Posted in Black Desert Online, MMORPGs

BDO: Dream Horse End Game

A few weeks back, I posted about how I’d finally got a T8 Charger and was now tackling awakening it into a T9 dream horse in Black Desert Online. I knew this was going to be a huge undertaking, and was prepared for it to take months, if not even a year for the process to pan out a return.

In fact, I’ve hardly spent much time on courser training since I brought her to Stonetail Ranch. I had a bunch of the materials you need to complete courser training from the handouts at the anniversary and just random boxes I opened over the past couple months. But I was also picking up a conch shell every night with loyalty points, and slowly amassing the items I needed for my first try.

I was really shooting for the pegasus, like just about everyone else, but I also tossed materials in there towards the unicorn, Dine, and a tiny bit towards Doom (who I didn’t want). Last night was the first night I thought to head back to the ranch as I had enough materials to hit the 200% I needed for the first awakening attempt.

Keep in mind, I read the first attempt you make at awakening has a 1% chance of success. When you fail, you earn failstacks that increase your chance of success by 1% each time. You’ll get it… eventually… but the materials you need to awaken the charger, not to mention the stone to facilitate the event, take time and effort to gather.

I was just telling Amoon yesterday that I was in it for the long haul, and quite resigned to the idea that I’d be working on this for months. But something extremely unexpected happened last night when I attempted my first awakening…

No… I thought. No… that didn’t just happen!

But it did! I was absolutely beside myself in shock and excitement!

The bad news: It wasn’t the pegasus. The good news: It wasn’t Doom.

I think I’d probably have sold Doom for an attempt at the 12 billion it’s worth and just buy another courser to start over again. I’m not a fan of Doom, sorry.

Dine, the Unicorn, was my second choice. She can’t glide and she won’t be able to be part of the attempt at a T10 horse whenever that comes out on our servers. But she is supposed to be awesome for desert travel. I will totally take her for my Shai main, which actually fits quite well!

So now I have to train her up again and try to regain the skills she lost. After awakening, the horse returns to level 1 and loses their skills. So, it’s back to training and skill swapping. Thankfully, I still have some skill swap tokens from when I was training her as a charger.

I’m really after getting all of the important skills that she needs – sprint and instant acceleration – to be the best horse that I currently own. It’ll be fun to train her up from scratch, too!

I feel like achieving my final goal came a little too easily… but you know… I guess I could always try it again if I want the challenge of it. Trust me, I’m not complaining!

Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming, MMORPGs

BDO: Narchillan Gear Get

See an awesome guide on how to get Narchillan Gear here!

One thing I’ve learned about BDO is that you really need to pay attention to the details in the weekly Patch Notes. Events come and go quickly, they drop coupons for free items in the notes, and spend a good bit of time explaining important changes to the game – including this new Narchillan gear addition.

So why am I making a little bit of a fuss (in a good way) about Narchillan gear?

Well, due to the bonus XP event last month, I’ve gotten all of the characters that I’m going to level past 50 to at least 56. This allowed me to pick up the Oasis gear for them (which is said to be temporary). But in the meantime, I’ve been wondering what to do to gear up aside from that.

I’m pretty much a solo player and I don’t really need the top of the line gear because I don’t expect to be doing major end-game content in this game. In fact, if Oasis gear wasn’t temporary, I’d be just fine with it. But I have a feeling that with the introduction of Narchillan gear, Oasis gear is on the way out – or maybe they’ll just let us keep it, which would be nice.

Based on the guide I linked above, Narchillan gear ranks somewhere between DUO and TRI Blackstar gear. I believe Blackstar is some of the highest gear you can get right now, so for the ease and inexpensiveness of Narchillan, this is a really awesome set for someone like me who has nothing but Oasis.

I tested it out, and though you can only do the quests for each item once per family, you can bank the Narchillan gear and pass it around between your characters. Sure, this isn’t as convenient as having a set for each of them, but the fact that it isn’t character bound is what really motivated me to work on this.

To get Narchillan gear, you have to start a questline with Fughar – a deer-looking fellow that’s usually located near stables in the big towns. There’s a quest for each piece of armor (accessories are not included in this) and for one main-hand, off-hand and Awakened weapon. Weapons, obviously, can’t be shared across different classes, so this is the one you do have to make a choice on.

Basically, upgrade a piece of Naru gear to PEN and trade it for each piece of Narchillan gear. If you’ve tossed your Naru gear for any reason, you can talk to Fughar to exchange beginner black stones for those. It also takes beginner black stones to upgrade the Naru gear.

Because you can do quests for pieces individually, the best way I found was to look across all my characters and take inventory of the number of beginner stones they still have – lucky I kept most of them. Then, I spread out the upgrades across my characters as best as I could. So one character would upgrade the helm, another the chest, another the gloves, etc.

This was my first time upgrading gear to PEN. I learned a LOT about the upgrade system – and finally understand what Chron stones are for! I know that sounds silly as a player who has accumulated over 1,000 hours in this game…

Proof! I haven’t claimed it yet because I haven’t decided where I’m going to put the bed…

But I just haven’t had a need to upgrade gear based on my playstyle so far.

I did run across an issue where I’d run out of black weapon stones at one point. I also ran across the issue where I’d tossed out all of my Canon Awakened weapons, which you need for the Awakened weapon trade-in.

Thankfully, I’d left off in the middle of my Awakened quest on one character. So I finished that up, got the Canon weapon for him, and traded it in. You receive a box instead of a weapon straight out, so you can put this box in the bank and it becomes the Awakened weapon of the character who opens the box.

Amon got the Awakened weapon since he’s been using his Greatbow from the beginning and Shai don’t have an Awakened weapon. I know it seems dumb to give my Shai the rest of the weapons, but she remains my main, even if she’s not as strong as some of the other classes in the game.

At this point, I feel as if the Narchillan gear has me set for whatever leveling I might decide to do eventually. But last month I’ve leveled so much that I’m giving BDO a bit of a break in that area. Most of my time this month has been spent running horses and sailing ships for fishing. But in time, I’m sure I’ll be using this gear for leveling of some sort, and I’m glad to have it.

Posted in Black Desert Online, Gaming

BDO: Into the Great Wide Ocean

Over the weekend, I had some time to begin exploring ships in Black Desert Online. I mainly wanted to try out AFK fishing in the Ross Sea, which I heard could be pretty lucrative.

Knowing this was not going to be fishing in a safe area, I chose to level a whole new character and stop her at 49 just to be my ocean fisher. I’m glad that I did – more on that later, though.

From the Shakatu’s seals we got during the transfer and anniversary celebration, I picked up a Epheria Sailboat. I have some interest in possibly bartering on down the line, but for now, I just wanted to try fishing in the sea off of Port Epheria, which I’ve heard was safe from monsters. This is because at level 49, I don’t believe my fishing character can actually work the canons on the ship and defend from ocean monsters. So sailing further and exploring all of that will have to be done on another character someday.

Taking her out of port the first time

The actual mechanics of sailing are very easy in BDO. Nothing confusing about how to get the boat to move. You do have to buy “rations” while in port before the ship can leave the dock – I guess you can consider it like fuel in a way. There’s also a sailor system, but I didn’t look into that since I wasn’t planning on sailing all that far.

Once you get out into the Ross Sea (and beyond) you’re in uncharted territory. You have to uncover the fog of war on the map and you have no icon to know your location. You also can’t use the automapping features to get back to port. I think there’s a way to see where you are in the sea (compass?), though I never went deep enough that I couldn’t use island landmarks to get me back to port again.

My entire goal was to get one zone out, just a bit inside the Ross Sea, to fish. This “distance” would make the fish I brought back to port worth more. Also, out on the sea, fish seem always abundant, so AFK fishing was always at its fastest times.

My fishing character, Finch, went out there with zero fishing experience and a handful of buffs they’ve handed out over the past few weeks. After a couple sessions, she’s now mid-Skilled rank at fishing and has brought in over 9 million silver in fish profit alone (not counting the crystal shards I’ve sold). She is decently geared for lifeskilling with a Balenos +10 rod, so that helps lend to the leveling.

Just fishing, please don’t PK me!

At first, I went back and forth on whether I wanted to use Finch for fishing as I did have Amon at Skilled fishing due to time he’s spent AFK fishing in Grana. Everyone I’ve heard from says not to worry about taking a level 50+ character out into the ocean – that people fish for hours and hours and have never seen a PKer.

Well.

My very first night fishing, I was sailing back for the dock to unload. As I did, I noticed a squat little boat attempting to cross paths with mine. I was on autopath, so I veered away a bit to give them room. That’s when I saw I was being targeted, and that ship fired canons at mine.

My ship took a bit of damage from the attack. But, they only fired on me once – my thoughts are they saw they couldn’t hit me and decided it wasn’t worth it to keep chasing. So I’m fairly sure they were after a PK there. Had I not be under level 50, they would have had their PK, or they would have beat up my ship pretty badly as I tried to escape. I have no clue how to defend myself on a ship.

I guess I keep running into these so-called rare PKers who don’t exist. This is the fourth time someone’s tried to kill me in this game. Only once has actually been successful – the time I dumbly went AFK horse training on a server that phased into Node Wars. I guess everyone can be killed in Node Wars, even if you’re under level 50. Had no idea – live and learn and stay clear of any server with a number 1 after its name.

Anyhow, the rest of the time I’ve spent out at sea has been uneventful. I’ve seen other ships in my area, likely fishing like I am, and no one has bothered me.

Though my first time out, I almost beached my own ship, which was extremely frustrating! I accidentally ran aground on a sand bar and couldn’t find a way off – not even jumping into the ocean and “calling” my ship worked. I began to think I’d have to buy that SOS loyalty item just to get free, but then a game blip disconnected me from BDO. When I logged back in, my boat wasn’t quite in the same location as it was before, and that gave me just enough wiggle room to rock it off the sandbar, thank goodness! Now, I’m super careful about coming near anything that looks like it could snag my ship underneath.

The only other exciting thing this weekend was getting my Narchillan gear quests done. I’ll have to talk about that in another post, however!

Posted in Black Desert Online, MMORPGs

BDO: Breeding the Impossible T8 Horse and Courser Training

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?

Because based on the BDO horse calculator, she shouldn’t be possible from this pairing.

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!

Click for bigger image

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!

Kodie became a Courser!

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.

Here’s my T8 Courser, Kodie!

Posted in Black Desert Online

BDO: New Sage and Sorting Out Story

It seems like every time I turn around, I learn something new about this game. It’s vast, and I’m still pretty new to it all myself, despite having played it on and off from back at launch.

The new Sage class launched last week, and I decided to roll one since I had the character slots to do so. It’s a pretty fun class – a heavy hitter, a bit slower than others, but definitely packs a punch in each blast. It’s also more flashy and colorful than other classes I played, and was pretty easy to breeze through to level 56 (yes again).

This time, though, I did something I hadn’t done before, though. I finally discovered the true “main story.”

In previous posts, I lamented the fact that so much of the original story was cut, and that I never saw how all the pieces came together. It turns out that this was absolutely user error on my part – but to be fair, the game wasn’t very clear about what choices I was making.

There’s a couple points where the story branches off into three directions. The first time didn’t seem of that much consequence, so when the second choice came, I didn’t realize that this choice would change what main story line I would experience.

Me being me, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to pick sides with either character in this scenario – neither seemed to be in the right. So for time after time, I always chose the middle: Silence, We’re Done Here! and just shrugged them both off.

I found there was very little story in the second choice — and that’s for a reason. It’s the option to take if you just want to burn through the game through massive killing rather than be bothered by quests. Basically, an option for folks who’d already seen the story. The game warned me there would be more fighting if I chose that option, but it never warned me that I’d forego seeing the main story altogether should I go that direction.

On my Sage, I decided to do something different – I chose the first path. Then, lo and behold, the main story was there! Everything was actually making a lot more sense! The pieces I thought were cut out of the game from the old story were actually all there – cutscenes included. And I got to learn bout what happened to Edan and his company after all!

Needless to say, I was a much happier camper having discovered that this option finally told me the story that I’ve been so confused about all this time. I really feel that the game needs to make it very clear that the first option is the one you should take if you want to know the overarching story of this world.

Once I got my Sage to level 56 and dumped him in Altinova, I was left with a question of where to go next. I had obtained the Chenga Tome, which I’d used to help level my Sage as fast as I did, so I could always start questing on some of my characters while there’s still a level boost.

But I’m also interested in trying out sailing, ship bartering and ocean fishing. The only thing is, I’m worried about being PKed out in the ocean. I know, I know… folks say it hardly happens. But if I’m out there on a boat and I want to AFK fish, I don’t want to have to be worried I’ll come back to a dead character or a sunk boat because someone happened to see me and wanted to get luls.

I have enough of the Shakatu’s seals to get TWO Epheria Sailboats if I wanted (though I think I’m going to spring for one T8 Horse instead of two ships, maybe – I can always pick up a cheaper ship later, too).

I know that a character under level 50 can’t use the canons and can’t do all the dailies to learn sailing, but if my main goal is to just fish and barter for the fun of it… Well, long story short, I decided to roll another character just for that aspect of the game. So here she is!

I went with Mystic and it’s been fun. She’s also quite lovely!

If I want to get deeper into leveling sailing, I can always do that on a 50+ character. But I wanted to have at least one character who would be safe out on the ocean. I know that I already have a Tamer that’s under level, but really, I want to keep her where she is for horse training since that’s her focus.

I’ve gotten my Mystic up to level 48 as of last night, and once I hit 49, I’ll call it quits on leveling her and see what the ocean has to give. I found the job to be a real powerhouse and surprisingly a lot of fun at the early levels.

Oh, and for the record, I tried the third story path on my Mystic, but found it to be a bit more meh than the first path. It’s a different story, and much more focused on quests, but I’m not really into being a hired mercenary for a merchant guild (that treats my character poorly). Though, I guess it does fit this character’s backstory.

Posted in Black Desert Online

BDO: Yet Another Class to 56…

Last week, I got my third class – Wizard – to level 56 in Black Desert Online. I also finished up his Awakening and Succession quests since I’ve heard so much about “Succ Wizards” being amazing in this game. However, rather than push on to continue playing my Wizard, I decided to continue to take advantage of the 1000% XP bonus event, especially since on the weekend, it runs all day long.

When BDO first launched, I rolled a Warrior. However, upon returning and learning that my old Warrior would be locked into the old story line, I decided to delete him and eventually wanted to re-roll him. What little I did play of my first Warrior at low level wasn’t super impressive – I had a lot of trouble playing through things my ranged characters did not. So I wanted to see if that would be different given the new storyline.

Early Saturday afternoon, I rerolled my Warrior. I spent some time learning about his skills, and now that I have a better understanding of the game, I knew what paths to take to move through the main storyline most efficiently.

Warrior turned out to be a lot better at pack clearing than I expected. While I didn’t play BDO all day – I took some time out for FFXIV and Valheim – a bit after midnight, my Warrior was officially level 50.

Yep, you read that right. Burning through the main story quests with just a bit of mild grinding during this XP event got me to level 50 in way under a day’s time. It took me longer to go from 50 to 56, actually, but last night I finished that up and got him his Oasis gear.

On Sunday, I finally convinced Syn to try out BDO. She’d picked it up when it was free back during the anniversary event. Amoon has also been playing it since I have been talking about my return, so I rolled up a Clan just for us to communicate more easily.

My Amon and Syn’s Scylla in BDO

She played a good chunk of an afternoon, and even as a brand new player moving casually through, she was able to level past 20 on her first day. So the XP bonus is real.

For now, I’m taking a break on leveling new classes. I only have two more character slots open as it is.

Tomorrow, BDO launches the newest class, the Sage. I’m curious about it and will probably roll one just to try it out. I’ll need to spend some time with it before I know if it’ll be another class I’ll take to 76 or not. Especially since everyone is going to be out there leveling theirs in a rush, too, which will make for contested mobs and quest areas.

Posted in Black Desert Online, MMORPGs

BDO: To Level 56 for the Third Time

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.

Apparently, this wolf is friendly and shares something of the Archer’s past.

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.

Good job me!

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.

Posted in Gaming

Overload: The Case of Too Many Games

This month, I’ve found myself in a predicament that I normally do not have: There are just too many games on my plate and not enough time to get to them all.

Lately, I’ve been juggling several games: FFXIV, BDO, Valheim, and wanting to dip my toe back into ESO. Not to mention the Switch games and Xbox Game Pass games that are on my to-play list.

BDO has had a huge pull on me due to the current 1000% XP event that lasts until March 31. I learned from Bhagpuss that this experience boost only happens at certain hours of the evening – for me, starting at 7PM each night. I completely overlooked that in the patch notes (probably due to the excitement of seeing such a big boost), but that limitation complicates things for me since I’m usually pulled into playing other games at that time of night.

For one, I try to run at least one FFXIV Alliance Roulette with Syn each night in order to keep leveling my alt’s White Mage bit by bit. This has been an ongoing thing since December of last year, and is the one bit of gameplay I share with my friend for little while each night. So it’s priority for me.

Valheim has been the weekend-night go-to game for my friend group for the most part. We’re really having fun with that, but that nixxes any time for BDO leveling boost on those nights unless I’m up super late.

And then there’s ESO. I just rolled a couple of new characters in the game right before BDO dropped the bonus reward event. I also joined Bel’s ESO guild with every intention to be somewhat social in a game where I’ve never had a guild before – so I felt a little bad when my previous weekend was consumed by BDO and Valheim instead.

I promise I’m going to play you soon!

And then, FFXIV has to come along and announce a Moogle Tome event starting next week, only lasting until patch 5.55, which is mid-April. So unlike other Moogle Tome events, this one doesn’t continue for months. There are about 6 mounts I really want from this event (some duplicates for alts), which means I’m going to have to figure out how to slide tome farming into the mix as well!

This is why I usually don’t play more than one MMO at a time! Things are getting a little crazy as they all vie for my attention and I’m excited for something in each of them!

On the other hand, it’s good to have so many things to be motivated about!

Posted in Black Desert Online, MMORPGs

BDO: My Musical Shai (Level 56!) and Into Mediah

Note: BDO has ramped up the experience gain to 1000% (no typo) during its 5th anniversary event! My experiences leveling may not reflect the normal experiences due to that.

Also Note: They’re giving out the base edition of BDO for free until March 10th!

Once I passed the 30 day mark of being on the Olvia servers, I had to sadly say goodbye to the safety of no PvP worlds. I somewhat set the game aside other than horse training, and had started to focus on other games for a bit.

Then along came the actual account transfers and the 5th anniversary event. Pearl Abyss is showering its players with reasons to log in, including a 1000% XP buff until March 31! They’re also giving out apparently amazing rewards, which included a set of accessories that you usually get after you hit leveling milestones at 60+.

I’m starting to understand things about end game BDO gear, but I still have a whole lot to learn. All I knew at the time was that these items they gave out for rewards were gold and upgrades, so I put them all on my main Shai.

Adventures With PVP

I guess this whole 1000% XP bonus has people pretty stirred up because despite hearing that PVP is rare, I had two run-ins with people who wanted to end my cute Shai’s life on two separate days.

One was the very FIRST night I decided to take advantage of the event and venture out into the dangerous world of open PVP. I’d left off at level 50 at the Catfishmen camp, which I guess is a pretty well known location for those at that level. I decided to turn in some quests, and found a few more quest givers out in the field – including one that requested “Kill 300 Catfishmen.”

Alright. So I settled down into it, not realizing just on the other side of some trees, another player had apparently decided all Catfishmen belonged to her. Because as soon as she caught wind I was out there, she was flagged up and all over me.

I didn’t want any part of that, so when I realized I was under player fire, I took off running. She actually chased me a good ways – so maybe she really wanted what seemed like an easy kill just as much as she wanted to run me out of the area. Despite mediocre gear, I was not really in danger of death as long as I kept running. Not to mention she was some melee class and I have self heals.

So I guess I could have stood my ground, but I was shaken up by the experience, and just changed servers. Thankfully, the new server had uncontested Catfishmen, and I was able to continue my night PVP-free.

But that’s got me looking at every square icon on my map (indicating another player) with scrutiny. I stay far away from other players now. It feels like I’m back in old-skool UO!

The second time I ran across PVP, I was actually the one there first, farming some orcs to finish up quests in a camp. Along came an archer who decided to run me out of the area. He flagged up and started firing on me. I ran away again, and he didn’t chase hardly at all, so I assume he just wanted the camp to himself.

That time, I got a little more stubborn and decided to stay on the server rather than leave it. I finished my quests (they were all looking for a small number of particular things) and just kept a wide distance from him.

I understand that the way this game is designed, it really sucks to have an objective of “Kill 300” of something and have another player come in taking “your” spawns – even thought spawns are pretty numerous. The right classes can seriously do a lot of clearing in a short time, but enemies respawn quickly, too.

So, that’s been my experience with PVP since level 50.

On the other hand, I had an experience on my Archer where I was – again – out at the Catfishmen camp. There was another player out there, and I was keeping wide distance with a set of trees between us. As I was leaving, having finished my quests, I noticed her idling there and getting beat on by a group of enemies.

Helpful instinct set in and I fired on them, pulled their aggro off her and I started killing them. She came back to keyboard in the middle of this, seemed a little disoriented (maybe newer player) and then helped me kill the last few still standing. I don’t know if she understood that I’d just pulled a mob of enemies off her that might have killed her otherwise, but she looked at me and I looked at her and we just kinda went our own way.

Seems like the most friendly exchange you can have out there with strangers.

“Finished” Exploring Calpheon

My goal was to get my Shai to level 56 so that I could experience the Awakening that I’ve heard so much about and unlock the musical talents she has. I basically followed the main quest line, and made sure to do those “Kill 200 XYZ” quests when I came across them.

I’m not sure if it was because of those gold accessories, but almost everything out there was conning grey to me. Still, I noticed that grey gave some experience despite that. When I did find things that were green, I spent a little more time farming here and there.

Farming seemed the most straightforward way to level, but I was starting to get interested in where the story was going. Before I knew it, I was witness to a pretty epic battle…

Not that I fully understand everything that’s going on here, but I get the jist. And for the first time so far, I feel like the story has a stronger focus on exactly what it is I’m trying to find and who I’m trying to stop.

Once I made it through this series of main quests, I was greeted with this announcement:

Now, I’m going to tell you, I’m FAR from being finished exploring Calpheon. But, I’ve heard of Mediah and the city of Altinova (where you can build wagons!). So, excited to be on the second leg of my BDO adventure, I picked up that questline at about level 55.

Level 55 seems to be a higher level than what the game usually expects. Because, again, just about everything I was fighting was grey to me. As I quested along the way to Altinova, I stopped for some bandit hunting at a camp alongside of the road, and scored level 56!

Into My Awakening

My adventures into Mediah then took a backseat for a bit as the Black Spirit encouraged me to do the Awakening questlines. This sent me all the way back to the homelands of the Shai – which I hadn’t actually journeyed to on this character.

One of the main story hooks from the beginning is that your character has lost their memories of the past. So apparently Awakening deals with learning a little bit about where they came from and who took those memories. I won’t get into details, but I found this to be pretty neat – the questions aren’t all answered, but I enjoyed taking a romp in my Shai’s peaceful homelands and seeing people who remembered her, though she did not remember them.

Doing hero things like fixing a leaky inn roof

Once that was complete, it was on to a series of quests that taught my Shai the basics of playing music. These were cute and non-combat, eventually unlocking the ability to play music as party buffs and explore the in-game music system.

I’m going to have to write a post about the music system all on its own. This post has gotten quite long as it is already!

Finding Gear at 56

The gear upgrade system is starting to make a little more sense to me now. I’m understanding the AP and the DP and such. But I was still at a loss as to what I could do to establish a baseline of gear at level 56.

During my leveling experience, the Black Spirit gifted my Shai with a pretty nice main hand weapon. I also figured out how to get a green off-hand weapon from turning in orc teeth. But when it came to a set of armor, I wasn’t sure where to look.

World chat to the rescue! …sorta…

I’m not a fan of world and server chat in BDO. It’s basically a free-for-all, and that comes with all of its toxicity – I quite liberally block people who consistently spam any form of vulgarity.

BUT. I keep it turned on because sometimes questions are asked and I learn things from the chat. This was one of them – Oasis event gear.

Someone was asking the same question I had: What gear should I get at level 56. The answer was the Oasis event gear.

Apparently this is “temporary” gear put into the game somewhat in response to Covid. It’s fairly decent gear, but players are encouraged to use it as a stepping stone to finding better gear as it will go away once the event is over. However, this event started over a year ago, and there’s no sign of it ending.

You can purchase a box of Oasis event gear, as well as a weapon and off-hand, for 1 silver at Ellie the Oasis Vendor in many different cities. I don’t think you can open the box until you’re level 56, however (?)

So, now my Shai is sitting pretty nice given I’m still a BDO noob.

I’ve focused on doing daily music quests for her now that I’ve gotten her to this point. I also want to take on the Chenga Tome questline because I’ve heard it’s worth it.

In the meantime, I spent Saturday night and Sunday working on Amon’s leveling. I’d also left him at 50, previously, and his first stop was the Catfishmen camp. As of yesterday afternoon, he’s sitting a just at bit into level 55 and still working on the main quest line – my goal is to hit 56 with him so that he can pick up Oasis gear, too, and work through Awakening.

Aside from that, I also have a wizard who is sitting at level 16, but is locked into the old main story quests. I went back and forth on whether to re-roll him, but I think I’m going to stick it out and see how fast this XP event pushes him through.

So much to do in BDO this month!!

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.