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
So, 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?