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, 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.

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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: 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. XD

Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming, MMORPGs

BDO: Riding Attire & Musa

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A while back, I stated that when BDO put cosmetics in the shop that I wanted, then I’d put some more money towards supporting the game. I already knew I’d want the riding attire based on looks alone, but I didn’t know that it would have the 20% experience bonus to horses as you ride them. It was a no brainer.

I love the way it looks — very fitting for a character who is primarilay about running horses, this is perfect. 🙂

I also rolled a Musa today. I’ve been planning on this for a while since the class looks more like the kind of melee I enjoy playing. At first, I was going to roll a Tai character, but then I found out the classes’ Awakening weapon was something similar to a Naginata… which just so happens to belong to Tai’s rival character in my stories, KoGuRai. He’d never forgive me.

So, instead, I rolled a KoGu Musa. Happily, the name KoGuRai wasn’t taken. 🙂

This is the first alt I’m putting any time into, and I’m having a lot of fun with the playstyle. I burned through a number of Black Spirit quests that I already knew from my first character, and he’s already level 10 without breaking a sweat.

I also learned that alts share storage and stables, so he was able to snag a T2 Stallion I wasn’t training to get around faster.

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Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming, MMORPGs

BDO: Still Horsing Around

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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. 🙂

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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 7 Days to Die, Black Desert Online, FFXIV, Gaming, MMORPGs

BDO: Training Expert, Camp NaNo Writing, and Dat Funk

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I did, indeed, reach my goal of Skilled 1 Trainer in BDO last night. This gave me a new title, Training Expert, which I wear proudly.

I just wish it would give more female T4s when breeding, though. I’ve had absolutely no luck in breeding a single T4 female in four tries, and the horse breeding calculator says I should have over 50% chance at it given the levels I raised my horses to. It was right about getting T3 females… so either it’s just RNG hating me this weekend or something’s not quite right with the calculator.

So far, all my T4s look very much the same, too, which is a little disappointing. My painted T3 female remains my prettiest horse, so I think I’m going to hold on to her for cosmetic riding reasons. Maybe even try pushing her to level 30 before I breed her. Just don’t know if I have the patience to wait for all that, though. XD

Dat Funk

blah I don’t usually write about myself in terms of feelings and RL issues because folks have enough of that already. But over the weekend, I’ve been in a funk… that I have absolutely no reason or right to be.

Overall, things are going well for me. Work is fine, home life is fine, I have lots of great games to play and people to play them with, I just got my tax return money back (so money is fine), I’ve been working on re-writing Dreigiau and trying to stay inspired – I have no excuse for being in a funk.

I have, however, not been feeling so well as of last week. I’ve just felt the need to sleep and sleep and sleep, and have been dealing with flushed face and sometimes nasty night headaches. It eventually led me to just feeling unmotivated, unenergized, and restless over the weekend.

If you know anything about creative folks, one of the worst feelings is being restless… because it leads to all sorts of discontent and bummed-outness.

For example, I just wasn’t interested in any games I’ve been playing lately. I mean, I set my horses on auto-loop this weekend, but I had no desire to actually play BDO. I didn’t game at all on Saturday, but I had the itch to try something world-buildy or sandboxy… I just didn’t know what. I looked at my list of Steam games for inspiration, but nothing appealed to me. I resisted the temptation to buy something new (Stardew Valley was in my thoughts) on the restless whim because I already have enough games as it is.

I did end up playing some FFXIV on Sunday, mostly just finishing the Crystal Tower trio for the weekly. My monk is almost at level 53, which is something that should excite me a little bit. Just not feeling it. My zombie hunting troupe did sit down with a little 7D2D late last night, which did get my focus for a bit.

I’m actually feeling a little bit better this morning physically (though I’m still dragging and sleepy). So I’m hoping this will pass.

It probably doesn’t help that this is technically week two of Camp NaNoWriMo and I’ve been burning creative juices and inspiration hard to get this writing done. When I’m expelling more creativity than I can absorb, it often leads me to feeling burned out, so this could be part of it.

Camp NaNoWriMo

camp_nano_logoWeek two is traditionally the hardest week for writers in any sort of NaNoWriMo. You’ve gotten past that new story smell, have made those initial introductions to people, places, things and ideas in your fictional world, and now the burden of actually doing stuff with them is upon your shoulders.

For me, the challenge is re-writing a story I started writing in 2001-2002 without looking back at the source material. Even though I’ve edited the original story several times since “completing” it, my memory is pretty fuzzy as to what all I actually did write. This could be a good (or a bad) thing.

Overall, I don’t feel like I’m parroting the original story at all. Everything I’ve written has been from scratch and, though it makes reference to the original plot and structure, flows very differently. I like what I’ve done so far, but I worry that other people might not.

I finally got up the courage to show Syn the first 6 chapters this weekend, and she seemed okay with it. She tends to not like when I alter things too much, so I’m using her reactions to get a feel for how other people might respond to it.

I am at the point of trying to start writing a journey that needs to happen in the story, but doing so with logic and reason behind it. Then figuring out what all needs to happen along the way. Don’t believe it when people tell you the fantasy journey trope is an easy one to write! Nope. In my experience, it’s always been one of the most difficult ones, though rewarding if you do it well.

Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming, MMORPGs

BDO: Cherry Tree in my House!

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So while I’ve been training my horses in BDO, I’ve also been foraging for cherry tree seeds that you can farm and earn rewards during the current Cherry Blossom Event. Yet another little event that gives not just a housing item, but a cosmetic item! Nice, BDO!

Dang, these seeds are hard to find, though. And they take a LONG time to cultivate. The bummer is that plants don’t grow unless you’re logged in to the game, but the upside is, I’m in game anyhow racing horses up and down the roads. So, all is well.

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I finally harvested my first tree yesterday and snagged the cherry blossom pot for my house. It’s a nice little splash of color considering I haven’t put a lot into decorating my new place yet. Bad me!

I adore cherry trees IRL, so I’m happy to have one for my in game house. I also love how BDO’s little festivals curl up around content you’re already probably doing (gathering, farming), or encourages you to try things you weren’t doing (gathering, farming). 😉

I’m still immensely enjoying my time in BDO, even though I only just hit level 22 last night with over 100 hours sunk into the game… It’s all good.

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Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming, MMORPGs

BDO: Makin A Splash with More Horse Breeding

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SS Makin A Splash

I’ve been quietly training up my stable of T3 and T2 horses over the weeks in BDO. I’ve found, however, that as low as my skill is, it’s much more lucrative for me to capture a T1 horse and train it to level 10 before selling it off. The reason for this is that I’ve noted that I only gain experience in training when the horse gains a level. T1 horses gain levels much faster than higher tier horses at this point, so taming and selling them off helps me level more.

I’ve gotten to a point where my Tier 3 horses require lots of carrots just to make each level, so I’ve been holding off on riding them hoping that leveling will help speed up the process. Last night I happened to catch a T1 Female – my second ever. At first, I was going to level her and sell her, but then I decided to breed her instead. I’m happy I did!

Not only did it result in another (two) Tier 3 females, but I also bred my first painted/feathered horse, which I named SS Makin A Splash. I’m assuming this is all pretty random, though, since her sister turned out to be a grey similar to the other two T3 females.

I’ve updated my Stables Page to reflect the second family line I’ve bred. This makes me happy because I was trying to stay away from inbreeding if at all possible. Now I just need to get a few males in the mix so I can push on towards T4 horses! 🙂

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Splash’s sister: SS Hypnotized