Thursday, March 24, 2016

Black Desert Online: Witchery

As I've been playing Black Desert Online (BDO), I've tried a few different character classes. Hunter, Fighter, Valkyrie, and Witch. Thus far the Witch has been my favorite. She's up to level 31 as I write this (the soft level cap is 50).

As I've mentioned before, you can do a whole lot of non-combat stuff in BDO. For those things, it really makes no difference what class you've chosen. Everyone can equally become a cook, or gather resources, or fish. But combat can be a very different proposition for each class.
Fireball explosion
The Witch is mostly a ranged attacker. The first skill she gets is a fireball, and that is augmented a few levels later with an explosion option. Against average enemies, my standard approach is to run around to gather a small group, then throw a fireball at them and make it explode. Kills many weaker enemies outright, and knocks down most of the others. She also gets a lightning attack which is similar in that you can cast it, then expand it to fry a large area. And there's a giant meteor storm you can cast for massive damage over a wide area, though it takes a while to charge up.

With all that area damage, you'd expect that a Witch uses up mana like crazy, and this is true. She gets a single-target attack to steal mana from an enemy, which is very helpful. Especially when there's just one guy left standing after a big explosion that ate up my mana bar. She's also got an ability to both heal and restore mana, albeit small amounts, which can affect any party members as well as the Witch herself.
Lightning Storm...
There are other utility powers as well. A freezing bolt can put a single enemy in an ice block, handy if you need a respite to recover from something particularly big. There are a couple of area slow effects, too. And bigger party heals, though I haven't done enough group play to really make much use of those.

Many of these combat effects look amazing, as is the case with many of the visuals in BDO. I've been known to stop and just watch the effects while electrocuting a bunch of Orcs with a lightning storm, or freezing a particularly aggressive bear. Admiring the effects isn't great for XP gain rate, but it sure does look pretty.
...and the corpses left afterward.
The biggest weakness thus far that I've run into is enemies that move and attack quickly. The Witch wants to stay out of melee, but she has to stand still to cast her spells. Against slower enemies, that's no problem, since you can just run a little ways away and cast your fireball while they're trying to catch up. If the enemies move quickly, though, you'll get hit while that spell is charging. Enough of that leads to a downed Witch soon enough. I'm still working on proper use of the slow effects and other support abilities to enhance her survival.

Gear is important as well, as with most MMORPGs. My Witch is currently using the Agerian set, which gives her extra casting speed. It's also fairly light in weight, so she can move a bit quicker than someone in heavy armor. Of course, that comes with the trade-off of lower defense, so getting hit can really hurt. Dodging, slowing enemies, and knocking them down is essential against anything dangerous.

On the whole, I'm fairly happy with my Witch's combat abilities. The big area-damage effects are a lot of fun, and the class abilities are well designed to allow you to use them without much downtime. She dies a bit more than I'd like, but that's likely my fault as a mediocre combat pilot, more than anything in the class design.

No comments:

Post a Comment