How To Build A Production Empire In Black Desert Online

Black Desert Online is an MMO that combines a few aspects of EVE Online with a gorgeous fantasy world. It features plenty of fluid action combat, but you’d be missing out if you don’t invest in its expansive and robust crafting and production systems. This guide will help you get started, teaching you how to use ‘contribution points’ to build your own business brewing beer.

Before we get started, this is a guide that should be attempted by players around level 15+ who have worked through some of the story quests and have made their way to the town of Velia. Don’t worry, getting there should only take an hour or two. Once you’re there, I’ll take you step by step toward building your first ‘node network’ to begin producing goods that you can craft to make yourself a lot of money. You’re also going to need a total of four contribution points—which I’ll explain how to get in just a few moments.

I will say that thanks in part to Black Desert’s shoddy localization and the obtuse nature of the mechanics, understanding all of the nuances described in this guide might take some time. Just keep at it, follow closely, and don’t hesitate to experiment and see what happens.

Want to simply know more about what’s good and bad about the game? Read the Black Desert Online review instead.

What Are Contribution Points?

In most MMORPGs, your character’s power is measured by their level, and the same is true for Black Desert. However, Black Desert has more to do than kill monsters and run dungeons. You can set up trade routes, build and sell boats or wagons, become a master chef, and plenty more.

Almost all of those pursuits are tied to contribution points, a refundable currency you earn from completing different quests. With enough experience, you’ll earn points that you can spend and refund whenever you please.

Perhaps the most basic way to invest contribution points is through renting items from various NPCs. As you explore the world, you’ll encounter many characters who will loan you items in exchange for contribution points. Whenever you’re done using the item, like a fence to set up a garden, bring it back to that character and earn your contribution points back in full. Where you’ll spend most of your contribution, however, is setting up sprawling ‘node networks’ to access resources or connect towns together to establish trade routes. Let’s dig into how that works.

How Do Nodes Work?

The world of Black Desert is vast and nonlinear, and you’re free to wander about and discover it as you please. Landmarks and areas of interest are called nodes, and by unlocking them using your contribution points, you can begin to chain them together into a network. Doing this allows you to hire workers who can head out to the nodes and harvest a given resource for you, like the produce we’ll use to make beer.

Looking at the world map, you can see how nodes are connected to one another by white lines that arch between them. All node networks must start at a town (the icon on the map will be blue) which is a node you get for free. That means in order to unlock a given node, you must first unlock any subsequent nodes between it and any town.

Looking at this image, you can see that, in order to unlock the Imp Cave, I must first unlock the Loggia Farm node.

To discover a node, you need to locate the Node Manager, an NPC somewhere in the area of that node who you can talk to. Many of them will be located along roads, so as you travel keep an eye out and always talk to them if you see one. For this guide, let’s unlock the node manager at Loggia Farm.

Head west of Velia, keeping in sight of the coast until you see the farm buildings and fields of Loggia Farm. As you approach the front gate you’ll see Severo Loggia out front, the Node Manager. Talk to him and select the ‘node management’ option from the conversation window.

This brings us to the node management screen. In the top left, you can see some basic information about the node as well as the option to invest two contribution points in order to unlock it. There’s a lot of information there, like temperature, that we don’t need to worry about as it mostly relates to gardening. If you already have two contribution points, great. If not, keep reading this guide, but you’re going to want to spend more time questing in order to get more contribution experience.

An immediate benefit to unlocking a node is an increase of drop rate for items in the area, which is very worthwhile if you plan on sticking around to kill monsters or gather resources by hand. If you can, always try to unlock a node that you intend to do any form of grinding in, as the long term benefits of increased item drops can really pay off.

Now that you’ve unlocked the Loggia Farm node, we’re going to need to unlock the sub-node affiliated with it, which will grant us access to Loggia’s potato fields. This will cost an additional contribution point.

Hiring Your First Worker

Now that we’ve unlocked Loggia Farm and its potato fields, let’s start working on our very first production chain. This one will be really simple to set up and won’t require a great deal of contribution points or effort. We’re going to be crafting the most sacred of liquids: beer.

Beer is fantastic for several reasons. One, I’m drinking some right now and it’s delicious. The other reason beer is great is because it restores the stamina of your workers, who will tire after a long day slaving in the fields for you. By getting your workers high on your own supply, you can keep them working longer while selling the excess beer on the market for a tidy profit. You might be wondering how we’re going to turn potatoes into beer. I don’t have an answer for you. It just works.

It’s worth mentioning that you could set out and harvest the potatoes yourself by running through the field and gathering them. By hiring workers to do it for you, you can save your time and energy for more interesting pursuits.

Now, let’s get some workers.

Back in Velia, we’re going to want to talk to Santo Manzi, the Work Supervisor, as he can help us get a worker for the fields. If you’re having trouble finding him, click on the NPC box in the top right of the screen and you can set a waypoint to him by selecting ‘Worker’ from that drop down menu. Once you talk to him, selecting the ‘contract worker’ option in the dialogue window will cost you five energy and will display only one random worker to hire. If you want to search for another, you’ll need to spend another 5 energy.

Workers have their own skills and characteristics, and they’ll also level up the more you use them, unlocking more skills. Don’t worry about this too much, they’ll be plenty of time to tweak all of this to create a buttery smooth beer operation. For now, just hire whichever worker looks best for you, keeping in mind that their race determines their basic stats. Giants have more stamina and can gather for longer before needing food or beer but they also move quite slow. Goblins are speedy but tire quickly, and humans are right in the middle.

Now that you have your worker, open up the map, click on the Loggia Farm node and then on the potato fields sub-node and that will bring up a window of your workers where you can see their stats and how long a single trip to gather potatoes will take. You can also change how many times they’ll repeat the gathering process to a maximum of their total stamina points as each trip will cost one point. It’s also worth noting that workers won’t continue to gather while you’re logged off, so keeping Black Desert Online running even if you’re away from the computer is ideal.

Once you’re ready, press ‘start work’. You’ll immediately see your worker represented on the map, slowly making their way to the farm. If you want, you can even follow him as all the workers owned by you and your guild are actual NPCs that move about in the world.

Go little guy, go!

Alright, gathering all those potatoes is going to take some time, probably around an hour depending on what race your worker is. While they’re toiling away for us, let’s move on to the next step.

On page two, how to buy your first house, brew beer with the fruits (and veg) of your (NPC’s) labour, and more.

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21 Comments

  1. shagen454 says:

    I completely did a few of the quests in Velia but began production in Heidel. I’m not sure if it was the best decision or not but I can say that there are lucrative nodes to the southeast & west that both have wheat and flax to gather. You can make beer from wheat as well – you definitely make a decent profit from the leftovers but flax similarly pulls in a quick & easy profit. Also, grapes & carrots pull in a decent amount (you can easily farm these).

    South of Heidel is a mushroom node, you can invest in a production workshop to have a worker crate them up and then sell them for coin to the market manager (which means you don’t have to wait for a real person to buy and sell on the spot).

    One tip on this though – crating will cost black stone powder, to create black stone powder you can gather rough stone from mining ore. There’s an absolutely fantastic open gathering spot to the east of Velia (east of Ehwaz Hill to be exact). This spot is perfect because there are no mobs (and very few players for those who like a break from the hustle & bustle). This large open area has mushrooms, a variety of trees (to lumber or extract sap – you need pine sap for creating a boat) and plenty ore (rough stone is a by product of) + olives, fruit, aloe etc etc). This area is also fantastic for guild gathering quests since the only thing you need to worry about is your energy level. But, if you run out of energy – run your toon home to rest on your bed and log onto an alt.

    In terms of decorating your house – do not buy items from the auction house. Go to the trade area in Calpheon (the capitol city) – you can buy house items on the cheap (it’s like the games version of IKEA). Chandeliers, rugs, tapestries, candles, books, tables, chairs, beds etc etc.

    You can tell I’m loving this laborious game :)

    • shagen454 says:

      Oh and keep on AFK fishing, but really – don’t do it in Velia or Heidel like everyone seems to do. Find a place with abundant resources and invest in that node. If you don’t invest in the node and try to sell the fish to the market manager you will only be able to sell for 30% of the market price.

      In terms of gaining contribution points for putting into nodes – there’s obviously questing for getting more. But a by product of successful cooking will be plates that turn qualities. One of the plates (which is called the – “Dish with Poorly Prepared Ingredients”) you need 5 of to turn into a NPC for contribution XP. There are other plates that you will get for successful cooking, such as coin, beer or cooking XP. Which brings up – try and horde all items until you hit that items “exchange” rate instead of selling to a vendor or the market.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        At launch you could jump into an NPC ferry in Velia and smuggle yourself to a distant island.

        Well, you can do it now too, but it might not be as lucrative. Still, yeah, it’s a matter of personal satisfaction ( other than income ) to find a clever fishing spot, and crafting a ferry for that is even more rewarding.

      • shagen454 says:

        Realized that when I said “market manager” – I meant “Trade manager” sorry for the confusion. When you first start playing this game those little details will keep you from maximizing your efficiency and drive a person insane.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Blackstone powder: grind ( as in, the processing thing ) equipment gemstones that you don’t want, you’ll get a crapload like that.

      Most of them are worthless in the marketplace and vendoring them isn’t much of an option either.

  2. marach says:

    Ok I give in, does anyone have a spare guest pass so I can try this before I buy it

  3. Zallgrin says:

    Thank you very much for this guide! I look forward to more articles like this, since Black Desert is obscure as fuck and I am in sore need of help in figuring out its systems.

  4. trooperwally says:

    Last week’s Richard Cobbett column: crafting sucks
    This week’s Richard Cobbett column: MMORPGs are dead
    This article: here’s a guide to a fun new MMORPG that majors on crafting!

    I know what an opinion column is, I get it. But it’s still amusing!

  5. Premium User Badge

    Elusiv3Pastry says:

    I brew my own beer at home, and I was about to spout some vitriol and tell your article to get off my lawn because you generally don’t use potatoes to make beer, but I thought about it a minute and did some research. Huh…that actually works. I’m going to have to try that!

    Now taking suggestions for an RPS Black Desert brew.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Another tip for real life beer: chestnut.

      You’re welcome!

      • Ur-Quan says:

        Pfff barbarians!
        The german Reinheitsgebot clearly states the proper recipe for beer: hops, malt, yeast water and nothing else.
        Everything else is anything but beer.

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Them germans!

          Honestly i prefer belgian stuff anyway.

  6. Danarchist says:

    I have a friend that has made millions off crafting crap for horses, wagons, and some armor. I can’t even find where to start on this stuff though. The wiki’s and guides out there are all for the Korean version which is totally different in allot of ways.

    Guess I need to corner him at work and make him tell me the whole process =P
    The game is not super easy to get started in

    • Rizlar says:

      Dulfy has started covering Black Desert a bit: link to dulfy.net

      Personally I started to really enjoy the game once I realised that crafting, trading, fishing, conversationing, horse training etc was too much to absorb in one go and just started exploring. Started to dip into a little crafting now, it’s ridiculously sprawling though.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      If you want to make millions, grinding at level 50 is still the way to go.

      BUT!

      As someone who actually invested some time in contribution points, knowledge and setting up a decent production line, it’s absolutely true that i’m still pulling more profit on the side, and that indeed cannot be discounted.

      I was also able to connect all the relevant nodes for guild hunting quests, while also investing energy in them to increase the amount of dropped stuff,

      Still, even someone that doesn’t actively want to level up but has some decent way to profit in other activities, there’s even hope to be “competitive” when Mediah content launches. You’ll simply buy the +15 weapons that people like me imbued with tears and blood sacrified in the name of RNG jesus.

  7. racccoon says:

    Great info, well explained.

  8. esfperdy says:

    Its seems very interesting but I`d like to try it before buy it. I beg for a guess pass :(

    I hope I can see you in-game.

  9. Rince says:

    Sound really interesting… but I’m IP Blocked, so no production empires for me.

  10. April March says:

    This is interesting. It feels like one of the text-based MMO’s of that one company that makes a bunch of text-based MMO’s. Iron Realms? Anyway, they did have a pretty complex way of creating supply lines and stuff.

    “Beer is fantastic for several reasons. One, I’m drinking some right now and it’s delicious.”

    Incorrect. Beer tastes like rotten wheat, you liar and drunkard.