It’s amazing how fast two years flies by. It didn’t seem that long ago that I was doing my first impressions piece of Black Desert Mobile back in October 2019. And I’d nearly forgotten about the piece I wrote about it a year after its release. But along with its PC counterpart, it’s been chugging along. It just celebrated its second anniversary, and even though the new Eternal Winter expansion has made changes to make the game more accessible than it’s been before, Black Desert Mobile has made some pretty dramatic changes, and now it’s just as accessible as its desktop counterpart.
I’ve been putting a ton of time into Black Desert Mobile recently, around 100 hours in the last month. That’s more time I’ve put into this game than I have in the last two years. The game has always been fun for me, and I think it’s in a really good spot right now. Since my last visit in the game, Pearl Abyss has made some key changes that allow it to cater to a wide swath of players and playstyles. And the content it’s added to the game will at the very least get even the most anti-mobile players to recognize that they might also work well in the traditional MMORPG.
So for today’s edition of Desert Oasis, lets look at how Black Desert Mobile has become an appealing option for a variety of different gamers. And let’s start with the most obvious one.
The P2W crowd
It’s a mobile game by a massive company. It’s going to have mechanics that appeal to the big spenders. In this case, players can buy the power they need in the game. This game measures the strength of the character in CP, which I assume stands for character power. The top player on my server has 48k power, so people are going to need to spend a ton of cash if they want that level of power. Players can purchase accessories and the various currencies required to amp up their power levels to disgustingly high levels. And players who, as the kids say, “drop the Bens” on this game are probably doing it to compete at the highest levels.
But there lies the genius of Black Desert Mobile: It recognizes that this is just one demographic of the playerbase.
Those players with that level of power have their own content in the form of both PvP and the highest levels of difficulty in the various modes. The top ranking players and guilds also literally get praise from the rest of the playerbase. I’m pretty sure they get something for getting praised, but players who click the “praise rank” button are awarded in black pearls, a form of currency used for a few things in the game. So both sides of the transaction benefit.
Speaking of the larger playerbase, let’s look at what the average player has access to.
The F2P crowd
I fall in this group right here, and the free-to-play experience has been a fun jaunt. Without spending a dime, I’ve ensured my Tamer’s current power level floats around 10k. At that CP, my character is powerful enough to challenge a majority of the mobs in West and North Valencia. But I’m nowhere near the appointed “F2P cap,” which is the soft limit on the character’s power before you might want to spend money on the game. The current soft cap is around 30k CP – a nice comfortable number since the highest currently accessible grindspot in the game, Northeast Kamasylvia, requires a CP of 31k. Players who manage to get to the 30k CP won’t have much trouble figuring out a way to squeeze out the extra 1000 CP to access that spot.
At my current CP, I’ve found my growth has slowed down considerably. And while some folks might see this as the sign of Black Desert Mobile nudging players to spend some cash (as it probably is), I’d argue that the time it takes to hit that 30k CP starts to line up with the pace Black Desert Online players progress at in terms of gearscore. Any experienced BDO player can tell you that grinding mobs is baked into the DNA of the franchise. I personally feel that the most fun part of the game is the grind; that slow incremental growth is what’s keeping me playing.
If focusing on one character gets stale, Black Desert Mobile encourages players to have multiple alts. And there are actual game modes that reward players for that type of playstyle.
Players who love making multiple characters will feel right at home in Black Desert Mobile. Two standout modes actually use your alts in combat! The first one that unlocks in the Path of Glory, a defense-style game mode that can be played once a day for rewards. Think of it a bit like the Mines of Moria cave troll scene from the Lord of the Rings: Up to six player characters can be positioned to hold off a horde of enemies. It’s pretty cool to see my characters fight side by side. And the extra bonus of getting some nice loot for my trouble is always welcome. Even though I only get to play it once a day, I find myself looking forward to it.
Another mode that takes advantage of all your characters is “Constellation” mode. This one is pretty cool too. It’s basically a six-person dungeon that the player characters run through. They’re not overly long dungeons; they can be cleared in the span of 5 minutes. But unlike Path of Glory, which is only doable once a day, this is repeatable as long as players have the proper “passes” to play the content. Those passes can be bought, but there’s no reason to do that because players will get plenty of those tickets through normal gameplay. As players clear them, more and more difficult versions of the same dungeon unlock, up to a difficulty of 50. There are currently 12 different constellations to conquer too.
Just having these features is enough for me to roll new alt characters, and it makes me wonder why this hasn’t been done in other games. It’s a neat addition, and it’s good to see a game give altaholics some love.
I’ve covered a large swath of player types here. But there’s so much more content to cover in Black Desert Mobile! I’ve literally just scratched the surface. I haven’t even talked about the base building, lifeskills, and how gearing works. Join me in the next Desert Oasis where I discuss those topics and more. In the meantime, give Black Desert Mobile a spin!