Desert Oasis: A first look at Black Desert’s Dark Knight’s Succession skills

    
11

The Dark Knight holds a special place in my heart when it comes to Black Desert. She was the main reason I decided to give this game a shot way back in March 2018. It just felt so good to run around and kill endless waves of mobs with my kriegsmesser. It just felt right: Every strike was nice and heavy, punctuated with those flashy purple slices with every swing. It was the best class in the game for me.

But then I got my awakening and turned into a mid-ranged spellcaster. Ranged combat isn’t my thing. I prefer being up front, connecting attacks and in the middle of it all. By that point though, I was already about 30 hours into the game, so I decided to stick it out. I had much less fun, and past nerfs to the DK before I played didn’t help things either. The Dark Knight used to be considered high-tier in PvP and grinding, but after a few nerfs, she became the butt of memes and jokes.

Awakened Dark Knights are very dependent on health and mana potions. She has only one skill with life-steal, and it came out slowly and was melee only. It wasn’t very useful because she was a mid-range and putting her health recovery skill in a melee skill made it redundant and was not a reasonable trade more often than not. Mana sometimes ran dry because her spells were pretty taxing (there are methods to regenerate the mana, but they usually involve striking in melee range and creative use of her sidestep abilities and her dash skills). I’ve never been the type to really like chugging potions every three attacks, so it was another issue I had with Dark Knight.

I know what you’re about to ask. And the answer is yes, this armor is strong enough to block arrows.

A person can still perform well in the highest levels of play assuming she knows how to maximize a Dark Knight’s potential. That wasn’t me, though. There was still so much to learn about the game for me at the time, and I still wanted to give the other classes a shot. I eventually settled on the Tamer (I’ve previously written about how awesome her bō staff was).

But with the upcoming successions, I might just have to come back to my Dark Knight.

Successions are Pearl Abyss’ answer to making the pre-awakening weapons relevant again. Players will get a whole new skill tree dedicated to just the pre-awakening weapon with more powerful versions of the original weaponskills. The skills also get a nice visual upgrade too, and the aforementioned purple effects get even purpler and bigger.

In order to use them, players need to activate them from their skills tab. There are a few requirements: First, there should be no points in the awakening skill tree. Second, the non-succession version of the skill cannot have any points in its “absolute” versions. This took me a while to figure out since the text was in Korean. Once those criteria are met, players can start putting points into the succession tree. Keep in mind that the awakening weapon will be unusable, as the default button that normally switches to the awakening weapon will instead be the succession version of one of the awakening skills.

The skills window – most of those skills are just enhanced versions of their original, non-awakened versions

Even without the awakening weapon, damage is calculated through a combination of the player’s mainhand weapon and awakening weapon. I’m not super clear on the super-specific math involved, but I did my testing in Manshaum forest, an area that requires 240 AP. Counting all the hidden bonuses, I did my tests with about 370 AP. Damage was not an issue, but survivability certainly was. And that’s when I realized how much I took the Dark Knight’s mobility for granted. I’d dash into a mob and did my rotation, and if there were any still standing, I’d take a ton of damage or suffer crowd control skills. In awakening, the Dark Knight has many AoE options and pretty safe from harm.

I found the best rotation to work with was still her point-blank-area-of-effect skills, but I managed to down the mobs in about three or four skills. Having short cooldowns helped; I’d just pepper in her autoattacks until the next cooldown was ready. True to form, the Dark Knight is still very much dependent on her Wheel of Fortune skill, an AoE on a short cooldown that provides super armor. Throughout my tests, I was very much dependent on this skill to keep myself alive, and it was even more important in this context since escape was more difficult.

Wheel of Fortune will still be a prominent fallback tactic with your succession weapon.

A few skills from her awakening skill tree are present as well, but they seemed unchanged as well. One of them looks like her neutral F skill, Twilight Dash. It’s a gap-closer that deals damage and recovers mana for every successful hit. Both versions are the same; they both deal 880% damage six times. Her shift+RMB, Spirit Legacy, also makes a cameo. It’s a ranged AoE on an 11-second cooldown. Granted, both skills looks visually different, but the numbers are still the same.

I think I have an idea of what the design decision for these successions really is: It’s for people who want to just use the original weapons in high-level areas and don’t mind the trade-offs. And that’s totally fine. I personally think experienced Dark Knights will still have the edge over the competition; the major trade-off I found between the succession and the awakening is mobility. The latter will literally make circles around the former in a PvP setting. I wouldn’t be surprised if the awakened Dark Knight can out-farm the succession Dark Knight too, but the point is the option’s now there.

Pearl Abyss took a few important skills from the awakening tree in an attempt to address mobility and crowd control issues, but it’s not going to add quality-of-life changes to the class itself. The studio basically changed the function but not the role. The Dark Knight is still dependent on potions, and she becomes a short ranged glass-cannon rather than a mid-ranged one. Losing all that extra mobility will make it much easier to punish whiffed skills, but I didn’t find mana as big an issue. Now that she’s more of a melee/PBAOE character, and having a solid rotation will save players from a world of hurt.

As for me, I’m intrigued. I’m willing to take up the kreigsmesser again. I’ve always liked those risky jump-in-jump-out kind of playstyle, and playing it on an old favorite makes it even better!

The Great Valencian Black Desert is a dangerous place, but thankfully there’s always a chance for respite. Join Massively OP’s Carlo Lacsina every other week for just that in Desert Oasis, our Black Desert column! And don’t worry; he promises he won’t PK you. Got questions or comments? Please don’t hesitate to send a message!

11
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
3dom

The thing is 200 -> 240AP+ step requires billions coins and hundreds of hours of extremely boring farm – so no matter what my toons are stuck in mid-game forever.

Hopefully, progression in Crimson Desert will be designed better than this.

Reader
rafael12104

T.R.U.E.

Reader
Toy Clown

Double T.R.U.E.!

kajidourden
Reader
kajidourden

It’s a shame that the only PvE content the game has to offer is mindlessly grinding brain-dead AI mobs with no mechanics. The combat in this game is wasted on the content.

Reader
rafael12104

I’m hoping Crimson Desert will change that and give us dungeons group and solo.

But… they aren’t high hopes. Heh.

Reader
Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

The thing I don’t like about this system at all is that it limits freedom of choice. GW2 allowed a variety of weapons in a variety of combinations and it really helped to keep that game interesting for me for a long time. This game really suffers at high levels because progression is so slow.

My DK is 61 and I have quite a few other high level characters and what this game could really use to assuage the monotony is playstyle variety. It’s too bad they don’t just allow weapon swapping to be a viable way to do this and introduce more weapon options per class.

They say they want this game to be around for years and years to come, but why would I keep grinding the same character for years and years when instead of making classes more robust, they’re further limiting their variety instead?

Head-scratcher of a design choice.

kajidourden
Reader
kajidourden

In the open world GW2 had some choice. In group content? Melee weapons only. It’s why I will never play it again.

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

It blocks arrows with its shininess. Susan Wayland would be proud. Risky search warning.

I like slinky outfits and I like the world aesthetic but when I watch the gameplay I just can’t do it. The endless combos and wailing on a mob just to get it to go down, it looks like it would feel like continually playing a game of street fighter but in mmo form.

Reader
Toy Clown

The game can cause a lot of pain issues. In the end, it was the biggest issue why I finally stopped playing as it greatly aggravates mouse hand joints.

camren_rooke
Reader
camren_rooke

Yeah….that is a concern nowadays as my wrists can sound like the fourth of July some mornings.