Friday, July 7, 2017

A Return to Black Desert Online

If you read my blog, which I doubt, you may have seen my post regarding things I don't like in the MMOs I played. In that post, I spoke about the grindyness of Black Desert and some other things, stating that they were the reasons I quit the game. At the time, it was true. All you did in Black Desert was grind. All you had was the launch-state map, no territory control, no PVP options other than open-world and arena. It got stale logging each day to do boss scrolls, do lifeskills that were severely broken because of the way the energy system worked, and filling all my spare time with hours of grinding mobs. I got my gear to +13 and my weapon to +15 and then simply lost all interest in the game.

It didn't help that, at the time, I had taken on another job working in a restaurant and was pulling 60 hour weeks, while also trying to write for OnRPG/MMOhuts. After a couple of months of doing that, I realized I simply couldn't afford, emotionally, to dedicate myself to a game like Black Desert in the hopes that "things would get better" in future updates. Doing all that work, then using my free time to play a game that was essentially work without any of the reward, was just depressing.

I decided I would be much better off taking a hiatus away from all MMOs that weren't related to work and focus on single player game and online games that were easy to hop in and play and drop whenever. I got really good at Red Orchestra 2 at this time. I got into fishing, spending more money on it than I should have, and I also bought a Honda Grom (A fun little 125cc motorcycle) to mess around on. I've crashed in three times so far, two of those times doing wheelies.

So, if I decided that I couldn't afford to spend time in a game that had nothing fun to do, why am I returning? Well, it's improved. A lot. Most of my early issues are gone or at least alleviated to some degree. Grinding end-game gear is still a mind-meltingly boring experience that I highly suggest you avoid, but the game as a whole has fixed all the major issues I had with it.

Grinding is no longer the only way to make money. Node features have been improved so that you can actually make decent money through a combination of a Node Network and lifeskills. There's more to the game than improving your gear just for the sake of improving your gear, too. You can participate in Battlefields, Node wars and sieges for meaningful territory control PVP, more end-game PVE features are being added to the game... New content is being added at a rapid (compared to most games) rate. We saw several classes added last year, and two have been added in the past few months alone. Overall it's just improving in every area.

I used to get frustrated because all I could do, and still have any hope of being relevant, was grind lifeskills in the hopes they could make me money way, way down the line, grind mobs until my fingers bled, and pull out my hair from RNG failures. Now that money is a lot easier to make, with more ways to make it, improving my gear isn't such a big deal. I can go out and gather and reliably make at least 10,000,000 or more silver an hour. Or can go grind mobs and make somewhere between 10,000,000 and 30,000,000 an hour depending on drops, the spot I'm at, and other factors. I can reliably get a few million a day from my Node Network BEFORE I process anything. I can make a lot more once I get more CP (I have just under 130 now) and get my trading skill up.

There are a TON of options that make the game awesome now. It's not a race to get the best gear and the most money now. I mean, sure, that's still part of the game but I can easily just get "OK" gear in a few weeks (or a couple of months if you're a completely new player) and join a Tier-1 Node War guild and enjoy a lot of fun, meaningful PVP. And because I don't have to pour all my resources into getting the absolute best gear and spend all my time getting those resources, I can stop and "smell the roses." I can enjoy other features of the game. So what if I make less money by gathering than I do grinding? The skills and materials I get from that gathering will go into increasing my over all ability to make money and I'm having more fun doing it. I don't even need to do AFK fishing all the time, spending real life money for maximum inventory slots to make it really worthwhile. Sure, I do need to stay logged in still (which I hope gets changed), but I can just sit in my house if I wanted to and the loss of potential income from not fishing won't make me feel like shit.

And that's not counting all the awesome events they do now. There seems to be at least two or more events going on at any time that can make you decent amounts of money. Like this Black Stone event that is increasing their drop rate a lot. I have a friend who is reliably making 20,000,000+ silver an hour grinding at Rhutums, mobs designed for level 50 that people only go to for guild quests. They've included this "House Fame Fund" feature, too. Based on the combined levels, life skills, knowledge, etc... of ALL your characters, you can get several hundreds of thousands of silver a day, even if you don't log in. I get over 300,000 a day by just having two characters over level 50. If I took the time to level all my characters to 56 (which I plan to) I would get even more.

Since we're talking about money... I mentioned Node Wars and that they were meaningful. The reason they're meaningful is that when your guild controls a node it will generate money. This money can then be distributed to your guild. A guild that owns a region can afford to pay its players weekly payouts that are in the hundreds of millions. There was recently a big hubbub when a high-tier region-owning guild allowed the streamer Summ1t to join their guild briefly and gave him one of their weekly payouts that was over 800,000,000. To be clear, that is what just one player received. Other members of the guild also received 800,000,000+. So you can see why there is now meaningful PVP in the game.

It all comes down to fun. Before, when the game had no real end game, I wasn't having fun. Real life, combined with the stress of leading a guild, combined with the (at the time) hopelessness of the game made me quit. Now all of that has changed (including me being a guild leader). I can take my time and enjoy the game. I've joined a guild with aims for Tier-1 nodes, and I'm having a blast. Black Desert is currently the most polished and innovative MMO on the market. Sure, there are games that are polished, but not innovative. Likewise, some games are innovative but not polished.

I'm glad to be back. If you want to join me, just let me know. I can help you out if you're new. I can help you find a guild that will fit your needs, too. Whether that be aspirations for Node Wars or just a place to chill while your role play about your alienware in RP Chat.

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