The Dark Knight; a massive sword wielding dark mistress built for destruction. Per the Black Desert website:
Dark Knight uses the long and beautiful Kriegsmesser to slash, strike, and exhaust powers obtained from nature.
Though her slashes with the Kriegsmesser are heavy and firm, she shows off agile and precise movements as well.
In addition, Dark Knight uses ranged magic in-between attacks to bring down all those who stand before her. The Dark Knight’s main skills, natural combos elaborated so well together.
Keep in mind it’s a Korean game so that description seems a little like a hasty translation. Regardless, the Dark Knight class released on March 1st on NA/EU servers and I of course jumped back into the sprawling world created by Pearl Abyss to try out their shiny new toy. Like the game itself, I had a mixed reaction to the class.
Disregarding that the opening quests (well, all of the quests really) are the same across all classes and after your third (or even second class) it feels a little stale, the Dark Knight felt very similar to how the Death Knight in World of Warcraft felt when it was released…a little OP (also I keep calling her Death Knight instead of Dark Knight in my head ). This may be contributed to all the XP/damage buffs in place for the release event, but I definitely felt like I was cutting down packs of enemies significantly faster than I ever did on my Sorceress, Ranger, or Wizard/Witch.
Her (and yes the class itself is gender locked to female…not that I’m complaining) attacks are large sweeping archs accentuated by her massive Kriegsmesser sword, followed by trails of dark magic emanating from the blade. She’s got at least 2 (I’m only level 27) gap closing attacks that make it extremely quick to jump from one pack of mobs to the next, and enough attacking AOE power to make the grind an absolute breeze. I have not once felt in danger on my Dark Knight. She’s a force to be reckoned with.
The class ability effects are cool, but in truth they kept reminding me of the Sorceress – attacks coated in dark magic. Different mechanics sure, but visually somewhat similiar. There was something else I noticed that stood out – the animations themselves. When the Dark Knight starts swinging, it feels weighty – like she’s got momentum and can’t stop. Whether this is intentional or not, it’s pronounced by the fact that every sword combo/attack that she performs ends with a final swing where she pauses, then goes back into her ready stance (which is maybe a 2-3 second animation), which causes another slight pause, and if you take no action after that she immediately launches into her idle animation. It’s not a huge deal, but it’s definitely noticeable and at times felt a little…strange and forced. It feels like it was meant for her to appear arrogant – like a Morrigan from Dragon Age type attitude, but it causes this weird disconnect from your last action to the next. Not a deal breaker, but definitely something I took note of.
One very intriguing thing to me is that the Dark Knight has arguably the best default armor appearances in the game.
Sure she’s still wearing heels, I don’t think we’ll ever win that argument with Pearl Abyss, but in terms of pure aesthetic choices I think all her sets looks great and I wouldn’t want to change anything about them, except color. I cannot say that about any of the other class’s defaults. Compare it to the Sorceress, whose armors aren’t too bad, with the exception of that damn overvest/sleeveless robe:
Or the poor witch/wizard, whose default armor (and in fact all armor from what I’ve seen) are just huge frumpy robes:
Of course, this is where the F2P game makes its money – the pearl shop, but that’s something I covered in my last post. In a sense that’s what I’m getting at though, with the Dark Knight I wasn’t immediately tempted to see what was available on the costume shop because I was so put off by the default armor (I DID eventually check out the shop, but out of curiosity and not because I hated the armor). It’s an interesting design choice by Pearl Abyss, and one visit to the forums discussing Dark Knights shows a resounding positive response in regards to their default armors. Not everyone wants to or can spend money.
Something happened once I hit level 25-26 ish though. The class itself started to make me miss my Sorceress. So many things about it reminded me of playing a Sorceress – close range melee dark magic user with a few gap closers, one or two big AOE knockdowns, a big charged slash move, and a teleport. The Sorceress has all these things, and does it with her bare hands. I don’t know, maybe it was that after a while the swings of the Dark Knights Kriegsmesser felt repitive and with each new ability I unlocked none of them really felt or looked different from the last. I think her long heavy swings contribute to this feeling. Yes with the Sorceress some moves have the same one-two combo swinging with your hands animation, but her moves are fast and feel soaked in anger and rage, giving them a very distinct feel of personality. The Dark Knight, for me, just doesn’t have that same feel of personality or identity.
I actually started a new Sorceress just to test out this theory of how the two line up starting from level one, and my point on identity and personality is a huge reason why I enjoyed the Sorceress in the first place. That’s why ultimately I’ve put my Dark Knight on hold. Being a new class (launched on March 1st) her Awakening hasn’t been released yet. Maybe when that hits I’ll dive back into the class. I’ve seen videos of it and it looks interesting (very purple and flashy and…well, kinda looks like playing a Sorceress if I’m being honest), but I’m not particularly interested in playing her PRE-Awakening. Only time will tell. Maybe that was Pearl Abyss’ plan all along – attract my attention with shiny new things to lure me back in. Intentional or not, it worked because For now I’m currently grinding another Sorceress, this time with a greater understanding of the class/game, and taking full advantage of the XP buffs available.