About that Black Desert Online Learning Curve

Five days into Black Desert Online, including some beta testing and headstart, my current state of mind is best described with this picture:

Black Desert Online learning curve

HALP! (click to enlarge crazyness)

I still don’t know what the fuck I am doing. And that is probably a good thing too, given how I generally find new MMORPGs too easy, too repetitive and too been there done that. Really, BDO is doing a lot of stuff its own way; I can’t say how effective or worthwhile it all is yet, but between node and worker management, haggling and raising amity with NPCs, one million gazillion crafty things and sub-menus for every possible resource, horse breeding, AFK-fishing, shipyards and feeding pets while looking to unlock the perfect residence, I have my hands full and then some. That Black Desert Online learning curve is no joke even for seasoned players.

Sandbox musings

While browsing the official Black Desert Online forums, I chanced upon this provocatively named youtube rant by WoW raider Kungen – ye, that dude that ran/runs Nihilum and raided with Ensidia for a time. I honestly never payed much attention to WoW’s 1% although there was a time when I statistically would have belonged among that group, albeit much further down the ladder from our Scandinavian overlords. In the few interviews I ever read back in wow.com’s time, most of them seemed aloof and not in touch with anything.

Anywho, after several minutes of WoW tirade Kungen goes over to waxing lyrical about BDO, its great sandbox premise and horizontal endgame “progression”. I confess, I found the video rather entertaining for all the ways he hits and misses various points related to his general WoW malaise. He is quite obviously incapable of relating to what constitutes the majority of WoW’s non-hardcore player base. Where there’s only “easy peasy mythics” left for him in today’s endgame, other players would argue that the game has added a lot of non-raiding related content over the years, from achievements to pet battles and the garrison. That doesn’t interest Kungen because raiding was the greatest in vanilla and after that, the game gradually went to shits. Here’s where I agree with him: WoW took a big turn for the worse after the conclusion of the Arthas arch in WotLK; I too am a Cataclysm-unsubscriber. And I hate flying mounts in WoW, they rank right after achievements for me.

The rest is mildly amusing, given how this hardcore player fails to realize how his playstyle adds to his own detriment in MMOs. He probably level 50+ during the BDO beta too or something, so I wonder how long the enthusiasm is gonna last. But hey, it’s nice that even the “WoW elite” (…) can appreciate Black Desert Online for doing things a bit differently.


  1. It’s interesting that you’re talking about a super-steep learning curve that’s “no joke even for seasoned players” while Saylah at Mystic Worlds, very much a seasoned MMO player, describes BDO as ” a nice way to unwind after dinner “. I guess that’s the joy of a sandbox MMO – it is what you want it to be.

    1. Oh definitely! I can unwind no problem depending what I chose to do – and there are guides to for all the stuff going on if you really want to. Still many of the micro-management things need to be learned, simple as that. One big issue the game has is that it’s pretty terrible at telling you anything.

      I grinned writing this btw, the other day I commented on your blog that there’s nothing to learn in new MMOs anymore, not true in this case. 😉

  2. I lasted through Cataclysm and Mists, but I suspect my complaint about the high point of WoW being at the end of Wrath agrees with your opinion.

    Of course, my biggest complaints had nothing to do with raiding and PvP, but with story and continuity, their jumping the shark-esque content, and how large portions of the story moved into novels.

    1. I always thought killing Arthas symbolically stands for a lot of things that died when that main story arch was over. Up to that point there was a sense of story and direction the game never had afterwards.

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