By Jordan Hall (ApocaRUFF)
Welcome to Mediah, Black Desert Online‘s first major content release. This update brings new lands to explore, over a thousand new quests to complete, tons of new NPCs to interact with and lore to learn. And in typical Black Desert style, trying to sum up everything they have in store in one sentence is nigh impossible. This means it’ll be much easier to achieve level 55. It also gives us an idea of the release schedule that future updates to the game will have. In this article I’ll give you an idea of what you can find in the Mediah update and how it might affect your experience in a game already described as having too much to do.
Welcome to Mediah
The land of Mediah increases the total landmass of the game by a decent amount. Of course, this means more nodes and longer trade routes, allowing for higher profits if you’re into the trading system. Daum has advertised that this update brings over a thousand new quests, and I’ll take their word for it as I’m not planning on counting anytime soon. But what I have counted is the large increase of energy I’ve gotten from all the new knowledge made available with the new NPCs and mobs to be found in Mediah. Of course, my own gains are nothing compared to those that went hard-core no-life on both the older regions and these new regions, some of them approaching 300 energy already.
Mediah is outlined in red.
Of course, with new quests means more Contribution Points as well. I had just barely broken one-hundred contribution before the update (I’m lazy, OK?) and I can’t say that I’ve done much to remedy that. Others have, however, and I’ve noticed several guildies making some pretty large jumps in contribution over the past few days. A lot of people who were starting to get burnt out on the game got a bit of a rekindling of their fire with this update as there’s so much new stuff to explore and experience. I’ll admit that I’m one of those people – I went from playing 6+ hours a day to barely reaching two hours a day over the past week or so. The game is great, but it can be fatiguing keeping up with the demands of running an NPC empire.
I haven’t even got near finishing all the quests from the other areas.
With a new landmass comes new mobs, and Mediah has plenty of them. There are several areas that are great for leveling and you’ll find that it’s much easier to achieve level 55 now. I personally haven’t made the grind, but I have a few guildies that have gotten up to level 51 and 52 with little effort. This is a great step-up from the completely mindless and constant grinding that reaching level 55 before the update required. Some of the new mobs are quite interesting, but I don’t want to ‘spoil’ any of it for you. Let’s just say you may want to check out the Northern coastal area of Mediah and perhaps go a bit further than its shores.
These new mobs are a decent step up in difficulty compared to the mobs from other regions.
Altinova is the major city of the Mediah region. Think of a typical ‘desert-style’ port city and you’ll be pretty close to Altinova. This makes sense, as Altinova is the last stop before you start getting into the desert proper, which will be released at a later date. You’ll see some new races and more of certain races here. It’s a city of merchants and it shows, with stalls and shops set up everywhere. While I feel that not as much care and effort went into creating Altinova compared to Calpheon or Heidel, it does follow the “makes sense” mindset of the other cities. Just by exploring the city you can get an idea of the history of the town, starting small and growing in a hodge-podge manner. I love that the city tells a story by itself without having to even talk to the NPCs.
This city tells a story.
Previously, collecting Ancient Relic Stones (mostly from fishing) was pretty important for weekly boss runs. However, with the Mediah Update, Forbidden Books are now in the forefront. Similar to the Ancient Relic Stones, you use shape-crafting in your inventory to turn five Forbidden Books into a summoning scroll. This new scroll also works in a similar manner to the Ancient Relic summoning scroll, in that it will spawn multiple waves of enemies and bosses, providing many chances to get loot – specifically Memory Fragments and Seals, but also the occasional Black Stone.
With the Mediah Update comes new gear. The star of the show is, honestly, the Grunil armor. This is a versatile set that offers a plethora of crystal slots and some nice set bonuses in the form of AP. Because of the AP bonuses and crystal slots (two for each piece) people are making a lot of use of it. Some are going all-out and getting full-sets. Others (such as myself) are mix-and-matching it with other armor sets. Personally, I’m currently working on converting my gear from a 3/4 Agerian and 1/4 Talis set-up to a 3/4 Taritas and 1/4 Grunil set. The two extra crystal slots the one piece of Grunil will allow me to make better use of what is already considered one of the two best set choices from Witch/Wizard. Some classes will want to make use of more pieces of Grunil, while some (any, really) will find they benefit the most from a full set of Grunil. The issue with going full Grunil, however, is the costs involved. High-end crystals can be quite expensive and it’s hard to farm them simply because of the RNG involved. Grunil can be gained either from mob-drops or via the Amity system by talking to Mevo the Blacksmith in Altinova.
This is some very decent gear.
Of course, there are also the best-in-slot gear additions in the form of boss-dropped armor and weapons. These are things like Red Nose’s Chest Piece and the Kzarka weapons. There is a full set of boss armor, each piece being gained from a different boss, and they’ve got some pretty nice stats and set bonuses. Of course, they’re also incredibly hard to obtain and many people (such as myself) will choose to focus on the more obtainable gear instead. ‘Obtainable gear’ now includes Liverto, by the way, as it’s been made easier to get your hands on. Sooner or later I’ll make an effort to switch from my Yuria staff to a Liverto Staff. Also, many of us will be pleased to know that (so far as I’ve been able to find) you cannot get your gear past +15 with this update. I wasn’t looking forward to having to deal with trying to get my fear any higher.
Currently best-in-slot, or BiS.
While guilds haven’t gotten the much-anticipated Territory/Node Control system, they did get a bit of love. There is now a new type of guild mission in which guilds can get together and take on epic bosses. These bosses, like the other missions, scale with the guild that is doing them. So while they’ll be a challenge, they aren’t impossible. Not an incredible addition, but one that is appreciated.
Another new piece of gear is the Alchemy Stones. These are entirely new to our version and weren’t available previously. They take up their own slot in your equipment and can provide some pretty substantial benefits. These can be difficult to obtain and even more difficult to upgrade, so this is definitely “end-game” gearing content. Something you’ll probably work towards after you’ve gotten yourself a full set of +15 gear.
Cash Shop Additions
Of course, with this major update comes a handful of new options in the cash shop. There are several new pets, including the Mediah Guard Dog, Skyhawk, a new puppy, and some cats. Personally, I’ll be sticking with my Kaia Racing Dogs, though the Mediah Guard Dog does look quite formidable. There’s also a new Khuruto-style furniture set, which is a race that makes up a large portion of Altinova’s populace. It’s got a darker, more primitive feel to it compared to the other sets. If you like sharp-pointy teeth and bones on your furniture, you’ll enjoy this set.
Not my style, but I have to admit it looks great.
There’s also new (but still incredibly expensive) costumes to buy. And new underwear, for those of us that like to chill out semi-nude in our homes. One of the costumes available has wings attached to the back, and while I don’t think they are animated on their own, they do make use of Black Desert’s fantastic fabric/physics simulation and look incredible. Personally, however, I’ll not be picking one up. While the wings are great, the rest of the costume is just way to skimpy on my witch and looks tacky. Instead, I’ll probably grab the spring-limited Yukata, which is also quite skimpy but not quite as much as the new costumes. However, I’m still on the fence because I’m getting tired of paying $30 for costmetic costumes in this game.
Yeah… I went ahead and bought the Yukata while writing this article.
For $20, however, I can grab the new horse armor which keeps in line with the new wings costumes by being covered in feathers. Much like the wings on the costume, the feathers on the horse armor look incredible with the physics simulation. I put $20 in the game the other day with the intention of picking up some of the cash shop stuff, but in the end I decided the better investment would be +16 new slots for my inventory (for $16…). If you can’t tell, I’m getting a bit tired of the cash shop having the best looking cosmetics in the game, but being prohibitively expensive.
The Mediah update adds a ton of new stuff to experience in the game. New lands to explore, new enemies to fight, and new gear to make use of. Some people thought this update came out way too soon, but I feel that it’s the perfect time to release it, especially since Daum kept the gear enhancement cap at +15. Many people were starting to get burnt out from spending so much time in the game, and this update provided the perfect breath of fresh air to rekindle their drive to play. All-in-all, despite some annoyances with the completely optional cash shop, it’s been a great patch. Now if only they’d rush the update that brings in Naval warfare…