BDO Processing Guide (Black Desert Online 2019)
Originally written by Eminent (u/CadeGuitar), who generously published a Processing Guide in "Eminent’s Life Skill Guide". This well-received, 260 page guide has been added to and edited by me. It's now kept current on GrumpyG, with Eminent's permission. Thanks Eminent! ! I will update this Processing Guide with any new BDO patches/changes. (Eminent is currently taking a break from Black Desert Online.)
Eminent's BDO Processing Guide
Processing takes materials that you gathered (or your workers gathered) to create something new. Between chopping wood and melting ores, processing is a decent money maker. What truly makes the skill shine though is how afk it is.
Processing can easily make an afk 2-3m silver per hour with very low requirements. If you aren’t going to be afk for really long periods of time (say, 5 hours or less), or if you don’t have the high requirements to do end game fishing, processing is going to be one of the best afk activities you can do.
Note: I’m not gonna lie, I saved this processing guide for last because I didn’t feel like writing it. I think every Life Skill has a depth to it that allows you to creatively explore new methods and possibilities. Processing doesn’t really have that. It’s just boring IMO.
It’s not a bad Life Skill -- it’s a huge money maker for like 50% of the player base probably. That said, despite my level, it’s likely the Life Skill I’ve spent the least amount of time on. I don’t really like it and that might influence my writing of this section.
That said, I don’t want my own preferences to turn you away from the Life Skill. It’s really good, it’s just not for me.
Beginner Processing Guide?
Are you looking for a newbie friendly processing guide? The guide on this page is geared more towards power leveling processing and earning money from it. If you are just starting BDO, you will find this other Processing Guide to be of more help. Processing is not a complicated Life Skill, but there are a few hoops to jump through before you can achieve the higher tiers and levels of processing.
Processing for XP
Processing is only good because of extra procs. If I process timber into planks, I could get 1 to 4 planks for each processing attempt. In the end, I average about 2.5 output per process (as far as I know this is consistent for anything you’re going to process).
That said, if you’re at Beginner 1 Processing, you’re not going to average 2.5 procs. As you level the Life Skill, your average procs slowly rise until they hit 2.5 soft cap. This cap is reached at Artisan 2, SOURCE: BDO Profitability Tool.
I included all of that info because you should know where your goals lay. Processing for XP is expensive. But once you hit Artisan 2, don’t focus too much on XP and start focusing on profit.
Fastest Way to Grind Processing XP?
Until Artisan 2 processing, you’ll want to buy unprocessed Flax from the Marketplace > Heat all of it into Flax Thread > and then Grind all of that into Flax Fabric.
As for what to do with your piles of thousands of Flax Fabric at the end?
1. Vendor it
2. Make life clothes
3. Rarely Sells on the Marketplace
When I first started, I went with the second route and made a ton of fishing clothes. Was that a good idea? Idk probably not (I think it was a net loss still).
Do the math on the profit/loss for the Silver Embroidered Clothes that require Flax Fabric, and then decide if the work is going to be worth it.
Thread > Fabric gives twice the XP as Flax > Thread, but buying Flax Thread is going to get very expensive. Here's some math on that:
It doesn’t really matter if you can read that, or if you understand it, because I’ll explain it anyways. The good thing about buying Thread and making Fabric is that you have a basically unlimited amount of thread on the Marketplace. The bad thing about buying Thread is that you will be losing 8m silver per hour. That’s a 6.6b loss getting guru. If you still think that’s a good idea... I’m cheering for you.
So how else can we get some decent Processing XP past Artisan?
Let’s look at the XP for a few materials:
|Item||XP Per Craft|
|Pure Gold Crystal||1500|
|Pure Platinum Crystal||1500|
|Pure Silver Crystal||1500|
|Sturdy Ash Plywood||1000|
|Sturdy Maple Plywood||1000|
|Sturdy Pine Plywood||1000|
|Sturdy Birch Plywood||1000|
|Sturdy Acacia Plywood||1000|
|Sturdy White Cedar Plywood||1000|
|Pure Zinc Crystal||1000|
|Pure Tin Crystal||1000|
|Pure Copper Crystal||1000|
|Pure Lead Crystal||1000|
|Pure Iron Crystal||1000|
|Sturdy Cedar Plywood||1000|
|Sturdy Fir Plywood||1000|
Table credit to Incendar - view the full table here
This Processing XP table lists the items that give the highest XP. Just because steel is only 800 XP, doesn’t mean it’s the worst Processing XP. If it made the list, it’s probably good XP.
That said, just because things on that list give good XP doesn’t mean they’re good to make. There’s a couple more things you need to consider:
1. Is the supply of materials enough for me to continuously make this item
2. Once I make this item can I sell it (and will I be profiting or at a loss)
Let’s look at an example:
Let’s say I want to make Ocean Sapphire, because, according to that table, it gives the most XP out of anything.
Well, what do I need?
Resplendent Sapphire is made by processing 5 Sapphire, which is made by processing 5 Rough Sapphire. Rough Sapphire can be obtained rarely from gathering (mining specifically) with a 1% chance of being obtained as a byproduct.
This means you’ll get a Rough Sapphire every 100 times you mine.
Since you need 7 Resplendent Sapphire that’s 14 Sapphire you’ll need (accounting for 2.5 proc). That equates to 28 Rough Sapphire (still accounting for procs). I probably did that math right, idk. Also 2.5 proc is an average, but there is always variance (it’s a chance).
28 Rough Sapphire means you’ll have to mine 2,800 times for every single ocean Sapphire you want to make.
That’s not even considering that you still need Gem Polisher, which is gated by Trace of Origin.
I’m sure you could tell a long time ago, but Ocean Sapphire is completely impractical to process for XP.
I’m not going to tell you specifically what to process, but I’ve given you the method to figure it out. Go through the list, figure out what materials are required to make it, and if that’s practical to do in bulk, and then look at the Marketplace to see if you can reasonably sell it. If you can do that, you’re on your way to getting more inexpensive processing XP than most people.
Processing for Money - How Much Can I Earn?
Processing is closely tied to trading due to trade crates. To get the most from trading, you should have Artisan 2 Trade Skill for the desert buff. That said, Artisan 2 Trade Skill is not a requirement to make money from processing (only for crating).
Before we get too far into this, I want to draw some boundaries. There are a lot of people who play the game like this:
- Set up a worker empire to gather raw materials
- Process those materials while at school/work
- Workers crate those materials
- Sell those crates in Valencia for fat cash
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this play style, and it’s made a lot of players a LOT of silver. The problem is when those players start to say things like:
“I made 8b from processing”
“I made 9m/h doing trade”
And here is where we need to establish an idea:
- You did NOT make that much money from processing
- You did NOT make that much money from trading
- You did NOT make that much money from your worker empire
What you DID was a combination of those 3 things.
The reason I’m even bringing this up is because of how it can mislead new players. If a streamer says that processing is 8m/h then there are bound to be players who don’t know any better who start processing copper all day and wonder why they’re still poor after a month. If half the player base suggests that you just need Artisan 2 Trade Skill to make money, then players who don’t know any better will roll their life away only to realize that they have no way to take advantage of having Artisan 2 Trade Skill.
Processing Points to Remember:
- A solid node network takes months of work to set up -- it’s not something everyone has access to.
- Processing is a slow process, you won’t get rich overnight.
- Trade is a tool, but it will take months to pay itself off and show its worth. (if you leveled trade with junk crates)
It's important to understand the different components to making silver.
In this section, I want to isolate processing and talk about it specifically.
Before we talk specifics, there’s another logic error that a lot of people seem to have.
Processing Example #1:
Let’s say I buy 5,000 copper ore for 523 silver each for a total of 2,615,000 silver. I process that into 2,500 melted copper shards, and then sell them for 1,165 silver each for a total of 2,912,500 silver. If I just looked at my Marketplace sales window, it would tell me I just made 2.9m. You have to realize the initial investment of 2.6m -- you really only made like 300k. If you count the Marketplace tax, you’ll see you actually lost money.
Processing Example #2:
Let’s look at a different situation now. Let’s say that your workers gathered 5,000 copper -- which means you got 5k copper essentially for free (ignoring beer costs). Then, you process that into 2,500 melted copper shards and make 2.9m silver. In this case, did you make 2.9m from processing?
Ignoring the fact that most of the money came from your workers and not from processing, there’s another problem. You have to consider opportunity cost. If you processed those and said you made 2.9m silver, that would be valuing each copper ore at 0 silver (aka, saying 100% of the value came from the act of processing).
In reality, you could have easily sold that copper ore for 523 silver each for a total of 2.2m (after tax).
Considering that selling the melted shards (after tax) gives you around 2.4m, processing actually profited you around 200k silver.
It’s extremely important to realize what’s actually happening when you process. It’s really easy to make those copper shards and tell yourself you’re making 2-3m/h. If, however, you’re actually only making 200k/h, you’re going to be sorely disappointed when you spend 100 hours processing only to find out you have 1/10th of the money you expected.
Now that you have a more clear mindset and understand what you’re getting into, here’s what you can do:
- Read this post by Biohack to get introduced to the Marketplace
- Just keep this spreadsheet (also by Biohack) open like 24/7
“Is that it?”
90% of players are probably content with reading a guide and then basing their play on it. If you’re one of those people then you can simply use Biohack’s spreadsheet and process whatever he tells you to.
Will that get you the best results?
A Warning Against Following the Crowd
You’re a bit misled if you think you can get the absolute best money by following a guide that everyone else is also following. Do you think Biohack tells you everything? He literally bases 100% of his income and play style on processing and trade. There is no reason for him to reveal the secrets of his trade to thousands of people just to ruin it. I’m not trying to say he’s misleading you, but you need to understand that you will never become Biohack simply by following his guides. And you’ll never surpass him that way.
For the Most Profit Processing
If you want the best results, create your own spreadsheet. Put as many processing recipes as you can in it and use some formulas for profit.
In your profit, don’t forget to count the Marketplace tax (unless you’re crating).
In your endeavors, understand that prices are fluid and they’ll change over time. Understand supply and demand, and process according to the Marketplace.
Processing is not as simple as "Just process X for money" because things will change.
Thanks for reading Eminent's BDO processing guide! If you would like to contact GrumpyG, you can do so via PMs on BDO's forum or Message me on Reddit.com. If you have any questions, please ask!
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