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Black Desert Online makes amends for ‘disorderly’ patch and plots out a better path forward

Black Desert Online players who were taken aback at some recent and rather sudden changes to the game have the full apology of Executive Producer Jae-hee Kim to console them.

Kim wrote a letter to the playerbase in which he outlines the vision of the game, promising that the developers are taking action to “improve the fundamentals” of Black Desert’s structure to shore up the title.

“If you have to define Black Desert Online into four keywords, it would have to be MMORPG, combat, life content, and open world gameplay. In retrospect, it is true that we were afraid of making radical changes instead of improving and highlighting upon these four key themes,” he said.

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Black Desert Korea is letting players date (and vie for) NPCs

If yesterday’s Black Desert patch in the west didn’t grab you, maybe a peek into what Korea’s getting will. Daum’s official patch notes over on the Korean site lists some of yesterday’s changes here, including the PvP and crowd control tweaks, but it also has some fun new bits, including “a new system where you can date an NPC.” Wait, what?

“After establishing an intimacy with a specific NPC and succeeding in confession, you can become a lover with that NPC. Also, when you become a lover, you can get special title.”

Inven Global’s translation is better than Google’s here; it refers to an “amity” pool and a “confession” of love to pick up that NPC as a girl/boyfriend. You can also send gifts to your new beau in a system that looks a lot like the one in Star Wars The Old Republic – except that in this system, everyone’s vying for the same NPCs instead of lugging around a copy with eyes only for one PC.

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Black Desert’s latest update is for the birds; includes renown, gear purification, and PvP tweaks

This week’s Black Desert update is officially upon us. Its key feature is a new guild boss, the Ahib Griffon, plus “several new Balenos Hunting Quests and Monsters for players to engage in the pursuit of fame and glory.” The Gear Purification NPC is also brand-new today.

“Revisions to the gear enhancement system are underway, the first to arrive is the much anticipated Gear Purification NPC, allowing players to downgrade equipment for a nominal fee. In addition to this, the recently introduced Renown Score system has been included, granting a variety of new bonuses to work towards. To make finding your equipment even easier, we’ve added the ability to view all individual storages at each city from local Storage Keepers.”

Players should also expect the new “renown score,” new titles, storage conveniences, new dailies, new baddies, easier guild kicks, a big boost to PvP damage and crowd control skills, and bird meat for you folks who fancy eating seagull.

Source: Official site, patch notes. As for the title, I regret nothing.

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One Shots: How to go blind in one easy step

As someone who only has one functioning eye, I find that my vision is paramount to my quality of life and personal enjoyment. Plus, it would make playing MMORPGs slightly more difficult if everything was dark.

But I’m not everyone, and I have to allow for the possibility that there are gamers out there who are desperate to lose their sight but at a loss as to how to do it. With that in mind, I present SmugglerSteel’s one-step process to going blind in 10 seconds or less: Find the largest sun you can in Star Wars: The Old Republic and stare at it from about 20 feet away.

At least the last thing you’ll see will literally brighten your day!

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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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Pearl Abyss tests new combat and gear in Korea as fairies flutter into Black Desert tomorrow

A big patch for Black Desert Online is being tested in Korea as we speak. Expert scientists, sociologists, game developers, and major world leaders are putting their minds together to shape this sandbox MMO’s future. You will undoubtedly be telling your children one day of this content update’s release, your voice shaky with emotion.

So what’s coming? A few major systems are getting improved, starting with the addition of combat power to character’s stats. As players work their way up the eight tiers of this stat, they’ll see their character become more effective in fights.

Next up is a new “unleash” system that allows players a foolproof, failproof way of upgrading their gear with cron stones (which can be crafted). AP efficiency will be balanced between PvE and PvP, and world mobs are going to gain both AP and HP while paying out more in rewards so that players will spread out while farming.

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Jukebox Heroes: Five great YouTube channels for MMO music

As a collector and reviewer of MMORPG soundtracks, I owe a great debt to fellow music lovers who take the time to somehow extract files from the game directories and make these tracks available to the world at large. YouTube has been an invaluable treasure trove of MMO music, thanks to these devoted fans, and I thought I would give some of them props today for their hard and continuing work.

While there are plenty of channels where you might see a person post a playlist at one point for a single game, there are a handful of YouTubers who see their mission to continually post new music for ongoing online games. Today we are going to look at five channels and the game soundtracks that they cover. We’re talking hours and hours of music at your fingertips here, so set aside your plans for the rest of the day and get listening!

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Black Desert prepares to switch service providers for better service

Graphics and music aren’t the only aspects of Black Desert that are getting an upgrade — the team announced that it will be switching service providers later this month to improve the game’s performance.

The MMO will go offline on April 25th to make the big switch, which is estimated to take around 10 hours from start to finish. The service provider switch is focused in North America and will include additional security measures to ward off DDOS attacks.

“Our goal is to increase the overall connection stability experienced by players for both Europe and North America regions,” the team said. “Measures were taken with the North America servers due to the inordinately high number of incidents causing disruptions to our service. We intend to apply further measures in the future in a manner that permits our team sufficient time to monitor and analyze the effects of these changes.”

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The Stream Team: Splashing around Black Desert’s Mystical Lake Festival

If spring isn’t appearing fast enough if your neck of the woods, you can just escape into Black Desert Online to enjoy it there! Ellie’s Mystical Lake Festival is underway north of Calpheon, and Massively OP’s MJ is diving in. There are quests to enjoy and event goodies to collect. Join us live at 3:00 p.m. and come frolic among the fronds.

What: Black Desert
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 5th, 2018

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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 holds global costume design contest

With thousands of dollars in real cash on the line, the stakes for Black Desert’s global costume design contest are no chump change. Pearl Abyss is asking the community to vote on its favorite submissions from regions all around the world, including Russia, Europe, North America, and Southeast Asia.

Fans can vote up to 10 times, with a restriction of a single vote per region (each region sports five costume designs). The top 10 winners will receive $3,000 each, and the very best will walk away with $10,000. That $10,000 entry will also be recreated in Black Desert, so players are voting on a potential outfit that they could possibly wear one day.

Head over to the site and vote now. The polls close on April 2nd, with a final round of voting taking place from April 4th through the 9th.

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Battle Bards Episode 118: More starting zone themes

What are your favorite memories of those first few days in a brand-new MMORPG? Chances are that those memories are inextricably connected to the music of these beginning areas. On today’s episode of Battle Bards, the crew revisits starting zone themes to talk about the experience of those first critical steps in an online game — and the songs that connect us forever to that.

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 118: More starting zone themes (or download it) now:

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