Michelin guide: three stars

While my last adventures in Black Desert Online were tremendously fun I craved a more relaxed play session on the next day. I decided to tackle the numerous gathering- and cooking-quests my Witch had still in her log.

One of those quests asked me to make Good Feed, which is used to feed pets. I have splurged on a couple of those for christmas, so this was the perfect oppurtunity to learn how the food is made, and then make some more for personal use.

Black Desert Owl
The Owl’s my favourite. Isn’t it adorable?

The necessary ingredients for one crafting process of Good Feed are 6 units of meat, 4 units of wheat flour, 3 mineral water and one fish.

Meat is gathered by killing animals and using a butcher knife on their carcass. I bought a couple of those knives (since they have a limited durability, as most things in BDO do), went to an area with lots of boars and bears and began the rather grisly work.

Black Desert butchering
Being impaled by blades of grass sure ain’t a pleasant way to go…

Once I had a sufficient supply I moved on to making flour, which is done by processing wheat. Processing is seperate from gathering and cooking and a collective term for a whole bunch of ways to, well, process raw materials to refined materials which then can be used to make a final product. There’s heating, drying, filtering and, among others, grinding, which is the one used for turning wheat into flour. I had enough wheat in stock already, so I ground some of it into flour.

Black Desert grinding
For processing no actual tools are needed, mortar and pestle just poof into existence

Getting mineral water was the easiest task, because it can be bought from an NPC for some silver. Those NPCs also sell a range of other basic materials, such as sugar, salt and leavening agent. Alternatively, as I found out later, I could have used one unit of purified water instead of three mineral water. Purified water is made by buying empty bottles, filling them with water at a river or pond, and then filtering it.

Fishing is a science of its own, as is the fish itself.

Black Desert fishingjpg
A job for my Striker. He already looks the part.

First of all, once caught fish spoils after 24 hours if not used, processed or sold. Drying can be used to make it durable, but then you need to double the amount for cooking (meaning you need two instead of one, or four instead of two etc). A higher rarity, on the other hand, means that you need less. One green fish is as good as two white ones, a blue one double that, and so on. Drying keeps the rarity intact, so if you for example use a dried green fish it’s equal to a fresh white one.

Secondly, fish not only serves a purpose in cooking, it’s also a trade good. This means that you can sell them to Trade NPCs. Profit for all trade goods can be maximised by selling as far away as possible from where they were caught/bought/found (as long as you have both locations, origin and sale, connected via the contribution point system), and selling where only few or no units of the exact same trade good were sold recently.

The fishing process can be done either actively by playing a minigame when somethig bites and (optionally) using bait to speed up the process, or as an AFK activity taking substantially longer.

I fished actively until I had a couple whites, a couple greens and one blue fish. Since one white fish suffices for the pet food I decided that I’d use the white ones while fresh and dry the rest for another time.

Having all ingredients ready to go I went back to my residence where I had a cooking utensil already placed. For a not yet known recipe the correct amounts must be chosen by hand.

Black Desert good feed
The ingredients topple into the pot, cute!

I hit the ‘Cooking’-button and hoped for the desired outcome. To my delight I received not only one, but two units of Good Feed. Success! I turned in the quest for silver, cooking XP and contribution XP, then proceeded to make pet food until I ran out of fish and meat.

Black Desert cooking
Hmm, tasty. Wait a minute, am I eating cat food here?

I’m having loads of fun with life skills in Black Desert. Leveling up the various skills feels always rewarding, especially because the chance to get not one but two, sometimes even three units of your desired product rises with every level of the corresponding skill. What’s more, when cooking or using alchemy you get some byproducts every now and then. Those have funny names like ‘Dish with Poorly Prepared Ingredients’ or ‘Dish with Weird Texture’, and can be sold to certain NPCs for more XP, silver, beer or other ingredients.

I’m not yet deep enough into it to make an educated try at ranking this gathering and crafting system against all others I have experienced, but judging by my first impressions it might come second only to Star Wars Galaxies in terms of complexity and fun (out of competition: EVE Online, because it’s probably the best and most complex, but it’s not for me).

I strongly recommend trying it.


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