I’ve shared my thoughts about randomness in MMORPGs before, my verdict being that it can be good or bad depending on how it’s utilized.
The RNG elements in Black Desert Online, of which there are many, are mostly bad in my opinion. Losing a bunch of progress you’d already made with a single click, for example when an item downgrades again due to a failed upgrade attempt, is just the antithesis of fun.
So color me surprised when the game’s third anniversary came along and with it an event that had a kind of RNG I actually liked quite a lot.
This event gave us the opportunity to earn four pre-enhanced pieces of gear. Spread across four weeks you could get one temporary accessory piece and some event-only upgrade materials per week by doing a quest and being logged in for a certain amount of time every day.
If you were lucky and got that piece to enhancement level TRI you could then exchange it for a regular accessory piece, also at TRI level. A huge prize! The real kicker, at least for me, was that even if you weren’t that lucky you’d at least get a DUO version of that same piece at the end of the week, provided you’d completed the quest (which required to kill a thousand mobs of a specific type) each and every day. At that time a DUO accessory was still a big deal for Lakisa and myself, so I knew that doing the event would be a win no matter our amount of luck.
It went really well, much better than anticipated. After week three we both had already scored two TRI hits, so we had to settle for the ‘consolation DUO ‘ only once each. In week four the best of the items was up, the Ogre Ring (which is actually worn as a necklace, apparently Ogres have pretty thick fingers). Unfortunately Lakisa only got the DUO this time, I on the other hand…
I was very excited to get it – I made Lakisa jump in her seat by cheering rather loudly – and also pretty happy with the event as a whole. Getting those TRI items was obviously huge, but, again, the fact that we at least got a DUO whenever the RNG wasn’t in our favour was what made the event feel really rewarding and fun to me. I would’ve also been happy, if a bit disappointed of course, if I’d scored only one TRI, or even none at all. I guess I can enjoy randomness much more if it’s not either win it all or lose it all. Not winning the main prize stings much less if I at least get an adequate reward for my efforts so that I don’t feel like all I did was for nothing.
Anyway, that particular day the RNG gods weren’t quite done being nice. After finishing the event quest we did some boss scrolls, and I finally got a pair of Bheg’s Gloves while Lakisa was even luckier and received Dim Tree Spirit’s Armor. What are the chances of that happening on the same day?
As if that still wasn’t enough I pulled a DUO Eye of the Ruins Ring from a Dark Rift reward box later that same evening. Say what?
Whoa. Not only did all that additional attack power boost my damage output quite noticably, having made such a substantial leap on the gear ladder actually motivated me to try and push even further. Since I now had Bheg’s Gloves lying around, as well as a Kzarka weapon box I got during another event a while back, I decided to buy the remaining boss armor pieces I wanted, namely Dim Tree, Griffon’s Helmet and Urugon’s Shoes, from the market and have a go at enhancing them all at once, which is the most efficient way anyhow.
I knew that 300 Armor Black Stones wouldn’t be enough to build all those failstacks I’d need, but I kinda hoped that the rest of the items you see up there, especially the Memory Fragments, would suffice. Haha, not a chance. Over the span of three hours I used up about 700 Mem Frags, well over 1k Black Stones, more than 100 Concentrated Black Stones, 50 Valk’s Cry, almost all Advice of Valk’s I had and like 100 million silver. But I got there.
At the time of this writing those five items have a combined worth of about 4,5 billion silver on the marketplace, so I actually made a profit, hard to believe as it may be. Still, I’m glad I got it over with. From here on out I’ll only try to enhance anything when I have accumulated enough Cron Stones so a failure won’t bounce the item back to DUO.
The only thing left to do then was to bring the remaining accessory slots up to par. I had long since decided that I’d never try to enhance those myself – because they don’t just fall back a level when an enhancement attempt fails, they are destroyed instead – so I’d held on to any I’d found in order to sell them later and use the silver to buy already enhanced pieces from the market.
I activated a 7-day Value Pack and put all kinds of stuff I had accumulated over the months up for sale. Just 12 hours later I’d made almost 2,5 billion silver. I used that to buy a second TRI Narc Ear Accessory and a TRI Eye of the Ruins Ring. Not satisfied with wearing one last DUO piece I then sold that DUO Eye Ring and also the DUO Ogre Ring I had lying around since after the anniversary event to buy another TRI Eye Ring.
It’s ironic, and also a bit schizophrenic I feel, that I still don’t like this gear upgrade system at all, yet looking at what I’ve achieved with it makes me feel really satisfied and happy.
But, again, it probably wouldn’t have happened at all if not for the anniversary event and its rather generous and rewarding form of RNG.
Anyway, at the end of that arduous play session it suddenly occurred to me that I had no idea what those shiny new items actually look like on my character since he’s always wearing the costume you’ve already seen in numerous screenshots. So I toggled the hide costume switch.
Ehhhh…I think I’ll stick with my costume, thank you very much.