I was talking with a friend's boyfriend tonight about the game. Who's left. Who's stayed. What keeps us playing. It was an amusing, lighthearted, conversation as we reflected on our experiences with it through the years. He was saying how is friends can be so highly competitive they ruin the game for themselves. We then began to discuss just what kind of world is Black Desert Online? Is it Isekai? It is like an alternate earth? Where are we? It was at that moment I said, "Ride over to me." He was quite a ways away. So, he says, "Why?". I said, "Come on. Come over here." He gives in. When he gets to me I point at this boy sitting on a fence playing a flute. "It's this." He got it immediately and broke into laughter. Have you ever day dreamed? That's Black Desert. A wondrous, fantastic, daydream. It's pretty thoughtful, too. If you have the eyes to see it. The story isn't given to you. You have to look for it. ...You could walk right by it without ever noticing. The things that seems impossible yesterday get easier... and easier... And the skills you picked up that day, so long ago, turn into real pleasures down the road. You're off the treadmill, so to speak. And pretty content with where you're at. But you're still grounded in where you begin. It was a pretty long road to get here. And you've still got so much further to go. But you know what? It's the best ride in town. If you hang around. Life never really gets boring either... Things can seem pretty insurmountable, too. But your contributions matter. And, you can't always go it alone. Even though it's pretty awesome. It's just better with friends. And you haven't seen it all. Not even by a long shot. And just when you thought you've peaked. You realize that's just not what this world's about. There's still so much more. If you stick with it. It's easy to get frustrated. More than a time or two... But, then you remember what this world is... It's missing your parking space by a few kilometers. It's in the little things you forgot to remember. Even in the deepest black of your worst day. It's can be pretty wonderful. BDO is the story of us... sitting on a fence... playing a flute as we day dream. A dream full of Pegasus and Unicorns. Dragons and Underwater Ruins. Ships and monsters... It's full of friends and it's full of the problems, like anything, but the world itself is a thing of pure joy. I've never enjoyed a game so much as I have Black Desert. I doubt I will again. For those new to BDO: If you came here expecting a traditional MMO... It's here, but you have to work it. Don't level up the skills on a character beyond those required to unlock all of them and you're there. Then form a Party with friends and have fun getting beat up by progressively harder creatures not considerate to your expectations of what an MMO is (but it is still a heck of a lot of fun to do this!). Or... Level up your Skills, your Combat ranking (actual levels) to make the creatures a little easier to hit and their hits a little easier to tolerate... because that's what levels do in this game), and discover your potential. It's quite vast . You'll lose perspective on just how far you've come more than once. This is a world that expects you to grow slowly, but go far. You'll feel it at first. You'll see yourself improving and look back on where you came from like a climber reaching the tops of mountains. You'll know what it took to get there and how far there is between you and another. This can be daunting. Troubling. Upsetting. Enraging, but the end of the day... you got there on your own merits. Your earned it. The only thing anyone can say to you is, "respect". It's the one commonality in this game you cannot find anywhere else. Either you Enhanced your way to better gear, ground through ceaseless hordes of enemies and effort, or made it to every event to make the time back for time at work you couldn't have here putting the time in. One way or another, the bottom line is, "You earned this." We all did. The world isn't something that's going to look a lot different one day to the next. What you were doing yesterday you'll probably be doing in some variation four years from now. This might sound absurdly boring, but don't be fooled. It's a blessing. The same wolves you killed when you start up the game for the first time matter just as much to you years later as they do that very first day. There''s nothing else like it in all of MMOs. Often what was gaining you levels yesterday is gaining you gear today. That or it is the sub-component to the components you are working on for the thing you're currently making. Things tend to come in fives in Black Desert. Fives and Sevens. Think about this in all that you do and observe. It will take you far. In adventuring, what was yesterday a vagary is tomorrow or a year on from now explicitly important. Meanwhile, what was yesterday seemingly to have come and gone (never to return again) suddenly becomes paramount to your every need and action. All quite organically and at pace to what you are doing. Though, it out to be said it is often not intuitive and some things are distinctly quite odd or unique to black desert. Mostly, if you want to enjoy the game try not to give yourself goals that involve Enhancing or Silver. Instead, give yourself goals that involve Time. For example, keep a log of your silver earnings day to day. With this record the following: ( Goal / Daily Silver Earned ). Later you can find out how long that thing may be of value to you by saying (Future Thing Wanted / Daily Silver I Earn ) - (Current Thing I Own Like What I Want / Daily Silver I Earn). This will tend to give you the number of days you'll be using your current thing until you get to where you can buy or Enhance something better. In doing this you avoid one of the major hurtles most players encounters... the expectation that this game rewards you for your effort. It does not. You are rewarded for appropriate action given your personal circumstances. Keep a journal. I can't stress that enough. Keep a journal of where you are now and where you've been. You'll often find little consistencies that make you realize flaws in your activities that work against your own goals. Money isn't really money in Black Desert either. It is more like a kind of credit swapping mechanism. You have this or that much credit. With it you can trade in one thing to get another thing. Basically it is trading and bartering. Not money Most people try to treat it as money. When they do they slam into a bottleneck that they cannot understand because they fail to understand Silver in Black Desert only helps you move one item out of your inventory to be replaced by another. It does not inflate, deflate, nor accelerate your progress. If you can turn your silver into something usable you should. If it does not become something you are going to make use of then consider you silver-on-hand as akin to economic-agility. By doing things like this you can tend have a more wholesome experience in BDO like the story of my experiences in BDO above. You'll make friends, have adventures, and generally get on with the world quite well. I would strongly suggest not getting too carried away with Combat Gear. Grinding is a very big part of the game, but it rarely pays out as much as the time put into it. This is counter-intuitive to pretty much everyone who has ever played any other kind of game. Here, Combat Gear is mostly for PvP. The pay-outs from Grinding usually service to compliment your ambitions rather than fund them. Another Bottleneck to overcome is Energy. This can box you in quite quickly and it is used for quite a lot. Energy is like Silver. Just as Silver is not Money, Energy is not Action-Points. Instead, it serves to create a Oubliette. A dungeon without walls. You can only move just so far inside the confines of your particular Oubliette before you will find yourself quite exhausted of Energy. It is important to analyze (journal) how far you have managed to get with it from day to day and whether or not what you are doing with it is really advantageous. When thinking about "Advantages" it is important to keep in mind that not all "advantages" are "material advantages". You need think about your spiritual existence as well. Is what you are doing actually "fun" for you? Remember when I said to set goals that are Time based? This is how you can begin to look for how to manage that. If you want to really enjoy the game begin by giving yourself permission to have a "minimum" goal. For me, I tell myself, "I must have this much silver a day." That way if I slack off for a bit I know how much it actually set me back. This way, if I get ahead of that amount I'm more or less losing nothing. Again, silver isn't "money" in Black Desert and I love it! The sooner you wrap your head around this the more fun you'll let yourself have. Most of all, let yourself have fun. Joy this beautiful daydream because before long the cow you have been milking while you were idling in your thoughts kicks you back to reality ^_^. And that, really, is Black Desert. Rising above the mundane peasant existent you began from while always being wary of just how easy it is to fall (very hard and very fast) back to it. "... and all the monkeys aren't in a zoo, every day you meet quite a few. So you see, it's all up to you. You can be better than you are. You could be swingin' on a star." - Frank Sinatra This is game to make something of yourself... in whatever you are passionate about. Stick it around. It's worthwhile for that experience alone.