Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming, MMORPGs

Black Desert Online and the P2W Protest #blaugust2016

This post is a part of Blaugust 2016!

It’s been a while since I’ve done anything of significance in Black Desert Online. My main character is perpetually level 23 (so that I never have to deal with open world PvP). I bred my Tier 6 horses but found it very time consuming to train them for a chance at a T7 breeding. I did log in to roll a Ninja on the last big update, but I didn’t actually play him.

So, I’ve been a little out of the loop with what’s going on in the game. The fact that BDO is now offering things called Value Packs, which serves the same function as a 30 day subscription in a lot of ways, passed me by last month. But the recent P2W protests did not.

Now, I don’t even have a horse in this race (pun intended). After being decimated by ArcheAge’s P2W, I didn’t put too much of myself into BDO’s world. So this is all an observation from the outside looking in.

Down With P2W

p2wpngSo, what’s got the players all up in arms lately? It’s the announcement that BDO, a Buy to Play game, is going to allow people to buy items in the cash shop with real money and sell these items on the auction house for in-game currency. It’s basically a sanctioned way to buy silver with real money.

Now, I’ve seen a similar feature in other games, so what’s the big deal here? It has to do with the fact that you can purchase the BiS gear using silver… and that BDO is supposed to have a competitive PvP end game. So, PvP folks, many who already are annoyed at how other “no lifer” players get a leg-up in PvP as it is, are really upset about this.

Other folks feel betrayed because BDO apparently swore a blood oath that the game would never do anything to promote P2W. They felt they invested in the game at box price, and some probably spent quite a bit in the cash shop to support the game… all to watch it twist into a P2W shadow of itself.

Then there’s the whispering on the wind that Kakao is using profits from their gaming ventures to fund other real world businesses. This is something they called online-to-offline business.

On top of that, when the players provide their feedback on the official forums, their words are met with the banhammer. So, the BDO Reddit seems to have become that haven for these ostracized players to vent. Of course, BDO denies that there is unjust banning going on, but… yeah. You can do the math.

In the meantime, players are protesting in their own ways in game… through uploading the above picket signs to adding the No P2W sign to their guild emblems… Guilds may go to war, but they can agree on this.


I rather doubt this is going to accomplish anything. In fact, I’d be more surprised if it did. Yeah, so nevermind. I just checked. The change went out in today’s patch


While I never allowed myself to get too invested in BDO (aside from horse training), I’m not surprised that the game tilted off in this direction. It’s a little sad to see, but companies are going to do what is going to make them money, even if they anger the majority of their community doing it. I guess it really comes down to whether they’ve hooked enough players deeply enough to keep playing despite this, or whether those who have already spent a lot of money are going to walk away due to this.

As for me, I haven’t given them too much of my money or loyalty, so I don’t have much in the way of feelings on the matter. It seems like it’s just the sign of the times… another game turning around to milk their players for everything it can while it still can. I feel for the folks who feel betrayed, like I did in AA, but I’ve been bitten too many times to put too much faith in any non-sub game to remain on the straight and narrow anymore.

What do you think of all this drama?


I'm a technical writer by day, gaming gal by night. I have a wide array of gaming interests, though I most often blog about MMOs, RPGs, and Nintendo fanstuffs. Like what you just read? Check out my Webcomic and Fantasy Fiction projects!

9 thoughts on “Black Desert Online and the P2W Protest #blaugust2016

  1. I think that I am glad I never took the bait for this one, even though it was really tempting. Oddly enough, the main thing that kept me away was the conclusion that many people came to that it was effectively a single-player experience. Not that that was a problem in itself – the game looks pretty great for explorer types – but I could safely put it in the “I have too many of those games already; I don’t need more right now” box.


    1. Yeah, the game has a lot of good elements, but nothing that really rocked my world. I like some of the sandboxing and the horses, naturally, but always knowing if I leveled too high that I get an automatic PvP flag remained in the back of my head.


  2. Another funny turn of events is Kakao coming out and saying they will go after peoples credit ratings if they see charge backs. Not condoning the charge backs but seems odd for a company to blatantly threaten it’s players


    1. I did read about that, but only after I’d already posted this piece. Lots of drama going on! I also felt that the tone of their message to players was threatening.


  3. Glad I never got invested in this game, it seems to be going down the Archeage path.

    It really is a shame, Archeage was pretty much the best MMO ever, ruined by bad decisions and incompetence.


  4. It’s pretty rough that they made it B2P in the West and then turned on the P2W hose like this. I stopped playing after only a month or so because it was way too much “afk gaming”. Sure I’m ok with things taking time, but I’d rather have offline stuff like Neverwinter’s crafting or SWTOR companion missions. If I’m not actively playing game A, I’ll be actively playing game B not leaving BDO running while my character rides in a circle or whatever…


    1. I didn’t mind all of the AFK gaming, but when it turned into “You must AFK game all night while you sleep to level horses because it takes 52 hours to max one at T7….” Well, that got a bit silly.

      I’m not burning out my laptop or PC just to level a horse all night. It really did get to the point where I ran horses instead of actually playing the game because I couldn’t do both at the same time. 😦


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.