Black Desert Online is here at last! But to the uninformed eye, this gorgeous open world MMORPG can pose quite an overwhelming spectacle at first glance. So I’m here to start you off with the first things you will want to know before you play Black Desert Online.

The Cash Shop - Is It Pay To Win?

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Simply put: sure, why not? Here’s the thing. The “pay to win” term gets thrown about so much these days that it has kind of lost meaning. So instead, question whether the cash shop actually poses any real threat to your enjoyment of the game and go from there. This is very much subjective and I can’t give you an answer on that, but as it stands: yes, you can purchase things from the in game store that give you benefits in game, but they are convenience items. If you find weight limit, looting pets, and lucky underpants pay to win, that is entirely dependent on your definition. But the important thing to remember is that everything is subject to change, and that is the beauty of MMOs. Now that’s over with, let’s take a look at the nuances of the game.

Character Creation Is In Depth - Prepare Yourself


All anybody has been talking about for months is the crazy detailed character creator, and if you haven’t played around with it yet, you might not be prepared for the several hour long session to create your character. Sure it doesn’t have to take this long, but you need to know before you play Black Desert Online that you can choose a ready-made character preset that other players have created in the standalone creation tool and uploaded to this site here. From here, you have a character base that you already know you like and can quickly change a feature or two here and there and get into the meat of Black Desert Online and actually play the game at long last.

The Quest System

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Now Black Desert Online handles quests a little differently so don’t just dive straight in and try to power through to max level before you know what it is you are doing, exactly. Quests in Black Desert give you contribution XP. Some will grant you weapons, gear, Black Stones, and inventory space, others might teach you valued skills. Once you’re at level 50, you can get boss scrolls from your Black Spirit’s daily and weekly quests which are very useful.

Contribution points can only be earned through quests, so while you may be better off grinding for levels, you will miss out on a lot of highly important unlocks if you skip your quests. Perhaps most important will be the bag space quests for which Black Desert Foundry has an excellent guide.

And as for how to find quests - your Black Spirit will alert you, and NPCs will have certain icons above their head. So talk to everybody and you’ll soon be well on your way. Just make sure to toggle all quest types on in your quest log.

Knowledge and Energy

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You will learn Knowledge simply through playing Black Desert Online. Killing mobs, interacting with NPCs, it all counts, and there are different ranks, too. The higher your rank, the better your drop rate on certain monsters might be. So if you aren’t happy with your rank of Knowledge, you can always reset it at the Calpheon Library.

The more Knowledge you gain, the higher your Energy will be. In a sense, Energy is similar to ArcheAge’s Labor, but don’t panic, there are no subscriber bonuses and there is plenty you can do in game to make the most out of your Energy. It will restore over time and there are also quests you can do to regain your Energy as well. If you want to speed up your Energy recovery time, you can always sleep in a bed. But what is it used for? In a word: everything. NPC interactions, Node management, gathering and crafting, speaking in world chat, contracting workers, and so on. So you will want to be increasing your Knowledge as you go.

Okay, Please Explain Nodes

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Right, so Nodes are locations on Black Desert’s world map. Connecting Nodes can grant you some nice in game bonuses like increased loot drops, and you can even send workers to them to gather crafting resources for you.

You will find Adventure Nodes and Production Nodes, and you must invest in both for the connection to work. And if you wish to withdraw, not a problem. You can do this at any time via the world map.

How Do I Make Or Find A Guild?

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Guilds are an important part of playing Black Desert Online, and as such, you will want to find one as soon as you can. There are two types of “guild” in the game, namely Clans and Guilds.

Clans are for very small social groups with a maximum of 15 players. There are no real benefits to Clans compared with a Guild, but they’re a great option for smaller groups who want to be able to easily chat together and form groups. Just speak to a Guild NPC in any major city and off you go. You will not be stuck in a Clan forever, you will have the option to upgrade to a guild at a later time if you wish to.

Guilds on the other hand offer many benefits to players. You can earn some decent gold from being a part of one and gain access to the end game content that Black Desert Online has to offer. They cost silver to form and can hold up to 100 people. To find a guild, you could check Guildex, the BDO Guilds subreddit, or the official forums.

Don’t Log Out

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You heard me right, if you’re able to keep yourself logged into Black Desert Online, then stay online. There is a bunch of stuff that your character can do while you’re AFK such as fishing (much slower than actively fishing but it is a great ongoing activity while you’re not around), sleeping in a bed, and traveling via auto-pathing, just to name a few.

And all of that is merely scratching the surface of Black Desert Online. This game is much more than just an interesting character creator and a pretty face, there is a deep MMORPG here, and yes it is quite different to other games in the MMO market. Whether you’re into roleplay, PvP, housing, group play, or whatever, there’s quite a bit in Black Desert to explore if you’re willing to give it a chance.