I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what it is I like about this MMO, especially when there is so much I don’t like about it.
The questing system is very bland but I don’t really care, I’m not interested in questing. I’m not interested in the lore of the place – why are they at war? why are there no male elves? who cares?! It’s a pvp title, not really my thing so I’ll just try not to level and make new alts to avoid it… It’s RNG based but I don’t really mind as I’m not playing at end-game and haven’t got specific, set in stone goals. There is a lack of group-based PVE content – this is my absolute main reason for playing MMOs, generally all the other systems are there to keep me busy and engaged with the world while I sort out dungeon or raid runs but I don’t mind that it’s completely lacking. It’s grindy… but well, so are a lot of other MMOs, they just hide it better maybe. There are a shed-load of quality of life improvements they could make (e.g. timestamps, the individually right clicking bottles of water) – but they are unlikely to do this.
So why on earth do I keep playing it? 🙂 Aside from the amazing, immersive and gorgeous landscape which just begs you to explore, I think it is that I’m finding the secondary elements so much fun. I really don’t care about the main story, the combat, the levelling or the end-game here. These things may turn out to be exactly why this doesn’t become a long-term or main MMO for me, but that doesn’t matter for now. I’m just enjoying the parts that I do like and ignoring the parts I don’t. I do hope that the developers of the other MMOs I am playing, take a look at the secondary systems and take serious note though.
OK, so my favourite secondary systems are the housing, the boat-building and the horse-breeding.
I particularly like that there are houses everywhere, the insides of which are phased. It is much like EQ2’s town housing except that it is phased rather than instanced and you can also choose to live on a farm, in a treehouse or on a mountain top for example. Oh and the windows open and you can see the outside! Definitely need a room with a view 😉 There are furniture workshops with different styles in each town, so you can produce your own furniture. There are also vendors in each town which sell items. There are events that take place which give you furniture items as rewards (e.g. the current Spring Blossom event gives you a potted flowering cherry tree when you have farmed the appropriate seed), furniture items that are gained from farming and some that are drops from mobs. (See BDO-Fashion for current housing items) I can only assume that these items will be expanded upon as new content is released. I know there are some gorgeous houses coming with the Valencia update (whenever that is). The placement of items is freeform, so you can arrange and re-arrange to your heart’s content. Some of the furniture is useable (you can sit on items, sleep on the bed, read some books, turn lights on and off, place and use cooking and alchemy crafting stations, access that city’s warehouse) and you can also change the wallpaper and flooring (although that does cost real money). So yes, it’s great 🙂
I just LOVED just sailing about in my sloop in Vanguard and I really wish more MMOs would allow this. I have only built a raft so far as the boat-building is quite complex and needs some proper materials and nodes setup, but I will build my fishing boat and go fishing and exploring on the ocean proper one day 🙂
This is just a fun side activity although higher tier horses are faster and generally better. You can find T1 horses in the wild and tame them (more rarely T2 or T3 horses can also be found), you level them up by riding and then breed them and hopefully gain a higher tier horse in a more fancy colour or style. What you end up with is somewhat random though and the levelling of the horses would be very tedious if you didn’t have the option to do it by setting an auto-loop so that you can train afk. I have started a google + collection of the results I get, if anyone is interested.
I also haven’t mentioned the amity system which is basically a gossip system to try and make friends with the npcs (which gives you extras, like quests, cheaper prices, access to special stock). It’s somewhat similar to Vanguard’s diplomacy system – again a feature which is sadly lacking in many MMOs. Or the trading system – I haven’t really looked into this but its about buying and selling goods between towns and nodes… maybe later. Oh and lots of crafting and mat gathering, much of which can be done by your hired workers.
Oh and lastly, the pets. Unfortunately, you can only buy these with real money at the moment but they are really cool (*you get a free hawk by logging in for 12 days from 20th april to 4th May). They basically auto loot for you and have various traits like spotting gatherable resources, enemy players or world bosses. What is really cool, is that my cat will jump on my character’s shoulder while stationary and do the cat face rub and he also jumps on my horse while I’m riding around. Really nicely animated 🙂
So there you have it I suppose, some well implemented side activities and an incredibly beautiful world 🙂