Black Desert Online – The Grinder / Informational Guide

Black Desert is one of those MMORPGs that just serves you a cup filled to the brim with very overwhelming information and complex systems right from the start, and unless you are just now leveling your fourth or even fifth class already (or you’re just stuck in soft-cap), you may not know exactly what the hell to do to even get up that chain of progression while everyone else leaves you in the dust for high-tier gear and better class builds. With what information I have, I will be sharing the basics of Grinding, how Powerleveling can come into play and the popular zones and buffs in the game for each set of levels so that players – new and returning – can figure out their own rhythm of grinding/farming in the world of BDO.

Introduction

BDO is, without a doubt, a very strange but entertaining game if you play it correctly.
With this comes the fact that some people rather skip all the things the game hands you at the start and prefer to run straight into the world and push themselves to the top so that they can access and do things that you usually wouldn’t be able to do for quite a while until you reach such levels. BDO doesn’t necessarily have a cap on the levels player’s can achieve, meaning you could technically become level 100+ if you really dedicated your time into the game. There is what most players would like to call a “soft-cap” however, where most of the higher leveled player-base is stuck in a small set range of levels after so much gameplay has been done. This is typically in-between the levels of 58 and 62. Anything after that is considered a rarity to achieve. 

If the sort of plan you have in mind when you log into Black Desert is to just dodge the story and dive right into the rest of the game making you up among the many who are at and even above the soft-cap, then the method “Grinding” can get you there. Grinding, if you haven’t already figured out the term, is essentially shedding your character up through levels and gear in an extremely fast manner which in turn allows you to achieve and obtain things you normally wouldn’t be able to get until you, for example, played the game’s story for several weeks and have gone through plenty of quests and finally being high enough of a level with the right gear for PvP stupidity.

Grinding & PLVL-Ing

As you probably can understand somewhat already – or have actually seen if you’ve played this game for an extensive amount of time – those who go with the path of only grinding their character shows you that it is more or less the fastest way to level in BDO, with PLvl-ing (Powerleveling) tailing close by in second. 

GRINDING 
The basis of Grinding is simple – you can get to soft-cap in a short period of time that would be rather impossible with the method Questing. It does have strong cons however if you choose to do this method, and there are ways to get around them in the end, but do know that it will still effect your character in the long-term of your gameplay. The cons mainly come from the fact that you will miss out on lots of extra items, points, and other materials you can obtain through the questline that BDO hands you from the moment you finish creating your character. More importantly, you will miss out on BSQ’s (Black Spirit Quests), which may I inform you that any and every BSQ you may have in your quest list is REQUIRED to be completed to advance further in the game, grinding or not (so make sure if you have one, you finish it and don’t start another one if you decide that you are going to be grinding your character). 

If you haven’t played this game before, or you’re making a new character because you haven’t played this game in ages, I highly advise you only listen to the “pinpoint leveling” section in this guide for right now and come back to grinding only after you have taken the time to digest everything Black Desert hands you from the start, including following the entirety of the questline (pretty much Lv1 to somewhere in the 50’s – for most people, depending how long it takes them to finish the main questlines, they’ll end up somewhere up by Lv58). 

By the time you end up around the soft-cap after Grinding, you’ll end up having no idea where to start if you decide to go back and start quests or obtain other important things like inventory and storage space expansions, energy points, contribution points, skill points, and so forth. Make sure that when you decide to grind that you mark down and remember where your starting point for your questline is – which for most people is right after you are offered the training dummy BSQ, or the Red Nose boss BSQ, after you complete the basic Lv1-9 tutorial – so that you may drop back into the questline when you are done, which essentially means you can obtain any skill points you have missed out on.

POWERLEVELING 
On another note, if you are considering grinding while have a character that’s already been leveled up significantly through questing, there is a temporary form of “Grinding” that we like to call “Powerleveling.” PLvl-ing is the process between low Lvl players and high Lvl players (there can be more than one booster and more than one boost-ee if you wish to do so) setting up a party and having the higher Lvl player essentially boost the lower Lvl player’s level through different farming areas and even through higher-level quests. XP buffs that the booster(s) may have at the time make this method even faster if used wisely. 

You see, PLvl-ing is actually a very handy method for any returning player if you have an already-made character and have nowhere to start, yet you want to rush up the levels so you can enjoy what you’ve been missing out on after you quit originally. This process also helps players who are still new to the game but do not wish to follow their questline anymore and wish to be assissted up the level progression system, but is definitely not a good way to go if you have just made your character. If you decide to PLvl as a fresh-spawn, you will miss out on hundreds and even possibly thousands of skill points and other levels being put into your character earlier in the game, which sets you back stages later in the game if you decide to break off from the party and try grinding by yourself as you will have too weak of a character to handle certain mobs for the level you would be at compared to other players at the same level as you. 

Do know that, thankfully, even though you will lose out on the chance of obtaining points and certain skills earlier in the game that you will have to go through hell and back to obtain, you will not be obstructed from earning money and new skill points from there on out – it’s just going to take you quite a while on those skills. Another note I’d like to add is that in order to have a successful PLvl party, the booster(s) in the party helping the low Lvl player(s) need to be at least 6 levels in difference between each other. This is because if there is a larger difference in level, those who are, for example, 7-8 levels apart will cause all party members in the party to not be able to obtain loot and, with higher level differences, little to no experience at all.

Locations And Places Of Interest

Alright, so now we will get into the places I’ve gathered from personal experience as well as other player’s experience while playing Black Desert Online from newbie to soft-cap. I’m going to split locations you can find in each territory as you level up between two different sections: 

PINPOINT LEVELING – Areas that work with the type of leveling I like to call “pinpoint-leveling”, will be marked under bold text sections. These areas are technically already buffed for anyone, and I recommend them only for new players/returning players on their first/main character for small grind sessions called “farming” as a side-option while they do the tutorial and questline to get a feel for the game. 

SPEED LEVELING – Areas that work with the type of leveling I will just call “speed leveling,” will be marked under italic text sections. These areas I recommended only for players who understand the basics of Black Desert Online, have a feel for their main character’s class as well as the other classes, and wish to dive straight into their Grinding and or PLvl sessions on an alt/smurf character or even multiple characters for different purposes.

[FOR PLAYER’S LEVEL 1-15]
EXP RATES EARNED: 3/5 
PROGRESSION DIFFICULTY: 1/5
AVG AMOUNT OF MOBS: 3/5

Pinpoint Leveling Areas 
LEVEL 1 – 9: (Complete your Tutorial Quests)
LEVEL 9 – 15: The Forest of Seclusion
Speed Leveling Areas 
LEVEL 1 – 12: Grass Beetle/Steel Imp Fields
LEVEL 12 – 15: The Goblin Cave
LEVEL 12 – 15: The Heidel Quarry

[FOR PLAYER’S LEVEL 15-25]
EXP RATES EARNED: 4/5
PROGRESSION DIFFICULTY: 2/5
AVG AMOUNT OF MOBS: 4/5

Pinpoint Leveling Areas 
LEVEL 18 – 24: Castle Ruins
Speed Leveling Areas 
LEVEL 15 – 18: Moretti Plantation
LEVEL 21 – 24: The Glish Swamp

[FOR PLAYER’S LEVEL 25-35]
EXP RATES EARNED: 4/4
PROGRESSION DIFFICULTY: 4/4
AVG AMOUNT OF MOBS: 4/4

Pinpoint Leveling Areas 
LEVEL 25 – 34: The Biraghi’s Den
LEVEL 28 – 34: The Orc Camps
LEVEL 30 – 35: Delphe Knight’s Castle
Speed Leveling Areas 
LEVEL 24 – 30: The Bloody Monastery
LEVEL 30 – 35: Khuroto Cave

[FOR PLAYER’S LEVEL 35-40]
EXP RATES EARNED: 3/5
PROGRESSION DIFFICULTY: 4/5
AVG AMOUNT OF MOBS: 2/5

Pinpoint Leveling Areas 
LEVEL 35 – 40: Caphras Cave 
LEVEL 38 – 40: Abandoned Farm
LEVEL 38 – 42: The Breewood Ruins
Speed Leveling Areas 
LEVEL 35 – 40: Abandoned Land

[FOR PLAYER’S LEVEL 40-50]
EXP RATES EARNED: 4/5
PROGRESSION DIFFICULTY: 4/5
AVG AMOUNT OF MOBS: 5/5

Pinpoint Leveling Areas 
LEVEL 40 – 45: Oze Pass
LEVEL 44 – 45: The Giant Camps
LEVEL 44 – 50: The Cron Castle
Speed Leveling Areas 
LEVEL 40 – 45: Marni Cave
LEVEL 42 – 45: The Veran Camps
LEVEL 44 – 50: The Forest of Mansha

[FOR PLAYER’S LEVEL 50-56]
EXP RATES EARNED: 4/5
PROGRESSION DIFFICULTY: 4/5
AVG AMOUNT OF MOBS: 5/5

Pinpoint Leveling Areas 
LEVEL 53 – 55: The Forest of Polly’s
LEVEL 55 – 57: The Fadus Garrison
LEVEL 55 – 60: Pirate Island
Speed Leveling Areas 
LEVEL 45 – 52: The Catfishman Camp
LEVEL 50 – 54: Helms Post
LEVEL 51 – 54: Elric Shrine
LEVEL 54 – 56: The Sausan Garrison

[FOR PLAYER’S LEVEL 56-60]
EXP RATES EARNED: 5/5
PROGRESSION DIFFICULTY: 5/5
AVG AMOUNT OF MOBS: 4/5

Pinpoint Leveling Areas 
LEVEL 56-60: The Bashim Base
LEVEL 56-60: Cadry Ruins
LEVEL 56-60: Crescent Shrine
LEVEL 57-60: The Basilisk Den
LEVEL 58-60: Taphtar Plains
Speed Leveling Areas 
LEVEL 56-60: The Desert Naga Temple
LEVEL 56-60: Titium Valley
LEVEL 58-60: Gahaz Bandit’s Lair

[FOR PLAYER’S LEVEL 60-62+]
EXP RATES EARNED: 3/5
PROGRESSION DIFFICULTY: 10/5
AVG AMOUNT OF MOBS: 5/5

Pinpoint Leveling Areas 
LEVEL 60+: Blood Wolf’s Settlement 
LEVEL 60+: The Forest of Ronaros
LEVEL 60+: The Sherekhan Necropolis
Speed Leveling Areas 
LEVEL 60+: Tshira Ruins
LEVEL 60+: Pila Ku Jail
LEVEL 60+: Mirumok Ruins
LEVEL 60+: The Gyfin Temple

Please note that while you are leveling, make sure you gather and switch out your loot. Having a higher AP/DP the farther you progress into the game, especially by the time you hit your Lvl50’s, will get you a long way by being able to defeat stronger mobs easily and with confidence rather than being stuck with crap gear and not leveling fast enough, or even worse – dealing little to no damage at all. 

If you’re really on the fast track and you have the money to spend, obtain pets either through taming or through the market when available so that you may have a fall-back system to auto grab loot that drops on the ground. Remember to keep health potions on you for emergency situations and don’t forget to switch out poor gear with higher-tier gear for your class every now and then. I do recommend that you also use any form of gear enhancement stones you obtain down the road as well, as those will only increase your chances of an even faster grinding/farming session.

Helpful XP Boosters

Combat & Skill EXP 530% Scroll (60min) 

*Effects: Combat EXP +530%, Skill EXP +530%
*Duration: 1hr 
*Cooldown: 1hr per use
*How to Obtain: Available in the Pearl Shop (unlocked once the first few tutorial quests are finished).

Splendid EXP Elixir 

*Effects: Combat EXP +15% (or even +20%)
*Duration: 8min
*Cooldown: 10sec per use
*How to Obtain: Simple Alchemy, Quests, or from [Event] Boxes.

[Combat Reward] Faster and Stronger V (60min) 

*Effects: Combat EXP +100%, Skill EXP +30%
*Duration: 1hr
*Cooldown: N/A
*How to Obtain: Can be claimed once a day, players Lv15-56 only (Family Fame Buff)

Book of Combat (1 Day, 7 Day, or 20 Day)

*Effects: Combat EXP +50%, Skill EXP +20%
*Duration: 24hr/168hr/480hr
*Cooldown: 1hr per use
*How to Obtain: Earning a [Event] Sealed Book of Combat (1 Day, 7 Day, or 20 Day).

Extra Combat EXP Scroll

*Effects: Combat EXP +50%
*Duration: 1hr
*Cooldown: 1hr
*How to Obtain: Reaching a certain Lvl, or from an [Event] Box

Golden Bell

*Effects: Combat EXP +100% (Applies to the Server as a whole) 
*Duration: 1hr
*Cooldown: N/A
*How to Obtain: Available in the Pearl Shop (unlocked once the first few tutorial quests are finished).

Value Pack (30 Days)

*Effects: Combat EXP +30%, Skill EXP +30%, Life EXP +30%, Mount EXP +30%,
Inventory Slot +16, Storage Slot +16, Distant Node Investment, 
Weight Limit +200 LT, +30% Marketplace Sales upon collection of Silver, 
Unlimited Merv’s Pallete usage, Unlimited Beauty Salon usage
*Duration: 720hr
*Cooldown: N/A
*How to Obtain: Available in the Pearl Shop (unlocked once the first few tutorial quests are finished). You can also earn one for free if you have purchased the game, which will be available through the account page on the main website.

Beast’s Draught

*Effects: Extra AP against Monsters +15, Combat EXP +20%, Skill EXP +10%, 
Recover HP +1 on Attack, Damage from Monsters -10%, Critical Hits +3, Weight Limit +100 LT
*Duration: 15min
*Cooldown: 10sec
*How to Obtain: Simple Alchemy, Quests, or from [Event] Boxes.

BLKGHST