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Black Desert

Here's a preview of Black Desert's CBT3 updates

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We still don't have any inkling of when Black Desert's western client will arrive, but we do have a preview of some new stuff being added to the Korean fantasy sandbox MMO courtesy of next month's third closed beta test.

Updates include the decorating system, readable books, easier fishing, armor dyes, new pets, and new world bosses.

Black Desert's Korean version is almost 80% finished

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If you've got your eye on Black Desert now that it's definitely making the trek to the West, then Brian Oh is a name you'll want to know. He's Pearl Abyss' director of overseas business, and 2P chatted him up at this past weekend's ChinaJoy about class balance, sea battles, costumes, dyeing, swimming, the non-existent level cap, and why Daum was selected to publish Black Desert in the West.

Of note, Oh and Chinese Community Manager Cheng Ying said that Pearl Abyss has "almost completed about 80% of the game." The English version is not yet half translated; the Korean version, at least, will be free-to-play and will block foreign IPs during open beta. According to the interview, PA remains "very interested " in porting the game to consoles but could not speculate on timing of the NA beta launch.

[Thanks, Dystopiq!]

Daum hiring industry 'veterans from western region' for Black Desert

Fantasy, Interviews, MMO Industry, New Titles, News Items, Sandbox, Black Desert

When Pearl Abyss announced that Korean internet giant Daum would be publishing Black Desert in the west, my first reaction was "really?" It makes a certain amount of sense, though, as having one worldwide publisher (Daum is also releasing the fantasy sandbox in its native Korea) could work in the title's favor in terms of localization and time-to-launch efficiency. On the other hand, Daum has no real presence in Europe or North America.

That last point was recently addressed by Pearl Abyss Director of Overseas Business Brian Oh, who spoke with MMO Culture at ChinaJoy 2014. "Daum is looking to set up a new games business team and hiring veterans from the western region to operate the new games platform," Oh explained.

The interview also delves into Black Desert's translation process as well as IP restrictions and other notables.

Black Desert's NA and EU publisher is Daum

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Black Desert's search for a Western publisher has made news on more than one occasion in recent months. As it turns out, though, the fantasy sandbox MMO will be published in North America and Europe by the same company publishing it in its native Korea.

That company is Daum, one of South Korea's largest internet conglomerates. News of the deal was confirmed by Steparu via an email exchange with a representative of Black Desert development studio Pearl Abyss. While there is no information available regarding Western beta dates, Pearl Abyss began working on an English client over seven months ago. Black Desert Korea will kick off its third closed beta sometime in late August or early September.

Rumor: Black Desert in 'final phase of negotiations' with NA, EU publisher

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You know how Massively sometimes posts about feature-packed Korean sandbox import Black Desert? And you know how there's always that one commenter who's all "why are you writing about this? We'll never get to play it!"

Well, that dude is apparently wrong.

Korean website Inven says that Pearl Abyss is in the "final phase of negotiations" with a North American and European publisher. A PA rep wouldn't divulge the company or companies involved when asked at this week's E3, but he did say that the publisher in question "should be familiar when mentioned," according to MMO Culture.

Fans translate part of Black Desert's substantial lore

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So lonely.
With the help of enterprising fans and a lot of workarounds, dedicated fans of Black Desert can do their best to muddle through the game's Korean beta if they don't read or understand Korean. Understanding the game's setting, however, is another matter entirely. But the fandom is still trying to translate and make the best of it, and now the game's first major lore article has been translated, covering some 50 years of history for the city Calpheon.

In short, a plague rampaged through the city, and what started was a long campaign of war against the desert nation blamed for the contagion. This was followed by more wars, trades, magical artifacts, and... well, you get the idea. You can read the whole article to get a better sense of the world's history, whether you're trying to figure out how to interact with the game when you don't read the native language or just watching from afar.

[Thanks to Irene-24 for the tip!]

Black Desert might have a PvE ruleset, separate F2P and P2P servers

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Black Desert
Black Desert has found a Russian publisher, and while that news may seem like a tease to Western fans of the full-featured fantasy sandbox, there's a potential silver lining.

2P reports that the game may have separate F2P and P2P servers as well as PvE-only rulesets that disable open-world PvP in favor of arena matches, guild wars, and sieges. The site also mentions that Black Desert's Russian cash shop will be limited to cosmetic items, there will be no IP blocking, and there will be no dungeons (only open-world bosses).

Finally, the site says the Russian alpha will happen in December 2014 with a closed beta to follow in January. Korea-based developer Pearl Abyss is actively shopping for a North American Black Desert publisher.

[Thanks tandarighttanon!]

Pearl Abyss attending E3, looking for NA Black Desert publisher

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Black Desert throne
Steparu's latest and, for now, last Black Desert beta review has been published. It highlights castle sieges and endgame PvP, world raid bosses, and more. Interestingly, the writeup posits that the final version of ArcheAge "offers a much more vast open area with more freedom," though it's worth noting that Black Desert has plenty of room to grow since the observation was made in the game's second closed beta phase.

Steparu also reports that Pearl Abyss is attending next month's E3 in search of a North American publisher.

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New Black Desert closed beta videos focus on environments

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Black Desert
YouTuber Inporylem is back with more closed beta goodness from Black Desert, the Korean action-sandbox (seems a fair term, right?) whose western arrival is still up in the air. Building on last week's video, City Life Part 1, today's videos show off the Naisu environment and continue the tour of city life within the game; both are embedded below. Contain your drool, folks!

[With thanks to Berg for the tip!]

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Here's another awesome Black Desert video

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Black Desert town
Ready for your daily helping of Black Desert awesome sauce? Good, because this particular video is one of my favorites. YouTuber InporlemQQ has captured 22 minutes of city and country life from the Korean fantasy sandbox.

There's little in the way of combat here, but it's an explorer's paradise featuring some of the prettiest MMORPG visuals to date as well as a fun in-game soundtrack. Enjoy after the cut!

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There's no level cap in Black Desert

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Black Desert sorcerer
Part three of Steparu's Black Desert beta review-in-progress has been posted. Topics covered include the skill enchanting system, sieges and open PvP, the NPC trading and the market/auction system, and the curious lack of a level cap.

Black Desert endgame is kinda sorta 50, as that's when new skill acquisition ceases. But you can continue gaining XP post-50 and even continue training your previously acquired skills via more skill points from quests or mob grinding. "Black Desert is like a grinding machine's dream, perhaps too hardcore for other gamers outside of Asia," Steparu concludes.

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This is how mounted combat looks in Black Desert

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Black Desert mounted combat
Pearl Abyss released a new Black Desert gameplay vid this morning that focuses on the fantasy sandbox's mounted combat. MMO Culture reports that not all character skills can be used while mounted, but "a couple of new ones are granted."

Click past the cut to view the footage.

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Black Desert's open PvP and death penalties explained

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Black Desert PvP
Steparu has posted part two of a lengthy Black Desert beta review-in-progress. This installment focuses on the fantasy sandbox's leveling experience, enchanting, the combo system, and open world PvP.

Pearl Abyss has raised the minimum PK level to 40 for this particular beta phase, and Steparu says that people "who misbehave and kill random players will increase their karma points and become chaotic." Chaotic status causes random inventory drops upon death, whereas Black Desert's normal PvP death penalty is "a random chance to lose socketed gems and weapon enchants."

You can read more at Steparu.com, and don't forget to watch the beta gameplay vids after the break!

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Here are a couple of Black Desert beta reviews

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Black Desert beta
Steparu and MMO Culture are both playing Black Desert's second Korean closed beta, and both sites have published recaps of their various adventures. Steparu details the fantasy sandbox's combat and skill system as well as the process of catching a mount with a lasso!

MMO Culture focuses on the melee brawler Giant class. Both sites have uploaded gameplay videos, which you can sample after the cut.

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Black Desert's extreme character creation profiled in video

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Black Desert
Overseas MMO expert Steparu is back with another round of Black Desert videos that make North Americans extremely sad about the ongoing Korean beta and the lack thereof here. The videos highlight character creation, specifically the hyperrealistic (and, er, extremely toned) Sorcerer, Warrior, Giant, and Archer models, male and female, complete with musculature and hair mesh toggles and sliders. We're not exaggerating when we say that this is extreme character customization, folks. Enjoy two of the videos below and the rest over at Steparu.com.

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