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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