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The first chunk of Black Desert’s free Kamasylvia expansion launches next week

Remember last week when Kakao hinted that Black Desert’s new servers were indication that Kamasylvia was on the way “real soon”? That soon is almost upon us, as Kakao has announced this morning that the massive PvE-centric expansion will launch next week on September 27th, or at least the first part of it. Oh yeah, and it’s free.

Black Desert Online’s new region, Kamasylvia, features elven woodlands that stretch out to the south of Hexe Sanctuary, from the Valtarra Mountains to the Shady Tree Forest. In terms of the landmass, the new region is about the size of Calpheon and houses an elven village known as the Old Wisdom Tree. There is no level requirement for Kamasylvia, but it is a dangerous place to go alone, so being at high level will be beneficial and group play is recommended. There is also new group-based content such as The Altar of Training that will enthuse players who are looking for some co-op action. The Altar of Training, located deep within Kamasylvia, contains a survival mode which players can unlock once they have completed certain quests in the main storyline. Players will need to work together with their party members to defend a sacred treasure from hordes of enemies that grow stronger with each wave. A total of five waves need to be beaten before the ultimate challenge: a fight with the powerful final boss, Ancient Puturum. If successful, adventurers can gain valuable items and gear.”

The official site’s free trial landing page has an updated interactive map with the new region clickable (it’s screenshots when you click through to it), and the new trailer? That’s down below!

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Black Desert rolls out free-for-all PvP server, welcomes Oktoberfest beer festivals, and teases Kamasylvia

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeer.

What? That’s the takeaway from today’s Black Desert patch. If you wanted PSL, you’re outta luck because as the leaves turn in the game (literally) and autumn descends on the game world, the game is rolling out Oktoberfest and its concomitant in-game beer festival. You’ve got until October 11th to take part in the Beer Festival Quests (which technically launch tomorrow).

The other big news for this biweekly patch is the addition of new servers. Several are grouped under the Kamasylvia moniker (“You know what that means… Kamasylvia Part 1 coming real soon!” says the studio), but the most intriguing one is a brand-new PvP server, Valencia6_PvP. OK, maybe not the best name ever. Critically, the server is penalty-free, meaning you can gank away with no fear of repercussions – at least from the game’s mechanics.

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Black Desert launches Savage Rift patch, back-to-school cash-shop promo

Savage Rift is live in Black Desert today as promised; it’s the co-op tower defense minigame in which teams of players will protect the Sealed Tower from enemies coming at ’em in 25 waves that increase in difficulty.

There’s more to today’s update, however: Kakao is also kicking off a “back to school” event, which is cute given that the average gamer and MMO player skews well into his or her thirties. Nevertheless, the event is essentially a cash shop bonus whereby many items are discounted and lockbox purchases will be accompanied by extra goodies, including cash shop pearls.

Check out the complete patch notes on the official site and the Savage Rift trailer down below.

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Black Desert launches a tower defense mode dubbed Sealed Tower tomorrow

Tomorrow’s Black Desert update will make the new biweekly cadence all worthwhile. Its headline feature? Savage Rift, a de facto co-op tower defense minigame in which teams of players will protect what Kakao’s calling the Sealed Tower from enemies.

“Players will need to fend off dangerous hordes of monsters and work together to survive the 25 waves, which will gradually become more fierce and challenging. Groups from 8 to 10 people are needed for the game to start and combatants must be level 56 or higher. The final challenge will be against a powerful field boss, those robust enough to defeat them will be rewarded valuable loot, including boss armour. By accumulating points during the game, players can buy and employ siege weapons such as the Matchlock and Hwacha. To increase the chances of survival, it is vital to deploy these weapons as soon as possible. This will enable groups to rake up, even more points which in turn gives players access to devastating weaponry. Points can be transferred to fellow party members to maximise the deployment strategy.”

There’s a trailer to catch you up. Definitely an interesting type of content to add to an MMORPG, yeah?

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PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds tops Steam concurrency, drawing from CS:GO’s playerbase

Remember a few weeks back when PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds took League of Legends to town on Twitch, beating Riot’s giant for eyeball share on the platform during the Dota 2 tourney for the first time ever? Twitch is apparently not the only place the game is kicking butt and taking names: It’s now surpassed Dota 2’s concurrency numbers on Steam, putting it at #1 – an unheard of feat for a non-Valve video game.

Bluehole creative director Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene himself tweeted on Saturday when PUBG broke the 800,000 concurrent players threshold, but the game kept climbing, eventually peaking at 878K to Dota 2’s 843K on Sunday.

SteamSpy’s Sergey Galyonkin had been tracking the game’s meteoric rise in preparation for the new record, pointing out that PUBG is actually pulling heavily from CS:GO to get those numbers. “It’s not surprising: if you like CS:GO there is a chance you’ll like PUBG,” SteamSpy opines. “If you DON’T like Payday 2 but like shooters, PUBG is appealing.”

The game has been making SuperData’s top 10 list for revenue for the last several months. Overseas, Tencent attempted to buy out Bluehole Studio but was rebuffed, so it merely purchased a stake in the company, while Black Desert showrunner and Korean conglom Kakao recently inked a deal to publish the game in Korea.

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Black Desert parent corporation is merging all its game businesses

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.

Source: Business Korea via GIbiz

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Today’s Black Desert patch buffs new characters with extra skills

It’s an every-other-Wednesday, so you know what that means: It’s patch day in Black Desert. Kakao 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.

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Black Desert Korea teases massive ocean boss Bell

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.

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Black Desert switches to biweekly maintenance, adds Terrmian Waterpark events

Happy patch day, Black Desert folks. Did you enjoy getting maintenance patches every week? Not anymore.

“Due to the changes in service maintenance, the next maintenance will occur on August 16th, 2017,” Kakao noted in today’s patch notes. “Duration of the biweekly maintenance is to-be-determined. Please check the relevant maintenance announcement for the exact duration. As service maintenance will occur biweekly, guild/ family/ character name change will be processed every other Wednesday. In addition to regular service maintenance, temporary maintenances and hotfixes may occur and as always, we ask for your generous understanding and patience.”

There is a bit of fun news in today’s patch, however, as the studio is building on the Terrmian Waterpark that went live early this summer. Expect four new event quests in the park, plus Terrmian stuff in the cash shop, the retirn of the Black Spirit’s Adventure event, and a few bug fixes for horses and the Arena of Arsha. MOP’s own MJ Guthrie checked out the waterpark a few weeks back; you can watch her travails down below.

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Black Desert opens hosted PvP arenas in west, previews second awakenings in the east

Western players are getting a chunky 1GB patch in Black Desert today as Kakao rolls out structured PvP hosting in the form of Arena of Arsha.

“Arena of Arsha has been added. It’s a unique battle arena where YOU become the host of your battles. Arena of Arsha is unavailable in the following servers: All Olvia Servers, Velia 1, Balenos 1, Serendia 1, Calpheon 1, Mediah 1, Valencia 1, Valencia 3).”

Guild voice chat as well as a new Cron Fragment event are also live today; gatherers, hunters, and fishermen will pick up the fragments for turnins through August 23rd.

The real excitement in Black Desert right now, however, is what’s going on in Korea and will eventually wind up here. Here’s a look at the Mystic launching there today (we’ll get her later this year):

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Black Desert’s patch this week tweaks guild welfare funds as waterpark events continue

Today’s Black Desert patch is almost a gig large, but don’t expect a massive game revamp today. Probably the biggest change is tweaks to the guild welfare fund:

“The distribution method of Guild Welfare Fund has been slightly changed. Guilds can receive the weekly welfare fund only by claiming from the Guild (G) window if 10 or more guild members are online. The fund will be ready to be claimed on Sunday 24:00 UTC. Only the guild master can see the button to claim the welfare fund. Funds can be collected once a week and at least 10 members must be online at the time of collection. Guild Officers cannot claim the welfare fund.”

Meanwhile, the Terrmian Waterpark event continues — you can check out our stream of the festivities down below! Most recently in the game, we’ve been following the Chinese launch plans, exploiter bans, and Kakao’s plans to bring the newly unveiled Mystic (the female Striker) westward later this year.

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Black Desert bans and suspends node exploiters

Last week, Black Desert’s Reddit erupted with claims that a popular streamer, who been previously banned and unbanned in a spring crackdown, had unwittingly streamed proof that he was still exploiting, causing other players to cry foul. At the tail end of last week, Kakao finally addressed this issue.

“During an investigation into reports of a potential exploit last April, our team determined that it was, in fact, possible for users to send multiple workers to a single node,” Community Coordinator Yukimura explains. “Shortly after, a patch was applied to resolve this bug. However, due to an oversight in the applied patch, some elements of the bug were not fully removed. One such example was the failure to reset all player’s workers, including those that were being utilized in the exploit. It was later discovered that some users’ workers were still designated to a single node. This allowed the continued use of multiple workers on a single node, and has subsequently been resolved as of July 12th maintenance.”

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Black Desert touts female Striker, Mystic, coming west in Q4

Kakao announced this morning that Black Desert’s western version will be launching a female version of the Striker called the Mystic following its debut in Korea and confirming translations of the Korean version of the website. We’re short on details right now, other than the knowledge that she’s making the journey here in the fourth quarter, but the studio does say it’ll provide more information next week.

“For the remainder of 2017, PearlAbyss is preparing a host of exciting free updates that will keep adventurers engaged. After releasing the Striker class and its awakening, the recent Shultz Guard Station and last week’s Terrmian Festival content, Black Desert Online will keep on giving,” Kakao vows. “In the second half of 2017, players can look forward to the massive Kamasylvia Expansion, new world bosses, the co-op ‘horde’ mode, new siege war content and an exciting new PvP arena.”

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