black desert

Get Black Desert on Steam
Official Site: Black Desert (EN), Black Desert (KR)
Studio: Pearl Abyss/Daum Games
Launch Date: March 3, 2016
Genre: Fantasy Hybrid Sandbox
Business Model: B2P (Cash Shop) in the West (F2P elsewhere)
Platform: PC

One Shots: This is too weird for even me

I like to think that I have a fairly open mind when it comes to accepting strange sights and races in fantasy MMORPGs, but Final Fantasy XIV seems hellbent on finding my breaking point. Literal cat-fish might just be that. It’s too weird for me, I’m out of here.

“Looking for NPC comic relief?” Vincent asked. “I give you the Namazu. Half-cat, half-fish (?) and I’m pretty sure the person who came up with the design was half-baked. The other shot I took on the way back to Castellum Velodyna (Beast Tribe quest hub) just as the fog was about to lift…”

When you’ve just made Moogles look normal and mundane, you’ve really accomplished something.

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The Stream Team: Happy second birthday, Black Desert!

Black Desert turns two years old today, and Massively OP’s MJ is back on her Valkyrie to celebrate. She’s going to take advantage of the special XP boost as well as claim her free anniversary gift (before it disappears on March 14th!). There’s even Lavientia’s Special Accessories event to take part in… assuming she can collect enough ingredients to craft the event items. Tune in live at 12:00 p.m. to wish the sandbox a very happy birthday.

What: Black Desert
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 12:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

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Black Desert celebrates two years and three million players in the west

Black Desert isn’t content to celebrate its second western anniversary with just an in-game event and some free stuff, oh no. Today it’s rolled out a brand-new anniversary trailer talking up its key points – including the fact that it now counts three million players in North America and Europe alone.

Such is the big news on the newly revamped official website, which also has a colossal infographic on the occasion. Across both regions, you folks have rolled over seven million toons, died almost 100,000,000 times, and are still obsessed with the Sorceress and Dark Knight classes. The richest players and biggest gankers per region are also exposed!

Happy birthday, Black Desert. That trailer’s down below.

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Black Desert is celebrating its second western birthday with a new minimap and absolute skills

It’s hard to imagine an MMORPG without a minimap in 2018. But how many of them have a 3-D minimap? That’s just one of the things Black Desert is rolling out today for its second anniversary patch.

“The 3D Minimap is in quarter view by default but when you are in an area where the topography is difficult to make out with the default view, the 3D Minimap will automatically switch to top view,” explains Kakao. “When it is difficult to navigate with the 3D Minimap because of the topography blocking your view of your surroundings or your destination, the Rotate Minimap feature could become helpful.”

Today’s update also adds the promised absolute skills to each class, with the noble goal of making pre-awakened classes not suck, plus a long list of super sale items in the cash shop in honor of the birthday, including a paid weight limit increase.

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Black Desert Mobile is launching in South Korea at the end of February

Finally, your long nightmare of having moments during the day when you weren’t able to play Black Desert will be over with the launch of Black Desert Mobile on February 28th. Now you can play the game at home, go to work, play it on your phone until your boss fires you, then go back home and play it more there. Everything will be perfect.

Of course, you’ll first have to deal with the fact that the February 28th launch is just for the game in its native South Korea, but what’s moving across the world to another country where you can’t speak the language when it means getting to play the game for a few minutes longer every day?

We don’t have a date yet for the game coming over to local shores, but all things considered it seems like a likely future. For the moment, though, you can watch the trailer below again if you’re curious. Or just start on the paperwork for changing countries, you do you.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 159: Panda punching

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin dive into deep mysteries, get ready for a slice of RIFT Prime, and once again try to figure out just what the heck Daybreak is doing with its H1Z1 franchise. Also, BREE SINGS. It’s as amazing as you always imagined.

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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One Shots: The Elvish temptation

I’m sorry to have to begin this week’s column with a public service announcement, but this has been a long time coming. Friends, beware of the Elves. Elves will only lure you into danger, tempt you down roads best left alone, and make a mockery of life insurance policies. Reject the Elf in all of its forms.

“Sadly I’ve been resucked into World of Warcraft because elves (only because Justin has such a hate on for them),” wrote Winter.

DARN IT, Winter. Did you not hear a word I just said? No matter. The Massively OP Intervention Unit (MOPIU) is on its way to your home as we speak. Put down the fake pointed ears and listen to them, won’t you?

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Black Desert players take their first peek at the game’s next region, Drieghan

Yes, players have finally gotten a sneak peek at the next new land arriving to Black Desert, a vast and mountainous region to the south of the existing map. The bad news is that the page offering that first look is in Korean, being as the game is of Korean origins. So you’ll have to rely upon the analysis on Reddit if you want to make sense of it.

Or you could already know or learn Korean, obviously, but that might be a bit much for a fairly simple preview of the game’s next areas.

These new areas do not have a release date yet for the US version of the game, although it’s still early in the year. Players will be able to explore new lands and presumably continue the game’s main storyline, so players are no doubt excited to see what’s in Drieghan. And you can see it right now… a small slice of it, anyhow.

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Black Desert’s Arsha PvP server is live today, while absolute skills for all classes go live next week

Brand-new PvP server Arsha is live as promised in Black Desert today. It’s running an alternative ruleset with “notably increased defense” stats, extra debuff immunities, altered damage calculations, and no world bosses. The intent, Kakao says, is “to enable fairer, less one-sided fights.” Just remember: “PvP between Characters (including Forced PvP) will be free from all penalties” unless you’re already saddled with an evil karma rating.

But the bigger news coming out of the South Korean import today is its plans for absolute skills.

“Over the last two years, all 15 available classes received the first awakening weapon that provided Black Desert Online players with a whole new way to play their characters,” Kakao explains. “It unlocked new powerful combos, fighting styles and tactical advantages that made each class more diverse, but it also meant that many players diverted away from their main weapon skills. To rival the awakening weapons, Pearl Abyss has developed the Absolute Skills which balances the original main weapon with regards to damage output, giving players unprecedented freedom and a huge array of combat tactics to overcome even the toughest challenge.”

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Leaderboard: What kinds of MMORPG purchases do you consider pay-to-win?

I know I’m not alone in noticing that MMO gamers of late seem to have become sharply divided on how to define the term pay-to-win – indeed, the debate raged last week in threads about Black Desert’s player protest, Elder Scrolls Online’s cash shop prices, and the general consensus that ArcheAge is whale heaven. Recently Massively OP commenter Pepperzine recently wrote to us suggesting that we address it and try to sort it out.

“While there are proponents for all sides of the argument, I think it would be interesting to see where the bulk of people draw the line,” he wrote. “At the end of the day, individual perceptions are important but what is most important when it comes to this topic is what the majority perceives as pay-to-win.”

So let’s turn his proposal into the requisite Leaderboard poll, shall we? And yes, you can click as many as you want!

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Black Desert’s Kakao Games enjoys $131.6 million in investment

It’s all coming up Kakao Games these days.

The Korean studio received a large investment package recently that totals $131.6 million. The bundle comes from five external companies, including China’s Tencent, South Korea’s Netmarble, Bluehole Studio, Premier Growth-M&A PEF, and Actozsoft.

So what does Kakao plan to do with its newly laden pockets? The studio has its eyes on global expansion and the acquisition of other studios.

Over in its signature product Black Desert, Kakao and Pearl Abyss are preparing to roll out a new PvP server called Arsha that provides incentives for player conflict. The game is also half-off ($5) on Steam right now through February 19th.

Source: Games Industry, press release

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Black Desert players protest lag, bugs, pay-to-win, and lack of account security

Agitators on the Black Desert subreddit are attempting to whip up press and players over a range of grievances players have with Kakao, the western publisher of the Pearl Abyss MMORPG. Complaints range from the ongoing and well-documented lag problems and bugs to misapplied bans and database compromises.

The biggest post on the subreddit as I type this, however, as well as one of the biggest in a long time, is a Valentine’s poem dedicated to Kakao calling it a “P2W scam.” Readers will recall that Black Desert has been fending off pay-to-win accusations since even before its western launch in 2016.

Still other players are petitioning Kakao for two-factor authentication, which they argue will not only make accounts more secure but reduce the number of gamers whose accounts are stolen and then banned by Kakao with no chance of appeal when the thieves use third-party software.

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Fish up some love and loot in Black Desert’s Valentine’s Day events

It’s Valentine’s Day in the world of Black Desert! The Sweet Valentine event kicked off on server up earlier today, and for the first part of the event, you’re going…

… Fishing. Yep. Fish up a message in a bottle and you’ll pick up one of 28 random quests involving mini plots, summoning bosses, and loot rewards worth up to 2.5M silvers. You can also farm cacao to use for cooking up some chocolate treats and send off “sweet gift letters” to other players, thereby spreading around more “sweet chests.” We’re talking about boxes of loot, again, here. And no you can’t send them to yourself, but nice try!

Heck, let’s just throw in some fireworks while we’re going nuts here! Find those in Velia, Heidel, and Calpheon City. And as always, the best patch notes in the MMO industry deliver this beauty:

“Black Spirit’s teeth have become brighter.”

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