Thursday, March 18, 2021

Two Weeks Back In Black Desert Online

I continued my journey in Black Desert Online last week. I may make Thursday's my BDO day, as I really do need to keep track of my progress in the game. I'm feeling better about playing BDO after two weeks back compared to when I stopped playing a couple of years ago. My impressions about the past seven days is below.

At level 55 after two weeks

Progress: I ran into a brick wall leveling upon reaching level 55 on Monday. I think I finally out leveled the story as all the mobs I kill are now greyed out. Then again, my initial 24 hour boost is over. I finished up the Calpheon quests, I think. I did get a message that exploration of Calpheon is complete. I'm now doing quests under a block titled "Level 51". I need to at least finish the first block of quests in Valencia. Hopefully I can have that finished for next week's post.

Story: I have to admit, the slower I progressed, the more I just clicked through the text of the story. I do know that I'm chasing after a well-dressed witch. A very powerful, well-dressed witch. 

A content gate: I ran into a content gate. Once I hit level 50, I started getting packs to aid in levelling every level instead of every 5 levels. When I hit the level 53 box, I was unable to open the box until I finished the last of the Calpheon main line quests. Given how many videos I've watched stating that grinding is such a good way to level, I was a bit surprised.

Enhancing equipment: In BDO so far, I've experienced that your weapons and gear level with you through the use of enhancements. The process is similar to over melding in Final Fantasy XIV, except more hardcore. Unlike in FFXIV, enchantment levels can disappear upon failure. I've managed to get my Naru gear up to PEN and need to finish the Mediah quest line before I can upgrade to Tuvala. Yes, another content gate. One that, if I understand correctly, requires finishing 126 more quests. And I thought the old end of A Realm Reborn was bad.

My Naru gear is up to PEN

Pets: One of the reasons I quit playing BDO back in 2018 was the requirement to purchase pets. Pets are a way to automatically loot the field, in addition to give some minor boosts. The more pets, the faster one can grind. Players can deploy up to five, and with the hawk I picked up Tuesday night, I'm up to four. I don't think I have to buy a fifth, unless the pet is cute.

Mounts: Another concern I had was the issue of mounts. I had two Tier 3 mounts and a donkey from the first time I played. During my first week back, I picked up a donkey. But Monday, I picked up two Tier 5 horses as quest results. Perhaps more importantly, I got one male and one female. I'll have to check on the possibilities for horse breeding.

Combat: After the first week I was unsteady during fights. I just felt limited by the skills I knew how to use. Over the past week, I learned and began using two more spells. The first was Spellbound Heart. The second, Healing Aura. Both spells can be cast out of combat and I use them more for health and mana recovery between fights than rely on them during combat.

Once I hit level 50, I saw an interesting mechanic. From level 50 on, players can modify certain spells on even numbered levels. I added increased crit chance and attack/casting speed to Magic Arrows and increased crit chance and defense values to Chain Lightning and Fireball. So far the combination has worked fairly well when I get surrounded by about 10 mobs.

Buffs: On the plus side, I have so many experience scrolls and other methods of getting buffs that I don't feel I need to visit the Pearl Shop to buy experience buffs. On the negative side, I don't think I'm using enough. I also have a couple of weeks of the backpack buffs and other buffs that I might purchase from the cash shop with the $9.50 in pearls I had carry over from the first time I played.

Appearance: I just have two things of note. The appearance items have stats. The set bonus for the in-game acquired sets is only +2 to attack/casting speed. The cash shop gear has better bonuses. The next is Merv's Palette, a set of dyes. The dyes look much better on the clothing in the appearance interface in which I applied them than on my character in the game.

I have two weeks until the season ends. I want to at least exchange my Naru gear for Tuvala and maybe even enhance it a little. After that, I need to figure out how to play on a regular instance. I plan to switch over to doing life skills and dodging people who want to PvP while I try to make a little silver.

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