Top Notch Character Creation

Black Desert Online has some of the best character creation I’ve seen in a long time – with some faults. Number one, all of their player characters are human, and while you CAN add less desirable features, the game aims for what society as a whole thinks is “beautiful” and it can be difficult to create a vision of your own.

You can add as much or as little colour as you want, detailing even the iris on the eyes – but the body slider is fairly limited and even all the way to the right, for females at least, you’ll still be quite slim, or at least muscular without any appearance of fat.

Where I think BDO really shines in terms of characters is their NPC. Mob encounters are amazing, there are tons of races, a plethora of villagers, every town and every district has a distinct feel to it and you can immediately tell the area of Grana from Calpheon, as an example. I absolutely love it.

Thoughts on ProCreate

I got myself a new iPad a few months back, along with an apple pencil to try out. I get daily use from the iPad especially on days where I find doing day to day chores difficult, since it lets me organize & entertain. I am all for traditional art, but it is not kind to me due to both space required, and physical limitations. I grew up drawing, set it aside for about 20 years, and then decided why on earth did I ever give that up. It’s a hobby I feel passionate about and that I love for many reasons.

Anyway, I searched around for iPad apps that were user friendly, cost effective, and had features that I’d actually make use of. There are a ton of them out there, including a subscription version to Clip Studio Art, which is what I use with my Huion tablet on my PC. Unfortunately from reviews I’ve read it doesn’t translate very well to iPad, and while I’m not against paying a subscription, there were other options available where you could just purchase the product.

One of those apps suggested was ProCreate. A hugely popular iPad only program that has a very low entry fee. It does almost everything I want it to as a beginner, and it’s really easy to find tutorials and get into things. I’ve spent a few months now working with it off and on, and I’m a fan. I do wish there was just one program I could use across both my PC and the iPad, but for now this works.

After spending a few months doing illustrations and using simple brushes, I decided to give the watercolour brushes a go. I’ve got zero experience working with watercolour, but I learned that you work light to dark, which is the opposite of what I’d normally work. The picture above is a simple digital image I did – and my most favourite part of this piece is that to me it doesn’t look digital at all. It might not be particularly good, but I think the overall effect is great and someone with a lot more practice than me can probably do wonderful things with these tools.

In any case, I do have a DeviantART account over here, and I have a twitter account just for art related stuffs. It’s a nice quiet place where I can quietly (and completely) change my focus / noise, and I’m really glad I’ve separated it from the regular ‘noise’ of the rest of my hobbies (including gaming). I don’t imagine I’ll be doing any legendary artwork any time soon, but practice, practice, practice, and we’ll see where this goes.

The Benefit to Starting Fresh

I have two Black Desert Online accounts, and they’re both very different. I don’t really have time to keep up with two in a game that really encourages you to stay online (even if it’s AFK) 24/7 so I decided that I’d let one rest until it qualifies as a ‘returning’ account again which grants me access to the Olvia servers that have a very nice bonus – and I’d continue playing the ‘newer’ account.

There are a whole lot of reasons for this decision but the biggest one is that newer accounts simply get MORE. They get more of everything. My older account created back in 2016 already had some hours played on it, so they don’t qualify to get the ‘you’ve played 15 hours, have a treat’ bonus that everyone else gets. They also don’t count for the daily login ‘Rookie’ rewards which is from an event that is running right now. The thing is, the event already ran to conclusion last month, and I qualified for it then, too. So this is my second time running through those particular rewards. The qualifying factor is you have to be playing an account where you have logged in after creation within 720 days. Older accounts won’t qualify for that.

The rewards are nothing to sneeze at, either. They include a lot of inventory space, and special bonuses like pets. Coupons for the pearl shop, and buffs.

The only thing my older account had going for it was that I had three level 58+ characters, and the new account has a single 59 character. My crafting was never that high, though I did have a nice amount of energy and contribution points. Those things are all fairly easy to catch up on though and getting buffs and inventory spots is a lot more difficult. The decision to swap accounts came pretty easily, and (so far) I don’t have any regrets. The older account will still be there, after all, just waiting for me to pick it up again.

Happy gaming no matter where you find yourself!

Getting into the Horse Game

It happened. I finally got two coursers (the gold icon indicates this) with the appropriate skills – a male and a female. I used the horse calculator to work out what levels I should have them at (a combination of 29/30 for the best results) and I set them to – er – work, and waited 2.2h for a foal.

I had a low chance of a T8 result, and almost equal chances of a T7 or a T6. My RNG luck held true as it always does, and I ended up with an ebony black T6 female. I’m at least happy to have a female, males have two breeding chances, and females have only one so I wanted to replace the T5 I had just used and this will work well for that. I decided to explore the imperial market, and I sold my level 30 female for 30,000,000 silver. Not a huge amount, but it was enough for me. I also earned some currency that I can trade in for goodies.

Now I’m working on leveling that T6 horse and hoping for another courser so I can breed that with the T5 male who has one chance left. I do also have a T8 female, but I’m reluctant to breed that at the moment. It’s also not a courser, which I might work on changing. You can get tokens that allow you to RNG another skill in order to make that happen. They’re usually sold in the pearl shop, but as is the way with this game, they lure you in with a handful of freebies.

The breeding process was fairly painless but does require navigating the stable UI quite a bit. You need to register your male horse for breeding and lock it to only you so that other people don’t rent it out. That’s right, if you get a good horse you can rent it out as a stud. This does take your breeding slots though. Anyway, you set it to you, then you go back to the basic stable UI and select the female, and then do your thing. I followed some guides out there (there are plenty) and 2.2h later came back to a foal. You also have to make sure you have room in the stable for the new horse, which is not too bad when you can rent lodging to expand those slots and there’s various buffs and scrolls that can increase the slots temporarily as well.

End goal? Get a dream horse. That’s a LOT of work and RNG though, so we’ll have to see how it goes.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Let’s Learn another System – Farming!

Yesterday I learned how to package up my goods and take them to the imperial folks for some nice money, and today I decided it was well past time I learn how to farm. Black Desert Online gives you multiple ways of gathering resources, everything from finding the plant out in the world (if there is one) and simply gathering, to buying it from the central market from other players, or even setting up your own farms where you can grow the stuff yourself.

In order to grow a farm you need to rent some fences. They take 10 contribution points. I went and visited Flaviano in Heidel, and rented from him. Then you need some seeds. I went to the big city of Calpheon and purchased from the seed vendor there. I want to grow pepper.

Now, the game makes this as complicated or simple as you want. There’s fertile land overlays, there’s water overlays, there’s weather. Ideally you want to find the perfect spot to grow your crops using all of these overlays to math it out. I decided for my first farm of pepper I didn’t care about any of that, and I placed my plot down alongside my AFK horse rout which is on the outskirts of Heidel.

You physically place your fence plot, and then plant your seeds. You can see it in the world. As far as I know, no one else can interact with it (or see it) besides you. Then you wait while your seeds grow. As they grow, they’ll need some care. You don’t HAVE to care for them, but you’ll get experience and ideally better crops, if you do care. They need to be pruned, they get pests, and all that good stuff. Pepper takes 8h20m to grow, and right now I’m checking them every 30m quickly just to pick the pests and what not off, and I’m training my mount in the meantime.

Apparently you don’t want them to grow past 120% because you’ll get poor returns, but again you can make it as complicated or simple as you want. You can water them and fertilize them and pick the perfect spot and baby them – or you can just let the plants grow. I plan on making fried bird with the peppers, hopefully to turn in to the imperial folks for some cash.

In the meantime, it’s just neat to be learning yet another system in game, and hopefully making some cash from it. I’m thinking one day a week is enough, but it will depend on the returns I get.

As always, happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Imperial Cooking

Yesterday I was doing my cooking and thinking to myself “what the hell use is this stuff, we can buy better from vendors” – and then I learned about Imperial Cooking.

Basically after you’ve cooked some stuff (I’m doing grilled bird, as an example) you hit the L key, tab over to Imperial cuisine, and you can stuff those items you’ve made into boxes that weigh 50LT each – package them up, and then deliver them to one of two NPC in the lands (I use Oliva, it’s close the NPC is Lotz Pavarotti). You can sell them to these people for a nice hefty sum – if someone else hasn’t already delivered all of the items for that good. It’s shared server wide, but varies per server, so let’s say the imperial dude is accepting 500 boxes of chicken on one server, on another someone might have already sold a bunch so he’s accepting 32, or zero.

This AM I made 1400 grilled chicken, packaged them up, and delivered them for a nice little sum. There are different boxes for each tier of crafting and a nice list of items you can package up can be found here which is a fantastic site if you don’t want to watch a video for everything. Sometimes, I just want to read the text.

Any way, now my Shai is at skilled 10 and I’m really happy with that. The workers are eating their chicken and the excess is being sold to the imperial dude, and I’m not going to ask what he’s doing with so many boxes of supplies, after all that’s a bit rude.

One more mechanic that I’ve managed to figure out thanks to guild mates and web sites! The list continues to grow. Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Halloween SAL Day 25 – Snow White

This version involved iron shoes, tongs, hot coals, and dancing until someone fell over dead. Not a pleasant version of the story we’re all pretty familiar with, this one is from the Brothers Grimm.

My cross stitch is coming along, and is nearing completion! I’m glad, it has been interesting but very difficult to keep up. I haven’t decided how I’ll finish the piece yet, but hopefully I get it hanging on the walls in time for Halloween.

Life Skills? We’ve Got Those!

Yesterday a really awesome Halloween patch was released in BDO, but of course instead of looking into that at all I’ve been working on my life skills. First, the fishing event ended (boo) and that happened to be my major form of income for a while. Now I’m looking into other things. I started learning about contribution points, nodes, and workers. Basically you spend points unlocking things on the maps (nodes) and then you can put workers there to gather / harvest whatever that node provides. It gets more complicated than that with linking nodes and finding valuable workers, but that’s the basics.

I used this node calculator to figure out what I wanted where, and to start off I went pretty simple. I have 5 workers. I have one doing chicken/eggs – I use this to create grilled bird meat, and it feeds all of my workers. That’s right, they have stamina and they can run out. Then I have another worker gathering potatoes. This can be used as flour or a number of other things. My third worker is out harvesting grapes, another is gathering iron, and my final worker gathers honey.

With these supplies I can either use them to produce items (like grilled bird meat) and then use those items, or sell them, either to players or NPC. I haven’t worked out everything I want to do with it all yet, but it’s a nice start into cooking and I’m currently at cooking skilled 4 which makes me pretty happy. Cooking is also nice and relaxing, in fact almost all the life skills are. Probably why I enjoy them so much. I spent some time working training and leveling up my horses so that I can breed them, but that will be another time.

I haven’t decided which character I want to boost with my time piece yet. You might recall that everyone gets a time piece this season and it basically swaps your current season character to another character, boosting them to the same level with the same skill points. My Shai is currently my season character, at level 60 (ideally you’d want 61/62 but I’m happy with 60) and I’d like to boost a combat orientated character to finish off the rest of the season pass. I did create a tamer which is lots of fun, but I’m not sure if that’s who I want to actually play. I also have a guardian at 58 that I’d like to reach 60-61/62 with. I’m thinking training books for that one.

Then there’s my entire other account, where I also have a shai and a lahn. I’m not sure what I’ll do with that one yet.

I won a BDO twitter contest this week, which was awesome! I got (hah) another copy of the game, and a master pack of goodies that I’m hoping to use on my main account since it’s so far behind all the new goodies everyone gets. I’ll give the game copy to a friend, or my husband since he’s expressed a little interest in playing and of course I want to foster that! I’m hoping to explore the Halloween things tomorrow, but it has been a busy week with not a lot of free time, and it has been uncomfortable to sit at my desk for any length, so we’ll have to see. For now I am in game mostly AFK just doing the life skill thing (as it is meant to be done).

Happy gaming, no matter where you find yourself!

Halloween SAL day 24 – Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde

Halloween SAL day 23 – The Exorcist

I’m not actually sure what a Ouija board has to do with The Exorcist, I remember the creepy girl but not much else about this movie when I watched it. I’m honestly not a big horror fan, so that’s no surprise. In any case, we’re getting close to the end!

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