pearl abyss

The studio building Black Desert.

The Stream Team: A Black Desert Halloween

Halloween is all about the treats, and Black Desert’s event promises lots of treats! Massively OP’s MJ is going to take on the daily challenges with her Valkyrie to net herself some holiday-themed coin, candy basket, and cookie rewards. She also wants to wander about and take in the spooky decorations. Tune in live at 9:00 p.m. for more Halloween celebrating in…

What: Black Desert
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, October 20th, 2017

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Massively Overthinking: Is open-world housing really a ‘failed’ MMORPG experiment?

Massively OP’s Justin Olivetti has a provocative article on his personal gaming blog, Bio Break, this week on MMORPG housing.

“I once again wonder why open world housing is this holy grail that some players and developers seem hellbent on chasing,” he writes. “It’s an ideal, a beautiful mirage couched in the notion of players inhabiting the very world they play, allowing them to stroll through neighborhoods of fellow adventurer’s homes and basking in the connectivity of it all. Yet it’s a failed experiment, one that is proven time and again to have far more drawbacks than benefits.” After listing off his complaints with the mechanic, he ultimately concludes that “we simply don’t need fixed open world housing, even in sandboxes.”

But being Justin, he also asked for feedback on why the joys are worth the drawbacks – and how to fix the system so it works instead of running off the rails. That’s just what we’ll do in this week’s Overthinking. Is he right about not needing this type of housing? And if not, how would you fix open world housing?

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Black Desert’s Wonderland-themed Halloween is live with fresh dailies

Halloween is live in Black Desert today, with a main event partly inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

“As the blood moon rises above the Black Desert world, mysterious interdimensional portals allow Isabella the Black Witch to haunt the lands. This multi-staged world boss lurks near Costa Farm and players who are skillful enough to beat her are in for fantastic rewards. The Isabella encounter will be available from October 18 up until November 1 and can be accessed by speaking to the White Witch, Gueldia, who has followed Isabella through the portal and resides at Alejandro Farm.”

There’s more, of course! Beginning tomorrow, Kakao will unroll two weeks of daily events. “After successfully completing various challenges, adventurers can earn Halloween-themed rewards such as coins, candy baskets, and cookies,” explains the studio. “The candy baskets and cookies can be combined into Halloween gift boxes and coins can be exchanged at the White Witch NPC Gueldia for Cron Stone, Sharp Black Crystal Shard, Advice of Valks, or a Fine Accessory Box.”

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One Shots: Sea horsing around

When it comes to unusual ways for Massively OP readers to get around in MMORPGs, there seems to be no shortage of bizarre methods for getting from Point A to Point B. So why not an ocean creature that is known more for hanging about than keeping a dedicated commuter schedule?

“I really loved the free seahorse mount World of Warcraft gave my character when I started adventuring through the Vashj’ir undersea zone,” Mysecretid said. “You can’t use the seahorse mount anywhere but Vashj’ir, but it sure looks nice. Even the ornate bit and bridle design impressed me.”

I have to wonder if, when mounted, your character is thinking, “You know, this is just too ridiculous, even for this game. I really should say something to management.”

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Black Desert’s Wonderland-themed Halloween arrives next week

Halloween is coming to Black Desert next week! Some of the new additions are clearly inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, since multiple “queens” play a role.

“Starting next week, the skies of Black Desert Online will be illuminated with an eerie blood red moon and jack-o’-lanterns will light the misty town streets. The Halloween event begins as adventurers encounter the White Witch who asks them to defeat the Black Witch. Players gain special items from this daily-quest just for this special occasion. Central hubs like Velia, Heidel, Valencia and Calpheon will receive a festive Halloween makeover that oozes the spooky atmosphere. New this year is the Alice in Wonderland theme that welcomes props like the Mad Hatter’s famed tea party furnitures.”

Kakao is promising new themey cosmetics, minipets, and masks. Oh, and cosmetics for your horse too: the Skeletal Horse Set. It’s the digital equivalent of a puppy in a hot dog costume. Poor horsie. Vid’s below to tide you over until next Wednesday!

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The MOP Up: Black Desert’s Taiwan meet-and-greet (October 8, 2017)

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 HellionHand of the GodsWakfuHyper UniverseDark Age of CamelotBlack DesertDragon ProjectStardew Valley, and EVE Online, all waiting for you after the break!

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Perfect Ten: The 10 live MMORPGs everybody should try

If you have ever visited the MMORPG subreddit, you probably know that one of the most frequent posts that pop up are ones asking the community for recommendations. These are players who have left a full-time game and are now fishing around for a substitute, or those who have “played them all” and are hoping that some undiscovered gem exists, or are having a difficult time finding a good game match for their preferred playstyle.

I am often leery about tossing out blanket recommendations because it’s far better to get to know a player, his or her game history, and the type of game sought before giving my opinion. But if you were to put a fish cannon to my head and threatened me with rapid-codding, I think I would be generally OK promoting the following 10 MMORPGs to most players, sight unseen.

These are MMOs that have earned my personal recommendation and are the titles that I tend to promote the most. Here we go!

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 138: Mystery MMOs and the mobile revolution

On this week’s show, the amazing duo of Bree and Justin look at another beefy Camelot Unchained interview, talk about several new mystery games in development, and boggle over the mobile MMO revolution that has arrived.

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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Games business roundup: VR, Project Alloy, Pearl Abyss, pay-to-dress-up, Goldman Sachs, lockboxes, and Bluehole

By chance, a whole bunch of industry-related. Well, not entirely by chance; our tipsters showered us in VR links in particular. We’ve rounded everything up for a quick look at what’s going on in the depths of the game industry’s moneybags.

  • USA Today mocks VR, pointing out that devices’ game offerings are still weak and running down all the big platforms.
  • AMC, however, is all in on virtual reality — in movie theaters.
  • Intel’s Project Alloy VR headset is dead before it began, without much explanation. “Project Alloy served as a great proof of concept for Intel and the industry – showing what’s possible in a high-performance, immersive and untethered VR experience,” the company reportedly said. “What we’ve learned through Project Alloy will inform future efforts.”
  • Want to feel creeped out? Goldman Sachs is poking around in digital gaming, paying attention to mobile, business models, and e-sports. Spoiler, they looooooove how the gaming business model is shaping up.

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The Stream Team: Exploring Black Desert’s Kamasylvia expansion

Black Desert’s Kamasylvia expansion launched today, and Massively OP’s MJ is eager to see the elven woodlands. She wants to frolic in the Shady Tree Forest and explore the elven village of Old Wisdom Tree. The question is, can she get there? Join us live at 5:00 p.m. for a look at Kamasylvia.

What: Black Desert
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 5:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

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Black Desert’s free Kamasylvia expansion launches today with tier 9 pegasi

Black Desert has just rolled out the first part of its Kamasylvia expansion today – it’s a free update that’s been long-awaited on western shores, bringing a huge new region with plenty of PvE challenges and loot.

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.”

Don’t own BDO yet? Maybe wait until tomorrow, when the game will be 40% off. Massively OP’s MJ Guthrie will be streaming BDO for a first look at the update this evening, so check out OPTV at 5 p.m. EDT (and hope the servers hold!). In the meantime, rev up your patchers and check out the brand-new trailer for Arduanatt – that’s the gorgeous pegasus mount being introduced today – while you wait!

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The Daily Grind: Which MMORPGs will make to to 20 years?

Unless it mysteriously shutters between now and Monday, Ultima Online is turning 20 next week. Our Game Archaeologist will surely object to an assertion that UO is the first MMORPG to turn 20, but even if you do count pre-MMORPG titles as MMOs or include non-continuous or non-graphical games, UO is still among the very few MMOs to get there alive.

I’ve started thinking about numbers like that in light of Black Desert studio Pearl Abyss’ assertion a few weeks back that online PC games and MMOs have “an extremely long life cycle” on average between 10 and 11 years, implying that PA intends to support its games with those lifespans in mind.

There are a few MMOs coming up on 20 years now other than UO, including classic EverQuest. Alas, others, like Asheron’s Call, were sunsetted before they got close. Consider the MMOs you’re playing now: Which of those MMORPGs have a hope of making it to 20 years?

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Black Desert is getting a remastered orchestral soundtrack with European orchestras

The upcoming soundtrack remaster for Black Desert is nothing but an upside for fans of the game. If you already like the music in the game (you can read Justin’s evaluation of it), well, now you’ll get to hear a different version of all of it; if you don’t already like the music, hey, you’re getting a new soundtrack you might like more. But don’t take our word for it, as you can check out a preview video just below showing off the process of bringing the soundtrack to a full orchestra.

If you’re worried about lack of fidelity, the remastered soundtrack is being overseen by the original composer, Hui Man Ryu, and performed by the National Orchestra of Halle from Germany (with help from additional orchestral members from Prague and Budapest). Check out the video below, listen to a couple of sample tracks on Soundcloud, and get ready for a much richer sound for the game when the remastered soundtrack gets added.

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