Thursday, March 11, 2021

Impressions After One Week Back In Black Desert Online

Last Thursday I created a new character in Black Desert Online, a witch, and leveled her up to level 47. I lost track of exactly how much I played. But I received a 24 hour buff when I started and still have 3 hours to go when I logged out for the night. My goal is level 61 in order to get a couple of accessory pieces, make sure I have completed the main story questline into Valencia, then turn to life skills and improving my equipment.

Level after one week

I thought I'd jot down some notes about my experience so far. Someone might be interested. But my thoughts are of someone who played for a couple of months and then left two years ago. I'm not a brand new player.

Story: Let me just get this out of the way. To me, the story is serviceable. Not great, but not something that makes me want to pull my hair out. 

I divide the story into two main parts. The first part involves your relationship with the black spirit. At my current point in the story, I gather I made a deal with the black spirit. The only thing is, I can't remember what the deal is. What I do know is, as I wander through the game, I become stronger, and so does the black spirit. I like the way the spirit has gradually changed form.

The second part is traversing the world. I've completed a few sub-arcs, but nothing really amazing. Well, the fight against the harpies in the fortified city was pretty cool. In general, though? Not too memorable.

Servers: I'm not sure what the difference between servers and channels is, and I'll probably get flamed for it. I rolled a character on a season server. The season servers have different rules and different types of equipment. I was also surprised that season servers don't have PvP except for organized guild wars except on one channel. The one thing about the season server is the season ends at the end of March. 

I do have to note something about the channel list. I noticed that some channels have the PvP symbol. I wonder about PvP in the game. I'm still only level 47 and can't participate in PvP until level 50. Just how much PvP happens in this PvP game?

Combat: I'm pretty much lost with combat. I figured out how to cast a few spells, consume health potions, and that's about it. The spells I use are:
  • Chain lightning (Shift+Right Mouse Button)
  • Mana Absorption (Shift+Left Mouse Button)
  • Magic Missle (Right Mouse Button)
  • Medium Health Potion (1 on the quick bar)
Occasionally I use my staff and cast a fireball. That's it. And with that limited tool kit, I'm managed to get to level 47. There are a lot more spells I could use, and I really need to learn how to use them.

Combat is very fluid and I've racked up some serious body counts in practically no time at all. Still, I would think that I'd need more skill than dashing around a boss monster spamming magic missiles. At this point, though, I can live with easy mode.

The User Interface: The UI is pretty busy and I'm still finding new elements and functions. For example, it wasn't until Tuesday that I found the NPC search function. One of the most frustrating parts was the quick bar. I placed Fireball I in a slot and discovered I still needed to press the left mouse button in order to activate it. I think over the next week I may finally figure out the quick bar.

Inventory: I'm pretty sure I may have purchased some inventory slots, but only for my one character. Not for the entire family (aka account). Having existing farm and housing also came in handy with handling inventory. The one thing I was surprised at was the amount of inventory slots I received from the black spirit for completing quests. Inventory is a very monetizable feature.

Speed of Progression: I think I'm progressing pretty quickly. Even in my 40s, I could manage to gain 3 levels in a hour with the aid of experience buffs that come from either daily login rewards, quest drops, or from the every five level booster package. If I have everything figured out correctly, I'm level 47 doing level 42 quests. Not that bad a disparity. I also haven't had the urge to go to the cash shop in order to buy experience boosts.

Enhancing Gear: Right now I'm working on Naru gear and haven't really started enchanting yet. But I can see how the RNG factor could drive people crazy. I'm pretty sure players can go to the cash shop to eliminate some of the pain.

Clothing/appearance: The cash shop has a wide variety of outfits. That said, I have received a couple of nice outfits. 

Buffs: I noticed one interesting thing about buffs in BDO. The timer stops when I log off. I'm used to Final Fantasy XIV where the buffs keep counting down after I leave the game.

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