Reddit erupts over Black Desert backtracking on ‘pay-to-win’ Valks’ Cry items

    
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Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies.
If you’ve somehow come all this way in Black Desert’s western run without believing there’s even a teensy bit of pay-to-win in the game, this week’s dev announcement might be testing your faith.

We’re talking, of course, about an Aion-style enhancement system that employs the Valks’ Cry and Cron Stone items. Essentially, you use these cash shop trinkets to boost your chances of success when upgrading your own gear. Being able to directly (and indirectly) buy such items on the cash shop (or disenchant them from cash shop costumes), the argument goes, gives you a measurable financial advantage in-game over other players.

Two years ago Kakao said Valks’ Cry had been “specifically removed” from the western version of the game “to prevent the advantages it would offer” – indeed, the studio said at the time, “It has never been a part of our version and has no place in our version.” That’s changing now, as Pearl Abyss and Kakao say that they’ve tweaked the system, and yes, players will also be able to pick up equivalents through in-game means (questing and login rewards). But of course, those using the cash shop for them will have unlimited access.

“The original enhancement system was designed with a steep difficulty,” Black Desert’s devs say. “Valks’ Cry was initially added with the intention to help adventurers new to the unique enhancement systems of Black Desert Online. In a recent internal study, it was concluded that NA/EU players were far less likely to engage in enhancement than other serviced regions. We believe the introduction of Valks’ Cry will add to our ongoing efforts to lower the hurdles of enhancement.”

Reddit is currently duking it out across multiple threads, with some folks calling it pay-to-win, others not, and still others agreeing that it’s pay-to-win but not nearly as bad as other problems plaguing the game. Expect it live next week regardless.

Source: Official site, Reddit. With thanks to Camron!
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Necromonger

Asian mmo’s and their promises about no P2W….

No wonder they all fail in the west.

Cela
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Cela

The sad part is even if they kept their promises they would have still failed in the west because all korean companies enjoy ignoring the entire community and do whatever the hell they want then complain when everyone quits the game. (ncsoft does this alot) i’ve seen every korean company do this, it’s best to disregard asian games completely ~_~

K38FishTacos
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K38FishTacos

Never really got into this game because I was always hesitant to commit and find out I’d have to start paying more than a sub every month. After reading this, I just freed up 40 gigs on my computer.

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Koshelkin

If they would finally introduce some meaningful PvE and let us do all afk activities offline I’d forgive them that. I mean there’s still the thing that you can’t do PvP without investing a serious amount of time into enhancement which would be alleviated with great PvE.

Well…. whatever. I feel like I’m beating a dead horse. I reinstalled the game for the “Remaster” oogled the graphics and appreciated the incredible combat and then I threw it off my hard-drive again. I don’t think anything will change.

BDO is about the short-term profit they bait with the inital excitement which ends at the higher levels when you realize that you all you can do is grinding, afking crafts and getting killed by people or kill people which put more respectively less time than you into the game.

Cela
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Cela

Pearl abyss has no idea what they’re doing the director is a clown and should be fired, the company has been ignoring the community (even their own country) we have been complaining about the balance and meaningful content but they took a shortcut, a fake update to bait people into playing again.. korean companies disappoint me further every day, i’m surprised people still enjoy / don’t realize this abusive relationship..

They’re ready to milk off even more people with the future mobile release, i can’t wait till it’s live in the west to see more p2w videos :D

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wratts

Not the direction that I wanted it to go, but probably won’t impact my enjoyment of the game that much. I’ve never liked the node-wars PVP, and I rarely grind and risk being attacked. Especially now with the scarecrow training.

I fish, and trade, and have bought myself to roughly soft-cap with lifeskill earned silver. I can xp up and do virtually all of the PVE content no problem. If for some reason there are players who want to drop huge bank into the game so that they get gear that’s 10-20% better so they can win at node wars . . . meh. Seems like an unwise choice, but I’ll still just be fishing and do the next area of quests when they come out

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Sorenthaz

BDO has always been dancing around the P2W lines (with its Western release) since launch. Seems like every time folks get outraged by stuff I’m just sitting back here like, “well if you keep letting them take inches then of course stuff like this is bound to happen.”

Like BDO for all intents and purposes is another Korean grinder at its core, and Korean grinders revolve around RNG upgrades and tedium with ways to shortcut that by paying up $$$.

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wratts

Agree with you in general, but it’s a Korean grinder with a massive, beautifully realized (and well optimized) open world, and robust, integrated non-combat systems. At its core is the grind aspect, but I’m not aware of any other game that surrounds the grind with so much other quality “world” stuff

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Sorenthaz

Yeah and it’s the first MMO in a good while to produce a gorgeous open world that feels seamless while looking as good as it is.

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Arktouros

“well if you keep letting them take inches then of course stuff like this is bound to happen.”

I mean that’s wonderfully sanctimonious of you but no one has had any control of “letting” them do anything. Every time they introduce something new to the game there’s uncivil discussion, civil discussion, and people also quit the game. Every change there’s overwhelmingly negative feedback but that doesn’t mean anything when it falls on deaf ears.

The reality in these scenarios is they are calculated based on spending habits and people quitting, people no longer spending, and new people spending more is all mathed out. The outrage is calculated for as part of the equation and planned for. Any control you think players have today in gaming is an illusion as data and metrics have any action we could date accounted and prepared for.

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Yoshi Senpai

That was always the white knights and devs line in the sand for p2w.

GG BDO.

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Arktouros

Yea, actual P2W finally made it’s way into BDO. While there’s some buzz about Valk’s Cry, that’s really not the issue people are upset about. Kakao focused a large amount of it’s attention on Valk’s Cry but the reality is they’re not so bad. They specifically went out of the way to create new methods to acquire these in game rather than through the cash shop, so in some ways they deserve some props for that.

What the real outrage is over is the ability to melt costumes into Cron Stones. Cron Stones basically allow you to enchant safely without your items having a chance to degrade. So this means a person can buy costumes, melt them into cron stones, and then start doing enhancement attempts on high end enhances directly for power. Unlike other systems in game, there’s no limit to this. There’s just really no argument to defend the ability for someone to spend an unlimited amount of RL money for an unlimited amount of wealth in game.

While there will, certainly, be a fairly limited amount of people willing to drop the tens of thousands of dollars into the game to achieve this the fact that they’re willing to implement such a system at all is mostly disappointing after holding out for so long. Like this doesn’t surprise anyone. We all have seen how the game works in every other region. However them saying:

it was concluded that NA/EU players were far less likely to engage in enhancement

And their answer was sell us costumes that we can melt into cron stones so we enhance more is unbelievably tone deaf to what the real issues with that was.

mystwen
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mystwen

You have always been able to buy Cron Stones from the Blacksmiths in game. The are 1 million each, which is a bit expensive, yes, but at least you don’t have to put in a pre-order in the Marketplace like Memory Fragments.

And those costumes are very expensive cash shop items. No way I’m going that route.

I thought the funny part of their message was that we can now gear up more and join Node Wars. HAHAHA. No thank you. I will gear up more to quest in higher areas! Just because you have PvP, doesn’t mean I have to engage in it. But thanks for the help with gear, anyway.

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Arktouros

You can buy Cron Stones from the blacksmith, but when you need 1300ish or so for a PEN attempt that’s over a billion per attempt via cron stones. It’s really not a viable route without a massive source of income. In the current system the only way to really earn that level of silver is to earn it in game doing the game’s various activities. In the new system simply paying for it will be available. While, realistically, very few people will ever actually whale that hard the fact that it’s a possible option in game is disappointing.

A lot of the competitive audience for the game has exited over the years. From the initial P2W outcry back in 2016 to the server issues of 2017 and the renown system and class balance overhaul of 2018 they’ve lost a lot of their competitive audience. Competitive players are very sensitive to these kinds of issues and can easily go get their competitive fix elsewhere in other titles (LOL, DOTA2, PUBG, etc).

Personally I have no plans to quit, but I’m open to the idea of another game. I’m not going to go back and play a disaster like ESO or go bore myself for 3 months in WOW but my gaming budget is going to go elsewhere now. Where once I might have kept BDO going once I transition to newer games, at this point I’m more likely to drop it entirely.

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squid

Unlike other systems in game, there’s no limit to this.

Is there still a weekly cap on how many costumes you can sell on the marketplace?

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Ittybumpkin

10 is still the limit

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Arktouros

Yes, they specifically mention it’s 5 and it’ll remain 5 in their official post here. They are increasing the prices because melting them would add additional value now so you can make more money now for your 5 items a week.

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Mailvaltar

“We believe the introduction of Valks’ Cry will add to our ongoing efforts to lower the hurdles of enhancement.”

I was pretty indifferent about this until I read this turd. Yeah, right.
How about, if you really want to “lower the hurdles of enhancement”, you raise success chances across the board or even disable deleveling upon failure?

I can accept your being greedy (to a point). What I can’t accept is if you try to take me for an idiot.

Alomar
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Alomar

Loved this game’s graphics, animations, and combat…but nothing else. I’m convinced any and all Eastern mmo’s whose endgame focuses on rng will always have p2w. So much wasted potential.

Cela
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Cela

it’s always the greed that gets the best of them, on the bright side black desert mobile is making millions because the korean salary men have nothing to do other than spend 500k dollars to be on the ranking list on a phone game lmao!

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Fervor Bliss

Someone is upset on Reddit. YAWNS. Just wait 48 hours and it will be over.