I arrived at the city of Velia and reached level 11… so, poking along and mostly enjoying it.
After exploring the Olvia and Western Guard Camp areas, I followed the quest line and visited the Ancient Stone Chamber the explorers you meet very early in the game speak of.
There wasn’t any fighting but I suppose you do pass near fields of animals on the way there.
The game provides a strange cutscene which advances the quirky story a bit… and then you can pick up a quest to learn more about the tree spirits nearby.
I put that off and decided to play the conversation mini-game with a few NPCs in the Western Guard area, and just mill around mostly.
I found some dwarf workers that gave me a quest to bring beef jerky to a solider – the catch is I had to kill some wolves and process the meat into jerky. I suppose this was an intro to crafting.
The game provides most of the info you need. It tells you to kill wolves, press R to gather the meat, and press L to open crafting, select “dry” (from the various options available), right click from inventory to select the wolf meat, and then start processing. What it neglects to mention is that you need to have a butcher knife equipped in your tool slot. I happened to have a tanning knife equipped, so instead of getting meat, I was getting fur. It took me a few wolves to realize what was happening and then I switched out, after buying a butcher knife. Granted, this isn’t a huge oversight, but I think it might trip some players up especially if they hadn’t talked to as many merchants as possible to see the other crafting tools for sale. I bet if you didn’t have any tool equipped you probably don’t even get the “R to gather…” option.
Speaking of crafting, I wasn’t able to tan my hides because I kept getting errors. One of them was something like “processing step failed” – this one seems harmless, you can just sit there and keep crafting and perhaps the next one will work. Maybe this is merely the working of an invisible success percentage other games are more up front about displaying to the player.
The other hitch was getting an error something like “insufficient materials available”. I kept getting this error while trying to dry a single fur. Apparently, and the UI doesn’t really tell you this, but you need an even number of furs to tan – I guess the crafting takes 2 furs and gives 1 hide. When I tried my pile of wolf furs, it worked because I had more than 2 of them. Perhaps that ratio changes depending on what you are trying to make, but if you see this error the solution may simply be: farm more items and try again.
Anyway, I’m slowly figuring stuff out! And that is important to me – not to puzzle everything out, I’m happy to watch some videos or read a nice guide – no, what’s important is figuring out the crafting options and non-combat activities, because that is my long term end-game here, if I keep playing. I’m having fun and all, but I don’t want to do PvP especially non-consensual, nor do I want to be a full-time crafter.
If I understand how PvP works correctly, at level 45+ of the US release (50 in the Korean release, so the cutoff seems to vary), you are eligible for “non consensual” PvP. As in, other players can flag you and fight you, whereas when you are lower than that level, you can’t be flagged (but you can voluntarily flag). Since I’m really not interested in open world PvP, the only kind I enjoy is zoned battleground style, I’m going to stop leveling in the low 40s so by then I’ll need to have some other stuff to do figured out.
Every time I get frustrated about the lack of information the game provides, I think of EVE Online and how tough it must have been for the early adopters. I first tried EVE in 2008, and by that time the game had been out 5+ years, EVE University was up and running and had an excellent wiki with great information. I see Black Desert Online in that “early adopter” phase right now (ok, the game has been out for 2 years in Korea so I’m assuming there is some great info out there, in Korean!) where the current batch of players is in a game with a large amount of content available, but it isn’t always easy/straightforward to figure out how to do it. Several in-game “get help” buttons open up pages on the Black Desert Tome, so over time I think more and more information will be available. Plus there are even in-game videos to view.
In the meantime, now that I’m in Velia, I withdrew all my contribution points from the Olvia area. Next time I’ll speak to all the NPCs and try to figure out node investment, workers, and all that other stuff.
Getting to Velia is important for two reasons: it is the first big city you come across, and at level 11 it really isn’t that far away, time-wise. Velia has various quests that introduce you to crafting systems: fishing, cooking, etc. The second is that two quests along the way (the Ancient Ruins exploration and another that sends you to Velia to speak to Eileen ) expand your inventory by a few slots, which is huge this early in the game.
One activity I tried was fishing – you can pick up a fishing quest at the docks and witness dozens of players standing on the pier, fishing. I moved over to one side so I could actually see my character, and started it up.
I tried 5 or 6 times, and only got one success, and it wasn’t even the kind of fish I need to finish the quest. It takes some precise spacebar-hitting and apparently I don’t have the reflexes required.
My future as a fisherman isn’t looking to bright. I’d just like to clear out the quest from my log so I’ll probably try again when I’ve got a few spare minutes.
So for now, I’ll stay in the area for a while and explore around Velia. It is fun to explore since the game is really scenic in every direction!