Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming, MMORPGs

BDO: Still Horsing Around


While I’ve been busy playing FFXIV and FFXI this weekend, my little laptop has been constantly running BDO in the background, where I’ve been autolooping my horses to level them. I was unsuccessful in breeding any females from my last group of T3s, so I had to run out and tame some more T1/T2 females to start another family line. Note, I still have all my T4 and the one T5 from the previous lineage, just all of them were male, which wasn’t helpful.

It took about 17 tames to finally get two females from the wild last week. I spent a few days leveling them, and successfully bred and exchanged for a total of 4 T3 females to get me back in the game again. Yay!

So, this weekend was spent trying to level these new T3 females and the T4 males to a point where I could get better horses from my stock. Previously, I’d leveled them all to 12 and bred them. The calculator said I should have had over 50% chance to get a female, but all of those breedings resulted in males… So, this time, I’m pushing them to higher levels before breeding again.

This weekend also saw the US servers getting a boost in life skill experience gain. So everyone was out there leveling up. For the first time ever, I actually showed up in the top 30 Trainers on my server’s channel! By the end of the weekend, folks had beat me for that position again, but hey, I was there for a little while. 🙂


All Saturday, I spent leveling a T4 male from the previous lineage, SS Sensation. I had every intention to use him for breeding until I noticed he was learning one skill after another. Finally, at level 17, he had racked up like 7 skills, which was the most I’ve ever seen on any of my horses.

Out of curiosity, I decided to see what he’d go for on the market, and was shocked to see the game valued him at 1,700,000 (something) silver! Now, I’m a pretty broke player most of the time, just hoping to sell off some T2s for 65K if I’m lucky. So, this was a hard offer to pass up. I put him on the market, not sure that anyone would buy him… until about 10 mins later, he sold!

Tier 4 Male, Bred 4-14-16, SOLD for almost 2 Million Silver!
Tier 4 Male, Bred 4-14-16

On one hand, this was fantastic as I really needed the money to continue my breeding efforts… and this was the first real money I’ve made in this game. On the other hand, I spent almost a full day leveling this horse (and I wasn’t close to done), so that meant I’d have to level another! XD

I started working on leveling a female all of yesterday, and I think she got to about level 18 before I gave my poor laptop a break. There’s no way I could have done this without autolooping…

Posted in FFXI, Gaming, MMORPGs

FFXI: Return to Vana’diel – Aywren vs. Locked Treasure Chests

I return to Vana’diel after not having played FFXI for over a decade. Here are my adventures!


Once I got the game looking and playing well through configurations, it was time to finally check out the character that I left deactivated on the Asura server over 10 years ago. Now, I know that I never leveled any of my characters past 20, mostly due to the grouping nature of the game. However, I do remember having left at least one character at about level 20, fully geared up for that level, and with subjobs unlocked.

As I stated before, I had two different accounts with two different characters, and I didn’t know what was on either of them. I chose to reactivate the character on Asura since that is the most active server based on the information I’ve been reading.

Character Disappointment

Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed when I finally logged in.

Aywren@Asura was a level 4 Red Mage.

Hmm… that can’t be right. I’m sure I left her with more than that.

I struggled to figure out the controls and menu system (more on that later), and finally figure out I need to select Status from the Main Menu to see all of my stats. Sure enough, I only ever leveled Red Mage to 4 on this character.

Still in starter gear. Nothing else.


Well, crud.

I pondered starting the character over, but decided she’d been around for so long that it would be a shame to delete her. I mean, level 4 is practically a new character, right? Plus, at level 5, I knew that I could check out the new Trust system, so I may as well keep going.

Funny enough, when I checked the time played, it said 8 hours for this character. I know it used to take a long time to level in FFXI, but I’m sure I could have been further along than 4 levels in 8 hours.

Vs. Controls

So, the first thing I decide to do, since I’m standing out in the forest anyhow, is go ahead and level to 5 so I can figure out what the Trust system is about. This requires me to figure out the targeting system and the menu system and controls as a whole.

It took me about 30 mins to realize my mouse was absolutely useless in most situations. I don’t remember ever having a problem playing it back in the day, and it slowly dawned on me why…

FFXI controls like an oldskool menu-based Final Fantasy single player game. 

No hotbars. No “M” for map. No “C” for character. No “I” for inventory. Take all these more modern MMO conventions and toss them out the window.

Once I wrapped my head around the fact I needed to think of this as a Final Fantasy game and not an MMO, things got easier. The menus started to make sense. Using the arrow keys to navigate menus made sense. Even using arrow keys to move the camera made sense.

Later on, I went in and made a bunch of other tweaks that helped out a lot, such as making the camera “chase” me and not locking my character in on enemies during a fight. It took a while, but I think I’m getting the hang of controls now.

This thing, though…

IT'S RIGHT THERE! And kicking your butt...
IT’S RIGHT THERE! And kicking your butt…

Vs. Treasure Chests

So, once I figured out how to select and attack an enemy, I chose the nearby innocent bunny (which I remembered could kick your butt flat), and Check it to make sure it wouldn’t kill me. That’s right. This is old skool MUD style. There’s no name colors or indicators to tell you how difficult something is. You have to inspect enemies to tell if it is going to promptly roflstomp you or not.

My first fight went well! And… wait… what’s this? It dropped a treasure chest?


Took me some fiddling to figure out how to select the chest, and when I did, it said the chest was locked. Well, darn. I don’t have a key or… oh… I can Examine the Lock.

And, thus, the locked chest minigame begins.

So, I’ve learned that common enemies drop two types of chests — locked and unlocked — and they do so pretty regularly. Unlocked chests usually offer temporary items (yes, I know, temporary? — I’ll get back that in a moment), while the locked chests seem to drop some pretty relevant stuff, including gear.

This is a significant upgrade to the loot system, from what I remember, back when rabbits only dropped meat and hide. But the trick is, you have to put the time and effort into opening the lock combination.

The lock combination is a number of two digits between 10 and 99. You have between 4-6 chances total to unlock the chest in which you can choose to examine the lock or enter a combination.

Examining the lock gives you hints about what the two numbers can be.


Successfully entering the combination gives you a choice of what’s in the chest. Usually this is pretty relevant stuff. I’ve gotten all sorts of low level gear, which I could either use, bank or sell to a vendor. The downside to this is that locked chests take time and patience to figure out, and even then, you’re not promised the loot if you fail to enter the combination correctly. It’s kinda a little brain teaser, and when I did put the effort into it, I felt pretty good about winning!

My first chest, I was scribbling notes frantically (not realizing this was going to be something I’d be doing quite often), and I did succeed in unlocking the chest. I just didn’t realize that I then needed to select the chest again to loot it, and was puzzled why I didn’t get anything. XD

Sweet, sweet success!
Sweet, sweet success!

Temporary Loot

Now, about temporary loot. I think this is a pretty awesome idea, to be honest! Do you know how many useless potions and ethers I ended up tossing out by the time I was level 50 in FFXIV?

Temporary loot is cool because when these chests open, you get a choice of what kind of loot you want – stuff like potions, eye drops, ethers, etc. They are temporary, and vanish when you leave the area. They also don’t take up inventory space!

I’m not sure why, but I feel more inclined to use these things because they are temporary. They give buffs, restore health and magic, and then, when I’m done fighting for the day, they vanish. When I’m out fighting, they drop again for me to use.

Pretty nifty concept that I haven’t seen in other MMOs before.

So, after practicing a few fights, I reached level 5! I was ready to learn about Trusts…

Ding! Level 5! 😀