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Pearl Abyss | Play Now
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 03/03/16)  | Pub:DAUM Games Europe
PVP:Yes | Distribution:Download | Retail Price:$09.99 | Pay Type:Buy to Play | Monthly Fee:Free
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Have You Bought Anything from the Store?

Black Desert Online Columns - By Lewis Burnell on April 04, 2016

Have You Bought Anything from the Store?

After many weeks of shock and horror at the sight of the in-game Black Desert Online store prices, I thought it might be worth asking the paying public (that’s you lot) as to whether or not you’ve parted with your hard earned cash.

For anyone who is unaware, Black Desert Online has a fairly pricey store. Full outfits are frighteningly expensive and even mini-pets will set you back a fairly tidy sum. For a buy to play game, I still think the pricing is ridiculous and yet (seemingly) all horror at the costs seems to have died down.

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Pearl Abyss, combined with Daum, did a fairly good job of avoiding any fallout from the prices. They kept quiet, removed a fraction of the cost upon launch and then continued to slowly release items anyway. At this point one can only assume that they want “whales” to carry the game and its future profits, rather than a standard player who only has a few dollars a month to spare.

When it comes to purchases, I’ve only made one and it was for a mini-pet. I needed one early game and it does make life infinitely easier. I also came incredibly close to purchasing an outfit that can only be described as a bush with a beak. I opened my wallet, got out my credit card and it was only after entering the details that I stopped myself. £29 for a digital outfit? I must be mad.

Backing away from the computer and quickly handing my wallet to my wife (she is my protector from all crazy purchases) it struck me that perhaps I’m not really the type of customer Pearl Abyss is after. While I’ve disposable income, I’m no longer at the point in my life where I’ll happily drop that income on in-game stores, unless it’s something that’s absolutely necessary.

Back when I used to play Guild Wars 2 religiously, I’d spend £100 a month on the Gem Store. I admit that’s pretty extravagant spending and looking back on those purchases, I do cringe. At the same time however, gaming is my hobby and like any hobby it has its upkeep. I’m a regular cinemagoer and the price of an IMAX ticket here can cost well over £15. By the time you’ve bought a drink and snacks (or snuck them in!) the cost quickly shoots up: it seems bizarre that I’m now resistant to spending on a game I’m enjoying.

The nature of costumes and outfits in Black Desert Online and the quality of them doesn’t really lend themselves to regularly changing your look (the dye system certainly doesn’t help). I’m also the type of player that once I have a look I’m happy with, I never change it. My three main characters in Guild Wars 2 have had the same look since launch, with only one going through a minor change when a new set of weapons were released.

Having just received a refund from Amazon for exactly £30, I’m now having an internal debate as to whether I’m willing to purchase the outfit. Out of principal at the cost I’m resistant as I still find the outfits ridiculously expensive, but at the same time I think to myself: “You know what, if that’s your hobby for a game you love, go for it.”

While I continue to wrestle with my conscience, I’m keen to hear your thoughts. Have you spent money on the store in Black Desert Online? Do you think it’s good value for money?

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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