Info | Black Desert held its first Closed Beta for Europe and North American servers on from December 16th to December 22nd. The beta is closed – open only to those with the highest level of pre-ordered packages as well as those lucky enough to obtain free passes.
Access | I was able to secure and help about 25 other folks get free access to Black Desert. The reviews had been mixed up to that point so I wasn’t really feeling like slapping down $100 bucks for another game to be disappointed in (ArcheAge). I got my first beta key from MMORPG.com, my second from the official Black Desert Online giveaway. The others were obtained from various gaming news spots – I was glued to Twitter hunting down the latest giveaways.
CBT1 Goal | My goal as I went into this was to confirm that I actually wanted to head to Black Desert as our next MMO Adventure.
Red Alert | I was sick for the majority – of the beta. In between the disappointments with my laptop situation and my head spinning I didn’t participate as much as I wanted to. This review isn’t what I wanted it to be, I feel bad for that but I’ll make up for it in CBT2 :).
Overview (this is the TL:DR)
First impressions – Yup I could see playing this for a while but I really do hope it has something I can stick my teeth into and become an expert at. ArcheAge killed my interest in PvP for a while but this might bring it back – maybe. The world is beautiful even on the pooey laptop I started with the game looked good. There seems to be a lot to do in the world including questing. Thats a good sign for me as I’m one of those rare individuals that actually likes doing this. There are mini-games that you can play with NPC’s – that was a nice twist.
It seems that Daum put lots of emphasis on testing fishing, pets and dyes. This could be a great sign – nothing major requiring testing cause its not broken or sign that the BDO team over at Daum just wanted fluff reviews for the first go round so they pointed people to the less “broken” features of the game. At any rate those aspects worked well for most people. I really liked the fact that Daum created in game events and spirited people toward them during event time. They shut off the lights (making midnight really really Black), they made it snow – more on that later. They invited people to open world boss fights etc etc etc. Most importantly to me – they were in the game. That fact alone makes this something I can at least enjoy for another few months.
Now for a few specifics
WHAT NO WITCH!?! I couldn’t believe it. The sadness was so real. For some reason, the female Witch was excluded from CBT1. We were offered the option of having the male witch however I don’t really play male characters. I will wait until CBT2 when I hope she makes an appearance. This started my experience off on an odd note. I was really excited to play the Witch and had no intention of playing any other character so I wasn’t prepared for that. It did cause me a bit of delay to make a new decision. I ended up selecting the Sorceress made my character and immediately disliked her after joining the game. Considering the amount of time it took to create her – this was extremely frustrating. My next pick, the next day, was the Tamer. I made her and stuck with her throughout the rest of the beta. She ended up being a very fun, energetic character and provided lots of entertainment once I got to playing her.
“Wow, finally”…I thought I’d be able to jump in and create the perfect version of TrixiEEEE that I’ve had in my head for a while. I found that I was more overwhelmed than I expected. There was just so much that I could do that I felt like needed to be done before I could click the creation complete button. I mean this is mine, its a my creation I wanted to make her gorgeous….fast forward 8 hrs…ironic tragedy. I ended up making my Sorceress and found that in comparison to the creation screen, in game she looked fairly large and out of place. Her lips were awkward, thighs weren’t curvaceous but looked like fat plopped on to skinny poles for legs, and her height…she was a giant. Now in some peoples minds that would have been perfect, that wasn’t what I was going for. Next time – more sleep then create.
Round Two – Ok this time I took my time. Shes not my vision of TrixiEEEE, I decided to let that wait until CBT2 because time was ticking. The only problem I had with my second attempt was that she ended up a bit more cartoony than the setting of Black Desert was. I didn’t know this and wouldn’t have until actually entering the world. She while I think she’s a somewhat eerie cute little wannabe Witch, I don’t feel like she fit in. All of this was due to me and perhaps my pickyness – not the game or the character creator itself.
Overall this system, while a bit daunting – is revolutionary and should be a staple in all MMOs without question. There could be improvements for user friendliness such as labels, a video tutorial or onscreen directions that tell you what each aspect is for (such as constellations) and the detailed appearance change features (hair, facial and body). There could also be an in game reference point (like a tree) for height, width and muscle. Again, I am sure no one else will complain about this feature or feel its lacking in anyway but there could always be improvements.
Suggestions to the BDO Team: Toss out some instructions on how to use the sliders/adjustment tools for the face, nose and hair. Perhaps also input some way to understand proportions relative to the world just for reference purposes.