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Jeudi 26 juin 2014
 
Black Desert's Western Publisher Odyssey coming to an end

Black Desert Online

Whenever a promising Korean MMORPG is being revealed, western players always immediately think about the when the game is going to be released, and which company will be its respective western NA/EU Publisher. Obviously the same case is true for the much anticipated blockbuster Title from the Far East, known as “Black Desert Online” developed by Pearl Abyss, known for their previous title “Continent of the Ninth” and published in Korea by Daum Communications.

Discussions and debates on the many possible candidacies on who’d be the best possible publisher for the west arose early on all over our forum and a lot of users contributed by sharing their own experiences and points of view, all in an attempt to ensure, that the game, which they are so passionate about, would have its longevity and success guaranteed.

There were many names mentioned in regard to both the old and the new world. Speculation included all, from the really big names to somewhat smaller companies, all having their pros and cons listed, but what the actual decision of Pearl Abyss would look like remained still a mystery. Some light, to what a possible framework of cooperation would look like, was shed when the first non-Asian partnership was announced between Pearl Abyss and Russian publisher Gamenet.ru . In our view, it was interesting, because it is contrary to the so far established framework of cooperation between Asian developers and their respective Western partners, where there has so far not been any actual room for adjustments to the released version. We understand, that something like this is being accompanied by various implications, but in the end, this is among others the main reason eastern games fail to find a foothold among western players.

In a strong strategic act, following the footsteps of other major Korean publishing companies, Pearl Abyss decided against licensing the game to north American/European partners and for the establishment of a western Daum Communications office. Now we here at black-desert.com collectively support this decision, as we acknowledge the enormous possibilities that this decision is bringing with it.

BlackDesert_Pc_01

The previous analogous attempts made by previous Korean game developers can be summarized and concluded on the examples of NCSoft and their NCWest office, as well Bluehole Studios and their sister company En Masse Entertainment. Using these two as an example, it is widespread opinion among players, that NCSoft was always conservative in applying substantial changes to their Games, which would result in resources being diverted in developing different versions adjusted to the respective geographical locations their games were published. On the other hand Bluehole Studios with their sister company En Masse Entertainment actually undertook steps towards adapting the game, within their agreed limits, to suit the likes and dislikes of the western player-base.

And this is, where we see the potential of success in “Black Desert Online”, aside from its qualitative creation and features that it has to offer. If Daum Communications’ western office were to work with Pearl Abyss and focus on actually processing and applying changes to the game, which would allow for an actual localized (translation aside) version, then “Black Desert Online” will surely prosper.

From a Players perspective, the role of a Publisher is not only to provide customer support, forums and translating patches and updated. What Players truly want, and this is a conclusion drawn from over ten years of nonstop gaming, is that they can witness a “return of investment”, where the money spent on the game is being appreciated and invested towards ensuring and providing a continuously better game-play experience and this is, where the Developers need to work closer and better with their respective publishers.

So in that sense, the decision of a western Daum Communications office looks promising, since Pearl Abyss and Daum Communications can profit from their already established cooperation.

 
 


Jeudi 26 juin 2014
 
Résultats des sondages de Pearl Abyss

Résultats des deux sondages réalisées par Pearl Abyss durant la CBT2 sur un échantillon de 2000 joueurs.

Black Desert Online

1/ Composition des deux sondages

Premier sondage : Dix chapitres, 64 questions sur le début du jeu jusqu'au lvl 35/40 environ.
Deuxième sondage : Sept chapitres, 58 questions concernant les boss, le « end-game » etc ... (40+)

2/ Informations concernant les participants

    Moyennes d'âge

      Moins de 20 ans -> 7.5%
      21 à 25 ans -> 22%
      26 à 30 ans -> 33%
      31 à 35 ans -> 20.9%
      36 à 40 ans -> 10.6%
      Plus de 41 ans -> 6%

    Types de joueur

      84% sont des joueurs de RPG
      4% de FPS
      3.1% de MOBA (AOS)
      8.6% de divers (기타)
      0.3% de Casual (Casual correspond ici aux jeux Facebook)

3/ Les préférences de classe

Sans surprise, c'est la classe de Sorcerer qui fut la plus jouée, pour son gameplay innovant et très dynamique.
Esthétiquement parlant, c'est la classe de Ranger qui a le plus intéressée les joueurs.
Concernant les styles de jeu, voici l'ordre de préférence

    Sorcerer -> Giant -> Ranger -> Warrior.
Les options de personnalisation de l'avatar semblent avoir répondu à l'attente des joueurs.

4/ Graphismes et son

Sans surprise ici aussi, les graphismes et la direction artistique du jeu furent très appréciées, en particulier les personnages, les décors et les monstres. Un score de 4.6/5 a été obtenu.
Cependant, des retours concernant un léger manque d'effets visuels ont pu être observés.

5/ Interface et contrôles de jeu

Globalement, l'ergonomie des menus et des différents modules est convenable. Les raccourcis clavier pour la navigation furent néanmoins moins bien reçus (retour de satisfaction plutôt faible).
De plus, plus le joueur avance dans le jeu, plus le taux de satisfaction diminue.
À noter que comparé aux autres classes, le Ranger a eu un taux de satisfaction plus faible que les autres. (surement dû au positionnement des touches)

6/ Éléments de combat

Les mécaniques de combat au corps à corps ont été plutôt appréciées (4/5), plus que celles du combat à distance légèrement en deçà (3/5). Les attaques à distance du Ranger et les attaques de mêlée du Berzerker semblent avoir moyennement convaincu.

7/ Contenu PvP

PvP, Siège, système de « link » et raid boss n'ont pas pu être véritablement expérimentés dû au niveau requis pour y accéder et de la courte durée de la bêta. Le niveau de satisfaction est donc plutôt faible.

8/ Contenu PvE

Un défaut d'équilibrage a majoritairement été soulevé, donnant un sentiment d'inconfort entre les classes. Il en est de même pour les différents styles de jeu, le manque de tutoriels, l'IA des monstres qui nécessite d'être améliorée, le système de « link » et le jeu en groupe.

9/ Quêtes et système de nœuds

La difficulté des quêtes et le système de nœuds ont obtenu un score de 3.4/5. Le système de circulation et de transport a fait l'objet de nombreux commentaires, celui-ci nécessite des améliorations.

10/ Carte

La world map et la mini map ont eu un bien meilleur taux de satisfaction que lors de la première CBT (pour rappel : 2.5/5).

11/ Contenu hors combat

Selon les retours, le manque de variété du gameplay en combat est la faiblesse actuelle du jeu, tandis que l'exploration et le degré de liberté sont grandement appréciés.
Concernant le housing (craft inclus), les joueurs ont été peu convaincus.
Un manque de tutoriels fut ressenti au début du jeu, mais la liberté offerte et les choix laissés aux joueurs par la suite ont été considérés comme des points positifs.

12/ Communauté en jeu

De manière générale, les guildes, le système d'échange et le chat ont été mal accueillis. En particulier le chat (2.1 points) qui a généré beaucoup de réactions.
La partie communautaire est un élément important du jeu, celle-ci sera donc améliorée et complémentée.

13/ Immersion, système économique et plaisir de jeu

L'immersion et le monde de BDO ont bien plu aux joueurs et dans l'ensemble, ils ont pris du plaisir à jouer (3.7/5). Enfin, le système économique (IG) a également été l'objet de nombreux dithyrambes et panégyriques.

 
 


Mardi 24 juin 2014
 
Western Publisher and CB3 announced

blackdesert64 2014-05-11 16-38-11-983

Good news for all Western Black Desert Fans. Daum, the Korean Publisher of Black Desert will expand to the Western Market and open a new Office in the West. Pearl Abyss also announced the Date for the 3rd Closed Beta, which is scheduled for late August/early September. More information are coming soon.
We have the official confirmation that it’s true.

 
 


Lundi 23 juin 2014
 
E3 2014 - Interview de Choi Wan

Interview de Choi Wan, responsable Game Design chez Pearl Abyss, de la part de nos amis Russes durant l'E3. Retour sur la deuxième phase de bêta fermée (CBT2).

    Quels enseignements avez-vous tiré de cette seconde CBT ?

    Suite à cette seconde CBT, nous avons prévu d'effectuer des changements concernant le housing, le craft et l'équilibrage des classes, notamment en PvP.
    Il y avait eu énormément de discussions à propos du PvP (pré-CBT2) et celles-ci continuent encore aujourd'hui. Nous avons eu beaucoup de retours sur le PvP de manière générale, ce qui nous a beaucoup aidés. Nous en sommes très reconnaissants.

    Comment était organisé le développement du jeu jusqu'à présent ?

    Auparavant, nous concentrions nos efforts sur le contenu PvE, mais nous allons maintenant travailler aussi sur l'aspect social. Nos efforts seront divisés équitablement entre PvE et aspect social.

    Quelle rythme de mise à jour prévoyez-vous ?

    Nous avons prévu de sortir des patchs mensuels, mais cette question doit être traitée avec les différents éditeurs. Dans tous les cas, nos mises à jour sont prévues pour un rythme de mensuel à trimestriel. Les changements toucheront aux classes, corrections de bugs, ajouts de contenu etc.

    Avez-vous prévu de faire une application mobile ?

    Nous considérons l'idée de faire une application mobile qui inclurait une carte du monde (NDLR : Du jeu), avec la possibilité de visualiser le statut de vos objets mis en vente, etc... Mais c'est encore au stade d'ébauche.

    Quel support offrez vous aux éditeurs ?

    Nous essayons d'offrir un support compréhensible à nos éditeurs. De plus, nous sommes prêts à répondre à leurs demandes, à l'exception de ce qui touche au moteur du jeu.
    Nous cherchons en particulier des éditeurs ayant l'expérience du marché local. Nous sommes donc prêts à aider les éditeurs dans cette direction.

 
 


Dimanche 15 juin 2014
 
Black Desert en Occident - Des négociations en « phase finale »

En plus de sa version originale sud-coréenne, Black Desert Online est officiellement attendu au Japon et en Russie. Et aux termes de l'E3, Pearl Abyss serait sur le point de conclure un accord avec un exploitant occidental « bien connu ».

Si la version originale de Black Desert se dévoile déjà, en Corée du Sud, en bêta (deux sessions de test ont déjà été organisées, une troisième se profile prochainement), le MMORPG du studio Pearl Abyss est également attendu dans le reste du monde. Les droits japonais et russes du jeu ont déjà été vendus (respectivement aux éditeurs GameOn et GameNet), et Pearl Abyss profitait de l'E3 cette semaine pour rencontrer de nouveaux partenaires dans le reste du monde -- de façon plus fructueuse que l'année dernière grâce à l'état d'avancement actuel de Black Desert.

D'après Inven qui s'est entretenu avec le développeur, la déclinaison chinoise de Black Desert serait également en préparation (pour se concrétiser dès cet été), en attendant des déclinaisons destinées aux marchés d'Asie du sud-est, de Taiwan et de Turquie. Mais aussi et surtout les marchés européens et nord-américains : on savait que Pearl Abyss prospectait et discutait avec d'éventuels partenaires, le studio coréen serait actuellement en « négociation avancée » avec un prestataire occidental « bien connu » et ces négociations seraient en « phase terminale ».
Si l'on prendra l'annonce avec toute la circonspection nécessaire, les efforts du studio pourrait se concrétiser prochainement (d'autant que la traduction anglaise du jeu est déjà partiellement réalisée en interne).
En attendant une annonce officielle, on retiendra que la prochaine phase de bêta en Corée (non encore datée) doit être l'occasion de poursuivre les équilibrages PvE et PvP ou encore de débloquer les compétences d'artisanat du MMO.

 
 


Jeudi 12 juin 2014
 
Black-Desert.com E3 Interview

Our Interview with PearlAbyss is finally here! We met PA at the E3 in Los Angeles and we had a lot of Questions for them!

Q: How will PvP be rebalanced? What are your thoughts on potions?

    A : We’re thinking rebalance monsters first, then it depends on the changes we make to each characters’ skills; as that might affect how we approach potions. We’re thinking we will go with our current potion system, but if we feel a change is necessary we will reconsider our stance.

Q: Can you tell us more about the different types of guilds, i.e religion, economy.?

    A : This was our very, very first concept of guilds; recently we decided to remove religion guilds. It depends on the characteristics of the guild, they have their own special skills (guild skill trees), during CBT2 we only included the combat related skills, during CBT3 we will include crafting skills.

Q: Will there be diversity to guild quests?

    A : We want to diverse our guild quests, so we will be looking into including PvP aspects to our guild quests.

Q: Will you be doing an overhaul on the PvE aspects of the game?

    A : Yes, we will be definitely improving the AI of our raid bosses.

Q: What items can we expect in the cash shop if the game goes F2P? Will there be EXP potions?

    A : Costumes, consumables (cosmetics, furniture), no there will not be EXP potions we’re very focused on ensuring our game is not P2W. We’re still talking over if we will have a cash shop, while we leaning more F2P, we are considering many other options.

Q: Will you be expanding the map?

    A : We’re planning on opening: Media, Valencia, and then you’ll see the continent that has ice/snowy region.

Q: How big of a factor will environment stat penalties be?

    A : We want the penalty to be a percentage of the player’s stats, so the player will feel the full effects of the stat penalty.

Q: How will level up stats look like after 50+?

    A : We’re still discussing internally, and we have not  decided yet.

4week_1280x800_05

Q: Have you thought about including a bounty system?

    A : We’re actively thinking about incorporating the system, but there is a lot of possibilities for abusing the system; we’re trying to take subtle approaches to this system.

Q: Will there be PvP hotspots/safe-zones?

    A : It can be changed if needed, but for now we’re going to continue with our current setup.

Q: Will the arena be instanced?

    A : We have not decided yet.

Q: What game modes will the arena offer?

    A : Since we have not decided if it will be instanced, we cannot say; we must decide on our PvP style before we can say. We would really love for other players to be able to watch the occurring battles.

Q: Will the arena offer a gambling system?

    A : It would be hard in Korea due to the laws around this, but in other regions we might possibly be able to add a gambling system. If the publisher wanted to add a system like this, yes, we could work on trying to implement something similar to this.

Q: Will PvP give EXP?

    A : We can think about that, but for now we will stick with mobs giving EXP. After winning in PvP, the rewards you currently gain are bountiful, adding EXP on top of that would be too much.

Q: Will there be player-to-player relationships?

    A : We do not plan to implement player marriages into the game. We definitely plan on adding many social features, such as friendship bonus’s (crafting together.)

Q: How big of an effect does the castle’s taxes system have?

    A : Yes, if the taxes are too high we want the player to search for a better bargain elsewhere. The tax scale might be different depending on the publisher, for instance, in Korea it could be 0-20% while in NA it could be 0-50%.

Q: How many castles are there currently?

    A : Including Valencia there is three castles; one in Calpheon, Media, Valencia.

blackdesert64 2014-05-11 08-44-04-857

Q: Will there be an achievement/title system?

    A : We’re thinking about the achievement system positively, but we still need to develop more.

Q: What precautions is PA taking to ensure one playerbase (PvP, PvE) won’t be at a disadvantage?

    A : All we can do is listen to the users feedback, and try to integrate the users feedback into our game WISELY.

Q: Will there be character server transfers?

    A : We’re taking that into consideration, if the publisher strongly wants it we will include that feature.

Q: Will there be more equipment?

    A : We have already made more than 10 costumes per class, additionally in the next test you will see different costumes, i.e fisherman, NPC costumes (depends on your NPC intimacy with them.)

Q: Will you be able to dye your clothing?

    A : Yes, in the next closed beta testing you will most likely see this feature.

Q: Will this be an in-game feature (dyes) or will this be a cash shop feature?

    A : Fundamentally, it should be in our cash shop. Perhaps we will do a hybrid system, some colors you will have access to in-game, others will be in our cash shop.

Q: Will there be naval combat?

    A : We are definitely working on naval combat. We’re creating more islands for the next closed beta testing. We are not completely positive we will be able to show it off during the next testing yet. You can use boats for transportation, trading, and naval combat.

Q: Will swimming be part of the game?

    A : We just decided we will be adding it to the game.

Q: Will Tamer be able to “tame” pets?

    A : We cannot give you the details about the Tamer class. What we can tell you, is that we have changed the original concept of the Tamer class you saw in the footage we released earlier.

BlackDesert_Pc_01

Q: Will there be multiple weapons to use for each class?

    A : Unfortunately we will not be including a feature such as that.

Q: Will weapons have skills?

    A : Endgame gear could have extra weapon skills.

Q: What languages will the game be translated to?

    A : Aside from Russian, Korean, English; it will depend on the what the publisher is looking for.

Q: What do you feel the most unique feature to Black Desert is?

    A : Virtual reality. The reason why we developed Black Desert’s graphics more realistically, is to allow for the player to experience a “virtual life.” If we work with the Oculus Rift, we would like to add more depth to the in-game vision.

Q: Will there be supportive skills, or does the linking system cover all support based gameplay?

    A : The linking system will not cover all of the supportive systems. The Valkyrie will probably have a lot of supportive skills.

Q: Will the linking system play a role in PvE/PvP mechanics?

    A : You can use the linking system to block/interfere with boss skills in raids. There is three principals to the linking system, 1. Super Damage, 2. Interfering/Stun, 3. Buffs. Both #2 and #3 will be active in PvP, during PvE all linking skills will be allowed.

Q: Will all dungeons be open world?

    A : Yes, we are trying to make sure all dungeons will be open world. But, if there is a dungeon that’s crucial to the story (cinematics, etc.) we may feel the need to make it instanced.

blackdesert64 2014-05-11 13-43-06-526

Q: How will the housing system work?

    A : We’re leaning towards the same housing system we had in CBT2 (instanced based), but we might have a few select houses that are open world.

Q: Can you tell us more about parties?

    A : Party experience is divided equally, party members need to be within the same vicinity to receive experience. We currently have three looting options: #1 Random, #2 Orderly, #3 Leader decides. We’re currently discussing more options here, we like WoW’s looting system very much.

Q: What makes Valencia special?

    A : Valencia itself is the size of the three regions that are currently available (as of CBT2). The monsters will be larger, stronger, better loot in Valencia. Valencia will be easy to get lost in; there will also be hidden ruins amongst the desert.

Q: How many players can ride the elephant mount?

    A : Max three players will be able to ride; one in the front, two in the back. The two players in the back will be able to engage in mounted combat.

Q: Have you added anything new to mounted combat recently?

    A : We’re currently adding more skills to mounted combat and trying to make it more sophisticated.

Q: Do you plan on keeping the horse taming quick-time event?

    A : We would like to improve the guidance with this event and others. We’re hoping to implement a practice mode for players to train before heading out into the real deal.

Q: Will you be implementing more mini-games?

    A : We can’t tell you all the details, but one we’re looking into is horse races.

Q: Will there be recovery skills?

    A : You couldn’t see during CBT2 but we actually have a “Stun Resistance” stat we plan to implement later on.

Q: Will there be dynamic open world events?

    A : We definitely have plans for them, but it takes a lot of time to develop these events.

Q: Which publishers have you talked to?

    A : We’ve talked to all of the major publishers. You will hear from us about this very soon.

Q: When do you expect CBT3 to be released?

    A : This Summer is our plan.

We would like to thank Pearl Abyss once again for taking the time to address all of our questions. We had an absolute blast talking with them, and we cannot wait to hear more details about Black Desert!
Also a big thank you to our Parter 2p.com for giving us the chance to attend to the E3 this year.

 
 

 

 

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