Saturday, February 27, 2016

Black Desert Online - Newbie Guide to Alchemy and Crafting - The Stuff You Need to Know by Amber

I wrote and posted this in my guild forum but thought someone on here might be interested. Most of you who have played both betas or spent time on other regions servers probably already know all of this stuff.

Hey all, after spending the second beta doing a stupid amount of alchemy and struggling with the headaches it gave me I decided I'd do a quick guide outlining some important info. In this post I'll be addressing the basics of Alchemy and Crafting (including house Purposing), some particular nodes, and a few other minor observations I've made. Also, in light of the similarities between Alchemy and Cooking, the Alchemy portions of the guide may well be of interest to prospective Chefs. If you have any questions feel free to ask me.


BDO Tome - This website has a wealth of information as well as an interactive map (which the link will take you to). NOTE: The map isn't quite as detailed as the one in-game and some of the names of places are not the same as they are within the NA release.

BDFoundry - This one has Alchemy and Cooking recipes, as well as a bunch of guides. I found the guides to be useful but lacking as they seem to be directed towards more experienced players. NOTE: Just as with BDO Tome, many of the names of things (materials primarily) are not the same as in NA release. Be cautious.

BD Database - This website is a straight database of everything you could ever want to know.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOTE that what city you choose as a base will determine where you want most of your workers stationed. This guide is intended to make use of Calpheon as a home city, with workers stationed in various other cities depending on which nodes you personally need.

Starting Off - So you want to be an Alchemist?

While very basic Alchemy and Cooking recipes can be done using basic ingredients and your Processing menu (accessed by hitting L), the really useful stuff will nearly always require the use of both special tools and rare ingredients. In both cases, you will need to be using those contribution points and getting your workers active. With that in mind, here's a checklist to help you get on your way. Once everything on this list is done you should have everything you need.

In no particular order:
  • Hire workers - Visit the worker manager in your chosen city to hire up some workers. You can have one worker per city without needing to Purpose a room to Lodging (more on this later). At the cost of 5 energy the worker manager will show you a worker who you can hire (or not). Pay attention to the race-- Giants work the slowest, Humans at a medium speed, and Goblins the fastest. Stamina- how many times they can do tasks before getting tired- is the opposite with Giants having the most and Goblins the least.
  • Identify and invest in the nodes that have the materials you need - Some materials you can mine or gather yourself (most metals and woods, for example) and some you cannot. You might have to research some of those materials to find out where to get them. Once you've found the node, make use of the world map to see how it connects to the closest city. Every node between it and the city needs to be activated, which is done by speaking to the Node Manager of each one, selecting Node Management, and then contributing the required amount of Contribution Points. Keep in mind that the actual gathering points you will be sending your workers to must be invested into as well- activating just the first node is not enough.
  • Purposing a residence - You must have a residence to make use of an Alchemy or Cooking Tool (these can be purchased from Alchemists or Furniture Vendors OR crafted). I personally pick residences close to Marketplace Directors because I buy a good chunk of my materials, but other good places would be near main roads or someplace pretty. Once you have one, enter it and hit the button at the top left that says Place Furniture. Set down your tool and you'll be ready to rock.
  • Putting a bed in said residence - Resting in a bed grants you more energy regeneration. Whereas you usually regen 1 energy per 3 minutes, resting in a bed gives either 2 per 3 minutes (for beds bought from Furniture Vendors or crafted yourself) or 3 per 3 minutes (if you buy the bed from the Pearl shop) Infinitely important, I owe Star my life for telling me about this. Keep in mind that these tools have durability points and will eventually break.
Got all that? Then you're ready to move on!

Down and Dirty - Concocting your first potion(!!) and more.

...Alright, I lied. Truth is there is no way to make HP/MP potions in Black Desert-- sorry! There are, however, many incredibly useful elixirs you CAN make, and many ingredients vital to high level crafting come from Alchemy. Before we get into those (I will get into them briefly later) though, let's cover a few basic Alchemy recipes. Simple Alchemy can be selected from the options in your Processing Menu and it can be used to create (as far as I am aware) three things: Herbal Medicine, Concentrated Herbal Medicine, and... ENRICHED Herbal Medicine (heh). These are simple drinks which restore Mana (I know I said MP potions didn't exist... it's a medicine ;) ) and they are super easy to make. You need two ingredients: 3 Sunrise Herbs (from gathering herbs in the wild, they are all over) and 1 Mineral Water (can be bought from an Inn Manager, it's cheap). Once you've got them, bring up the Processing Menu, click Simple Alchemy, add the ingredients from your inventory via right-click, and hit Create. Viola! Herbal Medicine. Once you level up and have more Mana you'll want to make the stronger versions. Simply put 3 Herbal Medicine in the Simple Alchemy and it will give you 1 Concentrated Herbal Medicine in return. Same deal for Concentrated. Yeah. It's that easy.

While these totally-not-Mana-potions are neat and all, there are better things to do with your energy in my opinion. "But Amber," you say, "I'm still beginner rank! I can't make all those fancy elixirs like you!" Don't worry, I've got you covered. I initially got into Alchemy to make Metal Solvent, one of the ingredients of one of the ingredients to a sword I had my eyes on, and it required at least Apprentice rank in Alchemy, so I've got this part figured out.

With my eyes set on Apprentice I found a recipe that was cheap to make and it turned out to be a lucky pick. Pure Powder Reagent is a recipe that you can make using an Alchemy tool and the ingredients are ones you can get yourself or have your workers gather without much effort. It sells for a decent price (~2k-3k/ea during the beta) and is used in tons of recipes later on (sell or save, your call, no bad options).

You will need one of each of these:
  • Sugar - NOT RAW SUGAR. You can buy both Sugar and Raw Sugar from Inn Managers. Make sure you get the right one.
  • Silver Azalea - This is a plant you can gather yourself or send your workers to get, either or. It was VERY cheap on the market during beta. If you want to have your workers gather it, best place I found was directly West of Heidel and named Lynch Farm Ruins (Another view).
  • Weeds/Wild Grass - You can use whichever you want. Weeds were cheaper on the Market at the time, so I used those.
  • Purified Water - This you will have to get yourself and was the bane of my existence. From a Materials Merchant you will need to buy Empty Bottles, mosey on down to a river, then right click them in your inventory. Your character will fill them with river water (sea water will not work) one at a time, which you will then sift (using the Sifting option in the Processing menu) to get Purified Water. The reason this is a pain is because it will cost you 2 energy for each bottle- one to get water from the river and one to sift it- and energy is scarce. As you level up you will randomly start getting two Purified Water for one, which is awesome.
Got them? Head on over to your Residence and use your Alchemy tool. Right click each one (1 each) and hit Create. The option next to Create says Continuous Production- this simply will repeat the Alchemy until an ingredient (or your Energy) runs out. IF YOU HIT THIS read the popup. Only put in the number of ingredients it takes to make ONE of the result even if you're doing continuous, it will pull the next ingredients from your inventory automatically. If you put in more than you need to create it, the Alchemy Tool WILL EAT THEM ALL and you will still only get one of the result.

Once your character is done playing with beakers and shit you'll be the proud owner of a baby Pure Powder Reagent and some Alchemy experience. Congrats! From there you can either sell that for some cash or keep it and take the Alchemy one step further. If you want to sell them, just keep doing the same thing over again until you hit Apprentice.
OPTIONAL - Making an elixir.

If you want to save some energy or hate rivers, this is the best route to go (if you love spending energy and rivers and still want to make some useful elixirs, skip down a bit). Now that you've got some Pure Powder Reagents there is a recipe you can make that doesn't require any Purified Water (thank God) and it is just as cheap. You'll be making the intimidating-sounding-yet-disappointingly-mediocre Elixir of Life, which raises your max HP by 100 for 5 minutes. At low levels that's actually not half bad but I digress.

You will need:
  • 1 Pure Powder Reagent
  • 5 Silver Azalea
  • 5 Fox/Weasel Blood - This is something tons of new players gather early in the game thinking it is cool. It is cool-- for us, since supply makes it stupid cheap on the Market. 140/ea during beta. (If for some reason there isn't any on the market you will want to find a new recipe. Killing them and draining their blood yourself costs energy that you could better spend getting more Purified Water.)
  • 3 Small Health Potions - Cheap to buy from a General Merchant, sometimes even cheaper on the Market. Take these and put them in your Alchemy Tool-- make sure you put in the correct amounts of each. Hit the button and you'll get yourself some Elixir of Life. While these sold for about 800/1k each during beta I expect that these will be thoroughly worthless a week after launch. I won't be the only person who sees them as easy experience.
Other Elixirs - For people who like spending 2 energy for a bottle of water.

While I didn't make any of these, looking at BD Foundry's recipe list made it clear to me that these may interest some of you. The elixirs that I see right away that use simple ingredients are Elixirs of Mental (max MP +100), Resuscitation (HP regen +10), Vitality (MP regen +10), Defense (damage reduction +5), and Power (monster damage -15%). These all require multiple bottles of Purified Water each, but once people start selling that on the Market they might be a more viable choice for leveling Alchemy. If you find an elixir you want to make (listed here or not) and are having trouble finding the ingredients let me know, I'll see if I can't out where to get them.

Alchemy and Crafting - Metal Solvent how I hate thee (and my closing remarks on Alchemy).

Beyond making colored waters and making you hang out in rivers, Alchemy is vital to crafting almost everything. The first instance of this I ran into was when I saw that the sword I wanted to make required a Pure Tin Crystal which you get from heating Tin Ingots and Metal Solvents together (NOTE: This requires Artisan level Processing, 3 ingots and 2 Metal Solvent). Metal Solvent is a product of Apprentice level Alchemy and is required for making any metal crystals, which are required for most every weapon. Already Apprentice level?

Awesome, here's the recipe:
  • 3 Melted Iron Fragment - To get these just Heat Iron Ore using the Processing window (5 Iron Ore = 1 Melted Iron Fragment).
  • 2 Clear Liquid Reagents - This is a Alchemy product similar to Pure Powder Reagents. It uses almost the same recipe as them too. *1 Salt - Purchase from Inn Manager *1 Sunrise Herb - Gather or buy off Market, should be quite cheap. *1 Weeds/Wild Grass *1 Purified Water
  • 4 Crude Stones - Get these from mining Feldspar, killing Grass Rock Crabs, or the Market.
  • 2 Trace of Savagery - To get these you'll be needing a worker. Earlier I mentioned farming Azalea from Lynch Farm Ruins and you'll be sending your worker there for these. Talk to the Node Manager again and, at the steep cost of 25 Energy, complete the conversation option. Doing so will unlock a mining node within Lynch Farm Ruins which says it yields Imp Horns. What it doesn't say is that it will also give you Trace of Savagery, but it will. Invest in it and send a worker over from Heidel to get them.
In a similar vein to Purified Crystals, Alchemy allows for the production of other materials needed for Crafting everything from armor to wagon parts. At BD Foundry the recipes fall under the Basic Ingredients tab. I assume most of these will require at least Apprentice in Alchemy to make and in all likely hood Artisan level Processing. This is a real pain, believe me I know... but that tells me that the people that do it first are gonna be making good money. Pure crystals of all kinds were selling for upwards of 120k each during the beta and there's no doubt in my mind that those were off lucky drops (there was only one of some and none of others) off monsters. Overall, it's gonna be a pain but profitable for sure. Also check out the Alchemy guide on BD Foundry as it talks a bit about Imperial Alchemy which, from my understanding, deals with making packs of those elixirs you make and selling them to specific NPCs for a pretty huge profit margin. It was brought to my attention that Imperial Crafting hasn't yet been brought over to NA! My bad!

Crafting - Choosing your homes.

Aside from basic Processing, Alchemy, and Cooking, all crafting in Black Desert is done by your workers in buildings you purchase. While any worker can be used to craft anything, you must have the correctly Purposed building to craft something. There are tons of different Purposes (man, that word just does not roll off the tongue. Silly Daum) and you will have to have quite a few to get anything going. I'll go over some of the important ones and some good locations I've found in the next section. For now, the basics you need to know to get a building.

When you're ready to choose a building you've got two options- either you run around the city looking for purple beams of light in front of doors (this means they are rentable) or you open up the map, click on the city, and browse them that way. You will choose the second option.

You will choose the second option.

The reason for this is because the map will have a wealth of information that you need to know. Take a look at this map here. This is the city map of Calpheon. It might be a bit big for some of you because it is a 4k image, but hopefully that will just make it easier to see the stuff I'll talk about. Looking at it you should see lots of little house icons, some grey and some blue. The blue houses are the ones which you can rent, grey you cannot... yet. Look closer-- see the lines from house to house? Just like Nodes, some houses you can only get once you've unlocked the previous one (NOTE: to buy the higher floors of a building you must first purchase the lower ones). In a small city like Heidel these are less important, but this isn't a big city, so you'll benefit greatly from paying attention to those. The reason for that is that not every building can be used for any Purpose. In addition to that, the Purposes that a building DOES have access to all have multiple levels. While two buildings might both have the same choices for Purposes, one might be able to be upgraded to level 3 while the other can only reach level 2. Here's an example of a house which has access to a level 3 Refinery. The triangle arrows next to a Purpose show how many levels it can be upgraded. That same building can become a level 5 Storage or a level 4 Weapon Workshop or a level 5 Armor Workshop or a level 1 Residence. Each level unlocks new crafting options with the highest levels often unlocking things that can be very difficult to get, so it is important to know which buildings have the best levels. Often these buildings will require you to purchase several homes to unlock them, as you can see here. If you reference the first picture of Calpheon you can see that this building with a level 5 Furniture Workshop is the third building in from the closest purchasable house. (I've taken enough screenshots of the building options in Calpheon that you could easily plan out entire purchasing paths for any feasible situation, some of which I will share here. If you want the whole shebang reply or send me a message and I'll message you the whole Imgur album. It's large.)

Once you've picked the building(s) you want, it's time to purchase them and Purpose them. Click the blue house, click Purchase. This will cost a bit of money (a couple thousand, really nothing major) and a Contribution Point. Of course by now you probably realize this but allow me to reiterate- Contribution Points are pretty Daum important (heh... hehehe) and should be invested carefully. Luckily, you really are investing them-- if you need your points back or no longer need a house/node you can sell/withdraw contribution back from them. Once you've purchased a house you'll need to choose it's Purpose.

Purposing - What do you want to craft?

Purposes for houses all have very specific uses and you will not need one of all of them (probably... at least not right away). Let's go over some of the basic ones and your options in Calpheon regarding them * Storage - Adds a few spaces of storage to your Warehouse at this city. This can be really important as you play, especially if you're using one city as a main hub. I was filling up my warehouses after only a few days in the betas. * Residence - Residences are literally your homes. You decorate them, add useful Tools, invite people over, and get assaulted in your sleep at them. Residences are always level 1. * Lodging - Lodging allows you to hire more workers in that particular city. You will need some of these, especially if you use workers for a lot of your gathering. * Furniture Workshop - You craft furniture for your Residences here. * Horse Ranch - This building allows you to house more horses in the stables of the city. * Armor Workshop - Craft Propane and Propane Accessories here! Kidding. Armor. * Weapon Workshop - Weapons! NOTE: Not all weapons can be made here. The Weapon Workshop only deals with some-- swords and daggers. * Carpentry Workshop - Weapons! Sortof. This place is solely for bows and shields. * Tool Workshop - You can make tools here. This is one of the most important buildings as the tools you craft are infinitely superior to those you get from NPCs. Level 3 has all the tools except for an Advanced Alchemy Tool. * Refinery - You can make Blackstone Powder here (an important ingredient in Crafting) as well as other things needed to enhance weapons and armor. Level 3 ones are common enough to find. * Mineral Workbench - This is the Purpose you need to refine melted ore fragments into ingots. Vital and common. * Wood Workbench - Same deal but with logs and planks.

NOTE: When I wrote this for my guild I included pictures of locations of the highest tier of each of these within Calpheon, but due to formatting differences (our site uses BBC while Reddit uses Markdown) I decided to do without them.

Other Purposes allow you to improve wagons and boats, make better use of various materials, as well stuff like crafting secondary weapons and accessories.

At this point it helps to decide what you want to get from your city. If it is just a resource collecting hub, all you'll need is Storage and Lodging, while if it is your main town you'll probably be looking at getting a lot of places (likely everything on that list there) and multiples of some. I suggest starting with, while keeping your Contribution Points in mind, a Lodging, a Mineral Workbench, a Tool Workshop, and a Residence.

Now, let's say you've decided that you want to do some interior decorating and have Purposed a Furniture Workshop with that in mind. Next you'll need to take a look at what it has to offer and, once you've picked out what you want, make sure that it is leveled enough to produce that. If you want something that is in the level 3 group while your Furniture workshop is only level 1, you're gonna need to hit that big ol' Level Up button you should see on the left side of the menu. It will cost some cash and take some time, but once it is done you'll be good to go... except you still need the mats. Take a look at what you wanted to craft again, make a list of the materials. Some of them you're likely to recognize, some you might not. If you don't recognize one or don't know how to make it, you'll need to make use of the very helpful... Crafting Notes! Hit F2 to pull it up. Alternatively, you can always use BDDatabase. In both of these you can find every material in the game along with how to get it and what it is used in. Until you've played for awhile and have a good knowledge of materials, it would be wise to research each thing required for a product before setting out to craft it. You may find that the seemingly benign third ingredient is actually a rabbit hole of production and you spend days and stupid amounts of energy leveling Alchemy to craft it only to find out you also need a really high Processing level and... You get the picture. Don't be me.

Once you've got all the required materials toss them in the warehouse of the city you're working in and you're all done with your work. Click Crafting in the menu for your building, find the desired product, choose a worker to do the deed and start him up. After a period of time that you can spend relaxing the production will finish and you've successfully crafted something!

Miscellaneous Tidbits

While most resources were more or less easy to find, I did want to point out the best ways I found to get some particular mats (coal and tin). There are other ways to get these, but these seemed best to me. Coal could be mined manually from mines in Keplan but there were dangerous mobs within. Star said there were mining spots outside but also ran into monsters at some point. Fortunately, directly north of Keplan is Keplan Quarry, to which you can send workers to gather Coal. Total cost is 2 Contribution Points. Keplan Quarry. Tin was a bit trickier. I ended up using BDO Tome to find it- the node searching function on it works great- and it was a bit out of the way. It is Behr Riverhead, which is south and ever-so-West of Calpheon, three nodes away, and directly West of Keplan. You can send workers if you want (total cost would be 5 Contribution points, I believe) but it is an area free of monsters so mining it yourself might not be a bad idea. Then again, if you get workers out there quick enough you might be able to make bank come Launch. shrug. When you go there to activate the node or mine be aware it isn't noticeable at all-- you've gotta jump up some rocks and it is all along a pond/stream. The rocks to mine are named Brophyte or something... it starts with a B. In any case, Behr Riverhead is the bottom-leftmost node in this picture.

Personally I think crafting things is very difficult in this game. I think that could change once you get enough workers automated and gathering all the time, but starting out it is going to be much easier to level and get gear that way. With the exception of Tools, it's just not feasible to craft stuff. That said, the certain Purpose buildings that allow you to enhance specific weapons and armors are definitely going to be important as I don't think you can just find enhanced gear. Seeing as enhancing weapons requires the weapon as a material, however, I think getting them as drops or whatever will be much easier than crafting them at first. It's going to be an interesting first month getting all of this stuff mastered.

I don't think I can stress how important it is going to be to get a Tool Workshop fired up and rocking. I went through so many tools during the Guild Missions we ran. Having a single better one would have been such a big help. They really aren't even difficult to make either. Just do it.

Let's see, what else... I learned a ton more during the second beta. There is so much to learn. Writing this out took a good while, but if people are interested I'd be more than willing to do other guides in the future as I learn more about the game.

Finally, I wanted to say again that I am really looking forward to playing with all of you. I am loving this game and I've already had so many great experiences even though I've only played for two betas. Let's have lots of fun in a week when Launch happens.




  1. Many thanks. Very helpful :) time to make some propane.

  2. thanks for taking the time to post this! Really appreciate you sharing your experience.

  3. I'm just starting Alch and overwhelmed with stuff I need to gather, but there is a few dailies (2 or 3 at least) in Olvia that reward Purified Water and mainly increase Gathering Exp, but you end up with materials u can use.
    One NPC sends you to gather 3 types of Sap from trees, and one sends you to fill 10 bottle of sea water, but has purified as a reward.
    Those are top of my head, and I go over the Mountain to florin for dailies there, but other quests are a real Energy drain and I just pick them up so I have them but don't go out to do them and just hand them in every 2-3 days.
    For example, Sapping uses 1 energy and thats it, but one NPC (in Olvia) has you collecting Sunrise Herb and often you just pull weeds and drain energy fast.
    The Rewards are not much but amount to something without actually going to rivers as much.
    Other than that, this guide was encouraging to say the least.