A Letter to our Black Desert Adventurers
It’s Jae-hee Kim, the Executive Producer of Black Desert.
It’s been 2 months since June’s Heidel Ball, and September is already upon us. It feels like time has flown by quite quickly. In these past 2 months, we’ve released a bunch of updates and even made some changes to our plans. Although some of you may already know, I want to let our NAEU Adventurers know more about what we’re currently working on and what we’re planning for the future in today’s Dev Note.
Before we discuss our future plans, let’s talk about our patches.
First up, we’ve always received a lot of suggestions about outfits and their appearances from our Adventurers. In particular, the Outlaws of Margoria outfit garnered quite a lot of feedback. As a result, we improved the Outlaws of Margoria outfit by separating its headpiece, clothes, and shoes slots. And that’s not all—we’re also going to make sure the future unique outfits of each class will have separate slots (as much as possible) even if it takes a lot of time. However, “group outfits” that are for all classes are a bit harder for us to separate into more parts, but we’ll do our best to ensure the shoes are a separate slot at least.
Long-awaited by many Vedirs, Dark Knight received an update for her skin. Due to a possible problem where existing customization could become unusable if we were to implement a new preset, we used the existing appearances to try to present the improved skin. As for the classes that were released earlier like Ranger, Sorceress, and Tamer, we will be announcing their planned updates in advance and receive feedback throughout the process.
Secondly, we made changes to Skill EXP and the weight of recovery items to help newer Adventurers who are starting out. We decreased the weight of recovery items by 50% to allow Adventurers to carry more of them while playing the game. As for Skill EXP, it progressed at a slower rate than Combat EXP, so Adventurers may have felt some difficulty from that imbalanced progression. As such, we increased the Skill EXP you could obtain in some of the monster zones for Valencia, Drieghan, and Kamasylvia by about 30%-70%.
Next up are some of the “Quality-of-Life” improvements we’ve released. We completely overhauled the enhancement UI to make it easier to understand and use for newer Adventurers. On top of UI changes, the system itself has been improved by responding to the request of many Adventurers to make Black Stones directly exchangeable for Enhancement Stacks. The “stack” system was originally intended to improve your chances after failing the first time around, but this system ended up becoming a requirement for enhancements and a difficult barrier of entry if you didn’t understand how it worked. We decided that the original intention of this system has faded away, so we’ve added the much-requested exchange feature that allows you to exchange Black Stones for “stacks” in order to open up the accessibility of enhancing items.
Another quality-of-life improvement was made to the game regarding potion usage. Previously, as the duration and cooldown of powerful elixirs like the Perfume of Courage and Spirit Perfume Elixir were the same, there would be instances where you’d lose your elixirs buffs and would be unable to re-apply them after your character died. This forced Adventurers to wait for the cooldowns and dropped their efficiency. That’s why we unified the cooldown of these elixirs to 10 seconds to make them more convenient to use.
We also adjusted the wait time for switching servers. The wait time was originally set this way for a variety of reasons such as to stop the camping of certain monster zones/World Bosses, and prevent harassment when disputes arose between Adventurers. For these reasons, we’re not able to completely eliminate the wait time. However, many Adventurers felt that the 15-minute wait was too much of a nuisance, so we lowered it to 10 minutes to alleviate some of that frustration.
There’s also the change to the camouflage outfit that many Adventurers have been talking about. One of the major bits of feedback we received about the camouflage outfit was that it was too hard to distinguish an enemy wearing it or locate them in general. So, after trying a few different approaches, today’s update patches the camouflage outfit to display an “Unknown Adventurer” as the character name to allow Adventurers to better distinguish the unknown Adventurer from their surroundings. Additionally, the names were fixed to normally display in grey, and only be displayed in red if the character is in a state where they can attack or be attacked. Furthermore, the existing camouflage outfits can be exchanged for Cron Stones if you want to exchange them.
Lastly, we had the Conquest Pre-Season update. Many guilds have been actively participating in the pre-season. I want to take this chance to thank our Adventurers for the incredible amount of support and feedback you’ve given us for Conquest War. The four-week-long Conquest War Pre-Season will take a break this week to give us some time for refinement, and the 2nd Pre-Season will begin next week after implementing some of the feedback we’ve received.
Although this has already been announced through the Black Desert Global Labs, the biggest change to Conquest War will be the removal of the “Liberation” concept. In the past, there were occasional times where liberation seemed inevitable causing the “fire” in the battlefield to die down. In order to bring about more active Conquest Wars, we’ll be removing liberation and introducing a system where guilds will be ranked according to scores at the end of the Conquest War. The guild that ranks first will be given dominion over the territory. Scores will be calculated with various factors in mind, including the remaining health of forts and annex points.
Another big change will be allowing castle-holders to participate in Node War. This change also began with our Adventurers’ feedback saying that owning a castle caused them to miss out on battles by being unable to participate in Node Wars. More details about this change will be provided through our future patch notes.
Additionally, many of you must be wondering what the future schedule is for new content such as the Blue Maned Lion's Manor, Node War rework, Guild Base server, Florchestra Instruments. These are currently being localized and will be released as soon as they are done.
As we released these updates, it gave us some time to rethink our future plans.
While the time we’ve serviced each region may vary, there’s no doubt that a lot of time has passed since Black Desert was first introduced to the world in 2014. So far, we’ve been continuously developing the game without any pauses. I believe the pressure to create new things and the steady build-up of content that needs to be developed alongside the pressure to improve existing content led us into only looking forward, much like a racehorse. Although we’ve done a lot of things, there were also a lot of areas that we couldn’t devote the proper attention to.
As such, we gave a lot of thought to what should be prioritized first, and from this point forward, we’re going to re-prioritize our game development. First off, we’re going to adjust the development schedule for the majority of the new content, excluding Atoraxxion Sycrakea and the Yarr mini-game, where a lot of progress has already been made. We have redirected that energy to the class reboots and improving the barrier of entry for new Adventurers.
Let me touch upon our class reboots, which are our current top priorities.
The primary direction of the class reboot is to examine the skill damage, attack range, accuracy, etc. of each class and adjust the class to ensure they won’t fall short in comparison to the newer classes. We’re drastically remaking some of the underused skills by adding/changing multiple variables to buff their performance. We’re also simplifying certain skills by combining them. For example, for Ranger this means combining the functions of her many Flow skills with her basic skills and adding new skills to her kit as well.
Let's talk in greater detail about the upcoming Warrior and Ranger reboot, which will be available on the Black Desert Global Lab this week. Succession Warrior is known for not having too many ways to initiate a fight besides using a grab. To make up for this weakness in general, we are working on reducing the cooldown of Prime: Take Down and revamping Counter. Awakening Warrior will get some of the fatigue you might feel from having to swap between main and awakening weapon decreased a bit. And because Warrior’s damage felt insufficient with just the awakening weapon, we focused on improving the cooldown, range, and damage of Warrior’s awakening skills. We’ve also patched Warrior’s cancels and related issues while considering numerous factors to preserve the unique control feel of that you get when playing Warrior. In particular, we received a lot of feedback about Reckless Blow for Awakening Warrior, so we greatly decreased the charging time, and made improvements to allow you to combo Head Chase after the charge and unleash a blow afterward as well.
For Ranger, she now has back attacks. We’ve been careful about giving back attacks to ranged classes, but we’ve received a lot of feedback saying that design choice felt unfair, so we’ve added them. Succession Ranger had multiple Flow skills that allowed her to hold her position. However, we tried to focus on making her basics solid so that her skills can combo better and increase her damage. Also, we received feedback that she lacked defensive skills. So, as the Flow skills were combined, Riding the Wind and Evasive Landing Shot were reworked to help alleviate this issue. Additionally, we are constantly working on Succession Ranger so that she can combo from range.
As for Awakening Ranger, we received a lot of feedback about her Wind Step. So, we reduced the cooldown of Wind Step and allowed her to use Forward Guard quickly. Many of her Flow skills were also replaced by her basic skills. In their place, new skills were added. The newly created skills are a reworked skill, a powerful AoE skill, and a skill that can keep enemies far away in check and dodge backward.
Our Adventurers’ opinions and feedback are incredibly important for the class reboot, so we hope you’ll give them a spin on the Black Desert Global Lab and let us know your thoughts. We’ll continue to keep your feedback in mind as we further improve them. Also, all the rebooted classes will be released simultaneously on the live servers at the end of October after being released one by one on the Black Desert Global Lab. Of course, this date is subject to change depending on the development schedule.
Now let us move on to our next topic, the so-called barriers of entry and pressures for character progressions.
Since the start of the season, we felt that more improvements were necessary to help new Adventurers settle into Black Desert, so we’ve placed more focus on this. We’re taking a look at everything we’ve glossed over or taken for granted to see what parts make Black Desert a difficult game in order to make improvements.
Coming back to quality of life, there are way too many types of loot after Mediah, making your inventory rather cumbersome to manage. We’re going to improve how you obtain loot to make inventories easier to manage, and we’re changing the rewards (bye-bye, ancient coins!) of the main questline to be more helpful and relevant to the current game state. We’ll also add a pet as a reward to the Serendia main questline to allow Adventurers to obtain a total of five pets by completing the Mediah (where item drops start overwhelming your inventory) main questline. While a variety of Life Skill tools are provided as rewards through the main questline, we want to make Life Skills more accessible by allowing basic Gathering to be possible without Gathering tools. For example, you’ll be able to do basic fishing near the water without a fishing rod. Of course, these changes will be kept at a level where it doesn’t hinder the immersion as per your feedback.
UI and tutorials will also be improved for newer Adventurers, especially UI such as the enhancement UI specific to Black Desert. We also have plans to add a UI that will direct Adventurers to monster zones depending on their gear/progression. As for monster zones, the profit from the Valencia area (Naga, Fogan, Gahaz, Crescent, etc.) zones that new Adventurers usually go to are too low currently, so we will improve them to be a bit more efficient and allow Adventurers to progress a bit faster. Since new Adventurers are usually on foot until they can get a horse, we’re also planning on adding a way to automatically move quickly between towns/cities from the stable. We’ll also adjust the timing for obtaining a horse to earlier in the Adventurer’s progression.
Up until this point, we have introduced the Season Servers to help new Adventurers quickly acclimate themselves to the game. This was successful on numerous counts, however, the difficulty of enhancement and post-graduation progression were still very apparent. Therefore, we have reduced the difficulty of obtaining PEN (V) Tuvala gear, which was previously set to match the difficulty of obtaining TET (IV) boss gear as their stats were similar. So, we plan to allow all PEN (V) Tuvala gear (excluding accessories) to be exchangeable once per family to a TET (IV) boss gear that cannot be traded. Still, we are well aware that making TET (IV) boss gear into PEN (V) is an arduous task. We are currently thinking of a system where Adventurers will be able to set incremental goals to add a sense of progression culminating in the attainment of PEN (V) gear. However, this will be different from the current Caphras Stone Enhancement system.
To apply the changes stated above, we plan end the current Summer Season early to get a jump start on the new Season Server. We will be proceeding with the transition of seasons in a way where Adventurers will not feel like they are losing out on their Season Pass rewards that they were not able to obtain.
The direction we were heading with the Ornette's / Odore's Spirit Essence has changed. We didn’t want to create a situation where Ornette's / Odore's Spirit Essence would become items that Adventurers felt like they must have. However, many Adventurers are currently working on getting their potions. It was a treasure that was added most recently, but compared to other treasures, these have been obtained by 10 times the number of Adventurers. This led new Adventurers to start working towards obtaining these treasures and are investing a large sum of time to that end. Many Adventurers are still getting stressed over this content, including our new Adventurers.
Since many old and new Adventurers are still getting stressed over this content, we will lower the barrier of entry for Ornette's / Odore's Spirit Essence by allowing Adventurers to be able to get the lower tier potions if they get just one of the materials needed to make Ornette's / Odore's Spirit Essence. So, if someone gets a Ron's Tintinnabulum they can get an infinite potion with effects similar to a Medium Potion, and if they manage to obtain a Sherekhan's Panacea, it will have effects similar to a Large Potion. Additionally, if we leave treasure items as a random drop, then Adventurers might never be able to obtain certain pieces no matter how much time they invest into getting them. Therefore, the pieces required for Ornette's / Odore's Spirit Essence will be obtainable by exchanging certain items, like the La Orzeca outfit. However, Adventurers that already have obtained their Ornette's / Odore's Spirit Essence will be rewarded by changing the names of the potions and giving them a new title as so that they do not feel like their effort was wasted.
Next, we will talk about other various quality of life improvements.
First off, the On/Off function has been added for the Item Collection Increase Scrolls. We know that many of you have experienced times where you would use a scroll, but for one reason or another, you find that you cannot utilize the scroll to its full extent and feel like you wasted it. So, we have improved the function by allowing Adventurers to be able to turn it off when needed. Of course, we still need to consider certain individuals that might abuse this system, so we have decided to set a 5-minute cooldown time.
Additionally, the Ancient Relic Crystal Summon Scroll (made from Ancient Relic Crystal Shard, Forbidden Book and the like) is being prepared to be changed so that many scrolls can be combined into a single summon scroll to save Adventurers’ time. Also, we are considering options to alleviate the issue of camps not installing on awkward terrain by introducing two-story camps and various other methods. On top of this, we will be improving Privacy Mode so that Adventures using the function will not be displayed when enhancing, in rankings, when using Golden Bells, and other places.
As for customization, we are planning to add/change faces, eyebrows/eyelashes, makeup colors and the like. Hairstyles were harder to work with as they affect performance optimization, however, we will be adding more hairstyles that match current trends. We will follow up this addition with optimization fixes afterwards. The most heavily criticized portion in Black Desert character customization was the neck that bent forward (tech neck). We are working on improving on this issue. We also received lots of feedback about Wizard’s body type and animation. The fact is, even if we solely focus on improving on Wizard’s issues, it would take about 8 months, so it is not an easy decision to make. Therefore, we decided to improve on Wizard’s body type slowly as we improve on other classes as well. This will increase development time to more than 8 months, but we decided to see this through. However, we have decided not to fix Berserker’s neck shape as it is a trait of their race. As for Ranger’s shoulders that stuck out like a camel’s hump, it is currently being worked on so that the fixes can be applied soon for our Adventurers to see. Additionally, the dye system will use an RGB color scale so that Adventurers can experiment with a wider variety of colors. However, we do plan on limiting some of the more extreme color choices.
We’re always thinking about how we can better listen to our Adventurers’ voices. We’ve tried many different avenues on our many different servers, such as the Voice of Adventurers (VOA) on the Thailand/Southeast Asia servers, the feedback forum on the Korean servers, and the Adventurer Round Table (ART) on the North American/European servers. We’ll continue to try to find more ways to better listen to our Adventurers’ feedback and respond accordingly.
Black Desert is a game that offers varied gameplay in a wide and expansive world. Although it’s technically just a game, it’s also another world that you inhabit through your character, where memories of hard-won victories, such as taming a wild horse, leave a lasting impression. In this world called Black Desert, there are characters and NPCs that reflect the diversity of our player base… coming together to in the game to create real-life emotions. With the aid of our Adventurers, we will continue to build this world into reality.
We plan on creating more quality of life updates beyond what is stated here in the future. So, feel welcome to give us more suggestions and feedback.
Is anything being considered to fix the body issue where tattoos can not be applied to the bare back of Nova? The back on her (and I think others but can't off-hand remember which) are is made in two parts and the tattoo can not be applied successfully.
I feel like that is precisely the problem in BDO. Too often it feels like the fix to a system is to tack yet another new system on top of it instead of actually fixing the underlying issues. I hope it works out well this time, but I have little faith.
That's kind of how our whole civilization is going at it, sadly :/
simple the number of stones is absurd to reach the point you can auto pen. So by simply adjusting the number of caphras to make financial sense boom the original purpose of caphras is working which is the exact problem he identified.
new player unfriendly.
as someone who has 270ap and 290 dp i always feel like am getting no where in pvp as am still just getting one shot and tickling the opponents. can we please have a system where players with specific gear score can enter specific RBF matches. to allow lower
gear have fair fight, i think it will be great for new players :)
somewhere, make me feel like I’m learning more about the combat and if I’m actually doing things right/wrong, this would be huge and a great way to get under geared players interested in PvP without having to get to highly geared players GS
of that season. You have a chance to either go up a tier, or down a tier based on your performance and you are only matched with people in your tier. This way it wouldn't be directly attached to gear score because some classes CAN perform well with less GS
than others so it isn't fair for a really skilled player to be lumped in with those who would still remain cannon fodder for them. The goal should be to give each player the most engaging fights for their level of expertise while also rewarding your personal
gains in ability/skill.
Option 2: Because RBF runs on a different server/plane of existence than the main game, simply do a flat normalization of all gear much in the way a trail character is (this would also include giving each player in RBF enough skill points to use every ability
in their kit to max potential). This way GS is irrelevant and class comps and player skill become how matches are won/lost. GW2 also does this and your gear for arena PVP lives on a different preset than your openworld/world v world gear.
BDO would be hands down the mmo arena-PVP king if they took GS out of the equation. But they have alluded to in their above comments that there may be some gear flattening happening if they are making the path to PEN more accessible to players. If the new soft
cap becomes full PEN and then the differential is with C-level then that too could be a great way to fix RBF organically without implementing any new systems. I think we can all agree RBF is by far the most unbalanced system in the game currently and I hope
we can see reworks that benefit the many and not the few.
I've been playing for 1 year and have not been able to experience PvP, and I don't know when I ever will.
I think if you made at least 1 PvP mode that is accessible to new players, many PvP-minded players would join the game. I think you would get a quite a lot of new people interested in the game ...
the fact that there is a mix of very geared people and ungeared people, but the matchmaking, the balance between the number of people in each team, the way each team is formed (one team could have a lot of geared people vs a complete undergeared one), etc.
The system that holds RBF should change, it needs to improve not only providing a few RBF servers for undergeared people, but for all people to have more "fair" matches (considering number of people in each team, gearscore, etc). Some improvements that I think
of could be:
- Better matchmaking: Balance the way the teams are formed, considering number of people that keeps joining the match (I think it adds 3 or 4 for each side as now), gear score, and maybe some kind of mmr so that there is a balance between expirienced and new
- Adding RBF servers for undergeared people: This could be formed as 3 tiers -> one for highend players without any caps, one for medium geared (could be softcap or around 600 gs), and one for undergeared people (around 550 or less). Now, this doesn't mean
that people can't join one or another, just that each RBF server should hold some kind of limitation (just how is being applied in node wars and siege), but the player has the freedom to chose where to participate without being overwhelmed by an unbalanced
- Adding a score panel: Like many other games, one would like to know how is performing in the battleground so adding a window which holds information about me and my teammates as well as the enemy (using a camouflage suit would show the "unknown adventurer"
text instead of the player family name) would be very useful. It could work like the window from the guild panel where it shows the performance of guildmates in a node war. Could be added instead of the rbf menu so that when you click that button inside of
a match it shows the information updating in real time (kills, deaths, points holded) and also have a button in this panel to leave the match.
- Having penalties for leaving a match: as now, since matches are so unfair sometimes, people just leave the match without considering that their team will be decimated by the camping of the winning team, because there is no penalty. Now, obiously its a consequence
of the unbalanced system (which in this cases the winning team is overly geared and have many veteran players at their disposal), but still since people have the option to leave and join a new match they would not think twice. Having some kind of deserter
mark that doesn't allow the person to join a new match if they abandoned their team (with some time considerations) would motivate people to find a way to win with their team. Now, as I said, this is a consequence of the unbalanced system, so the RBF matchmaking
should be first improved for this to also work accordingly.
- Better rewards: This is an already spoken topic, but still needs to be considered. People mostly join RBF because its somewhat fun (even with the actual unfair system) and it should hold some type of reward equal to the amount of time invested. Its quite
weird to have poor rewards when doing content that is fun, so maybe raising a bit more the silver compensation for winning and losing could improve the motivation for participating in RBF (the dust for caphras was a nice reward but since its a daily it only
motivates people to do rbf once a day).
Hope this suggestions helps to improve the RBF system and the enjoyment of this content that is one of the fun activities to do for people who enjoy pvping.
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