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You can roll (but not play) Lahn in Black Desert today – there’s even a contest to enter

Lahn isn’t live in Black Desert today, but she’s the next best thing: pre-customizable. When she officially launches next week, she’ll be BDO’s 16th class, though she’s the first to use the Noble Sword and Crescent Pendulum weapon. And players can dive in and roll one up right now.

“All players who create their Lahn class before regular maintenance on May 23rd will receive the following rewards: Horse Flute (7D), Item Collection Increase Scroll x3, Gold Bar 100G,” Kakao notes. There are even more rewards for those who sign up for the newsletter. If you’re really great at tinkering around in the character creator, you can even try your hand at the Lahn customization contest for even more chances at sweet, sweet loot.

Don’t care about Lahn? You might care about the latest round of class balancing changes coming in today’s update as more crowd control, evasion, and skill tweaks flow into the game as part of Pearl Abyss’ huge overhaul.

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Black Desert begins Mother’s Day event, revamps defense, guts the Arsha PvP server, and teases Lahn

Here’s an event that doesn’t get celebrated much in MMORPGs: Mother’s Day. Oh sure, the devs will send out Tweets, but we don’t often see actual in-game events. Black Desert, however, has an event for everything, and this week it’s kicking off the Thank You For All Your Love event, in which you’ll be helping Santo Manzi get a batch of flowers off to his mom, in exchange for experience and chocolate.

Today’s patch notes also come with a lengthy explanation about changes to the Arsha PvP server in light of the game’s ongoing balance changes (defense effects are being heavily revised today). “We have decided to change the PvP system in the Arsha server to be the same as those in the other servers,” Kakao says. “You will no longer be able to activate Down Guard by pressing Shift while your character is down in the Arsha server. Like in the other servers, debuff will now be applied continuously only up to 2 times.” The studio promises “special features suitable for a PvP excusive server at a later date.”

Finally, the Western servers are preparing for the arrival of Lahn, the new playable class landing on May 23rd, though you’ll be able to pre-create a Lahn of your very own starting next week on May 16th.

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Black Desert developer Pearl Abyss has even more rebalancing plans for PvP, debuffs, and crowd control

Yesterday’s Black Desert patch apparently caught some backlash from the community, particularly in regard to the crowd control changes, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Pearl Abyss team has now responded to the feedback on Kakao’s forums with even more balancing plans for the future.

“We want to provide a more fair and fun PvP environment for our Adventurers,” PA explains. “Therefore, we want to decrease class imbalance by adjusting crowd control effects (Freezing, Knockdown, Grapple, Knockback, etc.) and defense effects (Super Armor, Invincibility, Frontal Guard, etc.).” To counter this particular design creep, Black Spirit’s Rage Absorption effects will change for all classes and only the first hit of skills will trigger debuff effects.

That last bit in particular contributed to “class imbalance and favoritism to certain classes with successive crowd control skills,” hence the fix. “This will pave the way to giving you a fairer chance against debuffs in PvP. However, if the general rules of evasion are kept the same we think that efficiency of evasion will skyrocket, and we will have no choice but to change it as well. From now on attack damage only will be affected by evasion stats, and debuff effects will only be affected by debuff resistance effects.”

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Ascent: Infinite Realm teases its world-building as it adjusts from beta feedback

Last year’s announcement that Kakao would be bringing the steampunk-flavored Ascent: Infinite Realm to the west was a much-needed shot of encouragement to MMO players who have been desperate for new titles. There was a good month or two in late 2017 when we were genuinely excited for this game as it showed off its trailer, talked about its lofty ambitions, and started Korean beta testing.

Then it kind of dropped off the map, and for the last four months, we’ve heard very little about this game. But now it’s back, baby, and things look like they’re progressing just fine. (True story: This author was just writing a “whatever happened to this game?” post when the official account sent out an update.)

The dev team said that the game is being “refined” following its initial Korean beta test. In the meanwhile, some new teasers and art will hopefully rekindle players’ interest. More previews are promised for upcoming weeks.

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Black Desert’s weekly patch adds new events, combat tweaks, and ent world boss as Kakao deletes guild forts to save them

Tree bosses are all the rage this spring in MMOs, and Black Desert’s got one too. Oh, did I say tree boss? I meant terrifying runic entish-behemoth from the deepest, darkest bowels of the earth.

“A new world boss Mirumok Destroyer Offin has been added” and will appear on regular servers on Fridays, Kakao says. “A world message will be shown notifying the appearance of Mirumok Destroyer Offin and the actual boss will come out 30 minutes after the message. After the world message of the appearance of Mirumok Destroyer Offin is displayed, it is not possible to interact with Offin using the Ancient Contract: Mirumok Watcher.” You’ll have to defeat him within 15 minutes of spawn or he’ll become even more powerful (womp, womp). And yes, there’s gobs of loot for everyone, with even more reserved for the top 30 finishers.

Today’s update also adds several events – this is Black Desert we’re talking about, after all – including “Time is Gold and Brings You Treasure” and “It’s Raining Enhancements.” The former begins tomorrow rather than today; the latter is intended as a catch-up mechanism for newer players.

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Black Desert celebrates South and North Korean peace summit with global buff tonight

Anybody for some good news? Yeah? Me too! If you follow real-world international headlines even a little bit, you surely are aware that history was made yesterday as North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met at the border for what are effectively unprecedented peace talks. Kim became the first North Korean leader to visit South Korea.

So it only makes sense that South Korean games would celebrate, right? Black Desert sure is. Pearl Abyss and Kakao announced this morning that it’ll ring the bells of peace in the world of Black Desert tonight at 10 p.m. EDT (7 p.m. PDT). That’s a bit of a euphemism; it turns out to be a one-hour experience buff.

“Please enjoy the buff in honour of peace and refrain from karma bombing during this time,” Kakao asks.

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Snag your very own Tinker Bell in Black Desert today

Fairy companions are live in Black Desert today! Players so inclined can pick up their very own Fairy Laila through the Fairy Queen Theiah quest series at level 52.

“Fairies are peaceful creatures that enjoy the flowers under the grace of Queen Theiah. One day, a golden rift broke open in the fairy world. Unable to resist its own curiosity, Laila bravely embarked on an adventure and tumbled into the world of Black Desert. Players can seek Laila fairies as a companion in their journey by completing a recurring quest. Each can learn different skills that benefit their characters and makes life in Black Desert Online more pleasurable.”

Also live in today’s patch are a private mode for the Arsha arena, Yona’s Fragment drops for rare accessories, an update to the Savage Rift system, and tweaks to the Ellie’s Mystical Lake event zones (no more warring in the waterpark, please!).

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Black Desert opens up Ellie’s Mystical Lake Festival, invites you to walk there

We hope you’ve cleared your schedules, Black Desert players, because it’s Wednesday, and you know there’s always something new to do in-game on Wednesdays. This week, it’s Ellie’s Mystical Lake Festival, which is all about water. The classy kind of water, not the tormenting-your-kid-brother-with-a-garden-hose kind.

“Join Ellie’s Mystical Lake Festival which is all about splashing and spraying water, the element of life, all over to highlight the theme of respect, appreciation, love and sympathy. You will sure fall in love with the beauty and cool aesthetics of the redesigned water festival area, so please enjoy this thrilling festival full of special quests and minigames. Also, don’t forget you can still gather your Black Crystal Shards all over the game world at a higher chance. Lastly, various storytelling quests have been added to Valencia!”

The minigames are open through April 25th. Today’s patch does mean that the Shepherd Boy event is over, but Kakao has extended the crystal shard gathering event, as well as updated some NPC voices, fixed fishing boats, and tweaked some borky graphics. Also? Walking is a thing.

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Black Desert players overload servers in mass protest over ongoing connection problems

Back in March, Kakao issued a round of compensation for Black Desert players in North America affected by service interruptions in what the company characterized as “issues with [its] carrier.” Lesser compensatory rewards went out to EU players. End of problem, right?

Not so much. Lag problems have persisted, and EU players in particular are upset as the server issues have affected major guild wars and castle sieges in the past few months, including a much-hyped and publicized event on March 24th that ended in disaster as the server crapped out live on stream.

And this past weekend, at least two dozen guilds staged a protest on the EU server, initiating a Valencia siege with a reported 300 to 1400 people (claims vary) that caused disconnections for the majority of players involved.

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Black Desert harvests a spring event, fixes wheelbarrows, and compensates players for outages

It may not look like it in the real world, but it’s spring, you guys, and Black Desert is going to make sure you remember it’s supposed to be spring by making everything pink pink and more pink. That’s thanks to the Blooming Blossoms event that goes live tomorrow. Just looking at all those pink petals is making my allergies flare up. You’re gonna plant a cherry blossom tree right in your yard, and it’s gonna be pink, and you’re gonna like it. Screw you, winter.

The second part of the Rabam’s Enlightenment skill enhancements are live today as well. Plus, my new favorite patch note: “Movement Speed and related stats will no longer affect how fast a Character will push a cart or wheelbarrow. All Characters will push these objects at the same speed.”

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Black Desert patches in Rabam’s Enlightenment, new PvP modes, and St Patrick’s Day events

The Enlightment has come to Black Desert today – Rabam’s Enlightenment, that is. And only the first phase, as explained in the patch notes.

“Players will be pleased to learn that Rabam’s Enlightenment will be rolled out for all 15 classes as a free update. Every character from level 56 and up can access this new feature from the skills page, provided they have sufficient skill points to attribute to Rabam’s Enlightenment. Furthermore, players will need to have unlocked the subsequent skills and sub skills in order to combine them. Through Rabam’s Enlightenment, two main skills can be combined into a greater and more powerful skill. A Warrior class can, for instance, combine the Ground Smash with the Ground Roar skill to create Seismic Strike and a Striker can mix Flow: Mass Destruction with Flash Step, creating Flow: Back Step.”

The second phase is next week and will be locked to level 57, ultimately granting all classes two such skills total.

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PUBG, TERA, and A:IR company Bluehole has gone on a shopping spree

South Korea’s Bluehole has been busy as the rise of PUBG has filled its coffers. It partnered with Tencent. It’s been hiring for TERA’s mobile port and even snapping up execs from Riot. It fended off rumors of a Microsoft buyout. It teamed up with Kakao for Project W. It built subsidiary PUBG Corp offices in four corners of the globe. And now, it’s picked up two more studios.

GIbiz reports that Bluehole and PUBG Corp have bought up MadGlory. We don’t know how much money changed hands, but we do know that the company is primarily focused on “custom matchmaking engines” and other multiplayer tools. The publication suggests that the newly dubbed PUBG MadGlory will be working on the PUBG Developer Portal coming out in April, which will basically allow community modders access to the API.

And MMO Culture has a brief piece out on Bluehole’s acqusition of Red Sahara Studio, a mobile studio that will be working on another TERA spinoff.

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Black Desert patches in Black Spirit’s Adventure 2 minigame, anticipates Drieghan region in Korea

If you found Black Desert’s little black spirit dude disconcerting, this week’s patch is… not gonna help that. Today’s update adds Black Spirit’s Adventure 2, a second season of the minigame with a refreshed look. Kakao is also incentivizing fishing with the Ancient Relic Crystal Shard drop event, plus adding tweaks for battlefields and new login rewards. And this sounds ominous: “The dragon flying around North Kaia Mountain has suddenly disappeared without a trace.”

Meanwhile, Korean players are anticipating the launch of the Drieghan region in their version of the game as of tomorrow. The teaser site is live now, and if you can wade through the Korean with Google Translate, you’ll be able to scope out the new grind areas, level 59+ areas, a new hunting ground with a diurnal spawn cycle, new loot, changes to contribution levels for experience, mass processing crafting, a new minigame, and the city of Duvencrune. The trailer for that is down below.

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