Of all the creatures and people I’ve encountered in my time playing Black Desert Online’s Mountain of Eternal Winter expansion, which is releasing today, the little fox that greeted me at the beginning has to be my favorite. Lando exudes a seriously goofy energy that is well appreciated alongside the rather dark and somber story Pearl Abyss tells.
The Mountain of Eternal Winter lies in the southern regions of Black Desert Online world, with the mountain of the same name in the centre. Snow constantly falls on the land, covering the ground with a light layer of powder. People get used to harsh winters that never end. It’s a striking contrast to Calpheon’s more temperate climates to the north.
The region itself is beautiful but desolate. The central hub of Eilton dominates the central part of the Mount of Everwinter, although it pales in comparison to some of it Black Desert’s other cities. The village is full of makeshift wooden huts and yurt tents, which also indicates the nomadic nature of some of the mountain’s residents. Smaller camps and staging areas dot the landscape, but Eilton has some civilization if you crave it on your travels.
The latest expansion not only adds high-level content for adventurers, but also a new tutorial section for newcomers and those trying out the new Drakania class. It’s a nice change of pace, especially if you’ve leveled up several new characters in the past. As someone who seemingly killed Red Nose 20 times on different toons, exploring the new region was an incredible experience instead.
The somber attitude of many residents of the region is really helping to set the stage for enlargement itself. The tales of the great dragon Labreska rule the settlements, and the shadow of the Mountain of Eternal Winter hovers over everything, especially one of the expansion’s main characters, Lando.
Lando is interesting. He’s lively, absent-minded, earnest – but he’s also hiding a secret for players to uncover. Known as the Khan’s son, locals seem rather dismayed that he is not as reliable as the chief’s son should be. However, I appreciate Lando for what he is: a fun companion.
Black Desert’s Black Spirit has always been the MMO’s official mascot. The story of the Black Spirit and how he interacts with the player has dominated the MMO for the past six years. However, it was nice to see the ghost play a more supporting role in driving the story this time around. Lando is funny, and his sense of humor goes a long way in endearing me to the plight of mountain people.
It also helps that he seriously gives off Ryuji individual 5 Vibes who is one of my favorite characters in any video game ever.
Lando challenges the player to scale the mountain of eternal winter for their own ends, sure, but the journey there is incredibly endearing. Watching Lando deal with his own guilt, the expectations of him for being the Khan’s son, and living up to his own standards to help those around him is one of the best parts of this chapter. I don’t want to give too much away either, but the play between Lando and another character you’ll meet along the way, Jordine, is fantastic. There’s a scene where Jordine insults Lando, and while the former goes on explaining why he joined you, Lando can be heard in the background continuing to talk about how he’s not who he appears.
I found I couldn’t wait to talk to Lando again – I wanted to know more about what he was up to. The jokes between him and Jordine, which he calls an eternal “rain cloud”, are among my favorite texts and character developments of all black desert. Working with them to unravel the mysteries of the Six Witches that feed into the larger story surrounding Eternal Winter and the dragons at its core is a pleasure and I can’t wait to delve further.
The overall writing quality also feels much better with this extension. The number of puns that came out of the characters’ mouths had me cackling at my desk more than once. When I saw an NPC channel Boromir at the beginning of the expansion, I stopped in my tracks and blinked at what I saw. A while later, when I saw someone tell a creature to stay away from a certain part of the world because it was “a silly place,” it made me laugh even more. While there are still some spots where the translation feels stiff, those moments – and the voice acting in general – are so much better than where black desert was when it came out years ago.
It also helps that the story is easier to follow too. Apparently a lot of work went into making sure that the main story quests, while still feeling a bit off the rails, were more than just slayer quests. Sneaking around large troll-like creatures, finding seeds in a swamp, conversing with a hawk friend, and more was quite a lot of fun and definitely broke the monotony in the new tutorial area versus the original zone. While many of the quests will move you from one area to the next fairly quickly, it felt like a nice change of pace compared to previous quest chains.
We’ll be learning even more about the expansion in the coming days as we delve into the world of Mount of Eternal Winter now that it’s live on the official servers, as well as more about the recently released Drakania class. Stay tuned!
https://www.mmorpg.com/previews/black-desert-online-preview-lando-might-be-the-best-part-of-the-mountain-of-eternal-winter-expansion-2000124738 Black Desert Online Preview: Lando could be the best part of the Mountain of Eternal Winter expansion