Black Desert Online 2nd CBT – Review on Nodes and Trading System
One of the first things a player would notice when they open up their world map in Black Desert would be the many lines connecting different towns or regions. In Black Desert, the towns and various outposts in the vast world map are marked with circles and are called "nodes". These nodes are automatically added to the map whenever you approach or enter them for the first time. However, these nodes are initially not connected.
In the figure above, the node marked with a castle symbol is a "Town node" whereas the one marked with a gate symbol is a "Gateway node". However, take note that there is another node in between the town and the gateway node, which is called a "Trade node". The game does not allow you to connect any two nodes you want randomly even though the town node and the gate node are nearby and are connected by road/bridge. A player has to explore the region between the town and the gate node to discover the intermediate Trade node in order to connect the gateway and the town.
Although it might seems quite obvious that there is an intermediate node in between the town and the gate, in fact, the connecting line and intermediate nodes are not shown in the world map until u have entered the vicinity of the node. I have played many games where there are huge worlds but the sad thing is, most of the players have no reason or benefit to explore every corner of the map. For Black Desert, the developer introduce the node system to encourage explore this vast world, to bridge nodes and widen their node network. The benefit of forming a wide node network will be explained later in the article but first, let's go into more details on the node system.
From my perspective, it is actually quite fun discovering these nodes throughout my playing. The intermediate nodes, although mostly manned by human NPC's, can sometimes be located at weird or secluded places, such as the one shown in the figure above, which is a big rock in the middle of a swamp. There are also nodes which are manned by frog and tadpoles. All node outpost or NPC manning the node can be recognized by the flags beside them and the types of the node are differentiated with the symbol on the flag/world map (see below).
When you discover a node, they might be initially shown to be joined to one or more nearby nodes with white lines. However, they are not really "connected" yet. You would need to invest Contribution Point (CP) to the node, in order to activate the node through "Node Management" function (see figure below) and connect it to its adjacent nodes. After connecting, the lines will turn yellow instead (see the first figure). You obtain CP from completing various quests in the game. If you decide to deactivate the node, you can gain back the CP you have invested in there. Besides activation of node, CP can also be used for renting items from NPC or buy houses.