10 Mistakes To Avoid Playing Black Desert Online

Black Desert Online isn’t a new game but these days it feels that way thanks…

Black Desert Online isn’t a new game but these days it feels that way thanks to some sweeping changes made by the developer. Pearl Abyss, the company that developed BDO and published it in Asian markets, recently took over publishing for the North American and European markets to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the NA/EU version launch.

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In order to bring new life into the game, Pearl Abyss offered a 100{6557c92bab376e861f4db2362dd750ed9808ade9f2baf81ac39a444313a64dce} off discount through Steam until March 10th and brought changes to the game that make it a better time than ever to jump in. As a new player, the world of BDO seems daunting and stressful, and it is, but there are beginner mistakes that can be avoided!

10 Server Stress

Black Desert Server Select

Experienced MMO fans remember when choosing a server, or home world, was serious business. These games revolve around cooperation and social interaction so exile on an undesired server could mean prolonged isolation from your friends. Conversely, joining a friend’s server later could mean moving to crowded worlds and facing queue times upon logging in.

BDO’s structure remedies these problems by having players choose which “channel” to log into every time they start the game. Your characters, belongings, house; everything moves from channel to channel with you. All you have to do is choose which channel style you prefer.

For new players, the Olvia channels offer greatly increased EXP and material rewards for 30 days after your first login. The only other thing to consider is which channel (e.g. Olvia1, Olvia2, Olvia3…) suits your needs at the time. Is one channel overcrowded? Are you meeting a friend somewhere? Maybe you want to mix it up and try a PvP or seasonal channel? Stress no more, try them all.

9 Don’t Refinance Your Home

Black Desert Online Pearl Cash Shop

BDO’s pay-to-win reputation casts a shadow on the game that it can’t outrun, and not without reason, as this MMO can empty your wallet faster than most if you let it. There’s good news though, planning ahead and resisting impulse buying urges will keep you from taking out a second mortgage. You can even go entirely free-to-play if you’re really patient.

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There are also plenty of resources online available that focus on this aspect of BDO. Series veteran Anders frequently posts guides for beginners that direct them to the most efficient ways to spend their time and silver, even going through the cash shop and telling you which items are must-haves (very few) and which ones you can ignore or try to earn in-game. Another BDO vet, KiraTV, has been open with his criticisms in the past but has also stated that he never felt that another player beat him because they had clearly spent more money.

8 Seasonal Characters 101

Black Desert Seasonal Mystic

Seasonal channels launched a year ago in the Korean version of Black Desert Online and have since been added to the other regions. This progression system isn’t unique to BDO — anyone with experience in games like Diablo 3 will already be familiar, and you don’t want to miss out here.

Seasons reset in regular intervals that line up closely with the calendar IRL. At the close of a season, each character “graduates” and can be used on regular channels but without the perks they enjoyed on the seasonal channel. At the start of a season, everyone creates a season-specific character, your permanent characters aren’t allowed, but seasonal characters gain EXP fast which allows everyone to progress quickly towards endgame together.

Since progression is the name of the game in BDO, and Steam reviews reveal that some players have upwards of 20,000 hours, seasonal channels prevent these users from dominating grind areas or market boards and oppressing those with less free time to put in. In short, everything is more relax and a little more fair in seasonal play.

7 Don’t Get Hung Up On Plot

As is the case with most MMOs, which are inherently designed to keep your interest for years, BDO has a long and intricate story. The game has a reputation for being bereft of plot, and that isn’t true at all, the plot simply isn’t the main draw into BDO as it would be with other RPGs.

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The lore of BDO extends far into the past, into eras you won’t get to play through, and with so many gameplay elements distracting you from the narrative it can be easy to lose track of it entirely. There is a main story quest, throughout which you and your devious, disembodied travel companion will uncover the truth about an ancient magic that gave rise to and ruined the kingdoms you travel through. Once you finish the main story quests, however, you’ll be so preoccupied with PvE grinding, sieges, node wars, life skills, etc. that any concern with the plot will fade. And that’s alright.

Thanks to the newcomer EXP buff, players should rarely have to stop and grind side quests to meet level requirements for main story quests. Therefore, if the plot is all that you’re interested in then BDO is a smooth sailing experience. However, even lore hounds should find that this game has so many other more interesting things to offer.

6 Disregard Graphics, Prioritize FPS

If you’ve heard of Black Desert Online at all then you already know that it’s the most visually impressive MMO out today. Don’t get too attached to those graphics yet, because, at the time of writing, BDO has a significant attack speed problem.

Machines that can achieve higher frame rates can dramatically buff your attack rate, and allow for combos the devs never intended players to access. This has encouraged a lot of hardcore players to use the lowest settings possible in competitive modes to get as much of an edge as possible over their opponents. What a pity to let those art assets go to waste.

5 Remember To Dye Your ‘Fits

Pearl Abyss knows that it’s throwing a lot of info at players when they start their BDO adventure, and through all of the mayhem on screen, it’s easy to overlook some of the quality of life systems and freebies handed to you. With the character creator as intricate as it is, new players either spend hours obsessing over every eyelash on their new hero, or they jump right into the game and save the customization for later.

Fortunately, BDO allows you to do both within your first few days of playing. Whereas other MMOs make you unlock gear dyes and charge a fee to edit characters, BDO offers unlimited dying with a basic palette, and unlimited character edits within your first two weeks of playing.

4 Check Your Manners

While not specifically designed for PvP, BDO offers a lot of modes that can scratch the itch. The times and places for PvP matter a lot so don’t go around chopping down everyone you see.

In regular channels, you’ll unlock PvP at level 50 and will be able to toggle your PvP flag on and off to indicate your readiness for battle. Turning off the flag doesn’t protect you from others, all players who have unlocked PvP can be attacked anytime they’re outside of safe zones, but attacking and killing players who have their flag off will deplete your karma.

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Once you have negative karma, other players will be able to attack you at all times and without losing karma themselves, NPC guards will attack you in towns as well, and vendors may choose not to talk to you. Killing other players earns you nothing, so those with bad karma have made a conscious decision to become notorious player-killers for that end itself… don’t be that guy.

Two players with their flags on can freely attack each other without losing karma. You can also join the dedicated PvP channel which is free for all. There are also the war and siege modes that allow for large-scale, team-based PvP.

3 Only You Know Your Keybind Needs

Black Desert Keybind Options

Not only is BDO among the best-looking MMOs available today, but it also offers combat unlike anything found in WoW or FF14. Hack and slash enthusiasts and fighting game fans will take comfort here. BDO isn’t about committing rotations to memory or watching cooldowns tick (although those are still somewhat important), it’s about combos executed in real-time.

You still have the option to dedicate your skills to the numbers row on your keyboard, but BDO combat centers around the F key, E key, left-click, and right-click, and combining these with the directional buttons as well as shift. Every skill you unlock can be executed with some combination of these and strung together like a fighting game combo.

For this reason, BDO combat is also particularly accommodating for controller users (even though the UI could use some tweaks in this regard). Whether you prefer classic MMO hotbars or Tekken-esque combos, BDO lets you utilize either option.

2 Don’t Pick A Character Without Researching

BDO offers a ton of playable classes, with the newly released Sage making for 22 options available from level one. The awakening and succession skill trees unlocked later down the line further allow players to choose one of roughly 40 specializations.

Due to the class gender-lock, many (but not all) of the available classes have male and female counterparts. Like playing archers but prefer female characters? Ranger is for you. Even classes that start out similar can diverge drastically in the late game, and each one excels in different areas, so you’ll want to check out some online guides to make sure you aren’t sinking hundreds of hours into a class you’ll end up hating.

1 Don’t Focus On Building “Meta” Characters

As important as it may be to consult a guide when building your first character, never let any one player, or even community consensus, dictate what class you have to build. As with any combat-centric RPG, the BDO community likes to obsess over the meta, and there’s no shortage of extremely informed players who can provide expert guidance on that matter.

However, metas change, and that happens in BDO about every six months. So when perusing character guides, make finding a class that you enjoy your top priority.

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