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Share Some Thoughts, after Playing the Black Desert Online for Months

After playing the game for a few months pretty much every day, I just want to share some thoughts I've had for a while but didn't quite know how to put it into words. This is mostly just an opinion piece so sorry if its a bit...disorganized. This is NOT a rant or rage and I do have some criticisms of the game's core design.

 

Really this game is just one big digital Vegas after level 55. Seriously. Want to know why EVERYONE loves this game when they start playing and then most people quickly drop off because the game is not as good as they originally thought? It's because after you reach a certain point of progression (imo this point is around level 55, 110ap/160dp or +13 and higher gears) you hit a massive wall of ever increasing, ungodly RNG. This RNG is now your "endgame." Forever.

 

Literally every single way you can possibly progress your character is gated by Vegas levels of RNG, and if RNGesus screws you, you waste god knows how much time and resources just to be rewarded with a massive set back, or even a ruined character. Some RNG in a game is okay and healthy, but when an entire game is built around it to the extent that black desert does it, it just turns people away from the game much quicker than an MMO should. Honestly it took me a while to figure this out, why in the back of my mind I knew I really didn't like this game, even though I really wanted to. For the longest time I couldn't put my finger on it, but ironically the Valencia patch helped me figure it out (as I thought is patch would inject more life into the game for me. Unfortunately, It didn't.)

 

When you get to a point in BDO where you seriously want to progress your character and do fun challenging content with your friends, the game's true flaws begin to surface. After you explored all of the world, after you realized that life skills are almost completely worthless (even admitted by the devs themselves), There is nothing you can do but the exact same mob grind grind grind, none stop, in the hopes to progress your character by getting one more More mark of Shadows or Ogre ring to drop, or to (never) get that gear piece  to +19.  You never actually rely on your own skill to progress through the game and you are forever praying to RNGesus. The more geared you get, the less enjoyable and ruthlessly tedious the game becomes and it doesn't lighten up one bit while you are met with massive diminishing returns for your efforts. This type of gear progression becomes extremely exhausting and unfulfilling, and it is why most MMO developers tend to steer away from it as much as they can nowadays.

 

http://www.bdomall.com/black-desert/news/black-desert-online--few-tricks-as-witch-wizard

 

And why? What is your reward for all this pain and suffering and work? For a measly 1-2 AP? So you could bully some random player who just so happen to not be as geared(lucky) as you? So you can grind MORE of the same mobs for the exact same reason as before? "Who even cares? Why do I even care?" "I could be playing FFXIV, GW2, or Overwatch, etc." You eventually begin to ask yourself questions like these once you reached your breaking point. In comparison, there are simply more fulfilling / rewarding / social experiences you can spend your time on. This is just a fact.

 

What if you want to play other classes? Start most of this grind over? No way. What about new players a year or two down the line? The will never catch up and they will likely quit if the vertical progression in this game stays as is.

 

This game is a sandbox alright. There is no in-game objective or reason to do...anything really. It becomes much more difficult to play once I realized this as I need SOME reason to work towards a goal. Every other PvE related activity is just trivial busy work meant to keep you entertained with no substantial reward or means to an end. Once you realize that this game boils down to kill "X mob to eventually get Y item so you can fail enchanting it, repeat", You lose a lot of interest in the game. Some people lose interest faster than others. Many people straight up quit, others continue to play because we see that this game may have some potential hidden in it. Some don't even know why they keep playing, they just play because the game resonates with them the most, and everything else is just f2p trash...and thats fine too.

 

You know the PVPers were right. This is a PVP game. Because node war is the only activity in this game that actually has a reason to exist and a purpose to do it. There is nothing else to work towards other than this event. The sad part is....it barely even works in our version (because of course it doesn't.)

 

This is BDO's biggest problem both in the West and the East (because believe it or not, most Eastern gamers are not fond of RNG nonsense either, especially to THIS extent. There is a reason why BDO isn't doing so well in the East too).

 

TLDR: In my opinion, the current gear progression is severely flawed and is the number one long term threat to the success of this game. As the content progresses and the power creeps, the flaws in the design are amplified. There needs to be a fundamental change in this game's progression philosophy for it to be successful in the long term or it will just keep bleeding players. Fast.  I am still playing the game myself, but honestly I don't know how much longer I can keep going as I'm struggling to find a purpose to continue the relentless RNG grind. I have much more to say about many other aspects of the game, but Il stop there for the sake of minimizing walls of text.

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