BDO Enhancement Basics: Fail Stacks, Naders Band and Caphras
Enhancement in BDO – some people love it, some people hate it with a passion. Regardless of where you stand on it, you should know the basics behind enhancement as it is a core mechanic in BDO. Today’s beginner guide discusses Black Desert Online’s enhancement system, failstacks, the nader’s band and caphras, all of which are important to know to progress your gear and improve it to gain more AP and DP.
Now, if you’re like me, and you’re not the biggest fan of enhancement, the system can be essentially bypassed for quite a long time by using the guaranteed pen system for your armor, weapons and jewelry. However, you will need to do some enhancement to enhance your season character gear (which all new players should be doing), but thankfully that isnt nearly as hard as mid to end game enhancement. And, I have a guide on how to progress your naru and tuvala gear.
What is Enhancement?
Enhancement is the process of upgrading your gear utilizing certain types of blackstones to make it better and increase its stats – you can place the piece of gear you want to enhance in the enhancement window by talking to the black spirit and hitting enhance, and it will show you what kind of blackstone you need. Enhancement in BDO is NOT guaranteed though, and you instead have a percent chance to upgrade the gear. The higher you upgrade your gear, the lower the chances are to upgrade to the next level. However, if you successfully upgrade a piece, it will improve and get a stat increase. The different levels of enhancement you can have in BDO are as follows:
- 0 (base)
- PRI (I)
- DUO (II)
- TRI (III)
- TET (IV)
- PEN (V)
When you’re upgrading your gear above DUO though, if you fail, you don’t simply just fail: your gear piece actually downgrades one level, so making sure your odds are as good as possible when you’re enhancing is very important to make sure the enhancement is successful. You can also utilize a type of item known as a Cron stone to prevent the piece from downgrading, however, this prevents you from gaining a failstack if you fail (Failstacks will be discussed in a bit). Cron stones can be acquired in a lot of ways: from drops, to heating costumes off of the pearl shop/marketplace, from events, daily login rewards, purchased at blacksmiths, and more. The higher youre upgrading your gear, the more cron stones will be required to prevent a downgrade. In general, it’s not recommended to use cron stones until you’re at the much higher tiers of enhancement, and they should be pooled for those really lower percentage upgrades.
Accessories enhance similarly, except there is no 1-15 you need to go through, and instead you start right at PRI on your first successful enhancement. Also, instead of using blackstones, you need to use a base version of the accessory to complete the enhancement. In addition, if you fail, the accessories dont downgrade – they are destroyed! That is why personally, i avoid accessory enhancement and try to buy mine off of the marketplace, but it can be something fun to do if you’re wanting to roll the dice. Similarly to armor and weapons, cron stones can help prevent the destruction and downgrading of the accessories, although they have a chance to downgrade with crons.
Now, you can make your odds better by utilizing failstacks and valk’s cry. A failstack is gained as a failure protection when you fail an upgrade. However, you can apply a failstack before you even start enhancing! By using blackstones, you can build a failstack of up to at least 30 by clicking the plus sign next to “additional enhancement chance”, and utilizing valks cry, you can add another 10 by clicking the plus sign next to “valks enhancement chance”! Past that, you’re going to need to use an Advice of the Valks, which is like a canned failstack – these are acquired from a TON of diferent methods – or you need to build the stack yourself. People have their own preferred method to building failstacks, however, this is something that was recommended to me when i first started:
- 0-30 use black stones
- 30-80 best way is to tap tuvala in seasons
- 80-110 you can tap tri->tet boss gear or duo->tri blackstar
- 110-180 tapping pen boss gear or tet blackstars
- 180-210 is still typically pen boss armor/pen lower end accessories
Personally though i havent built a failstack in a LONG time because i have an abundance of advice of the valks, but like i said, this is a method that was recommended to me. In terms of what failstack you should be using on your piece, I have again a guide for naru and tuvala gear, but for everything else, I’ll link another guide that has some good recommendations!
When you fail an enhancement, assuming it’s a piece of weapon or armor, the piece will lose durability, which once it gets too low you’ll be unable to enhance the piece again until you restore its max durability. To do this, you need to talk to a blacksmith and click repair, then recover max durability and afterwards repair the item. Max Durability can be repaired by destroying another of the same kind, which is good for pieces like Naru and Tuvala. However, for expensive repairs, like boss gear, you can use Memory Fragments to restore the durability (and optionally, a Pearl item called Artisan’s Memory which causes less memory fragments to be used when repairing the item).
Now something that can be difficult if you dont know how to do it is juggling failstacks. For example, using easy numbers, let’s say to hit a pri piece you want a 100 stack, and a duo piece you need a 150. Lets say youre using the 150 going for duo, and the piece downgrades to pri! Now you still have that 150-something stack now, but now what, youre upgrading for PRI. This is where the Nader’s band comes in! This account wide system lets you store failstacks to allow you to easily switch between different ones! Getting this is easy, simply reach level 58 and accept the quest [Nader’s Band] Magic of the Dark Energy from the Black Spirit. Finish the quest line in Tarif to get a 1-slot band. You can gain 4 additional slots; 1 with 10k loyalties, and 3 with pearls (costs 1100 pearls per slot). You can also use alts to hold failstacks by moving the failstack onto the nader’s band, logging into the alt and then clicking on the stack in band to put that stack onto the character.
Once your gear is at pen, there is another form of enhancement, but thankfully this has no RNG involved, and it is known as caphras levels. Adding caphras stones to your gear add additonal stats to your gear, and can even increase the AP or DP of the piece! Caphras levels go up to 20, and can be added to Boss armor/weapons or green gear, but not blackstar gear nor fallen god pieces. Typically, i recommend only adding caphras to gear once its pen, and its unnecessary to add it prior. Getting your helmet and chest to capharas level 10 is important as it lets you upgrade the pieces to labreska and fallen god respectively. A chart on the number of caphras required to upgrades its caphras level can be found here. To add caphras, simply talk to the black spirit, press enhance and click the caphras tab. Caphras can also be removed from gear by talking to a blacksmith, clicking extraction, and paying the fee to remove the stones. You’ll also gain a small amount of caphras stones on failed gear enhancement attempts with crons.