This week in Black Desert Online, I managed to hit level 24… after 7 days, 18 hours, and 5 minutes of playing and AFK-ing. But enough about how I’ll never hit level 50 – let’s talk about what to do with all that silver lining your pockets.
Next week, though I’m not near the level 50 soft cap, and I’ve not yet seen just how bad (or not) things get with the open PVP nature of the level 45+ game, I’m going to put a score on Black Desert Online. I’ve been playing this pretty much non-stop in my free time. And when I’m not playing it actively, I’ve likely got it logged in on my laptop or desktop, doing something productive. Despite still being in the mid-levels, with a new expansion of the Mediah region released this week I’ve come to realize we’re just going to have to keep an open mind with our score and revisit it later on in a few months. In theory, I’ve played more of this MMO than any recent game in my history, and I think that’s plenty.
After all, as I wrote a while back, “end-game” isn’t even what Black Desert is all about.
So, one final little thing that really sticks out to me as weird, novel, and not at all explained well by the UI is the notion of “investment banking”. As silly as it sounds, this is tied to the in-game housing of Black Desert Online. Housing in BDO is pretty damned great, to be honest. Anywhere you travel, you’ll stumble across towns, farms, or even just little shacks in the mountains where you can invest your Contribution and buy a house for your own residence. Of course, these buildings can also be repurposed for crafting, processing vegetables, making boats, and so on… but that’s beside the point.
Throughout BDO, you’ll find NPCs who sell furniture. Much of which can give you buffs from use in your house. You can also craft it by setting up your own crafting and trading empire, or buy it from the Marketplace and other players. Of course, the prettiest looking stuff can be bought from the Pearl Store. Now each piece of furniture you place in your house, as well as where you place them, works towards giving your house points. If you have the most points in that particular house out of all the people who “rent it” on your server, you’ll be ranked number 1 in that house and open special nodes within that location.
Take, for example Glish, where I spent my spare Pearls on furniture to get a top ranked house. In so doing, I opened up a special rare mushroom crate crafting node that doesn’t require materials – just assign a worker and they’ll make these super expensive crates of mushrooms I can then use to make money via trading.
But, as you may know in BDO, the more money you have the heavier your character’s packs become. Silver piles up and weighs you down like Kramer in that one episode of Seinfeld with all the change in his pockets. To alleviate the weight, you can then take that silver to a storage keeper, turn it into gold bars, and store them in your warehouse. Why is that important?
Well, aside from making your packs much lighter, once you have 10 gold bars and a top ranked house, you can then send your worker off to the “investment” node, where they’ll take your 10 gold bars (1,000,000 silver) and make you about 500,000 more silver after so many hours. This may seem daunting at first, but the more money you make the easier it will be to keep investing more gold bars, and the more money you’ll make just by sending your workers off to the investment nodes.
Now, I get that this is a pretty heavy or convoluted way to make money. But to me it’s just one more proof that Pearl Abyss has gone above and beyond in thinking through their game systems. What other MMO lets you do stuff like this? Granted it could be argued that few gamers really care enough to put that kind of effort in, but for those of us looking for something deeper and more complex out of our online worlds the kind of novel features Black Desert Online is packed are exactly why I’m so enamored with the game.
Next week I’ll try my damnedest to put a pin in all this, touch on the highs and lows of the game’s systems, but by and large the more I play Black Desert the more I am convinced that this is exactly where the MMORPG genre needs to be going. No, it’s not perfect, and no I wouldn’t recommend the game for someone who equates the MMORPG as simply a place to run dungeons and get gear in instances. This isn’t for players who are happy with the status quo. Black Desert Online is for the MMO gamer looking to find something truly meaty to sink their teeth into, a world and a game they need to actually learn how to play within.
It’s been so long since we had to pay attention to what we were doing in these games that the sheer volume of new things on offer in BDO means I’ve been spending the past six odd weeks learning as much as I am playing. It’s a feeling I haven’t had since the early 2000s, and I didn’t even realized I missed this sort of learning.