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Lundi 26 août 2013  
[Ask the Devs] Episode 3

[Ask the Devs] Episode 3 is over and your questions have been answered below.

The Black Gold Online development team is still here though, so head on over to [Ask the Devs] Episode 3 and ask them anything!

Game features? Lore clarification? Favorite Pokemon? ANYTHING!

Question: How detailed will the character customization be? Will there be sliders for body features?

    There will be sliders for both facial features and body features, you'll be able to alter their upper body and lower body thickness / height.

Question:  What's the maximum level in the game for players?

    The first cap will be set at level 40. As we launch future expansions, you can expect the cap to be raised furthermore.

Question: Instead of a cash shop, will drops will be locked from us in a certain time period and we will need to purchase gold to unlock them? Is the English version going to use this model? Are you guys going to use a traditional cash shop in this version instead? Or have you guys not finished deciding what you want to do?

    We will not be using the loot lock system in the English version. There will be no subscription, no cash shop, no loot lock, no content lock. We have implemented a "Black Gold Time" system to support normal game progression: this system will calculate your actions/ hour and reward you extra loot (up to two slots per day), and you can use credits to purchase further slots.

Have a question for the game developers? Ask away in our [Ask the Devs] forums!


Mardi 20 août 2013  
Black Gold Time

The latest details regarding Black Gold Time's direction in the North American version has arrived! Following last week’s reveal on how the new monetization model is positioned to deliver in China, we at Snail Games felt the need to unveil the plan for our American audiences.

To clarify common misconceptions and answer the surge of questions, Black Gold Online’s optional time save system acts as a bonus, completey optional feature to supplement normal game progression. PvE experience and PvP rankings remains unaffected and all levels of equipment and materials(white to epic) can be acquired in game via questing, battegrounds, auction and world drops.

The “Black Gold Time” system adds an additional source of economic catalyst to the equation by replacing the cash shop. The system might seem overwhelming at first look, but Snail is aiming to take free-to-play further with the intent of maximizing player experience.

“ The reason we decided not to implement a cash shop is to put our focus on refining the game itself, rather than creating endless cash shop power-ups: instead of purchasing items, we give you the opportunity to gain items that you can use or sell”

 “ We want to present the value of time and place initiative in your own hands, let you decide if the time spent is worth paying for. The main idea we want to push through is having players know they can get bonus loot, and have the option to either acquire that or trade it to others. ”

“ We’re refining this new system and our top priority is develop a transparent and accepted F2P model for the North American audience.”

- Kee Zhang, Producer of Black Gold Online -

Let’s take an in-depth look

    Frequency: Auto saved every hour

      The save times in Black Gold Online is built in a different angle: it measures and records your loot index* in an hour and creates a slot. For player convenience, this will be saved automatically every hour. The game is able to store up to a number of saves at any given time. New saves will override the oldest, and follow the logic from there.

    Loot Index: Your treasure level

      The core idea of “Black Gold Time” is based on a Loot Index, which determines the color of your save time. The loot index is measured by in-game actions you performed in that hour. (completing missions, killing bosses, players or mobs) There will be three levels with escalating chance of acquiring better loot.

Vial of Time and Time Exchange

When you acquire a save slot for free or by purchase, the save itself will materialize into an special item called the “Vial of Time” with it's own inventory space.

The quality for each Vial of Time is determined by the time slot’s color (white, purple, gold)

“ We originally designed to offer two free saves per 24 hour period, but the number may increase as we close in on beta and launch dates ”

- Kee Zhang, Producer of Black Gold Online -

On top of not having a subscription, the Black Gold Time system gifts every player a number of free saves per day to gain extra loot. You can also list these saves on the Time Exchange, created specifically for trading vials of time for credits.

Choice in players’ hands

With every vial creation, players will have two options on how to deal with their save:

    Receive for free or pay with credits and loot all the content within
    Traded on the Time Exchange for credits(normally acquired through real-life currency)

As the industry pioneer with this monetization model, Snail Games aim at pushing the Free-to-Play boundary further, players don’t have to spend anything to enjoy the game to the fullest. All the content is available through normal game progression. For those that want to experience content quicker, the option is always there.

Stay tuned for more reveals and details to come!  


Mercredi 14 août 2013  
Rise of the Buvont

Creating the Buvontian Human

The Buvonts were originally from the Eastern lands of Erlandir. When Hoka and his Black Gold-powered steam machines were eventually banished from the shamanistic society, a group of humans followed him to back to Isenhorst, casting off the old ways of worship to pursue science and technology.

Naturally all-embracing, these human families settled peacefully with the dwarves. The Buvonts are smart, agile and exceptionally adaptive. Although the dwarves were the inventors of steam technology, it was the Buvont humans who militarized and maximized it’s power. The Buvont dynasty is now accepted to be the ruler of all Isenhorst. 

    Faction - Isenhorst
    Allies - Lokemean Dwarves, Upyrian Vampires
    Language - Human, Common Tongue
    Available Classes - Inquisitor, Mystic, Tech Adept
    Character Traits - Mercurial dreamers with strong sense of curiosity and desire for knowledge.
    Physique - Standing between 5’7 and 6’6 with a balanced figure. Dressed in Neo-Victorian Era fashion: Top Hats, Monocles, leather and gold accessories. 

The Founding of the Human Empire

A generation passed, and mistrust grew between the humans and the other races. Only a single human faction, the Buvont Family, maintained relationships with the race that had gone into exile with them; together, they founded a settlement near the Ellescadia region.

Disgusted by the human obsession with short-term profits, the dwarves withdrew from Isenhorst, leaving their territory in the hands of a few powerful families. The Buvont Family, living in self-imposed exile, worked with the Upryians to turn Black Gold into a powerful fuel source.

Deciding that chaos was bad for business, the humans eventually established the Isenhorst Confederation in 1138. The Confederation was a coalition of Craftsman Associations throughout the various settlements, each controlled by a major family.

Before long, the Craftsman Associations began squabbling for resources and power. Two families even dared to attack dwarven territory directly, and were utterly destroyed. The remaining families absorbed the weakened Associations into their own holdings, and there was peace for a time. A very short time.

The petty bickering and backstabbing between the families soon exploded into all-out civil war. In 1144, the Buvont Family established an alliance with Delfradia, and began receiving secret shipments of Black Gold. The family, led by Theodoric Buvont, created a mobile, weaponized castle. This "warcastle" laid waste to the lands of the Buvont Family's enemies, and the Buvont claimed Isenhorst for their own.

And yet, they were not satisfied. The Warcastle advanced on the lands of the dwarves, and the humans' benefactors retreated, losing battle after battle. Eventually, the Buvont Family relented , and offered the dwarves a place within the Isenhorst Confederation…with a catch.

The humans agreed to disarm their Warcastle and allow the dwarves to govern themselves, but the dwarves would henceforth be responsible for arming the Confederation military, and obeying the dictates of the Buvont royal family.


Lundi 12 août 2013  
A New System Awaits

There is no doubt that many of you are curious about the exact monetization model that will be implemented in the game. The big reveal is here, Snail Games have announced an unprecedented and innovative way to play (and pay). This new system will be live with the launch of the Chinese version, and it is most likely to be reflected in our North American version.

”We’re focusing on giving our players choices when it comes to their gameplay experiences – they decide what premium items to pay for and whether a play session is worth saving,”

“We decided to introduce an innovative monetization model based on player habits and overall gameplay time. Unlike a micro transaction model requiring the player to frequently shop for items, or a subscription-based model where players pay a monthly service, our model allows players to dictate their own gameplay progression.” - Mr. Shi Hai, Founder of Snail Games

Black Gold Online’s innovative Optional Time Based File Save Model will abandon traditional subscription based-payment and will not implement an in-game cash shop

Yep, you heard it here. There will be NO subscriptions; NO cash-shop. All the materials, equipments can be gained in-game to ensure balance across the Continent of Montel. So how exactly does it work? Let’s take a closer look.

“Black Gold Time” The Optional Time-based Monetization Model

Black Gold Online’s file save mode will record your playtime data, showing all materials and equipment looted in that specific timeframe. Players will be given a choice to purchase that specific “save” if you wish to acquire all of those items.

This system aims only at paying for rare materials and high level equipments: Basic materials and equipments can be looted immediately without purchase. Player progression in terms of experience and PvP rank for example, will remain even if you do not pay for the save. 

Save Files

Players will be able to select a timeframe: every 1 / 2 / 4 / 6 Hour(s) for automatically saving their progress. Players can also end the auto-save early to save manually whenever they feel the need to loot the items gained so far.
Upon creation, save files will last for 24 hours before they disappear.

By selecting the one hour auto-save, progress will be recorded every hour:

    SaveFile1 from 14:10~15:10 - the player acquires a rare gun and a couple basic materials.
    SaveFile2 from 15:10~15:40 - the player loots a rare material and decides to save before reaching the hour mark.

The player will be able to loot the basic material immediately, but the rare gun and material will only be looted if the player decides to purchase SaveFile1 and SaveFile2.

Credit & “Lucky Draw” System

Save files are purchased from in-game credits (bought from real-life money). Snail Games however, have implemented an interesting “lucky draw” system. There will be two separate buttons: you can buy the save directly, or select “try your luck” to have a chance at reducing the credits required or even obtain loots without any cost! This is a fun little option to maximize player benefits.





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