Behold, Master Gideon!

It took me two losses to ding Level 10 instead of the one win I was hoping for, but I finally achieved master status with Gideon in Paragon from Epic Games. Check out that outfit!

Master Gideon
Behold, Master Gideon!

Now it’s time to run around in my fancy new mastery skin before moving on to leveling one of the many other characters to choose from. But who am I kidding? I’ll probably just stick with Gideon until I feel I’ve fully mastered him. I really need to work on landing Burden more often, and my placement for launching Black Hole could use some work.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Last night at midnight, Black Desert Online celebrated Valentine’s Day with fireworks over the cities. As luck would have it, I was scaling Library Tower of the Holy College in Calpheon at that time for a quest. The view was impressive.

Valentine's Day fireworks over Calpheon.
Valentine’s Day fireworks over Calpheon.

The Valentine’s Day mini event is so typical of Black Desert Online. Simply, you give a piece of chocolate to an NPC, but it wouldn’t be Black Desert Online without taking that piece of chocolate through its production first. The event involves buying a cacao seed and fence, scouting out a location to erect the fence and plant the seed, waiting for the tree to grow (only 30 minutes), harvesting the cacao, grinding the cacao beans, and then performing Simple Cooking with the cacao powder, sugar, and mineral water to produce a piece of chocolate.

Black Desert Online
Watching the cacao grow.

I gave my piece of chocolate to Lara as she was the only event NPC I recognized other than Valks, and I really don’t like Valks. Lara is an orphan and cheerfully sells potions in Heidel, so I thought she was most deserving of the chocolate. The gift giving is actually some sort of popularity contest. At the conclusion of the event, if you gave chocolate to one of the four most popular NPCs, you get a chance to win valuable prizes, or something. Honestly, I’m just interested in the participation prize. I would rather grind mobs than make candy bars, but it’s cool Black Desert Online has the Valentine’s Day event, and I hope developer Pearl Abyss continues to do the themed firework shows for other holidays throughout the year.

Beyond 50

Just when I thought Black Desert Online couldn’t wow me any more, I discovered Longleaf Tree Sentry Post. It’s an interconnected Elven outpost built in the trees above the Cyclops infested area of southwestern Calphaon. The Ewok Village Action Playset from Kenner was one of my favorites as a kid, and the Longleaf Tree Sentry Post made me feel as if I was in a functioning village built into the trees. The variety of locales in Black Desert Online is astounding. Making me feel as if I was a kid again with my Return of the Jedi toys = priceless.

Black Desert Online
Traveling through the trees via aero car!

However, leveling slows down greatly after hitting 50, and I’m starting to see how important Amity — Black Desert Online‘s take on Reputation — is for advancing in this game. A quest from Keplan has sent me to Herman Feresio in Calpheon for completion, but he refuses to talk to me until I build 500 Amity each with Valks and Theophil Batian. Valks is a dick, and Theophil Batian is only interested in Theology which I currently have incomplete Knowledge of at 4/9. So there’s much still to be done. This quest seems to set up the Mediah quest chain, so it seems to be something worth working towards storywise.

Black Desert Online
No talking to this guy just yet.

Conversations require Energy, and as I had temporarily exhausted mine trying to pique Valk’s interest, I decided to head out and quest west of the city. Many Catfishmen died in these quests. After slaughtering 300 of them, I got the title “Fish Hater” before being sent to kill 300 more.

Black Desert Online
Not a good day to be a Catfishman.

Wiping out an entire colony of sentient fish gets old after awhile, so I decided to head further west to finally see what Port Epheria is all about. Since I did all the Keplan quests, I fortunately have Knowledge of everything Philaberto Falasi has interest in. He’s the Goblin guy that sets up the quest chain for the recently released Margoria expansion. Currently, I have my Ranger alt working on building Amity with him as I continue to level my Sorcerer.

Black Desert Online
Atop the lighthouse at Port Epheria.

I’m not exactly happy with the grind that kicks in at level 50 in Black Desert Online, but the game world continues to amaze me. There’s no quitting just yet when there’s so much still left to explore.

New Cover by Aubriel Evans for SYRENKA

We’re happy to announce Stephen Oravec’s SYRENKA has an all-new cover by the talented illustrator Aubriel Evans!

Currently a Kindle exclusive retailing at $2.99, SYRENKA will be free to download Tuesday, January 31 through Friday, February 3, 2017 on Amazon. Additionally, SYRENKA is available through the Kindle Unlimited program as a free title.

We hope you’ll give this reimagining of Hans Christian Andersen’s THE LITTLE MERMAID a read and it and its new cover a review on Amazon!

Level 50

Today’s journey in Black Desert Online saw me hitting level 50 and heading to the southwestern portion of the game’s continent, a forested land of goblins, treants, and some cycloptic foes.

Black Desert Online
“This dude was strong. His body was like armor made of muscles.” –The Black Spirit

With dinging 50, leveling appears to be slowing down drastically, but the game is as fun and beautiful as ever, and I’m looking forward to getting into the Mediah content.