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Black Desert revamps and shortens Savage Rift, implements offline leveling

Black Desert players are being treated to a big update this week featuring the revamp of Savage Rift that basically makes the PvE co-op content more accessible and interesting – though it also nerfs the rewards for playing through it.

“The most noteworthy change to the Savage Rift content is that the number of monster spawns has been reduced by around 40% which as a result makes each runthrough last about 20 minutes,” Kakao explains. “Cooldown times for siege weapons such as the Hwacha amd Lynch Cannon have been reduced by 50% so that adventurers can shoot these powerful weapons more often. As a result, the reward structure has been reworked as well. Although the rewards per playthrough have been reduced, the rewards vs playing time have actually increased, making it more interesting for adventurers to engage enemies in the Savage Rift.”

Don’t care about co-op play? How about offline leveling? Today’s update also allows players to nab a Book of Training and beat up a scarecrow to accrue combat and skill experience while AFK.

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Black Desert’s remastered edition looks and sounds amazing

Black Desert fans have a good reason to be excited — after all, when was the last time that the MMO you played got a massive visual and audio overhaul? This past weekend, players got a chance to see (and hear) what Black Desert is going to look like when the Remastered edition arrives on August 22nd.

Pearl Abyss wrote a summary of the Remastered showcase, discussing the (even more) realistic graphics on their way — ooh, cloth simulation! Volumetric clouds! — that will be sure to make your jaw fall on the floor.

As for the audio, Black Desert is remastering more than 220 music tracks with the help of three orchestras. “The atmosphere and world of Black Desert were expressed with soundtracks that felt heavy and mellow,” the team said. “It was to the point that some of our adventurers told us that the NPCs in Black Desert all seem depressed. So we decided to transform the black and white music in Black Desert to full-color.”

There was a lot more discussed at the showcase, including changes to the story and leveling experience, the Male Ranger class, the ability to snipe while hunting, and the addition of the region of Ordilita.

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Pearl Abyss sees hefty revenue bump thanks to Black Desert

Pearl Abyss, the Korean developer of Black Desert, posted its Q2 2018 earnings report this past week, showing both significantly increased revenue and profits over the three-month period. The company showed revenues around $99.8 million for the period, out of which $4.2 million was pure profit.

The Black Desert IP is Pearl Abyss’ bread and butter right now, and the developer is making tons of money not just on the sandbox MMO but the new mobile version that’s starting to roll out. In fact, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau are slated to get it at the end of this month, with 1.5 million players registered for the title. Black Desert Mobile will expand to the rest of Southeast Asia by the end of this year and go global in 2019.

Pearl Abyss announced plans to expand its global reach with new offices in Japan and the US, hiring around 187 additional employees to fill demand.

Source: MMO Culture

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Black Desert to show off its sizzling new graphics and music on Saturday

Black Desert is about to look and sound even more incredible than it already does, and you’ll be able to check it out as early as this weekend.

On Saturday, August 11th, Pearl Abyss is going to livestream the game with its new 4K remastered graphics that have been in the works. Not enough? There’s also going to be a live orchestra concert that will play the remastered audio pieces going into the game “soon” and a keynote address to discuss these and other changes for Black Desert.

Pearl Abyss said that players shouldn’t be too worried about the system requirements with these improved features. The studio promised that it “optimized [the game] so the minimum required specifications are suitable for a greater number of users.” You can check out the new system requirements on the SEA site.

Source: Press release

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Black Desert’s newest patch introduces guaranteed enhancements

You don’t want to fuss around with enhancements that might happen, in games or real life; you want to have assurances that your enhancements will function correctly. Black Desert gets that, and that’s why the latest patch adds exactly that with the new guaranteed enhancement stones. When you use these stones they consume a chunk of durability but also offer an absolute 100% shot at enhancement, allowing you to enhance away without fear of failure. Field bosses and world bosses drop the stones in question, so be on the lookout for them.

Players will also be able to enjoy increased guild mission rewards as well as improved guild attendance rewards, so there are also better benefits for chilling with your whole guild. And of course there’s a nice long list of bug fixes and class improvements, so you should notice fewer bugs and issues in the game as a whole. That sounds like a worthy patch.

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Black Desert and Ascent Infinite Realm publisher Kakao is investing in esports

Kakao is a massive South Korean company, and as most MMO fans reading blogs probably know, video games are just one element of that business spread. The company owns internet subsidiaries covering everything from chat programs and blogging to fashion and even an Uber clone. Its gaming sector, however, has been one of its most prosperous, having picked up over $131 million in investment this year from companies including Tencent, Netmarble, and Bluehole. Now it’s putting some of that dough to work by investing almost $17M into an e-sports developer, Neptune, apparently believing in the “growth potential of the esports market.”

A year ago ahead of its IPO, Kakao merged all of its games-related holding into one outfit, Kakao Games Holdings. It currently runs MMORPG Black Desert, holds publishing rights on PUBG in South Korea, and is set to serve as the western publisher for Bluehole’s steampunk MMO Ascent: Infinite Realm, which you’ll recall went on a tear tweeting concept art this spring but has been silent since.

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Black Desert invites players to Saddle Up to level their horses super fast

The star of today’s Black Desert update is horses, and really, isn’t that the star of Black Desert every day? Kakao is kicking off Saddle Up, and event that boosts mount experience by 30%. If you’re so inclined to grind, you’ll want to check the Imperial Horse Delivery quest too in order to pick up certificates to trade for shards. Yay, currency.

Meanwhile, remember that global costume design contest that Pearl Abyss ran earlier this year? The grand prize winner’s Berserker costume is finally headed into the game today, so have fun grabbing that!

The rest of the patch includes tweaks to optimization, item drop rate benefits for the occupiers of the core territories, a handful of class adjusments, and new taxidermy furniture.

Source: Patch notes

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One Shots: Dancing in the dark

When the lights go down, the party animals come out, dancing to their dark gods and eating all of the really good snacks before I even get there. What is this, off-brand ginger ale? It’s Canada Dry or I am out of here, and you can just sacrifice whatever to whomever without me!

Hikari took this really striking picture from Conan Exiles: “Dark isn’t usually my thing (with a name like Hikari, did you think it would be?), but sometimes… Praise Set, Praise Yog!”

If Yog had a pet, would that be a Yog dog?

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Black Desert Online gets ready to show off its remastered graphics

Is it possible for Black Desert to look any more gorgeous than it already does? Kakao apparently thinks so, because the developer has been hard at work on a massive graphics update for the game. We’ve heard rumors of this overhaul for a while now, but soon we’ll actually get our first look at it thanks to a public showcase that is scheduled for August 11th in Korea.

The remastered graphics will be broadcast via Twitch on this date alongside the first 4K video of the fantasy sandbox MMORPG. You can get a sort-of preview of this by checking out the Korean Black Desert site right now.

The visuals aren’t the only part of the game that has received a facelift; Black Desert recently remastered its orchestral score as well.

Source: Inven Global. Thanks Vunak!

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Black Desert finally answers the eternal MMORPG question: Who does laundry in this gameworld?

So who washes all the clothes your toons wear in MMORPGs? This is a topic that needs to be explored… in some other article. This piece does involve laundry, but it’s much weirder than just washing clothes: In Black Desert, players are going to be merely collecting sunken laundry and turning it in to the adorable Crio for treasure maps.

I didn’t say it was going to make sense. At least it’s something different from being a murder hobo.

The rest of this week’s patch adds a few more bits and bobs to Kakao’s sandbox, including a new level 60 challenge: “During the event period, a new Challenge to reach Lv.60 has been added via Challenges tab (Y). (Once per Family allowed). Adventurers who have achieved Lv.60 with their characters before the maintenance will have the Challenge completed automatically upon logging-in. Trina Knights First Captain’s Support Kit (7 Days) will require at max 34 Inventory Slots free in order to obtain all components inside.”

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One Shots: Party animals

Apologies for the disruption in the normal One Shots schedule over the past couple of weeks, but we’re back and freakishly abnormal! Everyone behave themselves while I was gone? Good.

I don’t exactly know what’s going on in our headlining picture this week, but it looks like it is both the most exciting and unsafe party ever held in Secret World Legends. Of course, it’s all taking place on platforms without handrails that are standing over bottomless pits, so it’s not like a couple of baseball bats are going to make that much of a difference. Swing away!

“You can’t have a party with strangers without mentioning all the Megaversary fun in Secret World Legends as we all mob giant Beehemoths,” posted Hikari. “This event has been so much fun, it really captured the soul of The Secret World we remember.

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Black Desert dives down into underwater dungeons

You know where’s a really great place to build a dungeon? Under the ocean. Sure, there’s the bends, flesh-rending sharks, and a severe lack of daylight with which to contend, but you can get some really great deals on real estate down there and won’t have to worry about sewage bills.

Black Desert is thinking along these lines with its brand-new underwater dungeons. Currently debuting this summer in Korea (and coming to a continent near you… sometime!), the trio of dungeons take players through aquatic-themed caves to (spoiler) fight bosses and gain loot.

Get a glimpse of the Mysteries of the Ocean update after the break and then plan on going swimsuit shopping soon afterward!

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Black Desert overhauls node and conquest wars, extends and buffs its summer events

It’s been a rocky morning for Black Desert, as its planned patch maintenance took a few extra hours and is currently causing some unresolved file corruption issues over on Steam, but the patch is indeed live. And it’s a bit of a mish-mash patch.

For starters, Kakao says it’s extending the Termian Waterpark and Mysteries of Summer events an extra week in the west as Pearl Abyss did in the east, with double rewards from the Waterpark during that time and reduced requirements for the Mysteries turn-ins. Wheeee! And don’t worry: If you did the events before today’s maintenance and the change in rewards/difficulty, you’ll be compensated appropriately too.

A new event is also kicking off today and running into August; players will be chopping down trees (and apparently performing other soft gathering skills) to collect Serbianca’s Vouchers, which they can then exchange for logs to construct the Epheria frigate.

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