Black Desert Online First Impressions

I was able to get into the closed beta for BDO (lasts only a week). Here are my first impressions based on only 2~3 hours of gameplay (level 9~10).

Right off the bat, BDO already looked great. My computer has to run it on LOW specs, but still the game looked immersive and great. The loading music felt epic and really got my heart pumping.

Character customization

The character customization was really complex on facial features. However, the hair options felt a little lacking (even though there were options to change a bunch of features). Going back to the facial feature, the options provided were pretty crazy. When I play games, I tend to spend a lot of time on character customization, but this was too crazy (in a good way) even for me! I hope they add more hair features, though.

The body feature was okay. I do like the fact that the female body feels a little bit more “thick” instead of being stick skinny. I loved the voice feature because unlike most of the more recent games, BDO has a scale for you to choose your voice. Blade and Soul, for example, had 5 choices and you could only choose from those 5. With the scale system, I felt like I could choose more freely.

There was a constellation option during character customization, too. I don’t know what it is for, but it added more “character” and depth to my toon. Each constellation had a personality trait attached to it… for example one of them might be: “nice, gentle, cautious, and wealthy” (just an example I made up).

UI

The UI was very overwhelming at the start. There is a lot of information to digest, but most mmorpgs will feel this way. I like the fact that you can reorganize the UI to your liking.

Movement/Combat/Camera

Jumping felt a little odd. I would go up lightly and then fall to the ground like I weighed over 9000lbs. Probably just needs some getting used to. Actual movement felt fine and pretty natural. Don’t have any real issues with it.

Combat felt great. I was expecting vindictus type combat, but so far, it did not feel the same – not sure why. Camera movement was fps style, there is a dodge button, and the combat felt pretty actiony. I lowered the camera shake features (though not all the way down). The impact camera feature definitely made me feel like I was hitting hard.

I’ve heard this game has a lot of grinding, but the combat seems like it would lessen the “grind”. It was very enjoyable, but also very complex. In fact, the buttons seem a bit overwhelming and complex. The combination of keys to pull off moves were like “whoa~”. Movement is the typical W, A, S, D… but some skills would require a S+E or S+R. Then there’s the shift modifier to add more moves (shift+A+left mbutton, etc). I do like that it is not mindless combat.

Quest

Questing was okay. The beginning few quests were actually annoying because this little black orb thingy kept bothering me to give me rewards and quests. Felt like I was visiting him too frequently because he would give me quests like “kill TWO beatles”. TWO?! At least give me more kill counts to test my skills or something…

Gathering
I can totally see myself leveling up gathering and fishing. Already, I’ve been “skinning” animals after I kill them and it felt very soothing to do so. I haven’t done much else here, but really looking forward to fishing… I love fishing in mmorpgs…

Conclusion
First impressions are very positive. Combat was fun, and there seems to be lots of immersion, things to do, etc… I know the biggest issue in BDO is end-game… I hope they add more PvE features and other PvP options.

The night cycle was cool, because during night… it really was hard to see. Little things like this made the world very immersive and felt so awesome. I can’t wait to see what rain will be like.

So far, so good – but I do realize this is the “honeymoon phase” and I do have concerns for later.

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