Massive Black Desert nerfs prompt tamer players to action through a letter writing campaign

    
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As we’ve previously covered, Black Desert was updated with the PvP changed originally touted during the Heidel Ball last month. Tamer players (including me) were not happy seeing a whopping 12.5% decrease in their damage, and the uproar has been loud indeed.

In fact, it’s prompted the leaders of the Tamer Discord (yes, this exists) to set up a campaign to agitate that Pearl Abyss roll it all back. They’re encouraging all BDO players, Tamer mains or not, to send a letter via the game’s support ticket system, which we have to say is one of the more benign ways players could be going about a protest here. The main goal isn’t to yell “fix Tamer!” as loudly as possible but rather to create a dialogue between the game developers and playerbase.

One of the key promises Pearl Abyss made during the recent Heidel Ball event was that players will have more voice regarding balance changes. Apparently, this’ll be the community’s first big opportunity to test whether the developers will make good on this promise and start the dialogue.

Players interested in joining the letter-writing campaign can hop on the tamer discord and use the ticket template provided.

Source: Discord

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Schlag Sweetleaf

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all work and no dps.jpg
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Dankey Kang

Poor Tamer. She’s always had a reputation for being the hot-garbage class and now they’re just kicking her while she’s down, again…

Covynant001
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Covynant001

Well, you could join the letter writing campaign, or show some real displeasure by not buying anything or even… Not playing their game.

Radical ideas I know ….

Apart_Garlic_550
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Apart_Garlic_550

“Don’t like it? Don’t play, scrub.” is never the answer as it solves nothing and, frankly, is the lowest of low-brow responses.

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Java Jawa

okay . . . .

Apart_Garlic_550
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Apart_Garlic_550

Ironic avatar checks out.

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Arktouros

As they stated at the Heidel Ball they will be listening to the Korean players voices and seeking their counsel when it comes to class balance.

Every other region for them is basically just a cash farm they invested in some bad translation for and in the case of NA/EU they use Kakao as a whipping boy to take our abuse and toxicity we pour out in ample measure towards both companies. Kakao has observably ramped down support over the last few years with tickets taking longer, inconsistent enforcement of policies/exploits, and basically just ignoring any feedback.

There hasn’t been a single significant change for any region outside of KR since the game launch. The only way you can possibly see change is to get KR players to also bitch about things and then they will roll it back. The fact they didn’t initially means they’re probably perfectly okay with this.

You can just buy some coup….oh wait they took those out to be “less predatory”…I guess you’ll just have to use their totally non predatory enhancement system and buy memory fragments and cron stones instead.

Apart_Garlic_550
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Apart_Garlic_550

Seems like a tactic to slowly push folks away from BDO so they either quit or move to RDO (or cdo or sdo, w/e)- win/win for them. Didn’t think they were that evil tho… guess I was wrong!

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Arktouros

In this case no.

The reason why tamer has no damage is because when they designed the game they designed all these silly class vs class buffs for each class. So like Wizards inherently did less damage to Warriors. Warriors inherently did more damage to Archers. So on and so forth.

So with the last patch they removed all that so they can balance things in the future without all these class specific modifiers in mind. They don’t have to worry if they buff X skill that suddenly it will absolutely destroy one class but be fine against everything else.

Unfortunately there are big winners and big losers with this change and in the case of Tamers it’s a big loss. Eventually PA will revisit classes and start to balance classes again but it’s really hit or miss when that will actually happen or how effective it will be.

There’s basically zero recourse for players in this scenario, especially now that they’ve removed the coupon swaps. They did this because people were accusing them of doing balance changes to encourage coupon swap sales and that “felt bad.” Instead players are currently screwed when they do wide sweeping changes like this and any investment into a particular class is basically wasted.

As for whether or not PA is evil or not, they are by far without a doubt the most predatory company in gaming. They are 200 IQ points ahead of the competition when it comes to “evil” game design.

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John Kiser

They are far and away less predatory than a lot of other games I’ve seen over the years, but do go on.

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Arktouros

You’re positively joking. First of all to establish I’m not just some random hater I had been playing Black Desert for roughly four years (launch till 4th anniversary). My account had 8675 family fame so I actively leveled/progressed my account and all the characters quite a bit.

Most of the game is heavily designed around the “unpleasant design” principle where you’re able to do things but most of them are better after spending money in the cash shop. For example swimming is excruciatingly slow unless you buy a cash shop costume to make it a more reasonable speed. Activities such as grinding had numerous artificial limitations built upon them with inventory space, weight, gear durability most of which they sell solutions to all those issues in the cash shop. They don’t serve any other purpose than to create those barriers and in fact when they removed some of them (such as removing weight from silver) the game was just better for it.

Many other aspects of the game are just straight up better when you spend money as well. This has caused a lot of accusations towards P2W but I don’t wholly agree with those. Good examples here are things like being able to buy worker lodgings or bank storage which enable you to free up your contribution for other things. Storage is immense in fact as often times 3 storage costs 1 CP on average in most major towns and many smaller towns (Trent, Keplan, etc) even if you invested hundreds of CP there couldn’t get the max like you can with the cash shop. Three additional worker lodging also in some of those smaller towns is immensely expensive CP wise. That CP can then be used instead for things like additional nodes (more resources) or farms (which with magical seeds are very profitable to farm Fruits with for very low time). There are other examples as well such as horse training which is entirely tied to the cash shop system for rerolling skills to get higher value horses. The chances of making a courser horse naturally are basically non-existent but it’s pretty easy to do with reroll coupons.

Then we come to the enhancement system. With the introduction of melting costumes for cron stones in late 2018 the entire system basically revolves around waiting to buy costumes from whales who sell them on the market to make enhancement attempts. Their enhancement system that causes you to fail and go backwards without cron stones making raw PEN attempts largely stupid by comparison because the value of the item you’re gaining is more than the average cost in crons however if you go backwards and fail that cost could baloon to be vastly higher than the end result. I experienced this back when TET was introduced to the game and my DUO/TRI failures balooned the cost to make my TET Sword to be higher than the end value of the item I could sell it for. This is before you consider side factors like the time it takes to failstack and streaks of bad luck where you can go out and grind a bunch of money, buy enhancement stuff (cash shop and in game) and fail and end up with backwards progress (I’ve personally had 2 friends quit because of this back in 2017).

I haven’t even gotten to RNG cash shop mechanics like fairy upgrades/resets for skills or the entire pet upgrading system where people can go hundreds of dollars and not end up with a T4 due to bad luck and this reply is already too long. They also just straight up started selling loot boxes (Not available in Belgium haha). Who could forget their multiple optional subscriptions they offer via Kama Blessing, Value Pack and Old Moon Book?

Again a lot of this comes back to unpleasant design. Can you play without things like Kama Blessing and Old Moon Book? Sure. However now when you want a Villa and you’re grinding down in Kamasylvia/Dreighan enjoy that 30 minute trip over to Valencia to pickup a Villa. Oh do you want the villa buffs but don’t wanna go 30 minutes to get the buffs? There’s a $50 tent for that. The cash shop options are just obviously, objectively superior in every way and it’s designed to prey upon that nature.

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Arktouros

Oh and an optional aside, while I’m on it, why I say they are 200 IQ points ahead of the game is their game design is ahead of anti lock box legislation that will probably eventually come at some point.

Sure when that rolls out, they will lose the lock boxes. Boo hoo. That’s not a huge deal for them because they basically created a gambling system within the game with their enhancement system. You build up stacks, you gamble on gear improvements. If it fails you lose durability, it might downgrade a rank forcing you to get it back up again, and you gain failstack(s) (minor % chance to succeed next time). All this is done with in game materials.

However where they’re brilliant with this is they sell you ways to cope with the bad failures on gambling. So you can buy artisan memories which multiplies your in game resources by repairing more. This means your grinding time money goes longer since you can buy less memory fragments to do repairs. They also sell costumes which you can then melt for cron stones to prevent going backwards at the cost of gaining no failstacks. This is again brilliant design because you don’t get any benefits of failure, but you also get no negative effects of failure beyond durability costs. The math often times works out where it’s always better to enhance with crons in many high end, expensive item cases.

This is way ahead of the curve in most gaming monetization models. They’ve built the gambling into the game and then offered to sell you ways to mitigate/offset your losses. It’s immune to anti gambling legislation because it’s not selling gambling.

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John Kiser

Mate. Nice rant there, but again I’ve seen far more predatory games in my time gaming including but not limited to actually only being able to buy power by opening your wallet in real life to be able to have ANY chance at all and having upgrade items literally be cash shop only. While it may be more predatory in nature to the stuff you’ve seen I’ve also been around this genre since what amounts to the beginning (i played muds and gmuds and neverwinter prior to being one of the first 2 dozen or so players on meridian 59…). My overall point was that they are far less predatory than the shit I’ve seen in the genre and that still holds true as there has been far worse.

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Arktouros

Not really a rant but more a statement of facts about the game. A lot of facts/examples requires a lot of words.

What you’re talking about is really more an example of a P2W game than a predatory game. Predatory games rely on using various psychological tricks such as unpleasant design by purposely designing the game with negative side effects that they then sell you the solution to. Like limiting advancement only to the cash shop isn’t really predatory as it’s right in your face what the game is about: buying power.

I also have been playing games online since Ultima Online (and before that on bulletin board systems online) as well have played most of the major MMOs (both PvE and PvP) and I while I have seen more heavily monetized games none actually as predatory.

Maybe your opinion is that paywalls and other forced monetization is worse but I don’t see that as predatory as it’s rather up front what they’re about.

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John Kiser

And black desert is rather up front what they are about. Almost everything you listed while factual is in fact entirely avoidable which doesn’t really present itself as predatory in nature generally speaking. Predatory design ends up situations where you have to do this or that or you are completely at a loss and the game psychologically makes you think you need that kind of stuff.

I’ve not spent a dime in black desert minus maybe a costume purchase once or twice and I’ve gotten along just fine without it because I know how these games operate and what is and is not necessary. You’re the type of gamer that min-maxes and has to try and be “top tier” from the sounds of it rather than trying to play to enjoy the game.

I know it’s super easy to fall into that kind of mindset as I used to do it myself. I also never said the practices were not in and of themselves not predatory simply that they are not the most predatory I’ve seen.