Posted in Black Desert Online

Black Desert Online: All the Pretty Little Horses

Yesterday was the day that I bred my first Tier 7 horse in BDO – as seen above!

I know this is nothing unusual as there’s lots of T7 horses out there now, but it’s special for me. The origins of these horses date back to 2016, where I bred this line up from T1, T2, and T3 horses I tamed from the wild.

I’ve been training a group of T6 horses over the past few weeks, and so far 1 of 3 breedings of fully leveled T6 horses has resulted in increasing to T7. That seems about accurate based on the Horse Calculator.

Not every horse I’ve bred has been all that pretty, though. My first round of T6 breeding gave me one of the “ketchup/mustard” horse coats – though thankfully a T6 female.

I did breed out a rather pretty light-colored horse with a funky mane who eventually trained in Two Seater – allowing two people to ride her. I’ve decided to keep her now that she’s done breeding, and pass her to one of my other leveling characters to use a their main mount for now.

I’m still living the wagon life, and have almost a full team of T6 horses that I’m training up right now. Hopefully I’ll see more T7 come out of this team as I move my way up towards (hopefully) T8s in the future. I’m not too worried about working on Dream horses right now, I’m more interested in seeing how far I can breed the line of horses that I started back all those years ago.

Posted in Black Desert Online

Black Desert Online: Level 50 Again

Last night, I put a few more hours into leveling my archer, Amon, in BDO, and pushed him on through to level 50. It was another case of not realizing just how fast he was leveling, and I was taken by surprise when the “Level 50 Quest” popped up.

I made it to 50 much faster this time around – partially because I’d already done it all once before, so I didn’t need to pause to read the story. It was also partially because I was using more of the side leveling boost scrolls for this character. So it took very little once I entered Calpheon to hit my goal for Amon.

I started to slow down at that point and work on quests around the city, as well as talking to NPCs that I missed my first time through. There’s still a lot to explore in a city of that size, and now that I’m 50, I don’t feel the need to rush anymore.

I still have a number of days left on Olvia, so I will likely focus on my main going forward. I want to sit down and figure out what to do with my contribution points, for one. Eventually, making merchant wagons for myself is on my list.

I also want to spend some time sorting through the various inventory I have across all the cities, consolidating it, and figuring out what all these boxes and event things I’ve been accumulating do. I have waaay too much stuff and no clue what a lot of it is.

The extra horse training boost event has ended, but I’ve almost managed to fully train a team of tier 6 horses for my next round of breeding. I’ve had a number of lucky breeding from my remaining tier 3 horses, and I’ve started to update my Sojourn Stables page with the results and new horses I’ve bred. I’ll write more about that once I see what comes of the tier 6 horses.

For now, I’m happy with my progress of having leveled two characters to 50, which is much further than I’ve ever been. I’m going to hand a lot of that to the new streamlined main quests and the pretty massive experience boosts I have.

Posted in Black Desert Online

Black Desert Online: First Level 50!

One of my unspoken goals for this month was to get my two newest characters – Aywren and Amon – to level 50 in BDO while I still have access to the Olvia server and all the boosts due to the account transfer.

The highest I’ve ever been in BDO was 34 on my Tamer – who is now regulated to my horse trainer and will remain under level 50 so that I don’t have to worry about PKs while training horses.

Last night, my Shai hit level 50!

She’s currently running around the big city Calpheon doing quests and learning about the world there. I’d made it to Calpheon before, many years back, but hadn’t really tried to explore or gather knowledge there yet. So this has been a fun experience.

In order to even level to 50, you have to accept and complete a quest (which is just using an item put in your inventory). This quest warns you that once you complete this and reach level 50, you will unlock open world PVP.

I have heard that there’s actually not all that much random PVP that happens in this game. Not being a fan of gank-PVP in general, I’m still giving this a try due to this. Mostly because I’m interested in seeing my Shai’s Awakening!

On top of that, it appears that my ideas of what BDO becomes after level 50 was skewed due to outdated information from back when I played it years ago. In my mind, I thought that there was nothing but constant grinding and struggle to upgrade gear after that point. It appears that maybe that was right… many years ago.

Huge thanks to Mailvaltar and Naithin for leaving so much good updated information in my comment section on the last post! This made choosing to progress to 50 and beyond a much more exciting prospect for me.

Indeed, the quests haven’t run out and I’m still doing what I did pretty much pre-level 50 — questing around, beating up monsters when directed and gathering knowledge of the world. I might need to adjust my goal for this month to see just how far I can get with what I have.

In the meantime, I’ve shifted back to leveling my archer, Amon. He was level 22 when I logged in last night and level 28 by the end of the night.

If he follows any of the patterns that my Shai did in her leveling curve, it shouldn’t be too difficult to reach 50 on him if I just have some time to dedicate to it. It may be even faster because I already know the quests and the objectives this time around.

I might venture out and work on leveling my Tamer up to 49 if I have the time. I also have a low-level Wizard at 17 that I can try to boost up. I heard Wizard is a strong class to play.

The thing with both of those characters is that they were rolled before the Remaster of the game, so it seems they’re still on the old questlines used at the game’s launch rather than the new more streamlined quests. I don’t know if there will be a spot where these quests merge eventually, but it feels a little more tedious when I was leveling my Wizard just to see how it works.

Anyhow, progress made and progress to be made! Good times!

Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming

Black Desert Online: I’m on a Wagon!

My stay in BDO seems to be a thing as I’ve been taking every advantage of the 30 days on the welcome-back server to do some leveling and work on my horse training/breeding.

Last night, I finally invested in a wagon so that I can train four horses at once. This is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while, and seeing I have more silver than I know what to do at this point, I straight up bought one.

And what do you know? The day after I did, they started an event that increases horse leveling. I’ll take it!

For a short bit, I was trying to level my Shai (who is now my main Aywren) to catch up with my ex-main in terms of battle and horse training. But then I discovered that the riding outfit I picked up for my ex-main (she’s now taken the name Zuri) long ago is bound to her and she has Professional level training.

So instead of trying to surpass that, I chose just to leave Zuri as my main trainer. This works as that means I never really need to level her beyond what she is now, or beyond 49 if I feel like I want to push her that far, and she’ll always be safe to AFK train without worry of PK.

My new Shai main just got her name switch today after maintenance.

It’s odd how BDO does name changes. You can roll another alt with the name you want and purchase a name switch – which does just that – switches the name between the two characters.

However, this doesn’t go into place until the game comes down for maintenance, which I find odd. So, I’ve been waiting for the name switch since last week, and finally it just happened during maintenance today!

I’m in love with my Shai and I’ve been working diligently on leveling her. Though, this is going far faster than I ever expected.

I logged in last night at level 27. I had a few hours to dedicate to leveling, and my hopes were to get her to 30 at least. By the end of the night, she’d skyrocketed to level 41 instead!! And I wasn’t working very hard to make that happen!

My goal has been to get my two new characters – Aywren and Amon – to at least 49 before I no longer have access to the Olvia servers. At this rate, I shouldn’t have any problem doing that, it seems.

Amon is sitting at level 21 right now. I invested in a nice costume for him because it’s everything that he needs to be in BDO.

Not to mention, I earned the Bard title. So while he can’t actually be a bard in this game, he can at least wear the title for it.

I know that in the higher levels things change in this game drastically. But for now, I’m just cruising through the main storyline (which I still find interesting even though it’s not well written) and leveling my horses AFK throughout the day.

Once I’m at 49.999, I’ll make my choices on what to do with my characters. I’m not sure that I’m that worried about battle life after 50 just yet. I’m also interested in looking at the Season Characters once the spring season opens up. It just depends on how much time I want to put into the game at that point.

Right now, I’m having fun with what I’m doing, though. Hoping to breed some T6 horses this week!

Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming, MMORPGs

Returning to Black Desert Online

It’s been almost four years since I last played Black Desert Online. Wow!

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.

Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming, MMORPGs

Black Desert Blitz

I don’t know what it is about Black Desert. It’s a game that should capture my attention and hold me fast… and when I’m in the mood for it, it does. But there’s so many things about it that are just… glitchy.

Coming from a well-polished MMO experience like FFXIV (and before that, GW2), it’s sometimes hard to overlook the lack of polish I see in BDO. The world is beautiful, but, for example, the NPC pop-in (appearing as black placeholders and then loading in) is hard not to notice. Just little weird things like that.

That doesn’t keep me from playing the game, but it cheapens the experience for me. It’s a shame because there’s just so much this game does well.

I find myself picking it up and putting it back down a lot. It’s probably because of the time-sink it requires to get the things I want to do done (horse training). But it keeps luring me back when I get a sandbox itch… like this past weekend.

Finally Progressing

Last time I logged in, it was over the holidays. I took notice of the Olvia servers, which give a nice solid XP boost to new and returning players. And then… well… the game got pushed aside for other things.

This past weekend, I sat down and really put my nose to the quest log to knock things out. Some of these quests have been there for a year now… and I still hadn’t pushed past level 24.

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It wouldn’t be a BDO post without a picture of a horse.

It was really refreshing to finally finish some of those old quests. For example, there was a quest to give a bronze hoe to an NPC. This doesn’t sound like it should be too hard, but believe it or not, bronze tools are complex to make. I don’t remember what was getting in my way of completing it, but I couldn’t make the ingot (or something) and I never found a hoe for sale on the auction house.

This time, I discovered there’s a pre-order function on the auction house. So, I put in a pre-order for the hoe, which automatically purchased it for me the next time someone put it up for sale. In about half an hour, I was able to complete the quest that I hadn’t been able to do in a year! I wonder how long that pre-order feature has been around and I just didn’t know it.

Organizing Stuff

I also sorted through the million letters I had in the mail from forever ago. Every time there was down time or a holiday or something, I was accumulating stuff in my mail and had no idea what any of it was.

Inventory slots and weight are both a major problem for me in this game, even after spending some loyalty points on inventory slots. So I had to do a lot of organization to be able to claim the rewards and figure out what everything in my mail was.

I did get a bunch of EX boosters, but also a few free lockboxes. I still don’t really understand how gear works in BDO, so I ended up selling most the stuff I got from those boxes. I also got a free week-long dye pallet, which allowed me to dye gear to my pleasing.

But the biggest surprise was in the form of the Fame rewards.

Rolling in Silver

So, this is a casual player who logged into the game to 9 million silver max in the bank. I thought I was doing good. Then I get this mail in my box talking about Family Fame… which dropped 63 million on me for just logging in.

I was shocked.

Then I started Googling to find out where this money came from and why. Apparently, BDO added a Family Fame system that drops a bunch of money on you every day depending on your accumulated family points. If you don’t log in to get it, it stacks up in your mail until you do.

I suddenly had more silver on me than I knew what to do with. So I quickly researched the best kind of armor to buy for Tamer, and bought the +15 version of it on the auction house. Yes, I know there’s better than +15 now… but I was only level 24, so that was plenty for what I need at the time. Until I can do better research and understand it more.

Finally Leveling

I quickly discovered that with the new armor and upgraded weapons, I was tearing apart all the monsters in my level range while barely taking a hit. This encouraged me to quickly become a weapon of mass destruction.

No, I don’t know what any of my skills really do in this game. I just hold the mouse buttons down and go to town. I have this one skill that I put on my hotbar that summons my pet and it does this massive AOE whirlwind that slaughters everything. So I’ve learned to gather up as many monsters as possible while it’s recharging and take them all down in one swoop.

Needless to say, this propelled my questing progress, but more than that, my leveling progress. In a few hours, a lot of XP boosts, I found myself ten levels higher.

Yes! I have finally leveled beyond 30 in BDO!

That Black Spirit

I’ve also picked up the main quest again, and the Black Spirit is just as dubious as ever. He continues to absorb energies and transform… He’s a lot less cute now than he was before.

He’s also a bad influence.

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…And I love it! Sometimes I don’t know whether my character is something good or bad in this world, and that is also strangely appealing.

I like being the Warrior of Light… but it’s neat to not know what line your character is walking for once. Are you the hero, or are you out just to take care of yourself? What is the Black Spirit’s agenda?

He did tell me he considered me a friend… and for some reason, given the offhand conversation this happened in (part of quest text), I believe him. I guess I can understand why he thinks that my character should choose their own path rather than just blindly accepting NPC quests and doing what other people ask all the time.

It’s kinda interesting.

Anyhow, I don’t know how long my stay in BDO will be this time, but I’m having fun destroying things and leveling quickly. I still have no desire to stick my neck out and progress past level 49.999999 where I could be ganked by PKers, though. So I don’t know how much that’ll hamper my enjoyment of the game in the end.

I do really want to explore the ocean one day!

Posted in Black Desert Online, Blogging, Gaming, MMORPGs

Black Desert Online Gaming Blog Banners

I didn’t realize a post about blog header banners would be of interest to so many folks! But because it was, I’m making a short follow-up on a few new banners I added this morning. Yesterday, I didn’t have my BDO screenshots on hand, but now that I do, I’ve whipped up a few more banners from that.

I couldn’t just choose one horse riding screen from the many, though. So I threw in two. I wish I had a good uncropped screen of my favorite dappled horse for this. I might have to hop in game and take some new shots. 🙂

The three new banners are below, all of my character Aywren in BDO:

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Posted in Black Desert Online, FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

BDO: Holidays, Wizards & FFXIV: Scripture Gear Complete!

FFXIV Goal Completed

So, after several months of running Expert roulettes and capping just about every week, I finally upgraded my last piece of Scripture gear for Zuri’s Dragoon. Well, aside from that one ring, which is an Alexander stand-in, since you can’t have duplicate Scripture gear. Now, the only thing holding me back is that darn Relic weapon! *grumbles about Umbrite*

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I haven’t decided what gear I’m going to work on next, if at all. I’m certainly going to take a break over the holidays since I’ll be heading out of town tomorrow on my yearly road trip to friends and family.

Sometimes I still have issues with deciding which DPS I want to play in the long run… but that’s a conversation for another post. In fact, I’m hoping that Red Mage will be announced as the next DPS job at the Japanese Fan Fest on Christmas morning… that would be a wonderful Christmas present to me! I do fully intend to play Red Mage should that be the case!

Black Desert Online: Return

It’s been a while since I’ve logged into Black Desert Online. I’m honestly not sure why I put the game down, as I still did enjoy breeding my horses. Now, so much more content has been added, and the game is absolutely massive. I’m so far behind in terms of knowing what all is there… but hey, there are horse races now! I just have to get up the courage to try one.

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Since I last logged in (back when they released Ninja), the servers have consolidated, a ton of new land and content has been released, all the class Awakenings have happened, and they’re being super generous in trying to help newbies catch up.

In fact, I discovered that since I’ve been gone for so long, I have access to the Olvia channels. This is for folks who haven’t logged in for 30 days, or new folks. This channel gives massive experience boosts — 200% — in order to speed up leveling.

olvia

Not that I really am in any rush to hit level cap because… you know… PvP stuff.  But it would be nice to finally level my little Tamer past 22, so I might put some time into it to boost her.

Update: I just found out that they’ve changed the level at which PvP flags on a character. Now, you have to be level 50 before you can PvP.  Also, the only way to get to level 50 is to finish a quest players call the Belmorn Quest. So, as long as you never do that, you can be a level 49.99999999 carebear forever in BDO! Woo! Time to level!

So what really caught my attention with BDO? Well, they’ve finally added the option to roll a young looking Wizard in the wake of the Wizard Awakening.

Yep. You heard me. “Young Wizard face option” is what it took to catch my interest.

So, I quickly updated my client, logged in and spent forever working on my Wizard alt, Ben. He doesn’t look all that much like Ben, but whatever. Young Wizard.

 

benbdo

To tell you how accelerated the XP gain is on this channel, Ben was level 13  by the time he finished the handful of quests that make up the tutorial. It’s pretty crazy, but I’ll take it. I have a few other low-level alts that could do with some boosting.

Not to mention this game is just throwing stuff at you left and right, most of which I don’t even know what it is.

For example, this is my rewards claim box:

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Check out the cute snowy UI theme. It’s really well done!

I have a million bundles in my mailbox that were supposed to make up for down time and unexpected maintenance. There’s so many that I can’t claim them all because I simply don’t have the room to store the stuff anywhere.

The one thing I did find a bit interesting is how BDO has changed their daily login rewards. Instead of logging in and earning the reward, you have to log in, remain logged in for 30 minuets, and then you can get your rewards. Granted, the rewards are much more lucrative than just Loyalty Points now days. Plus, if you stay logged in for an hour, you get an extra reward, it seems. Pretty crazy.

Anyhow, it feels nice to dip back into a sandbox MMO for a bit, even if I won’t have much time to play until after the holidays. And it’s really, really cool to see it snow in the BDO cities!

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Oh, and the price of the BDO starter packs are only $5 right now. So if you’ve been interested in trying it, it’s super cheap B2P! I’m considering picking up a second account even…

Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming, MMORPGs

Black Desert Online and the P2W Protest #blaugust2016

This post is a part of Blaugust 2016!
bdoprotest

It’s been a while since I’ve done anything of significance in Black Desert Online. My main character is perpetually level 23 (so that I never have to deal with open world PvP). I bred my Tier 6 horses but found it very time consuming to train them for a chance at a T7 breeding. I did log in to roll a Ninja on the last big update, but I didn’t actually play him.

So, I’ve been a little out of the loop with what’s going on in the game. The fact that BDO is now offering things called Value Packs, which serves the same function as a 30 day subscription in a lot of ways, passed me by last month. But the recent P2W protests did not.

Now, I don’t even have a horse in this race (pun intended). After being decimated by ArcheAge’s P2W, I didn’t put too much of myself into BDO’s world. So this is all an observation from the outside looking in.

Down With P2W

p2wpngSo, what’s got the players all up in arms lately? It’s the announcement that BDO, a Buy to Play game, is going to allow people to buy items in the cash shop with real money and sell these items on the auction house for in-game currency. It’s basically a sanctioned way to buy silver with real money.

Now, I’ve seen a similar feature in other games, so what’s the big deal here? It has to do with the fact that you can purchase the BiS gear using silver… and that BDO is supposed to have a competitive PvP end game. So, PvP folks, many who already are annoyed at how other “no lifer” players get a leg-up in PvP as it is, are really upset about this.

Other folks feel betrayed because BDO apparently swore a blood oath that the game would never do anything to promote P2W. They felt they invested in the game at box price, and some probably spent quite a bit in the cash shop to support the game… all to watch it twist into a P2W shadow of itself.

Then there’s the whispering on the wind that Kakao is using profits from their gaming ventures to fund other real world businesses. This is something they called online-to-offline business.

On top of that, when the players provide their feedback on the official forums, their words are met with the banhammer. So, the BDO Reddit seems to have become that haven for these ostracized players to vent. Of course, BDO denies that there is unjust banning going on, but… yeah. You can do the math.

In the meantime, players are protesting in their own ways in game… through uploading the above picket signs to adding the No P2W sign to their guild emblems… Guilds may go to war, but they can agree on this.

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I rather doubt this is going to accomplish anything. In fact, I’d be more surprised if it did. Yeah, so nevermind. I just checked. The change went out in today’s patch

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While I never allowed myself to get too invested in BDO (aside from horse training), I’m not surprised that the game tilted off in this direction. It’s a little sad to see, but companies are going to do what is going to make them money, even if they anger the majority of their community doing it. I guess it really comes down to whether they’ve hooked enough players deeply enough to keep playing despite this, or whether those who have already spent a lot of money are going to walk away due to this.

As for me, I haven’t given them too much of my money or loyalty, so I don’t have much in the way of feelings on the matter. It seems like it’s just the sign of the times… another game turning around to milk their players for everything it can while it still can. I feel for the folks who feel betrayed, like I did in AA, but I’ve been bitten too many times to put too much faith in any non-sub game to remain on the straight and narrow anymore.

What do you think of all this drama?

Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming, MMORPGs

BDO: More Tier 6 Horses Bred!

 

SS Dapple
SS Dapple

For the past week or so, I’ve been steadily training my T3 Female and T4 Male for their ultimate breedings tonight. It took a while to get them to level 30 and 28, but it was so worth it.

As you can see above, I got this handsome T6 stallion from the mix! I really like his pattern, and if all goes well with training and skills, he may be an ultimate keeper.

Their second breeding rewarded me with my first ever female above T3 – this lovely T6 mare!

Tier 6 Female, Bred 5-7-16

Now that I’m replacing most of my lower tier horses with T6, I’m not quite sure what to do with them. I’ve gone back to training my mustard horse, hoping for good skills so that I could sell him. The market says he’s worth over 4 million silver at the moment, so his value can do nothing but continue to go up!

I still have another T3 female on hand, so I can also always train her up and try for another pair of T6. Just depends on how patient I feel. 🙂