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Columns: Do You Enjoy Horse Breeding

By Lewis Burnell on August 29, 2016

Do  You Enjoy Horse Breeding

Earlier in the week there was a Reddit post where the author discussed finally obtaining a Tier 8 Horse. NamedDiablo, thecommunitywasrightlypleasedfortheindividual. Tier 8 horses are bloody hard to come by. Although I was glad the player obtained such a horse, my first thought was, “I can’t be arsed!” rather than, “How?”


Horses are a big deal in Black Desert Online and in this instance, worth millions. There are calculatorsdedicatedtosimulatedbreeding and the pursuit of a Tier 8 horse is a valuable, permanent goal for many. Not only is the potential income alluring, but the entire ecosystem surrounding breeding and its RNG captivating.

For someone who loves massively multiplayer games, the thought of diving into horse breeding in Black Desert Online has proved off-putting. Although it’s not particularly confusing and there are plenty of resources available that simplify its mechanics and how to go about securing higher Tier horses, it’s the RNG that I find frustrating. Handling a lack of uncertainty when in pursuit of a particular horse type can be maddening. I appreciate however how this mindset is entirely at odds with a genre that does, after all, rely heavily on just about everything being down to chance (regardless of how slim).

To spend multiple weeks and months to gain a largely negligible speed increase, or just the status of being able to say “I have a Tier 8 horse!”, is exhausting. Even training horses to level them up, to even stand a chance at a successful foal at a higher tier, is a time sink that’s feels devoid of fun or skill. It feels like RNG for the sake of RNG.

To digress a little, I have fond memories of breeding Chocobos in Final Fantasy 7. It was a simple and accessible system and while there was still an element of RNG, it didn’t feel anything as severe as Black Desert Online. Finding key food ingredients to use alongside “good”, “great” or “wonderful” Chocobos, to birth specific types (as defined by color) had some depth and accessible strategy. It was a system that wasn’t particularly tedious but one that felt rewarding.

I fully appreciate that in any MMO the best has to be difficult to obtain, but it feels somewhat lazy to devise a system that relies largely on luck (less than an 8% chance for a Tier 8, I’m told) alongside a hefty time sink. Perhaps I’m not the only one, but it’s just something I cant find fun in, even if there are significant amounts of money to be made or a challenge to pursue. Maybe that’s part of the charm in breeding horses in Black Desert Online; the challenge of the RNG.

Part of the wider problem with the MMO genre - not just restricted to Black Desert Online - is that all too often, many systems are designed to artificially inflate your game time or to place barriers in your way to limit progress. Although this has softened in recent years with loot attributable to tokens you can then exchange for guaranteed items, it still Do I want to spend a month leveling up and breeding multiple horses for a miniscule stat difference, just to say I’ve done it? Honestly, I really don’t.

Were Daum to provide significant variances on horses to the point where, unmistakably, you were riding a mighty steed, I might be swayed. As it stands however and this is purely vanity, Joe Bloggs out on his adventures is never going to know the time and effort I’ve gone through when my Tier 8 horse looks largely the same as every other. When you obtained a gold Chocobo in Final Fantasy 7, it was quite clearly the pinnacle of all others. In Black Desert Online? Not so much. I kinda need that goal and doubt I’m the only one.

What are your thoughts on horse breeding in Black Desert Online? Do you think it’s good as it is? What would you change? Do you like the RNG of it? Did you have a gold Chocobo (asking the important questions). Let me know! 

Lewis Burnell / The only game to have distracted Lewis away from MMOs over the last 15 years was Pokemon Red. Despite that blip, Lewis has worked his way through countless games in the genre in search of something that comes close to his much loved and long time dead, Neocron.
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