BDO Beginners Guide – Awakening vs. Succession, Skill points, Skill Addons & more!
In today’s beginner guide, we are going to be talking about skills in Black Desert Online, from skill addons, skill points, rabam skills, black spirit rage and awakening versus succession.
The first thing that I want to cover is the difference between awakening and succession. Simply put, awakening and succession are two different ways to play the same class. As you level up in BDO, you use your class’s pre-awakening skills or “main skills”. These skills also are affiliated to a weapon that you use; for example, my Hashashin my pre-awakening skills are used with my Shamshir main weapon and my Haladie sub weapon. Once you hit level 56, you will receive a quest from the black spirit to unlock your awakening weapon and skills. Again, for my Hashashin, this new weapon is a dual sided glaive, and this weapon as I said comes with its own set of skills. When you unlock this weapon and the capability to play the “awakened” version of your class, you’ll be able to swap between the awakened skills and your pre-awakening weapon and skills using the weapon swap key (which is C on PC), effectively giving you access to two weapons and two sets of skills. Typically, the awakening weapon becomes your primary weapon for damage, with your pre-awakening kit supporting it.
Now, what if you enjoyed your pre-awakening kit and don’t want to use the awakening weapon and skills? This is where succession comes in. After you complete your awakening quest, you’ll also see a succession quest from the black spirit. By completing this and unlocking succession, you have the option to forego using your awakening weapon and skills, and instead just empowering your pre-awakening kit. So, this will essentially give you more powerful versions of the skills you were using while you were leveling as well as some new exclusive skills and passives, and now becoming the succession kit!
Now that seg-ways us into discussing our skills, passives, skill points and skill trees. In BDO, separate from earning experience on your character, you also have skill points that you earn. You earn skill points similarly to how you earn regular experience in the game: either by fighting and killing enemies, or training with a skill book at a dummy in town purchased from Jamey. Note though that skill point experience is separate from earned combat aka character experience, which means it has its own exp bar and exp increase modifiers. This bar and how many points you have can be seen next to your character’s level. Skill points are used to unlock and rank up skills in your skill tree. The higher you rank up skills, the more powerful they and their effects become. In addition, you can also use these skill points to unlock passives, which are bonuses active on your character at all times. Arguably, skill points are more important than your actual character level. While yes it’s important to have your character at level 61 or above, besides gear gains, the level of your skills and therefore the number of skill points you have play one of the biggest roles in how much damage your character deals. The improvements made to your skills as you level them up is staggering, so it’s definitely worth focusing on the amount of skill points aka SP you have to make sure your character is as powerful as possible. Some characters require more skills and therefore more skill points than others to be at max effectiveness, but this will vary from class to class. The final upgrade of each skill you have is a choice between between an “Absolute” version and a “Prime” version. Basically, Absolute is what you’ll take if you’re awakening, and Prime is what you take if you’re succession. Succession will only take the Absolute versions if a Prime is not available. For awakening specifically, you also get 1 core skill. Basically ,this gives you an upgrade to one of your awakening skills, giving it a new effect such as resistance, CC immunity, etc. Keep in mind you can only choose 1 core skill, so choose wisely! Finally, once you’ve placed your skill points, you can change them at any time if you have a secret book of old moon, or reset them with the Armstrong’s Skill Guide. You can also buy skill presets, which let you have more than 1 template of skill points if you’re so interested!
We also have a set of skills known as RABAM skills. These skills are essentially 2 skills smashed together to make a more powerful skill! To unlock these skills, go to the skill enhancement tab and you can see what your Rabam skill options are! To unlock these, you need to have the highest rank of the two skills that will be combined (note you don’t need to have absolute or prime unlocked), and then bam, the new skill is unlocked for you to use.
We also have something called skill addons. Skill addons are extra passive effects that you can add to your skills that fire off when the skills successfully hit an enemy. To add these, simply talk to a skill instructor and select skill addons. You can add 2 addons to up to 6 skills (for a total of 12 passive effects) that unlock at levels 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 and 60. These can be ways to get extra offensive buffs, defensive buffs, DoTs or crowd control! If you decide you want to change these, they can be reset with either the Book of Old Moon or Cliff’s Skill Add-on Guide.
You also have a resource called Black Spirit Rage, which builds up progressively over time. This can be used to give a buff to your character (by hitting the Z key on PC), or you can even spend BSR on certain skills to make them more powerful! Whether or not you want to use the buff or spend BSR on your skills depends on the class, and I recommend doing some research to find what’s the best option for your class! If you decide you want to use the buff and prevent skills from automatically using BSR, simply hover over the BSR icon and press the lock hotkey (on PC by default is Alt+B).
All of these things combined are what help make a powerful character from a skill point of view! If you’re not sure how to place skill points as you level, how much SP you need, what addons or rabams you should use, etc, I highly recommend checking out the discord for your class, which will usually contain up to date information on all of these topics!