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Korean studio known in the west primarily for its heraldship of Black Desert.

Black Desert partners up with controversial exploiter, community explodes

The Black Desert community is up in arms this week after Pearl Abyss highlighted one of the game’s Twitch streamers as a “featured partner.” So what is the big deal with promoting BladeBoques, the game’s first Level 60 player on a North American server?

To get the answer to this, you have to rewind the clock to July 2017, when BladeBoques was banned twice for exploiting the game. He set off a firestorm of controversy on the forums when he attempted to defend his actions, resulting in the community calling him out on alleged lies and spinning. The thread dealing with his exploiting reached an astounding 117 pages when all was said and done.

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Black Desert’s weekly update introduces soccer-themed event, guild crafting overhaul, and summer sales

Gooooaaaalllll! Yes, Black Desert is getting into the soccer hype season with its Golden Goal event starting tomorrow. Slay monsters, fish, and harvest to collect event balls and then turn them all in for a special golden ball, then exchange that for actually sweet prizes.

Today’s update also includes a hefty overhaul for guild crafting, accuracy tweaks, and UI adjustments.

And of course, Kakao is already gearing up for the sale season as Steam’s summer sale is rumored to begin tomorrow. Black Desert’sPearifect Summer” kicks off today and runs through the Fourth of July, with all kinds of goodies marked down to just a handful of pearls, a pet pack, an “awakening adventurer” pack, furniture, and an absolutely spectacular horse and buggy set.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 175: Virtual heartbreakers

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin get a little bit crazy and weird as they date MMO NPCs, throw themselves into the middle of studio fights, take a ride on the delay/launch whiplash train, and more!

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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Global Chat: The best of both worlds

If you have ever played more than one MMORPG, the thought has probably crossed your mind that you would love to see your favorite features from all of them put together. It hurts when one game has great housing and another has some of the best group content that you have experienced. Why can’t you just create the best of both worlds?

Zeriah spent some time wishing for exactly this as she drew up a list of features from both World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV that she’d love to see merged together.

“If I could take a bit from each game and combine it into one, I think I’d be in heaven,” she said. “FFXIV has some of the most amazing outfits I have ever seen in a game and while it has transmog system but I feel it would be made truly amazing by the addition of the armor journal WoW has brought in.”

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Black Desert has banned another batch of almost 600 speedhackers and botters

Good thing Black Desert kept that banhammer from the Hystria bans handy because it needed it again this week – in fact, it looks like it’s about to become a recurring party favor, as Kakao says it’s banned another 599 cheaters: 402 of them speedhacking, 197 of them botting.

“With the partial success of the ban wave last week, we’ve been able to streamline our processes to ensure we can gather and analyse data much faster to roll out more effective and more frequent waves. We’re still a long way from 100% but we’ve been able to catch a considerable number that evaded last weeks wave and we’ll continue to go after not only people that are actively using 3rd party software but also historic cheaters.”

If you’ve managed to be an upstanding player not subject to the bans, you may be interested in this week’s update, which adds NPC dating to the game, as well as our E3 interview with Pearl Abyss, in which we discuss the plausibility of a Switch port.

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Battle Bards Episode 122: Happy town

In peaceful villages and bubbly burgs, you just know that there’s bound to be an abundance of happy music! Whenever the Battle Bards regroup to lick their wounds and drink the terrors away, they often find that happy town music is perfect to soothe jangled nerves and re-center one’s heroism. There’s plenty of those tunes in today’s episode, so recoup with them as they listen to the songs of the common folk.

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 122: Happy town (or download it) now:

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Tamriel Infinium: Unpacking the Elder Scrolls Online presentation at E3

Elder Scrolls Online is obviously a huge draw for MMORPG players, but it’s far from an exciting title for the vast majority of gamers attending E3, so I was surprised to see Game Director Matt Firor on the stage at all during the Bethesda presentation. It’s not to say that ESO isn’t a great game; it’s just been around awhile, and the hypetrain is hardly running at full speed right now.

During his presentation, Firor mentioned a lot of things worth considering. He had a very short time to not only tell existing fans what was happening in the game this year, but he also had to remind people of how great ESO is right now. Of course, he was hoping to get new players interested in the game. He knew that ESO wasn’t always well-received, but he had to show how far the game has come. Here’s how he did it.

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You can now ‘date’ some non-player characters in Black Desert

Way back in April, Pearl Abyss rolled out patch notes for the Korean version of Black Desert that included a dating system – dating as in romance options, not carbon or tree-ring dating. And today, that patch has ported westward.

Essentially, the game has a pool of romanceable NPCs throughout the game; your character can try to woo them with gifts. If the NPC accepts your “confession” of love, “you will become their lover and earn a special in-game title with a distinct color” for at least a week. Of course, you’re in competition with other players for these mighty fine NPC catches, so the NPC might break up with you for a sweeter suitor. There are additional titles for going through this process five or 10 times.

Today’s update also puts the finishing touches on Lahn with her last round of extra skills (Enhanced skills this time), plus tweaks the world boss schedule (again), buffed drop rate on Arsha (whose PvP rules have now been altered), removed mount purchasing time restrictions, tweaked the forward guard effect, and buffed the Tamer.

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E3 2018: Pearl Abyss’ CEO on Black Desert’s Xbox port, Switch considerations, and PvP

Pearl Abyss’ Kyungin “Robin” Jung isn’t just a CEO. He’s also got a background in engineering. He may not have developed any game-saving tech for Black Desert, but at least he’s the kind of boss that understands when his developers’ plans don’t quite work as intended.

Maybe that’s why he was also unaware of the Hysteria Hackers problem we’ve previously discussed. It’s something the community managers and customer support should be handling, rather than the CEO himself. Nevertheless, Jung and Senior VP (and translator) Jin “JJ” Jeonghee said they’d look into it after our interview. With the team preparing for E3 and the Xbox One beta, there’s a lot for a CEO to be dealing with.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 174: Fallout vs. Elder Scrolls

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin take tentative steps into the early reveals of E3 — including Fallout 76, Elder Scrolls Online, Anthem, and Final Fantasy XIV, all while dealing with a ton of updates and even an expansion launch. June is here, and we’re all gaming hard!

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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E3 2018: Black Desert gets a teaser trailer for Xbox One

Hey, do you remember about how Black Desert is headed for the Xbox One? That’s been quiet for quite some time. But now it’s moving forward again with the launch of a trailer specifically for the console launch, so that’s a good thing. If you’ve never looked into anything about the game before now but want to sate your curiosity a bit, now would be the time to hop on down and check out that trailer.

Luckily, there’s new stuff going on even if you’re someone who doesn’t “do” videos; the teaser site has added in beta signups and a promise that the beta testing will begin in the fall. So it’s not happening tomorrow, but we have dates and forward motion. That’s the important part!

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One Shots: Rave on Risa

I love how in the Star Trek universe, the universal consensus on what makes for an ideal vacation spot is a planet that looks a lot like Miami Beach. I mean, there’s a whole galaxy out there, people! Is it possible that there are any slightly more exciting, exotic, and thrilling vacation destinations than Jimmy Buffet’s island paradise?

Junior Ensign JonBuck doesn’t think so: “In Star Trek Online, there’s only one good place for vacations: Risa!”

Yes, I want to go to the place where humanoid cats are getting jiggy with it while wearing a two-piece. Wait, I thought cats don’t like water?

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Black Desert’s Lahn class awakens today as Kakao counts 8.5M registered players and bans 738 cheaters

As promised, Lahn Awakens in Black Desert today, which is preeeeetty fast turn-around for a new class in the game.

“She can swiftly switch between awakening and pre-awakening skills enriching her already deadly arsenal of combos,” says Kakao. “With the new Soul Raid skill, she can pull an enemy towards her for close range carnage. As her dual blades are fitted with chains, she can pull off wide range AoE attacks when properly executed. Players can begin the Awakening Quest starting June 6th after regular maintenance if they have reached level 56 with their Lahn character.”

Naturally, there’s a new quest for those who embark on awakening today, as well as a week-long experience boost event. I’m sorry, but it’s called Fever Time. There are also gobs more combat and crowd control changes that will be sure to send the community into uproar once again.

Incidentally, Kakao is touting 8.5M global registered users of the buy-to-play; the PR still lists the console and mobile editions for release later this year.

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