Black Desert Online: They Replaced my Old Horse (And I Didn’t Want Them To)

Posted on April 2, 2024 by Aywren

I heard some interesting news about upcoming changes to BDO’s life skill changes (they’re moving to make everything family-wide now), which prompted me to update the game and log in. I haven’t had any interest in BDO since they gave away the free Dream Horse back in December, and I got the last horse for my collection.

I checked my in-game mail just to see if I’d missed anything, and that’s when I saw this message.

I was stunned. I knew they’d already made it so you couldn’t catch any of the very low tier horses in the wild anymore. But actually replacing the lower tier horses I own with a tier 6 horse was a bit upsetting.

I discovered that this happened a few weeks ago, during the March 20 patch. At first, it appears that the devs had talked about just giving the equivalent cost in silver for the lower tier horses and taking them away completely. That would have REALLY upset me as I’d rather have the horse than the silver! I had characters still using a lower tier horse for a reason. I don’t think I was the only one who didn’t like this, as they didn’t go with this plan in the end.

I know it seems weird for me to say that I was upset to see my old horse replaced – why would I be upset that I was traded a better horse, after all? It’s mostly sentimental. I only kept one of my old tier 2 horses, one that I bred myself, and he was often passed around to whatever new alt I’d just rolled.

This was SS Light Step.

There was no reason I chose to keep him in particular, it just happened that way. He’s a regular bay with braided mane and tail, nothing special, really. But after they removed all the lower tier horses from the wild, I was happy I kept one because he was a rarity.

When I logged into the alt that had been using Light Step, I found him like this:

It seems the game is awash with these black replacement horses as they are now the default. This makes me a little sad, because prior to this, BDO had quite a robust horse breeding and coat color element to it. In fact, you can see all the different coats here. And if you look at my Stables page, you can see all kinds of variations in the horses I bred through the years.

Yes, based on the release notes, you can use a horse appearance change coupon to change a horse into one of these lower tier coats. But why would you do that when appearance coupons are rare? I guess if you really, really liked a coat color, you might.

The thing that truly makes me sad, though, isn’t the loss of the appearance of Light Step. It’s that a huge part of the breeding game has been completely gutted now. The fun that I had leveling my horse taming, going out into the wild to catch my first tier 1 breeding pair, creating a family tree of horses, and building my stables from the bottom up is completely gone.

There was great satisfaction in knowing that one of my eventual Dream Horses was directly descended from some of the early T1 horses I captured when I first started playing the game. No one will ever be able to do this again.

I’m sure most people are happy there aren’t Tier 1-5 horses in the game anymore. Not that there’s any reason to play the breeding game when everyone is just given a Dream Horse for free, anyhow.

I hate to say it, but the truth is, there’s no money for BDO to make in lower tier horse breeding. It’s only when you start training a Courser, and then when you Awaken a horse, that you need the skill change tickets – and skilling horse gear – that nudge players to put real money into the cash shop.

I know this because I have spent money on skill change tickets, myself. That’s the only way to successfully train a Courser as having all the skills align naturally in one horse is an almost impossibly rare chance. It can happen, but it’s not likely.

So, I have a sinking feeling that deleting low level gameplay, and fast-forwarding players to higher level horse breeding might really be about getting people set up to spend money in the end. If so, that’s a shame.

I was somewhat interested in seeing what they are going to do with consolidating life skills. This seems like a nice and convenient thing for players. But now I’m wondering if there’s an underlying money motive for this, too.

That gnawing feeling, on top of the fact that there is still no safe haven for people who just want to Life Skill and not deal with PVP, keeps pushing me away from BDO. I guess I’ll just wait and see what happens, but I rather doubt I’ll return unless major changes make the game appealing to me.

*|* {April} *|* {2024} *|* {Black Desert Online} *|*