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From left to right: Sorceress, Warrior, Tamer, Berserker and Ranger class defaults
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Black Desert Online is a sandbox-oriented massively multiplayer online role-playing game created by Korean video game developer Pearl Abyss. A mobile phone port was released in late 2019.

The combat in Black Desert Online is action based, requiring manual aiming similar to those found in third-person shooters. Skills can be activated through use of combos. With limited healing skills, players must rely on well timed dodging or blocking as well as liberal use of potions. Players can use the mouse and keyboard or gamepad for navigation and combat.

Black Desert Online takes place in a high fantasy setting and revolves around the conflict between two rival nations: the Republic of Calpheon and the Kingdom of Valencia.

In 2019, Pearl Abyss announced a successor, Crimson Desert.


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Black Desert Online provides examples of:

  • 20 Bear Asses: The game is rife with these, though with an annoying twist: The items you collect are not inventory items per se, but are based on a set drop rate where each enemy killed has a chance of giving you the required item. This can become frustrating quickly, since it means that the drops are completely randomized meaning you can spend hours killing the same enemies over and over again and barely make any progress at all.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Averted by most species; there are civilian examples of several monster species like Rhutums and Catfishmen.
  • An Adventurer Is You
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Some of the world bosses or guild boss monsters are like this. Giant Mudster is a giant pile of mud, for example. Kzarka is notable for being 50 feet tall... when he's still stuck up to his waist in the ground, and he's 'still' one of the most dangerous enemies available to face.
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  • The Big Guy: Warriors, Valkyries, and Guardians can guard with shields and make great tanking units, but Berserkers take the cake. Berserkers are Giants, so in addition to being physically huge, they have good HP and offense, and can pick you up and throw you like a doll.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: As you might expect for a mid-tier Korean MMO, the translation is unimpressive. It has problems with singular versus plural, using definite articles where needed, and sometimes with basic spelling and grammar. Several quests have threads on Black Desert discussion boards asking exactly what you're supposed to do in them because the English text is so unhelpful.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Jordine when he picks up the Shadow Knight's sword in Heidel and falls under their influence. He's still a revenge-obsessed jerk after you beat his Demonic Possession out of him, though.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Almost every class has some kind of "kick to the face" attack. Said kicks will restore the user's SP or WP, allowing them to quickly get back to using stronger skills.
  • Combat Stilettos: Many female costumes have them, particularly for the Sorceress.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Sorceresses.
  • Edge Gravity: In many situations, your character will teeter over a ledge rather than walk off of it. You can avoid this by sprinting or jumping. Horses with the Caution skill will enforce this; they won't go over any ledge with a long enough drop to cause any fall damage, meaning that if you really want to get over that ledge, you'll have to take a flying leap off the edge, and probably take more damage than you would have from a controlled fall.
  • Elemental Powers: Witches and Wizards have fire, ice, lightning, and earth-elemental spells.
  • The Empire: How Serendians view Calpheon, as the latter conquered Serendia, demoted King Domongatt to a mere lord and now allow the Xian Merchant Guild to slowly take over all of the commerce in Heidel.
  • The Engineer: You! During node war, it's possible to set up cannons on the field, repair a damaged fort, or set up new fortifications and turrets. In about 30 seconds.
  • Fiery Redhead: Valkyries. In-story, hair dye is acceptable, but all NPC Valkyries must be scarlet-haired.
  • Fishing Minigame: You can just auto-fish if you want, but it takes twice as long. Great way to make money overnight though.
  • Fragile Speedster: Ninja and Kunoichi have triple-jump and an extended sprint skill, but they also have some of the lowest defense of all classes.
  • Full-Contact Magic: Sorceresses fight much closer-range than Witches and Wizards.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: Look, we get that the game was developed in Korea, but still. Musa, Maehwa, Hwacha, Shingijeon? There's also Kunoichi, which is Gratuitous Foreign Language for "female ninja".
  • Ground Pound: Ninjas and Kunoichis can do one after double-jumping. Berserkers instead opt to just stomp the ground with a foot.
  • Hack and Slash: The combat system. PvE gameplay generally consists of taking on dozens of enemies at once and obliterating them with flashy, elaborate combos. Think Dynasty Warriors with a more complex moveset.
  • Human Popsicle: Witches and Wizards have 3 ice spells, two of which can freeze enemies in place. Although outside of PvP, it usually technically makes a monster popsicle...
  • Impossible Hourglass Figure: If you so wish, due to the incredibly detailed body customization options.
  • Interface Screw: Getting hit will close most interface windows, like your inventory or the map. It's quite jarring.
    • Most people will disable the option to have the black spirit warn you that there are high-level enemies around, so it'll stop colouring your screen dark red everytime you fight a boss monster.
    • The Valencia desert makes it so you can't ping locations on the map to find them, or locate yourself on the map. Having a compass will overcome that second one, but no pinging means no autopathing.
  • Kidnapping Bird of Prey: Some of the harpies at the Delphe Knight Fort have picked up Non Player Characters to hold hostage. Take Your Time saving them though, they'll wait.
  • Lady of War: Classes in BDO are gender-locked, and the general aesthetic of the game means that most female classes will be elegant, beautiful women in elegant, beautiful outfits who kick ungodly amounts of ass in elegant, beautiful ways. The most clear-cut examples, though, are the Valkyrie, Dark Knight, Maehwa and Lahn.
  • Le Parkour: Everyone can jump to waist height and scramble up ledges up to head's height, but Ninjas and Kunoichis rule in this area due to having triple-jump. With enough jump boosts, they can even jump clear over enemy attacks!
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • The game has Hack and Slash gameplay somewhat like Dynasty Warriorsin PvE, and characters are designed to chew through small hordes of enemies incredibly fast while barely taking a scratch. Melee characters compensate for their lack of range with a bevy of high-speed movement options, meaning they all qualify for this trope.
    • Tank classes are this in PvP, by dint of being tough melee characters with all the same mobility tools they get in PvE. A squad of tanks breaking through your lines in a large-scale battle is both more difficult to avoid than you might hope and seriously bad news, and they're a force to be reckoned with in one-on-one duels, too.
  • Light 'em Up: Valkyries, especially when using Sword of Judgment.
  • Literal Cliffhanger: Several soldiers at the Delphe Knights Castle are hanging onto ledges that should have guardrails, and there's a daily quest in the area to rescue them.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: A Medieval Asia-style example. Hwachas can be placed to defend your fort during node wars, and they're basically a combination of arbalest, rocket launcher, and short-range missile battery. They fire some 20-odd Shingijeons (which are like harpoons), which explode upon impact, and will basically 1-shot anyone whose guild does not have maxed-out Siege Weapon Resistance. They have longer range than a flame turret, and a good-size Area of Effect, but are awkward to aim and somewhat slow to fire.
    • Rangers get honorable mention. One of their skills is appropriately nicknamed "the shotgun", firing 40 arrows or so at a time... and it's spammable.
  • The Medic: Shai, the crafting/gathering class, are also the only class to specialise in buffs and heals in combat (Wizards and Witches can offer some help, but not much). They're almost helpless in a one-on-one duel against another player (by design), but in a group battle, they're incredibly sought-after.
  • Ninja: The, uh, ninjas. And kunoichis.
  • No "Arc" in "Archery": Averted. Rangers' arrows do visibly arc, even over short distances, but everything else about archery is completely bonkers so who cares. It's also true that Rangers can shoot much farther downward than upward.
  • No Sense of Direction: There's various daily quests that involve helping people who got lost get to where they need to, with an ironic example in Dolve, a Dwarven land surveyor who got lost while trying to deliver a map of the area he's in.
    Dolve: A good sense of direction, and land surveying have no correlation.
  • Not Always Evil: Most monster races. You'll mow down hordes of Khurutos, Rhutums, Giants, and Catfishmen that want to kill you on sight, but there are civilian examples of each of them too. Altinova, capital of Mediah, is inhabited by more monsters than humans!
  • Player Versus Player: In addition to single or party duels, there are also node wars and conquest wars, where guilds fight for control of territory (and tax money). Node wars consist of two or more guilds each building a fort, defending it with turrets and barricades, and attacking with their members, horses, cannons, and war elephants.
  • The Republic: The Republic of Calpheon, or so you are led to believe at first. Then you get there and find out it's an oligarchic republic: out of the seven representatives in the Kalis Parliament, only one represents the lower class, one represents the military and the remaining five are members of aristocratic families. The residents of the Slums have risen in protest against the Parliament after a noble killed a maid from the Slums for breaking an antique vase.
  • Shield Bash: The Warrior, Valkyrie, and Guardian are capable of this.
    • Kunoichis can guard if they're equipped with a Kunai, and will counterattack if they guard while at low stamina.
  • Shifting Sand Land: The Valencia desert. It's probably the hardest area of the game to explore: you can't find your location on the map, you can't navigate by pinging, and you need to bring purified water and star anise tea to stave off dehydration and hypothermia. It's also just really big, and the monsters are strong.
  • Teleportation: Witches and Wizards can do it, but only for short distances (up to about 25 feet). It's great for maneuvering during a fight though.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Rangers' Explosive Evasive Shot is comprised of doing Unnecessary Combat Aerial Side-Flips while shooting. Well... I guess it does help stay mobile while fighting, but still.
  • Video-Game Flamethrowers Suck: Partial example. Flame Turrets can be built during node wars, and they have rather short range (around 15 feet), but they have a wide AoE and do huge damage. They also knock riders off their horses.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Valencians speak with a... Nonspecifically Foreign accent?
  • White Magic: Healing Lighthouse, unique to Witches and Wizards.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Throws are generally considered one of the best ways to lock an enemy down in PvP. Valkyries and Warriors have a simple grapple-and-throw move, Ninjas and Kunoichis can do a spin-diving suplex, and Berserkers can pick you up and do a 15-foot jumping chokeslam.
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