Black Desert Online, a self-proclaimed “Next-Generation” MMO, is a buy-to-play no-subscription game with optional microtransactions. Initial purchase prices range from $10 to $50, with the higher-priced options including added benefits like pets, equipment re-colors, increased character carry weight and more.
The game prides itself on its highly dynamic action-based combat, which is among the fastest of any MMO. Players have the choice of casting their skills off of a toolbar like a traditional MMO but are encouraged to learn and memorize button combinations that allow activation of skills using only a select number of hotkeys and a few WASD inputs.
And although the title has been praised for its incredible combat system, tremendously deep character creation engine, and impressive graphics, it has turned away many players due to the extreme level of grinding required to progress past level 50 – Which is part of what makes this new ‘challenge’ so interesting.
Developer Pearl Abyss has launched a special promotion for the game that activates today and remains active until October 17th. According to the promotion, if a player makes a new account and uses the game’s One-Week Free Trial period to grind a character all the way up to level 56, they’ll get to keep their character and progress into the full game.
That’s right, if someone can manage to go all the way from level 1 to level 56, in an MMO notorious for its hard grind, in just ONE WEEK, they save all of $10.
But how long does this really take? I’d played the game in the past, and leveling from 1 to 50 was about average speed for an MMO, and fairly enjoyable as well. Once I hit the grind I stopped playing, but surely they can’t ramp it up THAT hard, right? How much time would it really take someone to go from, say, level 50 to level 51?
As far as anecdotes on the internet go, the range of answers I received on that question varied tremendously, with some saying upwards of 100 hours and others saying as low as 45 minutes. So, for some concrete info, I looked at the most concrete thing I could find:
This Pastebin data, detailing all the XP per level requirements.
According to the list, XP increases at a rate similar to what one might expect for a modern MMO, with the first few levels requiring only 1xp as they’re meant to be cleared out while players finish the game’s tutorial and learn the mechanics. From there, levels seemed to increase in XP required by anything from 18-55%, with increases being steeper in the earlier levels as player power ascends more rapidly and they are naturally able to face bigger challenges more quickly.
And then there’s level 50 to level 51, where the XP requirement jumps from 207 million to 415 million, increasing by just over 100%.
By itself, this doesn’t sound all too bad: Leveling up to 50 wasn’t incredibly slow, so leveling at half speed doesn’t sound worthy of the grind I’ve seen mentioned in numerous past forums. It’s also probably even less of an issue if you’ve got a decent computer – specifically, one that can run raids at higher than 10 FPS – so better than mine.
But it just keeps going.
Level 51 to 55 increase by about 50% each, much larger increases than levels prior to them due to the low level of power gained from the shift from, say, level 53 to 54. And then there’s the final push: Level 55 to 56, from 2 billion to eight.
I don’t have numbers to quantify exactly how long this would take, but suffice to say that leveling from 55 to 56 requires over 11x the amount of time as leveling from 49 to 50.
However, according to a number of dedicated players, leveling can be completed extremely quick and efficient if one has a party of high-level players willing to boost them up to the top. Perhaps, during the run of this promotion, many high-level parties will lend out their services to newbies in an attempt to encorage more people to play Black Desert Online.