First and foremost, Black Desert Online is a game where PvP is very prevalent and encouraged. Many roleplayers opt not to participate in this playstyle, but please understand that it is very likely that you will be PK’d while you are playing this game. You may even be PK’d by fellow roleplayers! Take this in stride and, if you are trying to avoid a PvP situation, see our PvP Policy Thread which outlines several recommendations you can follow to that end.
PVE in Black Desert Online is quite different in comparison to other MMOs. There are no dungeons and not many endeavors where partying up is a necessity -- though it is recommended that you do so for world bosses, guild bosses, and scroll bosses. You can grind mobs to level as a party as well, which is sometimes more efficient, but it’s perfectly possible to level solo.
This game is very grind oriented! There are quests and some overarching storylines, but ultimately if you want to be competitive and at the top of the pack, a lot of grinding will be necessary! Currently the soft level cap is 61, but you can unlock all story quest lines and be competitive in most game content at level 58.
The actual combat experience greatly differs by the class you choose to play. Each class has different mechanics, combos, and play styles. Combat is also active and engaging, requiring movement and resource management.
Most gear is not character or class locked, and can be swapped between alts or sold on the marketplace. Upgrading gear is an involved process that has a good deal of RNG involved. Please see one of the guides on the left for more information.
Crafting is also an involved process, but interesting and engaging. You can gather materials on your own or hire workers to do it for you. You then are able to turn your raw materials into useable resources by processing them. From there, your processed materials can be sent to workshops and factories of varying types, which you can find and purchase in major cities and settlements. You can craft a wealth of things, including housing decor, costumes, weapons, armor, parts for wagons and boats, fishing gear, and more.
In addition to crafting and processing, you also have various life skills that you can level. This includes capturing, training, and breeding horses, fishing, trading, hunting, and more. Some life skills can be done while you are afk, such as fishing or horse training.
Roleplay Climate (NA Servers)
The roleplay community itself is diverse and decently sized. It isn’t as large as the communities in other more established games, but you will encounter more roleplayers here than you could realistically ever RP with, and more joining all the time. There are several niches and interests represented, but plenty of room to create new ones!
The broader BDO community, however, is not friendly toward roleplayers. Expect to encounter trolling and griefing from time to time. Common forms of griefing include verbal spamming, repeatedly bumping into your character, parking mounts in public roleplay spaces, auto-pathing through public roleplay spaces, entering private residences where roleplay is taking place, and abusing in-game musical instruments in the middle of RP hubs or scenes to force you to turn off sound effects.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we as a community have not been able to gain the assistance of GMs in most of these matters. It likely has to do with the fact that directives, policies, and changes to game mechanics must filter from Kakao Games Europe (the EU/NA publishing arm) to Kakao Games (the Korean-based publisher), and to Pearl Abyss (the developer).
For the most part, we consider ourselves on our own, but we do the best we can to protect our community to the extent that we are able, as well as offering many roleplay opportunities. Please see the New Roleplayer’s Guide for further information, tips, and recommendations for making the best possible experience for yourself in this game.
General Community Climate (NA Servers)
The general community is a mixed bag, but if you have come from other MMOs such as WoW or GW2, you will notice a much higher tolerance for hateful speech. There is little to no enforced moderation of BDO’s chat channels. You can expect to see a wealth of racist, bigoted, shock-factor, explicit, and sexist rhetoric of all kinds, especially in the RP Channel, which has been co-opted by the broader community for shitposting.
The good news is that there is a robust filtering and blocking system that you can make use of to cultivate the sort of chat experience you prefer. Please see the New Roleplayer’s Guide for further information, tips, and recommendations for making the best possible experience for yourself in this game.