desert nomad

Desert Nomad is a Black Desert column by Matt Daniel. [Follow this column’s RSS feed]

Desert Nomad: Massively OP's guide to Black Desert's siege warfare

Hello friends, and welcome back to Desert Nomad. This week is a pretty big one for Black Desert, as I’m sure you’re all aware. At some point this week, the game is getting the siege patch -- as of today, the update has been delayed until Friday. For players who are inclined toward PvP, this update is a major one, as it will finally allow guilds to duke it out for control of nodes and entire continents in hopes of earning the bragging rights (and not to mention the sweet, sweet tax money) that comes with victory.

In preparation for the grand premiere of Node and Conquest Wars, Daum released a handy-dandy manual on Siege Warfare 101 to prep players on how everything’s gonna work. If you’ve taken a look at it, however, you may have noticed that it’s not exactly a quick and easy read; there’s a lot of information to take in, but it’s all sort of scattered throughout the manual. So today, I’d like to try to break down the basic mechanics of Node and Conquest Wars for more convenient digestion.

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Desert Nomad: Immersion, atmosphere, and roleplaying in Black Desert

Hello friends, and welcome back to Desert Nomad, your more or less biweekly source of ramblings that are almost guaranteed to be at least tangentially related to Black Desert. As is custom around these parts, since I spent last week’s column pretty much roundly criticizing the game, I’d like to swing the emotional pendulum back in the other direction this week by discussing something that is near and dear to my heart: roleplaying.

Specifically, I’d like to talk about roleplaying in Black Desert – surprise, right? I know that I spend a lot of time, both in this column and in other pieces I’ve written, talking about the finer details of the games I cover – mechanics, game systems, and the like. While those underlying nuts and bolts have a lot to do with whether or not I find a game fun from the start, once I’ve hit max level, geared up, seen the sights and so on, there has to be a reason for me to keep logging in every day. For me, that reason isn’t the daily quests, the raids, or the PvP -- it’s the roleplay.

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Desert Nomad: The misplaced individuality of Black Desert

Hello, friends, and welcome back at long last to another installment of Desert Nomad. I'm very sorry to have kept you all waiting during my impromptu sabbatical, and if it's any consolation, the vast majority of it was spent dealing with aggro from the dread fiend known as Real Life. But I survived with my sanity more or less intact, and I'm once again ready to recklessly abandon the real world in favor of one in which most of my problems can be solved by swinging a sword, pickaxe, or other suitable implement at them.

Once I had recovered from dodging the barrage of curveballs that reality had so generously thrown at me, I immediately set to work trawling Black Desert's forums and subreddit to see what had gotten the community abuzz during my absence. Needless to say, I had a lot of catching up to do. The Mediah content update went live, granting players access to a big new chunk of the world, which is accompanied by oodles of new quests, and opening up the Crimson Battlefield 40-vs-40 PvP deathmatch. Unfortunately, however, I can't write about that yet on account of the fact that I have experienced none of it because of another major content update I missed: The classes I'd been waiting for, Blader and Plum, made their debuts under the new names of Musa and Maehwa, and since my return to the game, every iota of my attention has been focused solely on catching my dashing new Blader up to my former Warrior main.

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Desert Nomad: Avoiding overload in Black Desert

Hello, fellow Black Desert wanderers, and welcome back to another week’s installment of Desert Nomad. If you’ve been reading the column regularly, you may have noticed that the last couple of columns have been a bit— well, I say “critical,” but I’m sure there are some that would choose to say “negative.” It’s all out of love for the game, of course, but this week I decided to put my objections on the backburner and instead talk a little bit about something that I’ve recently heard mentioned quite frequently by prospective Black Desert players: sensory overload.

It has to be the most common thing that I’ve heard from my friends who have tried (and in many instances failed) to get into Black Desert, and from what I’ve heard from guildmates and other players in the game, it’s not unique to my social circle alone. I can totally understand why many people would feel that way when logging into the game for the first (or second, or third…) time, and I have to admit that I’ve felt that way myself from time to time. In this column, though, I’d like to share a few tips – some practical, some mental – that I hope will help at least some of those would-be players surmount their trepidation and take the plunge into the game.

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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.

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Desert Nomad: Diving deep into Black Desert's cash shop

Hello, friends, and welcome back to Desert Nomad. This week, I'd like to take the opportunity to talk about a subject that has been the focus of much debate in the wake of Black Desert's official launch: the cash shop. There's been more than a little bit of controversy surrounding the implementation of the cash shop in Black Desert, from the relatively extravagant prices of costumes and pets to the advantages conferred by certain cash-shop-exclusive items, most recently the ghillie suit.

Naturally, the debate has been rather impassioned on both sides, with plenty of polemical rhetoric streaming from each. Some players are adamant that Daum is just another avarice-driven company willing to stoop as low as is necessary to separate players from their hard-earned cash, while others hold steadfast to the argument that the cash shop is fine and that Daum is simply trying to turn a profit. In matters like this, however, I think that the truth tends to lie somewhere between the two extremes. The argument is, admittedly, an ultimately subjective one, as every player has his or her own parameters that determine when a game crosses the line into pay-to-win territory, I hope that by taking a closer look at the items on offer in Black Desert's cash shop, we can at least shed some light on the points of contention and, with any luck, work toward figuring out some solutions to the issues that may prove problematic in the future.

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Desert Nomad: How to win friends and influence NPCs in Black Desert

Welcome back, fellow Desert Nomads. I don't know about y'all, but since last week's column (and the official launch of Black Desert), I've spent almost every last iota of my spare time immersing myself in the game and exploring its many labyrinthine pathways into which time seems to vanish without notice. There's no denying that Black Desert is a complex (and sometimes obtuse) game, and there are many systems that could use some explication. None of them, however, has caused the same degree of befuddlement that I've seen wrought by the Amity system, which allows players to make friends with the game's many NPCs for fun and profit. This week, I've decided to take it upon myself to try and demystify some of the system's more arcane mechanics, which is as much for my benefit as anyone else's.

But before we begin, here's a shameless plug: I'm happy to announce that our official Black Desert guild, which I've creatively named Massively_OP, is now up-and-running on the Orwen server, and the proverbial gates are wide open for any and all who wish to join us. If you'd like to join, you can add me in-game (my family name is "Eloquin"), poke me on Twitter (@Matt_DanielMVOP), or join the guild's Discord channel using this link, which will hopefully work. Now then, enough appetizers; let's move on with the main course.

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Desert Nomad: The Nomad's guide to Black Desert

Hello friends, and welcome to a new installment of Choose My Adv-- HA HA, PSYCH! This puppet's strings have been cut, suckers! No longer will I take your orders, blindly charging headlong into whatever folly you command, allowed respite only once your twisted fancies have been sated and my will brok-- Wait, what? I still have to do that, too? Ahem. Heh, just kidding, everyone! Forget everything you just read. Done? OK, great! Let's try this again. Hello, friends, and welcome to the premiere issue of my shiny new column, Desert Nomad. Isn't it fancy?

Each week (or every other week depending on the demands of Choose My Adventure, which it turns out I am both contractually obligated and bound by a blood oath to continue until the end of days), I'll be delving into the world of Black Desert. I'm super excited to finally have the opportunity to take a break from jumping between games each month and actually commit myself to exploring the many facets of this shiny new sandbox. Since Black Desert will technically still be one day away from its official launch when this is published, I figured that it would be fitting to devote this inaugural column to laying down some tips for all the new players who will be flooding the servers when the folks at Daum swing wide the gates tomorrow. So come along, fellow Nomads, and let's wander for a while. As always, I promise that I will do my best to make it informative, and if not that, then at least entertaining.

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