With how similar the two games have seemed to the MMORPG community, and Black Desert even being referred to as ArcheAge 2.0, a comparison between the two was inevitable. This article will thus focus on reviewing the sandbox features of Black Desert Online, and what similarity, or dissimilarity, it shares with ArcheAge.
But before this, you should have a proper understanding as to what Vigor and Contribution Points are.
Housing and Crafting
An essential part of any Sandbox MMORPG, the housing system of ArcheAge was, and still is, highly controversial. XL Games effectively decided to introduce non-instanced housing in their title, leading to a true player driven real estate system, with players taking ownership of land, and selling them to the highest bidder whenever they saw fit, while others struggled to find a place to call their own. While this made housing far more interesting and interactive, complaints were soon to arise from players that were unable to claim any decent area for themselves, complaints against other players that somehow managed to claim dozens of properties for themselves.
Like it or hate it, this won't be happening in Black Desert Online. Indeed, here housing is instanced, with players being able to buy properties from towns using contribution points, as you can see in the following screenshot.
Moreover, in Black Desert Online, houses will be far more important than they were in ArcheAge. While in the latter there were mostly here for aesthetics and certain practical uses (players generally prefering farming properties), in Black Desert owning houses is a crucial part of the Sandbox elements. First of all, your character doesn't have to craft anything on its own. Whether it is for weapons, armor, accessories and even furniture, players will have to buy a house, turn it into a sort of workshop, and hire NPCs that will live and work there. Put simply, these NPC's will be at your service 24/7, crafting whatever item you need, whenever you need it (assuming that the building you assigned them to allows it). And keep in mind that it will be impossible to complete proper trade runs between large towns without investing contribution points in the purchase of a house in each of them.
This all give Black Desert a sort of town building/management aspect that was missing in ArcheAge, and will surely be enjoyed by fans of the genre.
Before you even consider crafting, however, you will, unsurprisingly, have to gather the materials needed. Just like in ArcheAge, you will be able to cut trees for lumber, and collect minerals from various rocks. The difference here is that you have far more foraging options (butchering, skinning, etc), and that you will need to have specific tools equipped for each of these tasks.
- Pickaxe – used to collect metal ores, stones and crystals.
- Axe – used to collect wood from most trees on the map.
- Sickle – used to harvest certain crops.
- Knife – used to retrieve the leather from animals.
- Butcher knife – used to retrieve the meat and bones.
- Syringe – used to retrieve blood from monsters, and sap from tree.
It should also be noted that each of these activities will take Vigor Points from the character, and that certain wild fruit plants require no tools to forage. A few crops can also be harvested barehanded, but that is generally accompanied with a success/failure rate that may result in the waste of your Vigor Points.