Let this Black Desert
story be a lesson. Actually, no, let it be two lessons: Don’t cheat, and definitely don’t cheat if your job might be on the line. Maybe three lessons, in that we can’t always trust the people running the MMOs we play.
Black Desert, as MMO Culture reports, has suffered a black eye thanks to its Taiwanese studio. Apparently, a pair of Pearl Abyss Taiwan employees in the region used their personal, non-employee accounts to play the game during maintenance (while it was down for regular players), scooping up some sweet loot from the auction hall in the process.
“Both were stripped of their positions,” MMO Culture translates, “and 30% of their pay will be withheld for 3 months.” So apparently they keep their jobs?
OK, so four lessons: The penalties probably won’t be harsh enough.
Over in the west, there’s no patch today, but there are new bits and bobs in the cash shop this week.
It might have gotten buried in this massive list, but Black Desert is one of the MMOs that’s slated to receive enhanced treatment by the new Xbox One X. While the console is coming out this fall, Black Desert won’t be available on it until early next year on the platform.
That doesn’t mean you’ll have to wait until then to see how this game performs on the souped-up console. This week at Gamescom, PearlAbyss is showing off Black Desert on the Xbox One X featuring crisp and attractive “true 4K” graphics. Seeing as how the visuals is one of the most-remarked-upon features of the MMO, it seems like a smart move to wow potential players with a huge dose of eye candy.
“We are very excited to reveal the first playable Xbox One X version of Black Desert at Gamescom,” said PearlAbyss CEO Jung Kyungin, “and we are looking forward in welcoming the first adventurers to our console version, which will be playable in crisp, true 4K resolution.”
Black Desert has sold over 1.5 million copies in the North American and European markets to date.
At its pre-Gamescom press conference this Sunday, Microsoft revealed more about its upcoming Xbox One X and its glorious 4K gaming capabilities. As part of the conference, the company listed several games that would benefit from the enhanced performance and power of the console when it arrives this November.
MMO players should take note, because this list contains many games in our sphere of interest. The select enhanced titles include BioWare’s Anthem, ARK: Survival Evolved, Astroneer, Black Desert, Conan Exiles, Dark and Light, Diablo III, Elite: Dangerous, Path of Exile, Portal Knights, Roblox, Sea of Thieves, SMITE, State of Decay 2, The Crew 2, Elder Scrolls Online, The Division, Warframe, and World of Tanks.
The Xbox One X boasts six teraflops of processing power, 4K Ultra Blu-Ray, and 12GB GDDR5 graphics memory, and will retail for $500. Interested players can pre-order the Project Scropio edition right now for as long as supplies last.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Neverwinter, Elder Scrolls Legends, Elite Dangerous, SWTOR, MapleStory, Hyper Universe, SMITE, Travian Online, Diablo III, Figureheads, Pokemon Go, Heroes and Generals, Rappelz, Ultima Online, Soulworker Online, Black Desert, and Gigantic, all waiting for you after the break!
MMORPG players know Kakao chiefly as the publishing and localization giant behind Pearl Abyss-developed Black Desert, but over in its native South Korea, the company is a massive conglomerate of multiple companies and mergers with internet subsidiaries covering everything from chat programs and blogging to fashion and an Uber clone.
And of course, one of its biggest businesses in recent years is its gaming sector, which Business Korea says Kakao is currently consolidating into a single holding company dubbed Kakao Games Holdings. According to the company, the goal is to increase efficiency in its main “cash cow,” focus on internal development, and ultimately increase the value and desirability of its planned IPO.
In addition to MMORPG Black Desert, the company runs multiple mobile games and has apparently secured a deal to publish PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds in Korea.
Have more than enough skills on your hotbar these days? Might as well mash them together and see what happens! Yes, it’s like your cooking “experiments,” only with fewer fatalities and abominations of culinary science.
Over in Korea, Black Desert’s most recent build added a new system called Rabam’s Enlightenment. It’s a fancy way of saying “skill fusion,” which is pretty much what this does. Players can combine two of the skills in their arsenal to create an even better ability that contains elements of both. Additionally, sometimes the fused skill will demonstrate completely new effects. Pretty neat, eh?
While the primary skill used to make the enhanced version won’t be available to use on its own after the combination process, the subskill will still hang around as an option. There are a few other restrictions and requirements to the enhancement process, but it does seem like it would be an interesting way to take a tired old skill and infuse it with new potential.
It’s an every-other-Wednesday, so you know what that means: It’s patch day in Black Desert
says it’s launched another round of the Rulupee’s World Travel Event in addition two new summery “attendance” rewards, including one for medium- to large-sized guild members.
There’s also been an update for Termian Waterpark, which continues on through the season with new fishing, plus tweaks to the field HQ for conquest wars, a “complete now” button for worker missions, improved character customization history, and several interface updates. My favorite? “Fixed the issue where a skin-headed Ninja would suddenly get fully grown hair during combat.” Those dang bald ninjas.
It further appears that Kakao has reduced the level requirements for a number of skills and set many more to be automatically granted as soon as a character is rolled. The whole chart of changes is on the official site.
The idea of having a mobile version of Black Desert
is no doubt appealing to you if you love the game but occasionally have to leave the house for something, like some sort of animal. But what will the game actually look like? Will it be a horrible mess or pretty close to the real thing? You can find out a preliminary answer by watching the trailer just below, which has a different view on the action but looks as if it has much of the same action.
Of course, it is a short trailer, so there are no deep looks at what’s been changed for the mobile variant on the game. But it definitely looks like something you can enjoy on the go as you want to. Check it out below, even if you’re at work; it’s short enough that your boss probably won’t catch you.
Good news for Black Desert
players in North America, you got some free compensation
! The bad news is that it’s to make up for emergency maintenance on the game; the good news again is that you probably were not playing at the time? It’s a multi-faceted situation, that’s what we’re getting at here.
While the official sources seem oddly reluctant to state the nature of the compensation, a player has posted a screenshot of the package, which buffs gains to combat experience, skill experience, life experience, and item gain, along with a boost to recovery across the board. It should last for an hour, so that’s something. Players on the forums are complaining that this is a result of the game’s reduced maintenance schedule and that regular maintenance would avoid this issue instead of requiring unexpected maintenance and compensation.
Gamasutra has an unusual piece from an Ubisoft developer this week arguing that co-op gameplay is the industry’s rising midcore trend, one that he believes will ultimately outstrip team competitive games. “It’s all about all the big data and stats that are finally available and can be mined,” author Andrii Goncharuk says, “and no surprise that it’s showing that players who played co-op mode have much more play hours, and players who played co-op with friends have even more play hours.”
He may be right, though first you’d have to believe co-op ever went anywhere to begin with (and console players would probably tell you nope!). But as I read the article, I couldn’t help but see MMOs in most of the arguments he’s making about what makes co-op games sticky, and yet MMOs are being edged out all the same. And while I don’t like to think of the MMO genre’s space in the industry as a zero-sum situation, the reality is that when people tire of MMORPG baggage but still want social play, co-op is exactly the sort of game they retreat to.
For this week’s Massively Overthinking, I asked our writers to reflect on the rise of co-op PvE games outside the MMO label. Do we play them? Do we prefer them, and when? How can we learn from them? Is the popularity of smaller-scale co-op hurting MMORPGs?
(We’ve updated this article since it went live with additional notes from Kakao – it’s all at the end!)
When it comes to divining the future of an MMO that comes from the east, it is best to go right to the source. Pearl Abyss released an anniversary letter
looking at the overall vision for Black Desert
, including its plans for what’s to come.
Black Desert is preparing a “second awakening” to help balance the classes out more, a feat that the team feels it hasn’t accomplished as of yet. Players will soon be able to grind experience while AFK on new permanent Black Spirit trainers, enjoy an overhauled tutorial system, shop at a luxury auction house, deploy a tent in the field to camp, and fight Bell, a sea monster guarding a valuable treasure (as previewed yesterday).
“Bell is a new sea monster we are adding,” the team said. “You will need a group of players with powerful ships like the Epheria Saiilboat or the new Epheria Convoy. Cannons and hunting rifles will be used to hunt it down. Players that defeat Bell will have a shot at Bell’s heart, the best alchemy stone in game.”
There’s no Black Desert
patch today as expected, given that Kakao has switched from weekly to biweekly updates
. But there’s a bit of interesting news out of Pearl Abyss
, which has released a new trailer teasing one hell of a nasty ocean monster boss en route to the Korean servers (and we presume, eventually to the western servers as well). His name is Bell, and even if that sounds like the sort of name you give a kitten or a hamster, you do not
want to be on those boats, man. Enjoy.
So this is an unusual situation for me: I’ve never
actually played a game for Choose My Adventure
that I’ve disliked this much.
Those of you who have followed my writing for a while know that I’ve played some games I didn’t much like before, but that’s different. Lord of the Rings Online and Black Desert, for example, are games that were not my cup of tea but still had obvious merits I could praise. I’ve played games that I dislike or ones that deserved more criticism than praise when I played them (Ryzom, TERA, the beta period of The Elder Scrolls Online), but still had positive sides. (And in the last case, ESO turned itself around quite well and earned plenty of kudos from me.) Heck, I played Scarlet Blade with as open a mind as I could possibly have.
But not so DC Universe Online. No, this game deserves a pretty thorough drubbing. I can understand why it has fans, but it’s still just not a good game. I can only hope it’s an outlier rather than the norm on Daybreak’s overall catalog, because… wow. This is not fun.