Black Desert Online Interview: Pearl Abyss on Expansions, New Class, Improved Graphics and More
Black Desert Online Producer Lead Producer JaeHee Kim gives the lowdown on upcoming content and improvements coming to the game.
Since its release in the west in March 2016, Black Desert Online has expanded greatly, adding large landmasses and sea areas to its impressive open world, multiple new classes and features, but developer Pearl Abyss isn’t showing any sign of slowing down, and after the introduction of the dark knight, we’ll soon get the Kamasylvia expansion, with more already announced or teased.
In order to get more information about the upcoming content, we talked with Lead Producer JaeHee Kim, asking him about what we can expect in the coming months, including airships, the Kamasylvia Part II expansion, the upcoming visual improvements, the unicorn mount, and the second new class teased at the recent Oasis Festival event.
Giuseppe: The airships we saw during the Oasis Festival event appear to follow pre-determined routes like ferries. Of course, the first question that comes to mind is: will we ever be able to get smaller airships that we can pilot ourselves?
JaeHee Kim: This is not in our plans now, but it is an interesting idea. Perhaps once we have technically reviewed it we can consider it
G: How big is the capital of Kamasylvia Grana compared to existing cities like Calpheon, Valencia and Heidel?
JHK: Because Elves want to live in harmony with nature, Grana is not a big city. In comparison it is a little big bigger than Heidel but smaller than Calpheon or Valencia.
G: Regarding the second class you teased during the Oasis Festival, is it a female version of the Striker, or a completely separate class?
JHK: This is a completely new class, we hope to wrap up the development of this character by this Winter.
G: It’s quite rare to see a Korean and a Japanese studio work together: how did the partnership with Silicon Studio come to be?
JHK: We continuously aim to develop and improve Black Desert Online and we felt that Silicon Studio’s technology would give our game the best possible added value after testing several alternatives.
Yebis is just the beginning. We strive to build an ultra-realistic world and lively environment for our players.
G: Speaking of visual improvements, one that I have seen requested quite often is the ability to increase the environment’s draw distance for those who have a powerful PC. Is that something you might be considering?
JHK: Black desert Online is a seamless open world in which players can experience fantastic graphics, not seen in any other MMO. At the moment, the draw distance is limited to increase overall user experience. However, we plan to look at it more closely when developing Black Desert Online’s remastered version that we announced at the Oasis festival.
G: The snow system introduced in the winter was rather spectacular. Are we ever going to get snowy or mountain areas that use the system all the time?
JHK: We always wanted to make Black desert Online into a living, breathing world. Cherry blossom and tulips in Spring, foliage in Autumn and Winter snow all help achieving this. The technology we developed has not been perfected yet, but we will improve upon it and make it look better in additional snow-covered areas. In Kamasylvia Part 2, which will be added to Black Desert Online at a later stage, we will introduce new technologies that are different from the ones we currently use.
G: Will the unicorn mount require a similar process to acquire compared to the pegasus?
JHK: This is still under discussion. The Dine mount is a fantastic mount as it has powerful features that even we hesitated to introduce. As it will not be easy to obtain Dine, it will be very rewarding to users who possess it.
G: How will the upcoming re-balancing of the classes interact with the planned skill promotion system?
JHK: Black Desert Online is a MMORPG that continuously develops. No game can be free of balancing issues as this is most difficult to achieve. However, we try to patch the most important issues each week.
For a non-awakened character it was the character’s strength, in the past. After the awakening, characters became very powerful. In the past we patched the non-awakened skills, but I do not think these are perfectly balanced yet. The skill promotion system should even-out the balance between awakened and non-awakened skills.
While this system will not completely eradicate balancing issues, players will be able to enjoy both non-awakened and awakened characters.
G: The militia system is quite interesting. What kind of rewards can players expect for participating?
JHK: Building a reward system is always very challenging. The current rewards account towards your guild funds, but please understand that we cannot disclose any more details as our plans need further discussion and iteration, as we are developing this system.
Black Desert Online is currently available for PC in North America and Europe, with versions for PS4 and Xbox One already teased by Pearl Abyss, and coming down the line (no release window or details have been announced, and Pearl Abyss declined to respond to any question on consoles for the moment).