Black Desert’s New Marketplace – Commentary

Okay, now that I’ve had time to actually use and adjust to the new Black Desert marketplace, I’m looking back at what they said and what I posed a while back.

  • After this update, you will be able to use the Central Market with the Silver and items within your “Central Market Warehouse” in an easier and more accessible manner.

So they certainly get credit for this one. From a user perspective, the ability to use it from anywhere is quite nice and effective. The only time I visit the actual marketplace NPC is when I’m dropping new items into the warehouse or picking them up, usually once a day when I’m listing the farmed goods I’m selling. Most of my silver is stored here instead of in the storage, so that when I want to buy something, I can simple do so.

  • [Marketplace] (previous version)
    • Adventurers traded directly with each other through the Marketplace.
    • When Adventurer ‘A’ registers an item, Adventurer ‘B’ could buy the item.
  • [Central Market]
    • Adventurers will now trade within the Central Market instead.
    • The market buys the items that Adventurer ‘A’ registers to sell. Then Adventurer ‘B’ comes along and buys the items off the market.

I thought I understood what they meant here, but functionally it still seems to work the way indicated in the previous version. I have sold an item to the Central Market itself since the first day or two it existed. Everything I’m selling now requires me to list it at a specific price for others to buy. That’s not selling to the market that’s selling to players. Yeah, maybe the “market” is buying my item from me when someone else buys it from the market, but functionally it’s the same thing with extra steps that are invisible to the user.

  • Before, you had to keep items and silver in your inventory or a town storage, but the Central Market will come with its own Warehouse for you to store them now. The Warehouse acts like an account for the Marketplace which allows you access and use from anywhere, at anytime.

This has been the best change they’ve made for me. It essentially added additional storage for me to keep things. It’s based on a kind of points system with some things like gear taking up many more points than other things, probably to try and cut down on it’s usage as storage. I’ve found it super useful for things like seeds that I tend to keep a few of on hand, especially when I’ve built them up to Special quality and set them aside to work on other crops. I need to see what else I can put in here to free up some space. I may be able to get off the Value Pack crack if I plan it right.

Now that I think about it, I have done some direct sales, but only when I see there’s an existing order placed for that item, and it’s typically an order at minimum value when most of the sell listings are near max price. Board flipping orders, basically.

All in all, I feel like it’s a good change, but not one that necessarily functions as advertised. It could also just be how I’m using it or the particular goods I typically deal in. Either way, y’all take care, and try not to spend all your silver in one place.

Black Desert – More Horse Breeding

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So I recently managed to breed this glorious creature. It’s a tier 7 horse that I’d love to use as my primary, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to learn sprint. We’re at level 21/30, so it’s still possible, but I’m growing concerned. Even if it doesn’t manage to learn sprint, I’ll still be able to use it as a good breeder.

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It was quite accidental. See, I was trying to breed my tier five female with my tier six male, but wasn’t watching which horse was selected, so I ended up using the tier four instead. I mean, on the whole it worked out, but I really have to pay more attention. Since the females only get to breed once, without a cash shop breeding reset, anyway, I already sold her via imperial delivery to free up stable space.

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The tier six male, shown here without the barding, is my go-to horse for getting somewhere quickly, so he won’t get traded in, at least not yet. He also has no breeding chances left.

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I’ve got two max level tier fives going right now, and I’ll be able to check on that tomorrow. The good news is that I have about a 45% chance at a T6 and a 47% chance at a T7. I could really use a female too, if I could get so lucky. 42% chance male and 50% chance female. That missing eight percent in both categories is the T8 male chance, which I neither need, want, or expect at this stage.

I tried looking up how the color stuff works, and it sounded pretty RNG. It adds up the three color numbers of the parents, randomly selects a non-zero number, then rolls a number from 1-X and makes up the remainder at random. Kinda. I’m still not super clear on the exact details, but the bottom line is that it sort-of steerable but still super random.

That’s one of the complaints I see a lot about BDO, outside of it’s cash shop anyway. Progression in most of its systems are entirely dependent upon RNG mechanics that can be controlled a little bit, but not really, and the more control you want, the more resources you’re going to need. This means more grinding.

Of course, right now I’m pretty much afk levelling horses all the time. So much so that I have absolutely absurd levels of ore sitting in storage. I think I have over 20k iron and copper at this point. I’m honestly afraid to look. At this rate, by the time I’m done messing with horses I’ll be spending days on end processing materials. I can’t even sell it on the market properly because it’s so flooded with massive quantities of crafting materials that mine don’t really move much.

We’ll see. That’s a problem for another day. Y’all take care.

Black Desert – We’re on a boat!

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So our guild finally got around to building one of the large galleon ships. It’s been a work in progress for a while, including a recent poll to name the ship.

They were preparing to depart when I got home, so I grabbed as much timber as I could so I could prepare repair kits on-board, and we set sail to kill some sea monsters or something. It was quite a long ride. I really wish I had got a shot of some of the ghost ships, normal ships, and random sea critters we randomly murdered. It was self defense, kinda.

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Using the cannons is actually sort of difficult. You can’t see the projected arc of the shot until you hold the fire button, and once you do you’re on a timer. Wait to long and it fires anyway, let go and it fires. It has a several second cooldown once it fires, and very little side-to-side movement. If the person at the helm doesn’t pull around broadsides you’re just sitting there doing nothing.

It’s also apparently easy to desync off the boat as well, and if you end up linkdead or abandoned it’s either a death sentence or an item from the “loyalty” shop to call a ride.

Either way, we sailed all the way to Port Ratt. Took, quite a long time, and it was nice to at least see it. I didn’t figure I’d be making that trip any time soon due to my super slow boat. We did a sort of transport quest when coming back in order to get some sailing experience.

I really oughta wrap this up and get to bed though. I’m really pushing the limit on time today. Y’all take care, watch out for giant sea monsters and random ghost ships.

Black Desert – 2/20 Marketplace Update

So Black Desert’s new marketplace has finally made it’s way over to the NA servers, though it would appear that it’s not currently working for many people and I’m sure they’re working hard to fix it. We don’t have any proper patch notes Naturally we got patch notes while I was typing all this out, but there is a marketplace specific set of notes.

While we have the ability to access the market from anywhere, they’re also planning to add a web-based way to access it as well at some point in the future. Items also have a price that allegedly adjusts to supply and demand instead of the previously fixed price and/or price range that existed before. It’s almost like a real market economy.

Each item is said to have a base price, which will fluctuate, with a min/max of up to -/+ 10%.

The biggest change, of course, is that instead of listing my items and letting people browse the listings and buy it, I’ll now be selling my goods to the “market” and get paid for it immediately. Anyone wanting to buy said item will be able to do so as long as the “market” has it in stock. If the market is at max stock, then you register the item below market price and get paid when it’s needed to replenish the stock. In other words, it’s probably more profitable to list your items during peak hours when the stock will probably be lower. At least, that’s how it sounds to me. Unfortunately the actual patch notes sound different from the marketplace notes, which is making it somewhat unclear.

There are some exceptions though. Gear that has been enhanced to +13 or higher cannot be bought without placing an “order,” which is essentially the same as the pre-order system before. You specify a price that is above current market value and when people sell those items to the market it will then provide it to the highest priced order available. In the event of a tie, it goes to the oldest order at that price point. At the moment, though, I’m seeing reports in the guild discord channel that this also isn’t functioning properly.

What has been seen in the release of the market on Korean and SEA servers is a spike in prices paid for high demand items. I generally stay away from those and have mostly been content to murder bosses repeatedly to get what I’m after.

What it will impact the most for me is going to be what I sell and how quickly I can get it sold. Most of what I list now are random by-products of farming, excess seeds, and occasionally gear I don’t need. There are a lot of thing I don’t bother listing because they don’t sell for much, take up a marketplace slot, and sometimes don’t even sell. I’m sure that will still happen, in some cases, but we’ll see how it turns out. If the demand is high enough I might even dump some excess crafting materials just to make room in storage.

Despite all this, the sales tax will remain the same, 35% base rate or  15.5% if you use “value pack.”

Another huge change I didn’t expect is that money will no longer have weight.

However, along with the introduction of the Central Market, we decided that it was more important for you to have more freedom in exchanging your items. Therefore we completely removed the weights from the Silver.

I might actually find myself forgetting to dump money in the bank constantly to keep weight down. I previously only carried around 200-300k at any given time.

For reasons that are also beyond my comprehension, this patch also included changes to damage scaling that ultimately amount to a damage buff for any character above level 20-30 across all classes. Actual amounts vary widely from small changes of only 10-20% to some more obnoxious ones that are around six times higher. That is, an increase of 600%.

I was going to report some other stuff today too, but talking about this update went on much longer than I anticipated, so I’ll save it for tomorrow maybe. Y’all take care, don’t accidentally 93mb of .rar files, that’s dangerous.

Black Desert Online – Horse Breeding

I started looking into the mechanics of horse breeding in Black Desert because better horse means faster travel and that means I can do more stuff. It was surprisingly complicated, more so than I though anyway.

The basic mechanics I understood. The chances for getting different horse tiers are based on the tier of the horses breeding and their level. Number of deaths used to matter, but apparently they changed that? For the best chances  you want two horses of the same tier, both at level 30. This seems to give you about a 50% chance to go up one tier and around 10% to go up two tiers. The remaining 40% would be same tier.

Naturally, getting a mount all the way to 30 can take a while. Setting a looped route and afk “training” by running back and forth seems to do a pretty good job. There’s even a double mount xp event going on, so maxing a horse takes a few days.

What I did not know, however, is that there’s also an underlying color/genetics system that also affects stats. I’m assuming it’s fairly random, but the calculator over at somethinglovely has a tab that shows possible outcomes from any two horses.

So today I went out and did a couple of routes, netting two female T4s and a male T5 that will help build up some stock. I’ll have to try and mix them with my current stock a little, especially the T5, because the purebred black horses are typically not very good. The wild caught T5s being all purebred black.

On top of that there’s a fairly desirable “courser” designation for horses that obtain a certain set of “best in slot” abilities. Things like Sprint, Instant Accel, and Drift. Sprint being by and large the single most important ability, adding an entire extra level of speed to the horse. Here’s hoping for a T8 courser, heh.

So outside of some time tomorrow making beer it looks like I’ll be doing a lot of horse training in the future. Fortunately I can be playing other things while that goes on in the background. I’ve still got a lot of tinkering around to get back on track in FFXIV, but I’m slowly getting back into the swing of things.

Y’all take care, try not to fall off any horses.

Black Desert Online – Random Update

So, for whatever reason, I’m still playing Black Desert Online. I haven’t been doing a whole lot though. Mostly just running around doing life skill stuff, helping with guild quests, and maybe one or two world bosses per day.

The life skills stuff is really taking two forms. I’m trying to get the gathering skill needed to do a quest to make pure iron crystals so I can make the higher end gathering tools. No real reason, just because. My gathering was actually kinda low because I’ve relied mostly on my workers to provide materials.

I have, I think, 18 workers at the moment. I’m easily burning two to three hundred beers a day to keep them going. About four of them are producing things to make beer with and most of them are producing ores and minerals. I’ve got a few doing odd things like gathering cotton, which I don’t use for anything and another that gathers maple used for gathering tools and taking up space. That’s the real problem, I’m a hoarder and packrat of materials.

I made 1100 or so steel ingots the other day and sent half to the tool workshop location and half to the armor workshop location and could probably easily make another 2000 more. I haven’t bothered because I don’t need it, but the materials continue to flow in regardless of whether or not I need them. I should probably just do some afk processing sessions and put it on the market.

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Ferret pet is cute – Screenshot courtesy of my brother.

What I really should be doing is the main quest, I guess. While Valencia city is architecturally interesting, the valencia region is brown rocks and sand. It’s just a constant struggle because every single quest takes me to another location that’s, you guessed it, brown rocks and sand. I’m so sick of doing the quests in that area that I’d rather be doing just about anything else.

Unfortunately I was writing this several hours ago and no longer remember where I was going, so I’ll go ahead and call it there. I’ve got a wonderful and exciting post tomorrow about the Activision Blizzard earnings call, so you know what to read if you need to take a nap. Y’all take care.

Inter-guild Politics

You know, I’ve never been a guild leader for more than a half dozen people, and I typically know all of them personally, so I don’t know how much that counts. Honestly what I’ve read on other blogs, like Cali’s, doesn’t really make me want to start. Neither do the ongoing events in Black Desert.

So, last week we had a minor skirmish with another guild. They had some very aggressive guild members that were spawn camping someone who then asked for help in server chat. A few of our members went to assist them and were struggling, so we showed up in force and eventually ran them off.

In the meantime, though, both guilds declared war on each other and there was a rather extended exchange of hostilities. Both sides eventually lost their taste for blood, though, and agreed to a truce. It was rather late at night, and I wasn’t around, but the talks went on for some time.

Then, a day or so later a few of them showed up when we started farming and one of us. Would have been two, but I figured I was next and booked it. I’m not exactly 3v1 material. We were ultimately told that those members in particular just sort of did whatever and killed anything that moved at popular grinding spots, therefore we had not been specifically targeted as members of our own guild. I thought the logic was a little shady, but whatever.

Now apparently one of our members has been shooting off at the mouth and actively hunting members of the aggressive guild, which had to be talked down from a war declaration, merely stating that they’d camp our guild leader instead. Such quality people. Our leader was… not happy. Why the offending member hasn’t been removed from the guild is beyond me, as that’s the first thing I would have done.

They do seem to have resolved their differences in the battle arena area. At least I hope so. The whole point of the thing was to not seriously inconvenience every member of the guild, particularly the lower level members. I could at least defend myself in theory, if not in fact.

That said, it’s about time to set myself up for afk activities and get to sleep. Y’all take care, try not to start any guild wars.

Black Desert Genocide

For a little background, I think it’s worth mentioning that I’m near the end of Snuff, a discworld book by the late Sir Terry Pratchett. In short, the book is about people treating another race, in this case goblins, as meaningless vermin. Not exactly an uncommon theme in his books, particularly the books about the city watch and one Samuel Vimes.

Then, the other day I hopped on Black Desert and someone started a lower level guild quest. Kill 2200 giants or some such. If I’m not particularly busy I generally make an effort to participate. Giants, however, is lower level than I’m accustomed too, so I’m basically just running around, playing with different abilities, one-shotting everything in sight.

At some point the two different things just sort of smacked into each other in my head and it occurs to me that this is some sort of creepy virtual genocide of sapient creatures that I’m willingly participating in. Now, of course, it isn’t real and there’s certainly lore-related things to consider, like the fact that there’s no such thing as female giants, apparently. Like, lore-wise, they don’t and never have existed.

This raises, just, so many more questions. For the time being I choose to believe that they’re all clones that start out as weird tumors that eventually separate into a new individual. I mean, it’s better than assuming we’re mass murdering them and slowly driving them to extinction.

The question I was trying to answer was one about if they were/had reason to be inherently antagonistic towards “civilized” society. People tend to be okay with mass murder as long as they all agree the people were “bad” people. Then it occurred to me that some of my workers are giants. I literally employ them, though since they’re only paid in beer I think maybe it’s more like slavery? I dunno, some people would be slaves for a lifetime supply of free beer.

You know, the more I think about it the more weird and twisted this whole game’s setting is. I’m like a rich noble wandering around doing as I please in a world where money is largely and ethereal thing. It comes and it goes but isn’t really needed, it’s just nice to have. I purchase property and structures almost entirely with some manner of social credit, have a pet demon spirit thing, and pretty much mass murder whatever sapient creature(s) might possess the thing I’m looking for. While I’m doing that, any of the other nobles can take offense to my presence and murder me with little to no repercussions.

I’m like a D&D murder hobo in video game form, running around killing sapient “monsters” and taking their stuff. I’m suddenly reminded of the Iron Maiden song Run to the Hills

In other news, I totally forgot to hit the publish button, so I’m gonna go ahead and do that.

BDO – Quick Correction and Update

Okay, first off, I gotta make a correction to my BDO post. I stated that you could spend 1400 loyalty points, two weeks worth, to get a 7 day “value pack.” That was incorrect. It is, in fact, only a one day value pack. That is, uh, a considerably horrible value.

I actually have a few seven day packs from various returning player packs and whatnot though, so I at least don’t have to buy one yet.

I also went ahead and joined a guild. Provides a little purpose to the grind. Managed to hit 56 tonight and will fool with the awakening stuff tomorrow, I guess. The guild saved up and purchased a boss scroll too, which was the most fun I’ve had in a while. We got totally wrecked, like comically so. Boss spawned in, did some sort of spin punch and immediate one-shotted everyone. We then proceeded to bum rush it in a vain attempt to do some kind of damage between sudden deaths. We had fun dying horribly, anyway.

I’ve got to get to bed though, we were up way to late getting murdered. Y’all take care.

Black Desert Online, An Opinion

I just realized, trying to find the category for it, that I’ve managed to mostly not mention Black Desert at all. That would probably be because I typically don’t play it, or even think about it, very often. Last time I played it was after Striker was released, but before it’s awakening was, so 2nd quarter 2017, give or take?

On the whole, I don’t dislike the game. It’s a fantasy version of EVE, as far as I’m concerned, though there are plenty of flaws in that comparison. My problem in 2017 is that I was playing solo and that makes the grind so much more monotonous. I even tried a guild, which kept me playing for maybe an additional week or two by giving me something to do.

My brother felt like trying it again though, as he had only played the trial account spun off my purchased account, so he picked it up on sale and we’ve been poking around in it for about a week.

It’s, well, pretty much as I remember it. What’s weird is that I have a somewhat different take on some of it’s features now than I did before. One of them is the always connected and afk nature of the game.

I hadn’t really though of it that deeply in the past, to be honest. It became a matter of convenience. A way to improve my character even when I’m not able to actually play that I just accepted. I wouldn’t go so far as to accuse it of being sinister, but I do believe it’s a deliberate business decision. Sure, it costs a little more in bandwidth, but it keeps the client open and reduces the barriers for you to play. Instead of sitting down and saying, “well, I don’t really feel like logging in today,” you end up with “I’m already logged in, might as well at least rotate my crops and sell my fish.” It helps keep the player active and active players spend money.

That’s one of the criticisms I see around BDO all the time, that it’s pay to win. I think I only half agree with that. I’m willing to agree that the game is overtly set up and designed to make you spend money, and that depending on which aspects of the game you enjoy, that may require a certain amount of money to be spent. However, if you’re willing to spend, say, the $15/month that the typical sub costs, I don’t know that it’s really that big of a deal.

The two problems I’m aware it’s had in the past were the ghillie suit ordeal, a costume/clothing item that hid your name or something, and pets.

The suit I can understand and relate to, their costumes tend to be fairly expensive $22-36USD, roughly 19-30EU, each. I personally feel that’s a little excessive for cosmetics, but that’s me. The problem with the suit was that hiding you name, or whatever it was it did, gave you a mechanical advantage in PvP, which is a central component of the game. A cash shop only item that gives you an advantage, especially against other players, is pretty much a textbook example of pay to win.

Pets are kinda, sorta similar? Most groups run on either free for all or rotating loot, I presume. If you’re on the default, free for all, pets can have a pretty strong impact on how much loot you get. Pets automatically loot anything flagged as lootable. It’s on a timer, I think the base is once every 10 seconds and it can go down to 4 if you really work, and spend the money, to do so. Good example here is yesterday I forgot to pull my two pets out and we were (accidentally) on free for all. His two base level pets pretty much beat me to 95% of the loot until I figured out what was going on. Since pets are mostly a cash shop only item, this means if you’re playing in groups with no pets, you’re probably not going to get much, if any, loot. I’d say that’s pretty close to pay to win territory. The catch being that basic pets around around $9USD, so one a month wouldn’t be that bad. Unless, I dunno, there was a really useful consumable that lasted, say 30 days and cost, I dunno, $15USD?

Well, there is. The “Value Pack.” They rather sneakily give you a super cheap one during the tutorial. It’s a seven day version, and most of the perks are of little value to me. The extra 16 inventory slot and storage slots, though, are a godsend. When this item wears off, tomorrow morning, it will immediately lock down all my storage because they’ll all be over the limit. With storage being full, my little worker network will shut down. They won’t gather anything if storage is full, even if there’s already a slot holding it in storage.

That means to continue playing effectively, I have to either heavily trim what I store or buy another value pack. I have enough “loyalties” to buy another week or two two days worth, but a seven one day pack costs fourteen days worth of loyalty points. I could squeeze a total of another three weeks two days out of that. Then it’s pay up or go home. I’m not opposed to paying, really, but then I can’t put that monthly money towards things like pets, placing them firmly in the pay to win price range.

Whoa, almost a thousand words and I haven’t even talked about server chat yet. It’s so bad as to be nearly worthless. The fact that anyone manages to get a question on screen, much less answered, is a miracle in and of itself. The overall quality of server chat is “4-chan.” Certainly not a good face on a community that largely ignores it, I think.

I think I’m gonna shut up now. This is way longer than I anticipated. Decent game, major flaws.

Y’all stay safe out there. If you can’t defend your camp in PvP, it’s not your camp any more.