a pretty game, and while I might not be stopping to stomp the roses during my march to cap right now, it is still something I admire and something I will definitely be exploring a lot later on.”
“I do like it. It’s surprising, because one heck of a lot of things about the game are annoying me already and I’ve only played for about three or four hours. Still, it definitely has that hard-to-define quality that means I want to persist and overcome the annoyances rather than just write it off as a bad decision and move on.
“The world is very worldly, just like everyone says. It’s also set in that low-magic, quasi-realistic, pseudo-high-medieval milieu that hits my personal sweet spot. For an explorer archetype with my particular aesthetic it’s close to a bullseye.”
“My first impressions, the black spirit thing is really annoying. They really should have Westernized the sounds it makes. Hate it. I also hate how NPC’s just constantly say the same things if you are standing near them. I had to turn my sound off.”
“The game doesn’t do a very good job in introducing you to its systems — for instance, I do know I can talk (it’s a conversation minigame, by the way) to NPCs, but I don’t really know why I should bother. This encourages exploration and wonder, so actually, I love that it doesn’t make everything so clear.”
“That’s the greatest problem I think this game is going to have in the first few weeks after launch: retaining players. If I were to judge the game based on those first 10 hours I would give it a C, B- at best because the only thing good you experience during that time is the combat. The story is terrible and the meat of the game is kept largely hidden. I don’t know about you, but I’ve usually arrived at an opinion of a game within 10 hours and if I’ve not seen something I like by then, I move on. The only reason I want to push further into Black Desert is because I’ve looked into outside resources; the game itself is its own worst promotional material.”