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Any experienced player will have no trouble adapting to Black Desert

The new Korean MMORPG Black Desert takes the kinetic action-based combat of Assassin's Creed, the open world freedom of Skyrim, and a community of thousands of players, and combines these elements in what many are calling the first in a generation of new MMOs. It's tough to foretell how far this MMO will go, but it has sparked plenty of well-deserved interest. I disliked attacking the bees in particular since the quest suggests that the farmers don't like the bees. Bees are great! They're especially helpful to farmers!

What is debated within the in-game chat as the worst thing you will experience in this game is something you'll find within your first few minutes in Black Desert. You can and will need to have conversations with NPCs in order to unlock two very important parts of this game as well as a few bonus things. A lot of knowledge, undoubtedly the most important stat in this game, is hidden behind conversations with NPCs. Quests are hidden, buffs are hidden, even items are hidden. What makes this so horrible is that each conversation is a mini game.

Any experienced MMO player will have no trouble adapting to Black Desert's systems and mechanics as they are relatively standard when it comes to such things as inventory, gear, leveling, skills, using the hot bar, mini map, chat, grouping, etc. Sure, there are small variations, but Pearl Abyss has clearly made concessions to western MMO players in designing its UI. Quest objectives are well marked and easy to navigate to thanks to both directional arrows and even an auto-travel button toggle. There are crafting systems, player trading of gear, housing for individuals and guilds, mounts, in short, all the expected a present-day.

In case you're wondering why Black Desert Online is only launching in some European territories on March 3, other countries including Ukraine, the Baltic States, Belarus, Georgia and Armenia, amongst others, are locked into the Russian servers, which along with the Korean and Japanese versions of the game are based around free-to-play schemes and have different publishers. And the limitations go further than that: some classes are pretty much locked by age as well. If you want to play a wizard, you'll be a middle-aged or senior citizen.

If you play a tamer, you're what I call “lolilocked.” Basically, you're stuck playing a Lolita with youthful features and childish proportions. The cash shop used to supplement Black Desert Online's buy-to-play model offers some attractive cosmetic alternatives for each class, but much like almost everything else in the shop, they're disproportionately expensive, often costing as much the base game itself.

(This is to say nothing of the dye system, which consumes each purchasable dye after a single use, or the all-but-essential $9 pets who run around and automatically pick up loot for you.) Even then, there are only a couple extra outfits at best, so even players who slap down hard cash - as I did, for a rougher leathery look - still end up looking like a lot like other players of their class. Black Desert has none of these problems. The experience gain is well balanced, the combat is beautiful and fluid on the level of a 2D fighter, and the length and number of quests seems well paced.

Like many MMO launches, this one had its issues - mostly lying in difficulty redeeming preorder items, but there is a persistent spawning bug that made some quests unbeatable, where enemies would not reappear, leaving empty areas without foes to fight. They eventually reappear, but it needs to be fixed, as we all share a world. I found that competition for spawns wasn't too bad without the bug - you don't get quest credit or drops if someone ‘tags' a foe, but you still get combat XP for fighting if you kill an enemy someone has already engaged.

Next News : Black Desert Online covers all the expected bases