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UTC 6 : 14 May 30, 2024
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#Suggestions #Community Support
BDO Combat EXP Is Broken, But It Can Be Fixed | Documented Recommendation
Apr 24, 2024, 20:28 (UTC)
309 3
Last Edit : Apr 24, 2024, 20:28 (UTC)
# 1

Hello! This is my first post on the BDO forums despite having an account for over 7 years, but I thought I would organize my thoughts after recently discussing this at length with Blondbear, an experienced content creator who had some interesting ideas on the same subject. This post is a bit lengthy but I am looking forward to any discussion around this.

Context: I hit 61 before combat xp dummies were added to the game, and hit 66 a little over three years ago. Everyone knows that combat xp is basically a meme after 61, and I'm not here to argue with them. I just wanted to officially outline the problem, and offer a very simple solution which I think would bring massive benefits across the BDO community if addressed properly. My aim is that this would not be simply a hardcore player's request, but rather a proposal that helps the new player have an improved experience progressing through the world of Black Desert Online.

Problem: XP in the game is completely unbalanced, and it serves good to exactly no one to be designed as such. To provide a breakout of this lack of balance:

  1. There is a complete lack of any sort of correlation between grinded content difficulty and the yielded xp rewards. Late game (700gs+ ideally) spots like Ash, Crypt, and Oluns are beat out by low tier grinds including Star's End, Kratuga, Upper Sycraia, or even Shultz Guard.

  2. For whatever reason, the bulk of xp rewards from "level scaling" activities (Namely: AFK Training, Red Battlefield, and Quest completions) scale linearly instead of inversely with combat level. To this end, the most efficient xp for late game players is the XP transfer method, such that "quasi fresh" level 66+ accounts turn in a set of xp quests and then rinse and repeat after transferring the xp to more accounts that have yet to do the quests, followed closely by RBF and other level-scaling turn ins like Marni Stones, all aging like fine milk with the incredibly overtuned combat dummy training rewards.

  3. The permanent and one time rewards for getting combat levels past level 61 are incredibly outdated, and even when they were released were immediately irrelevant.

Personal Interpretation of the Problem (and BDO's greater problem): MMOs thrive on progression - one's avatar's combat level is simply one piece of the grand puzzle that paints this picture of progression, we like to see numbers increase. All the time from when BDO released in 2016 in NA, to approximately 2019, both gear and combat level felt incredibly important. Nostalgia gamers would call this a golden age, but with the exception of a few valencia spots, there was a fairly direct (positive) correlation with grindspot difficulty and combat xp yield. It always felt there was a bit of a "is this an xp spot or money spot" dichotomy - and this served the game well, since players valued both they both mattered. I could go off on a tangent of how this encouraged positive PVP open world interactions that scaled up to GVGs, but this should read itself.

Today, lifeskillers got their "infinite patch" effectively turning the lifeskilling races into a similar race as combat. Minimal reward, but the chance to drive down a very long road to their hearts content. The main difference, in my view at least, is that they intend to eventually make mastery and level progression in lifeskilling matter. While combat xp might see this change eventually as well (in the form of some merging of updated brackets, new gear, and potentially new combat level rewards), I still think it has a pretty real problem with scaling - you are literally making grinders not want to progress combat level by tuning the aforementioned trio (at a high level: 1. Dummies 2. RBF 3. Questing) to be better methods than endgame grinding. The most dedicated grinders at Olun's going for the merchant's ring are laughing at the exp meta because they've been let down by a system they've long since disrespected. But you know who still cares about combat exp? Most new players! Probably because they haven't hit level 61 yet - but why kill that enthusiasm?

Proposed Solution - again, this is just an opinion, but I really think this would stand to encourage more grinding, more open world collaboration (e.g. sharing rotations, teaching + knowledge, using marni realm effectively etc.) - and ultimately provide a happier playerbase that spent more money and hopefully helped even PA come out on top of this:

  1. Tune dummies to effectively cap at the current "midgame" exp rate, ideally "unpairing" this from combat level. I really think, somewhat unaninmously, players expect to get less xp from dummies as they level up - not more. I think this really causes a lot of psychological problems for anyone who likes looting monsters :)

  2. Tune all high end spots to provide similarly high-end combat xp rewards - bonus points if this can be balanced so some high end spots provide more xp and perhaps slightly less money, or less xp and slightly more money - and EXTRA bonus points if there are more options for collaborative, repeatable, endgame spots for parties of players to push their xp and progress together. This is the stuff gamers dream of.

  3. Cap XP from quests somewhere below the "midgame" rate in #1, or cap them to 0.00% at the "softcap" level (e.g. 61 in the 2017 meta, 66 in present day meta etc.), and further cap xp rewards from RBF to be somewhere, at best, between the rates of dummies (presented in #1) and the rates of endgame grindspots (presented in #2). The xp reward should be an agreement between A.) the user's input, B.) the user's preparation, and C.) the user's commitment (e.g. totally inactive activities should be less than low effort, active activities which should then be less than high effort, high requirement active activities).

  4. Provide 1 Sheet AP for every combat level a user gets. I think it'd still be fine to make the difficulty ramp as absurd as it is (most people will not push for it, but those who do will really go for it!). Combined with something like new brackets in a meta shift, this would really bring the grinders out, and PA would see some incredible numbers for activity I think this game has been missing for years.

  5. As a bonus point, I understand that some might ask "ok, but how would we go about doing this?" - the answer is actually direct: At the next softcap increase, apply these changes. Maybe the next softcap level will be 70, maybe it will be 75 - I have no idea. Provide an appropriate level of catch up. I just think it's important to emphasize the next wave of progression to such a cap and beyond it are not based on baseless metrics.

Thank you, reader, for your time and have a great day.

Last Edit : Apr 25, 2024, 08:30 (UTC)
# 2

Levelling up in general is useless past 63/64 unless you're someone that's adamant about obtaining the most miniscule of stats and advantages in PvE.

Last Edit : Apr 25, 2024, 18:04 (UTC)
# 3

Combat exp should be somehow family based - for example, 61lvl would be max, then after reaching 61lvl you leveling "family level" that would be same as currently 62+ levels. There are too many players in bdo that playing multiple characters, switching from time to time their main class. 

I got 66lvl on one character and I would never again do that on other character but at the same time I'm changing class every 2-3 months to play something else.

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