I don’t follow Black Desert Online’s development over in Korea too closely. While it can serve as a mouthwatering preview of content or features that might come to our version of the game sooner or later it’s not actually guaranteed that we also get that stuff, nor that what we eventually get will have any kind of resemblance to what they have. So why bother?
Due to that I wasn’t prepared for the content drop we got last week. To say I’m very pleasantly surprised would be a huge undestatement.
Yes, Dark Rifts are a thing now. Every now and then a rift spawns somewhere in the world and spews out a boss for you to fight once you get close. Funnily enough these are pretty much the exact opposite to the rifts in, well, RIFT insofar that the bosses aren’t meant for groups of people, it’s a pure solo experience instead.
Another player won’t be able to see your boss, not even when grouped up with you. That last bit is a shame I think, but it seems the devs wanted to specifically give us bossfights to test our mettle 1 vs 1. A bit strange for an MMO maybe, but since the game already has bosses for groups as well as proper world bosses galore I just see it as yet another option to play you can either embrace or ignore.
After encountering five different rifts and their respective bosses I already know for sure that it’s definitely the former in my case. It’s great fun, and the rewards are very worthwhile.
I know a lot of folks have complained about the lack of classic dungeon- and raid-gameplay in BDO. Well, fighting these bosses is pretty much the next closest thing, if you can ignore the fact that you’re doing it alone of course.
Positioning, dodging attacks, healing myself, dealing with adds, these fights provide it all.
The bosses come in different flavours and difficulties. Of the five I fought one was labeled ‘normal’, three ‘hard’ and one ‘very hard’. The latter indeed killed me a couple of times while I downed the others relatively easily – they all take quite some time and concentration with my current gear though.
The hardest one doesn’t telegraph its AoE attacks quite as clearly as the others do, which combined with the fact that pretty strong normal mobs surround the place makes that fight much more unpredictable than the other two.
The guy you see above, on the other hand, throws different telegraphs at you all the time and also spawns adds regularly.
As mentioned the rewards are pretty good. In addition to some black stones and memory fragments they seem to always drop a new type of currency item that can be exchanged for boss weapon boxes or other rare stuff once you’ve accumulated enough of it, and a box that contains an accessory item up to DUO grade. I assume that the chance for actually getting a DUO is very slim, but the five base-grade items I got until now have a combined worth of about 270 million silver, so I’m definitely not complaining.
My biggest fear going in, other than not being able to beat the bosses at all, was that I might feel pressured to drop whatever I’m doing as soon as a rift spawns from now on so I don’t miss out on its rewards. That would’ve been very detrimental to the way I love to play the game, which is to just do whatever the hell I feel like without any kind of schedule or must-do’s.
Fortunately there’s no time limit at all, once spawned the rift stays open until I can be bothered to show up and kill the boss. It doesn’t even prevent more rifts from spawning as there can be up to ten open at a time. Now that’s what I call unobtrusive and player-friendly.
In my opinion this is a great addition to the game and I can’t wait to see more rifts spawn. Next time I’ll even remember to take some screenshots of the awesome, Balrog-like boss at Omar Lava Cave. Promise!