During the FESTA event, held in South Korea last weekend, Pearl Abyss and Kakao Games have revealed their roadmap for Black Desert Online. Aside from the main announcements, a keynote session was held with JaeHee Kim, the Executive Producer of Black Desert Online who spoke about the current development challenges, planned improvements, and future ideas.
New class Lahn
Kim announced a new female martial arts class for Black Desert Online. Her name is Lahn and she uses a unique crescent scythe with deadly flair and carries a short sword in the off-hand. Aside from her combat abilities, she can dash through the air with incredible speed.
Kim and his team have successfully reduced Black Desert Online’s client size from 51 GB to 27 GB and streamlined it to increase performance, with higher FPS possible depending on hardware. These improvements will be implemented starting this week and will be finalized by Dec. 13th.
Black Desert Online’s UI is also receiving a makeover that lets players decide how much information is displayed on screen. In Action mode, only UI elements that are connected with combat (HP, quick slots, buff/debuff icons, etc.) are visible. In addition, Pearl Abyss is working on a 3D mini-map that not only highlights points of interest but also shows elevations in the landscape.
Better quests, life skilling and tutorials
Many improvements will be implemented in Black Desert Online in the near future. Existing content will be enriched to make it more enjoyable. Players will be able to make money in the Red Battlefield and additional mini-games will be introduced to make material gathering more fun. Other measurements such as improvements to training levels and fail stacks for horse Awakening will be made to improve training of horses as well. When a player gets stuck in the middle of progress, they will be able to turn to tutorials to help them realize what they have to do next. The development of this feature is almost finished.
The game’s tutorials and quest systems are receiving an overhaul. The tutorials will allow players to be better acquainted with the systems of the game. To revamp the quest system, a new feature called the ‘Story Book’ (name tentative) will be introduced. With the Story Book, players can make money by doing quests all day and these quests will be made a lot more enjoyable. Story Book will allow not only a silver bonus but also gives a Combat EXP Bonus and Skill EXP Bonus.
New Dreegan Region
Dreegan is a new territory in Black Desert Online inhabited by ferocious dragons. Players will have to engage in a new form of party play in order to survive this inhospitable place. This new content is planned for early next year.
Conquest War Changes
To make the conquest wars even more enjoyable, new rules and battle formats will be introduced. The Guild Battle will consist of three options: a 20 vs 20 players mode, a 5 vs 5 mode or an all-out model. A new feature is under development that allows induvidual players, who are not part of a guild, to participate in guild battles. More information about this system will be announced in the near future.
The standard main-weapon skills will increase in power to be on par with the current awakening-weapon skills, so players can choose the skills that serve them best. Known as Absolute skills, these will allow players to switch combat strategies on the fly, making for even more diverse and engaging combos and movesets. Pearl Abyss has announced they are working on an update to the skill customization system, where players can combine & fuse certain skills to create new ones. What’s different with this announcement is that players will be able to fuse skills of their choice to create new skills instead of following the fusion formulas available. When this feature is fully available for all players is still unknown.
A newly developed feature is the ‘Character Tag’ system which allows players to switch classes live without disconnecting from the game. For example, while you are leveling your Striker, you can switch to your alternate Ranger class to level at the exact same spot. The ‘tagged’ characters will share an emergency escape cooldown and there will be a brief loading screen. This brand new system will be introduced in South Korea next week.
Another new feature in development is the ‘Gear Imprint System’. Players can attach their Family Name to weapons and armor.
Kim also hopes developer-player relations will be improved by delivering more detailed patch notes, this will be achieved by communicating with the community more often about future updates and current topics. In his announcement, Kim also mentioned that all worldwide Black Desert Online players will receive a free maid of choice in December after fulfilling a special Black Spirit quest, available to characters that are level 50 or above.