There is a TL;DR at the end of this post
Yeah initially it does, but gimme a moment there.
How predominant are the main quests?
Very. Well you can just not take them, or take and ignore, but expect some gameplay features jot not being unlocked for you.
You do some stuff in a certain place from 10 to 10 levels
It may be due to me being retard but I constantly end up running all over the place. I guess I'm bad at optimization. But yeah quests are usually suspiciously close to each other.
Or they'll guide me to certain areas and I'll have to take that path to actually progress?
You are not forced to, but yeah you are forced to. Because it unlocks shit like being able to upgrade gear or skills.
What I meant by multiple maps for single level ranges was if there are multiples areas I can go in my level
Oh yes, every level range has several spots for killing mobs en masse.
I just want to go wherever I please and do what whatever I please as long as I can succeed in doing so and be rewarded for it.
In theory you can, as long as you deal with locked features.
Having quests is fine, as long as the're more optional than vital for progress.
Well there are two main quests.
Story quest, that can fuck right off, it doesn't do shit apart from telling you dumb story about local edgelord.
However there is also dark spirit quest, that you kinda forced to do, because it unlocks dark spirit features - gear upgrading, skill awakening etc.
Naturally those two go along, so you usually end up doing both.
I managed to climb some mountains in TERA with a friend, we ended up in an area that was higher level than us, we could kill the monsters but couldn't accept the quests. Killing the strong ass monsters gave us ridiculously low XP, the only way to level in that game is by completing all the quests in order.
Guess what, BDO is the same in this regard. I'm pretty sure side quests are unlocked based on either your level or main quest progress. And killing vastly overleveled monsters won't give you any more XP than killing recommended ones. At least you get their drops, but loot in this game is extremely shallow and boring.
I was absolutely enamored and captivated at first, but now I see that despite being physically open world, as in go wherever dude, there just isn't anything to do. Just like in Tera - you can glitch-climb a mountain, kill overleveled mob because you're gud, and that's that.
Yes there are autistic activities like breeding horses or mining resources, but it all leads to one thing - upgrading your shit to fight stronger mobs and other players.
What game does well - is combat, it's much better than tera, it's fully hitbox based, so regardless of lag if enemy didn't physically touch you - you won't get damage and so on. Movesets are varied, you have limited freedom of building up your combos and choosing what special attacks to learn. Fighting is pretty fun and engaging.
What game doesn't do well - is anything else. You can wander the world, but if you find something cool - well hidden underground library, some cool ass techno ruins, some weird mansion with cyborgs and creepy machines in it - rest assured, if you wandered there by accident, there is nothing for you to do except for killing mobs, but you can bet your ass that main quest will eventually lead you here, and will show you some silly cut-scene or will allow you to summon an area-specific boss.
Loot is boring, quests are boring, side activities are fucking job-tier.
Does game look and run good? Yes it does.
Is it basically dynasty warriors online? Yes it is.
Is it a role playing game? No it is not.
Is there shit to do, other than kill mobs? No there is none.
Is it worth 30 bucks? Depends on what you like and what you want. I love me some musous, and here, unlike in TOEI games, mobs can actually kill you if you're not careful.
Does it make you feel like you're on an adventure? Yes it does if you allow it to. It did it for me, as I still enjoy it regardless of how shallow and contentless it is.
Is it pay to win? Hard to tell now, you can buy shit like inventory expansion, exp boosters, penalty-free revivals, all that shit you would expect from f2p game. Cosmetics from cash shop DO give you passives, but those are exp boosters and penalty reducers too, nothing affecting actual combat.
My take is it's slightly p2w, which pretty shitty for a buy to play game. But the game itself I like. I don't feel any buyer's remorse, because it mostly suits my personal taste.
It's an open world action game with grinding, not really an RPG.
I would recommend watching class videos on youtube and trying free to play russian version to get yourself an impression.
It's the closest you get to a musou online, without actual musou online.