If you had asked me right after Daum announced the launch date for Black Desert in the NA and EU what I would be doing the week of March 1st, I would have told you, “Nothing but playing BDO of course!” I had even considered taking off work the first few days of early access so that I could really take advantage of the head start. But the beta put a damper on some of my excitement and my interest in TSW started to peak again around that same time and so in one week of having access to Black Desert I’ve only played somewhere around 9-10 hours.
During that time I was watching the pictures flood in on Twitter and the first impression pieces take center stage on my RSS feed and while I was happy that so many people were enjoying the game (and still are!) I hadn’t really found my own groove yet. It turns out, I’m not much of a sandbox guy, or at least it’s going to take me longer to ease into that new paradigm than it might for other players. Adjusting the quest tracker to display all available quests (as Matt suggested in his first BDO column) turned out to be overwhelming for me, spreading my attention too thin and making me feel like I wasn’t accomplishing anything. So Monday night I turned it back off, only allowing combat quests to display, and I’ve been enjoying the game so much more ever since.
It’s actually an excellent feature to have in the game’s UI; the ability to choose which types of quests to focus on and which to ignore. And of course in time I can change things up, switch on the life quests and turn off the combat ones, or turn them all back on again. For now it’s helped me to make the game more familiar to my previous experiences; a central story driven questline (albeit an odd one) with a lot of kill “x” mobs quests that move me from one area to the next on the map and allowing me to explore the world in an “on rails” manner, which for now I prefer.
I realize this is something along the lines of being stranded on an island for years with nothing but fish to eat and at the first opportunity to dine at a real restaurant with a myriad of choices I order… the fish. But that’s okay, because the whole point of a sandbox is that you find your niche in a world with as many options and opportunities as the developers are able to imagine and bring to life in game and then figure out how your chosen path (or paths) relate to the world and its inhabitants as a whole.
For me, that means going in to these Imp camps and laying waste to every last one of them. I like leveling up this way and it does give me Imp specific drops that I can trade for a greater return from vendors if I sell them in larger stacks so I’m still able to participate (sort of) in the economic side of the game. Eventually I’ll look into things like fishing, cooking, boatbuilding, and trading but for now I’m content to use the training wheels provided by Daum and use them to explore the world on my own terms. My terms just happen to require a lot of kill quests and hand holding, that’s all.