Desert Oasis: Having a blast with Black Desert’s new Nova class


Thanks to the quarantine, it’s been a pretty long while since I’ve gone out and enjoyed some coffee at a cafe and a beer at a bar. But of all things that I’ve missed, goin’ out with the goilz tops the chart. I miss those unpredictable nights, the heavy drinking, and having to hold their hair back as they throw up in my Subaru or my wife’s favorite Chainsmokers beanie. Yeah, those were the days.

But with the release of Black Desert’s newest Nova class, those days are (kind of) back, baby! In the lore, she’s a lost princess of Calpheon. And she’s back, ready to reclaim her title. But of course royalty’s not going to do this alone. She’s got the goilz to back her up. And some of you will absolutely adore the entourage!

Dangerous woman

If she gives off a bit of the guardian vibe to you, you’re not alone. Her original reveal made her seem like she was just going to be another tanky type with a little bit of sexy-back, but she differentiates herself with the inclusion of ghostly companions (aka the goilz) that join her on certain attacks and when she blocks. They’re fun to have around, and it’s always a comfort knowing that the squad and I can just roll into bandits – ain’t no one gonna mess with us.

Oh you know, just me and the ladies doing our thang. Players often call Novas the “door” because of how big their shield is.

The class is basically what you get when you smash a Guardian aesthetic and playstyle with the awakened Striker. It’s a pretty neat combination. Holding down the Q sets her shield down and summons a pair of fighters to stave off any attacks. She gives off that 300 vibe as she holds her shield down and advances forward while the goilz poke around her flank, dealing damage. I love how heavy that shield is, too. For a tank main, there’s nothing more satisfying than seeing a heavily armored character set down a shield in defiance, ready to take on anything.

And as per tradition with these new classes, she comes off as overtuned. She’s got a solid self heal that comes in the form of a massive AoE. She gets a solid gap closer on a relatively short cooldown, and the attacks involving the goilz have range and have a wide hitbox. Those with a defensive playstyle will certainly enjoy this character.

There’s also something about her that makes her feel as if she controls differently from the rest of the classes. Somehow, she feels more responsive. She’ll stop moving as soon as the movement keys are released, and there’s no acceleration time when players move her. She just feels more precise. I may have missed a recent change in how characters move, but it’s certainly much more pronounced on this character.

Only one

I won’t spoil the character’s lore, but it’s pretty creepy. The whole story reveals itself through the awakening and succession quests, and the things we learn from the quest chain foreshadows the greater evil that will soon manifest in the Black Desert Online universe. I really like this turn in the lore, and I recommend playing through her awakening storyline just because it’s one of the better fleshed-out stories in the game right now.

She’s got a pretty cool pose with the rapier. Really looks like someone who knows how to stab stuff!

But aside from the story, the awakening is my favorite way to play this character. She gets a rapier. (Something I wish a male character would get soon.) She gets more mobility options, strikes quickly, and some good ranged attacks. Also, it’s expected for players to swap between their awakening weapon and their base weapon in this playstyle. For me, I found charging into mobs with the rapier doing a combo, then finishing off the mob with my trusty mace-and-shield, was a steady and smooth way to breeze through the mobs. There’s plenty of ways to swap between each weapon without having to disrupt a combo, and players might even have to adjust for the first few hours because one of her dash skills switches her from her rapier to her sword-and-mace.

Break up with your girlfriend, I’m bored

She’s a fun class, and I put in about two weeks of gameplay, but should you be dropping your main to play her? As with any new class, PA usually gives free stuff for leveling them up to 60, so it’s a worthwhile endeavor to give the class a try on the season servers and see if she’s worth swapping over to. She’s got excellent sustain because of her AoE heal, and the cooldowns are relatively low. Veteran and new players alike will find no trouble with this character. And if players like to play the flavor of the month, then more power to them.

But is it enough for me to switch over from my Tamer? Nah. I’ve played the game long enough to know what I like, and I’ve invested quite a bit of time learning the ins and outs of the Tamer. I’m pretty set in my ways.

Maybe I’m taking it for granted, but I’m starting to see these new characters as a little bit of a chore. The class is super fun to play – don’t get me wrong. But leveling up this class is time away from grinding it out on my tamer. I’m happy they’re coming out, but there’s always that fear of missing out (FOMO) for not playing the newest class. Even if covering this game weren’t my job, I’d feel the need to run the class through the MSQ for the umpteenth time to get the quest rewards, do the awakening quests, and gear them up to get into the high-level spots.

“Well, you can just give her your tamer’s stuff,” you might suggest. But no. That’s her stuff. I don’t want to share her stuff with my other characters.

I can’t just take stuff away from her. She’s too cute.

Maybe it’s time to rethink how new classes are released. Final Fantasy XIV and World of Warcraft allow players to create higher-level characters with gear to get them started immediately. Why not do something to the same effect with effect with BDO characters and allow players who’ve already beaten the MSQ an option to create characters with PRI level blue gear so they can jump into the grinding without having to mash R to skip dialogue and tap T so their characters can auto-quest out of Calpheon faster? With Pearl Abyss releasing more difficult grindspots, the more ways to get players into those spots, the better.

But even without that, the Nova is a solid character for those who enjoy their tanks. Give her a try, and who knows. She might become your newest main.

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! Got questions or comments? Send him a message or drop by his Twitch channel to hang out while he’s streaming the game!
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