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Honest critique of BDO

Content of the article: "Honest critique of BDO"

Whenever I logon reddit and either visit this sub or BDO's sub I often see people who are curious about the game. True in this sub the critiques are more abound than not and even as someone who enjoys the game I get a good laugh of the commentary and critiques given. Though I personally would like to give an honest opinion of the game as someone who's progressed relatively far with his own fair share of complaints and good experiences. So to start I'll go with the Positives then the negatives:

VISUALS Honestly can't say enough about this, once you experience how beautiful this game is you don't want to play other MMOs. Playing in "Very High" then playing in "remastered" makes the game feel entirely different. The game is immersive and beautiful in this aspect. If you like to RP, create characters and explore worlds BDO will deliver on giving you an experience where you can just roam around and enjoy mundane tasks like gathering, fishing, sailing or trading while looking at the beautiful scenery. In combat Visuals are also very appealing, abilities feel powerful animations can be over the top which can be fun as well. The mounts are very cool as well, while peagasus only glides and doesn't fly, you still can get some pretty good distance and altitude to experience a pseudo flight. I always tell people play something you like aesthetically first and foremost as much of your time in this game will be taking in the visual effects and looking at your character interact with the environment around you. Everything else will work itself out later. Also make sure this game is on an SSD, I can't stress this enough, having it on an HDD makes everything load in so slow and takes away from the immersion.

PvE At first I was of the camp that BDO was an unfinished game, that it lacked the traditional raids and stuff we grown accustomed to and that with it, BDO would be a fully realized MMO. But honestly theres a satisfaction to the mundane grind and easy mobs you encounter in much of the game. Sure difficulty is absent on the surface but you can certainly become more efficient with the more gear you posses, thus increasing your income. Also in many endgame spots and even some lower end spots refining your skill rotations and mastering your animation cancels will have VASTLY different end of session yields in terms of your grind. Simply by changing up nothing else but how well you execute skills, which packs you decide to kill and how you group them, you could end up missing out on Tens of millions of silver per hour, which at the end of an arduous week could translate to hundreds of millions or even a billion silver more or less. Again all based on trash per hour and best mobs that give you the best chances for the best items. When you add all that up you kind of are grateful that mobs aren't too intelligent and too hard, because after a while the game becomes about efficient resource gathering/money making. If mobs were too difficult all the time you'd make a lot less progress especially with less gear. Mindless grinding as a result can feel satisfying and rewarding as it's one of the few things that isn't mostly dictated by RNG, but moreso by your effort, time and skill.

LIFESKILS I honestly don't do much lifeskilling as I focus on Grinding and PvP, but when I do lifeskill such as sailing or gathering it can feel relaxing. Again it's that simplicity and just enjoying the nice visuals, background music. Hell I even cook, minimize the screen so the game takes less resources and play a game of LoL. When my game is done I am done cooking. There's a lot of freedom and value for even someone like me who places very little emphasis in lifeskilling and I can make something out of it. My daily income is nicely padded by it too giving me a couple dozen mil every night. If you are much more into lifeskilling and stuff you can go all out, they even have specialized gear for it. Usually those players end up becoming stupid rich and running the market with the necessary items they can produce for all the try hards that PvP like me.

SMALLSCALE PVP/ NODE WARS When you don't have too many players in a close vicinity the game is very fluid and fun. two or three guilds of 40-50 people typically isnt bad for my system (i7 4790k + 2080) on remastered, I'll have over 50fps and the performance is great. On much more optimal settings my FPS will easily hit 144 consistently, im a visuals sort of guy though so I don't mind the drop in frames and my performance in wars isn't hurt much. Witchards don't dominate in smaller fights or skirmishes so you don't feel suffocated and randomly one shot or chain cced from afar. Little skirmishes outside of grindspots or cities between guilds is also very fun as well.

Now the bad

1.ENHANCEMENT SYSTEM This typically isn't something people gripe or lament over the most, usually it's the cash shop. I think this is the largest factor in keeping players and getting new blood in to the game. If you don't have a very rigorous and relentless approach to gearing you'll easily throw everything away in a rut of frustration. For those unfamiliar the game has enhancement levels for Armor, Weapons, and Accessories. Armor and Weapons go from base to +15 then need special stones to go from PRI to PEN. Accessories simply go from PRI to PEN. Upon release the game only had up to +15, during those times gear was MUCH LESS OF A FACTOR. To be plainly truthful, if you were a new player back during the initial months of BDO you'd only need to play for a month tops before you reached end game. A far cry from the progressive gear slog that is currently present. So many still play due to being invested also due to the random nature of enhancements themselves. Ironically it isn't uncommon to be "RNG carried". You will have periods of time where you will undeservedly get extremely good gear from free event boxes, or "one tap" some of your most important gear upgrades that are necessary for end gameplay. It took me a year to get a TET ogre ring, while many other friends one tapped them, or saved up silver and preordered. If you are a competitive player you will either want to buy all of your gear, which is entirely feasible and my personal recommendation; or you will become jaded by the success of your friends and take risky bets on if your fail stacks are good enough. Armor will down grade and take a while to get back up with adequate resources, +11-+15 and DUO-TET are the most agonizing breakpoints for enhancing in my personal experience, as TET is where you honestly want to be at the very LEAST for armor/weapons. Accessories do not downgrade and will forever disappear you also don't use stones, but instead use the base version of the same accessory. So for a really high demand accessory you might have to shell out a minimum of 300M just to RISK a 30-40% chance at TRI, even less for TET which is ideal. %'s decrease as well the lower failstacks you accumulate and building failstacks can take hours. I made my own Pen Awakening weapon for example TOTALLY BY ACCIDENT (my RNG carried moment) in all of 5 minutes using not even 1% of the 5bil in resources I was prepared to just START with. Market value for a Pen Scythe at the time and I believe still is 20B+ and market values generally tend to mimic the average investment necessary to achieve said item. I spent 6 hours making failstacks, stockpiling stones, etc just to one shot my backup dande and I spent no artisans. Things like this make the enhancing system feel awesome when you win, dirty when you realize how lucky you were and sad when you come to the reality that you need to Pen 2 more weapons and ALL YOUR ARMOR (8 slots in total including awakening). Had BDO never implemented enhancing past +15 for all weapons and armor I'd firmly believe players frustration with the cash shop and with the gearing process as well as their thoughts on accessibility to end game would be significantly diminished or nonexistent.

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2.CASHSHOP The cash shop in BDO is not obligatory but clearly advantageous to those who use it. I primarily play BDO so I won't try to convince anyone reading that I didn't support it. I'd often say to those who played that didn't like it that it was a great way for those who worked often to keep up as time in my opinion is the most valuable resource in this MMO. If I can only play 5 hours a day, my maximum potential output and efficiency will be vastly lower to someone who simply goes to school and can play 12+ hours a day. To me the cash shop has been a blessing because it allowed me to keep up whereas otherwise I'd have to be extremely lucky or wait an extremely long time to achieve the goals I'd set for myself, which at the time was to be in the best PvP guild on the server. So if it helps me so much why is it in my list of negatives? Well because it's so invasive. If it were a one time purchase I wouldn't mind at all but you have to continuously dip into many of these cash shop items to achieve a desired result, which is why a lot of people say BDO isn't pay2win" but "pay for convenience". Artisan memories were my crutch for the longest time, though after a while I had to stop because it was becoming a monthly expense and took up a bulk of my spending on the game with very meager results. I could recover from failure quickly and pump out more attempts but had I just gathered my enhancing resources in bulk and had an adequate backup, I'd do just as well. Outside of a Ghille suit, any other ONE cosmetic costume of your choice, a Tent, 4 T4 pets, Weight, inventory slots and a Tier 5 potion fairy (Cash shop not required but infinitely easier) you don't need anything else in the cash shop. Spending more in some areas CAN make the game ALOT more efficient, such as having 40 maids (which I have) or a bunch of purchased storage in towns (which I have). But if you simply get those things which I've listed off you'd probably could get away with spending anywhere between $150-300 including the initial purchase of the game. That variance is for how lucky you get with the fairy and how much you value an auto pot. Very noticeable, very helpful, very advantageous for serious PvPers. Pets also become less needed in the end game grind spots, you can get away with a few T3's due to a much lower item drop count per mob. I've also spent a fair bit on weapon swap or "Reroll" coupons. Every so often there's a new FOTM class or your competitive guild needs to weed niche classes because we have too many assassins and not enough witches/wizards. So to avoid getting cut or to enable your gear to perform at it's best you may feel heavily inclined to reroll. I've done so twice only to come back to my original class each time I'd have to buy a new costume and a new ghillie suit as well as pay for the weapon swaps which total to about $150, not to mention weight and inventory since I am primarily a grinder so bump me up to about $200-250 per reroll. Yeah the cash shop can be a pain in the butt. Now again this was for my conveniences sake, had I simply just made or bought TET weapons for these classes I wouldn't have had to spend $90 on coupons and avoided spending the extra cash on weight/inventory for the necessary grinding. That being said to be fair to all readers this is a blemish to the game, would've been nice to simply share weight, costumes, etc with a more cost efficient coupon or an in game accessible variant for free/loyalties.

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3.CLASS BALANCE The games combat system is awesome but class balance is a continual boon that borders on better or worse depending on how you look at it. In a sense it's gotten better because several classes have become viable when they were once not so viable due to Succession buffs and Awakenings buffs, so if you prefer legacy combat with the main hand or new style awakening combat you won't feel lacking in either as both are more than adequate. That being said there are degrees to how viable classes can be and unfortunately Wizards and Witches still continue to shape the meta. Due to their dominance in large scale group fights and due to the outcry of players that wish to see them easier to handle as duelists what ended up happening is that the dev's created a monster of a class. One that can AoE nuke multiple players, stay in Super Armor, reposition in succession over large distances, AoE heal, give AoE damage reduction that's usually 99% effective unless you're severely outgeared, with some of the most efficient PvE grinds and annoying debuffs in duels you'll ever face. How do you counter such a powerful all rounder? By creating classes that are OP enough to handle all the nonsense these witchards bring. But the Dark Knights, The Strikers, The Mystics; hell even the Archers and probably Guardians and soon to be Hashashins will all succumb to nerfs just like their predecessors if they pose to great a threat to shutting down witches and wizards. Which is why the whole rerolling as mentioned before is so voracious and unforgiving. Often times players feel compelled to rerollout of fear of getting kicked or dissatisfaction with all the hard work it took to get to the top in their specification, only to be dwarfed by a class they may be fundamentally against playing. I for one understand I was one of those players and even though I have a witch I can also reroll to since I have adequate skillpoints and time playing it, I'll never do it. It's just feels like a betrayal to why I played the game to start with, over a biased and inefficient balancing scheme. That being said Witchards holding most of the power when it comes to balancing isn't the only balancing issue, due to changes in protective abilities assassin classes have been under fire due to their abundance of invincibility frames and superior animation canceling. Being able to simply avoid the nonsense is much more viable than trying to tank it, since AP is king in this game. All that being said if witchards weren't so great all around and protected area (Damage reduction AoE spell) wasn't a thing, class balance probably would be a lot easier to figure out.

4.LARGESCALE/OPEN WORLD PvP I love the PvP in BDO but I must admit that once you get into sieges it devolves and becomes a lot less enjoyable unless you're a field commander, a flanking class or Overpowered Wizard/Witch. Often times theres too many players and the game lags even with optimal settings. Sure my rig wasn't the best (i7 4790k+ RTX2080) but literately outside of a select few sieges my frames were always immaculate 90+ open world 50+ node war/ lower scale sieges in remastered mode +highest quality textures. Servers tend to lag to a slowing crawl when big exciting fights happen, sometimes entire guilds cannot participate (literately your entire 100 man raid in TeamSpeak can't play, it's fucking hilarious) so we all chat bomb the enemy guild on twitch or cheer the ally on. It's weird you get more enjoyment out of the lag than you do the fight itself sometimes. If they didn't allow ghost planting on regions, and had a maximum amount of guilds that could participate; the forced prevention of zergfest would probably result in better sieges. This is ironically the one instance where having the most gear on the server doesn't help you either. 1000 shitters all rallied up will always destroy 100 "gods", be it due to lag or sheer overwhelming force. As it regards open world PvP, it's degraded overtime for the inclusion of new players. I understand it but I personally feel it's gone too far in some aspects. The Karma system has a huge loophole in it that allows a player to grief you by simply being a constant irritant. They will mess up your grinding simply because they want to or refuse to negotiate a way to share the spot. You can't kill them without consequence because their guild isn't "ready for war" or because they simply aren't in a guild. You go flag up, go red and now you're negative karma. If you get killed depending on the gear disparity and severity of negative karma gained (a maximum of -1million) you can degrade even PEN gear. Yeah get fucked amirite? Luckily that's never happened to me, I've always been able to peaceout before the subsequent zerglings and the ONE good player in their guild worth a shit try to 10v1 me for an endgame spot. I'm not "god" status yet in gear so I gotta put SOME effort into fending off savages like this, which at times CAN be fun but ultimately wastes your time as is the intent. They know you need to grind 5-8 hours a day MIMIMUM just to keep up, so they have no qualms fucking you over. Wasn't always like this, you used to be able to declare war on any guild; which actually started and fueled much of the Nodewar/siege scene. A lot of content in the game is player driven, Drama and grudges abound. When a bunch of randoms start joining the game and demand their piece of the pie saying shit like "sharing is caring" even though their too weak for the spot well… you get karma bombing. I love new players, I just don't like Those new players, you probably can tell by now… MOVING ON! :p

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Overall I think the positives outweigh the negatives simply due to the fact that much of the negatives can be avoided if you pace yourself and don't let jealously blind you. It took me a while to get to the point where I simply enjoyed the journey of gearing at a healthy pace, rather than kill myself day in and day out trying to be competitive, chancing my gear often and setting myself back weeks or months while voraciously spending unnecessarily. If you set up the proper support systems and are like any normal adult who sometimes spends on their hobby, I don't think it's too out of the realm of possibility to find yourself enjoying the game. Much of the cash shop items people see as "necessary" or recommend, you don't really need until much later on and quite a few can be bought for in game money on the Market. I think much of the criticism from the game stems from trying to get into the most exciting parts of the game too soon, and by exciting I mean flashy endgame. The MMO community has been bred to be as efficient as possible as quickly as possible, and if you religiously stick to that mold and aren't a resilient person you won't last in BDO. I only lasted with such a mentality because I had an any means necessary attitude to be competitive, I didn't whine about the cash grabs because I knew what I was valuing and shooting for, I took that chance and often times got burned needlessly.

In truth it's really not that flashy and games isnt really pay2win, most of my fondest memories and fun times was being a scrub and struggling to get my gear without fear of being cut from a competitive guild. Or becoming that veteran that no longer felt the pressure of needing to spend and rebuilding a guild that needed my services, experience and leveled head. Do guys with 650-700Gs exist that are pretty much gods in the game? Yes. Do you encounter them often? Only if you are in the top few guilds and even then, no not really. At the very top things are quite political and people try to get along to avoid being black balled. Progression is very valued so you don't want to intentionally fuck with someones money, lest they actively fuck you over. Theres lots of criticism of the game being very "solo" and anti-social but I think it's misunderstood.

The game doesn't force players to hold each others hand, you're an individual first and foremost and a teammate second, if you think of it the game that way you'll make a lot of friends and have a lot of group experiences since different groups tend to prioritize different priorities. All classes are good, play the one you find coolest, be a bit of a nerd immerse yourself a bit and make something your own, that's when BDO becomes fun. In closing I implore anyone who wants to try the game to take that leap. At the very least you will enjoy it early on, the fact that it doesn't hold your hand and force you to do mundane things allows you to experiment and that's something a lot of other MMOS don't do. What are your thoughts, are these negatives and positives disingenuous? Do they have some validity but you still fundamentally disagree? Have I changed your perspective? I'd be honestly glad to know good or bad all comments are welcome!


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