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, Uncategorized

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. ūüôā

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, Uncategorized

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.

 

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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!
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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. ūüôā

Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming, MMORPGs

BDO: Million Silver Horses

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So I was down to my last T3 female again last night, and decided instead of working a week and a half to raise another pair to the point of shooting for T6 offspring, I would try to hit that spot where there was a 60% chance of breeding females. I left them breeding overnight, and manage to slip on right as maintenance ended before work this morning. So, again with the night pictures.

Despite that supposed 60% chance at females, again, I bred T4 males. Ugh… back to hunting down more females.

On the up side, I noticed that one of my males was born with the Drift skill, which I knew to be valuable. So I checked him out, and at level 1, with no training yet, he’s worth almost 2 million silver! I guess I know who I’m going to be leveling and attempting to sell tonight.

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On a whim, I also checked the value of my T6 mustard horse, whom I did level to 3 last night. He only has 2 skills so far, neither of them that valuable as far as I know, and he’s already worth quite a bit.

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Considering I’m not putting any silver into raising these horses, aside from breeding expenses, this is all pure profit should they sell. Maybe I’ll be able to afford to buy a female instead of scrounging to tame one instead. ūüėĄ