Black Desert Online second closed beta hands-on impressions (Part 3)

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There was PvP in this closed beta, but it’s a very basic PVP. As definition of Player versus Player, you can attack other players, but that pretty much sums up PvP at the moment.

At level 35 you get a quest that enables you to attack other players that are also enabled for PvP – you also get a skill reset, just in case you need to make a PvP focused build. If you don’t do the quest, you are automatically enabled for PvP at level 40. The reset skill is a good idea, but the skills are not currently focused on PvP at all, so this still needs a bit of polishing.

Just like in other games, you can see if a player is enabled for PvP just by looking at his name color: Green for low level without PvP enabled, Blue for good align, and red for chaotic (player killer). It uses points similar to other games: you start with 30k points and if you kill people you get negative ones, until -30k. When you get negative numbers, your name becomes redder, while positive numbers is bluer. If you have negative numbers, guards around will attack you, but in this beta, just town guards were enabled to defend players. To recover the good align you will need to hunt monsters to get positive points.

When a player dies, killed by another player or a monster, there is a chance that you can drop an item. Items don’t drop to the floor; you need to loot the corpse. The most common penalty from dying is to lose an enchant level and sometimes an attached stone. You get the same penalty currently, by dying from a monster or a player. You also lose some experience, but you can’t go under 0%.

There is no duel system at the moment and there is also friendly fire. All this points to a PvP mode that is in a very initial stage and not yet fully developed.

Since there is no healer class, the use of potions is also necessary, but makes PvP survival/success based on how many potions you have, since the potion cooldowns really low.

After level 35 there were a lot of high level people killing in quest/grind spots, mostly rangers. They killed many people and it was really hard to kill them, if not impossible, with all the potion spam. And when you are attacking other players, there is friendly fire all around, and mostly, your skills are AoE focused, so PvP in general was very chaotic and out of control.

There is also a positive feeling about PvP, something to note. The way how you can use the environment to hide from other players is very interesting. There is a very short distance to read the other people or mob names, the draw distance is acceptable, but you don’t see any names on their heads until you are close enough. That is another simulation feature that makes the game more interesting. You need to go ahead to see if it is friend or foe, just like in real life, you need to see the face of some other people to know who is there. This makes skills like the typical “invisibility” less necessary, since you can use some bush or even a tree to hide from other people.

This is one of the most important features about an open world MMORPG and they still need to define the system. PvP will certainly undergo some drastic changes during the next betas.


Sieges are a bit chaotic at the time of this closed beta much due to the work-in-progress PvP system. The first siege was canceled since the castle was very bugged and not many people was able to siege. Pearl Abyss extended the game service to 24h for some days, so people were able to level a bit more. The castle siege was more about server handling than to test siege feature – that was the overall feeling. There were no siege weapons and with friendly fire added to the mix, using AoE skills would lead to a chaotic outcome. This is a feature that will definitely get more work.


Taming a horse isn’t just part of the fun of getting a mount; it’s a mini-game that you have to win to use that beautiful horse you just stumbled upon. First of all, you need a lasso, or more, since it’s not certain that you can get it at first try. You can also buy some carrots, to increase the tame success rate. Lassos and carrots can be bought at the stable NPC, so it’s useful to get these soon.

Once you get close enough to the wild horse you need to use the lasso, either from the inventory or skill bar. Then you need to aim and left click to launch the lasso, once you hit the horse a bar will appear, and then just click space bar at the right time.

When the horse is raising its legs, press space bar, then repeat pressing space fast enough to get the bar on the right side. Don’t need to go to the limit, just keep on the right side for 10 seconds and then approach with W key and repeat until you are close enough to open its menu. There are two options available: ride or feed. You can feed carrots to increase the success rate on taming.

Once you are on you mount, you still need to go to a stable and register it to be yours. You cannot ride at full speed until then. Each horse has its own stats and skills. I think skills are random, while stats are fixed, depending the horse race (or color in this case). When you ride, stamina will be consumed. You can regenerate by stopping, or even faster by feeding your horse with carrots. Horses are stored locally and shared account wide.

After you get a horse you’ll like to level it up. To level you just need to ride with it, you will see a green bar on their stats panel and when it reaches 100% your horse will gain a level. You will notice the horse has some kind of skills (some horses don’t have any). You will need to use the skill in order to master it. You will master it when the blue bar will reach 100%. Before that, almost every time you use the skill a real-time action bar will appear and if you fail you’ll fall off the horse.

When you ride your horse, a big yellow bar representing your horse’s stamina will appear. It will reduce while you ride it and when it depletes, your horse will just go along trotting. To be able to gallop again you will need to stop your horse and wait for a while or use a carrot.

One of the patches installed during the beta made tents a lot cheaper (from 40k to 2k) and the result was that players began to use them. You can use your tent as personal space in the wild. You can purchase or gather seeds and cultivate in this space around your tent, it’s similar to ArcheAge but simpler. The seeds just need 10 minutes to grow up; they don’t need water or other stuff. And when you finish in that zone, you always can pick up your tent again and move to another place. Cultivating carrots in your tent is way cheaper than buying them from NPCs.

While exploring the southwest Calpheon area (level 40+) there was a small farm with the cow milking mini-game. While we didn’t get the quest yet ( maybe it’s for higher level) but we were able to play the mini-game. It seems that just like the cart and other mini-games, you don’t get anything from the action (no milk in this case), just the reward from the NPC.

Black Desert is not a simulator in any way as far as trading goes, but it has some cool realistic limitations. Each warehouse is individual for each town or outpost, even the auction house is localized to the town, so this makes you travel town by town looking for goods from NPCs or players. This way the map becomes very alive and full of traffic. You can send goods automatically with the freight system. Warehouses are shared by all your characters, so you can send something to another character that is far away. There are also boats, but we weren’t sure if you can send stuff with them already. In order to send something you need to be connected with nodes to the destination.

Parkour isn’t really a feature to be very excited about so far. Besides the option to climb a few fences and the more interesting way that you can climb to astonishing heights and enjoy breathtaking sights, don’t expect much in the way of athletic, acrobatic parkour. If this is going to be improved, we’re still not sure.

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