Black Desert Revelation: An honest to God interview with Pearl Abyss on the status quo of Black Desert
In spite of their limited time availble during this time of the year, Pearl Abyss-publisher of Black Desert Online, took some time off to have another interview with our Team regarding several important aspects of the game. Though, we weren’t able to include all questions desired by our community and most notably our veteran forum users who’ve been following the game for several years, we believe, that this particular interview is a cornerstone in the evolution of Black Desert Online and it serves as a platform for what to expect of the western version which is set to be launched soon.
Please note that we provide you with the actual unedited response by Pearl Abyss!
Q. At this moment of time, who is taking the decisions of the gameplay changes of the Korean Version of Black Desert? DAUM or Pearl Abyss?
A. As for Korean version of Black Desert, we make our decisions together with our Korean publisher.
Q. The current version of Black Desert is completely different from the one we experienced during CBT1, what caused you to change the game so much?
A. The tendency of users changed a lot in the past couple of years, and the changes are lot more certain with players exposed to mobile environment. There are a lot of casual lite gamers in Korean market. We are servicing our game based on our players’ demands.
Q. Are you aware that the English speaking community is very disappointed with these radical changes? Will the western Version be different?
A. Western Version of Black Desert will be somewhat different compared to Korea or Japan. We believe each country has different tendency in game plays. We are still discussing with our publisher as for how western service will be different. We are also reviewing PvP levels and Death Penalties.
Q. When Black Desert was introduced to us back in 2012, it was introduced as an Open World Sandbox MMO, unfortunately we can’t consider it as an Open Word nor Sandbox anymore due to the heavy restrictions and due to the removal of the Open World (World Bosses etc.) content that Closed Beta 1 & 2 used to have. Will there be any chance that this content will be added again in the English version?
A. World Bosses on fields are certainly possible systems. Modifications of some systems are also possible, but they could be different from our 1st and 2nd CBT
Q. Black Desert online introduced new ways of making in game currency, one of those was the excellent trade system. Are you not aware that all the daily quests with the very high currency rewards destroyed this kind of content and the game economy?
A. We are very well aware of that. Many MMORPGs on market are asking players to spend a lot of time farming monsters. We wanted our users to have more comfortable game plays with less farming. As I have mentioned before, a lot of Korean players have changed to casual players in recent years.
Q. It feels like Black Desert is getting easier with every new patch. How do you plan to keep the interest of the players when someone can reach the end game content in less than 24 hours? So far the end-content pretty much consists of Guild Sieges only, but there is nothing for PvE Players to aim for at the moment, expect grinding Black Stones.
A. The main reason for lowering the game difficulty was that players were required to spend considerable amount of time in the game due to overflowing contents. We would appreciate if users think of level 50 as the starting point to get used to Black Desert. We want our users to experience many different contents (e.g. trading, gathering, fishing, alchemy etc) and we are planning to add more enjoyable contents later on.
Q. The end game for someone as individual is to upgrade his gear. Someone will do that by completing the daily quests and bosses. Don’t you think that it is way too easy for someone to make black stones and are you not aware that all these daily quests makes the player to have a routine, which routines after a long time makes the game boring?
A.We believe that depends on players patterns. We are aware that the game is quite easy in overall and we intended for some contents to be easy. As for Korean players, we did so to add casual game play experience. However, this could be different in Western Version and it will be balanced as we discuss with our publisher.
Q. Black Desert looks like a game where the players of the server runs the economy and the politics of the world. Why is there restriction on the Auction House prices? The players and only the players should be the ones who control the economy of the world, and not the system with minimum and maximum price. Is the Korean community satisfied with this system?
A. A lot of Korean players agree with an issue of losses caused by Autos. And they are quite satisfied with no crafting areas. If maximum and minimum prices don’t exist, players can easily trade their items with their demand prices via Auction House. Players are well aware that this could lead to encouragement of autos and crafting areas.
Q. Black Desert online looks like a fantasy MMORPG game, don’t you think the glowing effects of the party/guild/enemy members or the NPC’s which you can get quest from, are making the game to look like sci-fi game which it is not suitable in terms of appealing? Is there by any chance to not see these kind of effects in the English version, or at least to be able to remove them in the options?
A. We did not have this effect originally. However, a lot of players were having difficulty with finding quest monsters and NPCs. This effect may not be needed for small number of players who are quite used to Black Desert. But we decided a lot of players need this effect to easily recognize target monsters. We will consider about making it into an option where you can turn it on and off.
Q. Pearl Abyss announced that the cash shop will have only cosmetic items, what happened and the armors and weapons got some stats?
A. Korean users are also very sensitive about cash items that strengthen your character directly. If you play Black Desert, you will notice the stats on current cash items. Jump height, swimming speed, gathering level, fishing level, stamina, hiding character name, experience bonus and etc, you will be able to see what they mean. For example, a sale of cash items, such as accessories and underwear, were not so great when they were sold without any bonus stats. But the sales started to rise after we added stats such as luck +1 or knowledge gain probability. Most of these cash items are designed to give more comfortable game experiences. But we are constantly reviewing these items so they don’t influence battle outcomes.
Q. The PvP level restriction looks unnecessary for the English speaking community. The community wishes to start the game when they create their characters, not when they reach a certain level. Will there be any chance these kind of restrictions to be removed to the English servers?
A. It is common in Korea that small number of misbehaving players slaughtering hundreds and thousands of innocent players, resulting in many players quitting the game. We do believe it is necessary to lower the PvP level. We do encourage PvP between players under certain rules and environments. However, we don’t believe it is fair for level 50 players to misbehave and kill new level 10 players. PVP level can be modified if publisher requests or needed for local convenience. We considered level 50 was the fitting level for players to get used to Black Desert.
Q. The Karma system look kinda unfairly at the moment. By our personal point of view, when another player fights back, this player shouldn’t get any negative karma. It’s also very difficult to remove the negative karma. It even makes players creating new characters since they can’t get off of their karma. We understand that you did that in order to protect PvE oriented players, but at this time doing open world PvP is almost impossible since the karma penalty are simply too extreme.
By our personal point of view, for a better Open World game these changes should be done:
1. When both sides are fighting, no one should take negative karma
2. Put back the death penalties if someone dies in PvP
3. Karma should be easier to removed e.g. when you die, you will have chances to drop your equipped items, but your karma will turn back to 0. By doing this, no one will risk to drop his +10 weapon just to kill low level new characters. See the Lineage 2 when it was still at chronicle 1 – 3 karma system. Karma should also be removed over time. Like after max. 2 days your karma is negative again.
A. We do believe PvP level, Death Penalty, Karma system need to be modified. Your opinion about negative Karma was also an issue in the early stage of Black Desert OBT. We also have many opinions on our side saying that current Karma penalty is too harsh. As for this issue, it is possible to modify based on market situation, and we will be deciding on this with our publisher.
Q. The last class that have been added to the game (Blader) seems to be a bit imbalanced to us. Is that intended?
A. We meant for Blader to be little stronger. We wanted players to level little faster as Blader was released later than other classes. You may feel like Blader is stronger in the early stage, but it will be quite similar to other classes once u reach around level 50.
Q. From the latest news, on April there will be a new update which will add some hardcore party contents. Till now, someone can go to almost any place of the map solo. Will the few hard places become harder at some point where having a party will be a necessary thing to go there?
A. Basically, if your level is high enough to go to certain location, you will be able to play solo. We are trying not force users to do party plays. However, party plays can be more efficient and bring better results. Depending on the modification of monster balances, we are considering how we would invite players to do party plays based on local users’ feedbacks.
Q. When the testing phase of the western version begins, will you start testing the Korean client with the same gameplay features just in English? Or will you start with an optimized version for the western player base?
A. We will show everything that is being serviced in Korea. Features such as game balances and PvP will be modified based on market demand.
Q. How you will collect and evaluate the feedback of the English speaking servers? Will the majority get what they want or you will stay strong to some of your ideas of the game?
A. We cannot change the foundation of the game, but we do believe it is necessary to service the game to fit the market up to certain point. We want lot more players to enjoy Black Desert.What we change or preserve will depend on case by case basis
Q. Is there any time estimation of when we will see the first beta in English?
A. We are currently negotiating dates with NA publisher, and it seems they want service Black Desert quickly. More detailed information about NA service will be published later.
Q. Is there something that you wish to tell to the English speaking fans of Black Desert online?
A. We would like say thank you for all the supports and interests. We are really looking forward to meet players who are waiting for Black Desert. We know western players are expecting a lot from Black Desert, and we will do our best within our applicable line to meet the market demand.
As was expected for a long while, the various changes in the Korean version that resulted in a drastic change in the concept of Black Desert Online were prompted by the feedback of the Korean community and the changes of mentality that have occurred within it. We want to thank Pearl Abyss and especially Brian Oh for their cooperation and we look forward to keeping you, our beloved community, constantly informed on everything that is of your concern.
-The Black-Desert.com Team