Among being able to play the Game for the very first time [see video], Apollonius also made an interview including many questions by our community in an attempt to bring the ideals of western players closer to the Korean Developer Studio. The interview features a total of 16 questions and answers and we’re certain, that the content not only will please our readers, but it will also function as a foundation for further anticipation of what the final game will look like and to what degree Pearl Abyss will manage to bring a wind of change to the stale MMO market.
Now enough with the talk and lets get down to business! We hope you enjoy the interview as much as Apollonius had talking with Pearl Abyss. It is important that the interview contains personal opinions of Brian Oh and Jaemin Youn, as well as statements on gamedesign which are subject to change, seeing that the game is at least a year away from its Korean release. Please take everything you read with a grain of salt.
Apollonius: Hello Brian, it’s a pleasure to meet you in person. Would you like to tell us a few things regarding your presence at this years Gamescom?
Brian Oh: Hi Alex, it’s nice to meet you too! We’re always glad to see people being passionate about our Game and we want the western players to get a better understanding of what Black Desert really is.
Apollonius: So lets get starting, we see that the competition in the MMO market is getting more and more tight, what does in your opinion make Black Desert stand out from the competition?
Brian Oh: Personally, I believe, that what makes Black Desert stand out, is the unique way in which all features are being combined to offer the players a rich experience and allow them to create their own stories. Depending on their gamestyle and desire, they can opt to become rich or strong fighters. They’re free to adapt their wishes in the game and work towards achieving them.
Apollonius: You mentioned the players, here’s a question in regard to them. What will the levelling up process be like? Will it be more of a casual process, where players reach endlevel quite fast and focus on “endgame” or will you walk a different path?
Brian Oh: Even though we haven’t finalized the levelling curve in our Game, I can tell you that the estimate from level 1 to 50 is around 200 real hours. Afterwards the curve becomes steep and reaching the final level will require a similar amount of time as in the old Lineage days. But as I said, we haven’t finalized it yet and I can’t give you a concrete answer of what the level cap might be.
Apollonius: Will the focus lie on questing or grinding?
Brian Oh: Currently we offer bonuses to players for completing quests, though farming monsters is also another way for the players who like it.
Apollonius: Any thoughts on server population?
Brian Oh: We’re aiming for a single server to be able to house as many as ten thousand players.
Apollonius: Now that’s a big number compared to other games. Why do you want so many players in a server?
Brian Oh: Black Desert Online puts a lot of emphasis on player interaction, be it combat, trade or politics, so it is important to us, that there will be a population able to accomplish that.
Apollonius: Now to a slightly different topic. From the screenshots and images we’ve seen how beautiful the world in Black Desert is. How will the character creation mode look like, will there be a pallet of features to select, or will players be able to affect the looks of their players in a way like in Aion?
Brian Oh: We feel that our designers have invested a lot of time into creating this game and a more liberal character creation would set the excellent result of this work in peril. Nonetheless, players will be able to choose from a rich pallet of hairstyles, faces etc. to create their characters and adjust them to their liking.
Apollonius: Our community would like to hear a bit more about the skill system.
Brian Oh: Players will be able to obtain skill points by killing monsters and invest those points into skills, which they like or think that they suit their style of play more. Though one needs to notice, that players will be required to meet certain level requirements in order to activate skills. Those investments on the skills will be also noticeable ingame.
Apollonius: Will we have enchanting in Black Desert Online? And what can you tell us of the presence of Random Generated Numbers in the game?
Brian Oh: Black Desert will feature enchanting, Players will be able to upgrade their weapons and customize them with various gems and stones. As for the RNG, it will be present in one form or another. Maybe in skills and/or crafting, but we haven’t finalized it yet.
Apollonius: A while back we read that Black Desert will feature Mercenaries. How will that feature work like?
Brian Oh: The Mercenary system will allow Players to hire NPC’s to aid them in battle. They will be able to command them, in a similar way one would do with pets. But not everyone will be able to hire mercenaries, as their number will be limited.
Apollonius: Any word on the housing system?
Brian Oh: Housing will be using physical ingame space and will be limited with players paying periodical fees for owning them. But since we want everyone to enjoy this feature one way or another, there’ll be also inns and tents present in the game.
Apollonius: We haven’t heard much on the crafting system of Black Desert. What can you tell us about it?
Brian Oh: The crafting system will be more or less similar to the traditional crafting system seen in other games. Players gather materials and have their respective skills in doing so. Focusing on mining or gathering has as a result the reduction of time needed in performing the task, as well as increasing the success rate. Though most materials will be collectable, crafting in some cases may require drops from Bosses.
Apollonius: Will these Bosses be in Instanced or non Instanced dungeons?
Brian Oh: We will offer the Players with a variety of instanced and non instanced dungeons. Moreover, Player will be able to hunt down big Bosses in the open world.
Apollonius: Some people were worried that the two countries in Black Desert, the Republic of Calpheon and the Kingdom of Valencia, will limit PvP into being faction based. Is that true?
Brian Oh: No, the 2 countries present in Black Desert serve as a background story only and work as a guide through the game. In no way will those two countries define the PvP aspects on Black Desert. Our aim from the beginning has been to focus on Guilds vs Guilds with open world siege warfare.
Apollonius: Might we also see some kind of Coliseum?
Brian Oh: The developers have been thinking about that, but we need to set priorities and see how it would fit into the game.
Apollonius: On the aspect of Guilds, we read that Guilds will be able to follow one of three paths: Combat, Politics and Religion. I’ve encountered the first two in other games before, but religion? What can we imagine on that?
Brian Oh: We’ve been thinking on how to have religion affect the game. Once concept is, that if a Guild gathers enough players to follow their religion, the Guild Leader will be maybe able to affect the weather or open portals for a limited amount of time for players to use them for a fee.
Apollonius: This sounds really interesting. In regard to the weather, word was that it will be dynamic and may affect gameplay.
Brian Oh: Yes, we’re finalizing it. Depending on if it’s raining or not, certain animations might be faster or slower and certain spells might be stronger or weaker.For example if it’s raining, a swing with the sword by the fighter might take longer to execute and a fireball by the sorcerer might not be as effective.
Apollonius: Seeing that there won’t be teleports ingame, at least for release, how will players be able to move from one place to another? Will there be mounts?
Brian Oh: We’ll have all kinds of mounts, from Horses to Donkeys to Camels and Elephants! It is noteworthy to say, that even the mounts will be affected by the climate zone they are used. So it’s obviously more efficient to use a camel in a desert than a cold region.
Apollonius: Now lets close the cycle of this interview with this last question. Obviously being at Gamescom you’ve spoken to all kinds of companies in order to reach an agreement on publishing Black Desert in the west. What is that, which you look for in a potential partner?
Brian Oh: It is a very difficult job to decide on who and why will handle our game in the west, for this reason we pay a lot of attention to the reputation of the Partner, their way of treating players-customers, the degree of how community driven they are and in their efficiency to forward player feedback back to our developers.
Apollonius: Thank you so much Brian! I am certain that our community, but also the western players in general will be able to get a better understanding on what Black Desert plans to offer. I wish you the best for the future.
Brian Oh: Thanks to you too Alex, it is very important to us that the western fans will be rewarded for their interest in the game, as well as for the time they spend anticipating its release.