I’ve settled into a bit of a pattern with Black Desert Online, one that seems to be working for me. It runs something like this:

  1. Start a new region (in this case, Valencia!)
  2. Allow the main quest to take me around as it will
  3. When it wills me toward a hunting ground though, I pick-up all the side quests I can find involving the things at that hunting ground
  4. Stay until they’re all quests in the area are done and until I’ve gained all knowledge on the creatures in the area.
  5. Jump back to step 2 and repeat this cycle until I’m notified I’m ‘done’ with an area, and that the next main quest will be taking me to a new region.
  6. Before going to the new region spend, sometimes, a good day or two just doing life-skills or completing area knowledge until I’m satisfied I have done as much as I care to there.
  7. After that, return to step 1!

Step 6 is where my more free-form play style comes to the fore. Sure- I might do some of the more essential crafting tasks too like ensuring I’m well supplied with fried chicken and beer for my workers, but it might also be here that I rework my node network, hire on new workers (or fire ones I no longer see potential in). I might do a few quests dabbling in Hunting, or learning new Processing skills.

Saying ‘Goodbye’ to Mediah

There is often a fair bit of overlap between Step 6 and Step 1. If I was being completely accurate, there would be another step in there which essentially says, ‘Jump back and forth between the two for a bit, before finally committing to the new region’.

I think I might have just come out of that transitionary stage and jumped in whole-hog to Valencia. Although I’ve barely set foot in the Great Desert itself yet, as I’ve just sort of tip-toed around the edges going as far as the Desert Naga Temple to the north of the Great Sand Bazaar entryway, and a little east directly into the heart of the desert right after I got my camel.

But I hadn’t brought a compass with me, without which in the desert you can no longer view your location on the map and losing sight of recognisable land could lead to a very bad, no good, pretty terrible time.

In the desert, on a camel, but as yet not too far from safety.

I also hadn’t packed a single thing for the camel to eat (apparently carrots are a no), nor had I prepared myself for any of the illnesses that can afflict you while traveling the sands for any extended time.

But that’s OK. The main questline actually hasn’t asked me to go out this way yet. In fact, there is still more to do behind me before I’ll have to.

So very early days for Valencia yet. I might have mentioned this before, but even if I have it bears repeating — I love the subtle shifts between biomes in the game. The transition between Balenos and Mediah was extremely well done, and if anything the one between Mediah and Valencia is even more so.

The shift is far more subtle and yet there would be very little to lead to confusion between the two as they still hold quite a distinct feel about them.

I’m looking forward to diving into more of the Valencian landscape, before ultimately heading off to Kamasylve.

However! I also feel like I didn’t talk enough about Mediah after I activated the ‘blaze through the story’ mode, so here’s a collection of screenshots from my journeys there. :)