Black Desert Online Interview: Project Manager Talks Future Content, Balancing and Much More

on April 24, 2016 10:53 AM

Daum Games Europe released Black Desert Online almost two months ago. The game provided already a lot of content at launch, but it already evolved at a staggering rate due to the following release of a major expansion that increased the size of the open world by 30%, and two classes.

Yet, there’s a lot more to come, and the Korean developer Pearl Abyss is working on improving the game further. In order to know more about what the future holds for Black Desert players, I had an extensive chat with Project Manager Daniel Loehr, who provided quite a few interesting details on what we can expect.

You can listen to the full interview at the bottom of the post (and I encourage you to do so, as it provides a lot more relevant information than the main points summarized below, and more color on each point), but here’s a brief overview of what we learned.

  • The two new classes Ninja and Kunoichi won’t release in May as mentioned a while ago by CEO Min Kim. They have been pushed back “a little bit.” The developers at Pearl Abyss aren’t fully happy about the current balance for the classes in Korea: they will be rebalanced there first, and then released in the west, as it wouldn’t make sense to release them in their current state only to patch them afterwards.
  • For the Valencia expansion, that will add an even bigger area than Mediah to the game, including an enormous desert  with survival elements, Daum Games is targeting “more or less” the release of a first part in June. Like in Korea, the full expansion will be split in three parts that will be launched gradually.
  • +20 enchanting for equipment will come to the western servers, but Daum Games Europe reached an agreement with the development team to rebalance the bonuses in order to partially close the gap between the steps, that in Korea is rather extreme.
  • Daum Games Europe intends to release as many awakening weapons as possible in a single patch. The plan is to release all the awakening weapons available in Korea at the moment in which the patch will launch at the same time. Unfortunately it might not be feasible to include every single class, as some awakening weapons are far down the line even in Korea (for instance Wizard and Witch), but all other classes should be able to get their awakening weapons simultaneously.
  • Loehr confirmed that there is a degree of randomness in the stats gained by characters when leveling up. The developers at Pearl Abyss actually did not share this information with Daum before it was discovered. That said, Daum Games is discussing with the development team in order to address this in the long run, because there are other things that need to be balanced before.
  • The Korean version of the game is currently running an event that prompts players to send in their own concept for costumes. Loehr intends to push for a similar contest in the west.
  • As the western version catches up gradually to the Korean version, the time gap between the release of content should close to three to four months.
  • Loehr doesn’t know if the Dark Elf class will be only female or will also have a male version. Yet, his personal opinion is that , given that Pearl Abyss likes to have a lot of diversity among their classes if a male version is being considered (which he doesn’t know), it’ll probably have a slightly different gameplay, as it is with the Witch/Wizard, Musa/Maehwa and Ninja/Kunoichi pairings.

Without further ado, I leave you with the full interview. Also, if you’re not familiar with Black Desert Online, you can read my review here, explaining many of the systems that make it quite unique in the current MMORPG landscape.

 /  Executive News Editor
Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.