What do you do if you’re a sentient stone head who has been tasked with centuries of guard duty? You probably do a lot of lounging around on a cushy chair, waiting for some Dudley Do Right to wander your way and agree to do your job for you.
Miol sends in this odd Guild Wars 2 shot from the Living Story Season 3 in response to my call for goofy screenshots: “How about a literal talking head? Silly enough?” Well, it’s noggin I like, but noggin I hate, either.
Yeah, I’ll just show myself out. Sorry about that.
With fists of fury and palms of power, the Striker is kick-punching his way into Black Desert Online next week.
The fantasy sandbox’s newest class will finally make the jump to the west on May 24th after gracing Korean servers for a while now. Black Desert Online’s 14th class is a martial artist who mixes in a little street fighting style for flavor, offering a fast-paced, agile experience to players who want to be in the thick of the fight.
Black Desert is selling an additional character slot in the game store for only a single point of loyalty to those who have already maxed out their roster. Check out the Striker in his class trailer after the break!
Conan Exiles performed beautifully for Funcom, at least during the first part of this year, the company’s investor report for the first quarter revealed today. The survival sandbox’s early access launch in February helped propel Funcom’s once-beleaguered revenues to five times their state this time last year, making it the “most profitable quarter ever” in the history of the studio. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 releases are on track for Q3 2017 and Q1 2018, respectively.
The company reiterates that the reboot of The Secret World as Secret World Legends will make its recently announced June 26th debut, but the Steam launch will be delayed until July 31st as a result of “crowded market conditions with multiple MMO releases in May/June on Steam” — those being Black Desert’s Steam launch, Elder Scrolls Online’s Morrowind launch, and Final Fantasy XIV’s Stormblood. Seriously, nobody else should even try launching that month.
“The Company expects the majority of players after launch to be newcomers to the game, but is also working to make it worthwhile for as many veterans of The Secret World as possible to continue playing Secret World Legends. Due to the high uncertainty regarding a Free to Play business models the Company expects the development team to need to tweak the monetization mechanisms of the game in the months following launch. Paid User Acquisition will gradually be tested and introduced in tandem with the monitoring and tweaking of the game’s monetization KPIs.”
You’re going to have to forgive us, Black Desert
fans, but we don’t know much about the Lauren family. We know that the game is kicking off a Lauren family event today
, though, so we know they must be some sort of a big deal. Are these good guys? Do you like these people? Maybe you don’t know either. But you can still take their coins and use them for prize boxes, so perhaps it doesn’t actually matter in the long run.
It’s probably Grace Lauren. She would hand out random coins. We’re going with that. There, lore speculation over.
Players will receive 10 Lauren family coins every hour up to a max of 50 per day, and 30 of those coins will earn you a special Lauren family giftbox. Each giftbox contains one of several items, ranging from a small number of Memory Fragments to an Ogre Ring or a special weapon box. You’ll be able to earn a lot of these boxes during the event, too. So will you roll the dice and see what you get? Why not? It’s free stuff. Free stuff is always good.
Thanks to holiday events, it feels like forever since Massively OP’s MJ was able to just explore in Black Desert Online
. Without any golden geese or colorful eggs to distract her, she’s going to frolic about the area of Florin that she just discovered. What kind of trouble can she get into there? What dangers lurk around this seemingly sleepy little village? Make your guesses, then tune in live at 4:00 p.m. to see how close you get.
What: Black Desert
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 8th, 2017
Back when I mentioned that I was learning to like Black Desert a while back, I got this tweet from the game’s official account. That was awesome. I liked it immensely. And while I don’t think I ever actually learned to love you guys (sorry!), I definitely do have a degree of appreciation. It just never crossed over into actual love. (Not least because my heart is already sworn to another game. You all know it.)
I’ve kind of struggled to summarize my feelings about Black Desert in my mind. The trouble isn’t that they’re negative feelings; it’s just that, much like my feelings on The Elder Scrolls Online’s battlegrounds, it’s easy to take them as negative when that isn’t how they’re meant. I certainly didn’t dislike the game, and it’s definitely not bad; I kept feeling like I was brushing up against the same territory as I did with the aforementioned ESO. But where I walked away from that game thinking “this is a lot better than I remember, even if it’s still kind of tedious in places,” I’m walking away from Black Desert feeling as if the game keeps giving me tools to solve problems I don’t have.
Today’s Black Desert patch isn’t a big one compared to most, clocking in at under a quarter of a gig, kicking off a new month of attendance awards, and adding new event items and cash shop loot. The real news of the day for the game is that it’s planting roots on Steam.
The splash page is already up as of this morning, but it’s not launching until May 24th. How much will it be on Steam? Not known yet. And not unexpectedly (but still annoyingly),
“The Steam version of Black Desert Online requires the purchase of the game from Steam as well as the creation of a new Black Desert Online account. Pre-existing Black Desert Online accounts created from methods other than Steam will not be able to play via Steam.”
Deep in the comments of the MMOs-vs.-survival-sandboxes thread from last week, reader miol_ produced a beautiful comment about how MMO players have become a minority in their own genre, which he then expounded upon for us in this provocative email.
“I’ve reached the opinion, that since the launch of WoW and its clones, the ‘original’ MMO-playerbase became a minority in their own genre. Before, we were but hundreds of thousands of MMO players, but then came Blizzard with WoW and its legions of fans in the dozen of millions at its peak, starting to dictate what the new success of MMOs should look like. Even if we others tried to vote with our wallet and feet, we became a minority, having only a fraction of our initial influence, while many devs tried desperately time and again to find ways to get at least a portion of the new Blizzard playerbase.
“Am I wrong with that perception of history? Am I totally missing something? Or are ‘we’ are slowly becoming a majority again, now that WoW and its clones are seeing steadily declining numbers (instead of us winning more players to ‘our side’)? How do we lobby better for ‘our cause’? Or can we only wait and see, until the genre is small enough again? Or is it too late? Have we ourselves grown too far apart into our even more niche corners of personal taste since SWG, while production costs and our demands for production value have skyrocketed at the same time? How could we come closer again?”
Let’s tackle miol_’s questions in this week’s Massively Overthinking.
Heads-up, Black Desert fans: Kakao just let its players know that their account security may be in jeopardy.
“We recently received a report that account security may have been compromised on a third party website. In response, we have reset the password for any related accounts. We strongly urge any user whose password was reset to contact customer support in order to change your e-mail address. Additionally if you used the same or a similar password on any other services, it should be replaced.”
The studio hasn’t clarified how exactly the compromise came about or what the third-party website entailed, but we’re guessing that if you’re affected, you’ll be getting a personal password reset email soon. Just make sure it’s from the studio and not hackers, eh?
Despite my best efforts, I walked away from my trading attempts in Black Desert
having been wholly unsuccessful. I consider this a good thing, and it left me with a very positive impression of the mechanics involved, with maybe one exception.
This may sound weird and almost nonsensical, but additional context sheds some light on that statement. One of my repeated points which I harp on over and over is that I want systems to have complexity equal to the amount of time you’re expected to devote to them. If you want me to work hard at establishing trade routes, I want that system to be as complex as clearing out high-level dungeons or engaging in siege warfare.
In other words, it shouldn’t be something I can master or even do much more than brush against while I’m on a high-speed tour of the game and what it has to offer. And while I was a bit disappointed with the game’s gathering mechanics, the trading system seems to offer exactly what I wanted to see.
This week’s Black Desert patch looks small on paper: the game’s been buffed with new crafted costumes, ship repair kits, and a modification tool called “sticker UI” that allows players to tweak their interfaces.
“Sticker UI that will allow users to drag some UI elements out of the game screen has been added. Upon clicking the Sticker UI icon on the top-right corner of the Inventory, the following windows can be dragged outside the game screen: Equipment, Marketplace, Quest, Guild, Trade, Tooltip, Manage Workers. When Sticker UI function is activated, it will keep running outside the game screen even if other windows are turned on. However, some of the functions cannot be performed in Sticker UI window. When the pop-up is released, the window will reopen. When a window is dragged out of the game screen, it cannot be closed with the ESC key. The window can only be turned off by clicking the X button or releasing pop-up status then turning it off. When minimizing the game screen to tray, the Sticker UI will disappear. Sticker UI will reset in /reloadui situations (server change, resurrecting in nodes after death, etc.). Screens without render modes cannot use the Sticker UI (Ex. If World Map is turned on when Inventory is open, Inventory pop-up window will black out and no action can be taken). Drag-and-drop function is allowed only in the Sticker UI and in-game screen (Not in Windows screen). Marketplace Sticker UI can only be applied in Marketplace Panel through Game Options.”
Let me talk to you, my friends, about grinding. Specifically, about how it gets a bad reputation that it doesn’t altogether deserve.
How does this connect to this week’s adventures in Black Desert? Well, because I wound up doing a fair bit of grinding. It wasn’t intentional or anything, since my designated goal this week was to just trek about and see the sights for a bit. But if you give me a camp full of goblins just sitting in my path, and you have me, a player who’s more than willing to give these things a shot on the basis that the worst possible outcome is that I die… well, I’m going to fight those goblins. I’m going to fight them a bunch.
And, I think, this was ultimately a good thing. Because while the game still has all of the problems that I’ve seen to bother me up to this point, the grinding of goblins was a notable island of things feeling fresh, crisp, and responsive. It’s almost as if I enjoy the game more when I’m away from the things of man.
The newest Black Desert class is no slouch in bringing meaty beatdowns to foes, as some players are discovering this week. The kick-punching martial arts Striker has landed on Korean servers, and it is only a matter of time before the rest of the world gets to experience the glory of his kinetic attacks.
As we wait not-so-patiently for the Striker to arrive, Black Desert players in the west can at least tiptoe among the tulips — and take a few pictures for the game’s Spring Tulips Screenshot Contest. The contest is part of a small patch this week and will run from now through April 25th, with the winner’s submission earning a place on the game’s loading screens (among other prizes).
Check out the Striker’s launch trailer below!