Black Desert Online 2nd CBT – Review on NPC Affinity and Knowledge System
This is the second part of my review on the Black Desert Online 2nd CBT. The 1st review covers the node and trading system. In this article, I would introduce the "NPC Affinity System" and other features related to NPC, as well as the unique "Knowledge System".
NPC Affinity System
In most MMORPG's, NPCs would normally serve as quest givers, item sellers and provide other basic functions such as crafting or repairing of gear. In Black Desert, NPCs play a very important role in the whole gameplay. Players can actually interact with the NPC to increase his/her affinity towards themselves. When one gets near an NPC, one should see 2 circles connecting the player and the NPC, who has the affinity symbol on top of him. This means that the player can raise the affinity of that NPC. However, to initiate the mini-game which increases the affinity, the player has to collect the minimum amount of topic which is of interest to the NPC. The type of topic the NPC is interested in, the current number of topic related to his/her interest and the minimum number are topics required are shown on the circle around that NPC.
The so-called topic is knowledge or information which you have gathered throughout your journey in the game. One of the major functions of knowledge is to serve as story topics for you to "chat" with the NPC or rather play the NPC affinity mini-game. Other functions of knowledge will be discussed later.
Another condition for you to initiate the mini-game is to accumulate at least 10 "talking point", which is regenerated at 1 point every 3 minutes. A player starts with 10 maximum talking points but the maximum amount can be increased once players gather the required set of knowledge, as listed in the knowledge user interface.
Once you have satisfied the two conditions: minimum amount of relevant topics and have 10 talking points, you can start the affinity mini-game with the NPC. The winning condition of the game is shown at the top of the screen and it changes every time you play, even with the same NPC. Affinity of the NPC is only increased if you win the game by satisfying the winning condition. The game basically requires you to construct a "story" by fitting the topic shown as circular pictures below, into the constellation symbol at the middle.
Each topic has its own stats (interest and affinity), probability of successful interest triggering, amount of affinity increase and some even come with additional linkage combo effect. The linkage effect normally comes in the form of "for the next x turn, story's interest increases by x point" which boosts the interest of subsequent topics by a certain amount.
There are various types of winning conditions as well, such as x consecutive successful interesting triggering, total accumulated affinity of x, maximum affinity for a single turn reaches x, etc. If you are lucky, there is also a condition which allows you to chat freely without any restriction to win. Properly choosing your topics and arranging them is the key to winning this game. Obviously, the more relevant topics you have gathered, the higher the chance you were able to satisfy the random conditions set by the game as well.