I engaged in more of Black Desert Online’s oceanic content during the past week, because of course I did. After all I was eager to take out my new frigate and explore the open sea, brave its dangers and hopefully make some profit in the process.
A quest I had had for quite some time wanted me to visit a settlement quite a distance away, on the other side of the Margorian sea, so that’s where I was headed first. I filled my ship’s cargohold with trade items bought in Port Epheria in hopes of getting a hefty distance bonus, stocked up on cannon balls and ship repair kits, then off I went.
Since map and waypoints can’t be used on the open sea I set a course roughly to the northwest and just hoped for the best. The first obstacle wasn’t long in coming.
The lighting changed dramatically from one moment to the next and that whirlwind appeared right in front of me. I steered around it and that was that. I took no damage or anything. Looks nice though. I think I’ll sail right through next time, just to see what happens.
A bit further I hit another road…err…seablock.
Good thing I had brought those cannon balls. I manned a cannon and opened fire. Two hits was all it took.
It didn’t leave any loot behind, but I guess it can’t really be expected for this little effort.
I assume both storms and ghostships indeed serve as roadblocks more than anything, preventing AFK travel. They look pretty cool, I’ll give them that.
After traversing the open sea for maybe 15 minutes total the map flickered to life again. It turned out that I’d veered a bit too far to the west, so I corrected my course and headed due north for the last leg of the journey.
After passing a bunch of islands, some small, some pretty huge, my destination finally came into sight.
This beautiful, asian-styled little town is called Port Ratt, and it’s at the time of this writing the first and only settlement of a whole new continent. Unfortunately the continent itself isn’t developed yet, so islands aside the town is the only accessible part of it. Actually it’s not even a proper town, everything but the lowest level is just backdrop, closed off by invisible or actuall walls. All NPCs are located right at the piers you see on the left and right.
I was pretty disappointed to discover this, especially because it’s so atypical of BDO. Until now I’d never hit an invisible wall anywhere. If you can see it, you can reach it had always been the game’s motto. Oh well, I just hope the continent will be developed eventually.
For now I had to be content with advancing the quest and selling my trade goods, which indeed yielded a nice distance bonus. Of course I would have liked to fill my cargo hold with exotic goods for the journey home, but my trading skill level was too low to buy them.
I also took a quest to deliver a special trade item to one of four possible destinations, the reward being a big chunk of sailing XP. I chose to bring it to Altinova, the second farthest option. Since this item doesn’t slow you down like a normal trade item does I figured I’d just sail back to Epheria, then take it the rest of the way on horseback.
I completed a few more quests in the area, then decided to head back towards the mainland – I had some more things to attend to on the way. Before leaving Port Epheria I’d accepted some daily quests to kill various sea monsters and pirate ships for even more sailing XP, which I wanted to try now.
Both monsters and ships are abundant on the open sea, so I didn’t even have to actively look for them. I chose a small pirate ship for my first target.
I did sink it, but it took quite a while, and as you can see my ship took a serious beating too. So much so that it definitely wasn’t viable to fight anything else without fully repairing it first.
Since I didn’t get loot right away I dove after the wreck to check if there really wasn’t any.
It had dropped something after all, albeit only sell-loot. At least it had a cumulative worth of just over three million silver, which ain’t bad. I would find out later that it can only be sold to a guild shop though, so the silver goes to the guild account, not your own. Much of the game’s oceanic content seems to be designed with guild members working together in mind. In a game that’s overall very, very solo-centric this strikes me as a bit odd, but it is what it is.
Then I finally headed back to Port Epheria. The wharf manager repairs even badly damaged ships for chump change, which is nice. I delivered the trade item to Altinova and received a pretty nice sum of sailing XP.
The sea called out to me on the very next day already, and I set sail again.
This time I hunted down an Ocean Stalker. Instead of using a cannon I tried to kill it with the ship’s ramming skill.
Maneuvering the ship and learning the beast’s movement patterns again took a while, but I prevailed. It too dropped guild-only sell-loot, but also some crafting materials I’ll need for the better ship parts, yay!
This time around I’d also brought my fishing gear because I needed to catch two specific rare specimens for another quest.
While I managed to catch one of them relatively quickly the other remains elusive for now. I made a killing catching fish close to Port Ratt and selling it in Altinova though, so I’m not complaining (too much).
If you only have like 30 minutes or an hour to play I wouldn’t recommend tackling BDO’s sea content, but if time isn’t an issue it’s a really great and immersive experience. Another fine example of sandbox gameplay that sure isn’t for everyone, but is exactly my cup of tea.