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.
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.
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.
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.
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!