Black Desert (formerly Black Desert Online) is a sandbox MMO first released in the west in 2016. As a Korean MMO, it boasts an in-depth character creator, above-average combat, and a reputation for extreme grinding. While it is free in Korea and some other countries, in Steam (opens in new tab) would normally cost $10. To celebrate the release of your Eternal Winter expansion, Black Desert is available for free (opens in new tab) until April 13th.
Grabbing it for free gets you The Traveler Edition, which includes the Eternal Winter expansion. Black Desert’s biggest expansion to date, adds the Mountain of Eternal Winter region and a new class called Drakania, which wields a rather long sword and armor forged from the scales of slain dragons. There are new boss fights, endgame locations and also ice fishing. Plus, there’s a new player season server, which will apparently speed up progression with a variety of rewards and buffs to help newbies get the latest additions.
In 2017, Austin Wood wrote that Black Desert isn’t a great MMO, but it’s a great sandbox RPGsaying that “Black Desert doesn’t have much of what you might expect from a modern MMO, but what it does have is agency. This is a game about building an empire, more like Civilization than World of Warcraft. At least, it is for me. For you, it might be purely an action RPG with more fluid and frenetic combat than any other MMO. For many others, it is a captivating role-playing tool, fueled by a rich character creator and a densely detailed world.”
A few years of updates later, Black Desert has finally made our list of best MMOs in the sandbox section, where we noted, “It can be just as rewarding to spend a night upgrading your farms and leveling up your workers as it is to defeat one of Black Desert Online’s brutal bosses. Chic, the node system is also the basis for weekly guild wars, where guilds race to conquer multiple nodes for special bonuses – making BDO a great choice if you like PVP too.”