Black Desert Online

Calpheon Journal: BDO Pet Peeves

How have your first few days in Black Desert Online been going? The game officially launched just over a week ago and by now you’re probably fairly familiar with its basic elements, if not with the detail of how it all goes together. And boy, there’s a lot of detail in this game.

So far I’ve been having a great time – in fact, I’ve been enjoying it even more than I had expected I would, which is a pleasant change. My leveling has come to a halt at 12 and I’ve been spending my time working on life skills and making silvers, hauling fish around the world to find the best prices.

There’s a lot to love about BDO. The gameplay is flexible enough that people can work towards their goals, even with limited time (real life demands attention sometimes!). The life skills, reputation, and crafting systems are deep and engaging, and the world feels alive with weather effects and workers running around and the lack of fast travel.

But I’m not here today to talk about all of the reasons I am enjoying the game. Just because I’m having a good time doesn’t mean that the game is perfect, and there are some pretty significant things that I would change about the game if I had a magic game developer wand.

Keep in mind that given the nature of BDO it’s extremely unlikely that anything drastic will change, as we’re basically months behind in the development that already exists in the Korean and Russian markets. I don’t expect Daum to listen or react, but let’s talk anyway about my BDO pet peeves and the ways in which the game could be improved.

BDO Pet Peeves

More Character Personalization After Creation

It’s really strange that I can spend an hour customizing my character down to the shape of eye lens and width of her left calf, but once I’m in the game I blend into a sea of people wearing the exact same outfit as me. I don’t even object to the fact that gear drops are extremely rare and no matter what it is I look sort of like a vagrant, I just wish I didn’t have to look like the same vagrant as everyone else.

Sometimes I can’t even tell which Witch I am when I’m standing in a crowd in front of the trader! This may be something that appeals more to Western MMO players, but the lack of post-creator customization is kind of a bummer.

Lose The Aggressive Cash Shop Policies

I’ve developed a bit of a reputation in MMO blogging circles as being the anti-cash-shop lady, but bear with me here: $30 for an outfit is really disappointing, particularly when seen in the light of my first complaint. Buying gear with unique features is also disappointing and I dislike it when games are designed to irritate you into buying something like fast-looting pets.

While I’m at it, what’s with the one-time use dye purchases? Again, I realize that this may be in part due to different expectations in different markets – in the Korean version of BDO, for example, players can subscribe purely to a dye system with greater options and unlimited uses – but it feels pretty chintzy here compared to other contemporary games.

Better Writing For Quest Texts and NPC Interaction

It’s funny that one of the main mechanics in the game is “conversing” with NPCs to gain their trust, but every time I actually talk to one it hurts my brain. The writing (or localization, to be fair) is just plain bad in areas, or goes in unexpected directions. At one point I spoke with an NPC about some trivial matter, and they threw in a story about how it reminded them of their friend being beaten repeatedly by their parents as a child. Ha ha.. no wait…

It doesn’t have to be Final Fantasy XIV levels of epic yarn-spinning, but a little more allure to the story would be nice. (And somebody needs to tell that shouting child NPC by the Warehouse Master in Velia to pipe down and play nice!)

bdo_windmill

Add a Way to Trade Between Guildies

Trading between players has been disabled in Black Desert Online to reduce opportunities for gold sellers and spammers, and while this appears to have been extremely effective so far, I wish there was a way to trade between trusted people, like guildies.

In ArcheAge, a similar styled game, I was able to band together with my guildies to work on grand projects like big boats, and I miss doing that now. If a friend is a master farmer in BDO and I’m a master cook, the lack of trading means that we can’t work together and combine our specializations. Guilds have a cooldown, and you pay a penalty for leaving them, so it seems like they’re already pretty safe from abuse from gold sellers – give us a guild trading option!

Improve the Marketplace UI

As with trading, the Marketplace is more limited than most Western MMOs in order to curb gold sellers and filthy auction house baroning (like I do in almost every other MMO, cough cough). That’s fine, but it could really use a pass at the UI to make the functionality that does exist more usable.

For example, searching the Marketplace is case sensitive! (Editor’s note: since time of writing, this particular flaw has been patched) If you search for “potato” you’ll get no results, whereas “Potato” has a number of returns. Also, there is no way to globally search, so if you don’t know the proper category of the item you’re looking for, you’re forced to query each possible category independently until you find it.

bdo_skyline

As I said earlier, all in all, BDO is shaping up to be a great sandbox-style MMO with lots of options for the future, and I am having a great time with it. However, there are some things that I think were poorly implemented and some others that are just plain missing.

What would you change in Black Desert Online if you could? Let us know in the comments!

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