Black Desert Online Status Report: My Top 10 Gripes

Black Desert Online has been out for over a month and I’ve had an absolute blast so far. I am nowhere near max level yet, nor do I wish to be as I continue this fantastic journey through vast and beautiful lands. These past weeks I have explored, crafted, traded, decorated, fished and killed a few things. Mostly, I have taken screenshots and sighed in awe at the scenery. All that said, there are also quite a few things getting on my nerves by now, so following in Bhag’s footsteps – let’s talk about that!

Black Desert Online Top 10 Gripes

Naturally, there will never be agreement over the things we as players regard as priority issues in MMOs. One month in, my list of pet peeves has grown but my top concerns need not be the next person’s; it all depends on play-style and focus. What everyone can probably agree on is that Black Desert’s UI is clunky and the game could do with more polish in many areas of micromanagement and basic functionality. Given the title’s been out in Korea for two years however, I have serious doubts we’ll see much change anytime soon. So for what its worth, these are my Black Desert Online top 10 gripes as of now, in no particular order:

1. Marketplace Functionality

Let’s face it, the marketplace in Black Desert Online is the worst. The search function lacks basic criteria, many items are assigned to the wrong category (wool is now a plant!) and the fixed pricing system really doesn’t work so well. Also, don’t get me started on the onerous process of listing your own items, I have stopped counting how many clicks are necessary until my stuff is finally up – halp!

2. Inventory Management

While I am okay with the general bag and storage space in the game, inventory management itself is quite the nightmare. The list goes from not being able to re-arrange your items as you see fit or split stacks, to missing vendor options such as “sell all trash”. Even with plenty of bagspace, you feel like you’re constantly overloaded on trash items as well as the many byproducts from crafting with no way to separate these from gear and more important items. Eugh.

3. Double and Triple Confirmations

Do I want to sell? Do I really really? And how many?….It is beyond me why I am pressing so many buttons in Black Desert Online when trying to sell or purchase items or put them up on the marketplace. Given there is a buy-back window at every vendor, I do not understand why the game needs to babysit me for every choice I make. And can we please just right-click sell and buy, pretty please? What’s with all the different buttons?

4. Always-Online Mode

There are quite a few ways in which Black Desert Online encourages players to go AFK or keep the game running in the background. Energy replenishes faster while lying in your bed, crops don’t grow while you are offline and workers won’t perform their assigned gathering tasks, although for whatever reason crafting in workshops seems to be the exception. While I understand motivations behind some of these design choices, I simply don’t believe it makes that much of a difference; players will let their PCs run if must be but same as for Eri, it’s neither an ecological nor agreeable choice for me personally.

5. Gear and Costume Choices

The game needs more of everything, okay? Also a better cosmetics tab, please!

Black Desert Online Top 10 Gripes

6. Housing Ratings

The rating system for houses is completely broken. This is grating on me personally because I put a lot of effort into interior design and making my home look unique and shiny – yet I don’t even make it into the listed top 20 because dumping several furniture sets from the store will give you the highest rating possible. Cash shop bias, much? I’ve visited listed houses plenty of times now and nine times out of ten, you’ll find store furniture dumped in a corner or alternatively, 100 flower vases and turban shells stacked on top of one another. This is why only players should be rating houses in MMOs and not some highly flawed decor bonus system!

7. Friendlist Management

Have you ever noticed your friends logging on into Black Desert Online? – Well, me neither! The friend list is a horrible mess, there are no sound notifications that I could remember and no prompts for received tells either. I hate how complicated and difficult it is to add and contact people when it really shouldn’t be in a massively multiplayer game?!

8. No Floating Combat Text

Far be it from me to require DPS meters in MMOs but the fact that I haven’t got a clue what damage I am doing (or not doing) to mobs while grinding and questing is highly irritating. I just upgraded my gear to Grunil and I really would’ve liked running some comparisons but somehow, you’re not supposed to know exactly what difference all this upgrading, enhancing and gem socketing makes. There are basic character stats of course (some of which are bugged too) but hitting things in the dark without any type of combat log is not my cup of coffee. It seems an incredibly weird design decision that I don’t recall encountering anywhere else.

9. Dyes Suck

Black Desert Online really wants you to suffer when it comes to dyeing armor which is sadly the only way to make your character look a bit more unique. The terrible dye window deserves its own rant section but what really gets to me is that dyes aren’t only cash shop-only in this game, they are also random (within a greater color range) and one-time use! This makes it a ridiculous system that deserves being boycotted….I’ll be stuck with the few dyes I receive from loyalty rewards every now and then.

10. Playing Alone Together

Black Desert Online punishes player interaction in various ways. Looking back on four weeks of playing, the great majority of my time was spent alone. Joining a friendly guild has slightly improved this situation as far as chatting and guild missions go but it’s still far from a social gameplay experience for the most part. Considering that Pearl Abyss seem to have lost the war on gold sellers, it feels like the community is paying far too high a price in all of this. I’d like to see cooperation and interaction penalties removed from the game and also features such as shared housing and guild banks become a thing.

Black Desert Online Top 10 Gripes

And there I already ran out of 10 points to list when I could have gone on. For the sake of completion, I’ll mention that auto-pathing in Black Desert Online is pretty bad, to the point where weird detours and bumping into everyone and everything makes me grind my teeth at times. Other than that, there’s plenty of small things that could use more polish but aren’t exactly frontrunners; it’s amazing how we adapt to a lot of things in MMOs after playing for extended periods of time. The UI didn’t make the list for this reason, despite frustrating me to no end during the first few days of playing in the beta. Guess am over it.

What urgent issues would you like to see addressed in Black Desert Online as soon as possible?

13 comments

  1. I haven’t been playing long enough to have a list of ten yet but I suspect I’ll have such a list soon enough.

    I find the control switch between combat and non-combat somehow jarring, moreso than other action games like Tera. Also sometimes my character just seems locked in place and doesn’t want to move.

    Also who thought up combos like S+LMB or S+F? Mixing movement keys with action keys is crazy in my mind but them I haven’t played Tekken or its ilk in about 20 years.

    1. The key combos grated on me too, to the point of where I considered using a game pad. Then I realized button mashing is the way to go ;) And you do get used to some of it over time, I only ever use the same 3-4 moves that I was able to keybind from 1-4. :)

  2. I’d agree with a lot of that although not everything.

    I absolutely loathe overhead combat numbers (indeed I loath all overhead information). Going through the Options to switch off every possible piece of on-screen pollution – names, numbers, difficulty indicators, directional arrows – is one of the very first things i do in any MMO. I like all my information to be set to on-target or mouseover so I’m in control of what I see and when i see it. I also prefer systems that withhold the maximum amount of numerical and statistical information from the player, so BDO is at the better end of the scale as far as that goes.

    I also strongly approve of the fixed pricing. Indeed I’d go further, remove the range completely and give all items a single, fixed value. My ideal “Broker” would be simply a giant NPC vendor that players sold directly to and which then re-sold directly back to other players at the same price.

    Those are preferences, though. The one thing you list that I find really surprising in that it doesn’t match my experience at all is the auto-pathing. I would say it’s by far the best I have ever since and is a joy to use. Once you realize that you sometimes need to use the NPC locator to get back to a quest-giver rather than just click the quest flag (which sometimes takes you to where the fight or gathering point for the quest is instead) then it’s pretty nearly flawless.

    1. Naw; autopathing has plenty of glaring flaws. Pretty sure you’re just not bothered by them because they are real.

      – Bumping Into EVERYONE: When you autopath to a different town you ram into every single NPC and PC running the same path. Not sure what to do about it really but it’s annoying because it does slow you down. Perhaps putting NPCs on a slightly different track off to one side would be a good start. Then you’d only run into other PCs which is far less than the NPCs. Getting through a busy city like Calpheon makes you run into dozens of NPCs.

      – Switchbacks: Many times I see the autopath make me do some ridiculous switch back (some 100 meters!). Most of them are obvious because they are following the road but not all of them.

      – Terrain Collision: Doesn’t happen constantly but enough to piss you off. You set your character to run somewhere, go hit the bathroom or something, come back and you’re character is running into some wall or other piece of terrain.

    2. @Bhagpuss
      Well, overhead or just in a separate tab within the chat window, I don’t care – just let me see what damage I am doing? This stabbing things in the dark makes no sense to me. :D
      My issue with the fixed pricing is that it’s not really fixed; it keeps going down the more players sell for minimum. Also, some of the conversions between mats&energy investment and market price are just insanely off. I should be able to make ‘some’ profit by crafting more complex items, surely?

      The pathing works as long as you stay on the road and start from the road. But even then, the detours are very odd at times, especially around map borders.

  3. I’m surprised you didn’t even mention their horrible customer service or the fact they can’t even get pre-orders or event rewards handed out properly. While it’s not going nearly as badly as ArcheAge, it’s definitely headed down the same path. This game will flop because they can’t even manage to get a working billing department. I gave ArcheAge 3 months before I quit and I only gave BDO 1 month. It’s only a matter of time, I promise you. Just wait and see.

    1. I haven’t mentioned any of these because I have not had any issues whatsoever with CC or items being sent to me. ;) I got all of my claimed stuff within 24 hours and so did everyone in my guild. Sorry to hear your experience was different.

  4. Sandbox games are seldom great when it comes to play in a group compared to themeparks. Its just the way it is. We have to make our own gameplay to a higher degree. AA was the same so im used to it:) we will find ways to interact if we want to:)

  5. I think what would affect me most are the confirmations and house ranking. Didn’t get a chance to play with housing yet, but it would have been something I would do.
    Come to think of it, I didn’t see floating text either, which I thought was a big thing in eastern games.

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