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 has 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 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?

FARMING!

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. ;))