pearl abyss

The studio building Black Desert.

Black Desert GM punishes a player with a writing assignment

The hard part about being a GM has to be when you're dealing with a certain brand of player. You know the sort; they're the ones making other people's time in the game worse just for giggles. How do you actually punish players who just want to sow chaos and don't care about the consequences? An enterprising GM for Black Desert tried out a novel technique by banning a reported toxic player... unless said player wrote a 501-word essay.

Of course, there's more to the story, as it turns out the player in question was reported for being a jerk to roleplayers, and the ban announcement by the GM in question was clearly leaning pretty hard on the "roleplaying" button. The player in question did write as requested and avoided the ban, although it's not exactly a timeless masterpiece of literature (you can see it in the Reddit thread if you want). Whether or not this was actually effective is up for debate, but we can't help but think that it was therapeutic for the GM, at the very least. (And as a bonus, there's always the slim chance that one of us will have to deal with this sort of ban, which will mean we get out of jail for free!)

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Choose My Adventure: Wrapping up WildStar

Writing about WildStar at this point feels weird.

Obviously, I just finished up playing the game for this feature for four weeks. It feels fresh in my mind. And in many ways, it really has changed quite a bit from launch to its credit. In many other ways, it hasn’t changed much at all. And the ways in which it has changed would make a much bigger difference if those changes affected things that initially drove me away from the game.

So in many ways, when I write about WildStar now, I’m still writing about the launch version of the game. It’s just that we’re now several years out from that launch, and its potential to really be something no longer has the time to turn into reality. It’s still just a hope for what it could be, and there’s not much more to the game beyond what we see right now. So it’s the same state of the game, but it’s gone from promising opportunities to unrealized potential.

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Black Desert's spring patch spawns cherry blossom events

Today's Black Desert patch isn't a massive one, but it's going to be welcomed by anyone sick unto death of winter.

Yep, the update heralds the "awesome cherry blossom event" and a terrible-wonderful punny graphic. Too cute.

Beginning today and running through April 12th, players will be able to log in and claim up to five cherry blossoms per day, depending on how long they play. The blossoms can be turned in in chunks for everything from memory frags and black stones to specific bits of gear.

There's also a seed event to look forward to: Players can purchase one cherry blossom seed per day with loyalty and cultivate a whole herd of permanent cherry blossom trees on their housing plots. Actually sounds pretty!

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The Stream Team: Black Desert's Port Epheria

Last time Massively OP's MJ was in Black Desert, she hitched a ride on a boat to a new port. Now she's got plenty of new areas to explore -- and plenty of trouble to get into! What's the story of this coastal village where a beached whale lies basking in the sun? There are locals to meet, mobs to massacre, and gold to earn. Tune in live at 3:00 p.m. as MJ wanders about Port Epheria.

What: Black Desert
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 3:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

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Black Desert's St Patrick's Day patch brought its own beer

It is written in The MMORPG Code that MMOs, especially those of foreign pedigree, must indulge our most silly faux holidays. I'm sure that's the case, else why would an upstanding game like Black Desert insert St Patrick's Day into your immersions?

Yes, today's patch sees not only the return of the dice-rolling Black Spirit's adventure and new craftables for the Dark Knight but also beer. The Cold Draft Beer event, to be exact.

"To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, all players will receive beer on 3/17. Please check your in-game mail on this date to find your delivery of beer!"

That's where I get all my beer for sure.

By the by, maintenance this morning was extended slightly for North American players and quite a bit for EU players; Kakao apologized for the extra downtime and told EU players that compensation is on the way, though everything is back up now.

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Jukebox Heroes: Your favorite MMO themes, #24-19

What are the best and most popular MMO theme songs of all time? A couple of weeks ago I posed this question to the Massively OP community and encouraged fans to submit their own list of music themes in response. We saw a healthy amount of email votes and comment nominations since then, and I was able to compile a nice list of the top 24 MMORPG themes from it.

There were several surprises, at least to me, in the final results. I thought some games would've gotten more nods, while others seemed to come out of nowhere to demand a spot on the list. Each of the themes on this list was put out there by at least two fans, which is why we're going to start with number 24. I'm thinking we might have an honorable mentions column as a post-script, but we'll see how it goes.

Today we will begin our countdown to number one, looking at your favorite MMO themes with my own take on each. Let's get started!

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The Daily Grind: Does World of Warcraft need another new class?

During this week's podcast, Justin expressed some frustration over his efforts to enjoy an alt in World of Warcraft. All of his characters, he said, just didn't feel the same, and he wasn't loving them. In the end, he rekindled his love for all things demonic with his Warlock, but what went through my mind -- prompted by other topics on our agenda that day, like Black Desert's Dark Knight -- is this: Isn't it time for a new WoW class altogether?

I ask this because I've shared Justin's annoyance over losing my own emotional attachment to my WoW characters as they've taken so many twists and turns in what they can functionally do over the years. I really liked the Monk class because it didn't have that baggage. (Demon Hunters, not so much, not really my thing -- I thought they were a bit redundant in theme.)

A true bard class, however, would basically get my instant preorder, and this from a girl who hasn't had an urge to play in a long time. And I'm not crazy: Go forth and google "WoW bard" and take a look at all the people anxious to see it happen post-Legion -- and not just in April Fool's Day fun.

Also, bards are the best class, period.

Do you think WoW needs a new class in the next expansion? Do you think it's ever going to happen?

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Black Desert rolls out two new anniversary events today

Black Desert's anniversary month patches continue to roll out this week. This morning, Kakao updated with the NPC's Gratitude Event, which is similar to the Valentine's Day events last month. Players have until March 22 to to complete a quest, farm up candy, and use it to create items exchangeable for memory frags, accessories, and clothes.

But that's not all! There's also what Kakao is calling a "House Fame Event," which depending on your veteran status in the game will reward you with armor, weapons, and beer as you rack up house fame points. I'm assuming the limitation on accounts rolled up in 2017 is to prevent multiboxing abuses, but eh, sucks to be a newbie, I guess.

Everyone should also check his or her in-game mail as Kakao has sent out yet another round of gifts there.

Finally, unrelated to the festivities: Tameable tier 4~5 horses have been added into the wild. Go get 'em!

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The Stream Team: A belated Black Desert anniversary

Although she was able to log in and celebrate last week, Massively OP's MJ was sad that she couldn't celebrate Black Desert Online's anniversary with you. So why not hop in and do that now? It's not like in-game events don't last longer than the single day, right? Join us live at 4:00 p.m. as MJ dives in and commemorates the sandbox's first anniversary with adventure, intrigue, and goodies. Especially goodies.

What: Black Desert
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 4:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 107: Dark Knight rises

This week on the show, Justin and Bree celebrate a couple of hearty MMO updates, argue about mandatory mount viewing, celebrate the soft launch of Revelation Online, and extol the virtues of the PC Master Race.

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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Black Desert is due for a 'full-scale graphic remastering later this year'

At GDC last week, Black Desert took center stage as the subject of a demo from Silicon Studio showing off YEBIS, its post-processing software. "I thought that Black Desert Online’s realistic graphics were suitable to demonstrate the cutting edge technology of YEBIS," CEO Takehiko Terada wrote. "We are pleased with the response of the audience as expected, and we look forward to cooperating with Pearl Abyss in the future."

That wasn't just idle talk; Kakao announced this morning that Black Desert developer Pearl Abyss is indeed using YEBIS tech to buff the MMORPG's graphics as part of a "full-scale graphic remastering." Says PA,

"This video is only a small part of what we’re working on. We are constantly trying our best to provide users with a better visual experience in keeping with the evolution of hardware. Players will be able to venture through Black Desert with enhanced graphics later this year."

Check out the comparisons below!

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You drank more than 364M beers in Black Desert during its first year in the west

In fact, you probably drank four times that.

Happy birthday, Black Desert! Yep, the Korean-born MMORPG is celebrating one year in the west today. Earlier this week, Kakao rolled out its latest patch, featuring the Dark Knight and birthday goodies. Today, it's got a positively massive infographic to share with some epic stats. Among them:

  • There are 3.4 million characters in the west -- 180K of which are over level 55.
  • Sorceresses are far and away the most popular class, followed by the Ranger. Aside from the Dark Knight, which just launched two days ago, the Warrior and Kunoichi seem to be the least popular.
  • 64% of characters are female, but it's a gender-locked game with more female classes to choose from, so that's a given.
  • You've hoarded over 21 trillion silvers.
  • And yes, collectively, you've downed 364 million beers -- in the last three months. Bottoms up!

Check out the whole infographic below!

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Black Desert celebrates first anniversary with Dark Knight launch, birthday gifts

The Dark Knight is officially live in Black Desert today as part of the game's first anniversary update. Hardcore players probably already took advantage of the pre-creation event, but if not, it's time to get rolling the melee/magic hybrid.

"A fearsome knight representing the Vedir tribe of Kamasylvia. Her use of the nature’s force, deeply rooted in dark magic, is rather destructive. The Dark Knight uses Kriegsmesser as a main weapon and Ornamental Knot as a secondary weapon. Her weighted blows are seamlessly connected through dark magic."

To celebrate her launch, Kakao has kicked off several events, including one that tasks players with collecting Dark Knight Seals for prizes, a combat experience buff for the week, and a death-penalty-free run at specially spawned field bosses. "Loyal" players will also receive 20% off coupons for the cash shop.

Do make sure you log in this week to claim your anniversary presents too, as unclaimed gifts will be deleted.

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