Look, all I can say at this point is, ‘I’m sorry Dragon Age: Inquisition. It’s not you. It’s me… And also Black Desert Online. We like each other more than we like you.’ Hmm. Perhaps there is a more sensitive way to put that. But tis true. When not raiding or Mythic+-ing in WoW, I’m grabbing every moment that I can in BDO.

My main issue with BDO simply being that there is so much to do, in so many different areas. And I want to do them ALL. Last time around, this gave me a day of pottering around Velia. A day of wholesome fun that I still remember fondly. And a day so far outside how I normally approach playing an MMO, that it still leaves me rather bemused.

Since then there has been a bit of push and pull between that style and my ‘normal’ style of progressing as efficiently toward the ‘end’ as possible.

There actually is a little external time pressure too, though. This season wraps up at the end of March, and I’m perhaps a little over halfway through the achievement log for the season. Each step has rewards, plus getting through to the end allows for converting certain season items for high tier gear that you can take into the ‘normal’ game.

The ‘boat’ I still had from playing last time around, titled the ‘DunDrown’. This thing had almost no durability or lifespan left at all, as it was the raft I took to explore the islands that came with the game at launch. It was a long, slow trip on this thing — but earned me a lot of knowledge (and thus energy)!

So some of the time I’m telling myself: ‘Goooo. Anything that isn’t specifically related to this season can wait until after and be done ANY time!’

Which… isn’t incorrect.

But then I get a quest to explore the island chains that have been released since I last explored.

Or to learn about the Barter skill system — also entirely new!

Ooh, or Horse Taming! I’ve caught a few already… So maybe I could try my hand at breeding them? Or RACING them?

Trading is still here too, as distinct from the Barter skill. I remember quite enjoying hitching up a wagon and doing that… I wonder if it still makes money though compared to my income otherwise?


And on it goes. This doesn’t even talk to the various side story quests that aren’t on the main path but might lead into something quite interesting nevertheless. (Example: I now know how to pitch a tent and setup a camp ground. This wasn’t in when last I played. Nor were the levellable Fairy companions. Although that latter WAS on the new story path, I suppose.)

This is the first boat I obtained since coming back. It is just a lil fishing vessel, barely better than the raft. But it IS better, so I named this one DunSink. I explored the island chain near Port Epheria with this thing, including right out to the Kuit Islands where the infamous ‘Pirate Island’ resides.

Having said all that, I’m level 57 now. The highest I’ve ever been in BDO, with my previous best being my launch Ranger, who reached level 51. I’ve started the story of Mediah, albeit just barely. I’ve reached Altinova, the capital there. I am in fact auto-fishing in the channel besides Altinova as I write this.

I could potentially have been done with the Mediah story by now and into the Fae zone, Kamasylvia, but uh- as the screenshots might’ve suggested, I did succumb a little to the call of the extras and started a sailing journey. I think before I venture too far into the Ross Sea, I’ll want to get myself at least an Epheria Sailboat. But I’m also contemplating the pricier Frigate as I imagine it would do much better in the Sea Monster hunting arena. (Yep, that’s a thing in BDO too.)

But getting the next tier of ship will take some effort and time, and that might actually be a mission for after I promote this character out of the Season, or at least finish up the achievement log tasks.

I’ll need to start learning how to better control the Awakened version of my character though. The Musa’s Crescent Blade skills look amazing but don’t feel as natural to play yet. If you’re unfamiliar with BDO at level 56 you gain a quest chain to Awaken your character to who they really are. It entails learning an entirely new fighting style. Musa goes from a Katana-like blade, backed with a supporting Horn Bow for short range shots — to a blade-staff style weapon.

My current vessel, the StayAfloat. It looks quite mighty by comparison, with furlable sails and even cabin space for, er, one whole additional sailor! I’ve taken this one out to explore the Belanos Islands and dipped my toes into the Ross Sea, where the map is disabled unless you have a compass. I found the Crow’s Nest, home base of the somewhat odd Crow Merchant faction there, too.

Warriors go from a sword and board setup to a giant 2H sword. Berserker’s go from dual wielding giant axes to… Hand cannons. I kid you not. They can even fly.

It isn’t a complete swap out though. There are even ‘Flow’ skills which allow you opportunities during certain moves to seamlessly flow from one weapon style to the other.

I think it’s just a bit of an adjustment period, coupled with a limitation in Combat skill points to unlock everything I’d ideally have all at the same time.

But! Should that adjustment not come fast enough for my liking there is also the ‘Succession’ version of Awakening, where you choose to remain focused on your original weapon style but add some extra kick to the moves. I’ve toyed around with Succession a bit now and I really like it. I’m still going to give the crescent blade more time to grow on me though before deciding a main play-style. :)

So on that note, I think I shall return to the main mission for another burst until something else catches my eye. (It’ll probably be farming. ;))


Gamer, reader, writer, husband and father of two boys. Former WoW and Gaming blogger, making a return to the fold to share my love of all things looty.


Mailvaltar · February 12, 2021 at 4:16 am

I don’t regret having decided to build a frigate instead of the sailboat when I did.

Its cargo hold is smaller and doesn’t hold as much weight either, so for bartering it’s definitely inferior. But I still like to have more cannons, even though I can only man one at a time as I always play solo.
The next upgrade step will be kind of a game changer though, as the cannons on the galeass (frigate) and the caravel (sailboat) work differently: you can fire whole broadsides right from the steering wheel. The galleas has four cannons on each side, the caravel two.

The last upgrade step, the carrack, has nine cannons on each side I believe. There are four different versions, two for when you’ve gone the frigate-galeass path, two for the other one, but the differences aren’t that big. The latter two are a bit faster though (just like frigate and galeass are faster than sailboat/caravel), so that’s another plus.

    Naithin · February 12, 2021 at 1:14 pm

    Ah wow, I had no idea that the higher tier boats had broadside firing, that’s awesome! And makes me even more keen to get into one. Although it’s going to be a while yet, methinks.

    Right now I could afford to buy my way straight into an Epheria Sailboat (and it is tempting), but I couldn’t do the same for a Frigate yet. Bit outside what I have, although I did just now break my first billion silver. xD (Well, I might’ve had it technically earlier spread out around the world, but a bil all in my main Central Warehouse now.)

    Do you still do any Barter in your more combat orientated ship, or do you find the cargo/weight to be just too prohibitive?

      Mailvaltar · February 12, 2021 at 10:53 pm

      I do the bartering stuff with the frigate, yeah. It isn’t super quick, but it suffices. It’s more of a semi-AFK activity anyway.

      I built it myself instead of buying it, but it took a while. If you choose to buy it it’s silver well spent I think – although it’ll take quite some time to break even, that’s for sure.

      Solo sea monster hunting isn’t much of a thing anymore, unfortunately. Just so you’re aware. I’m going for the combat oriented ships nonetheless, if only in case I’ll decide to join a guild for PvP and the big hunts some day.

        Naithin · February 13, 2021 at 10:35 am

        How does Barter stack up vs. standard ‘trading’ in your view?

        And interesting to hear solo sea monster hunting is no longer a thing! What changed there? Ram get nerfed? I’ve never hunted sea monsters myself, but from vids I saw — ram seemed to feature prominently. xD

          Mailvaltar · February 13, 2021 at 10:14 pm

          I never did standard trading, so couldn’t tell you.

          Sea monster mechanics haven’t really changed much, you can still ram them if you like. I find it somewhat harder to actually hit them with it though, and using the cannons has become much more feasible as they die in like three, four hits (that’s with Level 6 crafted cannons).

          Mostly it’s the payout that’s changed, once you got the materials you need from them it just isn’t worth it anymore.

          Naithin · February 14, 2021 at 2:05 am

          Thanks for all the info! Super helpful. :)

bhagpuss · February 12, 2021 at 6:45 am

My Shai has now overtaken my previous highest level, the Tamer. The Shai’s 32 now and the main quest is sending her to Calpheon. I’m only playing a couple of hours a day but the levels are still flying by. I’m on a regular server and using none of the xp boosts the game keeps throwing at me but there are server boosts I can’t switch off and helpful guilds keep adding bonuses that I can’t refuse.

Not sure if I’d rather be going more slowly or not.

    Naithin · February 12, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    I definitely found with the seasonal server, more often than not I’ve been ahead of the quests in terms of level and gear. Which on the one hand has made them super quick and easy… But on the other… Well; same thing.

    There have been several moments though where either main story or side story has taken me to challenging zones and it’s enough to keep me interested in between going off and chasing some other aspect of the game for a while.

    I’m very close to the next set of Seasonal gear now though (Tuvala), so I’ve set myself the goal of getting that before getting tooo distracted again.

      Mailvaltar · February 12, 2021 at 11:02 pm

      You mention a very interesting aspect here.

      Every now and then the main quests do indeed send you into areas inhabited by very powerful monsters. At first I though it’s the game telling me that I need to advance my gear before doing these quests, but by now I know that I’ll most likely never have gear that powerful.
      And it doesn’t really matter, because I was never asked to actually kill anything in these areas (by side quests, yes, but not by main quests).

      So now when I find myself in a situation like that I don my strongest defense gear, chuck a damage reducing potion ot two and either sneak or charge in and out of there, just trying to stay alive while advancing the quest.

      These were some of the most exciting adventures I’ve had in the game. :-)

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