Vixxie’s summer holidays at the Terrmian Beach.

So this may very well be my take on “Corona 101, how to survive the lock-down”. 

Being stuck inside of the house since March 20th… it sucks. It really does. For me, and undoubtedly 10 million other fellow compatriots. We can leave the house for work, groceries and sports – basically everything that is unpleasant. I’m pretty bummed I didn’t get to spend my holidays abroad. But it is what it is, as we are all somewhat in the same boat. Unfortunately I’m a citizen in one of the few countries in Europe at this very moment to be locked out from traveling. Most of the borders have closed for us, while we are facing a hefty second wave of viral infections. 

Instead, I’ve had more gaming time with my partner in crime! Which was arguably the most fun I’ve had in years in any game.

So off we went to the Terrmian Beach, a special summer holiday event in Black Desert Online, currently one of our favourite pass times.  

No sir, we do not roleplay, not at all. Nuh – uh! Roleplay is for weebs. But then you find yourself in a gorgeous game environment with beaches, palm trees, hammocks, copious amounts of liquor and food… I guess role play kind of just has a way of sneaking up on you 🙂 Sitting on ledges overlooking amazing naval horizons, diving off cliffs, searching for ghost ships, eating at the market stalls, posing with npc’s and singing Whitney Houston on the performer’s stage…. check! I’m not even ashamed of myself, we had a blast !

Mission 1: acquire a bikini. 

Can’t have a summer holiday when you have nothing to wear except your ragged fighting outfit, steel armor and half an arsenal of weaponry. Fortunately after a couple of days of questing (and then some more because as it turns out we’re not very good at reading quest descriptions), we were given bikini’s as a quest reward. And suddenly, Sumanhi and Sagichii found their inner beachbabes. Not even kidding, look at the posing!

Admittedly, this game has the most amazing graphics and lightning effects I have ever seen in any game. My computer however -which isn’t a total potato, I can assure you- did not approve of me finding the “Ultra” mode in the graphic settings. Not at all. It took off on me like a helicopter more often than once screaming fuck dat shit. But once you go ultra, it’s pretty difficult to un-see the beauty.

Mission 2: Letting it all hang loose. (even though they look really firm. Don’t tell me you didn’t think it.)

Our ingame characters could have easily featured in any ‘Miss Congeniality’ movie. Sagichii, the fearless mystic monk with the tedious daytime job of keeping danzel in distress Sumanhi (yup, me!) safe and sound from evil adventurers who want to steal her grinding spots or hurt her horses. Protector of her sanity during badly designed secret game challenges, too. Until she hits the beach and lets the babe out.
She gets away with it so naturally it’s almost scary to remember it’s a male playing that character 😉 

And then Sumanhi, putting on a brave Witch act during the day, slaying thousands of trees, weird looking forest creatures and leafy centaurs on a daily basis (when she’s not milking cows, talking to her fiery horse Havoc or baking honeycomb cookies, of course) … unwinding at the beach with a big spiked coconut milkshake. 

It’s funny real role players keep saying that Black Desert Online does not have all the shiny tools that true rp-ers require these days to enact their fantasies but looking at the many environmental effects, I think the game really nailed the part that gives you a sense of reality to anchor your characters in. When Suma dips her toes in the ocean and waves splash allover her, she comes out completely soaked. She dries up, she sweats, she bleeds after being clawed by ferocious beasts and when she maws down a horde of angry trolls, blood spatter covers her face and armor. She jumps over fences in a funny side way manner and climbs ladders exactly the way I would in real life, albeit ‘slightly’ more elegant. She grips onto ledges when she can’t make the jump and pulls herself up …. most of the time. Except when you need her to, and she crashes 300 yards down to a painful, lonely death. And there are emotes you can use to greet people, or show them you are incredibly displeased with them! You can milk cows, grow all kinds of crops and keep kettle on your farm, buy houses that are all unique in different towns, collect furniture to display in them and design them from floor tile to wallpaper and everything in it (which is a whole game on itself, trust me). Don’t even get me started on how beautiful horses are in this game and how fun they are to ride and fight with. So yeah …. I rarely indulge in proper role-playing with other people so I’m probably not your go-to reference but I’d say Black Desert Online is an RP dream come true.

Either way, agree or disagree, the game is pretty. From a designer point of view, the attention to detail they have put in it is simply breath taking. You can plant down your character just about anywhere, zoom up into close-up and your screenshot will look fabulous no matter where you are or what you are doing. If they would have taken 20% of the effort in making incredibly good looking textures and actually used that time to find a solution for the clunky, glitchy gameplay that continuously puts players with shitty computers or lag in a massive disadvantage, the game would have gained a lot more popularity. They can take a page out of World of Warcraft’s book what that is concerned. We can discuss the pro’s and con’s of games until hell freezes over but WoW really figured out the way to design content, gameplay and mechanics to cater to every kind of player with any kind of computer set-up and still make it challenging. BDO? Not so much. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great and fun things in BDO, from horse breeding to life skilling and all kinds of pve-content but when it comes to close-combat in player-versus-player and boss mechanics, I sign off. And that’s obviously a big bummer because Black Desert Online is considered a pvp game. Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked here. Another post, another time. But the game looks stunning, I’ll give them that.

Mission 3: Enjoy everything the Terrmian Beach has to offer.

Obviously the event wasn’t only designed to generate screenshots that could easily win the character-of-the-year award. There was lots of hard work too! Catching Harry’s golden snitch throwing coconuts at it, launching canon balls into the water trying to hit targets halfway across the ocean, fishing up specialty fish to make food for a baby whale that lost its mommy, playing iron whamuns showing off who got the biggest e-peen of us both, chasing ghostships, shooting massive bazooka’s… I mean matchlocks. Yeah… it’s been fun!

Mission 4: Find the best snugglespots to watch beautiful sunsets.

Everything becomes more beautiful when the day comes to an end and the sun sets over the horizon. The whole land lights up in a warm orange, red and purple haze and the whole game becomes an enchanting place, even more so than usual. The Terrmian beach added a bit to the magic being littered with lazy hammocks, summer chairs, parasols, hippie tents with colourful comfy cushions, little lighting garlands and lanterns everywhere, big leafy palm shadows, hawaiian style surf shacks and food stalls. Overgrown fabergé eggs everywhere, too. Just spectacular. 

Mission 5: Go ham on the food. Or go porkchops. Mmm.

Food. Whether it’s ingame or in real life, Sagichii and Sumanhi love their food. Look at the excitement when we discovered the grill and the buffet table !!! I think she even let out a tiny little squeek when she found the meat chops on the grill. The fruit milkshakes were to die for, as was the batida de coco. Ask Sage what happens at nightfall when you have had a bit too many of those! *smiles*. 
If I were you, I’d not try to steal her roast beef, though. I tried and I’m still mending my battlewounds.  

Mission 6: Play the waiting game like a champ.

When you play with Sagichii, there is one thing you can never forget. She is always royally late to the party. “But Suma! Just a minute! I’m coming but I just need to finish this last set of -insert random chore that only bdo players would understand-. Except it’s never just one chore. And it never takes just one minute 🙂 It got a lot better now that she is riding my prestigious courser horse MuMu. Imagine waiting 15 minutes and then looking at the map of the world, just to see that she’s been riding her Strawberry from the place where she kills blood wolves to where I usually hang out, and still only made it halfway. Add to that the fact that role playing and standing still while finding the perfect scenery wasn’t exactly top priority on my bff’s list of things he wanted to do. But you know, simping and all *smirk*. Even though in retrospect, we both had fun. Him, and me and both our girlygirl avatars.
I’m not complaining though, I’ve given Sage a fair share of waiting time too… hey perfect screenshots don’t just happen! They take a lot of time, trial and error. So a lot of our time was spent… waiting for each other ! And sitting around, looking pretty.

Mission 7: What happens at Terrmian, stays at Terrmian.

When Sage gets a bit tipsy, she starts to entertain Suma with singing and dancing. And the next morning, she doesn’t remember a damn thing. So she claims it never happened, but now I got proof ! Let’s say that was one hell of a Macarena impression. And afterwards when she passed out, I tucked her in and made sure the bed bugs didn’t bite (too hard). D’aaawww! 

Mission 8: Embrace the inner selfie queen.

You know what we need in bdo? Seriously like? A duckface! But Suma got the attitude and Sage has the toothpaste smile nailed. We got dis 🙂

Mission 9: Go all Bonnie and Clyde at the beach.

Or how a simple great idea like “Hey, do you think someone will notice if I steal this giant pearl from the clam?” ended up in S & S trying to ram open shells on the beach with big massive sledgehammers to steal all the bling inside. 

Mission 10: Yeeeeah! More kois!

Everyone looks forward to the yearly summer festival ! For roleplay? no? For fun ? Nooo? Nope, for away-from-keyboard fishing. Black Desert Online is weirdly efficient like that. You can play the game when you’re not actually able to sit behind your computer. You can equip your fishing rod and a minigame will fish for you. And when you come back after a couple of hours, you have an inventory full of fish! Well normally that fish wouldn’t be worth all that much, but during the summer festival you can catch Koi and Golden Perch. $$Ca-chingg$$. So everybody and their grandma’s head out to the beach for two weeks and catch koi. Look, Suma even got out her shark costume for the occasion. Guess who’s gonna get the scare of their life soon when they fish up a living shark girl !

Ah well, time flies when you’re having fun <3 Especially in the best company !
And now that the summer festival is coming to an end, we have a fresh new adventure lined up: a new season and a new character to get into – hashashin. Desert warriors playing with invisibility, sandy whirlwinds and distraction sandstorms. Hyped!
Scyrocco and Truesimp are ready to rock. Truesimp… lol… well if the shoe fits, right?!