This is not an April Fools joke – this really happened yesterday!
On Tuesday night, I left a couple of BDO horses breeding – a T5 male and a T6 female (with the bleh ketchup/mustard coat). When I woke up the next day, I was greeted with my first ever bred T8 horse from the coupling!
Ever since I started breeding, back 5 years ago when BDO launched, it was my goal to breed a top tier horse. Back then, it was T7. Now the highest you can breed is T8.
The only thing about this horse is that she’s a T8 female. Why is this significant?
Below, you can see what I should be able to get from a max level T5 male and T6 female.
There’s an 8% chance of a T8 Male based on this, but NO chance of a T8 Female!
So not only was this an extremely lucky breeding, but it’s downright impossible… or just so improbable that it doesn’t even register on the calculator!
Anyhow. I was so excited to get a T8 of my own breeding (more on that later) and one of my favorite T8 coats, that I sat down and mapped out her family tree. It turns out that on both sides of her family, I can trace her lineage back to the two very first horses I ever captured five years ago!
The satisfaction in this is why I kept that silly spreadsheet all these years. That just goes to show you that you never know how things are going to play out until they do.
Dream Horse Progress
Kizmit isn’t actually my first T8 horse – I didn’t post about this yet, but last week I took my Shakatu’s seals and turned them in for a ship and a T8 horse (that came with one of the skills needed to become a Courser).
In BDO, to get a T9 horse – known as a Dream Horse – you first must have a T8 horse. You must then train them to level 30 and ensure they have all the proper skills to become what’s know as a Courser.
This is not easy to do. In fact, the guides say it’s nearly impossible to get an organic Courser considering all the RNG and the difficulty of learning the skills naturally.
I bought the T8 horse with all intentions of making it a Courser anyhow. She came with one of the rare skills already, and I had a stack of skill change coupons from various log-in rewards over the years. So I got to work on it.
The good: By the time she was level 30, she had enough skills to pull it off.
The bad: By the times she was level 30, she was missing ONE of the required skills needed even after several skill changes. And… I’d be lying if I said I didn’t throw some RL cash at the shop when the April fools mount skill change coupons went on sale.
Apparently, I got pretty lucky in the end because it can take quite a bit of cash for coupons to get what you need for the Courser. I had 20+ failstacks, I’ll tell you what, and I was starting to worry it wasn’t going to happen.
But then it did!
So now I’m taking her to Courser training and she’s on the very slow track to become a Dream Horse one day. I hope. This is going to take a lot of time and effort… but that’s okay. Since I just achieved one project – breeding my own T8 — this will be my next goal.
I’m not done by far, though. I’ve got a couple T7 males and I plan on training them and the two T8 females to hopefully produce more T8s if I’m lucky. At least more T7s. Either way, my breeding stock is slowly kicking out of the T5 territory and moving up into the T6-T8 area.
Eventually, I hope to provide pretty nice horses for all of my characters. I certainly know the worth of having a well-trained horse with the proper skills now.
I’ve been trying to throw as much time as I’m able at BDO each night while the 1000% XP boost is active. Earlier this week, I finished leveling my Archer, Amon, to 56. I got him his Oasis gear and went through his Awakening questline.
It was neat to venture into the realms of the Elves, which were his homelands, for the first time. I’m looking at some of the big houses there as a possibility for my main residence. The only problem is that the city feels so far away from everything else!
Overall, I enjoyed the Shai’s awakening quests more, but that’s to be expected.
The third character in my roster is Benjamin who was a wizard that I rolled not long after launch – back when they finally gave wizards a young appearance to choose from. This means that this character is locked into the original old main story quest line – something I didn’t know until I started messing around with him sometime last month.
Any characters rolled before the change to the main story retain the old main story up until you hit the quests for Mediah. At first, I thought to reroll him since he was only level 18 when I picked him up to level him for this event. But then, I decided I was curious to see how much the story had changed.
And boy has it changed quite a bit!
Not only does the old story take you through nooks and crannies (and stories related to these locations) that the new one never touches, but there’s lots of fully voiced cutscenes that were removed throughout the game as well. I puzzled about this because that seems a waste of resources.
These stories were interesting, though suffered poor translation, and somewhere in the middle of the storyline, they just vanished completely for some reason. I don’t know if it was a consequence of the new story revamp, but I never got to see the ending – what happened to Edan and company – that kind of thing.
The game suddenly flitted from this main story with cutscenes and characters to a series of quests that lead you from one point to another across the map to fight battles and kill things. Still, I’m glad that I went through the old scenarios because it seems that some of the titles you earn may be locked behind boss fights that you got there.
Also, it took me to places I’d not explored before during the new quest lines, so that opened up a lot of new knowledge and NPCs. Though the ending of the old storyline is a lot more lackluster than the new. Basically, after you go through quest after quest to kill stuff, the Black Spirit just tells you that you’re all done here.
The new storyline, in contrast, has you face down Kzarka and gives you a nifty cutscene – but no one really explains much about who this guy is until after the fact. The old version, they actually mention him several times and explain way ahead of time that this is a dark god… but then, you never see him or face him at all. Again, I don’t know if this was how the old story worked back in the day or if it’s just fragmented now (or if I missed something).
Anyhow, it’s done on Ben, and I’m now merged into the Mediah quests just like all the other characters I have. Following in the footsteps of those who came before, I poked around at the bandits near Altinova for a while last night and pushed Ben up to level 55.
So, getting him to 56 should be a bit more grind on bandits tonight. And then off to get his Oasis gear.
With all of my characters almost at the same point in the game, I’ve been working on the Chenga Tome quest line on the side. I’ve heard that this substantially increases quest rewards and is a viable way to level from 56 to 61. So obtaining that is a goal, as is starting to work on my lifeskills soon.
I don’t think grinding for silver or doing boss fights is going to be a viable playstyle for me, so I’m looking at ways that lifeskills can earn me the silver I need to look at upgrades eventually.
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.
Thanks to some posts at Time to Loot and Inventory Full I learned that in order to keep your BDO account, you need to make an account transfer. Instantly, I hopped off to do just that, which made me realize that even though I haven’t played the game in a while, I actually do value my account and progress there.
I remember really liking the life skills, the horse taming/training/breeding system and other things about the game. So in knowing that you’d get some rewards for transferring early, I decided to patch my client (which was no little thing) and see what BDO was up to lately.
There have been a LOT of changes. That’s an understatement. On top of that, there are a lot of new classes to try, too!
I may not have played BDO in a while, but I’d kept up a little bit on some of the updates over the years. I knew about the Shai race, which I was interested in – and almost returned to the game at that point. I also discovered there’s a pretty cool Elf Archer class, which instantly got me thinking about rolling an Amon character there.
So… that’s what I did.
I also think the Shai is adorable in every way, and based on the Foundry’s information, is supposed to be a lot easier to play than the original classes were. After trying one out, I really felt the pull to make her my main. I never got super far in leveling my original Tamer character. But I also don’t want to delete my first ever character who does have some cash shop stuff that’s bound to her.
I rolled a new Shai, anyhow. I had some Pearls in my inventory to spend, so I bought a name transfer scroll, and pretty soon, my new Shai will become “Aywren” on BDO. Problem solved!
Basically, I’m semi starting over in BDO. But, the experience boost I have due to everything stacking up as a returning character is insane. I should easily catch up with my original character and, if I stick with it, easily surpass her. It’s pretty cool that Shai start out with Professional rank Alchemy and Gathering right off the bat, too.
The one thing I need to earn back are all my horse training levels. Now, those actually mean something as an update has added bonuses to things like taming, training speed and breeding based off your training mastery. That’s another change that brought me back to this game.
I still have a bunch of my Teir 6 horses on hand – I’ll have to look and see if I still have that breeding spreadsheet I made all those years ago. One way or another, I’m happy to work on my horse lineage again.
I did notice that the new player questline and story has been altered a bit from what I remember. If anything, it’s more streamlined than before, which is a good thing. I haven’t gotten too deep into the story yet, and I don’t remember much about where I left off with the story before this. So, I’m just along for the ride when it comes to progressing through the quests in BDO from the beginning again.
I am Aywren Sojourn and I aspire to be a horse tamer and breeder in Black Desert Online. Because BDO doesn’t have a way to track lineage within the game, I decided to create a family tree of my own, starting with the original founders that I captured from the wild.
I also wanted to make note of resources that have helped me along the way.
It’s been a while since I’ve last taken the Gaming Style quiz at Quantic Foundry. Overall, my style remained mostly the same, but I scored a good bit higher on social (I’m now gregarious?), action, achievement, and mastery than before.