End Game in Black Desert Online

When deciding on whether to pre-order I went through a lot of You Tube videos and other resources to learn as much as I could about Black Desert. One of the main questions I had was what the gameplay would entail at end game. One of the videos I found came to the conclusion that there was no end game content in BDO for those who are more PvE minded.

While I understand the sentiment, I think it comes from a misunderstanding of what kind of MMO Black Desert is. Sure, there are no dungeons or raids at max level for players to run ad nauseam but there are lots of activities to do while you’re leveling and once you’ve reached the end game. What I’ve listed below is a basic sampling of what’s available. This is not intended to be a guide but a brief list to help other people decide whether Black Desert is a game to try out or not. Keep in mind I have not personally played, this is just a consolidation of my research, much of which is based on the Korean version so things could change.

Horse Breading

BDO has an elaborate system for catching, leveling, and breeding horses. One of the activities you can do (once you’ve leveled the taming skill by riding a donkey…) is go out into the wild, lasso a horse, and make it your own. Horses come in several ranks but the higher level ranks must be reached through breeding. Horses also have their own skills to level, there is gear and cosmetics to craft for them, and they can participate in races for prizes as well.

Trading

So many of the systems in BLack Desert are interrelated that it’s difficult to separate them in a list like this. Trading in this case also includes crafting, fishing, and even housing. One of the goals you can work toward is creating a trading empire by discovering and linking nodes (a kind of pathway that connects the various cities and villages) and then moving goods between towns connected by those nodes. If you like grinding monsters, there are goods you can earn that way to trade. Or if you like crafting, you can train an army of workers to craft goods for trade. Or maybe you prefer fishing. Or farming. Whatever the case, the goal is to stretch your reach across the map through the nodes so that you can sell a good from one city to another far away for maximum profit.

However it’s not enough to just have these nodes. In BLack Desert you can have up to five houses and these will be used to store your goods, house your workers, and craft your wares. Placing your houses and warehouses in the right location will be critical to successfully playing Black Desert as a trader, so you’ll want to have a plan for how and where you’ll use your five houses. Thankfully it’s possible to sell a house and buy a new one elsewhere if you need to change your plans.

Crafting

As mentioned above, crafting is a vital part of trade but it is also an end game pursuit on its own. I have no idea how many different crafting options there are, but I believe it includes weapons, gear, cooking, horse carts, boats and more. Your character will need to level their crafting skills like gathering or refining in order to be more efficient and you will also want to hire workers that can craft to expand your crafting potential. In many ways it reminds me of the garrisons in World of Warcraft but while you are given command over many workers, being a crafter will not keep you locked away from the world.

Gearing

Gear progression in Black Desert really has nothing to do with dungeons and raids (because there aren’t any) and is more like a specific crafting pursuit. There are lots of aspects to improving your gear that to be honest I still have a hard time understanding but there are a couple of things worth noting. First of all, gear is not tied to a level so if you’ve upgraded a weapon for your high level Valkyrie you can use that same piece of gear on your newbie warrior. Secondly, the process of upgrading includes a lot of RNG in crafting and monster grinding for drops. It’s a lengthy process and reminds me of the gear progression in Trove more than anything else so don’t expect it to happen overnight. Finally, while world bosses technically drop “better” gear than what can be crafted, because of the way the upgrade system works you’re better off fully upgrading a crafted piece rather than trying for a world boss drop.

Guilds, PvP, and World Bosses

The closest thing to what you’re used to seeing for end game in an MMO will be participating in group PvP and world bosses with your guild. There are some bosses that can be summoned by a group of guild members ranging from 5-20 players as well as world bosses on a timer out in the world. PvP includes various types of guild verses guild PvP as well as types that individuals or small groups can join. It would take a while to go into all the ins and outs of PvP in this game, but as near as I can tell if you’d rather not participate in this part of the game, it should be easy to avoid with plenty of alternative gameplay options, just not the dungeons and raids you may be used to. And if you are interested in PvP there is enough variety you’re likely to find something to enjoy.

But wait, there’s more!

And in case you’d like more information on what Black Desert Online offers in terms of gameplay, I recommend this YouTube playlist. It’ll take about an hour to get through it all and it’s based on the Korean game but it provides a great starting point for understanding the game.

Black Desert Guides by Hakurai

 

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10 thoughts on “End Game in Black Desert Online

    • Thanks, that’s the goal! I had such a hard time finding information at first beyond the character creator and first hour or so of play that it took me a while to get a picture of what the game was like. So I wanted to make a quick overview for people to help with deciding if it sounds interesting to them or not.

      And just recently I learned more about another aspect of the game that could be considered “end game” content that I’ll write on separately later. There’s quite a lot to do in this game, just not dungeons and raids which is a little confusing at first I think if you’re more familiar with theme parks like I am.

      I think valkyrie looks like a good class too. It’s probably 3rd on my list of classes to try. On a related note, I thought I would be bothered by the gender locking but honestly I think it’s fine. There’s usually a similar class for the opposite sex (warrior in this case would be the closest) but even when there isn’t or there are slight differences I’m okay with what is being offered.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Oh crud. Did you have to tell me about horse taming? And farming, fishing, and trading? Now you’ve got me interested.

    I have a few questions that you may be able to answer (though I guess I should just research myself).

    You mention owning houses. Are houses a given part of the game (with proper work for it in game, of course)? Or is there a land rush in this game like in ArcheAge where if you don’t get it early, you’re never going to have housing? I really disliked ArcheAge’s land rush since owning a farm was all I really wanted to do at end game.

    You note that PvP is the big end game for competitive folks. Does this PvP extend into areas that could effect PvEers or Crafters who just want to play un-ganked (again, like they did in ArcheAge)? Or can I go about my business and never step foot in a PvP zone?

    I see that Black Desert will be Buy To Play (?) which I have no problem with. Do you know if there’s an optional sub and if those who don’t sub get locked out of content on timers, again, such as the Labor system in ArcheAge.

    Haha… basically, I’m interested in this game based on the sandboxy elements, but I don’t want another ArcheAge experience. Once I have more time, I’ll have to look into this. I just love the idea of horse taming (I’m so easy to please).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Housing is instanced, but seamlessly entered into from the open world without a loading screen. So multiple people can own a house in the same spot and I don’t think there are restrictions on how many can own the same house. You can have up to 5 but you will use them as warehouses, homes for your workers, and crafting centers as well as a personal residence. So no land rush!

      I’m a little fuzzy on PvP in the open world right now because the Korean servers have a lot of rule sets in place and I’m not sure which ones are being used in the NA/EU version. I can say that you cannot engage in open word PvP until level 50 which means you can’t be killed while leveling. And while I’m not sure, I’m thinking you could keep alts in that 35-45 lvl. range for gathering, etc to avoid getting killed. And since so much is account bound because your alts are treated as a family, this would still support your overall goals as a player.

      There is a karma system in which you lose points for killing people in certain situations and it can even hurt your guild which means there are some social constraints in place for not being a jerk, but as for the exact rule set for what constitutes a just and unjust kill, I’m not sure.

      As far as I know the game is like GW2, it is B2P with a cash shop and no sub. “Energy” is the equivalent to labor and will not be sold on the cash shop and must be earned through gameplay. I’ll write more on that later because it’s tied to a whole network of systems that are really cool and make up another end game pursuit. I just didn’t fully realize how big it was until after I wrote this and it probably would have been too much anyway.

      Take a look at PM Diary 2.2, pinned to the top of the forum page on news for a complete cash shop list and some other bits of info on PvP as well as a good example of how the developer and publisher are working with player feedback to iterate on the game for a western audience.

      Here’s a link: http://forum.blackdesertonline.com/index.php?/topic/8038-pm-diary-22-cash-shop-and-more/

      Liked by 2 people

      • Wow! Thanks so much for this info. If I can enjoy a fully sandbox game without ganking, then this has my interest. ArcheAge broke my heart, so I’ve been hesitant to jump on board something similar.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, he’s got me much more interested than i was before, as well. Horse breeding, trade and crafting totally sound like endgame activities to me. I don’t know if there is a global auction house (i hope they’re regional- tell me they’re regional and i’ll buy, today :D) or something, but there is no fast travel and this “node system” does sound intriguing.

      Liked by 1 person

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