Desert Oasis: The worst week I’ve ever had in Black Desert Online


This week, I was planning a third entry on my adventures in Black Desert Mobile, but a few very exasperating incidents happened to me in Black Desert PC last week, and it just seemed as if everything that could go wrong, did. The universe was telling me something and was making me listen. I just had to switch plans and write about it, if only for my own sanity, because it really took some real good mental gymnastics to not let these moments ruin my week. So for today’s Desert Oasis, let me chronicle what has to be the worst week I’ve ever had in BDO. 

Monday: Getting killed by different players throughout the day

Black Desert Online has open PvP, and it’s one of the reasons I play. I like the danger. Maybe it was my own complacency, but in general, randomly getting killed while travelling between towns is relatively rare. Before last week, I could count the times it happened on one hand. Now, I need both my hands. The fascinating thing was that they were four completely unrelated incidents. None of the perpetrators was even from the same guild, and I’m sure it wasn’t the same player. I just picked the wrong day to move alts between towns.

Getting killed doesn’t bother me too much. Losing time was the real pain in the butt here. I was just trying to get some stuff done, and I guess a bunch of players just decided to wake up and go on a killing spree on a Monday. Makes sense. Mondays, right? I brushed this incident off. It was weird that it happened, but at the end of the day Black Desert Online is an open PvP game and these things happen.

Tuesday: Getting killed during a stint of rubberband lag and losing experience points.

This was my fault. (Honestly, most of the things that happened this week were my fault.) I’m currently in the middle of working toward level 62 with my Tamer. I’ve been spending the last few weeks in the Manshaum forest. I’ve got a nice tight rotation in a spot that doesn’t have much foot traffic, so players rarely bother me when I’m there. But I guess I had used up all my “get killed by players” cards this week because this time it was an unprecedented lag spike.

I just remember jumping into a huge mob and going through my attacks. They connected, but there were no damage numbers, the monsters didn’t stagger, and all they did was stand there… oh no. It stayed like that for about 30 seconds, and then suddenly I was dead and I’d lost 1% of experience. That’s about an hour of grinding I lost.

“That’s fine, no problem; I’ll just use an Elion’s Tear and get that lost experience back,” I told myself. And then I realized I didn’t have any. I gave them all to another character and I just had to bite the bullet on it. It was too bad, but losing an hour’s worth of experience isn’t that bad. I got over it pretty fast.

It’s what happened the next day that really set the tone for the rest of my week.

Wednesday: A terrible interaction with another player on the season servers

This was the single worse thing to happen this week or ever in my time playing. It wasn’t just the cause that I’m salty about but how I reacted. The first two weren’t super bad, but this incident just got under my skin. It happened on the season servers out in the Crescent Shrine. I’ve written about how the season servers are such a great addition to the game, and I still think they are. But these new servers have introduced a whole range of new challenges when it comes to sharing grindspots. Season servers do not have open PvP, so the only way to really truly claim a spot is by grinding faster than the other players.

Since I was running an Archer this time around, I easily ripped through the mobs. Players would show up occasionally, and I didn’t have a problem if they killed something in my rotation; I just simply moved to the next one. They’ll eventually realize that they can’t keep up with me, so they’ll move. No harm, no foul.

But that that didn’t happen with one player. On my fourth hour of grinding the spot, a Lahn showed up. As soon as we saw each other, he sent me a message claiming that he’d been in the spot and it belongs to him. I ignored his first message, mainly because I thought it was dumb to think anyone owned a spot on a season server and that he was just lying to scare me off. The second time we ran into each other was about 10 minutes later. He was more forward this time around and even tried to command me to move with an empty threat. I still ignored him and kept going. The third time we bumped into each other, he started calling me a toxic player for refusing to leave at his command. That’s when I replied. “Dude, it’s the season server, either outgrind me or don’t IDC.”

It was at that point that he tried to attack me, but when he realized he couldn’t, he started sending me rude whispers. I admit I wasn’t a saint in this incident either; from that point on, every time we ran into each other, I stole all his kills and then zoomed in a circle around him before going back to killing mobs. This went on for like three hours before he finally left.

Looking back, I should’ve said something witty like “The Black Spirit’s making me do it”

And honestly, after I logged off for the day, I felt pretty bad too. In the heat of the moment, there was something so incredibly annoying about someone who thought he “owned” a spot on a PvE server when he couldn’t defend it. But when the dust settled at the end of the day, I realized I’d been pretty childish. And while I did effectively win the spot, it was a pretty empty victory and not one of my best moments. For all I know, that person had a rough day, and all he wanted was to enjoy the game, and here I was making the day worse. It’s a bad feeling. And I still feel guilty about it today.

Thursday: A terrible enhancing session

The very next day, karma came a-knockin’ at my door. Despite the less-than-stellar grind session the day prior, I had collected enough time stones and Tuvala ores to enhance my tuvala accessories. With about 1000 ores, I started working on enhancing one of my Tuvala ring to PEN. But I had truly awful luck. Even with all the stones and high chances for success, I tried for nearly an hour and ended up using all my ores, and the highest I got was a TET. When it comes to accessories, failed enhance attempts break the accessory, so it’s a costly gamble. And even with higher chances for success, the odds might not end up in my favor. This was one of those days.

Friday: I realized the game was starting to feel like a chore

Maybe it’s because I’ve been quarantined for so long and I’ve just played too much. But I remember logging in and saying “Ok, I need to do this before 10 a.m., start working on this for the next two hours, and I expect to gain at least 3% toward level 62.” That’s when it hit me: I wasn’t really playing the game for fun. It was starting to cause more stress, and I was getting frustrated with it. After some reflection, I realized that I was regressing back to my raid leader days from years ago and I had been playing almost non-stop for three months. I was like a maximal that had too much energon.

I guess it really is time for a break when the first thing on my to-do list on a Friday is to shoot some bears with my shai.

That feeling of going overboard was icing on the cake: I needed to take a break from all the hustle and bustle. I decided that it was a good time to take a three-week break from the game. It’ll still be there when I come back anyway, and I prefer my games fun.

And so I sent my archer back to Velia, took one last look at the game, and logged off. Free from the shackles of Black Desert Online, I stood up, did a stretch, took a breath… and started playing Black Desert Mobile.

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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Whew, after reading this article I feel like I really dodged a bullet by not played BDO.

The gameplay described is most everything I loathe, especially when the design makes you feel “forced” to play a certain amount of time or way.

Roger Christie

Reinforcing every reason I want nothing to do with PVP games.


This article outlines how little this had to do with bad pvp experiences and how much the grind part of things were what truly killed it for him. That’s pretty apparent once you bother reading past the 1st paragraph.

Roger Christie

A) I did read the entire article. B) The first TEN paragraphs had to do with bad PvP experiences.


As someone who has been playing this game for years I totally get where you are coming from. This game however is a marathon and not a sprint. If you go too hard in the game you will burn out like a shooting star. I always suggest for new players to make a bunch of different trial characters and try out the different classes in the battle arena before they dive into a specific one. They truly are all quite different from each other. In addition to combat you may also find the various life skills to be interesting as you have a bunch of diverse choices.

I’m sorry you had to deal with that toxic player. it happens from time to time. This is just my opinion and I know other people believe differently but I have always found that even when someone comes into the place I am grinding in it is just easier to ask for a duel for the spot. The majority of the time all parties will respect the outcome and simply move on. Saves a lot of drama in the long run.

Seth Arnold

It’s worse than a chore, it’s a job. That’s one of the reasons the mobile is better, it automates the tedious stuff and leaves the more fun parts.


It is really interesting that 20 years ago, in EQ1, people respected your camps and grinding spots. The main reason was that if you did not respect other people, you could get a really bad reputation and that would be it for you on that server. Might as well re-roll somewhere else.

The whole tech of massive server connections has really killed of any sort of accountability for bad behavior.

Anyways, I don’t play BD for all the reasons posted above by the author.


When they start out with a lie then they pretty much can be disregarded immediately. The number of times I had people claim “I’ve been at this spot for hours” while in fact I’ve been there for hours was ridiculous. I just straight up directly confront them about it. Why are they lying about it? Like if I’ve legit been there for hours and someone wants to claim they have been too why do they think that will work?

There’s no rules that govern grind spots. Period. Everyone comes up with their own rules and sticks by them and it’s silly think they can press those rules onto anyone else. The way I conducted myself was I went to a spot, I checked the rotations to see who was there, then if I could find one I grabbed it and didn’t leave till I was done. If someone wanted to mess with that go right ahead but I still wasn’t leaving till I was done and if people really wanted to fuck with me hard I’d just shit up the rotation by killing partial packs and making the whole grind rotation worth nothing to no one. If they want to waste my time, I will waste theirs right back.

The game has always been one huge chore, but that’s what I liked about Black Desert. The game has endless goals and near endless character progression. If I was burning out on one set of goals, I just would swap to another goal instead. I’ve made perma wagons and boats I never used just to work on something different. What did me in, beyond Pearl Abyss stealing $20 from me, is that my goals and progression became so long that it was taking months to see progression of those goals. The idea of having to go to Behr, compete for an instance, load up on a bojillion % lifeskill gain and grind herbs for 100+ hours to see real gathering mastery gains was immensely unappealing.

Hikari Kenzaki

Yeah. With only one 61 and one 60, I don’t grind nearly as much, but sometimes you really need to give BDO some room to breathe.

I get your reaction to your reaction to the events of Wednesday, but really, it was clear the other player hadn’t been paying attention to the rules of the server and was just as mad at themselves as you.