Desert Nomad: Quality of life in the Black Desert

Hello friends, and welcome back to Desert Nomad. After last week’s in-depth look at Black Desert’s cash shop, I decided that this week I would continue the trend of demonstrating how much I like the game by complaining about it. Call it tough love if you like, but the fact of the matter is that, although I’ve been continuing to enjoy my time with Black Desert, it could stand to improve in more than a few ways.

I understand that it’s unrealistic to expect Daum to make any changes to the underlying mechanics of the game, and by no means do I expect it to do so. There are, however, a number of quality-of-life features that if added would both greatly improve the game for current players and remove some of the barriers that may be keeping some prospective players from taking the dive. So here, presented in no particular order, is my personal list of some of the quality of life changes Black Desert most desperately needs.

Localization

Although I’m certainly not enough of an idealist to expect Daum’s localization of the Korean version of Black Desert to be absolutely flawless, and so far I’ve found it more or less adequate, but there are some aspects of localization, particularly in regard to translation, that glaringly detract from the game experience. I’m not talking about the occasional bit of bad grammar or awkward phrasing in NPC dialogue and flavor text; while that may irk me from time to time, I don’t feel that it should be a priority.

What does need to be a priority, however, is making sure that quest objective text accurately reflects the actual quest objectives. I’ve noticed that the fishing quests are particularly egregious examples of this problem; the text on the quest tracker will inform you that you need to catch a certain variety of fish, but when you speak to the NPC to turn it in, it lists a completely different fish entirely. Another example from relatively early in the game is a particular quest in Velia that says the objective is to acquire a certain number of copper ore – five, if I remember correctly – but the NPC actually wants copper ingots. When you consider the fact that each copper ingot requires five melted copper shards, each of which requires five copper ore, what would otherwise be a quick lesson in resource-harvesting-101 becomes a serious time investment. This kind of translation mistake is frustrating even to the most patient of players, and it’s a huge turn-off to the less tolerant among us.

No empty slot

At this point, I feel that if I see the words “no empty slot” one more time, I’m going to tear my hair out in a fit of rage. This is the message that’s displayed when, predictably enough, you don’t have enough inventory slots available to complete whatever action you’re trying to take. It’s understandable in some situations, such as when you’re trying to turn in a quest and don’t have space for the reward, but in others it makes absolutely no sense. Why should I need to have an empty slot when I’m trying to sell items to a trade manager?

You’ll also get this message a lot when you’re turning in quests and one of the rewards is an item you already have a stack of in your inventory, which means that you’re going to have to exit the NPC dialogue and sell or destroy some items to create an empty slot that isn’t even going to be filled anyway. Double frustration points for when the NPC to whom you’re trying to turn in the quest is the only merchant within a ten-mile radius, meaning that you can’t access his or her shop until the quest is turned in, and therefore you can’t sell any items to clear up some space.

Map mishandling

In Black Desert, a number of important functions are accessible only from the world map. Notably, you have to open the map in order to manage your properties and assign tasks to your workers. But for some reason, there are situations in which the game simply will not allow you to open your map. The most frustrating culprits here are gathering and fishing. If you’re gathering items or fishing – or if you merely have a fishing rod equipped, for that matter – your access to the world map is restricted. This is especially frustrating because gathering and especially fishing both involve a great deal of downtime that would make the perfect opportunity to open up your map, fiddle with properties, and give orders to your workers, if only the game would allow you to do so.

Guild management

Since a couple of weeks ago when I opened the doors of the official Massively OP guild, our ranks have been growing rapidly and the number of managerial tasks required of me have increased, and let me tell you something: Black Desert does not make things easy for guild leaders.

For starters, there’s no slash-command to invite players to a guild, so the whole process is a bit tedious. First, I have to add the applicants in question to my friends list, then I have to ensure that we’re in the same channel, which is difficult because the devs didn’t see fit to allow you to see which channels your friends are in. Then, I have to either whisper them or invite them to a party so I can click their name in chat because there’s no option to invite someone to a guild from the friends list. And then once they’re in the guild, I can’t renew their contracts unless they’re in the same channel as I am, which is a pretty big pain in the ass when people are scattered across multiple channels.

Property management

This is probably more of a personal peeve than a strictly necessary addition, but it’s my article so it gets a spot on the list! Right now the only way to see which properties you’ve purchased in a given city and their contribution point investments, current function (e.g., workshop, residence), and so on is to open the city map and look at the property icons.

Determining which properties you’re currently renting is easy enough – rented properties are white, rentable properties are blue, and unrentable properties are grey – but determining their current functions is a bit more difficult. The housing icons are marked with even smaller icons that denote a given property’s current function, but they’re so small that they can be hard to see, and even if you’ve got eagle vision, it’s not going to do you much good unless you’ve got every single icon’s meaning memorized.

And that’s all of the information you’re going to get by simply looking at the map; to find out any other details about your properties, you’re going to have to click on them individually to bring up each property’s info panel. It would make my life, and the lives of many other players I’m sure, so much easier if there were a way to pull up a simple list that showed all of the properties in a city, their contribution point costs, current functions, and so on. Again, I don’t know if anyone besides me is clamoring for this feature, but as it stands, managing your properties – especially when you’ve rented out almost an entire city’s worth of them – can get very tedious very quickly, and I would welcome any tools that would help cut down on some of that tedium.

So there you have my current list of most-wanted quality-of-life features, but it’s by no means an exhaustive list, so as always, I welcome y’all to speak up in the comments to add your own. With any luck, the folks at Daum will keep them in mind if (and hopefully when) they decide to add some more tweaks to the game. I hope that, over time, the most pressing of them will be added so that this already great game can get even better.

Every other week, join Desert-Nomad-In-Residence Matt Daniel as he wanders the sprawling expanse of Black Desert to discover what secrets lurk beneath its enigmatic sands. Gather ’round the oasis as he figures out how to survive and flourish (or fail spectacularly) on his adventures.
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Xijit
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Xijit

Top right of the housing menu bree: it lets you sift through everything and will highlight the buildings that have what you are looking for.
(I just figured this out last night)

Xijit
Guest
Xijit

*groan* I just found the “search” function but the top right of the housing menu, and it works really well … Just figured I would pass this on since you seem to be on the same page.

solaralune
Guest
solaralune

Here’s one for you: Persistent loot windows. I just went to harvest some crops from my farm, which of course takes hours of waiting. Went through the motions, got the loot window – then was promptly hit by an enemy that happened to be in the area. Silly me thought I could back off and kill the enemy then grab my crops. Nope. That’s a shit ton of time wasted by me due to a simple mistake.

Tithian
Guest
Tithian

rottenrotny GW2 came with a 60 Euro price attached to it (at the time it launched), and with an expansion that also costs 60 Euros. BDO was as entirely F2P, nevermind that we had to pay for a box in the West. Different models completely.

alexjwillis
Guest
alexjwillis

I am looking around to find a “like” button to hit repeatedly for your Map and Empty Slot suggestions. Holy shit, these things bother me. The map thing is inexplicable — really — but the empty slot thing is cause for serious existential angst. It makes no conceivable sense.

DeadlyAccurate
Guest
DeadlyAccurate

ScottLeyes Mostly, I need a smaller UI but a larger font. Doesn’t have to be huge, but right now, if I type “hello” it looks like “he  o”.

ScottLeyes
Guest
ScottLeyes

DeadlyAccurate There’s a “Scale UI” slider, but i found it caused me even more problems (things running off the screen, etc). And it would reset at random, thought this MAY have been addressed in the latest patch.

AGx
Guest
AGx

ayatesart Thing is, for me anyway, I do enjoy those things. All of it is second fiddle to fighting, as it is in all games, but at some point you want other things to do and this game has plenty of other things to do. I don’t particularly enjoy just watching while my character chops a tree or stands there holding a fishing rod but I do enjoy playing the economy and earning money, figuring out the systems to maximize profits and so on. It’s not for everyone but there is certainly a type of person who enjoys that type of thing.

jaytrust
Guest
jaytrust

Heads up, if you put in a ticket.. they ARE NOT READING THEM.. they are just clicking solve without actually solving the issues or responding back!
If you have NOT bought the game I suggest you stay away…
I’m going to be making post like this all over the internet to warn people STAY AWAY from this game if you have ISSUES THEY WILL NOT EVEN address them and will just brush you off.
Some people will try to white knight and defend them.. but the truth is the truth issues from DAY 1 and all my tickets were marked SOLVED and they weren’t SOLVED or even ADDRESS!! BE WARNED this company sucks so far.. 
And to think I was actually planning on staying with this game forever.. having second thoughts now.. and will continue to try to get help, if they don’t respond back I will be playing this game a lot less and taking my money else where…

rottenrotny
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rottenrotny

rottenrotny That’s all I do pretty much as well. Current end-game and the community turn me off so much.

rottenrotny
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rottenrotny

Tithian rottenrotny And yet GW2 seems to do it just fine.
Ok Yeah sure and I have no problem with them selling outfits in the cash shop, but there should be 100s available for cheap. Like $1 for a helm $3 for a chest. but as it is there’s 3-4 outfits available for waaaaaaaaaay too much $. All in all a pretty dumb system.

wild_abyss
Guest
wild_abyss

rottenrotny  Look at WoW and how soooooo so many players sub to the game… not to do end game… not to PVP… not to do pet battles, but exclusively just so they can run old dungeons and raids for transmog gear.

[looks over shoulder] How… how did you know? Also I just cancelled but for months before this is all I’ve done.

Velsin
Guest
Velsin

Styopa I had the same 1st horst taming experience.  I refuse to research things like this before I do it as it spoils the satisfaction of finding these things by yourself, so I eventually found my 1st wild horse herd and promptly used up 10 lassos before I figured out the little non-obvious UI differences from other mini-games which were misleading me to pressing the buttons at the wrong time.
So I ran back to town, bought 30 more lassos and 15 mins later I had 3 new horses in my stable (only needed 4 lassos from the 30 in the end, but better safe than sorry!).  Now I just need to figure out the whole horse skill business – the “Hope” button has me mystified at the moment, but am hoping it becomes clear as I play more.  Then horse breeding next!  So much to do, so little time..

Tithian
Guest
Tithian

Kanbe  “The. Light. Will. Save. The. World”. *Beep* *Boop*
Considering that in the same cutscene it was implied that imminent Doom was coming, the whole thing was just cringe-worthy. The droids in Star Wars have more emotions.

Velsin
Guest
Velsin

ayatesart I wouldn’t call it grindy, it’s just a different kind of game from your typical MMO in many ways.  If you like games like Anno or The Guild etc, games which focus on building, gathering, trading etc from a macro perspective rather than a 1st person perspective, then I think you’ll find a lot in common with BDO.

Velsin
Guest
Velsin

Raging Berserker The cooking UI is my biggest frustration.  You get a nice list on the right showing the last 10 or so combinations of ingredients you mixed up.  But they give you no way to “Re-use this combination”, so every time I go to cook, I have to add the stacks manually.  Also you’re off at the shop to buy the basics like Salt/Water etc and you forget the quantities you need.  F2 gives a list of the items you need per recipe, but not the quantities of recipes you know…. Sooooo frustrating

Velsin
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Velsin

GeneMartin2 So far what I keep finding is that the “tutorials” are actually a quest to do something new.  But obviously the challenge is that you keep wanting to do a thing long before you reach the quest which walks you through the process of doing it.  Given there are hundreds of quests, some of which are linked in a non obvious way to the completion of something elsewhere, or possibly to my level at some skill, I keep stumbling over a new quest in some place I went through days ago which teaches me how to do something I’d previously struggled with.
As you say, the lack of the game being glaringly obvious and easy is both frustrating and somehow incredibly rewarding.

n3rdbomb3r
Guest
n3rdbomb3r

DeadlyAccurate Ugh yes. a font size selector would rule. Also the Chatbox opacity slider might as well be nonexistant, and it also resets on death (I know this is a known bug, but still).

Kanbe
Guest
Kanbe

I’m going to try to remember to friend you when I get home but incase I forget you can add me as well, Kanbe Toko. I can invite you

Kanbe
Guest
Kanbe

About opening hundreds of houses to find a refinery let me help you on that one. Open up you map and click on the city you want to buy a house in. Then in the upper right hand corner there are dropdown filters that let you choose a building type and level. The game will then point them on within that city.

Kanbe
Guest
Kanbe

Its been said in the comments at least once and I’d be surprised if a few others didnt bring it up as well so I figure Matt’s seen that by now. Though that filter doesn’t quite line up with what’s in the article. The filter is really only useful to find new buildings for purchase but doesnt really help at all with seeing what you own.

Kanbe
Guest
Kanbe

Ya voice overs are not doing this game any favors. It really bugs when there’s actually something that should be dramatic going on but the voices have about as much emotion as I do at 6am asking my fiancee to pass the cereal.

Veldan
Guest
Veldan

McSleaz to use processing on one of them but not the other

Veldan
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Veldan

squidgod2000
I didn’t really do dailies, it’s normal quests I’m annoyed by. Most do
let you turn in your items right away, yes, but that only completes
objective 2 out of 2, objective 1 being to gather those items. 
Tithian Yes, some do let you complete them right away, but from all the quests I did in Olvia / Velia / Heidel and surroundings, those were very few.

Knowledge based quests do of course instantly complete if you meet the objective… after all, you can only discover knowledge once, so otherwise those quests would be unfinishable.

Tithian
Guest
Tithian

Nichpoiuy You’ve either played the game until level 20, or you’re just throwing bait, but whatever.
Mob AI varies a lot as you level up, with some being more aggressive than others. Things falling over in 2 hits? Not the case when you get higher levels, and some start throwing their own CC back. Areas at 50+ hurt a lot even with gear. And your PvP example is so far off, that it’s laughable.
Pretty poor effort, 1/10 needs more research to be believable.

Tithian
Guest
Tithian

rottenrotny This is strictly due to the business model. WoW is subscription only, so keeping you around for months to grind for your outfit translates to more money for them. BDO was developed with Free to Play in mind, meaning that they had to put cosmetics in the shop, because anything else would be deemed P2W. They have to make money somehow. 
Getting more players to play dress-up while not spending a dime, while it boosts population, is a cost by itself and in a non-instanced game also potentially detrimental to the experience of the paying customers. So the argument that “you could have 50.000 more players!” doesn’t really fly if your net profits suffered because of it.

Bonnenuit
Guest
Bonnenuit

ayatesart McSleaz I’m in the same boat — 12 days of play time now, and I’m only 25 and moving slowly, but redoing dailies that I thought were fun, learning new stuff, and helping out with guild quests. Every once in a while, I get antsy and go do some combat missions to get a few more levels, then back to managing trade, fishing, gathering, and telling my workers what to do.

I never expected to like this game, but putting a game as big and beautiful as this, with fun combat, behind a paywall about half that of new single player games — well, count me in.

Do I like cash shops? No. Do I think an outfit is worth $30+? Absolutely no. But…

Would I be happy paying a sub every month for this game? Yes. So I can justify spending in the cash shop if I need to (I haven’t yet, but I imagine I’ll pick up a few things after a few months.)

Great game, and I honestly think Daum’s doing a respectable job with the localization.

Tithian
Guest
Tithian

squidgod2000 There’s a top-down view?   o.O

Tithian
Guest
Tithian

The translation is… eh… ok?
The voice overs in the cutscenes though…. wow, so terrible. At first they were OK, with the actors actually giving a shit. But in the final quests…. ughhhhhh…. It was like they were doing unpaid overtime and just wanted to get it over with and go home. If they told me they actually asked the janitor to say some lines while he was sweeping the floor, then yeah I’d totally buy it.
PS. The final boss was a joke, sadly.

Tithian
Guest
Tithian

melissaheather I resisted the urge to buy any inventory when I started, but damn I was close. Especially early on, inventory management is a major pain.
Thankfully I’m one of those weirdos that does all the quests he finds, so now I have something like 9 rows unlocks, with at least 2 of them never being used. But it’s weird seein some streamers having 4-5 rows of inventory only, I guess they did group grinds to 50.

Tithian
Guest
Tithian

ayatesart No offense, but you clearly haven’t looked around enough. I’ve gone through the mainstory line in the game and there is still new lore that I haven’t found yet. There is even a entire section in the Knowledge tab for Theology.
Press H and see what you’ve uncovered about the lore of the world and the characters so far. If you expect to just walk into a city and get a full exposition about the characters and setting, then yeah you won’t be getting that any time soon.

Kililin
Guest
Kililin

You can open the map while fishing:
/reloadui
M to open map in the short time the ui freezes for the reload
–> loads the ui with map opened + fishing continues

Good Workaround and it shows that it would only be a small change to implement it.

Tithian
Guest
Tithian

Veldan Noble_Einherjar Some quests actually work if you’ve done the work retroactively, including some of the”bring me X items” quests.
“I want you to go explore X, or talk to Y… oh you’ve done that already, cool here’s your reward”.

Drunk3nShaman
Guest
Drunk3nShaman

How about a support team and customer service that actually exists?
I have had a support ticket in with them since the 3rd…. it’s now the 24th and other then the canned response on the 3rd and on the 15th they have yet to reply to me.

I have never had any company take more then 96 hours to respond. and the average is 48 to 72 even on other game launches.

I thought Trion was bad but at least they got back to you rather quickly to tell you they are going to F you….Daum just gives no fucks.

So after 20 days of waiting I disputed the charge with my bank and have my money back….and my account is still open, even though i don’t play……still waiting on them……waiting……playing the Division and waiting…..

MadMadChuck
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MadMadChuck

Leilonii ScottLeyes innowayjake Probably changing channels, too.

DeadlyAccurate
Guest
DeadlyAccurate

I got to eavesdrop on NPCs! That made my day. Now I’m going to go around an eavesdrop on everybody I can.

OK, so another peeve: I need a bigger font. The “L” is actually invisible on my screen, it’s so small. I find trying to read the quests to be quite difficult.

DasBenty
Guest
DasBenty

Your articles got me to buy the game, waiting on the download now. Sounds like the game I’ve been waiting for since I stopped playing WoW.  GW2 and SWTOR just aren’t doing it for me, just want something I can wander in and do random things and get lost for awhile

GeneMartin2
Guest
GeneMartin2

Some stuff is already there, but there are so many systems and UI’s, it’s hard to find everything or know where they are all at. You could have tutorials last for days to discover everything in this game. That’s one of my largest complaints and simultaneously what I love most about this game.

GeneMartin2
Guest
GeneMartin2

Raging Berserker Veldan Someone should let the author of the article know this. breetoplay

arktourosx
Guest
arktourosx

Noble_Einherjar The idea is, for better or worse, to ensure you can actually make said meat pies and didn’t just flash your cash at the auction house for some paid energy regen.

Raging Berserker
Guest
Raging Berserker

Most of your QoL gripes are 100% valid.  The map lockout while fishing is especially bad when you’re growing crops and can’t check to see if they have gotten blight or weeds, which drastically increases the grow timer.

From my observations in crafting, a couple tedious elements I’ve run into is with the processing(L). Once you hit the process button the inventory and process windows close, which is especially annoying when you are trying to dry 20+ fish.  The UI also doesn’t remember the last process you used.  So you are essentially repeating L + Process Button you need + Right click the item + Start button + I(inventory), to see how many you made(1-3) and repeat the process if you have to dry fish or grind enhancment gems into black stone powder.

Another problem is you can’t choose how many of item you want to stop processing at when repeating a process automatically.  Since you have a chance to process 1-3 items in a given process you have to monitor how many you are making and then move to cancel what you are doing, so you don’t waste some of your raw resources.  Bank and inventory space is a premium in this game and you can’t keep all of the processed items in stock. 
Some of these same issues are present in cooking and alchemy as well, where you craft the finished product yourself.

Xijit
Guest
Xijit

I use it, our guild is not a “bad” guild, and every time I put up an in-game recruitment “spam” I get 4 or 5 applicants that want to join … Typically two or three of them end up in my friends list for a day because they quit an abusive guild to join mine and have to sit out the 24 hour cool down.
If I wanted to I could open up the guild to the full 100 slots and have no problem filling them through in game “spam” alone … Instead I put up maybe one or two ads a week as I fliter out people going inactive and keep the guild small.

Leilonii
Guest
Leilonii

ScottLeyes “items that I have to save somewhere so I can turn them in for silver to a node that is 10+ levels higher than where my character is currently at”

This I think is just you playing the game differently than intended. The developers want people to hit 50 fast (which is why it’s so incredibly easy to do in KR) and then dip your foot into all of the game’s systems all at once. You’re not supposed to avoid leveling and just sit in town all day crafting. You can choose to do that, but then you run into issues when the game assumes you’re 50+ and somewhat geared with a fast enough horse to go running around the entire game map doing different things in different locations.

Leilonii
Guest
Leilonii

Xijit We have forums for that like every other game. Nobody likes guild chat spam anyway and only bad guilds do it.

Leilonii
Guest
Leilonii

Esoteric Coyote Leilonii Yea but the exchange doesn’t happen immediately which is where the problem lies. The game checks to see if you have enough weight for the silver first before it will take your items. It makes sense to me. It doesn’t know how much you will have in the future once you get rid of the items, it can only go based on what your bag looks like right now.

Leilonii
Guest
Leilonii

organiclockwork RHDS I think things like this are a difference in game design philosophy. Westerners are used to having every single detail about every little thing in game at our fingertips, and if a game doesn’t have it somebody creates an addon for it. Korean’s don’t design their games that way and their userbase doesn’t seem to mind. The games tend to show less information in a number of areas and they don’t have addons at all. So I think the developers would probably be surprised to hear a suggestion like this. I’ll be honest even I didn’t feel like I needed anything else from the map (the map is almost too much stuff sometimes). I can see after your explanation how it would be useful, but I can’t blame the devs for not having it considering where they’re coming from.

Leilonii
Guest
Leilonii

ScottLeyes innowayjake It should be after logging in. I believe that’s the only time you have to wait.

paragonlostinspace
Guest
paragonlostinspace

Nichpoiuy Matches my wife’s Mini Cooper. heh.

paragonlostinspace
Guest
paragonlostinspace

melissaheather I found myself doing this in ESO the other day because I like to pick up everything and hold onto it until I figure out if I need it or not while learning a new game mechanics system. Haven’t found a shared storage yet or locker/vault so I ended up snagging more inventory slots.

squidgod2000
Guest
squidgod2000

Xijit
My irritation is with having to hunt through every building to find the crafting station I need.

Or every town/city.

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