This is a basic guide on how to start BDO and what you should be aiming for so without further delay lets begin.
1: Character Creation.
Before you create your character, watch a few youtube videos about each class to find the right one for you. Each class has strengths and weaknesses but all of the classes are viable choices so I would recommend choosing the one you think is the coolest. You can and should make more than one character (more on this later) but you still wouldnt want to be stuck with a character whose moveset you dont have fun using. When creating your character be sure to customise your character to your liking as if you dont have a value pack active you wont be able to change your characters appearance without paying. You can also choose to use a preset character that someone else has made and tweak it to your liking.
While you are playing through the main questline dont worry too much about your level. You will almost never be underleveled when doing a main quest as often main missions have a minimum level requirement. On the main map you will see areas that have a level specified below it. These are the areas you should be grinding at at that current level.By the time you reach level 56 you will have to find areas to grind based on your AP and DP. In the Resources section there will be a link to a site that can help you with grind locations.At level 56 you will get a quest to awaken your character. Do this as soon as possible as it opens up an entire new skill tree that you can either use instead of your original one or in conjunction with it.
By pressing K on your keyboard it will bring up the Skills menu. Here you can spend skill points to get new skills or upgrade old ones. I would recommend googling a guide on which moves your class will be using the most and invest your points into those until later on when you have enough for all of the skills.
Gear in BDO is what mainly influences your stats. I would recommend either buying or upgrading your gear while you play but DO NOT buy gear that is only one level ahead of your current gear(only until you reach PRI) as you will lose money. Rather wait until the AP/DP of the new gear is between 15-20 AP/DP greater than your old armour/weapons. In the early stages of the game accessories dont matter much but at around level 53 you should be aiming to get the Asula set, which you can get by grinding certain spots(you can check which areas drop them on the websites in the Resources section). If you want to upgrade an accessory, only do so if you have 3 of that item, two for the upgrade and one in case it fails and you need to use it. By the time your gear reaches PRI level you can start increasing one tier at a time until you reach TRI. This is the highest you should upgrade your gear before you get boss gear. There are many guides available when it comes to boss gear so I wont talk much about it but one VERY IMPORTANT thing is that you keep all of the memory fragments that you get from the begining of the game to restore max durability to your yellow tier weapons after upgrading them.
If you are planning to play often, find a guild to join. You can get lots of bonus silver and meet some really ncool people if you play in a guild. Some guilds have a level requirement while others do not but almost all of them require that you be an active player so if you are a casual player you may get kicked out.
I am mainly going to talk about the most important nodes (in my opinion) that you should be investing in early in the game. To invest in a node you must spend contribution points on that node and it must be connected to a city or any other node that you already control. I would recommend grabbing the cooking nodes (potatoes and wheat) around Heidel early on in the game in order to be able as you will be able to become self sufficient and feed your own workers instead of buying beer from the market. You can also sell the extra beer on the market and make a pretty good profit. I will link to a more in depth guide in the Resources section.
Here are a few sites that you may find useful when playing BDO(I am not affiliated with nor do I own any of these sites)
http://bddatabase.net (Information about every item/quest in the game plus a few useful calculators)
http://www.somethinglovely.net/bdo/ (Interactive map with information about areas, useful when trying to find uncharted areas or you just want to check something without being in game.)
https://grumpygreen.cricket/ (Great in-depth guides that will help you)
https://bdocodex.com (Similar to bdodatabase, basically interchangeable)
Thanks for reading, hope this helped you and I hope enjoy playing BDO!