Desert Oasis: Discerning the best purchases in Black Desert’s cash shop

    
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I’ve always been someone who goes against the grain, and MMOs are no exception. Part of the reason I enjoy Black Desert so much is that it goes against the definition of what makes a good MMO. A super grindy, arguably pay-to-win title with RNG MMO is the antithesis of today’s most popular titles. And that’s exactly why I love it so much. The barrier to entry is ideological. Black Desert is a game for players who know exactly what they want and whom they want to be around.

Aside from the grind, I like how the game has a cash shop. For me, it’s easier to keep track of my entertainment budget. I’m prone to letting MMO subscriptions run, even during times when I’m not playing. It’s wasted money. A cash shop is different. I drop $100, and that lasts for a few months, and even if I do take a break, the premium currency is still there – I have more control of my money. Naturally, those experiences vary from person to person, but this monetization scheme works for me.

Black Desert has a pretty good cash shop in my opinion. It’s well stocked and easy to navigate. It’s updated weekly, and it’s got a nice balance of permanent and limited items. Most of all, I feel that there are items and cosmetics worth buying. It’s one of the better cash shops out there. It’s not perfect, though, and it sells items that could potentially waste your money. If you do decide to invest in Black Desert, you’ll want to know what to consider and what to pass on. In this edition of Desert Oasis, we’re going to look at a few items that really stand out.

Pets – but don’t go overboard

Of all the cash shop items in the game, the one thing that will probably need your investment is pets. Not only do they pick up items for you, but some of them provide specific stat bonuses that’ll be helpful in your journeys. You’ll be able to have a total of five pets out at any given time, so at the bare minimum, get at least five.

Before flying off the handle, though, do know that the game does give out free pets. I myself have never actually bought a pet, even though I think it’s worth it, but that’s because I have five pets that I got for free from various events. And earlier this month Pearl Abyss and Kakao just added three new pets quests, each rewarding players with a freebie. Count that up with the kuku pet you get from attendance rewards, and you can get a total of four. I got a fifth one just for participating in one of the studio streams.

Not having pets would essentially be a big loss to your income because picking up the items will be a waste of time for you. You can upgrade pets up to tier 4; the higher their tier, the faster they collect loot. To upgrade, you have to combine two pets of the same type, meaning you have to buy them. Since this is BDO, there’s RNG involved, meaning a failure chance. There’s a chance that combining two tier 2 pets will make another tier 2 pet. I personally recommend just upgrading pets to tier 3, since the time reduction between tier 3 and 4 doesn’t change.

Of all the items in the cash shop, this is the one I like the least. If I want a tier 3 or 4 pet, I could be paying closer to $70 per pet… and I’m being optimistic. It’s a hidden cost, but if you’ve been playing for a while, it’s worth investing. The pets are account-bound too, so all your characters get the benefit.

Artisan memories – if you’re bent on enchanting to TET or PEN

I don’t consider this a required purchase, but if your goal is to enchant and save on memory fragments, then this might be on your shopping list. An artisan memory quadruples the power of your memory fragments. Memory fragments are used to repair boss gear, so you have a choice: You can farm 400 memory fragments or just get 100 memory fragments and buy 100 of these for $40. Others see this as a waste; they see it as paying more money to do more RNG.

Whatever your stance is, the item’s there to help. But do keep in mind that many players enchant without the these memories, so it’s more of a convenience item than a required pay-to-win item.

Inventory and weight – just buy what you need

It grinds my gears that this game caps your gear with both weight and and space. But what you really need honestly depends from character to character. Lifeskillers should maximize both weight and inventory – the more the better. Since I primarily grind in this game, I have 95 slots and can carry up to 1400 weight on my Tamer. She’s in a pretty good spot, so I don’t really buy any weight. If a sale comes along, I’ll purchase some if I have to. But before you purchase, do the main quest too: There are free inventory slots as quest rewards!

The $49 tent – a good way to treat yo’ self

The tent is not absolutely necessary, especially since you can buy temporary versions from NPCs throughout the game. The tent is for the person who really want to maximize her grind time and inventory slots. The tent lets you buy potions, provides a 16-slot storage with a maximum 200 weight, allows you to make repairs, and functions as a way to mark your grindspot. It’s not totally a massive dealbreaker, but on a day when you want to really treat yourself to some nice e-items, it’s a good item to get. I remember buying it as an early Christmas gift for myself.

The Value Pack – but only if you’re going to be playing heavily

The value pack is Black Desert’s “subscription” pack. It provides 16 extra inventory slots for all your characters and your storage; a 10% boost to combat, skills, lifeskill, and mount experience; the ability to invest in nodes without physically being there; and 30% more more money collected with every marketboard sale. Aside from those conveniences, you have unlimited use of all the dyes and character recustomization. It’s a pretty good deal. This would all be a waste of money if you’re not actually using it, though. It’s a $15 purchase, and unless I know I’ll be logging on almost every day for the next 30 days, I don’t buy it.

I know I left out quite a few items, like the maids, the costumes, and the outfits, and I’ll get to them in a future column too!  But don’t hesitate to chime in on the other items on the comments for now.

The Great Valencian Black Desert is a dangerous place, but thankfully there’s always a chance for respite. Join Massively OP’s Carlo Lacsina every other week for just that in Desert Oasis, our Black Desert column! And don’t worry; he promises he won’t PK you. Got questions or comments? Please don’t hesitate to send a message!

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3dom

Author forgot the most important part: fancy underwear. But actually – fishing suit.

Also it should be mentioned how there are multiple quests for pets now (2?)

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Arktouros

I believe he did mention it. There are 3 quests for pets now for free. They also regularly give away a Kuku bird for new/returning adventurers as well and I believe in large guilds attendance rewards? Sometimes they give others.

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Arktouros

I gotta say I disagree about other MMOs not being grindy or RNG based, they’re just grindy and RNG heavy in other ways. For example I remember one time going back to ESO on a break from BDO (letting it AFK fish in the background) and it was pretty miserable. I was grinding the same dungeon over and over for a set/items with proper traits on it and it came out to something like a 0.33% chance of getting the right Item/Trait combination. Even after the trait changes the chance of getting that item was in the 3% range which is little more than your average PEN chance.

The difference in BDO is you can acquire the base items pretty easily, however making them into a useful state is RNG heavy where as in other games just acquiring the gear is RNG heavy but is usable immediately.

Otherwise as for the Cash shop I for the most part agree. There’s a ton of older info out there like “You must spend $300 minimum on the game” but a lot of changes have been done to minimize it. Things like grind spot loot weight being reduced or the fact they made it so you can throw away lower grade of fishes means you don’t need as much inventory. My main grinder doesn’t really use much inventory past the initial amount given by the game via quests and a Value Pack.

Generally speaking I recommend people pick the game’s $50 game package on sale for $25 when they run a Steam/Website sale. This gives them 1 pet, plus the 3 from in game, plus the 1 for attendance so there’s 5 pets. Also gives you 2 months of value pack to see if you like the game over the next 30 days. If you do, great. If not, you’re out $25 for 60 days worth of game time which isn’t bad all things considered.

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Erick Ely

I’m usually in the camp of “if it’s even a little p2w I’m completely out” and this game for some reason I have a soft spot for. I bought it for $5 and from levels 0-50 you really don’t need anything from the cash shop. Even in the lower levels there’s such a massive amount of content that you could get lost exploring. So many systems aside from value packs (which you’re given throughout leveling anyways) you really shouldn’t be spending money until you realize what you want to do. I spent a ton of time questing and by the time I hit 50 I had maybe 50ish hours into the game, so I spent some money in the cash shop. In the 2ish years I’ve played BDO i’ve spent maybe $60 (maybe three months of serious play) and it’s been absolutely worth every penny. I’m not the most competitive player but it’s a blast of a game and even without cash shop items you really get items at a pretty rapid clip and after getting two or three pets from guild and loyalty stuff I never really felt like I had to pay to get the upper hand, though I’m aware it will speed up your progression. Progression is such a vague concept in this game anyways.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

I’d like to see them make Training not be p2w. Only cosmetics for horse related stuff would be a nice change. Also, the camo sets need to be sellable on the market. Just too many things on the edge or just outright p2w for my tastes.

I do agree that they have a great cash shop in terms of cosmetics and quality though.