Greedy Goblin

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Black Desert Online leveling

There is no point copy-pasting BDO guides from the internet. But I want to talk about what's ununsal for a former WoW or EVE player that can lead you away screeming, like I screamed when I tried out BDO the first time. Luckily I was desperate enough for a new project to give it another try and do hours of reading before trying to play again. Even the pre-start experience is bad: the classes are gender-locked and if your class is set female, good luck customizing an avatar that doesn't look like a stripper. And high heels on a combat avatar after Jurassic World?!

First thing first: the default controls are atrocious. I don't know if the game was originally developed for consoles or whatnot but the dozens of skills were supposed to be activated by pressing various combinations of directional movement keys, 3 modifier keys and the mouse buttons. For example my main damage skill should be activated by S + Right mouse (WASD movement). Screw that! After you did the training quests that include some of these combos, ESC-Settings-Input and set proper keys for "Hotkey 1-10" and pull the spells and items to your hotbar and never look back! Unfortunately the old "combos" still work, so you can still activate them accidently, but that's not that obtrusive. Also in ESC-Settings-Game disable the "General notifications" which is a really annoying bunch of spam informing you that this and that player achieved this and that great achievement or bought this or that epics, probably to push people keeping up with the Joneses.

After you managed to start playing without your head exploding because of the controls and you stopped feeling stupid because of the heels, you notice that something is very different from standard, level-based MMOs: quests barely ever give XP. Grinding isn't the "best", but the only way to level up. Sure, if you do quests, the mobs killed give XP, so you don't have to abandon questing to level, but make sure you turn off non-combat quests or you never level up (quest menu, top icons).

Quests reward contribution points that you can use for industry purposes later. Now just use them to upgrade the nodes where you fight monsters for more drops and to rent gear from NPCs. You can't lose contribution points, you get them back when returning loaned items or withdrawing from a node. Quests also reward items, inventory space, skillpoint and knowledge from the world (more about that tomorrow). I recommend doing the main questline (the one of the Black Spirit) and any quests that tell you to kill whatever you want to kill.

Grinding itself is also very different from what you learned in MMOs: monsters are tightly packed and very quickly repop. So you can't clear a zone so if you don't outlevel the monsters, you must skirmish their zone edge. All your skills have AoE component, so you can (and practically must) fight numerous enemies. Looting must also be done during the fight and unfortunately there is no AoE loot (in 2016). Luckily monsters can't outrun you, so you can pass through a zone full of monsters unless they can oneshot you.

There is no point up-engaging, red monsters don't give as much more XP as their time to kill increase. There are no dedicated tanks and healers, everyone has some self-upkeep abilities and must evade monster attacks, therefore movement is very important and that's why the involvement of movement keys in skill activation is a very stupid idea. You can encounter "violent" monsters, they are elite versions of the normal ones and aren't really worth killing, XP and loot wise, but they are good practice for bossfights. Since bosses and elites are usually immune to various abilities, it's a good idea to pull normal monsters along with the big one to use the abilities that give you combat resources, drain life or build up combos.

You can click on the map or press the location icon of a quest or select the nearest NPC from the button next to the minimap and your character autoruns to that location. As soon as you can, buy a horse from the stable master and use it for faster transportation. Don't bother with the capturing minigame, you'll have enough money very soon. Be sure to park the horse out of the combat zones or monsters eat it. You can always locate your grazing horse by right-clicking the horse icon. If you press Alt during location clicking, you can create a multi-waypoint path (good against autorunning into ravines) and if the route meets its end in a full circle, you can autorun it again and again to level up your running or horseriding (have carrots in your inventory for your tired horse).

Your main income source during leveling will be monster drops. Sell cheap crap to vendors, sell coins to "trade managers and expensive items on the marketplaces which are available in the capital cities. The trade managers will buy very low if the source of the coin isn't connected, one more reason to use those nodes.

Items have weight and you have limited slots. So warehouses in cities are must be used. Click the "Storage" icon on the NPC search interface. Surprisingly, silver coins also have weight, but they can also be held in warehouses and you can use the stored money for buying on the marketplace. Storages of different cities do not share, but you can transport between them.

I still don't know if I'll have a project in the game or just play it once for the sake of playing, but so far I like it.

PS: if I stay in the game for long, I'll spend real money to buy something non-stripper looking for her!


Garlain said...

Im on my third week so far, just chilling around the game and loving it.

About the loot: it's kind of made that way to make you buy the store pets (they loot for you), but i dont really think its such a big scam, since its a B2P game im not going to shell out money every month and im an adult with a job, so i'm cool.

Still, it might scare a lot of people form the game, wich is a shame because the combat is fun after a day of RL and i dont even care what level i am, i just do some fighting, fishing, taming, trading, whatever the hell i'm in the mood for.

Shame is all of that is a single player game so far.

nightgerbil said...

Your best in slot in called ghillie suit. it is a tree costume. seriously. However you a) dont look like you left a nightclub at 3 am and b) it hides your name plate. Ergo why it is best in slot. remember when you get past lev 25 I think? it becomes free for all pvp. Thus why you want a hidden name plate>>> ghille p2w costume.

Still don't intend to to go do BDO, but I'll follow along. Be interesting to see how you handle the end game which seems to consist of large clan pvp (social friendship best ship) ganking for kicks (code) or mindless mob grinding and agressively pvping to defend "your" little corner. (highsec mining/wormhole site running). Doesn't really seem like theres alot of meat there for an asocial who wants a meaning and purpose to what they do.

coppertopper said...

The pvp starts at 45 not 25.

Destabilizator said...

Honestly, you've struck me as pro in EVE, but in BDO, reading your posts, you are like a clueless toddler (no offense). Do you really think, that in combo-combat game, you can compete with putting skills on hotbar? You better get rid of it immediatelly, because:

1) Any skill you use from hotbar has increased resource cost and lower damage (price for ezmode)
2) Many skills can be chained or animation canceled or do even something completely different (eg. zerker's Back Suplex or Baby Spin)

Mobs quickly re-pop only in lowbie areas (they turned on the fast respawn for launch and blader release, then turned it off).
Wasting CP on nodes where you grind is useless, you need to get the node with CP and then invest Energy to lvl it up, only then it does something. Using CP "for industry later" is stupid, you need to use it asap and send your workers to nodes with rare drops, because you'll need ton of it later for buff pots.
is only one type of rare mobs (you can have , etc.), it is very advisable to kill them as they have higher chance of relic/blackstone drop and always drop a bit of coin and turnable items. You should turn-in the items, rather than just selling them to vendor (right-click the item in inventory, select NPC Location, it will point you to nearest dude who takes it).

Hit me up on (it has even web client) if you have some questions

seanas said...

On hotbars vs keyboard combination skills: not all skills can even be put on the hotbar; most skills activated via hotbar do less damage than those activated by a keyboard combo.

Levelling depends on how you want to play: I spend most of my time trading; I *don't* level via grinding at all. That said, grinding *is* the fastest way to increase your level - but then you'll be short of energy (comes mostly from exploring and talking to NPCs to complete collections) and contribution points (come from quests, especially life - AKA crafting - quests).

Energy and contribution points don't matter *that* much if you only want to max level and pvp (although even then: connect your grind nodes with contribution points to a city; and dump all your energy into improving the node). If you want any sort of life skill, however - escept perhaps fishing - you'll want energy and contribution points; thus you'll want to do something other than 'efficiently grinding your [combat] level'.

Welcome to Black Desert!

Anonymous said...

Best way to make money at low levels is get a fishing rod and swim out to the fishing flotilla in the hotspot then proceed to afk fish. You can easily make up to 600k silver a hour doing this and you'll still get some XP towards your level all you have to do is find something else to do while you afk fish. Your a smart guy though so I'll leave you to figure out where the fishing hotspot is. *Hint though to afk fish all you do is literally cast your rod and ignore the game then*.

Tithian said...

Some info:

1. Using the hotbar is a solution, but keep in mind that you are penalized by doing so (I think higher mana costs?). It's there so that the more skilled players are rewarded for mastering their combos etc.

2. For money, you main source early on is the mob drop collectibles. Some drops at their tooltip indicate that you canexchange X amount to an NPC for cash, the money is usually quite good. Right click on the item to set a waypoint to the 'vendor'.

3. Ignore the people saying that the Treat suit is mandatory, PvP starts at 45 and if you are not doing something terribly obnoxious to piss people off, you will most likely be left alone. This changes if you get into a guild with lots of wars, in which case you are just another target. Think of the current system as High-sec; you can get ganked depending on the circumstances, and wardecs are the main pvp source.

Anonymous said...

quests barely ever give XP
proving my point! it is a korean MMO! it is a standard! Though. not you western wow-tainted standard.

I grinded my Templar in Aion 1.5 from 35-36 over a week. you had the XP bar split into 20 bubbles it took a good amount of time to fill one bubble. level cap was 50. and the XP drought was ahead on level 44+. It was my fault! I should have researched more. knowing healing classes from other games like star wars galaxies or lineage and Co I should have been playing a cleric. witch in hindsight would have been a smooth and pleasant gaming experience.
same for you, for what ever reason you took a valkyrie! bound to have the absolute horror experience in ever.

Took my witch to 50 in 15 hours over 4 days. I'm filthy casual with work so only had 3-4 hours at the evening. only did black spirit quests and some inventory expansion quests. I grinded purple or deep red mobs.
Now standing at helms with 50 barley enchanted gear on my way to 51!

This is your first korean mmo. heavily westernised, meaning, they buffed XP for us whiners tremendously. you will never stop leveling! you hit softcaps on 50, 55 and 60 after that XP will be gradually very slow. You look at grinding like in diablo 2 (Lord of Destruction expansion) getting a char from lvl 98 to 99!

There are no dedicated tanks and healers
witches/wizards heal
warriors/valkyries tank

you troll.
45 is pvp! 25 pvp was in Aion!
About camo
BDO yes you can pay for some %. like you can buy tabs in Path of Exile. great. you still have to grind to get the advantage. don't give me treant camo as response because you obviously play starcraft with the minimap disabled.
from 03 May, 2016 14:26 Anon

please feel free to elaborate. The suit has a counter. called MINIMAP! also if you want to see the name buy dirt cheap alchemy potions so you know who it was. not that it matters.

Also on grind: if "sausan grind" means anything to you watch this and reroll:

Anonymous said...

Did wakfu come up on your radar while you're looking for a game? ( Turn-based game play so no twitch control, and supposed it has some mean of controlling environment and political in game.

Gevlon said...

@Destabilizator: the options are "toolbar with whatever penalty" and "not playing". No way in hell I'm going to bother with those ridiculous default controls.

How in hell I'm supposed to know where the "rare drops" are into 2 days of playing? To turn in an item you need lots, which you only have if you grind in the same place for long.

Stabs said...

I think Destabilizator is trying to insult you by calling you a noob.

He must be new here.

Anonymous said...

quickslot fu
secondary effects can be activated from quickslot after you used other stuff or dodged and the activation isn't possible via combat-system. Tooltips are a mess, but in what game you will get the full explanation of the implemented system?

for example a witch/wizard could start with chain lightning and use the follow up lightning storm. if you would dodge in between or use another skill like fireball the combat system locks you out of activating the followup skill lightning storm. But you can via quickslot, therefor for at least witches/wizards it is healthy to endup with some skills in quickslots and use them situationaly.

Tithian said...


You are too trihard towards a guy that has literally played the game for only a few hours.


"To turn in an item you need lots, which you only have if you grind in the same place for long."

This is true at lower levels, but at 30+ you will be spending hours in each grind spot to level up so it's not uncommon to shore up hundreds of these items. Much of your starting coin will be made through these turn ins.

Anonymous said...

One more thing you need to do - fill out your character slots. This game loves alts. Energy Points (used for crafting) are regenerated for each character individually, while they share the same maximum. So, if your main has a max of 50 EP, a brand new character also has that 50 EP. EP regenerates 1 point per 3 minutes (or two if you AFK in a bed), and at 1 point per 30 minutes offline, so any alt is fully recharged on a daily basis. You can also regen EPs with quests.

Alts share your warehouse space and contribution point network (as well as stabled horses or docked boats), so you can park them in various cities to help with production. Also, bonus inventory space.

thenoisyrogue said...

Glad you got over your initial hurdle.

Riding your horse everywhere at the start isn't that great an idea. It's better to run. Here's why:

You have three attributes, stamina, strength and health. Press 'p' to open the character screen to see them.

You raise health by eating food. More health gives you more hit points. It is the only way to raise it. Hit points can also effect how much damage you can do. So start cooking and always have a bunch of food with you. I use milk tea as it gives you 8% xp bonus.

You raise stamina by running. This doesn't increase your stamina bar but it effects how quickly you use it up. I got to level 30 stamina before I started using my horse.

You raise strength by carrying heavy loads. This effects your weight limit. I haven't bothered with this but you can put your character on an auto-loop walk trail with a pack on its back while you're not playing.

Lastly, pets are there for auto-pickup for you. I think you can get one pet from a quest, (I know you can get a donkey in Velia but that is for trade), the rest you will need to purchase from the store. You will need three pets so as to not miss any drops later on. You do not have time to pick up yourself due to mobs respawning and bodies going away quickly.

Stunt Cock said...

>you can put your character on an auto-loop walk trail with a pack on its back while you're not playing

I can't tell whether this is an example of:

● developers think that improving your stats via physical exercise enhances *realism*. Which is obviously important when you're a high-heeled stripper who carries a scythe.

● developers have included lots of grind in order to make their game seem more "hardcore"

● developers have included lots of grind in order to sell Pay2Skip items

● developers are cynically attempting to inflate their PCU number by giving players an incentive to remain logged in 24/7

● developers are pants-on-head retarded