Thursday, January 28, 2021

Let's Play Musical Chairs (Black Desert Edition)


I imagine most people who read Inventory Full also read Time To Loot, but just in case anyone missed it , I'm repeating Naithin's Public Service Announcement concerning Black Desert Online.

You can read the full details there but the short version is Pearl Abyss are reclaiming full control of the game from outgoing publisher Kakao. All previous logins will cease to be valid at the end of May 2021.

If you have an existing account, whether directly with Kakao or by way of Steam, if you want to carry on playing those characters from June onwards you'll need to migrate your account to Pearl Abyss. There are separate processes for the two platforms. Make sure you take the right one.

Anyone who's spent any signifcant time playing imported mmorpgs (or anything from any producer other than the very biggest, really, I guess) will be all too familiar with this sort of thing. I've lost track of how many times I've had to move various accounts over the years. It's always annoying but usually it goes reasonably smoothly. 

Usually, but not always. One of the worst I can remember was the Riders of Icarus move a couple of years ago. That went so badly many players couldn't log in at all for many months even after following the rules and moving their accounts in good time. I was one of them.

Numerous hotfixes and workarounds failed. Things dragged on and on. Eventually the new publisher, Valofe, did get it fixed but by then I'd lost interest. Before the switch I was logging in every day because Riders of Icarus has some of the best daily log-in rewards I've seen anywhere but the enforced hiatus broke that habit . I haven't been back since.

Worst of all is when the acquiring publisher can't or won't service the game in all of the same regions as the outgoing one. That's happened to me a few times, most frustratingly with a game I would very much like to still be able to play, Dragon Nest

I think I moved with that game, successfully, three times. It might have been four, although at least once my account didn't come with me and I had to start over from scratch. Finally I ran out of stepping stones and that was that. 

Most gallingly, Dragon Nest is still running somewhere - Malaysia, I think - but whoever's keeping that last version up has robust region locking in place. I've several times considered using a VPN but I haven't gone that far...yet.

So changing publishers is a risk both for the developer and the player. We could lose our characters or our access to the game. They could lose our custom or our money.

I'm very pleased to say that, in keeping with just about everything else about Black Desert, the transfer process seems extremely professional. Clear, well-explained and robust. 

I took Naithan's link to the official Black Desert Online Game Data Transfer page and followed the instructions. It took me about ten or fifteen minutes but most of that was me, looking for the login details of the obscure email address I'd used for the original account, trying to come up with a new username and password... When you never use the same details twice and you sign up for hundreds of things, it can take a while.

The whole thing was about as painless as something like this can ever be. I was particularly impressed both by the friendly tone and the detailed confirmatory feedback at every step. I'm not heavily invested in Black Desert but I know moves like this can be quite stressful for those who are. 

I especially liked the final stage, when you're presented not just with affirmation of the name of the account you're about to transfer, but a list of all your characters, their levels and other salient facts, just so you can be certain all your people are coming with you.

Of course, the final proof won't come until I try to log in after the first cut-off date of February 24th. That's when the Kakao logins cease to be valid and you'll have to have a Pearl Abyss account to play. You'll have a couple of months' grace to get one before your characters are pitched into the great void but until you do you won't be able see them.

With Riders of Icarus, it wasn't until I reached that point that I found out the transfer had problems. It had all seemed good until then. I'll hold off giving Pearl Abyss the final thumbs up until I see my characters in game after the transfer takes effect but I have to say everything the company has done since I was introduced to their existence, when BDO launched in the West several years ago, has done nothing but inspire confidence. 

They do seem to know what they're doing although I guess that could have been Kakao. I guess we're going to find out.

I hope it all goes well. It's a fine mmorpg, Black Desert Online. I may not play it often but I'd hate to lose the chance.


  1. Thank you for this! It's been a while since I've been in Black Desert, but I don't want to lose my account. I made the transfer and might actually poke my nose back in there a bit. I heard there's ways to get around the forced PVP now?

    1. Hmm, is there? I haven't played for ages but none of my characters (I have four) ever got high enough to need to go to the PvP zones so it was never an issue. I've read many times that although people can PvP in BDO most don't, so apparently it wasn't too much of a problem anyway but if it's entirely avoidable, so much the better.

  2. As you, like you said, do like generous login-reward campaigns you should take note that there's a seperate tab of those right now specifically for folks who did the account transfer thing early.

    If you log in (almost) every day from now until February 24th you'll get some seriously good rewards for it, in addition to the 'usual' rewards you'd get anyway.

  3. As for the PvP, you can create characters on 'season servers' now, where gear progression and progression in general is much quicker and PvP is completely disabled.

    Once the season is over those characters become normal ones though, as far as I know there's no way to opt out permanently, unless your characters stay at level 49 or lower forever.

    Being ganked just for the hell of it is extremely uncommon anyway though, just as you said.

    1. That might be what I heard of. Thanks for the info!

    2. Thanks for the info. Unsurprisingly, having been pushed into doing something with BDO thanks to the transfer I did indeed start thinking about logging in and taking a look at my characters, at which point I would most likely have been drawn in by the prospect of getting free stuff... only it turns out to be a 56GB download AND it isn't working. I have errors patching and I suspect, from long experience, that it could be a while sorting them out. I will persist, though. Probably going to need a full re-install at least.

  4. Glad the word is getting out on this one, thanks Bhagpuss! I did receive a direct email notifying of this just yesterday, so looks like there will be a direct campaign as well which seemed oddly missing earlier.

    Even so- I'd hate for someone to miss out when it could've been avoided!

    Like you, I'm still holding my breath until the actual transfer has been confirmed as successfully done post Feb 24th -- but barring any unexpected issues at that point, the process itself was pretty slick indeed!

    1. Well, I'm having issues patching so we'll see how it goes. I know these things always get fixed eventually - it's just a matter of how long it takes.


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