Note: BDO has ramped up the experience gain to 1000% (no typo) during its 5th anniversary event! My experiences leveling may not reflect the normal experiences due to that.
Also Note: They’re giving out the base edition of BDO for free until March 10th!
Once I passed the 30 day mark of being on the Olvia servers, I had to sadly say goodbye to the safety of no PvP worlds. I somewhat set the game aside other than horse training, and had started to focus on other games for a bit.
Then along came the actual account transfers and the 5th anniversary event. Pearl Abyss is showering its players with reasons to log in, including a 1000% XP buff until March 31! They’re also giving out apparently amazing rewards, which included a set of accessories that you usually get after you hit leveling milestones at 60+.
I’m starting to understand things about end game BDO gear, but I still have a whole lot to learn. All I knew at the time was that these items they gave out for rewards were gold and upgrades, so I put them all on my main Shai.
Adventures With PVP
I guess this whole 1000% XP bonus has people pretty stirred up because despite hearing that PVP is rare, I had two run-ins with people who wanted to end my cute Shai’s life on two separate days.
One was the very FIRST night I decided to take advantage of the event and venture out into the dangerous world of open PVP. I’d left off at level 50 at the Catfishmen camp, which I guess is a pretty well known location for those at that level. I decided to turn in some quests, and found a few more quest givers out in the field – including one that requested “Kill 300 Catfishmen.”
Alright. So I settled down into it, not realizing just on the other side of some trees, another player had apparently decided all Catfishmen belonged to her. Because as soon as she caught wind I was out there, she was flagged up and all over me.
I didn’t want any part of that, so when I realized I was under player fire, I took off running. She actually chased me a good ways – so maybe she really wanted what seemed like an easy kill just as much as she wanted to run me out of the area. Despite mediocre gear, I was not really in danger of death as long as I kept running. Not to mention she was some melee class and I have self heals.
So I guess I could have stood my ground, but I was shaken up by the experience, and just changed servers. Thankfully, the new server had uncontested Catfishmen, and I was able to continue my night PVP-free.
But that’s got me looking at every square icon on my map (indicating another player) with scrutiny. I stay far away from other players now. It feels like I’m back in old-skool UO!
The second time I ran across PVP, I was actually the one there first, farming some orcs to finish up quests in a camp. Along came an archer who decided to run me out of the area. He flagged up and started firing on me. I ran away again, and he didn’t chase hardly at all, so I assume he just wanted the camp to himself.
That time, I got a little more stubborn and decided to stay on the server rather than leave it. I finished my quests (they were all looking for a small number of particular things) and just kept a wide distance from him.
I understand that the way this game is designed, it really sucks to have an objective of “Kill 300” of something and have another player come in taking “your” spawns – even thought spawns are pretty numerous. The right classes can seriously do a lot of clearing in a short time, but enemies respawn quickly, too.
So, that’s been my experience with PVP since level 50.
On the other hand, I had an experience on my Archer where I was – again – out at the Catfishmen camp. There was another player out there, and I was keeping wide distance with a set of trees between us. As I was leaving, having finished my quests, I noticed her idling there and getting beat on by a group of enemies.
Helpful instinct set in and I fired on them, pulled their aggro off her and I started killing them. She came back to keyboard in the middle of this, seemed a little disoriented (maybe newer player) and then helped me kill the last few still standing. I don’t know if she understood that I’d just pulled a mob of enemies off her that might have killed her otherwise, but she looked at me and I looked at her and we just kinda went our own way.
Seems like the most friendly exchange you can have out there with strangers.
“Finished” Exploring Calpheon
My goal was to get my Shai to level 56 so that I could experience the Awakening that I’ve heard so much about and unlock the musical talents she has. I basically followed the main quest line, and made sure to do those “Kill 200 XYZ” quests when I came across them.
I’m not sure if it was because of those gold accessories, but almost everything out there was conning grey to me. Still, I noticed that grey gave some experience despite that. When I did find things that were green, I spent a little more time farming here and there.
Farming seemed the most straightforward way to level, but I was starting to get interested in where the story was going. Before I knew it, I was witness to a pretty epic battle…
Not that I fully understand everything that’s going on here, but I get the jist. And for the first time so far, I feel like the story has a stronger focus on exactly what it is I’m trying to find and who I’m trying to stop.
Once I made it through this series of main quests, I was greeted with this announcement:
Now, I’m going to tell you, I’m FAR from being finished exploring Calpheon. But, I’ve heard of Mediah and the city of Altinova (where you can build wagons!). So, excited to be on the second leg of my BDO adventure, I picked up that questline at about level 55.
Level 55 seems to be a higher level than what the game usually expects. Because, again, just about everything I was fighting was grey to me. As I quested along the way to Altinova, I stopped for some bandit hunting at a camp alongside of the road, and scored level 56!
Into My Awakening
My adventures into Mediah then took a backseat for a bit as the Black Spirit encouraged me to do the Awakening questlines. This sent me all the way back to the homelands of the Shai – which I hadn’t actually journeyed to on this character.
One of the main story hooks from the beginning is that your character has lost their memories of the past. So apparently Awakening deals with learning a little bit about where they came from and who took those memories. I won’t get into details, but I found this to be pretty neat – the questions aren’t all answered, but I enjoyed taking a romp in my Shai’s peaceful homelands and seeing people who remembered her, though she did not remember them.
Once that was complete, it was on to a series of quests that taught my Shai the basics of playing music. These were cute and non-combat, eventually unlocking the ability to play music as party buffs and explore the in-game music system.
I’m going to have to write a post about the music system all on its own. This post has gotten quite long as it is already!
Finding Gear at 56
The gear upgrade system is starting to make a little more sense to me now. I’m understanding the AP and the DP and such. But I was still at a loss as to what I could do to establish a baseline of gear at level 56.
During my leveling experience, the Black Spirit gifted my Shai with a pretty nice main hand weapon. I also figured out how to get a green off-hand weapon from turning in orc teeth. But when it came to a set of armor, I wasn’t sure where to look.
World chat to the rescue! …sorta…
I’m not a fan of world and server chat in BDO. It’s basically a free-for-all, and that comes with all of its toxicity – I quite liberally block people who consistently spam any form of vulgarity.
BUT. I keep it turned on because sometimes questions are asked and I learn things from the chat. This was one of them – Oasis event gear.
Someone was asking the same question I had: What gear should I get at level 56. The answer was the Oasis event gear.
Apparently this is “temporary” gear put into the game somewhat in response to Covid. It’s fairly decent gear, but players are encouraged to use it as a stepping stone to finding better gear as it will go away once the event is over. However, this event started over a year ago, and there’s no sign of it ending.
You can purchase a box of Oasis event gear, as well as a weapon and off-hand, for 1 silver at Ellie the Oasis Vendor in many different cities. I don’t think you can open the box until you’re level 56, however (?)
So, now my Shai is sitting pretty nice given I’m still a BDO noob.
I’ve focused on doing daily music quests for her now that I’ve gotten her to this point. I also want to take on the Chenga Tome questline because I’ve heard it’s worth it.
In the meantime, I spent Saturday night and Sunday working on Amon’s leveling. I’d also left him at 50, previously, and his first stop was the Catfishmen camp. As of yesterday afternoon, he’s sitting a just at bit into level 55 and still working on the main quest line – my goal is to hit 56 with him so that he can pick up Oasis gear, too, and work through Awakening.
Aside from that, I also have a wizard who is sitting at level 16, but is locked into the old main story quests. I went back and forth on whether to re-roll him, but I think I’m going to stick it out and see how fast this XP event pushes him through.
So much to do in BDO this month!!