Desert Oasis: A guide to getting started with Black Desert’s lifeskill system


For pretty much all of my MMO-gaming career, I avoided anything involving crafting, gathering, and cooking. If the problem can’t be solved with a weapon in hand, I stay out of it. But ever since I started taking Black Desert Online seriously, I soon found myself diving into the lifeskilling system. Beyond the grinding and PvP, Black Desert’s got a robust lifeskilling system that’s easy to get into, but it’s also deep enough for the hardcore crafter types.

Black Desert’s lifeskilling system boils down to making extra money while either grinding monsters or while the player’s AFK. But there’s more to it than that; it’s also a competition. There’s a leaderboard that keeps track of a player’s current lifeskill levels. Since there’s no cap on lifeskill levels, it’s a pretty cool feature. At this point, I’m not sure how anyone can really break into the scene, though; the top players have really high levels. But I’m pretty sure with just a little elbow grease, players will find themselves at least competing with the best of them.

Lifeskillers will be seeing this menu often!

Any of the lifeskills are easy to start. It’s as simple as buying the needed tool, animal, or vehicle, and starting up. A good place to start is fishing, which I’ve gone into great detail with in the past. That’s because it’s relatively cheap to begin fishing and a great way to earn some passive income. But if you’re in the mood to do something more active, there are always activities like gathering, and there are many different things to gather. From wood to blood to stones, this game has no shortage of materials to gather.

Making that cash

As in many other MMOs, the economy is player-driven. Supply levels are completely player-driven, so in demand items will be not only low in supply but high in price. Keep an eye on the marketboard, as the data provided can help players decided on what to gather next. Materials for boats have always had a healthy demand, and gathering the building materials is a great choice if you’re into making a whole bunch of money.

Because of the recent boss event armor event running until June, the demand for the special olive seeds have gone up, and the marketboard adjusts for it. Players who keep an eye on the trends will always have the materials on hand whenever they’re in demand.

The shai class is a great character to begin lifeskilling with, she starts the game with a higher gathering level.

Best practice is to make a separate character for life-skilling purposes. Your main character will most likely be out in the field grinding mobs, and time is money. Since teleportation canonically kills people in this game, the only other option is to walk or ride back to town. Time spent running is time spent not gathering or crafting. With that in mind, it’s also good to pick a home city. I personally keep my life-skiller in Velia; I like the scenery. Some players also really like Grana because of how close important NPCs are to each other. There’s really no way to go wrong with this choice; just pick one you enjoy the most.

I’ve been told a very profitable method is through the imperial delivery system. You take the role of a producer and create a box full of food or other materials that you submit to an NPC. Depending on players’ lifeskill level, they’ll have different boxes they can create. There’s a limit on what could be submitted, but it’s a great way to guarantee a daily income without even setting foot outside of town.

Mastery levels

Late in 2019, the NA servers received the lifeskill mastery update. These mastery levels give special bonuses to those who take the time to level them up. For example, the fishing mastery will increase the chances of catching orange-grade fish. These fish sell for quite a bit of cash, so there’s a natural increase of income. This pretty much goes for any mastery level.

The alchemy mastery increases your chances of creating an extra item of whatever you’re crafting at the moment. Imagine the extra money when this stat procs. One of the more important ones is the gathering and processing masteries. Gathering allows you to get more per gathering node while processing lets you mass produce items. Anyone with an eye for money and saving time can already see the value in improving these stats!

Dressing for success

There’s a single equipment slot for the gathering tools. Gathering without the tools will result in your character obtaining weeds or other unneeded materials, but depending on the quality of the tool, you’ll get better items. The best advice is to just start small by collecting materials for items you want to craft and then going from there.

I’ve been spending a lot of time cooking indoors!

There’s a variety of tools to use when you’re lifeskilling. There are axes to chop wood, butcher knives to harvest meat from animals, hoes for gathering from plants, fluid collectors for blood, and pickaxes to mine for minerals, to just name a few.

These items vary in rarity and quality. Those who are super serious about crafting will want to check out Manos gear. These items are meant to make players more powerful gatherers and crafters as they’re endgame items that add mastery points. When players get to the highest levels of crafting, these items are one of the only ways to earn enough experience to level up lifeskills in a reasonable time. These aren’t just single tools, either; these Manos items include a set of accessories and clothing as well. And they can also be enchanted! Just like combat gear, they’re leveled up through enchantment. They use special black gems instead of black stones, but it’s just the same thing with a different item. They can get expensive, but with these items, players will see a return almost immediately.

MMOs always benefit from a powerful crafting system. In the past year, Black Desert’s crafting system in particular has seen significant improvement. While I’m still not the type who enjoys chopping wood all day, money talks. If you’re tired of killing monsters all day, sometimes spending the day picking flowers can be just as profitable!

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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