Black Desert Online is a game the revels in it’s player-driven gameplay and economy. The inherent competition in everything one does in the game is a driving force behind what many enjoy about it. The buy-to-play MMO is a prime example of how player freedom can make a game popular, especially in an MMO landscape of railroaded themeparks. The crafting, resource gathering and overall economics of BDO reinforce this trend of player freedom. Freedom to compete that is.
The prominent feature of the resource system BDO is Resource Nodes. These Nodes are areas where players can gather resources, with their own labor or using automated Workers; players then use the same workers to craft goods for sale or personal use. At the core of this system is the major PvP aspect of BDO, Node War. Player groups can engage in weekly events to fight over control of Resource Nodes. And while the victor of these fights doesn’t gain exclusive access to the resources, they do gain access to a tax on all gathering done at that Node for the week. This is a huge boon for any guild, as the Nodes are often laid out geographically so that players travel through multiple nodes every time they play, creating a substantial base of wealth for the controlling group. It’s this geographical layout that is about to change in a big way with the upcoming expansion.
In Q4 2016, the free expansion gives players the ability to explore a deadly ocean, trade via ship, and engage in large-scale naval warfare against players and monsters alike. It’s this new level of freedom that will allow players to bypass unwanted trade routes and potentially alter the entire economic landscape of the game. I fully expect that large-scale guild wars and small-scale piracy will become much more favorable with the new expansion.
Up until now, the PvP in BDO has been somewhat one-dimensional, this is all about to change. With the upcoming sea expansion, players and guilds will now have to learn to master naval warfare if they wish to control the new territories. Naval combat, while explosive and intense, will also require a new level of teamwork. This will put guilds to the ultimate test, as lone wolf players will stand little chance against a well-equipped and well-trained fleet. Luck will always be a factor in combat, but unprepared guilds are likely to end up at the bottom of the ocean floor with their wrecked fleet.