Meanwhile, not in Black Desert Online… Hang on, why am I not playing this game?

A BDO town - witness the beeeeeoooooty!

A BDO town – witness the beeeeeoooooty!

The GGGs have decamped from Tyria and taken up residence in the world of Black Desert Online*. Well, most of them. I remain in Tyria, despite many (very kind!) offers of week-long trial keys, resolutely tramping about doing the same old stuff I’ve done in Tyria since beta.

Now the Gs in BDO are all loving it and are singing its many praises over in the GGG G+ community and the consensus seems to be that BDO is a Very Good Thing for a variety of reasons such as beauty, horse taming, exploring, and a general sense of the world being alive. All of these things are things I claim I want in a game so why am I not playing it?

Well, as with many things in life there are many overlapping reasons behind my steadfastly Tyria-bound feet and these include:

  • I just don’t have enough right now. I can’t dedicate myself to learning another game (a problem the otherwise enjoyable trip to Tamriel & Elder Scrolls Online suffered from) and I’m not sure I will until the summer.
  • A lot of expense at home recently means I’d only look at getting BDO in a sale and I don’t think that’s happening any time soon.
  • I’m not sure if there is or isn’t a lot of lore for BDO yet but without it I’m likely to be less invested that I’d like to be.
  • This is a complex one as BDO offers a lot of what I’ve been saying I want from a game but at the same time it offers a lot of what I really, really don’t want. The biggest two things that put me off right now is lack of a deep sense of cooperative play, the kind Guild Wars 2 has baked into its core, and the AFK-style mechanics used in travel and gathering.

Out of these I honestly think the last is the one keeping me from the game the most. Guild Wars 2 has spoilt me by providing the one thing I want from a game – fun on demand. In Tyria I can teleport around the world with ease, each jump sending me close to a dynamic event, group experience, or hidden surprise I can join in and play. In LOTRO, the last game I played with a horse-riding mechanic similar to BDOs, I use to hire a ride from Bree to wherever and then walk away from the PC for 10 minutes until the horse pulled up the new stable and vanished. After that I’d have to run out into the wild to start work on quests which needed turning in back at the stable’s location area. Whilst my first ride to Rivendell was fun, my third really wasn’t. I hated it that waste of my time with a passion.

Ultimately I think this is what will make me wait a while longer before I join BDO, and to be fair to that game, any other MMO including Elite Dangerous. Guild Wars 2 has many flaws but being easily accessible and pretty much always fun isn’t one of them. Grind in Tyria is optional, at least serious grind for something like a Legendary, so I never feel like the game is wasting my time. The cash store is pretty fair so I never feel I’m being milked or fleeced as I did in LOTRO. The barriers between players are so low that I never feel like I can’t just help someone out. For me, at least, Guild Wars 2 hits enough of my playstyle needs even if it misses a lot of my desires and that’s what keeps me from straying too far.

Now if I could just get Arenanet to make the world come alive with more NPC interactions, readable books, watchable plays, and open housing in cities…

*  I’m not sure if the world has a name so for now it’s just going to be BDO to me.

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2 comments

  1. For me going back to ESOTU has been quite a revelation. Explortation is like that in GW2 – you run around and discover new caves, dungeons, people needing help, hidden treause chests (which I have finally learnt how to open). There is no “kill 10 of X”, but there is story and ALOT of it. Every so often you might come across a lone skeleton or an abandoned campsite and laying close by will be a journal, a piece of paper telling you what happened. There are hidden libraries everywhere……and I end up reading them instead of doing my quest 🙂

    There are what you might call dynamic events, not like those in GW2, these suddenly appear -Deadra minions or the anchors, now those need a group and they are cool to do. So far the cities have been quite busy. Players need to go there to fill their crafting writs or visit the bank – these in themselves keep the cities quite populated and otften quite entertaining.

    As for getting around the map, you can use the Wayshries very easily, just open the map and “tp” around 🙂 or you can use your trusty steed – which I love doing…..immersion as it were or just run around, which I do alot of because I love picking flowers for my alchemical concoctions and you never know what treasure trove you might find hidden somewhere.

    For me, lore plays a big part in keeping me wanting to play a game and the Elder Scroll lore has always done that. It is just crazy the amount of history that is present in game, laying around every corner. I want to feel I make a difference in the Elder Scrolls universe and the game does that, you help people, a village and they will remember you. You walk passed a guard and he will remember you.

    I loved GW2 in the beginning, but for some reason the excitment just fizzles out – the world just doesn’t keep me wanting more. The story isn’t strong enough, which is a shame because it is a beautiful world. I haven’t tried Black Desert, but from reviews that I’ve seen it is a typical Asian MMO. No voiced characters, you are nudged towards the in-game store if you want your character to look cool and the story leaves much to be desired. So that is one game I don’t think I’ll be playing.

    Games are very subjective really, what might appeal to me might not appeal to you. But if a game has lots of story, adventure, exploration, discovery and fun combat then I am sold and so far ESOTU has ticked all the boxes……..who knows may be another gander in Tamriel might actually tick all the boxes for you! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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