Black Desaster Online

Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Black Desert Online Logo

If you liked grindy korean games like Ragnarok Online you might like some aspect of this game as well, as in you'll be grinding (one shotting) mob group after group, and usually that's all you'll do for countless hours as part of your PVE experience. And the combat system is pretty decent thankfully but only fully utilized in PVP, which you cannot even attempt after 500 hours playtime due to how the gear progression works.

Accessoiries are destroyed upon failed upgrade, while armor and weapons "only" loses max durability and at higher upgrade stage it rolls back to a previous one.
The issue here is that boss gear has around a 1% drop chance. This isn't so bad for just aquiring one, but comes into play when upgrading them.
Repairing max durability is done by using a gear piece of the same kind (the exact same item) or Memory Fragments.
Since you're not very strong you'll be grinding around 7 Fragments an hour if you're lucky, and that is if you're not just getting bullied out of your grindspot by an overgeared PVP person. Which happens everytime, since there are very few spots that aren't a waste of time of easy to do on the lower gearscore spectrum. Grouping up vs those people is useless as well.
You will end up with an unusable boss gear item in your storage for days or weeks due to all of this.
The last few upgrade steps of boss gear have miniscule success chance, setting you back over and over.
If you fail an upgrade you gain the previously mentioned Failstacks. These are meant to increase your chances of the next upgrade, however, instead of increasing your chances, they merely make it even feasible to attempt an upgrade since doing it without them might as well be a 0% chance at some point.
The kicker here is that you are bound to lose your Failstacks via dice roll as well by trying to build them up since you are sometimes going to succeed the upgrade you're trying to fail on trash gear.
The "bonus" gained from the Stacks is obviously capped and won't ever make your attempt remotely secure.
This entire process ends up being the majority of your playtime and the entire game's content and economy is based around it, hence why I dedicated most of the review to it. It's sad because some adjustments to these systems solve many of these points of frustration.

The PVP is pretty fun but you seriously cannot even attempt to fight higher geared people because they are either too tanky or oneshot you, usually both. And with the devs infinite wisdom they decided to give bonus stats the higher your gearscore is. Which would be fine for PVE but not PVP.
Meanwhile PVE content is limited to running from mob group to the next one in circles, pressing 3 buttons top to maximize your hourly gain, unless someone stronger is contesting the spot.
While the game is essentially sub free, you'll want to buy the 30 day Value Pack for about 15$ because otherwise your Marketplace sales suffer from heavy cuts, and also it makes the character editing free, which is obviously the main selling point of the game.
Recent changes to world bosses made it so that they rarely die because people cannot simply bothered to kill them after they acquired their piece. They aren't a very thrilling experience either way, since they are just "bullet" sponges with 1 AOE attack you're meant to dodge.

But here comes why I will never recommend this game:
The total mismanagement and incompetencies of the publisher Kakao Games and developer Pearl Abyss.
PA is only concerned with luring in players by advertising how the game looks. And so they have spent 1 year on a so called "Remaster" which is utterly disappointing to say the least. Not only did people even with high-end machines have trouble running the previous max settings at 60 FPS due to bad optimization, they doubled down and added more visuals only few people can enjoy.
That is, if the remastered visuals looked good. Oversaturation, bloom and blur are three words to describe it. The audio remaster is unnoticeable except for the constant bird chirping stock sound loop inside of cities (even in the desert). The walking noise still sounds like a PS1 soundfile.
Graphic options are more than lackluster. You can only chose between preset and can at best turn on or off 2 or 3 relevant options. The game suffers from heavy popins which get worse the lower your selected preset is.
The remaster update seems to have slightly improved the game's perfomance however I am still suffering from a microstutter issue many people have. No matter which options selected, driver settings, and whatever "fix" I found in countless threads.
PA said about a year ago they were working on rebalancing classes, a seemingly abandoned mission. Content updates are limited to new zones either only high geared people can grind or they are simply not worth grinding. And in the end they are just a change of location nothing else.
Kakao Games is the selected publisher for the EU and US. Their job is to localize the patches PA hands to them and that's essentially it. If you're looking for support (like my micro stutter issue) you will have to ask the community. Now they added a cash shop item they said they would never brind back to help gear upgrading. You aquire it slowly via login points, grind or buying cash shop costumes. The game isn't P2W" as many people claim, however so many time and sanity saving options are offered, that the pay to speedup heavily borders on actual P2W.
Notheworthy is that the ingame community is fairly toxic and uncomminucative as well, but that's a given due to the amount of frustration the game subjects one to (also PVP based game).
Do not expect a social experience, it's a solo game most of the time.

If it was free I'd say play through it and explore and maybe stop once you grinded a bit and hit the upgrade hell but at the current state and management definitly do not give Kakao and PA any money.

Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu-hen

Thursday, February 18, 2016
Kizumonogatari movie poster

I've watched Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu-hen now. I hoped Shaft would put Monogatari on cinema screen and adapt the style accordingly to this format. They had the benefit of having almost 5 years to work on it I guess but I doubt they used all that time to actually work on it, the delay was probably something related to marketing again. It doesn't matter because I would say they even exceeded my expectations.

Game: Secrets of Grindea

Friday, February 12, 2016

I played the current version of Secrets of Grindea and I really liked it. Secrets of Grindea is a kind of oldschool RPG game with influences that I assume come from games like Zelda, Ragnarok Online and Secret of Mana. Given the name, it parodies the tropes a bit, but incorporates the grinding aspect into its story, as you are a member of the Collectors and Adventurer Academy and set out for big treasure and loot. Your adventure begins in Startington, your home village.
... Yes that's the tone of the game that's being set.

Anime: Tokyo Godfathers

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

This week I watched Satoshi Kon's Tokyo Godfathers and I guess I'll dump my little thought on it before I forget everything about it again.
First of all, it's definitely one of the best anime movies out there but that doesn't mean a lot.