BDO complete extensive Guide to Karmabombing

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For the purposes of this ‘Guide to Karmabombing’, defined purely as ‘Guide’ from now on, I will not be using my regular blue letters in order to make it easier to read.

Introduction

This Guide is aimed for everyone who wants to pursue an infamous game mechanic called by the community ‘Karmabombing’ for whatever purposes they wish to use it for. I will however, point out some of the psychology and morality behind it, as well as what certain parts of the community think about it. There are various reasons to do it, and some of them are very legit and morale-wise, completely justified. We’ll cover all of that in the Guide. So let us begin.

I – What is Karmabombing and what is its purpose?

Karmabombing, as defined by the majority of the community, is the act of repeatedly letting yourself get killed by a hostile player entity to incur a severe karma penalty on the attacking side. The end-purpose is to have the attacking entity go below 0 (negative) karma which incurs further penalty on their character (or rather, buffs if an outlaw is in the desert), more on that further on.

At the time of writing and publishing this guide, a fully positive (300K) karma character would need to kill 3 (three) times to go negative.

II – What happens once someone goes negative?

Once the act of Karmabombing (or any other means to lower one’s karma) is successful, they’re considered ‘Outlaw’ by the game mechanics. Anywhere outside the Valencia Desert (including the underground zones like Aakman, Hystria or Pila-Ku prison) they suffer severe penalties which currently are:

+ Any positive Karma player can attack them and kill them on site without flagging up for PvP
+ PvP deaths are counted as positive karma PvE deaths, they lose some of their gems and an XP fee
+ PvE deaths have an even greater chance to break most of the gems, including a chance to degrade equipped items
+ They are unable to defend themselves unless they flag for PvP, and if they succesfully do so, they have to pay the Karma penalty again for defending (thus the system forces them to stay Outlaw)

In the Desert (and the underground places related to it) the situation is a bit different:

+ PvP deaths send them to Prison which is located near Pila Ku and it is easy to escape. They suffer no penalties. Considered a great way to avoid travelling all the way to Pila Ku.
+ They can use the town Muiquun for provisions, storage and specific outlaw daily quests. (2 hunter seals rewards most of the time)
+ PvE deaths have standard positive karma PvE death penalty with no chance of degrading gear
+ They’re hostile to the NPC factions in the desert, and soldiers will attack them on sight, however, trade caravans which pass through the desert sometimes have a chance to drop valuable Prince Merchant ring pieces which in turn can make a Merchant Prince’s Ring which adds bonuses to bids on the marketplace
A regular player can still flag up and attack the caravan but it will make them go negative real quick.

The ‘safe places’ for Outlaws are: Red & Black Desert, Muiquun, Nagas, Fogans, Crescents, Pila Ku, Aakman and Hystria. The Margoria Ocean should be safe as well, but I haven’t tested to confirm it.

If you get karmabombed, you may want to go there to clear yourself to avoid risk on the mainland.

III – Why Karmabomb? The psychology.

The entire act of Karmabombing relies on the insecurity of the attacking entity to bear with the consequences of going negative and suffering eventual xp/gear loss.

Permared players (Outlaws) are not concerned by this act, and as such should never be the target of the act. Instead, just sit back and relax as they kill everything and everyone and move on.

Some players will instead get enraged by the fact their precious grind rotation is disrupted and will go temporarily negative to keep it claimed – in these cases, give them around 10 kills and move on. Since like their perma positive brethren, they’re not comfortable being red (no matter what they say in their moment of euphoria) and once they cool down, they’ll regret doing it cuz they’ll find themselves grinding the karma back for a very long time – a full day of grinding for most (and that’s only in ideal situations). Most of the time they’ll be constantly attacked and/or karmabombed further so their journey back to 300k will be troublesome unless they back out (which was the first thing they wanted to avoid).

So, why should we do it?

The answer is not that simple. Give a man a gun, and he might just use it for shooting practice, or bringing people to justice, but one other just might kill a few people for fun. Karmabombing is a tool – much like a gun versus a martial arts guru. He’s a lot stronger, but your simple tool allows you to beat him. This tool we were given comes with a lot of morality/community view issues.

Majority of cases happen when a stronger player starts grinding in a spot he believes he laid claim to based merely on his overall strength. It doesn’t matter who was there first – grind spots are open to all 24/7 by game design and game mechanics. The logical choice is sharing. If the solo strong player doesn’t want to due to his precious efficiency, well it’s your spot as well as his. It’s his choice to incur karma penalty upon himself by killing you.

Now there is this whole philosophy about manners. The majority of the community believes it’s good manners to always introduce yourself and ask for a party no matter if you were there first or came to the spot after. Many of the cases are resolved automatically by being accepted or inviting the other entity to your party. These cases make fun times, are the most friendly and, hells, you can make some new friends easily while doing a really boring task. In such a scenario you definitely shouldn’t karmabomb but rather share and enjoy the mutual experience with your new friends!

However there are also other cases — self-centered strong people who refuse to party. Perhaps 10% will actually respond and say they don’t want to party. Well, at least they tried to communicate, so I’d leave them alone. The other 90% will instantly attack you and try to kill you. That’s your target, soldier. Those are the same guys which whine on the forums, on the chat and create numerous toxic atmospheres around the game, brandishing themselves are pro PvP players. In the next section of the Guide I will teach you how to deal with them efficiently and making them accept defeat or simply apologize. If they apologize (50% of cases do so), just leave them be, they understand they went overboard – well, probably not, but at least they swallowed some pride and showed some humanity.

And finally – don’t do it for fun – don’t karmabomb nice people who even invite you to their group. It’s just not nice. Switch channel and find a bully to bully instead – we need more nice people staying nice and more bullies being brought to justice! :D

If you decide to Karmabomb, first thing you will notice many PvP guilds frown upon it. Don’t do it if you’re gonna go on arena trials with a famous guild. They won’t let you join if you’re karmabombing. Many casual guilds frown upon it too, but some advocate it. Try to find a community that likes you. More on guilds later.

Bear in mind that your actions will usually be received with a lot of angersalt and many insults, even threats. I had numerous threats that they will report me for a ban and the like, but don’t worry. What you’re doing is completely within the ToS and you are not exploiting, no matter what the salty people tell you. They might call you griefer, but you are not preventing them from playing — it’s the other way around — they prevent you from playing by repeatedly killing you.

IV – The Mechanics – Kills, Karma, Guilds, Declares

Killing a positive Karma player incurs a penalty of exactly 120.000 Karma points. Which means to get someone negative, you’d need him to kill you three times. If you’re up against an entire party of bullies, you’d need to multiply that number by the number of party members. Furthermore, to completely make him red, you’d need 11 kills from his initial 300k. Thus making it 55 kills for the entire party to be red. At a rate of 1 kill per minute (on average) taking into account running back and starting to farm on top of him, you’d need a bit less than an hour for the entire party or mere 10 minutes to do it to a single person. That person will need to do around 4-6 hours of redemption if solo (with scrolls), and a bit less if partying with friends on huge grind spots like pirates main. Not to mention some of them aren’t really planning to grind for 6 more hours there on that spot especially uncontested.

Sometimes, if you’re up against an officer of a guild or an entire guild group, they can just declare war on your guild. It costs them, but if they’re salty enough, they’ll do it. In this scenario you have two options:
Either temporarily leave your guild or ask your leader to give you protection. Some guilds will comply, others won’t, especially if they are against karmabombing. Many guilds are afraid to have their guestbook filled with ‘karmabomber guild’ notes.

Your very best option is to have your own solo guild with buffs (possible, I have one), or just stay guildless. Karmabombing isn’t a respectable thing among the big guilds – so staying guildless is the best if you want to dispense some good ol’ justice on the bullies. In fact, many are afraid of guildless people – they won’t even try to contest you once they see what you’re doing.

V – Okay it’s all good, but now teach me how to Karmabomb!

Your job is to get killed as fast as possible with a minimum chance of you being finished off by the Environment, incurring a PvE death, not giving them any penalty but costing you XP and gems.

Your biggest enemy in the confrontation is not the attacking entity but the nearby ranged mobs who can accidentally finish you off as your opponent leaves you with a few hp. That being said, the most important thing is once you see the icon for pvp on the enemy, INSTANTLY start clearing ALL MOBS around you, before he even gets to you. That’s by far the most important thing.

For this reason you’ll need to play a bit of a mindgame with the attacking entity if he’s a seasoned PvP player (around 30% of those attacking you will be, so be ready, the others will just yolo kill you and no tactic is needed against them).

Firstly, make sure you have all your armor pieces on quickslot interchangeable with whatever will reduce your DP to nearly 0. Why? Because most of the attackers charge right at you to do a combo fast that will get you low enough for mobs to finish you off. But if your DP is close to 0, even a few normal attacks from a highly geared player will instantly kill you, making them unable to ‘feed you to the mobs‘. This is where the mindgame starts – if he starts poking you with non awakening (ranger arrows for example) instantly switch armor back on and start clearing out the mobs. With enough practice, you’ll have them all dead while he’s trying to keep you at ~50hp without anyone nearby to kill you.

Some of them have damage over time (DoT) effects. That’s perfect. If there are no mobs around, just wait it out and it’ll kill you. If there are still some mobs left (especially cannoneers at Sausan), drink a pot and kill them as fast as possible. Then the other guy will try to get you low again, but since most of the attacks don’t have fixed damage due to special attack bonuses, crits or addons, every time he tries that when you’re already below 20%, he will likely kill you.

In the rare unfortunate circumstance he manages to feed you to the mobs, always have a few Elion’s tears on you. They’re your greatest ally. Wait for him to move on with his rotation, revive, heal and start killing mobs again. He’ll be back before you know it for round 2.

Practice makes perfect – especially in the situation when you’re at 1 hp. The art of karmabombing gets very delicate at that moment, and one of my brightest moments were being able to dodge and avoid hordes of mobs while dancing around my enemy. Such situations can even earn you a lot of respect, friends and fun times – and it’s in fact those moments that make karmabombing a fun part of PvP in this game – for both sides. Trust me, it happens every once in a while – especially if you’re up against a strong PvP guild who just came to the spot looking for a beef and not to grind. Everyone respects skill, deep down, and karmabombing in such situations is based on pure skill.

VI – How to handle a specific class

I’ll try to make this part simple – based only on personal experiences, yours might differ a bit or a lot.

Warrior – If you’re weak, dont even bother trying to fight him. His all around block will make your attacks just tickle, his combo is high damaging, and most of the time he won’t have the small precision attacks and pokes to get you fed to mobs. His grab is fast and mobs probably won’t get to you in time while you’re on your feet again. If he goes for his stunlock combo, you’re probably dead so it doesn’t matter :)

Valkyrie – Honestly, I didn’t have many of those against me, somehow most of them I met were nice and polite, and there was no need to do any karmabombing, we just got along. The one I remember that went all yolo on me usually just tried to get close enough to grab, her grab is super short range so that’s about the only tool she has to feed you to mobs, everything else is safe enough – it’ll either kill you or do nothing. Her scalings post 60 are super high, so she’ll likely instakill you with only one of her skills.

Tamer – Very few of them around, and most of them yolo’d on me. I’d say be careful of her charge to stunlock you and then throw, but I really wouldn’t know. The heliang can also help in finishing you off I guess.

Ranger – She can be troublesome due to her long range arrow poke. If she’s good, she’ll do a limited blade waltz or two, get you low and then shotgun into bow and keep poking you till you’re constantly at 10 hp. Fortunately most of them have addons for some dots, so if you see burning icons on you, just get away from the mobs and let the dot finish you off. Her grab is not very troublesome, it’s very fast and it pushes you far away so the mobs won’t have time to walk to you by the time you’re up.

Berserker – Oh the infamous hugmaster zerk. He’s not that hard, I found him a lot easier than Ranger, simply because it’s not that easy to get you exactly to 10hp with his combo, and many of the times you’re under 200, so when he hugs you, nothing much happens. Also bear in mind, most melee mobs will go for him rather than you if he holds you above his head. Your problem are the ranged mobs if you aggroed them first. The hug lasts some 3 seconds and then he’ll slam you on the ground with a chance to do a grab on you again. The slam does some decent damage and can finish you off if you’re low enough. It takes practice against him, but bear in mind that only against a full stationary target he can do his stuff well enough to get you killed by mobs. If you constantly keep moving, killing mobs and stuff, he’ll whiff some of his stuff and his calculation will either instakill you, or won’t even get near it. Try to keep him CC-ed while you kill ranged mobs.

Sorceress – Troublesome if they don’t burn you with a DoT. They can stop mid combo easily to get you right where they want you. Their CC doesn’t really push you away, so if you fight her in the middle of the mobs, she really has the upper hand. Your best bet is to notice her charging at you, killing most of the mobs with an aoe and keep spamming your super armor skills (if you have those) to clear as many mobs as possible. After that, well, if no dots, keep spamming a single pot while you finish off ranged mobs or till she crits you. A good way to force her to kill you is to turn your back suddenly so the special damage does it’s thing. If she’s strong, turning your back on her mid-fight is likely to instakill you.

Dark Knight – Nothing special. She can stun you from a distance, but she still needs to come close to get you low. Has DoTs, so easy to get yourself killed by her.

Musa and Maehwa – even though the classes are fundamentally different with awakenings, the way they perform in karmabombing acts are quite simlar, and have about the same threat level as the Sorceress. Abuse the special attack bonus and the DoT (if applicable). Most of them will be able to ignore you unfortunately – because they’re very fast with their dashes and will get to most mob groups before you. The more agreessive ones are usually the less experienced, they’ll yolo on you, so just grab popcorn and watch yourself get killed :D

Witch and Wizard – both of them have very high damaging high accuracy spells that can easily overkill you. Not a problem. Some clever ones might just poke you with normal attack, but then it’s about your practice how to clear the mobs fast enough.

Striker – Sorry, no info yet. Will update the Guide once I karmabomb some of the higher up ones.

Conclusion

Karmabombing is a real thing. It’s frowned upon, and the loudest in the community make dozens of threads about it every day. Yet Korean servers have double the Karma penalty we have. This tool is here to stay, at least for a while longer. The true PvP is after all, in arenas, nodes and sieges. Open world PvP came as a second-hand product and initially it was mistake some players loved during the Korean alphas. It’s fun, but it’s not competitive. So don’t take Karmabombing seriously, and don’t take PK too seriously. It’s just a fun factor. If you want to compete, join a siege guild or work your way up to PEN so you can take a crack at competitive Arenas when they come out.

Respect other people, but never let yourself be stomped over. You have a tool to fight back. Use it. With respect and dignity. Don’t karmabomb for fun.Defend your integrity and pride. Act with dignity and use your knowledge to help those weaker than you. Fight the bullies. Make friends and have fun grinding together.

And lastly, if you’re still in the game and hate it so much, learn to love it again! Cuz there is no point in playing it if you hate every single thing about it.

This Guide is proudly brought to you by me & tens of millions of karma worth in beta testers. Don’t take it to seriously guys, I know some of you had fun as much as I did, you’ll know who you are! Cheers! :D

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Additional Guide Tips Welcomed!