Are you looking for an MMO?
As a fan of plunging many hours away into a video game, I often find myself looking for something that makes me feel like those hours haven't been wasted, a game that is rewarding for how much of your social life you've just given up. MMOs are a fantastic way of doing this: you complete quests, level up, make friends, and advance skills to your own liking. Wanna be a fisherman and make a pretty penny? Go for it.
I've spent a long time looking for an MMO that gripped me properly, ever since my subscription for WoW ran out so many years ago, and I decided that I didn't wanna pay it again (not broke, just didn't wanna make that commitment). Basically, I've signed myself up for my fair share of MMOs and found myself not really being taken in by it, I've had trouble finding one that I've truly felt like devoting to, especially since a lot of MMOs have too much Pay-To-Win stuff going on (or some "pay with real money for gardening plots if you wanna continue the story quest" bollocks) that detracts from what initially made me enjoy the game.
So here I am, I discover an MMO that seems to only really have paid cosmetic items rather than advantages in the game, and with more than enough extra (and technically pointless) skills for me to waste- I mean, spend my time working on. What can I say? I'm a sucker for fishing in my video games. The game opens with an incredibly detailed character creation menu, which I spent roughly half an hour working on, just to make the character how I liked. Here's my first problem with the game, the classes in the game are gender locked, so if you wanna play as a badass Sorceress you gotta be ready to rock some stockings and a skirt, buddy! To be fair, that's not too much of a problem for me, as I don't mind playing as a different gender in games, as that's the whole point of games, escapism and stuff. Plus, I'm not too dedicated to that whole roleplay stuff, I appreciate it, but I'm more focused on the actual gameplay and the storyline.
Once I'd made my character, I found myself in a surprisingly long loading screen, but that could be due to my roommate playing the game at the same time. But, once it finished loading me into the game, I was pleasantly greeted to the tutorial, which immediately sets you up for the main quest of the game, in which you meet your guide and technical mentor for the game. I won't spoil any of it for you. The tutorial teaches you all basic combat skills and even sets you up for learning combos, and by the time you leave the starting area, you feel like you've got the ability to play the game without any real fault, however, if you still feel unsure, you'll meet plenty of NPCs who'll run you through things, and even a friendly player or too.
One of the game's main focuses when it comes to the quests and advancements, is that you need to gain knowledge on the areas that you visit and the people in them. To complete a quest you might need to speak to a certain NPC, however, to speak to that NPC you might have to have met somebody else beforehand, however, it will tell you who you need to talk to in this situation. As a warning, if you've spoken to everyone in Heidel and you STILL can't talk to the Lord, don't spend an hour searching the area for another NPC, you just need to continue the main quest and you'll eventually be able to speak to Lord Crucio and finish your Heidel City knowledge collection, like the perfectionist you are.
Now, returning to my earlier point about finding that MMO that can really get me hooked, the fact is, Black Desert Online is definitely an MMO I think I can get hooked on, as I've found myself loading it up when I should be studying for my finals and whatnot (oops). However, I can't say for certain that I'm definitely hooked on it at the moment, I can see myself being hooked on it once I have more time to play on it, however. A certain element I've found the most interesting in my current play-through is the guide you have throughout the game.
Now, without any spoilers, the character is known as the "Black Spirit" a- well, black spirit that appears to you when you summon it with the comma key. It will give you advice on how to level your skills, gathering, trading, and most importantly, fishing. It also allows you to enchant items and will give you daily quests, as well as be crucial in the main story quests.
Which brings me to my main point, the story of the game. As it is with most MMOs, the game has a main quest you can follow up until a certain point, when you unlock you more powerful abilities, etc. This story does have the occasional grind vibe to it, and sometimes you need to pray to RNGesus to get that one enemy you kill to be the ONE you need to drop a battleaxe (which you don't actually have to carry) so you can finish that quest. Each quest line for the main quest will have you in a certain area against specific enemies, until you fight a boss version of that enemy, then you'll move on to the next area. Some of these quests include climbing buildings to find NPCs, and the parkour in the game is pretty good, so you should have fun with that.
As a side note, your carry weight is increased through strength, and your money counts as weight, too.
For my last point, I'll talk about the most important part of the game experience for me, that part of the game that completes it in my eyes. I'm talking, of course, about fishing. The game has its fair share of interesting mechanics, but the fishing one interests me the most, with its timing based response for catching a fish. You'll need to be quick on your space bar for this one, and ready on your arrow keys, as fishing requires multiple stages to catch the fish, and plenty of patience for it to bite.
Anyway, I've nearly exceeded the character-count. I would genuinely recommend Black Desert Online for anyone looking for an MMO, and I know I've missed out some details, but somebody else has probably written about them. (I stole the images from Google)